Category Archives: Out Of The Box

The Umarex Legends C96

An affordable, Shootable BB Copy
Of The Mauser Broomhandle.

Umarex USA has scored another major hit with the introduction of their latest CO2-powered BB pistol. Coming on the heels of their stunningly realistic copy of the Luger P.08, the new model is a truly amazing take on none other than the classic Mauser C96 semi-automatic pistol, popularly known by its nickname “Broomhandle” due to its peculiar round grip.

The Umarex C96 joins the aforementioned Luger P.08 under Umarex’s Legends line of classic handguns. As a longtime fan of the Mauser broomhandle, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a sample of this beauty.

At this point I feel a bit of history is called for. The original Mauser C96, as its model designation indicates, was produced between 1896 and 1937. Besides seeing extensive service with the German army during World War I, the C96—given the C12 designation by the German military—soldiered on through World War II as well, reportedly becoming popular with members of the notorious Waffen SS. Originally produced in caliber 7.63 Mauser, the C96 (C12) was one of the first truly successful semi-automatic pistols. Sometime during WWI, the broomhandle was also produced in 9mm Parabellum. Pistols in 9mm bear a distinctive figure 9 cut into both wooden grip plates, and the “9” filled with red paint. These pistols are popularly referred to as “Red 9’s” to distinguish them from the original 7.63mm Mausers.

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The rear sight is adjustable for elevation
only, as was the original.

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The Legends C96 has a non-functioning fire selector
resembling the one found on a real Mauser 712 Schnellfeuer.

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The removable magazine takes one 12-gram CO2
capsule and has capacity for up to 19 BB’s.

Incidentally, one of the earliest fans of the C96 was a young British army officer named Winston Churchill. The future British prime minister acquired a C96 before being sent to the Sudan, where he reportedly put his Mauser pistol to good use fighting native rebels.

The Umarex Legends C96 fires traditional 4.5mm steel BB’s powered by a standard, disposable 12-gram CO2 capsule. Undoubtedly, the most remarkable aspect of the Umarex C96 is its semi-automatic blowback action mimics the operation of the real C96 in a most realistic fashion. As far as physical size and weight, the Legends C96 is also quite close to the real deal.

The Legends C96 sports a molded synthetic body with a matte black finish. Weighing a hefty 1.75 pounds, most of the weight is concentrated in its detachable cast alloy magazine. The latter can hold up to 19 BB’s and also houses a disposable 12-gram CO2 capsule. Like the original C96, this BB-spittin’ copy comes with a rear sight adjustable for elevation only, while the fixed front sight is an exact copy of the beefy inverted V found on the original.

The 5-1/4-inch barrel of the Legends C96 employs a smoothbore steel insert. Like the original, the long barrel of the BB copy ensures remarkable accuracy not commonly obtained from a BB pistol.

Interestingly, this Umarex model is really a copy of the Mauser M712 “Schnellfeuer,” the fully automatic version of the C96 with its long, detachable magazine. In fact, this BB model incorporates a realistic but non-functioning “selector” catch molded right out of the left side of the frame. It really would be something to have a BB version of the Schnellfeuer M712!

Shooting the Legends C96 was incredible fun! The semi-automatic blowback action delivered a stout kick with each pull of the trigger. The manual safety also mimics the one on the real C96, by the way. A pivoting catch on the left rear of the frame, next to the hammer, disconnects the trigger when activated. One point of interest regarding function is the breech does not remain open as the last BB is fired. No malfunctions were encountered during extensive tests. I was particularly impressed by the moderate CO2 consumption of the pistol when testing it. Each CO2 capsule yielded close to 70 shots before running dry. The muzzle velocity ran very close to the manufacturer’s advertised figure of 380 fps. This velocity is ample for plinking and even dispatching small rodents at close range.

There is no doubt fans of the real C96 broomhandle will find the Umarex Legends C96 a thrilling addition to their pistol collection. Retailing for just $100, this stunning BB-firing copy of the redoubtable Mauser C96 is sure to please even the most die-hard “Broomhandle” aficionado—and is much more affordable than the real one.
By J.I. GALAN

Legends C96
Maker: Umarex USA
6007 S. 29th Street
Fort Smith, AR 72908
(479) 646-4210
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/umarex-usa/

Caliber: .177 (4.5mm) Steel BB only
Power Source: 12-gram CO2 capsule
Mechanism: Single-action, semi-automatic blowback
Magazine Capacity: 19
Length Overall: 11.5 inches
Weight: 1.75 poundsBarrel length: 5-1/4 inches, smoothbore
Sights: Elevation-adjustable rear; fixed front
Price: $101.80

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Cattleman 12 Shooter

Uberti Fills The Spaces In This Rimfire’s
Cylinder With Plenty Of .22 Long Rifle Ammo.

