Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Umarex Lever Action
Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action BB gun.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Charging the gun
  • BB velocity
  • Umarex Precision Steel BBs
  • Loading cartridges
  • Dust Devils
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Shooting faster
  • Smart Shot
  • RWS Hyper-Max Lead-free pointed pellets
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Shot count
  • Trigger pull
  • Feeding
  • Lever safety!
  • Feeding
  • Summary

Today we look at the power of the new Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action BB gun. Yes, I will test it with pellets, though it wasn’t designed for them. And. in case you wonder whether the new Marksman Premium Grade steel BBs will work in it, I submit the following picture.

Umarex Lever Action Marksman BB
The new Marksman BB is too large for the lever action barrel.

Charging the gun

Step one is to charge the gun with CO2. This gun takes two 12-gram CO2 cartridges, nose-to-nose, in the buttstock. I put the usual Crosman Pellgunoil on the tips of both cartridges, so the oil would be blown through the valve when they pierced. It keeps the seals fresh and doing their job.

BB velocity

Now let’s look at BB velocity. I selected a range of BBs that I think covers the entire field.

Umarex Precision Steel BBs

First up are Umarex Precision Steel BBs. This is an Umarex airgun, after all. I will show you each of the first 10 shots, because I have a lot to say about them.

Shot………Velocity
1…………….630
2…………….623
3…………….622
4…………….612
5…………….600
6…………….625
1…………….630
8…………….617
9…………….619
10……………608

Okay — the average for that string is 617 f.p.s. But notice that it dropped from 630 f.p.s. on shot one to 600 f.p.s. by shot five and then jumped back to 625 f.p.s. on shot 6. What happened is I loaded five cartridges and then shot them in succession, waiting 20 seconds between each shot. Then I gathered up the empty cartridges and reloaded them with 5 more of the same BB for shots 6 through 10. The time between shots 5 and 6 was about five minutes.

I’m saying two things here. First, this airgun does drop in velocity as you shoot it. The expanding CO2 chills the internal parts, causing the gun to slow down rapidly. By waiting 5 minutes the velocity returns to nearly normal. Here’s why I say that.

The first couple shots from a new CO2 cartridge will almost always be faster because some of the liquid CO2 has made its way into the valve. The gun must be specifically designed to prevent that, as some target arms are (those with their CO2 tanks hanging down vertically). Otherwise the first couple shots will be faster than any of the shots that follow. That’s another reason I showed you each of the first 10 shots. So 630 f.p.s. (shot number one) is probably faster than this gun wants to shoot, but 625 f.p.s. (shot six) is more likely its maximum. Umarex puts a conservative maximum of 600 f.p.s. on the gun, so we have already passed that by quite a bit.

Loading cartridges

I had forgotten what it feels like to load cartridges into an 1894 receiver. You don’t put them in one at a time unless you have no feeling in your thumb. You load one cartridge almost all the way into the rifle, then push it in with the next one and so on. If you don’t your thumb gets mighty sore!

Umarex Lever Action loading
This is how you load a lever action.

Dust Devils

The next BB I tested was the Dust Devil from Air Venturi. They make these themselves, so don’t go looking for the source someplace else. We know Dust Devils are lighter than conventional steel BBs so they should be a little faster.

I decided to go to 5-shot strings at this time, because I could see that the Lever Action BB gun is very consistent. Five Dust Devils gave an average of 620 f.p.s. with shot one going out at 645 and shot five leaving at 604 f.p.s. If I had waited several minutes between shots the average would have been higher, but no BB would have gone faster than 645 f.p.s.

A spread of 41 f.p.s. is large, and I knew what to do to tighten it. Just wait longer between shots. Longer than 20 seconds but less than 60 seconds. Let’s call it 30-40 seconds between shots.

Air Venturi Steel BBs

Next up were Air Venturi Steel BBs. They aren’t that much different than Umarex Precision Steel BBs, so the velocity should be close. This BB averaged 618 f.p.s. with a high of 630 and a low of 608 f.p.s. How about that? Almost identical to the first string, but ever-so-slightly faster on average. That’s what the extra waiting time did.

