Umarex Fusion 2 CO2 rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Fusion 2
Umarex Fusion 2 CO2 repeater.

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Seen before
  • Quiet?
  • Power?
  • Description
  • Repeater
  • Magazine
  • Sights
  • Ambidextrous?
  • Summary

What is it?

The Umarex Fusion 2 CO2 repeater is a .177 caliber bolt-action repeating air rifle. It comes with two 9-shot rotary pellet magazines and a 4X32 scope. The rifle is powered by two 12-gram cartridges or by one 88-gram cartridge. The claim is up to 70 powerful shots on the 12-gram cartridges and as many as 250 shots on an 88-gram cartridge.

Seen before

Back in 2013 I did a 5-part report on the first Fusion rifle. It tested well, though I did have trouble trying to adjust the trigger. The box this new Fusion 2 rifle comes in says the trigger is adjustable, but the manual has no information about it. And Pyramyd Air lists the trigger as single-stage. I will check further, but I do believe the trigger is not adjustable.

Quiet?

The rifle I tested before was accurate and very quiet. Umarex goes out of their way to hype the low discharge sound. They tout the SilencAir silencer that’s on the end of the barrel. You know I will tell you how this one performs! Discharge sound is very important to many readers who want to shoot as quietly as possible for various reasons. Pyramyd Air rates the discharge at a 2 on their 5-point scale. That is a low to moderate level.

Power?

The manual and the hangtag that come with the rifle say to expect 650 f.p.s. with lead pellets and up to 700 f.p.s with alloy pellets. Naturally I will test that for you. The rifle is powered by CO2 and you have a choice of using either two 12-gram cartridges or one 88-gram cartridge. To get a shot count I will start with two 12-gram cartridges and Umarex says to expect up to 70 good shots per fill. I have 9 shots on the first two cartridges, so the test is already underway.

Where the original Fusion had adjustable power, the Fusion 2 seems not to have an adjustment.

Description

Okay, here is my take. As long as it’s warm where you shoot, the Fusion 2 is very much like an affordable PCP repeater. It is bolt action and please don’t start redesigning it! Yes a sidelever would be nice, but if the price was $139 instead of $129 the same people who say they want that feature would bellyache over the cost increase. I will report in the future how easy or difficult the bolt is to use.

The stock is synthetic and matte black overall. The butt feels solid, so no complaints about a hollow sound. The rifle weighs just under 6 pounds. I weighed the one I am testing with two fresh 12-gram cartridges installed but no magazine and it came to 5 lbs. 13 oz.

The stock narrows just ahead of the triggerguard to make a natural place to grasp the stock when shooting offhand. The forearm is wider and squared. It has M-LOK (Modular Lock) slots for attaching accessories. M-LOK is a patented locking system invented by Magpul. It is best for polymer handguards because it places less stress on them than the KeyMod accessory attachment system.

The barrel is 18.54 inches long and the SilencAir is a 5-chambered silencer permanently affixed to it. The length of pull is 14.25 inches. The rifle’s length overall is 40.25 inches. The buttpad is thick rubber with deep horizontal grooves across it. It grips the shouder positively.

Repeater

The Fusion I tested in 2013 was a single-shot. This Fusion 2 comes with two 9-shot rotary magazines. There seems to be no provision for shooting this rifle single-shot, nor can I find a single-shot adaptor. The space in the receiver where the magazine fits is very narrow and I doubt single-loading would be convenient. I am aware that clever people have designed ways of getting around this, but as of now the Fusion 2 seems only to be a 9-shot repeater.

Magazine

The magazines are unique, as far as I know. They load easier than most rotary mags, but they don’t stop the bolt after the last pellet is shot. So you have to keep  track of where you are or you’ll shoot blank shots. I will tell you more about the mags in Part 2 when we look at velocity.

Fusion 2 magazine
The Fusion 2 rotary magazine is unique.

Sights

The Fusion 2 comes without open sights. But a 4X32 scope and rings are supplied, and the top of the rifle has a long Picatinny rail. I know a 4X32 isn’t much to shout about, but if we see stunning accuracy during the test I will also try the rifle with a better scope.

Ambidextrous?

The stock is ambidextrous, but the safety and bolt handle are on the right side and cannot be switched. They do favor right-handed shooters.

Summary

The Umarex Fusion 2 repeater has been available for about three months and seems to be quite popular. It is out of stock when this report was published. Pyramyd shows a restock date of late September. Hopefully they will be in stock sooner than that.


Umarex Air Javelin airbow: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Umarex Air JavelinThe Air Javelin from Umarex.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • More to test
  • What are the holes for?
  • Remove the old 88-gram cartridge
  • Lots of gas!
  • Install the adaptor
  • Cock the gun!
  • Don’t do as BB does!
  • Adjust the dot sight up
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I shoot the Umarex Air Javelin with a dot sight optic. My UTG Reflex Micro  Dot was mounted elsewhere so I mounted a Tasco Pro Point red dot sight. 