The first successful cartridge-firing revolver may have appeared in 1857, however it would be 12 years later before we would see a larger big-bore sixgun. This would be the top-break Smith & Wesson .44 S&W American. With its arrival in 1869, Colt was stirred to its very foundation and quickly began to move from producing percussion revolvers to a cartridge-firing sixgun.

In 1873 Colt, thanks to some real prodding from the United States military, came forth with the Single Action Army chambered in .45. Colt still offers this sixgun today, and during what is known as its First Generation run from 1873 to 1940, it was chambered in more than three dozen cartridges including .22 Rimfire. Of the 356,000+ Single Actions produced by 1940 only 200 were produced in .22 rimfire. The Single Action standard model accounted for 107 of these while 93 were built on the Single Action Target Model frame. The latter version was also used for the very rare .22 WRF with only seven being produced.

In nearly 60 years of searching gun shops and gun shows I’ve never seen an original Colt Single Action Army in .22 rimfire; however, I have seen several examples of larger caliber Colts, which usually had been modified by sleeving the chamber and lining the barrel to accept .22’s. In 1953 Ruger introduced their first single action, the .22 Single-Six and it has been a very popular seller for 60+ years. Great Western in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s offered replicas of the original Colt Single Action and one of their chamberings was in .22 rimfire. Today Uberti not only offers a replica of the Colt Single Action Army in .22 LR they have doubled the capacity of the original fitting it with a 12-shot cylinder.

The normal SAA cylinder contains six rounds requiring a rotation of 60 degrees each time the hammer is cocked. Doubling that capacity changes the geometry to a 30-degree rotation. Uberti has managed to accomplish this and still maintain a hammer, which travels fully. Trigger pull on this 12-shooter is very good right at 3.5 pounds with very little creep.

Knowledgeable sixgunners know traditionally styled single actions without transfer bars must only be carried with the hammer down on an empty chamber. Single action sixgunners have long known how to load a 6-shot sixgun. The hammer is put on half-cock, the loading gate is opened, and then the proper procedure is “Load one. Skip one. Load four.” Pull the hammer back to full-cock and then carefully let it down on the empty chamber which will be present if the sequence is carried out properly.

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Although it is a little heavy at 40 ounces, John found
shooting the Uberti Cattleman 12-shooter quite pleasurable.

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The Uberti Cattleman 12-shooter “packs perfectly” in this Red Rock 120 holster
made for a Colt Single Action. Red Rock Holsters made by Mayer Saddlery.

Being a 12-shooter, the Cattleman is handled differently. When the loading gate is opened and the hammer placed on half-cock, two .22 chambers are exposed (and I would imagine with practice one could learn to load two rounds at a time). The procedure for safely loading the 12-shooter is “Load two. Skip one. Load nine.” You will notice in the pictures how almost every bit of space is taken up with 12 rounds in this cylinder; the rims of the .22 rounds nearly touch each other. Unloading the fired cylinder whether with 11 or 12 rounds can be tedious, however there is a relatively easy way to do it. With the loading gate open and the hammer on half-cock, push the ejector rod until it lightly contacts the front of the cylinder. Then as the cylinder rotates it will automatically drop into each chamber allowing easy removal of the fired cartridge.

The Uberti Cattleman .22 is offered in two versions. The original has a 6-shot cylinder and brass grip frame while the new 12-shooter—in addition to its double capacity—has a steel grip frame.

Both guns have a case-colored frame with the balance being finished in deep blue. Metal to metal fit as well as wood to metal fit is excellent with no sharp edges or hangover. Both versions are offered with the standard barrel lengths of 4.75, 5.5 and 7.5 inches. Although realizing it would be even heavier I ordered the latter simply because it is much easier for me to shoot the longer barrels.

However, instead of the long Cavalry Model I received the shorter Civilian Model. Even with the short barrel all of my 11-shot groups at 20 yards were less than 2 inches with the best group right close to 1 inch being acquired with the Federal Classic High Velocity HP’s.

Being a traditionally styled single action, the Cattleman has sights consisting of a post front and a rear notch. In the past, Uberti single actions often came through with way too little height on the front sight causing them, at least for me, to always shoot high. With the coming of Cowboy Action Shooting and the great demand for replica sixguns, Uberti corrected this and now has plenty of height on their front sights. For me this .22 shoots a little low requiring only a few strokes with a file on the top of the front sight to bring it up to point of aim. The windage is already right on for my hands, eyes and loads.

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These two targets (above) fired with the Uberti Cattleman 12-shooter and
Winchester ammo show the short barrel delivers good velocity and accuracy
at 20 yards. Both CCI Mini-Mag and Federal Classic (below) delivered
good velocity and groups at 20 yards.

