by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Today’s report
- Replicas used for training
- And, there is more!
- Engraved Colt Single Action
- And then…
- One more reason
Before I begin let me tell you that I won a Slavia 618 in an Ebay auction and it is on it’s way to me now. I bought it because so many readers have talked about that model over the years and I have never even shot one. In my youth I owned a Slavia 621 (622?) breakbarrel for a short time. I found nothing outstanding about it and it eventually got away from me.
Many years later I acquired a Slavia 631 that I did like and shoot a lot. But it had a hinky automatic safety that turned me off so much that I — well, the truth be told, I don’t know what happened to that rifle. For all I know I may still have it laying around somewhere. You can read about it in a 2011 two-part report than was supposed to have a part 3 that never got written.
But many readers have written about their love of the Slavia 618. Every time I drone on about the Diana 27 they respond with the Slavia 618. So, I broke down and found one on Ebay. It wasn’t expensive and the seller says it’s shooting well, so we shall see. If it needs attention, the parts are also available on Ebay, so we will have even more fun!
Reader Yogi prompted today’s report with his comment to yesterday’s post.
“I do not understand the fascination with realistic replica airguns? In the 60’s they would put fiberglass bodies on VW chassis. The cars looked like junk and drove like junk! Anybody remember Fiberfab? Replica airguns remind me of Fiberfab.”
That remark got my creative juices flowing. I didn’t want to try to change Yogi’s opinion, because he is entitled to think any way he wants. I just wanted to give my thoughts about what people see in replica airguns.
But reader Chris USA responded to Yogi’s remark with this,
“I was not old enough to drive until the mid 70’s,…. but I remember the “dune buggies” with fiberglass bodies over a VW platform. Pretty cool I thought and still do. There is a couple on nice ones running around in the local town. One is painted tangerine metal flake and the other peril-ized purple. I could overlook performance and handling issues just to have one.”
To that remark Yogi went one step too far when he responded,
“Chris,Watch the “Thomas Crown Affair”! A well fabricated Meyer Manx is a completely different animal.”
So, Yogi, your statement proves that you do understand why people like certain replicas. You just don’t happen to care for replica airguns.
What we are talking about today is the subjective topic of personal taste. Ain’t no accounting for it — that’s for sure! As the Grinch would say,
“One man’s toxic waste is another man’s potpourri”
which he told his dog, Max, was some kind of soup.
Replicas used for training
I have written a lot about the Hakim replica pellet rifle that was made by Anschütz in 1954 for the Egyptian army.
Anschütz made the .22-caliber air rifle trainer for the 8mm Egyptian army Hakim battle rifle. This one has a gorgeous replacement walnut stock and handguard.
Well, instead of going from the firearm to the airgun replica, I went the other way. I owned many Hakim airgun trainers and so I bought a Hakim firearm.
The Hakim battle rifle was a semiautomatic rifle that was chambered for the 8mm Mauser. The Egyptians built that rifle based on the Swedish 6.5mm Ljungman semiautomatic rifle whose design and tooling they purchased after WW II. Something like 70,000 Hakims were made and it is referred to as the “poor man’s Garand,” because it was the Garand that inspired the armies of the world to want semiautomatic battle rifles following WW II. The airgun trainer was a way for the Egyptian troops to practice with a rifle of similar size and shape without expending the costly 8mm firearm ammunition.
My 8mm Egyptian Hakim battle rifle.
Hakims have risen to very high levels of value in the past several years — especially if their bores are not corroded from firing military ammunition, as so many were. I stumbled onto one in pristine condition years ago at a gun show and the seller had no idea of what he had. I got it for a very reasonable price. However, owning it gave me the opportunity to shoot it and I can tell you with authority that it is NOT like the M1 Garand in any way! It’s not that accurate, it’s parts are too finely machined to withstand any sort of dirt and it ruins the brass cartridge case when it is ejected after firing. BUT — I am still fascinated by it because it is such a rare and wondrous thing! Yogi, that isn’t meant to change your mind, but it does explain my fascination for the Hakim air rifle.
And, there is more!
It doesn’t end there, either. Because the Egyptians didn’t stop with just an air rifle trainer for their Hakim. No — they also purchased a 10-shot .22 rimfire Hakim trainer from Beretta!
Beretta made this 10-shot semiautomatic trainer for the Hakim battle rifle.
The .22 rimfire Beretta trainer is quite rare. I have no idea of how many were produced, but as an interested collector I have only seen two. The last one sold on Gun Broker recently for just under $1,700!
So, what we have with the Hakim is a precision-made battle rifle that lacks real-world reliability for combat (it cannot take the dirt and sand that field use creates), and its two trainers that are very much desired by collectors! Yogi, I don’t know what to make of that, but there is an attraction.
Engraved Colt Single Action
I grew up in the cowboy era. My heroes were the Long Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers. And they all carried Colt single action revolvers. So I was interested in Colt single actions.
I read Guns & Ammo as teenager and poured over pictures of single actions in the articles. And the prettiest ones were those that were engraved. I learned the names of the 19th century engravers and also the names of the top gun engravers of my own time — the 1960s. Alvin A. White was probably the best-known of all 20th century gun engravers, but I also knew of Heidimarie Hiptmayer and others of her ilk. Ironically, a man I now call my friend was and still is one of America’s finest gun engravers — Scott Pilkington. But I digress.
As beautiful as engraved single actions are, I never could afford one. Today a new Colt single action retails for more than $2,000. An engraved one will easily top $4,000, and, if the work was done by an engraver with a world-class reputation, you can double that again. If the gun of interest was engraved by A.A. White, add a zero at the right. There is no way I can afford to own a gun like that, and even if I had that kind of money there is no way I would spend that much for one! But, Yogi, that doesn’t quench my desire.
