by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Gletcher’s Stechkin blowback BB pistol.
This report covers:
- Velocity day
- Piercing pin
- Daisy BBs
- Slide stays back after the last shot
- Air Venturi Copper-Plated BBs
- Umarex BBs
- Shot count
- Don’t count on the brand of CO2 cartridge!
- Recoil from the blowback
- Trigger pull
We learned a lot about the Soviet Stechkin select-fire pistol in Part 1, or at least I did, when researching it. Today we discover how powerful this Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol is. I will also comment on the trigger and the blowback feel.
The pistol is rated to shoot at 410 f.p.s., so let’s see what this one will do. Before we dive in, though, let me give you a peek at the piercing pin and corresponding CO2 cartridge seal.
The piercing pin is hard to see because it’s slightly out of focus. It’s a hollow tube that’s ground on an angle on one side to have a pointed tip on the other side. The green around it is the seal material that the face of the cartridge pushes into.
I show you that seal and piercing pin because of some questions readers have had in recent times about piercing pins and their seals. This flexible seal presses against the steel face of the CO2 cartridge to prevent and gas from escaping. The hollow piercing pin gives the gas a way to escape, so the seal isn’t under that much strain.
Often, when a cartridge is pierced it seals instantly, but the Stechkin took a couple seconds to seal. I probably screwed the piercing screw in another 3/4-turn before gas stopped flowing. And, as always, there was a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the new cartridge.
Okay, let’s get started!
First up were 10 Daisy Premium Grade BBs. They averaged 421 f.p.s., with a spread from 412 to 439 f.p.s. That’s 27 f.p.s. The Stechkin does slow down with every shot from the cooling of the gas, so you have to give it time to warm back up. I was allowing 10-30 seconds between shots, and the longer the better.
Slide stays back after the last shot
When the last BB is fired the slide stays open. That way you never fire a blank shot unless you want to. You can always push the slide release down to close the slide for a single shot. But if the magazine is empty or out of the gun, the slide will stay back after every shot.
Air Venturi Copper-Plated BBs
Next up were 10 Air Venturi Copper-Plated BBs (I had to link to the zinc-plated BBs because the copper-plated ones are no longer showing). These averaged 418 f.p.s. with a spread going from 411 to 431 f.p.s. This spread was 20 f.p.s.
Many of the shots were not registering on the chronograph. At the end of the second string I had fired the pistol 27 times to get 20 recorded shots. I’m telling you that because the Stechkin did not make it all the way through the third string before the velocity fell off.
I shot 10 Umarex Steel BBs for the third string.in the middle of that string, which was after 33 full-power shots had been fired since the CO2 cartridge was installed, which was also the 6th shot in this string (406 f.p.s.), I set the pistol aside for several minutes. I was answering emails and could not get back to the gun for more than two minutes. I mention that because shot number 34 (shot 7 in this string) went out at 393 f.p.s. Until this point these Umarex BBs had been between 406 and 431 f.p.s. The liquid CO2 had now all flashed to gas and the gun was firing on residual gas, alone.
I kept firing and recording the velocities that now dropped with each new shot. Shot 41 went out at 362 f.p.s. and shot 45 was 341 f.p.s. I could continue to shoot the pistol, but the shots were not full power any longer.
Before I leave the Umarex BB I will say that it’s probably right where the other two BBs are for velocity, when the gas pressure is at the maximum. I’m not going to retest it that way because I don’t think there is anything to be gained.
The Stechkin started to run out of gas after shot 33. That is a very low number of shots on a cartridge, but it will vary from cartridge to cartridge. All CO2 cartridges have small differences in their fill. Since this shot count is quite low, and maybe some of the gas escaped when I pierced the cartridge, I installed a new CO2 cartridge and fired it blank 33 times. Then I set it aside for 20 minutes to warm up. Then I recorded the velocities of Umarex BBs, starting with shot 34. At least we should see the cartridge variability I just mentioned. I will show you each velocity.
35………………DNR (did not register)
A 2-minute pause
This cartridge had a few more full-power shots in it. I see the velocity definitely start to fall around shot 47. That’s still a small number of full-power shots for a CO2 cartridge, but as you can see, the shots that remain still have enough velocity to safely exit the muzzle. Based on the results of these two tests I would say with confidence that 50 shots are possible from this gun with no worries of a jam. With some cartridges, that number will be even larger.
Don’t count on the brand of CO2 cartridge!