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Although the Cattleman is a traditionally-styled single action, it comes with a safety of sorts. I am all for safeties on semi-automatic firearms if they can easily be engaged or disengaged with the thumb or one finger. I have no great problem with transfer bars, which make single actions safe to carry fully loaded. However, the safeties, which lock with keys or, in this case, a “Swiss-safe style” device are more than safety devices, being security devices instead. To be able to import the Cattleman in the USA, it must have some sort of safety. The Swiss-safe is easiest to provide as it is nothing more than a longer cylinder pin with two notches. When the rear one is engaged everything works normally, however when the front notch is used the cylinder pin protrudes from the back of the frame and prevents the hammer from falling far enough forward for the firing pin to hit a cartridge. The only problem with this is if the firearm is needed in a hurry it is not very easy to disengage. I much prefer the hammer down on an empty chamber.

As expected the Cattleman, even with 12 holes in the cylinder is a relatively heavy sixgun. Officially it is rated with a 4-3/4-inch barrel at 2.3 pounds, or 37 ounces. My test gun with the shorter barrel weighs 40 ounces on my postal scale. A sixgun of this size and weight deserves good leather. I have been carrying it in a Tom Threepersons-style by Dan Mayer of Mayer Saddelry using his Red Rock 120. It takes three things to make an excellent holster: design, construction and leather quality. The Red Rock 120 excels in all three as well as being beautifully carved. This particular holster was made for a 4.75-inch Colt Single Action Army, however, it carries the Cattleman perfectly.

Although the Uberti Cattleman 12-shooter is a mite heavy, it still makes a great companion for hiking in desert, sagebrush, foothills, forest, or mountains. With 11 rounds in the cylinder and a box of cartridges in the pocket, a lot of shooting fun can be afforded while tramping around. It can certainly be used to take varmints at close range and in my area would work very well for what we call “fool hens” or sage grouse during hunting season. It will certainly excel at plinking too.

Mayer Saddlery
P.O. Box 131, Lima, MT 59739
(406) 276-3328
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/mayer-saddlery/

By John Taffin

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Matchless Performance

Nosler .45 ACP 230-Grain
JHP Match Ammo

A while back, through the good offices of editor Jeff, I got some Nosler 230-grain JHP Match ammo for testing with the new SIG P227 .45 ACP. In 25-yard accuracy testing, the pistol was delivering +/- 2-inch groups, which were perfectly adequate, but then the Nosler stuff trumped everything with two tight doubles connected by one more shot. All five bullet holes were 0.80-inch apart center-to-center, and the best three of those would have hit a .45 casing nose-on, as they measured 0.40-inch center-to-center. Intrigued, I ordered more of this ammo.

Because I’d been testing the SIG, I hand-cycled the first round into the chamber. This was to check for “4+1 syndrome,” in which the first round goes somewhere other than where the mechanically-cycled rounds print. Needless to say, that P227 had no 4+1 to it. In fact, I liked it so much that I purchased it. But now, testing the ammo, I began each string with one round at adjacent steel targets. Now, all shots would cycle the same way to better insulate the ammo we were testing from vagaries of the pistols. Shooting was done handheld from a Caldwell Matrix rest on a concrete bench at 25 yards.

Measurements were taken to the nearest 0.05-inch for all 5-shot groups, and a second measurement of each group measured the best three hits. This seems to factor out unnoticed human error and approximate what the same combination would do for all five shots from a machine rest. Called flyers were disqualified. Shooters included firearms instructor and ex-SWAT cop Steve Denney and myself.

SIG: An all-stainless P220 ST placed a quintet of Noslers in 1.30 inches. I suspect unnoticed human error here, because the other four hits were in 0.60-inch. You see why I do that “best three” measurement, which in this case was 0.40-inch.

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There’s fire at the muzzle as Mas shoots the Nosler .45 ACP
from the bench over the Shooting Chrony.

1911’s: For a custom target pistol I chose my best “pin gun,” the Colt Government custom-built by D.R. Middlebrooks of Virginia, which had extended sight radius due to its highly effective JetComp recoil compensator. It kept all five Noslers under an inch, at 0.95-inch, and the best three in 0.60-inch. “Factory custom” 1911’s were tried in the two most popular barrel lengths. A Legend-series Springfield Armory TGO-II with 5-inch barrel had a 5-shot group of 2.90 inches, due to one shot (not the first) that I suspect was unnoticed human error because the other four were just under an inch, with the best three in 0.95-inch. A Signature Model Ed Brown Custom with a 4.25-inch barrel put five of the Noslers into 1.30 inches, and the best three in 0.70-inch.

Representing the sub-$1,000 price margin 1911s was Springfield Armory’s Range Officer with a 5-inch barrel. It pumped five of the Noslers into 1.25 inches, the best three in 0.80-inch.