And then Pyramyd Air, in their infinite wisdom, decided to have a few of their Colt Single Action airguns engraved! I think Edith and I may have had something to do with their decision, because I remember us talking about the possibility. And, when Edie saw the stars in my eyes as I related my childhood fascination with engraved single actions, she made certain that one came my way.
Are they hand engraved by world-class craftsmen? Certainly not! There is no way you could get one of them to touch a piece of work for as little as these engraved airguns retail for! Are they as good as an Alvin White engraving? Again no. No more than the pace car of an Indianapolis 500 race is as fast as the race cars on the track. No doubt the engraving is somehow done mechanically though they do say it is done by hand, so there is some uniqueness and pride of ownership. But automated tools are the only way it could be done and keep the cost as low as it is. The fact that the outer shells of such airguns are made of metal that’s softer than steel no doubt helps a lot.
My engraved Colt SAA BB pistol is very attractive.
My neighbor, Denny, who has made walnut display plaques for several of my guns told me he thought the Single Action Army was the most beautiful handgun that existed. When I showed him this engraved model, I saw the same excitement in his eyes that I had as a youngster. So it wasn’t just me. It was a matter of taste, and Denny and I share a similar tastes for this handgun.
One more reason
We have now looked at two good reasons why replica airguns are attractive to some people. The first was their historical use, such as the story of the Hakim trainers. The second was a matter of personal taste — such as engraved Colt single actions. Or, in Yogi’s case, a Meyers Manx over all other dune buggies in the world.
But there is one more big reason to have a replica. Either you cannot get the gun that it copies — such as living in a restrictive community, or the gun it copies is simply too rare to allow for handling and even operation. Such is the case with the FP45 Liberator pistol of World War II. Made by the Guide Lamp Division of General Motors at a delivered price of $2.10 per unit, the Liberator was an unrifled “zip” gun that was designed to be dropped to resistance fighters — for their use in capturing their own firearms from enemy military forces.
One million FP45 Liberator pistols were made for $2.10 apiece by the Guide Lamp Division of General Motors in World War II.
I once owned a genuine Liberator, but I never fired a round from it. Good thing, too, because the crude weldings would quickly give way, and the pistol would be destroyed. About a million were produced, but not so many remain. Only a few were ever distributed; most were unused and destroyed after the war.
So many collectors were interested in the Liberator that, instead of the real thing at $2,500-5,000, a working replica is available from Vintage Ordinance in the box with instructions for just over $650. This one is made from better steel and has a serial number and a rifled barrel to comply with U.S. law. It looks quite similar to the original but is made far better and is actually intended for limited use.
Yogi, you buy this replica because you don’t want to damage an original and because this one is legal to own and safe(er) to fire. No, it’s not an airgun, but about 20 years ago I told Wolf Pflaumer, the founder of Umarex, that this would be a great pistol for what was to become his “Legends” line.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!
122 thoughts on “What is the attraction of replica airguns?”
It would be interesting to have statistic numbers on the reasons you described, to which I fully agree.
My personal belief is that training would be third on the list.
Before that is the ease of having and using a copy of a firearm, especially if living in a restricted society but even in a gun friendly one you can have fun in the house, along with the nostalgia factor of our dreams as children or adults, since we are talking about copies of service weapons. It is our nature as human to like being somebody else. So the western hero comes out with saa, the Marine in the Pacific with the M1, Rambo with the Hellboy, swat officers with Berettas… Gentlemen pick you character and be happy.
A very good day to you all.
I agree that training would be lowest on the list. I think military leaders even bought the airguns because they were cool, rather than for any great perceived training benefit. They are guys after all.
“…you can have fun in the house, along with the nostalgia factor of our dreams…”
Yes, that phrase resonates with me; like B.B., I grew up in the cowboy era, and my Saturday mornings were spent watching Westerns with my Dad; hence, I have ALWAYS longed for a Colt Single Action Army; however, with kids and all, whenever an original came along, it was always out of my price range. In my particular case, replica airguns saved the day: I now have a Colt…a Umarex/NRA/Colt…still, a Colt. =>
The cool thing about this gun is I can shoot it in the house (3/8″ groups at 5 meters, rested…not bad), but it can also reach out and take down the evil feral cans on the 15-yard range. Plus, I can sit with it in my lap as I watch old Westerns, and recall the good times with my Dad, as I dream about how cool it would have been if only I had this gun back then (note: that is a dream; Dad would not have allowed it; if he wouldn’t let me have a bb gun there is no way he would have let me have this…yet one can dream).
This gun has earned a place on the wall, right above my Dad’s memorial flag. Despite the primitive sights, it shoots well; and while teaching the teenage girls next door how to shoot, of all the airguns we shot, this was their favorite (the Crosman 1322 carbine was a close second, as it was light weight, and it was easy for them to get hits with it); they loved the way the operation mimicked the actual firearm.
Fun and nostalgia…it’s a heady combination. =>
Have a blessed day and a great weekend,
Well speaking of Dune Buggies. I wanted one in high school. My Dad said I could have one if I got 4 A’s on my report card. I don’t think I ever got an A in my life before. I buckled down and gave it a good run. I had the money from doing tractor work around town. It was just permission to buy one. I gave my best shot on every subject. In hind sight I should have focused on 4 classes. I no longer remember what classes I had except I got A’s in math, biology, and one other class. I ended up with 3 A’s and three B+’s for the semester. One of the classes with the B+ was chemistry, I had a 94% average there was two kids with a higher score and the next below mine was 82. I ask the teacher why I didn’t get an A. He told me I wasn’t an A student. I never got a Dune Buggy but did learn about having a reputation.
Luckily I never did any of the things I thought about to my chemistry teacher. I didn’t get an A in physics the next year either. But the teacher hid under his desk, even after they decided my project was not a bomb, when I fired up my steam engine made from our junk pile out back.
You reminded my of the time my chemistry professor suggested I demonstrate one of the formulas for the “Explosives and Propellants” assignment that I did (I don’t think that he believed my report).