Shooting faster

What about the other way around? What if I shot the gun as fast as I could? From what we are seeing here I would expect the spread to get wider. Let’s find out.

Smart Shot

The next BB I tested was the all-lead Air Venturi Smart Shot from H&N. These weigh 7.4 grains on average, so of course they are going to shoot slower, but this time I levered the gun, recorded the velocity and shot the next shot all within 8 seconds.

They averaged 535 f.p.s. for 5 shots. The spread went from a high of 550 f.p.s. to a low of 514 f.p.s. That’s 36 f.p.s., and not as great as I feared it would be. What that means is, yes the velocity does decrease when you shoot rapidly, but the velocity loss slows down the more you shoot. I will have more to add to that in a bit, but now I want to look at the gun’s performance with pellets.

RWS Hyper-Max Lead-free pointed pellets

First I tested 5 RWS Hyper-Max lead-free pointed pellets. These weigh 5.3-grains so they should be close to the velocity of the steel BBs. A little less, perhaps, because they weigh more and also because they are larger diameter, Five pellets averaged 609 f.p.s. The high was 647 f.p.s. and the low was 586 f.p.s. I also shot these as fast as I could, averaging 6 seconds between shots. I was getting faster between shots from practice. The spread was 51 f.p.s. which is more like what I expected when I was shooting rapidly. The first shot was the fastest and the last was the slowest, with a linear drop from start to finish.

Air Arms Falcons

The second pellet I tested was the Falcon from Air Arms. These I shot as rapidly as I could, averaging about 6 seconds between shots. That’s levering in a new cartridge while watching where the spent cartridges go, then writing down the velocity, then taking the next shot and so on

Shot count

At this point in the test I have fired 35 shots on the two CO2 cartridges. I stopped for lunch after shot 35 and then I also wrote the first part of the report. Two hours have elapsed since the last shot was fired. Let’s load some more Umarex BBs (617 f.p.s. average at the start) and look at the velocity.

Shot………Velocity
36……………534 wait two full minutes
37……………520 wait two full minutes
38……………504 wait two full minutes
39……………491 wait two full minutes
40……………475 wait two full minutes
41……………463 wait two full minutes
42……………439 wait two full minutes
43……………431 wait two full minutes
44……………402 wait two full minutes
45……………399

I stopped at this point. There are more shots in the gun, but not many. You risk getting a BB stuck if you go too much farther. I’m saying there were 45 good shots on two CO2 cartridges. Given the high velocity of the BB gun, that’s about what can be expected.

Trigger pull

The trigger pull on the test gun is 3 lbs. 2 oz. And, while testing it I discovered something wonderful!

Lever safety!

This BB gun has the same lever safety that would be found on a Winchester 1894 firearm. The lever must be pulled up tight to the frame of the gun or it won’t fire. You do this naturally when grasping the gun so no thought is required.Winchester has been building the same safety into their rifles for over a century, but what a shocker it is to see one on a $200 BB gun. All the more realism!

Feeding

The test gun feeds like a dream! You have to move that lever all the way back to eject the spent cartridge, and the elevator with the new cartridge pops up immediately after that. It’s exactly like a Winchester 1894!

Summary

There is a lot to like about this lever action BB gun. I sure hope it’s accurate, too!

62 thoughts on “Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action BB gun: Part 2

  1. B.B,

    I enjoyed this report since I really enjoy shooting the Winchester 1894 firearm! Must have been because of all The Rifleman episodes I watched as a kid even though his carbine was a Winchester 1892.

    Errata: in Dust Devil’s third paragraph; “Longer than 20 seconds by (but) less than 60 seconds.”

    shootski


  2. B.B.,

    Looks like the theory that the Marksman BB is for increased accuracy is going out the window. I’m beginning to wonder if these are actually made to be shot in an airgun. They might actually be repackaged industrial ball bearings.