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one brand of cartridge has more CO2 than another. That might be true for two small samples, but the huge machines that fill CO2 cartridges and then weld them shut are always being adjusted, so this will change unexpectedly. Just know that all manufacturers weigh their filled cartridges and exclude light ones from their sales volume. In a 24-hour day (these machines run day and night) that amounts to a barrel full of rejects, which is several thousand. Those get sent to the engineers and to the repair centers for testing guns, so nothing is wasted.
Recoil from the blowback
The Stechkin recoils and the slide does come back pretty far, but the large grip absorbs a lot of the felt impact. This is not the hardest-recoiling CO2 gun I have tested. I would put it somewhere in the middle — ahead of all the short-blowback guns but behind those whose recoil I have remarked on in past reports.
The Stechkin trigger operates in both the single and double action modes, but since it has a hammer, once the gun is fired the slide cocks the hammer for the next shot. From that time on the trigger is single action only. The double action pull is 10 lbs., 7 oz., which is on the light side. In single action it’s a two-stage trigger with a very long first stage that definitely stops at stage two. Stage two breaks cleanly at 7 lbs. 15 oz., but the break is so crisp I guessed it was around 5 lbs. In my opinion it’s a good trigger, but I’ll know more after the accuracy test.
There it is. The Stechkin BB pistol has a good trigger and decent blowback. The gun stops firing when the BBs are gone. But it does seem to use CO2 pretty fast.
If the Stechkin is accurate it will be a great BB gun to get. I say that based on the sights, the trigger and the overall realism. But it’s got to shoot well.
23 thoughts on “Gletcher Stechkin APS BB pistol: Part 2”
I guess that long slide action uses a lot of gas. I like that it locks back after the last round. If this was selective fire they would not be able to keep them on the shelves.
Before I did this test I remember thinking how nice it would be to fire it full auto. Then I remembered.
We are going off subject here.
This is to all of my fellow “trigger snobs”. I am offering for sale my RWS Diana 46E and have been asked a couple of times as to whether it has the T01 or T05 trigger. I have been shooting this air rifle for almost two years now and thought it had the T01 trigger. Last night while taking pictures of it I noticed it has a black plastic trigger. It has the T05 trigger. WHAT?! The absolutely wonderful trigger on this 46E is the T05?! How can this be?!
Needless to say, I will no longer be hesitant to buy a Diana equipped with the T05 trigger assembly.
I just picked up a 350 Magnum with the T05 trigger and I can’t complain about it all. I was disappointed when I saw that it had it instead of the T06, but after shooting I didn’t care.
You know I never even payed attention to what trigger it had when I had it.
I’ve always been impressed with the reliability of the piercing pin in my Walther Nighthawk. After fitting the cartridge into place in the magazine, you turn a screw until it is snug. Then, one turn of the bottom of the magazine applies just enough force to pierce the cartridge. In contrast, the Crosman 1077 doesn’t have any guides for applying pressure; you just turn until you hear gas flow. Before reading the blog, I thought you had to turn the screw as far as you possibly could (rather than as little as possible) and probably damaged the seals in the process. Incidentally, I still haven’t replaced the 1077.
There are just so many things to do. For instance, my stone slinging is making real strides and Goliath would now be in danger of bumps and bruises although not the kill shot. My group size for 10 yards has shrunk to maybe 20 feet wide. All is going forward except for my knife sharpening which reamins bafflingly poor. After laboring over a kitchen knife and then stropping it 60 times, it could still barely cut through an overripe pineapple.
That is interesting about how welding machines are used to seal the CO2 cartridges. I have always wondered how they are sealed with just the exact right amount of CO2, and I’ve wondered the same about other manufactured products like cans of soda. And I’m not the only one. The Roman gladiator who was brought to life in a novel that I mentioned is simply amazed at the uniformity goods in the modern world compared to ancient Rome where everything was made by hand.
My re-enactment interests are also going forward with delivery of my WWII sage green Marine utilities (minus the pants which were out of stock). Pretty cool, and I feel completely transformed. I’m now trying to use the outfit to commune with the Pacific campaign experience. The dungaree material is very tough but not particularly uncomfortable considering and reasonably cool. But on the subject of manufacturing defects, I understand that the uniforms issued for the Battle of Tarawa were flawed and did not breathe any better than plastic garbage bags. So, on top of coping with poor intelligence on tides that forced them to wade in under heavy fire, the Marines sweated off pounds overnight near the equator while waiting for a banzai charge that would push them into the sea. Whew.
I have a very nice Crosman Nitro Venom .22 with a GRT-III trigger upgrade and a Centerpoint 3-9×32 scope. I purchased this rifle a year before the RWS 34P. And yes, I wasn’t able to achieve good groups with that either. That was in 2012 and I have learned a lot about shooting spring/gas-piston airguns since then. I now know it wasn’t the rifle but the loose nut at the trigger. This rifle cost $164 from Airgun Depot + $35 for the GRT-III trigger upgrade.