Polymer pistols: The oft-quoted standard for “acceptable service pistol accuracy” is five shots in 4.0 inches at 25 yards, presumably from a machine rest. A bonestock Gen4 Glock 21 printed five hand-fired Nosler 230’s into 2.15 inches, with the best three in 1-inch even. The compact version, a Gen3 Glock 30 with 3.8-inch barrel, went 2.05 inches for all five shots, with a best three of 1.20 inches. A midsize (4-inch barrel) Smith & Wesson Military & Police grouped five hits in 2.95 inches, but the tightest trio in 0.85-inch.

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The group that started the idea of this article was 5 shots in 0.80 inch
center-to-center at 25 yards from the SIG P227, our April cover gun.
Upper and lower holes are tight doubles.

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Accuracy was impressive at 25 yards from a 4.25-inch
barreled Ed Brown Commander-size 1911 .45.

Revolver: A moon-clipped quintet of Nosler Match loads went through a factory-condition S&W Model 25-2 with a 1950 Target-marked barrel, with all five holes exactly 1.5 inches apart center-to-center. The best three formed a group of 0.70-inch.

Velocity: Nosler specs this load for a muzzle velocity of 830 fps, presumably from a 5-inch barrel. It showed consistency worthy of its name with a spread from a low of 810.9 fps to a high of 818.2, averaging 813.3 from the 4.4-inch barrel of a SIG. The 4-inch M&P ran 813.9. From a 5-inch 1911, average velocity was 841.8 fps on the Shooting Chrony.

Would this ammo be good enough to cure “sick guns” of poor accuracy? Only partially, it turned out. We rounded up three .45’s whose owners had noticed subpar accuracy: a work-in-progress Colt Combat Commander, a 5-inch Colt Government with badly worn barrel, and a SIG with an aftermarket barrel that didn’t live up to expectations. With 230-grain Nosler Match, we got 3.15 inches for five and 1.35 inches for best three; 3.65 inches (5) and 1.55 inches (3); and 2.60 inches (5) and 1.20 inches (3) respectively. Better than what they did with factory ball, for sure, but Nosler still couldn’t turn pistols of mediocre accuracy into precision tack-drivers.

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One of the better 25-yard, 5-shot groups was delivered from Nosler and a
1911 Springfield Range Officer. The upper left hole is a tight double.

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Nosler Match Grade 230-grain JHP .45 ACP delivered superb
accuracy from a wide variety of pistols and revolvers.

Purpose: The 185-grain loads are generally a tad more accurate than 230-grainers in many (but not all) .45 ACP’s. I’ve shot more than one state or county police championship match where the department-issue pistol had to be used, and fixed-sight .45 autos are generally sighted for standard pressure 230-grain rounds like this. Nosler makes it tacitly clear that this particular ammo isn’t designed for expansion and duty use: it’s built for accuracy, pure and simple.

Value: Nosler’s suggested retail is $55 per box of 50. That sounds high, but in perspective, it’s just a little higher than my local Walmart is charging for 50 rounds of Winchester Silvertip .40 S&W carry loads. Nosler Match ammo ain’t cheap, but when pride and performance are on the line, it’s worth the money. It’s what I want in my gun—at least at the 25-yard line and farther—the next time I have to use my department-issue .45 in competition. In fact, I’m thinking of taking some 230-grain Nosler Match and the Springfield Range Officer to a certain Police Service Pistol match…
By Massad Ayoob

Nosler
P.O. Box 671
Bend, OR 97709
(800) 285-3701
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/nosler-inc/

Shooting Chrony

3840 East Robinson Rd.
PMB 298
Amherst, NY 14228
(800) 385-3161
www.shootingchrony.com

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LaserMax Turns Glock Green

The Compact, Internal Guide Rod Laser Is
Discreet And Still Fits Standard Holsters.

As we get older our bodies change rapidly and one of the changes is eyesight. I am blessed to still be able to see sights, however most senior citizens have problems with this. And in my case, even if there is no problem shooting outdoors, I do have problems indoors— even when shooting at an indoor range. The answer for those who find sight acquisition a real problem is the modern laser sight. I have various semi-automatics and revolvers equipped with lasers.

One of the most compact is the LaserMax Guide Rod Laser, which replaces the guide rod on a semi-automatic. One of my 1911 .45’s has been equipped with a red LaserMax for several years. The latest internal LaserMax is made for the Glock and has two significant improvements. Namely, the activation switch is smaller and much easier to operate, and red has now been replaced by green as the color of the beam.

Why green? Simply put, green offers higher visibility across all lighting conditions. It not only reaches out further than a red beam, it is also easier to see when light is present. The main use for a laser with most of us will be in a lowlight situation where the sights are hard to acquire. However, as mentioned earlier, for some of us sights are always hard to acquire and the laser helps this situation.