Anyway, he gave me access to the (pure) laboratory grade chemicals in the lab and I mixed up a (very) small sample to “test”. T’was good stuff! It was so potent that when ignited it detonated without a containment with a pretty impressive flash, bang and concussion …scared the heck out of him LOL! Think he was an all theory and no practical experience kinda guy.
I did get an “A” for that assignment.
“bang and concussion …scared the heck out of him LOL!”
Hank, that’s fabulous!!! I needed a good laugh today; thank you! =>
If it were recorded, we could playback on Bang & Olufsen …
On replicas,… I have always been a fan if lever action western rifles. As best I recall,… I had a “spittin image” 1894 bb “rifle” as a kid. It had the octagon barrel and faux brass metal work. No clue whatever happened to it,… but I wanted another one ever since. A like new in box goes for around $300+ if not mistaken.
There has been several offerings from makers on lever actions with this being one:
on the above,… close,… but no.
and finally: https://www.pyramydair.com/product/barra-cowboy-series-1866-177-bb-pellet-air-rifle?m=5007
The Barra has the faux brass and octagon barrel. Not a 1894 replica, but close enough for what I wanted. I got one a Wally world when I saw them. Not proud of that, (not from PA), but at $20 cheaper, no shipping, no tax,…. I just had to go for it.
Is it “perfect”? No. Is it nice,… yes. It has plenty of power, a very nice weight and works well. It shoots bb’s or pellets. The pellets are a bear to load. I can’t scope it. The opens are ok, but the front post is odd and narrow. In truth,.. I wanted it and got it as an affordable alternative to my 1894 of childhood. It seems very well built. I have only shot it about 20 times and it sits on display most of the time. That is just fine with me.
So yes,…. replicas have their place for everyone. Ok,…. most everyone. 😉
Chris, thanks for the Barra link; it looks a lot like an 1866 Yellowboy [improved Henry]…very cool! =>
As many here know, I myself am not a big fan of the replica airguns. I prefer my airguns to look like airguns. I do understand their appeal with some and that is fine. I have played with some of them and enjoyed it. I myself have been tempted and still am tempted by some.
Some people have used them in the commission of crimes and some have been killed when confronted with such in their possession. Our society is trying to take firearms away from us. Drawing their attention to airguns is not something we want to encourage. I am certain they will get around to banning these soon enough.
That really is my sole argument against such.
Blurring the lines is a popular pastime everywhere. The ‘More Power’ crowd keeps upping the levels and surpassing the firearms threshold. This can only lead to more regulation of air powered guns in hunting and elsewhere. Remember, the antis’ goal is no guns. Period.
As for training purposes- the ability to rapidly introduce a newcomer (to shooting sports) with a gun of realistic weight and proportion that has modest report and recoil has merit. A lot, in fact. Add in the additional ‘hook’ of the historical tie in of whatever replica one chooses, leads to additional conversation about the positives of gun use and ownership.
I picked up a couple of Gamo Pt-85s recently. CO2 powered with blow back action, I don’t think they are actually replicas of any particular firearm. But, fit and feel duplicates the plastic fantastics that infest the display cases of every gun shop. The advantage they offer is during indoctrination phase of teaching new shooters. Before moving to live fire, have them ‘shoot’ the blow back action guns. Noise and recoil without having to worry about where the projectile went. After they are used to that experience, then slide in the pellet magazine to introduce target feedback. Easy peasy.
I know there are many who would disagree with me, but I personally would never introduce someone to the shooting sports with a pistol. It is just too easy to have a very bad experience with those things.
I am not sure it makes much of a difference. If you are a no-good,… up to no good,… and you have anything in your hands and are told to drop it by an officer of the law,… you best do it. Don’t and all bets are off.
“Drawing their attention to airguns is not something we want to encourage.” you say? I would say the (education) of airguns at all levels would be good. That includes law makers and law enforcement.
What is going on now with anti-law reinforcement is just plain sickening to watch.
I feel a rant coming on,…… so I am out’a here,…………. Chris 😉
“What is going on now with anti-law reinforcement is just plain sickening to watch.”
Yes, sadly, there are a lot of people letting their anger and emotions rule them, all the while forgetting that their anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Thankfully, there are also some good things happening:
I have a lot of friends in law enforcement, and I have always supported “the thin blue line.”
Peace; have a great weekend,
Not “Guns and Ammo” but “Road and Track” was my pre-teen reader. There is nothing wrong with Dune Buggies, they do not aspire to be anything but what they are. However, other kit cars, IE Fiberfab, are intended to look like very exotic, and expensive, automobiles and then they get started with their tiny flat 4 cylinder air cooled engines. It just isn’t right!
So how many readers yesterday went home and told their wives that the wedding ring that they were wearing was fake?
Glad that I gave you inspiration!
Have a nice weekend all,
Any one of your 4 links would fit the bill also. I think I would have to buy used though. Let the original owner suffer the build pains and get it at a nice discount after he is now bored with it. 🙂
The VW Beatle and the dune buggy’s was popular when I was a kid getting my license in the mid to late 70’s.
Alot of people got the bigger VW bus engines and built them.
It was street racing and dragstrips when I was growing up. My buddy’s dune buggy was a killer car. He had wide slicks on the back and skinny tires on the front. It was front wheels up off the line and shifting into second with the front wheels still in the air. And that was on the street.He beat many a big block Camaro’s with that buggy in the 1/4 mile.
Good times back then is all I can say.
I always think of the Bradley GT kit car. I wanted one bad when I was young.
It was the biggest piece of junk ever created!
If you want to build a kit car build a Lotus 7.
A link? Never mind,………… 😉
Yup,…. that will work too.
Because I was young (13-15 yrs old). They looked exotic. I know they are junk nbw. Still some things that were junk are desirable now for collectors. Look at a Ford Edsel
Yep I still remember a bright blue Bradley GT with gold micro metal flakes in the paint job that drove around when I was a kid. Cool cars.