Air Javelin dot sight
The Air Javelin accepted the Tasco Pro Point without a problem.

More to test

I didn’t tell you this but I asked Umarex to send me a 12-gram CO2 adapter so I could test the AJ with 12-gram cartridges. Some readers had asked about that possibility and since Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry the adapter, I went straight to Umarex.

Air Javelin 12-gram adapter
Several Umarex airguns including the Air Javelin use this adapter that switches the power source from 88/90-gram CO2 cartridges to 12-gram cartridges.

Let’s look at how it works. One end has an end cap that unscrews to accept the two 12-gram cartridges. The other end is treaded to screw into whatever airgun you install it on.

Air Javelin adapter description
The adapter has an end cap (arrow) that comes off to insert the CO2 cartridges, and threads on the other end to screw into the airgun. The holes are for moving the end cap when pressure holds it tight.

The two cartridges go into the adapter nose to nose. The piercing end of the first cartridge goes in first and the piercing end (small flat end) of the second cartridge is left up at the top, where the pin in the cap can pierce it. There is a spring-loaded winding tab on the cap. The spring holds the tab flat against the cap until you need it.

Air Javelin adapter cap off
The adapter cap has been unscrewed.

No directions for use came with the adaptor but it is pretty easy to figure out. I unscrewed the end cap piercing screw as far as it would go before dropping two cartridges inside. And I dropped in 5 drops of Crosman Pellgunoil before inserting the first cartridge. Then I put more Pellgunoil on the tip of the second cartridge.

Air Javelin cap screw
Here you see the cap screw (bottom) unscrewed as far as it will go.

What are the holes for?

If you ask what the holes in the sides of the end cap are for you haven’t yet encountered a gas gun with so much pressure that it wouldn’t let go of the end cap. This used to be a real problem in the 1950s and ’60s when improper o-ring material would swell from the gas and no let go of the end cap for hours after the gun was empty. With modern materials there is no more problem, unless the gas pressure inside the adapter is still high. This is not a large problem; it’s more of a convenience.

As you can see, I unscrew the piercing screw on the end cap as far as it will go, then screw the end cap down as far as it will go. Now I pick up the spring-loaded tab and start screwing the piercing screw in. That one screw is piercing both cartridges. It pushes the bottom cartridge down on the internal piercing pin inside the adapter as well as screwing in the piercing pin in the end cap. So I run it in as far as it will go. I heard no gas escape when I did this, but just to make certain the piercing pins were out of the way of the gas, I unscrewed the tab about a turn.

Remove the old 88-gram cartridge

Before the adaptor could be installed I first had to remove the previous 88-gram CO2 cartridge that was in the AJ. I didn’t know for sure but I calculated there were around 20 shots on it. We learned in Part 1 that the AJ has up to 30 good shots on one 88-gram cartridge. The last shots will send arrows out at just under 200 f.p.s. while the first shots have them going over 300 f.p.s. I will have more to tell you and show you later in this report, but for now you need to know that I was removing a cartridge that had a good 10 shots remaining inside. I had to do it to get a shot count from the two 12-gram CO2 cartridges in the adapter I’m about to install.

Lots of gas!

I will say this. Once you slowly unscrew the CO2 cartridge it comes to a point when the remaining gas is no longer sealed and starts hissing out. That lasted a long time — several minutes at least. I also dry-fired the AJ about 10 times as it was loosing gas to speed up the process. In the end the last gas hissed out and the old cartridge could be removed. The gun was now ready for the adapter.

Install the adaptor

The adaptor just screws into the gun where the CO2 tank was. Remember I put Pellgunoil inside when the cartridges were pierced, so that gets blown into the AJ to get on all the internal seals. BUT…!

Cock the gun!

Umarex tells you not to cock the gun when installing a new cartridge and I expect they also mean this adaptor. That is obviously a safety issue. But the adaptor holds two 12-gram cartridges that have limited gas. So I screwed the adaptor in, and when the hissing began I cocked the AJ and stopped it instantly.

Air Javelin adapter in
The adaptor fits in the AJ just like an 88-gram CO2 cartridge. This photo was very important later in the test!

Don’t do as BB does!

This is an object lesson. Some of you think I am modest, but the truth is — I am often that bad example your mother warned you not to follow! I set up the target bag in my back yard about 10 meters from the shooting bench. Yes that’s pretty far but I hadn’t shot the AJ in two months and my last recollection was one of great accuracy. It really was accurate last time — what could go wrong? I held the red dot in the center of the target that was taped to the bag and fired the first arrow. But I couldn’t tell where it went. It wasn’t anywhere on the bag! Oh, oh!

I looked in the grass all around and under the bag for signs of the arrow and then in the wooden fence between my property and my neighbors. Nothing. So I dragged the bag back to 5 meters and shot again. This is where I should have placed the bag to begin with.