This newest LaserMax Green Guide Rod Laser is mounted in very close proximity to the barrel. It replaces the spring and guide rod on a Glock and the battery is inside this new guide rod. With most lasers there is either an attachment under the barrel, on one side of the firearm, or the grips are replaced with a slightly larger polymer pair, which houses the laser. With the LaserMax Guide Rod Laser, everything is inside the firearm itself and you can’t tell it is laser equipped by looking at the outside.

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Diamond Dot with the LaserMax Native Green Guide Rod Laser equipped
Glock .45 ACP. Notice it is not necessary to bring the sights up to
eye level. No John, other Taffins or books were harmed in this
demonstration with the unloaded Glock. Don’t try this at home.

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Everything needed to equip a Glock with a green laser
is included in this little plastic envelope.

The LaserMax Green Guide Rod Laser produces a pulsating green beam for increased visibility, and is easy to turn on with an ambidextrous activation switch. The switch on my 1911 needs to be rotated to activate the laser, however this newer Glock version simply needs to be pressed in from either the left or right side of the frame and is easily accomplished using the trigger finger. The entire unit adds less than 1 ounce of weight to my Glock .45 ACP Model 21. Battery-powered by a silver oxide battery, the LaserMax Green Laser has a battery life of 1 hour of continuous operation.

Installation is relatively simple. First remove the magazine—make sure the chamber is empty—and remove the slide. Then, slide lock and spring are removed and replaced by the LaserMax slide lock and spring. The LaserMax slide lock/laser switch combination is then installed to replace the Glock slide lock. This little item has white colored dots on one side and bumps on the bottom. It is installed with the white dots facing backwards towards the shooter and the bumps facing downward.

With the magazine still removed, the slide, new guide rod laser and spring are returned to the frame and cycled. The top of the new slide lock should return to the top of the slide lock notch. The slide should then be cycled several times, allowing it to fall forward under its recoil spring pressure to ensure it is seated in the frame. Replace the magazine and the Glock has now, “gone native green.”

When properly installed, the replacement LaserMax slide lock/laser switch works just as the original slide lock with the added versatility of being an activation switch. When the Glock 21 is grasped by the shooting hand, being it left or right, the trigger finger reaches up alongside the frame and pushes in on the laser switch. This turns on the green pulsating beam. To deactivate the laser, the switch is just pushed in from the other side. This laser switch protrudes a very small amount and will not interfere with holstering the LaserMax equipped Glock.

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The LaserMax Green Guide Rod Laser comes in a compact
package ready to install on a Glock.

As the laser is mounted in or on a firearm, the easiest way to sight in the laser beam is to align the sights on a particular target and then adjust the beam so it is right in front of the front sight or seems to be riding on top of it. When the LaserMax Green Guide Rod Laser was installed on my Glock, it already lined up perfectly. The Guide Rod Laser comes factory aligned for point of aim to match point of impact at 10 yards and is guaranteed to be within 1 inch with full-size guns and 1-1/2 inches with compact models. This is way more than adequate for a self-defense gun.

LaserMax has been producing lasers for 25 years and this Guide Rod Laser is covered with a 5-year warranty. My particular unit is installed on a .45 ACP Glock 21, however, LaserMax has units made to fit all Glock models. Consider it an inexpensive, paid-up life insurance policy.
By John Taffin

Guide Rod Laser

Maker: LaserMax
3495 Winton Place
Rochester NY 14623
(800) 527-3703
Battery: LMS-3×393
Accuracy: +/−2 inches POA at 20 yards
Laser Operating Temperature: -4 degrees F to 140 degrees F
Wavelength: 532nm
Power Output: <5mw
Price: $449

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The Uberti Silverboy .22 LR & .22 WMR

THESE TWO IMPORTED RIMFIRE LEVERGUNS
ARE QUITE SUITABLE FOR SMALL GAME, VARMINTS AND PLINKING.

Who could’ve ever looked in the future at the time the first successful leverguns and sixguns appeared in the 19th century and seen they would be running side-by-side with plastic polymer, high-capacity, semi-automatics as the most popular and most used firearms available?

gun, the Smith & Wesson .22 tip-up 7-shooter, goes back to 1857 and it was joined by the first Winchester levergun three years later. The .22 is probably our most popular cartridge and is currently chambered in just about everything considered a modern firearm as well as replicas of old original firearms.

The latest leverguns from Uberti take us all the way back to the days of the 1860 Henry and the 1866 Yellow Boy. They are the Silverboys offered in both .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum.

Both of these new leverguns are virtually identical except for the chamber marking inscribed on the top of the barrel in front of the receiver. Both versions have post front sights set in a dovetail, however, the rear sights are different, as the one found on the .22 Magnum can be adjusted for elevation using the notches usually found on levergun rear sights. However, the rear sight on the .22 Long Rifle Silverboy is just a simple, notched sight set in a dovetail.