I’m not much on replica airguns, but that said, my friend Ron Robinson sent me a nice CZ75 airsoft pistol made by ASG. It is an amazing replica, even down to the trigger. I suppose these were first made for the Japanese market, but it is enough like the real thing to provide some practice in holding and firing. It is my first airsoft gun, and I do enjoy owning it.
And, I like the Slavia 634 I own very much – not too sure about the 618. Here is a link with some details.
Tom, here is a link you might find useful about the Slavia. Use Google Chrome and it will translate from Czech. https://forum.gunshop.cz/slavie-618-rozkres-tipy-tuning-renovace-t514.html
I read that forum, but it was a bunch of Czech guys talking just like a bunch of us. Lots of, “I don’t know, but I would think…”
They also don’t know that Ebay has miost of the 618 parts. They seem to be looking within their own country.
Another excellent article, B.B.!
Possibly you intended Lone Ranger? And pored? In the section copied below.
Engraved Colt Single Action
I grew up in the cowboy era. My heroes were the Long Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers. And they all carried Colt single action revolvers. So I was interested in Colt single actions.
I read Guns & Ammo as teenager and poured over pictures of single actions in the articles
Oh, my gosh! The LONG Ranger? What a flub! 😉 And poured? I don’t think so!
Don’t worry about it! Sometimes when I see replies to my emails and read my initial email, I can’t believe the typos I didn’t catch in my initial email!! It has been a good lesson and made me much more compassionate 🙂
More likely Playboy than Guns and Ammo.
I will look forward to the review of the 618. I have always liked Slavia guns, the wacky blocky stock comes into fashion and goes out again but the guns never seem to change. They are much the same now as they were 20 years ago, or so it seems to me.
I am looking forward to seeing your report on my beloved little Slavia 618 with anticipation and a bit of apprehension.
I considered writing a guest blog about the 618 but never got a round tuit – been procrastinating, guess it’s that I have very (old) fond memories of that little gun and was worried that formal testing wouldn’t support them. I do know that grasshoppers at 5 yards and bottle caps at 10 yards were not a problem.
I still shoot my 55 year old rifle – more now since I made that adult sized “firewood” stock for it but she is getting tired. Been thinking that a full overhaul and a new spring are in order. That you have one on the way will probably push that project up the list as I am curious on how they will compare.
Happy Friday all!!
Well, I guess we all get to find out what the 618 will really do. I am curious, too. Maybe this one will be weak and we can go inside. I bet that is what a lot of folks want.
This is too good to pass up. I just made an offer on a 618 that needs seals, so I can rebuild it for you. Either way we are going inside.
Yippee! We get to peek behind the curtain again!
“I bet that is what a lot of folks want.”
Yep, B.B.! For sure; that what I am hoping to see; thank you. =>
Well, I’m holding out for a M1 Garand replica PCP. Not interested in the firearm because opportunities to shoot that are limited. That being said, If I thought that an M1 Garand replica was not forthcoming, would buy the K98 PCP over the Marauder if I knew it had a good trigger and was accurate for the cool factor, and because it is cheaper. I might go ahead and buy it anyway with the price at Pyramid now.
I would love a pcp replica Garand. And oh if it could just be a semi auto. I would be in heaven.
Hmm maybe Crosman’s semi auto Marauder might be a hit. Then they could design a replica semi auto Garand. Wouldn’t that be something.
I would like to have another Garand.
I shot my dad’s when I was in my teens. Was a great groundhog gun.
We should know most of that pretty soon. 🙂
I am itching for an M1 Garand PCP too! I’ve said it before. So I’ll keep it short here. We need it as close to the firearm as possible. (REAL Wood furniture, semi auto would be amazing, etc.)
For the K98, I already have the springer. It’s my fav! But I’m thinking about the K98 PCP too. For me, the addition of the bolt handle is the best feature. I struggle a little with the fact that the hand guard seems “short”. And it isnt made in Germany. (If I have a Diana, I really want it to be made in Germany… I am old school, I suppose). Is it any worse for being manufactured in China? Maybe not.
I’ve been watching the reviews on that K98 PCP for awhile too. Like BB says, I’m surprised there’s only 2 so far. Made me wonder if they had an issue with it?
I’m not an expert on the Baikal CO2 Makarovs – enthusiasts recognise various variants of nominally the same design – but quite apart from obviously being more available than the real thing in the UK, they are now probably more attractive than either a replica or a de-act. The sale of realistic replicas has been restricted for a few years, and de-acts now have so much done to them that I’ve seen them described as little more than gun-shaped pieces of metal. Compare that to something that retains a moveable slide, functioning lockwork and can be field-stripped.
This (not mine) is the less common variant based on the classic Makarov design, with a single stack magazine, which requires rather more cut away from the magazine well in order to fit a CO2 capsule.
Is Pyramid airguns closed? I’ve called today and gotten a recorded message.
They are open. Their phone system is probably overwhelmed.
When it asks you to leave your number do it. I had to talk to them the other day and couldn’t get through. Then I left my number and they called back in like 15 minutes.
You put out a list of guns you wanted to buy to be your own so you can go inside and do what you want with it and do a report on it.
Well I know where a gun is but it’s not one on your list. But I think it would be a good history gun. Plus it even made a popular pellet get designed.
It’s one of the Wierauch either guns. You think you would be interested in doing a blog on it?
I don’t know. The price for the Weihrauch EL54 Baracuda has dropped significantly over the past 5 years. I have seen them offered for $450 at shows and on Ebay, where they used to be priced above $800. The problem is getting the ether to power them. Yes, automotive startiung fluid will work, but what interest is there in a spring rifle that is less powerful than something you can buy off the shelf today? In 1985 the EL54 was stunning. For 2020 it has been passed by spring guns that have no special feeding requirements.
It is a (Barakuda). Notice the K in the spelling.