Adjust the dot sight up

This time the arrow hit the bag, just below the bottom of the target paper. My previous shot had been taken at twice the distance, so the lost arrow is definitely somewhere in my lawn at something less than 10 meters. I searched for another 10 minutes for that first arrow with no luck. Umarex had only sent me three arrows with the AJ, and now I was down to just two. I adjusted the elevation up considerably and shot again.

Shot three hit a half-inch or less from shot two. It was on the bag but still below the target paper. From the looks of it (it was on an angle in the bag), it may well have hit the back of the second arrow— something I would discover in a little bit. Now I knew I was on the target so I cranked in a whole lot more elevation and moved the bag out to 15 meters.

Then I let fly with shot number four. This time the arrow hit the bottom of the 6-ring, almost touching the bullseye at 6 o’clock. Wow! I pulled the arrow out and moved the target bag out to 20 meters.

That shot had looked so good that I fired my second shot (number five on the CO2 adaptor). It hit the target about 3/4-inches below the last one. I needed to watch out or I would Robin Hood my two remaining arrows.

The last test in Part 3 demonstrated that the AJ is very accurate at this distance, so I felt confident it would not be a problem. However — remember that arrow that may have been hit in the back? I knew that I would nail the target in line with the center of the target and with luck I’d be inside the bull. No such luck! This time I heard a sickening sound of the arrow hitting the fence behind the bag. I have never missed the bag before this shot and was surprised I missed it this time. I found the arrow that had gone 4 feet wide to the left and was halfway through the fence.

When I pulled that arrow out of the fence I examined it to see why it had gone so wide. Right away I saw it. The end of the arrow is blown out on one side. I think I did hit the back of this arrow earlier and now I was rewarded with a wild shot. When I enlarged the pictures of all three arrows that was taken before the test started I saw that none were damaged this way. That is what I meant by that earlier picture being so fortuitous.

Air Javelin arrow end
The end of the AJ arrow that went so wide at 20 yards was broken out on one side — causing the arrow to veer to the side as it came off the end of the air tube. This arrow was probably hit in the rear on shot number three.

Air Javelin arrows
I enhanced this earlier photo to show there was no damage to any of the three arrows at the start of this test.

For safety’s sake I moved the target bag back to 15 meters and fired my one remaining arrow three more times — shots 7, 8 and 9. Shot 7 hit the target at the bottom center of the largest ring in the white. I had to pull the arrow to shoot shot 8 and it hit the target about 3/4-inches below and to the right of shot 7. On this shot I noticed a lot of time between the shot and the arrow hitting the bag.

Air Javelin arrows shot 8
Shot 8 at 15 meters hit below and to the right of shot 7. I could hear that this arrow was slower.

I pulled the arrow and fired one more time. This time there was a definite slowing of the arrow and it hit at the bottom of the paper, a little more than an inch below shot 8.

Air Javelin arrows shot 9
Shot 9 hit the target a little more than an inch below shot 8.

Discussion

Based on this test I can say that two 12-gram CO2 cartridges give you about 8 good shots. They are not all the same speed, but I believe they all fall within the velocity spread of the 30 good shots you get from an 88-gram cartridge. Analyzing the costs tells me you get 8 good shots for about $1.00 with two 12-gram cartridges, and 30 good shots for about $8.00 with one 88-gram cartridge. The advantage of the adapter is shots that cost less. The advantage of the 88-gram cartridge is a lot more shots per cartridge. The velocity of the shots is the same because CO2 varies its pressure due to temperature. Volume is not a factor in pressure.There is no easy way to increase or decrease that pressure — certainly not one that’s available to the field.

The second thing I would tell you is to always examine your arrows just before loading them. I didn’t and only through a fortunate photograph was I able to determine that an arrow had been damaged during this test. A damaged arrow flies erratically and is too risky to shoot.

One last comment is that I need to jack up the rear of the dot sight for the next test. I had to apply too much elevation to get the arrows near to the aim point.

Summary

I’m still very impressed by the Air Javelin. Even with the challenges of today’s test, which in retrospect were all mine, the AJ held its own. When it is given half a chance it places its arrows close together at the distances I have been testing.

The CO2 adapter performs as well as many expected. I was surprised by the number of good shots we got in today’s test. And it is very easy to set up and use.

Hopefully we will see the AJ at least once more, and this time with more arrows and no sighting problems.


Springfield Armory M1 Carbine CO2 Blowback Airsoft gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft
Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Airsoft gun.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

Part 2 testing
Today’s test
0.20-gram TSD Tactical BBs
0.25-gram Valken Accelerate BBs
0.30-gram ASG Blaster Devil BBs
0.36-gram ASG BBs
No lag time!
Continue?
0.40-gram ASG BBs
0.43-gram ASG BBs
Discussion
Summary

Today’s test will be interesting to me because I have no clue how the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft gun shoots. Usually I have some idea going into a test and can select the right ammo to suit how I think the gun is going to perform. This time I have almost nothing. The only things I do know is the gun is powered by CO2 and also the same gun shooting BBs did very well.