Even though the .22 Magnum may have an adjustable rear sight, I could not get it to adjust enough when the rear sight was bottomed out. With my hold, and my ammo the rifle still shot 10 inches high at 50 yards. On the other hand, the nonadjustable .22 Long Rifle version was close enough at 40 yards, to still be useful.

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John found the short stroke of the Uberti Silverboys to make for a quick-handling rimfire.

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The only difference externally between the .22 Long Rifle (top) and .22 WMR Silverboy is the
rear sight is fixed on the .22 LR and the WMR has a rear sight with an elevator. Note the
loading is accomplished on the right side of the mag tube rather than the traditional
position underneath.

Firing at 40 yards with the .22 Long Rifle version, my best groups were right at 1-1/2 inches with Winchester’s bulk pack “525” ammunition, while Winchester’s Power Points did just barely over 1-inch at 50 yards with a scope in place (these were 9-shot groups). Both of these rifles were drilled and tapped for scope mount bases. However, I could not get anything out of Benelli—the importer—so I had my gunsmith Tom at Buckhorn make me a base. I used it first on the .22 Magnum since it was not usable with iron sights and then switched it over to the .22 Long Rifle Silverboy. In both cases I simply borrowed a scope from another .22 rifle I had on hand.

I was a little more frugal with my .22 Magnum ammunition since this is so hard to come by and rarely seen on dealer shelves these days. Three-shot groups were fired at 50 yards with two examples from CCI, the Maxi-Mag and Maxi-Mag HP coming in at 3/4 inch, while Winchester’s JHP and Super-X JHPs both grouped in just over 1/2 inch. This rifle is certainly accurate enough for varmint and small game hunting. It did not like the CCI super velocity Maxi-Mag +Vs nearly as well and its groups were well over 2 inches.

Both of these .22’s have chrome-plated alloy receivers and barrel bands with the balance of the metal parts being blued. Wood-to-metal fit is generally good with a slight overrun of wood on the buttstock where it meets the receiver. Too much is easily fixed, too little is a problem. The lever-action stroke to remove a fired case and chamber a new cartridge is relatively short. Both Silverboys feature controlled-round feeding which allows the rifle being fired from various angles. Trigger pulls feel very good with the .22 Long Rifle version measuring 6 pounds while the Magnum comes in at 3-1/2 pounds.

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Targets fired at 50 yards with a scope-sighted .22 Long Rifle
Silverboy show it quite capable of taking small game.

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Targets fired at 50 yards with a scope-sighted .22 Magnum Silverboy
show it, too, would be a good choice for small game and varmints.

Every .22 levergun I’ve ever seen features a magazine tube which is accessed by pulling a plunger forward until a silhouette cutout of a cartridge is exposed on the bottom of the tube. Cartridges are then loaded through this opening and dropped down the tube. Uberti has rotated the cut-out 90-degrees counterclockwise so this silhouette cut-out is now on the side— a very minor operation, which makes loading much easier.

Both Silverboys weigh in at 5.8 pounds with 19-inch barrels. They are light enough for easy carrying while at the same time being solid enough to give a big levergun feel. They should both serve for small game and varmints at suitable distances while the .22 Magnum can certainly be used for medium-size predators. Of course, both excel at the wonderful sport of plinking.
By John Taffin

Rifle: Silverboy
Maker & Importer: Uberti, USA
17603 Indian Head Hwy
Accokeek, MD 20607
(301) 283-6981
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/uberti/
Action Type: Lever action
Caliber: .22 LR or .22 WMR
Capacity: 14 +1 (.22 LR), 10+1 (.22 WMR)
Barrel Length: 19 inches
Overall Length: 37 inches
Weight: 5.8 pounds
Finish: Chrome plated receiver, blued barrel
Sights (.22 LR): Fixed, adjustable for windage, receiver drilled and tapped for scope
Sights (.22 WMR): Rear adjustable for windage & elevation, receiver drilled and tapped for scope
Stock: Walnut, Price: $589 (.22 LR), $599 (.22 WMR)

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Lionheart Compact 9mm

A Quality Personal-Defense Handgun Returns
To The American Market From South Korea.

Lionheart Industries of Redmond, Wa., is now importing high-quality personal-defense handguns based on the South Korean service pistol. Several full-size and compact variations are available and identified by acronym. My sample is the extremely attractive, top-of-the-line LH9CN for Lionheart 9mm, Novak Compact. More basic models have shorter alphanumeric names, but they all are built to the same high standards and wear the attractive and practical Cerakote hostile environment finish. My sample is 2-tone with a black slide and patriot brown frame and, combined with its size and overall symmetry, is a very nice-looking handgun.

The Daewoo Conglomerate designed the original pistol in the late 1980’s. The DP51 incorporated the common features of the locked-breech, double-action pistols including the cam-actuated locking sequence with barrel lugs that mated with internal lugs in the slide. A double-stack magazine held 13 rounds and Smith & Wesson 5906 magazines were a usable alternative.