They want $495 for it. But I know how they do business. Tell them you will give them $450 and free shipping and I’m sure the gun will be yours. Heck maybe even offer them less.
I thought about getting it just because I never seen one shoot. But I really don’t want to spend my money that way.
Anyway figured I would let you know about it.
You are right about the K. My mistake.
I just spent $500 for a different vintage aoirgun that I think will have a lot more appeal, plus I have purchased 2 Slavia 618s, plus springs and seals. Old BB ihas to slow down the spending for a while
Yes I know what you mean on the spending. I bought something else the other day and it came yesterday.
I’ll tell about it below. I had to wring it out yesterday of course before I say what it is. But like it so far.
Just had a thought – what replica gun/rifle does our group want? For me, ever since the TV show, “Combat”, i fell in love with the BAR. I know you can get them in airsoft but an air rifle , perhaps even C02, would be better. Also, that M1 carbine which Crosman made awhile ago, has an attraction for me. Anyone else care to join in?
Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now Happily in GA
Ah, the BAR. That thing was awesome. The only real drawback to it was the barrel was not easily replaced. The French took it and developed a model where the barrel could be quickly swapped out.
Would I want a punky bb or pellet version of it? No. Not any more than I want a piffer Garand or M14. I have used them and would not be happy with something that went piff.
I think I can make room for a BAR. My American WWII section is looking a little thin.
But it needs that slow rate of automatic fire. Not the hyper fast mag dump, like the M1A1 replica.
Now that is over the top!
The M712 is fun. You need to have about 5 or 6 magazines though. They empty way to quickly.
The Diana/K98 was a temptation for sure. It is a shame that Diana does not make the K98 PCP.
The only replica that has really tempted me was the Webley MKVI. My problem is I have had CO2 pistols before and they really do not do anything for me. My son-in-law won a P08 at the last Hickory, NC show. A beautiful replica and neat to play with a little, but after a short bit my attention span wanders back to other airguns.
I gotta say, that M712 is fun. But it has no accuracy. Pray and spray, for sure!
My better (bb/co2) pistols are the 1911 (basically, a rebranded KWC Tangfolio) and surprisingly, the Walther PPKS. Never would have thought that the PPKS, with such a short barrel, would have much accuracy. But I seem to hit soda cans much easier with it. Even when the M712 is on semi, it still is all over the place.
Those P08 Lugers are great. The toggle lock is awesome. My 1st grader likes that one best, and I appreciate that if it gets a jam, I can truly field strip it for him and get it back in working order right there on “the range”. Dont have to take it back to the workbench.
The Webley is nicely done, though I havent seen one in person. The Lee Enfield SMLE is another British replica I’d like to see come across the pond. But I havent seen anyone import it to the US yet. PA says they have no info on it. Seems like the manufacturer had slow development and trouble ramping up production for a few years.
I seem to recall they were planning on only making a limited number of them and had absolutely no plans to export any of them out of the UK. One of those sure would be nice to hang with those others of yours.
I played with a M712 at the first GTA Fun Shoot I attended. It was a real CO2 hog. What a rate of fire! The owner had modified the stock slot on his pistol and had modified a Chinese stock/holster for his. That was awesome extra cool factor.
I got this email from PA. I copied and pasted it here. I hope that is ok. If not BB please delete my comment. But figured it was important news. And I probably wouldn’t of been able to go anyway. But still bummed out it got canceled.
“Hi Airgunners –
It’s Kristen, the Director of Marketing here for Pyramyd Air. If you are like me, you can’t believe how quickly the year is flying by…just like that, June is already here.
We’ve been getting your questions and messages regarding the Pyramyd Air Cup, and we thank you all for your interest. We purposely remained quiet, and didn’t open up registration, until we felt like we had a final decision about the event – which we came to recently. And, much to our disappointment, we have decided to cancel the Pyramyd Air Cup for 2020.
To say we are bummed is an understatement. Starting in January, Cup planning was in full swing to make sure we built upon the success of the 2019 Cup to make 2020 an even bigger success. Then, COVID hit, and our plans began to unravel. Instead of thinking of ways to up the ante over years’ past, our focus dramatically shifted to planning an event while taking into account additional safeguards such social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizing.
After putting our heads together to think through possible ways of putting on the 2020 Cup, we couldn’t strike an acceptable-to-us balance of keeping the fun intact while ensuring competitor and employee safety. At the end of the day, we decided the best course would be to cancel this year’s competition, and start focusing on 2021.
For next year, our goal is to have the Cup return to its pre-pandemic splendor…full of glove-less handshakes, sanitizer-free high fives, and being able to enjoy a beer at the banquet without maintaining a six foot distance. We want trash talking to be done mask-free, the way it was intended.
In the meantime, stay safe, have a great summer and we’ll see you in 2021.
Director of Marketing
The Texas Airgun Show was also cancelled. 🙁 Now I have to wait another year….
I hope all this stuff is over next year. The COVID-19 pretty well done 2020 in. All kinds of things cancelled.
I’m just glad I can shoot at home and do my RC planes when I want.
Is it your intention to attend the “American Airgunner Challenge”?
I can think of several reasons I would not personally wish to attend. Would you care to elaborate on your reasoning?
I am too busy plus I have trouble getting around after my accident.
Those are two very good reasons.
The last two posts have been right up my alley. Like the PCP K-98; if Diana wished to make it even more realistic, they could make a .30 cal version, but guess there might not be enough of a market for that. Funny thing, the “air” version of the Hakim reminds me of the German G-43/K-43 semiauto, yet the firearm version makes me think of the Russian Tokarev. Had no idea the .22 Hakim trainer existed – prices hover around what you would have to pay for a nice-condition “shooter” Gustloff-Werke K-98 trainer. I have found my GW quite useful for “pesting” purposes, using low-velocity Quiet-22 ammo.