Part 2 testing

We learned in Part 2 how fast the test gun shoots. It’s on the high end for the recommended 0.20-gram BBs. It seems to slow down to a useful velocity with 0.30-0.36-gram BBs (407-387 f.p.s.). I am curious to see what they look like on paper.

Today’s test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 10 yards for this test. Five BBs were shot at each target, unless the results seemed to warrant shooting 10. That did happen in a couple instances, as you will see.

One thing to remember about this airsoft gun is there is no adjustment for elevation. Windage yes, but the elevation is fixed. That will play into the test results, as you will see.

I’m using the sights that come on the gun. It really isn’t suited for mounting any other sights, but these are fine.

0.20-gram TSD Tactical BBs

The first to be tested were 0.20-gram TSD Tactical BBs. This is the recommended BB weight for this airgun. The first BB hit in the 10-ring, so I shot the other four without looking again. Three of the remaining four BBs hit at the top of the target paper but the last BB was lost. The four BBs that hit made a group that measured 3.103-inches between centers. I can’t recommend this weight BB for this airgun because the BBs do not correspond to the sights and they spread out too fast. Yes, downrange they will drop a little, but this isn’t the level of accuracy I want in a skirmishing airgun.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.20-gram group
The 0.20-gram BBs did not group well. The four that hit the paper are in 3.103-inches between centers at 10 meters.

0.25-gram Valken Accelerate BBs

Next up were some 0.25-gram Valken Accelerate BBs. These were quite a bit better than the 0.20-gram BBs. In fact, after 5 shots the group was so good I photographed it in the target trap and returned to shoot 5 more.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.25-gram group
The first five 0.25-gram Valken Accelerate BBs made a very small group. I didn’t measure it, but it’s just over an inch between centers.

The second five opened the group a little, but nine of the ten BBs are still in a small area. All 10 are in 2.416-inches at 10 meters.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.25-gram group 10
All ten 0.25-gram BBs went into 2.416-inches at 10 meters with nine in 1.148-inches.

0.30-gram ASG Blaster Devil BBs

Next to be tested were five 0.30-gram ASG Blaster Devil BBs. Would they group even better than the 0.25-gram BBs? The only way to know is to try them.

The first BB hit inside the 10 ring, but all five BBs went into a group measuring 2.293-inches between centers. With the way that the 0.25-gram BBs shot, I felt this BB was not right for the airgun.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.30-gram group
The 0.30-gram Blaster Devils did not do so well. Five are in 2.293-inches at 10 meters.

0.36-gram ASG BBs

Bob Li of ASG sent me three additional heavy BBs to test in airsoft guns. The 0.36-gram one will be tested next. The first 5 BBs scored 49 points with 3 Xs on the 10-meter target. So I took another picture of the first five shots.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.36-gram group first 5
The first five of the 0.36-gram BBs gave such good results that I photographed them in the target trap.

I decided to continue this group as well, and this time it really paid off. Ten shots scored 99 points, with at least 7 Xs! 

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.36-gram group 10
Ten BBs are in a group measuring 1.342-inches between centers at 10 meters! The score is a solid 99. This group did not enlarge with the final five shots.

No lag time!

This is the sort of accuracy I have seen with some sniper long guns in the past. And the good thing is I noticed no lag time between the shot and the impact on target. This BB would be a good choice for skirmishing with this M1 Carbine.

Continue?

At this point in the test I felt I had found the best BB. But I had others that were even heavier. Should I continue? Well, since this is my last test of this airsoft gun I figured why not?

0.40-gram ASG BBs


None of these ASG heavy BBs have a name, so I’m just identifying them by their brand and weight. This 0.40-gram BB is a weight I have never tested before. And the first five went into another nice-looking group.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.40-gram group first 5
Here we go, again. The first five 0.40-gram ASG BBs made a perfect score of 50 with 4 Xs!

When I completed the group there were 10 BBs in 1.493-inches at 10 meters, with a score of either 98 or 99.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.40-gram group 10
All 10 BBs went into a group measuring 1.493-inches between centers at 10 meters.

There was no audible lag time between the shot and impact on target with this BB, either. At this point I felt the best BB weight had been found, and it is 0.36-grams. But I also had a 0.43-gram BB on hand, so why not test it?

0.43-gram ASG BBs

This is the first BB that had an audible lag between the shot and impact on the target. The first BB went into the X-ring, so I wondered if this would be another hyper-accurate one. But as I shot I could see the other BBs hitting above the bull. In the end five BBs went into a group that measures 2.886-inches between centers. Clearly this BB is too heavy for the Carbine’s powerplant.

M1 Carbine airsoft 0.43-gram group
The group of five 0.43-gram BBs measures 2.886-inches between centers at 10 meters. Too heavy for this airgun!

Discussion

The lack of an adjustment for elevation makes selecting the right ammunition more important for this Carbine. Remember I shot at 10 meters, which is 33 feet. But in a skirmish the Carbine might be used out to 75 or even 100 feet.

This test does not establish the final accuracy of the Carbine, but it points out that the gun is accurate. I did not adjust the Hop-Up because I didn’t have to.