This rifle has had less than 500 pellets shot though it. It is like new with no scratches or flaws of any kind. It’s actually a very nice looking air gun. But, I don’t need two guns that are basically similar. I am not a collector. The Crosman is a gas piston air rifle rated at 950 fps, with non-lead pellets I’m sure, but it does shoot very hard and is smooth.
My question is, what would be the best way to sell this rifle and at what price should I sell it? Ebay and Craig’s list won’t allow air guns to be listed, so that option is out. There are no gun shops with decent air guns in my area. They don’t even know what a good air gun is. Even so, they would want to steal it from me anyway. I had thought about trading it on a PCP at one point, but again, not good options in my area.
Are there any suggestions from anyone? I would welcome your input as many of you have gone down this road before me.
You have several options on where to sell it. Here is one very popular site.
You can also join some of the airgun forums. They usually have a classified section. Here are to popular ones.
You can also list it on a gun auction site such as this one.
Most of them have a section for airguns.
I have bought several nice airguns at yard sales.
As for how much is it worth. Well, not much I am afraid. An uninformed guess is that you would be doing good to get $100 for it.
Thank you for all this information. I will copy and paste it into a document for future reference. Yes, I was hoping to maybe get $150 because I have $200 invested in it. But you are probably correct that I would be lucky to get $100. At that price someone would get a great deal.
My local CL seems to allow things called pellet guns to be listed. There is a Gamo and another that the lister did not identify but is a break barrel spring gun on my CL. “Pellet gun” may be the magic words.
I’ve sold hundreds of airguns. 95% of the airguns I’ve sold were on the yellow forum classified section. It’s free and there are many airgun buyers on the site. Here’s a link:
Please click on the tab toward the top of the page “How to become a poster”. Read the RULES related to posting an item for sale. Post pictures with your ad. Stipulate the payment method(s) you are willing to accept and who pays for shipping and insurance. Make sure to include your asking price and how someone can contact you (email address and/or phone number). Double box and pack the gun well for shipping.
Appreciate your response. I have copied and pasted your post into a word document for future reference.
Thanks very much. Any guess as the price it should listed for?
Haven’t seen one sell in quite awhile. These guns filled the yellow classifieds when they first came out. Here’s one without the GRT trigger that wouldn’t sell at $100
Here’s the results of a search for Crosman Nitro Venom that were listed for sale on the classifieds. You may want to sift through these 21 pages of Crosman Nitro Venom items listed for sale and find the ones that SOLD in order to get an idea of value:
with a little redesign this could be interesting . First it needs a better seal and piercing setup to avoid leaking and slow sealing of the pierced co2 cartridge. Next a co2 containing mag along wit ha second extended mag like the new MP 40 subgun to give around 100 shots and 40 rounds on full auto. Replica Stetchkin stocks fit so a select fire version with shoulder stock would be a sweet setup
BB how to resize a piston seal? And how much tightness is right?
When the piston will just move with a little pressure it’s right.
Last I recall, you were messing with springs and encountered a jam due to spring expansion when compressed. Now,.. you are asking about re-sizing a seal. It sounds as if you are now quite comfortable getting on the “insides” of an airgun, …NICE!
Be sure to give us an update on your projects (if you feel like it) and when you get the time.
While the new picture posting feature does not seem to work for me,.. after reading the extra work it will entail for you, and reading other reader’s comments,.. I say to scrap it too. (Just my 2 cents). You do not need more to do on top of the current back-log. It is a nice idea,.. but not at the cost,.. of it costing you.
P.S.,… give that RRR system the good “once over” on the Swarm. I looked at all of the interest on the P.A. site (some 55+ comments/questions) on the gun and the reviews seem to be quite mixed. Some removed it all together. So,.. from what I gather,.. it is a “add-on” feature that seems to be strictly focused on reducing impact to the scope and not anything to do with reducing accuracy robbing gun movement. You know me,… (How) does it function? 😉
That is,.. the “RRR” system,. (not) to be confused with the highly “coveted” (R)idge (R)unner (R)ecommended rating!
Thank you for clarifying that for the readers. We would not want people rushing out to buy this rifle thinking I had given it such a high rating.
Hey,… I have a lot of respect for the “RRR” rating! 🙂 It is an interesting mish-mash of concepts though. We shall see,.. after BB runs it through the proverbial “BB ringer”.
Maybe you mean wringer not ringer?
🙂 You are quite correct and I should have (I do) known better.