By David Lake
One must not underestimate the importance of practice when it comes to the carry and potential use of a firearm. Simply having a gun does not fix all your problems. If and when your sidearm is called on to protect against someone intent on doing you harm, that sidearm must be an effective and instinctive tool in the hand.
Umarex aims to make you better and more effective with your pistol of choice. In fact, Umarex currently offers almost 60 “stunt doubles” to match your current handgun lineup. There are BB and pellet variants. There are blowback and non-blowback variants to many of the offerings. SAR really does suggest browsing the Umarex website to see the available product line. It’s impressive. It’s comprehensive. The idea is that you can buy a very inexpensive (from about $50 on up to $250) clone of your favorite sidearm, that shoots BBs. Yes, we speak of air guns. They’re not just for kids anymore. These are detailed operational replicas of full-power centerfire and rimfire pistols. These BB guns can be utilized for target practice and handling familiarization and drill practice without the expense and restriction of shooting a firearm. No trip to the range is necessary. These can be put to use in the basement or garage, provided an appropriate “trap” to collect the BBs. Sure eye protection is still recommended, but imagine the advantages and sense of security that comes from becoming really handy with your carry piece.
SAR was provided with the Umarex analog to the Walther PPS. The PPS is a player in the budding field of slim carry pistols. It’s less than 1” in width, as all the controls are blended into the outside contours of the pistol. There are no snags and no protrusions. It’s a proper compact pistol that makes for excellent concealability. The slide and frame contour is totally melted down to remove every corner. The grip does manage to maintain a full hand placement (no loose pinkie) while offering a minimal print signature under clothing. It’s a fantastic carry piece. The Umarex CO2 powered clone matches the Walther PPS on all counts. The only shortcoming was a 2 ounce disparity to the total weight. That’s easy enough to overlook. The Umarex with a fresh CO2 bottle is only peanuts off the weight of the PPS with an empty mag. This minor detail is easily forgotten.
The operation of the Umarex PPS is very close to the real thing. The 18 round magazine loads from the bottom of the grip. The slide reciprocates and delivers a satisfying kick when fired. The slide release is totally functional as in the real firearm. The trigger pull is smooth and accuracy was actually better that with our own 9mm PPS. Steel 3-dot sights and a functional accessory rail for flashlight use make this a dead-ringer for the real thing. Even the modular grip panels are present- only in the CO2 gun, the grip insert conceals an integral hex key for activating a CO2 bottle. And for added realism we actually experienced two “jams” during a 500 BB play date with the Umarex. The slide became stuck rearward and forced user intervention to correct the failure to get the gun back into play. Good for Umarex. We prefer and expect that this practice analog deliver a realistic experience to validate it as a trainer. There could not be a better way to practice and become proficient with a pistol.
Umarex USA. 7700 Chad Colley Blvd. Fort Smith, AR 72916. https://www.umarexusa.com
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V20N8 (October 2016)|