Summary

The Springfield Armory M1 Carbine is an accurate airsoft gun that performs quite well. It mimics very closely the BB gun from the same people. 

I do think Pyramyd Air should consider recommending a 0.36-gram BB for this gun. The performance is so much better!

Higher-end airsoft guns are not Pyramyd Air’s mainstay products, to be sure, but there are probably many airgunners around the nation who have a use for an accurate airsoft gun like this. If so — here it is!


Best of B.B.: Crosman Mark I — a target pistol worthy of the name!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Ruger Mark I copy
  • Crosman made it right!
  • How does it compare to the S&W pistols?
  • You can still get one!

Today I’m taking a break to be with my relatives who came to celebrate the Fourth of July with Edith and me. This report was written back in June 2005.

There have been some great airguns in the recent past, and today I’d like to take a look at one of them: Crosman’s Mark I Target pistol.

 07-03-15-01-Ruger-Mk-I
Crosman copied the Ruger Mark I semiauto rimfire handgun.

Ruger Mark I copy

Crosman copied Ruger’s most famous handgun, the Mark I semiautomatic .22-caliber pistol. Ruger introduced this pistol, which built their company, in 1949; the Mark I dominated the handgun world by the time Crosman first offered their Mark I target pistol in 1966. The Ruger is a 10-shot semiauto, while the Crosman is a single-shot.

Single-shots seem to bore a lot of shooters today, but target shooters all know that the most accurate mechanisms are those that load and fire manually. So, the single-shot Crosman Mark I is actually MORE ACCURATE than the .22 pistol it copies!

Crosman made it right!

When Crosman copied Ruger, they did several things that made their gun better. First, they gave their pistol an adjustable trigger that any Ruger owner would love to have. It can be adjusted down to mere ounces and has the proverbial glass-rod breaking point. Second, their gun had better grips than the Ruger. Theirs were more hand-filling, plus they gave it a thumbrest on the left side that Ruger never offered. Finally, they gave their gun a rifled barrel (in .22 caliber only) that was the finest of all air pistols for that caliber and time. A careful shot can group inside an inch at 50 feet — something a stock Ruger Mark I cannot do.

Crosman Mark I
Crosman’s Mark 1 Target pistol is a single-shot that runs on CO2.

Crosman’s Mark I is more attractive and even more accurate than the Ruger it copies. This one has aftermarket grips, but the rest is all Crosman. Adjustable rear sights and a Patridge front blade make for a perfect sight picture. Two power levels are determined when cocking by stopping at the first or second click while pulling forward on the cocking knobs located on both sides of the frame. The earlier versions of the gun could also have their power tweaked via a small screw in the front of the frame. All in all, a wonderful target air pistol.

How does it compare to the S&W pistols?

I was asked how the Mark I stacks up against the S&W 78G that I reported on in the Remembering Smith & Wesson’s pellet pistols posting. The Mark I is more accurate than the 78G, though I must say I like the feel of the S&W better.

Like S&W, Crosman also made this gun in .177; but unlike the S&W, theirs had a barrel that also accommodates BBs. It isn’t as accurate as the .22 or either of the S&W pistols. The Mark I is the more desirable gun.

You can still get one!

Even with its reputation as a great shooter, a Crosman Mark I pistol is still very affordable — even more than S&Ws. A gun similar to the one shown here should cost $100 to $125 if it holds gas. If you like good air pistols, start searching for a Crosman Mark I!


Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel CO2 blowback airsoft kit: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol
The Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel pistol is a competition airsoft gun in a box!

Today is the day we adjust the BAXS in the Tanfoglio Gold Custom CO2 blowback airsoft kit gun to see how it affects the gun’s ablity to group. Remember, the BAXS is another form of hop-up, which is the generic name for a rubber bumper that puts a backspin on the airsoft BB as it exits the bore. That causes the BB to fly straighter and farther than it would if it were not spinning, or if it were allowed to spin randomly.

So, the first thing to do is to get to the BAXS adjustment wheel, which is located deep inside the gun’s slide. The gun must be partially disassembled, and therein lies a problem. The manual is poorly written and illustrated with confusing small photos that don’t depict what you actually must do.

To remove the slide of this pistol, the slide stop, or what the manual called the slide stopper, must first be removed. There are 2 different things that must be done precisely to get the slide stop out, and the manual doesn’t cover them. First, the slide has to be pushed back only about a quarter inch to release the slide stop. If you see the rear of the barrel dive down as you push the slide back, it’s moved too far. Second, there’s a very small clearance hole for the large end of the slide stop on the left side of the frame. Once again, pushing the slide too far back will cause the stop to pass this clearance hole, and the slide stop cannot be removed from the gun.

Of course, you don’t find out any of this until the slide is off the gun, which is too late. And the instructions are one sentence long. If you don’t know how to remove the slide, the instructions will not help you!

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol slide off
The slide must be removed to adjust the BAXS wheel.