A major selling point was the “Tri-Action” fire controls. The 51 had frame-mounted ambidextrous safety levers in combination with a trigger actuated passive firing pin block, allowing safe carry in the cocked-and-locked mode. Carefully capturing and lowering the hammer by releasing the trigger puts the pistol in the standard double-action first-shot mode. The shooter activates the third option by keeping his finger off the trigger and simply pushing the hammer forward to rest on the frame. The mainspring is under tension but the hammer is disconnected until a light pull on the trigger brings it back to full cock and set up for a single-action trigger pull. The manual safety disconnects the trigger but allows most of these manipulations to be performed with the safety engaged.

The “fast action” was borrowed from Fabrique Nationale and was designed for the Browning Hi-Power. The DP51 quickly established a reputation for reliability and shootability and owners continue to give them high marks. The Daewoo Company broke up due to economic and political factors, and the current pistols are made by an independent element of the former industrial giant.

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Demonstrating its primary role as a concealable personal-defense sidearm,
the LH9CN delivered consistent accuracy and speed on the Texas CHL Proficiency course.

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Kristina Woodruff is a tenured and highly respected homicide investigator
with the Waco, Texas, Police Department. She and her son, Cole, gave the Lion
Heart Compact high marks for ease of handling and utility as a personal-defense arm.

The compact LH version tested is 7 inches long, half an inch shorter with a 3.6-inch barrel opposed to the standard 4.1 inch of the standard version. The wide-body magazines supplied have 10- and 13-round capacities. Compact models weigh 25.7 ounces—down from the standard-sized pistol’s 28 ounces.

The Novak models have a standard dovetailed mounted Novak rear sight and a dovetailed post front with a white dot. Tritium and fiber optics are available as replacements. All components save the grips and external magazine bases are metal. Plastic is found nowhere else.

The full-length recoil spring guide is steel. The slide is forged of 4140 steel with a barrel of 4150 while the frame is 7075-T6 forged aluminum—top-grade materials selected to provide trouble-free service and engender pride of ownership. The pistol comes in a soft compartment zipper case with the usual cable lock, an owner’s manual and cleaning kit.

The Buffalo Bore Company has managed to maintain a steady supply of ammunition for the popular cartridges during the most severe ammunition shortage in the last 70 years (incidentally retaining enough components to continue load development). My stock of test ammunition ranged from mild and tractable standard-pressure 147-grain FMJ and JHP through a range of +P and +P+ loadings of 115- and 124-grain standard JHP’s and the hot 95-grain Barnes TAC lead-free HP. A sample of one of my handloads and a remnant of Hornady +P Critical Duty went into the mix. Over about 200 rounds there was one malfunction produced by shooter error—failing to fully seat the magazine—and another unexplained and minor failure to fully feed a 147-grain load.

A 25.7-ounce pistol with a 3.5-inch barrel and 5-pound single-action pull presents a certain level of challenge when shooting bench groups from my Caldwell rest. The results do not perfectly reflect the capabilities of the pistol or even the relative accuracy of the loads. Nevertheless, the results are about what I get shooting similar handguns.

The recoil was mild with my handloads and the standard pressure loads and there was quite a bit of muzzle rise with the hotter JHP loads. The recoil was never remotely uncomfortable or productive of a shift in my grip on the handgun. At our normal Texas qualification ranges, 3 to 15 yards, the LH9 made it easy to ace the Concealed Handgun License course. Toward the end of one range session, I tossed off a single-handed “NRA” slow-fire string that put 4 rounds in a 3-inch circle with a fifth round about 3 inches out.

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The Lionheart series is made with premium forged steel and aluminum,
well and closely fitted with an attractive and durable Cerakote ceramic finish.

I found the fast-action mode was quite convenient for shooting through the qualifier. It made it easy to return the gun to safe and, in the familiar, low-stress exercise, I seamlessly staged the hammer to full cock and then controlled release. Likely, in the crunch, fine motor control would fly out the window. The fast-action mode would become a straight pull through with no thought to staging. Without considerable and exclusive training with this mode, the defensive shooter would probably do better to select between the single action or the traditional DA option.

Waco, Texas, Homicide Detective Kristina Woodruff and her son Cole both shot the LH9CN and pretty much echoed my observations of its favorable shooting characteristics and esthetics. Woodruff, accustomed to the somewhat heavier “safe-action” of her Glock service pistol, did not argue with my caveat about the similar mode on the Lionheart.