So what is the appeal of these replicas? For me, the WWII history buff, it is the opportunity to get at least a small glimpse of what it felt like to operate and shoot these weapons, and get a feel for what it was to carry them in the field. Affordability is an issue as well. FM could not afford a functional MP-40 at this life-stage, but at least the Umarex version is doable and fun to shoot as well…and in the backyard. Totally agree with the concept of getting more of our young ones to learn to enjoy the airgun hobby and perhaps go from there to enjoying firearms as well, helping them understand and appreciate the proper use of arms and learn a little history as well as some manual skills, sorely lacking in so many in these times. When my daughter and I recently took turns busting cans and plastic containers with the CO2 MP-40, at one point she said, “I can see how this would appeal to people who are into history and guns.” Have a feeling there might be untapped AO (Annie Oakley) genes in there. 😉
There is room for all tastes and desires in this hobby or interest. FM will close by saying he also likes airguns that look the part – in fact, like anything well-designed, with a purposeful look, and possessing aesthetic appeal, whether an airgun, firearm, car, truck, boat, tank, aircraft, what have you. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Hope there will be more gun fun to come, for many years, and that more people will want that.
Well said. I enjoy the history too. And the access to something that feels like the real deal, without the cost and paperwork.
Plus, I can shoot it without disturbing the neighbors.
I’ll also add that the ammo is a LOT cheaper. I shot 4 of my airguns today. Easy so do that when ammo costs less than a penny a shot. I take the neighboor kids/moms, and of course… dads. (Well, pre-covid). Everyone has a good time. Its easy to be generous with airguns. I let them pick whatever they want from the “display”, hand them a case to put it in, and off we go.
That sounds like you all have a fun day of shooting when you get out. I like that. 🙂
For those of you still interested in Hatsan issues, I FINALLY got a reply from Hatsan-USA on my H-95 that now, with a new seal, to stop HARD piston slams, cocks at 52 lbs. They said, in essence, that a new seal will require a break-in process like a new rifle…. I am very VERY unimpressed with this ~3-week LATE answer and its content. I will continue to work on this gun now ONLY because, before it became “troubled” (broke its mainspring!), this was my most accurate rifle and a good price-point, to steal BBs term… —Barrika
I unfortunately understand your issues with Hatsan. They are not customer friendly. This is one of the main reasons I am most reluctant to do business with this company. Outwardly they seem to be listening to the desires of the customers, but their actual communication with them is horrible at best.
I have a Hatsan/Webley Tomahawk and it is obvious that it is a reject from normal Hatsan production. They can be very nice airguns, but if you have an issue you are most likely on your own.
Yep like RidgeRunner said. Not very customer friendly. I could see things getting a little different if they was across the pond but they are in Arizona. There is no excuse for them taking that long to get ahold of you.
Glad that you will be doing a series on the 618; they are fun little plinkers. They are also simple to work on; mainsprings are still available from Chambers.
The 618 and 622 I have were both buzzy; one was just the right pitch to give me a headache after a half-hour! Too much clearance between the mainspring and the guide. I sleved the guide with thin aluminum (soda can) and that made the gun very smooth.
A potential problem is replacing the piston seal. Most 618 and 622 pistons have a stud whose front end is flared to hold a metal washer in place to retain the piston seal. The easiest way to replace these is to cut out the old seal, tap the flared end of the stud down, remove the washer, install the new seal and washer, and re-flare the stud.
Some pistons have a screw to retian the seal and these are trivial to replace.
The piston seal may be leather or synthetic and there is no performance difference between the two. The seal diameter is 22mm.
Paul in Liberty County
The replacement seal I bought is synthetric. The piston is a reverse of the FWB 124 piston and I think I can work with it.
OK, OK. There is a real firearm that I would really like to see as a pellet firing replica.
“R.R. this one could be made easily by Artemis, built on their M30 platform. Imagine the air capacity in such a tube round the barrel. PCP, full auto by all means. Accurate? Hmmm…
The only thing missing would be an LRDG vehicle. You certainly made my day.
I was thinking more of using the Huben K1 / LCS action with a large rotating clip under the “pan” magazine. It’s capacity would be considerable and if easily changed would be awesome. I also was thinking of three or four tubular reservoirs surrounding the barrel under the shroud.
I would also prefer the firing cycle to be slowed down to around 300-400 RPM. If it is well made with a good quality long barrel it could be pretty accurate. You could even build it to be .30.
You took exactly my thoughts to the next level of actual design. One more thing would be to sell it in a package with a portable compressor.
LOL! I have a tank and a compressor now. The price of this thing would likely be staggering as it is. But oh would it be fun.
I like that. Seems like there’s a whole series of historical MG’s that could be produced.
Here’s another goodie, through a submachine gun. The Beretta M38. Would love one of these in a replica.
There are/were a lot of smg’s that utilized stick magazines that could easily be replicated these days. I myself would prefer a Sten.
Two of those mounted on the nose of my replica WWI fighter! Modern construction so the wings don’t fold as i pull 8G at the bottom of the loop to get that dirty Barron!
As a kid,.. I remember Snoopy in one of the Charlie Brown holiday specials doing some ariel acrobatics and shooting at the Red Barron. Does that count for anything????? 😉
Since we are talking Replicas why shouldn’t your virtual experiences count too!
I always enjoyed Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel dueling with the Red Barron!
How about a Sopwith Dolphin?
As an adder,…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Dolphin
Looks pretty wicked for being “back in the day”.
See my response to R.R.. Sopwith Snipe…the name is shooting friendly to boot!
But Snoopy would have gotten the Barron if he had upgraded to the Sopwith Snipe!
The Snipe was too late coming into service to show just how big an improvement it really was!
It would have probably replaced the Super Marine Spitfire as the deffinitive British Fighter!
Of course I might be biased toward radial engine powered aircraft! The Bearcat shared radial engine and a similar combat career as the Sopwith Snipe!; just one World War later!
As an adder,…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Snipe
Great situational awareness! Look everyone, we’re STUCK! Perfect chance to roll in on a strafing running! Tat, tat, rat-a-tat-tat-tat!