Once the slide is off, the BAXS adjustment wheel is located on the underside of the slide and barrel assembly. It’s a small plastic wheel that’s turned by a small thin blade, such as a tiny screwdriver. A pin in the wheel limits its travel to less than half a turn, so the amount of adjustment is small. But if the gun was designed right and manufactured carefully, it should be enough to make a difference.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol BAXS wheel
The BAXS wheel is turned to adjust the amount of backspin put on the BB. The adjustment is limited to less than half a rotation of the wheel.

I noted where the adjustment wheel was when the gun was disassembled. It was close to one end, so I moved it to the other extreme end. If there was going to be a difference, I wanted it to be immediate and visible. And it was — as I will now show you.

I decided to begin with the Air Venturi Pro CQBBs that weigh 0.25 grams because they were the most accurate in the previous test. When you adjust something as finicky as hop-up, stick to one BB whose performance you know. To do otherwise would just waste your time because you would never know if it was the particular BB or the gun’s adjustment that was right or wrong.

I shot a lot of targets in this test, but I’m not going to show you all of them. For the first couple, I was just getting the BBs back on target at 10 meters. The BAXS adjustment moved the point of impact several inches higher than it was the last time. But as I adjusted the dot sight and brought them back down onto the paper, I noticed something. They all tended to be strung out vertically, but were very tight horizontally. And each target, of 5 that I shot, had 4 BBs tight together and one that was apart from the group — a flier. Only there was no reason for the flier that I could see.

So, there were 4 BBs grouped together and the fifth BB would be more than one inch away from the main group. I adjusted the BAXS a couple times to correct this, but it persisted with this BB.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol Air Venturi CQBB target 1
This 5-shot group measures 3.197 inches, but the lone shot at the bottom opens it up by more than one inch. Notice how narrow the group is.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol Air Venturi CQBB target 2
Another 5-shot group of 0.20-gram Air Venturi CQBBs is also tall and even narrower. This time, 4 BBs went into 1.08 inches, and the fifth shot opened the group to 2.26 inches.

There were 3 more groups just like these, and then I decided to switch BBs. The next BB I tried was the 0.20-gram Marui Black that Pyramyd Air does not stock. Being lighter, these BBs went faster than the others. The first group was really tight.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol Marui black BB target 1
Here are 5 shots in 0.847 inches at 10 meters. The Tanfoglio seems to like the 0.20-gram Marui Black BBs. This is what a good airsoft pistol can do at 10 meters.

Alas, I was unable to repeat that group. The next group was 10 Marui BBs instead of 5, and this one spread out to 2.041 inches.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol Marui black BB target 1
Ten Marui Black BBs spread out to a much larger group that measured 2.041 inches between centers.

I tried several more times to shoot good 5-shot groups with the Maruis, but no luck. They all turned out like the 10-shot group shown above.

Let sanity prevail
This gun was never intended to be a 10-meter pistol. It’s supposed to be a rapid-fire action pistol that can compete in action target matches. Those targets are much larger than the ones seen here, and the BBs only have to hit a large center area to score their highest. I think they can do that without a problem.

What I’ve just shown you is how an adjustable hop-up, or BAXS in this instance, affects the grouping ability of an airsoft gun. If you compare these groups to those fired in the previous test, you’ll see how much improvement was achieved.

Bottom line
The Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel CO2 blowback airsoft pistol is a high-end, factory-made competition gun. It has a wonderful trigger, great blowback action and is very capable of competing, as long as a quality dot sight is mounted. For coming right out of the box at this level of performance, I doubt you can find anything better.

Just remember, the factory owner’s manual is spotty and somewhat misleading. This pistol takes some getting used to before it can perform at its best, and that comes with time and use.


Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel CO2 blowback airsoft kit: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol
The Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel pistol is a competition airsoft gun in a box!

Today is accuracy day for the Tanfoglio Gold Custom CO2 blowback airsoft kit gun, but it’s just the first of many tests. An airsoft gun with adjustable Hop-up, or BAXS in this case, has to be adjusted to shoot its best. I’ve never adjusted a gun with BAXS, but I’ve adjusted plenty of them with Hop-up and that is how it always happens. The gun never shoots its best right out of the box. I’m assuming the BAXS is the same.

All I did today was find out which BBs are worth continuing with and which aren’t. As it turned out, I got good results with several 0.20-gram BBs, which is what the manufacturer recommends for this gun. I also did well with one 0.25-gram BB.

I’ll warn you right now, the targets you’re about to see are not very impressive. They look terrible, in fact. If you’re used to good groups from pellet guns, these are going to seem hopeless. But they do show small differences between the good BBs and those that aren’t worth pursuing, and that was all I wanted to do today.

I shot off a bag rest with the butt of the gun (the bottom of the magazine well) rested against the bag. I also tried holding it ahead of the bag and just resting my arms on the bag, but it moved around too much. Maybe next time I’ll play with some different holds.

I shot only 5-shot groups today because I was testing a large number of different BBs. In all, I tested over 10 different brands, but only the most promising will be shown here.