    Siraniko


  3. BB
    So far so good. I think an airgun rifle should always shoot faster than a pistol. I would like to comment on mine but I don’t have it yet.
    The quality seems to be about the same as my Airsoft 1892 Lever action. Green gas into the front of the mag and 20 bb’s into the loading ramp. Also has a wrap around brass butt stock end and a vertical lift up long range rear sight. I’ll send a comparison pic when I get mine.

    Here is what FEDEX posted on tracking history.

    Wed : Barcode unreadable, need new one.
    Thurs : On truck, but decided to deliver it Fri.
    Fri: Cant find delivery address.
    Sat & Sun : Local weather delay. Delivery not attempted.
    Mon : Local weather delay. Delivery not attempted. Postponed to Tue.

    (YES it was CLOUDY and will be for the next two weeks)

    Now, UPS made a delivery on Friday, and my Hyundai accent drove the rode easily every day. I was transferred to a different FEDEX person seven times trying to talk to the local FEDEX station about it with no results.

    I may have to drive 40 miles to puck it up at FEDEX next Wed.
    Bob M


  4. My dad bought a 94 in .30-30 caliber, to go wild boar hunting in Tellico Plains, in east Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. Never saw one but a boar chased one of the hunters up a tree!

    We shot Dad’s .30-30 at a local rock quarry once. I was very young. To keep from being knocked over from the recoil,I leaned my shooting shoulder against a tree. This turned out to be a very bad idea.

    Later, Dad bought me a .264 Winchester M70 so we could go deer hunting together but we never went.

    My parents retired to Lakeland, FL and I inherited his M94.

    When I had kids, I bought two Daisy M94 BB guns. I loved how light and balanced they were. They were great for sending soda cans skittering across frozen snow on our farm.

    When this new M94 Umarex came out I bought one. It’s been months now and I still haven’t shot or even charged it. I am 72, on dialysis which weakens my muscles with such a heavy gun. Plus bending over to recover the ejected shells is unappealing at my age and health. I may get another Daisy 94 sometime, because it’s lighter and doesn’t spew shells. Otherwise the Umarex is a thing of beauty. And I know I can always bench rest it.

    My regards to all of you out there who still have strong muscles. And my appreciation to you, B.B., for keeping this blog.



    • Hi Joe
      As you may remember, or not, I’m 71, two days younger than that ‘old guy’ who writes this blog an I’m in excellent health.
      Permit me to offer you some suggestions. Every morning while still in bed, before I get up, I rotate my ankles then wrists both ways till I can feel a little burn, Then I raise my knees and slowly swing them left and right a few times (Aligns the back) then spread them an let them open at their own pace. ((Helps prevent and stop Sciatica too, for me) Then slowly bring them up to your chest wrap your arms around them and slowly roll left and right a little ( Back stretch) I also walk and exercise but that’s another story.
      It prevents those little muscle pulls and loss of balance when you first get up and probably all morning. Nothing strenuous at all. A good body stretch !
      I also take this specific Collagen supplement as well as a handful of vitamins and such and I believe it really works. I no longer have to pop my neck into place 10 times a day or wake up with pain in my shoulders, back or hips that lasted all day.
      If BB permits I’ll post a pic of the containers ‘Bragging’ label, not the front, for you. But basically its type 1,2 and 3 Amino Acids + 100% Vitamin C.
      By the way, I no longer have all those snap crackle and pops when I rotate my wrists and ankles. OK, maybe a few when I first start…

      Hang in there,
      Bob M



      • Fred
        I have almost got one at different times. I know it’s not as realistic in operation as the one BB is reporting on today.

        But how well will it do cans out at 25 yards?


  5. Off Topic
    I noticed there is a 3D printed bull-pup conversion stock available for an Airsoft M12 ( A smaller 380cal version if the 9mm M11) They have a lot more 3D stocks on their site if your interested in Tac-T-Kool airsoft and some may possibly fit airguns too. Need to contact them I guess.
    I got it hoping my M11 BB pistol would fit but the grip is too wide so I put my Airsoft one in it. sru-precision.com 2019 catalog.