It seems we have a lot in common regardless of the continents we live.
I appreciate the classics whether they be firearms or airguns.
Or vehicles for that matter. I would really like to have a replica Stutz Bearcat.
I’ll see your Stutz and raise you an F8F:
The Bearcats were cool. Wanted to build a RC model plane but never did.
A beauty. Without intention to ruin your dream, trying to keep up with the subject, the image of a Ford Model T armed with “our” pcp machine gun replica came to my mind. I bet you can post a photo from Google better than me. Palestine, around 1915, ANZAC troops.
Ahh, now you are talking about things that I truly admire, but can in no way afford, so my only way of ‘owning’ one is in the way of a model (replica?). I saw one of these fly at Oshkosh many years ago, and ‘fell madly in love.’
(Yes, I know it isn’t a U.S. fighter but it is beautiful and has a sleeve valve radial engine, to boot!)
No need to apologise! Your comment about the sleeve valve design brought back lots of memories of debates with RAF and RN flyers about the big piston pounders before most of us transitioned to turboprop/pure turbojet and eventually to include the turbofan engines for those that didn’t retire too early!
I am always thankful to have been active during a span of time that will forever be the Golden Age(s [piston-propelor, turbine-propelor, turbine-jet, turbine-fan, and Rocket!] also not to be forgotten the bookend glider at both ends) of manned flight! Only one question remains will the electric powered manned flight ever get out of the Experimental stage of development.
Keeping this somewhat airgun related what do you think of a sleeve valve as a replacement for the poppet valve in airguns? Interesting in the possible replacement of the TP (Transfer Port) with a multiple port sleeve to flow way more air efficiently to behind the pellet/bullet(slug)…too outside the box!
I remember when I first saw the Sea Fury with the cowl off. I couldn’t believe it! The head looked more like a two-stroke than any Wasp or Whirlwind that you would see at Oshkosh. And it sounded beautiful! That year they used the Sea Fury to demonstrate wing-tip vortices, by using a smoke generator on each wing tip. The plane looked and sounded incredible!
Sleeve valve instead of a poppet valve? The volume that could be moved could be increased drastically, and timing of the flow could be improved (Yamaha seemed to do well with more transfer ports). That being said, it might be a really ‘interesting’ but economically unfeasible idea. Sleeve valves are critically dependent on a tight tolerance to seal properly and I think that you might be looking at Whiscomb (sp?) levels of money or more. And I am not an engineer, so I do not know the pressure range that would, or would not, work. Memory serves that sleeve valves had problems with lubrication and break-down of said lubrication tending to foul the moving parts. As I said, an interesting thing to consider, but out of my realm of knowledge.
Thanks for the response.
The British engine builders certainly worked to please the ear! In comparison the US builders went for raw power and the Maytag Washing Machine sound! I did get used to the sound and performance of the T-28B from start of TO Roll to 10,000′ in under 2 minutes done with the single row 9 cyl. R1820. Power to weight was breathtaking and the Navy trainer could match the P-51 in total performance envelope. Nothing but an F-14 in full afterburner could come close to that climb to 10,000’…a real blast for the 1,000+ times or so i got to do it!
You might find this site interesting: http://www.enginehistory.org
And this one:
Comparison of Sleeve and Poppet Valve engines as a 1.9 MB PDF; the Illustrations and Mechanical Drawings are of the quality that make me almost drool…the only thing worse for grabbing me is an engine/system with a superior Cutaway for internal working display!
IT isn’t way technical although I don’t know just how much you know about IMEP – BMEP?
For the airgun the sleeve valve wouldn’t be faced with the tremendous heat and the friction of pistons pounding at high RPM! I think for flow alone the Multiport concept possible with the sleeve valve should be looked at by some smart airgun manufacturer especially with the Big Bore power/velocity race that seems to have broken out recently. That first millisecond of barrel pressure rise is really critical to MZ!
The Bible says that whoever gets a wife, gets a blessing from the Lord:
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” — Proverbs 18:22
I would add that if you have a wife who not only supports your shooting activities, but also even buys you some guns, then you are doubly blessed; so whatever gun she buys you, shoot it a LOT, and tell her how awesome it is (since she took the time and spent the money to get it for you, it is, by definition awesome =>).
While I cannot claim to know a lot about women, I have managed to stay married for 28 years, and if you follow this advice, I guarantee you, it will work out well for you. =>
(the guns pictured are all wifely gifts; they have been shot a bunch, and she gets told how cool they are)
Peace & Blessings to all,
Forty & eight this September God willing as an Active Duty Navy Wife for well over half of them!
I wish you at least that many happy years together!
“Forty & eight this September God willing…”
Shootski, thank you; and that’s awesome, great for you! =>
“Testing of ‘.22 QUIET’ in Marlin model 101 single shot rifle”
I probably should have posted this at the end of the series of reports you did where you tested CB caps versus an air riffle. I have seen what you said there to be true, .22 CB caps are OK to about 10 yards in most of my .22s. But these new “.22 QUIET” rounds were quite a bit more accurate in my little Marlin; they held close to an inch at 25 yards, but fell about at around 40; that vertical stringing was in spite of me shooting from a rest (I know; I should have dug out my chronograph and checked the velocity; it’s supposed to be around 700 fps, but the stringing makes me think velocity variation is starting to show up at longer ranges). I am testing these for my brother, who has predator issues in his chicken coop; the range from his window to the front of the coop is 55 feet; so for his use these should be fine (in this particular rifle). But for anyone thinking of using these, I would advise that the “QUIET” marked on the box is subjective; they are exactly as loud as my Sheridan with 6 pumps in it. So for anyone who lives in a neighborhood where a Sheridan is too loud, these will not be helpful. Yet for anyone in a Sheridan-friendly neighborhood, these will boost your power by a factor of three…at short ranges. =>
Thank you for all you do,
Are they the CCI 40 grain 710 fps long rifle bullets? That’s what it looks like to me in the picture.