Sight failure!
Before I get to that, however, there was another problem not related to the gun. The Swiss Arms red dot sight that was bundled with the pistol quit working suddenly during the first session. It wasn’t the battery because that’s still good. So, I dismounted it and installed a Walther Competition II Top Point red dot sight that I got from Pyramyd Air for testing; but some funny-bunny at the factory had left the sight turned to high power, and the battery was dead. I replaced it with a fresh battery but the sight failed to respond. So — two red dot sights out of the running even before we start. That was what ticked me off yesterday and caused the rewriting of my blog.

Fortunately, I have an older Tasco Pro Point red dot sight that has functioned perfectly on many airguns over the past 15 years. That one went on for this test, and everything was good again.

Quick rundown
Sight-in was a bit frantic because I unknowingly chose the least accurate 0.20 BB for the job. The gun doesn’t like the Air Venturi Pro CQBBs that weigh 0.20-grams. It took me about 10 shots to get sort of on target, but it wasn’t until I switched ammo that I found out what was happening. More on that in a moment, now for the quick rundown.

This pistol hates 0.12-gram BBs. They couldn’t even stay on the trap at 10 meters, and I was using the UTG Accushot Pellet and BB trap. Forget staying on target! This things were hitting the backer board that was behind the trap. Fortunately, I expected something like that, so I didn’t waste much time. BBs this light are usually good only in lower-powered spring-piston guns.

The pistol also performs only average with the 0.28-gram BBs. Though I only tried one brand, the TSD Tactical 0.28-gram BBs, I can tell from experience that this BB is too heavy for the pistol.

That leaves 0.25-gram and 0.20-gram BBs. The gun shot the best group with Air Venturi Pro CQBBs 0.25-gram BBs, but it was 2.864 inches for 5 shots. See what I mean about not getting too excited?

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol Air Venturi 0.25-gram BB target 10 meters
Five shots of 0.25-gram Air Venturi Pro CQBBs went into 2.864 inches at 10 meters.

The second-best group of 5 shots was a 0.20-gram Marui Black BB that Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry. Five of those went into 2.875 inches at 10 meters, which is really too close to call. The round BBs tear holes that are indistinct and measurement may be off by a lot. Fortunately, the pictures don’t lie.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol Marui-Black-0.20-gram BB target 10 meters
Five Marui Black 0.20-gram BBs went into 2.875 inches at 10 meters. It was the second-best group of this test, but also too close to call. It may be just as good as the first group.

But it was another 0.20-gram BB, the TSD Stealth that’s apparently no longer made that tipped the scales on this day. The first group I shot was spread out wide, but it was just one BB that did it. The other four were in 1.809 inches. I was so encouraged that I shot a second group; and, again, 4 BBs went into 2.229 inches and the fifth shot opened the group several more inches. I think this might be the most accurate BB after the BAXS gets adjusted, or at least 0.20-gram BBs of some other brand might turn out to be the best. If not, the 0.25-gram Air Venturi BBs might get better with the adjustment.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol TSD-Stealth-0.20-gram BB target 10 meters
Four of five TSD Stealth BBs went into 1.809 inches. This BB shows promise and may do a lot better after BAXS adjustment.

Don’t get discouraged!
My time with airsoft has taught me to first look for the best BB, and then spend more time adjusting the Hop-up to maximize its potential. That’s what lies ahead of us for this pistol. I won’t guarantee the gun will be much more accurate than this; but if past experience holds true, it will be!

Shooting characteristics
Believe me, I do understand that this is not a target pistol. But to win as a competition gun, it has to place its shots close together. IPSC for airsoft doesn’t shoot as far as 10 meters, so this test is extreme, but it’s also quite good at showing what the gun is capable of.

The gun’s recoil is sharp when you’re aiming carefully. And the trigger that I loved before is still preforming well. All in all, I’m a little disappointed that I can’t show you better groups than these; but if the BAXS works as it should, I should be able to reduce these by a lot.


Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel CO2 blowback airsoft kit: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol
The Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel pistol is a competition airsoft gun in a box!

Let’s look at the velocity of the Tanfoglio Gold Custom CO2 blowback airsoft kit gun. When I started the test, I discovered something unusual. The CO2 cartridge I’d loaded last week to test the gun initially had leaked down completely. That usually doesn’t happen until several months have passed, so it got me wondering. I’ll watch the gun and see if it happens again. I left the test today with a 75 percent filled cartridge; so if I test it again in a week and it’s out, I’ll know. And to answer your question, yes, I did use Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each fresh cartridge when I installed it.