      • GF1
        3D printed items have a very distinctive finish. Gives off a grayish to black sheen depending on light reflection and the initial direction of the printing process. Plus you can see the path the printer took on flat surfaces. Very hi-techy look and very precise and solid.
        Bob M


    • Bob M,

      I would like to see Umarex or others build some wild looking stuff. They could take their MP40, M712 or their Storm series and make some awesome looking rock and rollers. That BUP-11 built around the MP40 guts would be a fun plinker.


  6. BB,

    I can definitely see where you and the rest of the “cowboys” are going to really like this thing. This one is not my particular cup of tea, but it is nice. I would not mind playing with one for a little bit.

    In the paragraph about charging the gun, you say to insert two CO2 cartridges “nose-to-nose”. In my mind I picture the two cartridges “piercing end – to – piercing end” and wonder what pierces the cartridges. I really do not like the idea of it getting stuck in the bottom and the gas coming out there if you know what I mean. 😉



  7. I was hoping for a 92 or 73 Winchester, but after shooting this engineering marvel, I am happy. Shot Cowboy Action for years using Winchester 92, 73 and mainly Marlin 94s all in 45 Colt and 38/357. The shorter pistol caliber Carbines are much faster than the rifle caliber longer action 94 Winchester. That being said , this rifle is fast enough and accurate with both bb and pellet. The higher velocity would make it fun on reactive targets using lead pellets to10 yards easily. Here is a target shot offhand at 25 feet.



    • Michaelr
      A&K make a great ‘Airsoft’ replica of the ‘1892’ Winchester. It is operated with green gas and shoots over 400fps. Build quality is exactly the same except it loads airsoft bb’s in the mag not shells.
      May even be the same Taiwan company? They even have a light real wood version. Should pop up on a google search. And that one has a much better balance, heaver at the muzzle end. Just got the Cowboy 1894 today and I am already considering removing a lot of the excess metal in the but stock cover plate to help balance it out.
      Bob M


  8. That’s a lot of velocity! I am VERY interested in the accuracy of this great looking gun. I hope there’s an opportunity to try the Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground shot in it when it comes time for accuracy testing. It would also be great to see what it can do at at least 20 yards shooting the Avanti Match Grade shot, but I realize that’s asking a lot.


  9. Tom:

    First time commenting. Really like your articles, very concise and detailed. Filled with lots of good information. Try to read every article.

    Regarding the Legends Cowboy Lever Action. I concur with you. Great airgun. Waited a long time for it to come out, but was well worth the wait. I find it shoots equally well with pellets and BB’s. I have only use the Hornady Black Diamond BB’s and Crosman Wadcutter & RWS Diabolo or Hobby Wadcutters in it.

    I am a long-time users and collector of the Daisy 1894’s (have owned them since 1978 and currently have 9 different models), and can say it is certainly a much more realistic, and a closer replica of the real Winchester Lever Action, with the shell ejecting feature. Although I enjoy shooting the Daisy 1894, this is a far superior airgun. The added velocity (600+ fps vs. less than 300) gives it far better consistency and accuracy. And how can you beat the shell loading and ejecting for a realistic experience in your basement or back yard, without having to go out in the county or to a range.

    This airgun, as well as the Colt Peacemaker, Remington 1875, and Bear River Schofield No. 3, really brought back to life the western styled airguns that died off years ago, when production of the Daisy 1894 & 179, and Crosman 44 ended.

    Not wanting to get ahead of your articles, but will comment on the accuracy. I found it equally as accurate with both BB’s & pellets. Have attached a picture of the first 3 shots I took with BB’s, from 22 ft. in my basement range. The blue paster is the 1st shot, then next 2, dead centre, were 2nd & 3rd shots. The 4th & 5th shots were right on centre, on top on the paster I used to cover the 2nd & 3rd shots.

    Keep up the good work. You truly are the “Godfather of Airguns”.