If it is them I use them. Great little rounds. I have used them for squirrel hunting in the past as well as plinking and target shooting. I can hold right at a inch at 50 yards with the guns I shoot them out of. Bench resting of course when target shooting.
Yes, those are the ones I was using; and yes, they are great little rounds; they shoot one-hold groups at 15 yards from my open-sighted Henry H001, so perhaps I need to try them in that gun with a scope on it.
I was also able to get a couple of boxes of CCI’s new “.22 QUIET auto” rounds; they are a 45 grain bullet at 835 fps; they are a little bit louder, but still nowhere near as loud as a regular high velocity .22LR round. And they, also, are one-hole groupers at 15 yards from the Henry…more testing is necessary. =>
Thanks for the info about their ability to hold an inch at 50 yards; that is good intel!
Happy shooting to you,
I haven’t seen the little higher power “auto” round yet. Wonder if they are newer or I just haven’t seen them. That sounds like they should be pretty accurate with that weight and velocity. I’ll have to keep my eye out for them.
And just a note. The 40 grain 710 fps CCI’s we was talking about cycle fine in my old Winchester 190 semi auto.
And if you ever get a chance. Try you a box of 50 of the Aguila SSS 950fps 60 grain bullets. They are quiet and I have shot them out at a hundred yards with good luck. They are about a 110 fpe like a normal 40 grain 1100 fps long rifle but they retain their energy at a longer distance. If you try some let me know. I think you will like them too.
“Aguila SSS 950fps 60 grain bullets”
Gunfun1, I have read about these, but have yet to try them; I’ll see if my local dealer either has some or can get some; thank you. =>
Ok for sure interested if you try them. Will be waiting to hear.
As we wait for the next bit of wisdom from our guru, B.B., I will add one last thing I find useful about replica airguns. This one is actually an airsoft pistol; it’s not terribly accurate, but accurate enough to hit a feral can end on at 10 to 15 feet. So this makes a good “grillin’ gun,” in that, in the time it takes me to grill up 4 hot dogs for lunch, I can empty all 3 magazines at feral cans, as I shoot from the deck down into the yard; my hands don’t touch any lead, and since the pellets are bio-degradable, there is no clean up needed. It’s a fun little gun that has it’s place…by the grill. =>
Take care all, (time to go and read B.B.’s post),
(B.B., please feel free to move or remove this post if necessary. It is at least somewhat topical here, but I’d be happy to remand any further conversation into the backchannel if you prefer. 🙂
I myself have a great interest in “replica” airguns (and Airsoft guns) specifically for the purposes of training and education of firearm skills; I go into a great bit of detail about the concept of that
here, over at Rifleman Savant.
In order for that concept to work, to ingrain good habits (and also not to ingrain any bad ones), the “replica” airguns need to be as feature-faithful as possible to their firearm counterparts. (Note that here I don’t particularly care if the airgun looks like the firearm it models, as long as it functions like it in the hands, and while worn with holster or sling.) It’s a balance, of course, but fortunately, a number of good options seem to exist today, and I’m pretty giddy about those.
There is a significant gap, as I see it, in the available landscape: there is as far as I can tell no extant attempt to bring the Jeff Cooper “scout rifle” concept into the airgun world. Now, anyone who knows me knows that this is exactly where most of my own interest in riflery lies, and it’s where I think I see the maximum possible value of using an airgun for general purpose rifle training. It is a goal, a project, that I am personally committed to pursuing.
Which brings me to the purpose of this comment. Thanks primarily to B.B. and the vibrant commentariat here, I had a couple of key epiphanies recently, and now think I see a realistic way to do this. I’ve started calling this concept gun “AirScout”, and the things I’ve written up on the idea thus far
are now collected and up at Rifleman Savant. (See below * for quickie summary.)
My real question, for B.B. and/or this group, is this: is this the sort of project that would be worth approaching a retailer like Pyramyd Air, or a manufacturer like Diana, about? Make no mistake, I intend to proceed with the project with or without any external donations, but it would certainly happen faster with some help (the usual vagaries of life, and all), and of course I would be happy to sing the praises of any such contributors as testing proceeds.
It may be that there’s nothing promising in that–I do suspect that at least popular demand for such a thing would be pretty limited–but now that the idea seems not only theoretical but very much possible, I’m raring to go, and thought it would be useful to ask. 🙂
* In a nutshell, from a project-build standpoint, this starts with a Diana Stormrider rifle, and customizes it with regulator kit, ghost-ring rear sight, Ching Sling, and “scout scope” mounted on two additional barrel bands as bases. The most significant work to be done will be the stock inletting to accept the two additional barrel bands at the proper locations for mounting the glass at 9″-11″ eye relief. It also promises to be affordable; even with all options included and all parts purchased brand-new, the fully-realized concept would still come in under $1000. And for someone who wants a high-volume, low-noise, hand-pump-friendly, feature-faithful scout rifle for both precision marksmanship and gunhandling training, a grand’s worth of investment is quickly recoverable in the savings on ammunition alone. (Really, about the only thing you wouldn’t be able to train effectively with, on this rifle, would be ammunition management, but in the scheme of things it still seems like a really worthwhile trade-off.)
Diana is currently open to new ideas. Let me contact them on your behalf and let them read what you have written.
But I have to tell you — I don’t see the demand for a scout rifle for airgunners. I don’t know of enough airgunners who would be interested in it.
Thank you B.B. I do appreciate it.
It’s being passed on.
Kevin, I like your report; ahd you have some high praise indeed for B.B.! =>
“By great good fortune I quickly stumbled across airgun ace Tom Gaylord and his remarkable technical blog for airgun retailer Pyramyd Air, and largely through him, devoured the airgun landscape as best I could.” (from: https://riflemansavant.wordpress.com/airgunnery/airscout/ )