Testing the velocity of an airsoft gun is a little different than testing a pellet gun. It’s more like testing a BB gun because the airsoft BBs come in specific weights. The velocities tend to conform to the weights rather than to the individual brands of BBs used. I’ll test the pistol today with the 4 most popular weights — 0.12 grams, 0.20 grams, 0.25 grams and 0.28 grams. And let’s get something straight right now. When we’re talking about airsoft BBs, we’re speaking in terms of GRAMS — not grains. There are about 454 grams in a pound, but 7,000 GRAINS per pound. So a gram is MUCH heavier than a grain. A gram is a decimal unit of the metric system. It’s one-thousandth of a kilogram. A grain is an apothecary (medical) weight from the old English system of weights — a system that is also used by jewelers. It was historically the weight of one barley seed, but has been standardized to one seven-thousandth of a pound.

Regardless of the weight of each BB, they’re all the same size. Their weight is controlled by the material used to make them.

UHC Precision Ground BBs, 0.12 grams
First up are 0.12-gram (1.85 grains) UHC BBs. They averaged 417 f.p.s. in the Tanfoglio pistol. The range went from a low of 406 to a high of 425 f.p.s. That’s slightly slower than the maximum advertised veloicity of 453 f.p.s for this pistol. At the average velocity they produce 0.71-foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Given the design goals of airsoft, that’s fine, because much more than that will start to injure anyone hit by them.

Air Venturi Pro CQBBs, 0.20 grams
Next up were Air Venturi Pro CQBBs 0.20-gram (3.09 grains) BBs. These are value-priced BBs that come in bottles of 2,700 rounds, 5,000 rounds and, for the serious shooter, supersized bags of 125,000!

These averaged 333 f.p.s. with a spread from 315 to 346 f.p.s. This is the recommended BB weight for this pistol, which means it will probably be the easiest one to tune the BAXS (the trajectory adjustment in the pistol) with. At the average velocity, this BB produced 0.76 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. I have other brands of 0.20-gram BBs, including competition BBs; so if this weight turns out to work well in the gun, I plan to give it the biggest test. As a final note, the velocity was right where the specs say it should be (320-350 f.p.s.).

Air Venturi Pro CQBBs, 0.25 grams
This 0.25-gram (3.86 grains) BB is a little heavier than the recommended weight, but sometimes that doesn’t hurt the accuracy at all. With the right BBs, it can enhance it — and this is where having several different brands of premium airsoft BBs is an advantage. I tested velocity with the Air Venturi Pro CQBBs 0.25-gram BB that’s the equivalent of the 0.20-gram BB mentioned above, but heavier. It comes packaged the same way, and I have the 2,700 BB bottle for the test.

These BBs averaged 296 f.p.s. in the Tanfoglio pistol. The range went from 282 to 304 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this BB produced 0.75 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

TSD Tactical, 0.28 gram BBs
The last BB I tried was the TSD Tactical 0.28-gram (4.32 grains) BBs. These are clearly too heavy for this gun, but they did produce velocity very close to the 0.25-gram BBs. The average was 289 f.p.s., with a spread from 274 to 302 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this BB developed 0.80 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Loading the magazine
I don’t have a speedloader, so I loaded each BB one-by-one into the double-stack magazine. They have to be pressed through the top of the magazine, which then holds them against falling out while the gun is operating. That’s the sign of a quality airsoft gun. If you remove the loaded mag for any reason, a BB doesn’t fall out of the mag as it often does on lower-priced gas guns and most spring guns and auto-electric guns (AEGs).

I also note the BBs instantly arranged themselves within the mag…and without any fuss. With lesser guns, the BB stack will have gaps on one side that lead to misfeeds.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol loaded mag
BBs arrange themselves perfectly inside the magazine every time!

Stopping the BBs
Nothing rebounds worse than a plastic airsoft BB. Nothing! Those of you who know airsoft probably wonder how I managed to stop the BBs in the velocity tes. When I tell you that I stopped 100 percent of more than 60 BBs fired, you need to know how I did it! I used a UTG Accushot Pellet and BB trap, and in front of that I placed a heavy cardboard sheet at a slight angle of perhaps 15 degrees to the face of the trap. The trap and cardboard both stood in a shallow cardboard tray that caught all BBs that came back out of the trap. It worked so well that I will use it when I conduct the accuracy test.

Trigger-pull
I proclaimed how much I love the Tanfoglio trigger in Part 1. Now let me tell you the specs. It’s single-stage, with the blade moving through an arc that can be felt, and it breaks cleanly at 2 lbs., 9 oz., which is even lighter than the trigger on my Wilson Combat CQB 1911 firearm. This is a pistol trigger to die for! The only criticism is that it doesn’t break like a glass rod; but since the gun is for action shooting and not bullseye targets, that doesn’t matter.

Shot count
I got exactly 40 shots before the gun began slowing down. After that, there were another 10 good shots before the blowback function came into question. I guess a lot of the CO2 is used for blowback. Since this is a competition gun, that makes no difference. Winners will buy it and use it, no matter what it takes to make it work. This is not a budget plinker. It’s a full-blown competition airgun!

I hope this pistol will be a real tackdriver because that would make it perfect. I know that it’s not a target gun, but it does have to place its shots in the same place to score high in the competitions it would enter. If it does — well, I don’t know that I will let it go back!