      • BB and All
        When I posted the pic of the collagen label it came out sideways as well, not so pretty good for reading.

        I clicked on the edit option and removed it and tried the same pic again and nothing posted. I then tried the second time and got a double posting of the pic right side up. I simply hit the edit on one and canceled it.
        It also happened when I posted pics of the M1 Carbine. Upside down that time.
        Anyway there is a glitch but it can be taken care of with the edit feature.

        One more thing, the picture shows up as a bunch of coded symbols on the edit pop-up.
        Bob M


    • I loaded mine with alternating shells of bb and pellet. Then shot two separate targets switching targets for each shot until the 10 rounds were spent. I would say that at 40′ bb’s are almost on par with pellets. My next test will be out to 50′ or 60′.


  10. Shell Ejection
    Two questions.
    1. Does the shell eject straight up or off to the side a little.
    2. Does anyone know of a brass catching net that may work on this rifle without marring up the finish.
    Bob M



  11. Bob
    Take a couple of pieces of masking tape and a zip lock plastic sandwich bag and tape it over the election port.

    You can position it to lay over towards the side of the gun where the cartridges are loaded. They should eject with enough force to make it all the way in the bag. And you should still be able to see the open sights fine.

    I have done this with my semi-auto firearms.

    And something I do with my bolt action firearms if I’m in the breezeway shooting I have a kitchen size trash can setting beside me. Then I just pull the bolt and lean the gun over to the side and eject the cases into the trash can each shot. Works nice. And gives you a big opening to make sure you get the shells in the trash can too. 🙂 You can even put a old towel in the bottom to help keep the shells from hitting hard.


    • GF1
      Looks like together we can solve almost anything on this blog !
      Considering a somewhat high, side receiver scope mount with a shell deflector under it. Then I can make a rifle rack with a shop vac attached to it to suck up the shells in mid air as they get ejected. Then I can install a trigger activator on the lever to fire the rifle automatically when it closes and the lever can be remotely controlled by an electric motor with cycling linkage. Then I can sit back watch TV and fire the rifle with a remote control device with my thumb. What a wonderful world !! 😉

      Have a good night guys.



        • GF1
          Yeah that’s the cats meow.
          I have a PS3 war game and get to control a remote controlled mini tank like weapon. Can’t recall the official military designation right now, but it has a rapid fire 40mm grenade launcher and a mini-gun mounted on it and you look through the scope on it on the remote screen. It is capable of total devastation.
          The real fun comes when you control an aircrafts weapons system from a remote ground control system. Nothing, people, tanks or buildings, on the ground survives.
          Bob M


          • Bob
            I fly RC airplanes. It’s easier to happen than you think.

            The government already has drones that can fly that way. Imagine a drone with a mini 30-06 Gatling gun.

            Like a mini A10. That would definitely be some serious power there.


  12. Gunfun1— The 94 ejects upwards. Even if the first case gets into the bag, its weight will pull the bag down and over the top of the receiver. The next case will not eject, and cause a jam.——–BB1—I use several brass pick up tools. They work best on the concrete floor of my club indoor range. Outside, in grass (weeds), dirt and uneven ground they are not so good. Also , you have to know where the cases land. They can be hidden in high vegetation.——Ed


    • Ed
      Probably so. I was thinking that the cartridges ejected fairly hard.

      Maybe a bag could be attached to a shell deflector.

      I imagine if someone wanted it to happen bad enough it could be done.


  13. BB
    Just got my Cowboy rifle today and would like your opinion.
    It is butt heavy and I am considering removing a lot of metal from the butt cap. Seems to be an excessive amount of metal above and below the small attachment screws for the plastic cap. May also drill holes out to save weight instead. It is balanced much better without it on altogether.
    I could actually remove a lot of metal only leaving enough to secure the cap and then use an Allen wrench to pierce the CO2 cartridges. Somethings got to give. I think they went a little overboard in it’s construction.
    See any obvious reason I should not ?
    Bob M


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