The LH series comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Lionheart commissions dedicated holsters and ammo carriers from Edge Works Manufacturing Company.
By Mike Cumpston

Edge Works Manufacturing
1171 Halltown Rd
Jacksonville, NC 28546
(910) 455-9834
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/edge-works-manufacturing/

LH9CN
Maker: Lionheart Industries
7130 180th Avenue NE
Redmond, WA 98052
(888) 552-4743
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/lionheart-industries/
Action: Locked breech semi-auto
Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 10 or 13 Length: 7 inches
Barrel Length: 3.6 inches
Weight: 25.7 ounces
Sights: Novak rear, white dot front
Material: Steel slide, aluminum frame
Grips: Polymer
Finish: Cerakote
Price: $715


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A Luger Understudy

The Umarex Legends P.08.

The ever-growing world of action air pistols has been joined by a terrific spittin’ image of one of the all-time classic handguns. Introduced by Umarex USA, the pistol is an amazingly real-looking copy of the legendary Luger P.08. Marketed under the Umarex Legends line of world-renown handguns, the P.08 on test is a potent CO2-powered BB shooter mimicking the looks of the real Pistole Parabellum .08.

The name Luger, however, is nowhere to be found in the Umarex catalog or on the pistol itself, no doubt due to the fact the Stoeger company owns the rights to the Luger name. However, the model designation P.08 is universally recognized as Georg Luger’s genial creation.

The Luger P.08 has long been a favorite among handgun collectors and shooters everywhere. The pistol’s slim, graceful lines plus its superb balance and pointability are well known. Initially, the Luger was adopted as the official sidearm of the German armed forces and was also issued to German police. It was replaced as a general-issue military sidearm in the late 1930’s, as the Wehrmacht replaced it with the Walther P-38. However, the Luger continued to see extensive use during WWII, and it became a much-prized war trophy for American GI’s.

The Umarex P.08 is basically an exact look-alike of the real Luger. Just about all physical dimensions are very close to those of the real thing. Even the weight of 1.8 pounds approaches the 1.9 pounds of the 9mm P.08.

Construction of the BB P.08 is cast zinc alloy with a painted glossy black finish imitating the original blued steel most convincingly. The plastic grip plates are checkered plastic.

Shooting power is provided by one standard disposable 12-gram CO2 capsule. The latter fits in the grip by popping off the right grip plate. The realism goes so far as to adorn this BB shooter with a beefy rectangular bar on the rear of the receiver to attach a lanyard cord. Even the German word “Gesichert” is plainly impressed in the left rear of the receiver, as in the real centerfire P.08. The safety catch also pivots as in the real McCoy. When engaged, the manual safety disengages the trigger. Incidentally, the latter is made of plastic.

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The Umarex P.08 (above) duplicates the weight and “feel” of the
real 9mm Luger. The 12-gram CO2 capsule (below) fits in the grip.
The black plastic grip is easily removed for service.

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The magazine has capacity for up to 21 standard steel .177 or 4.5mm BB’s.
The BB magazine slides down out of the grip.

Unlike the real P.08, the Umarex BB copy incorporates a double-action trigger mechanism. No problem, since this pistol is not supposed to mimic the operation of the real P.08. In fact, the ubiquitous toggle of the Luger is a non-moving part of the pistol’s construction, although it’s so well done it could fool many folks into attempting to cock the pistol. I guess it would be too much to expect to have a CO2-powered blowback copy of the Luger.

The drop-free metal magazine can hold up to 21 BB’s. These can be fired rather quickly at a muzzle velocity of approximately 410 fps. During my tests I found I could empty approximately six and a half full magazines with each CO2 capsule. The power level of this BB P.08 is well in the realm of many popular CO2 BB pistols and plenty for drilling tin cans or even a marauding mouse. Accuracy was adequate for casual recreational use, especially since the sights don’t help much, as the rear sight in particular also imitates the shallow V of the original Luger.

The Umarex Legends P.08 offers stunningly realistic looks and a “feel” sure to please any Luger aficionado. Another point in its favor is this pistol’s retail price of just under $70. This price gets you a real handful of a pistol that can easily pass for the real Luger P.08.
By J.I. Galan

Legends P.08
Distributor: Umarex USA
7700 Chad Colley Blvd.
Ft. Smith, AR 72916
(476) 646-4210
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/umarex-usa/

Caliber: .177″ (4.5 mm)
Ammunition: Steel .177 BB’s
Magazine Capacity: 21
Mechanism: Double-action-only
Power Plant: 12 gram CO2 cartridge
Length Overall: 8.5 inches
Weight: 24 ounces
Barrel: 4.6-inch smoothbore
Sights: Fixed front and rear
Price: $73.30

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Innovative Pocket Power

The Boberg XR9-s 9mm.

The world is bursting at the seams with technology and advances in almost every field of endeavor. Is it any wonder that along comes a guy named Arne Boberg who spends years trying to solve the problem of handgun concealment while retaining the power of longer barreled pistols? Did he get it right?

As explained in a letter in the box with the pistol, “Arne Boberg saw a need for a small, more powerful firearm. He noticed that many manufacturers were taking their larger guns and cutting them down to make them smaller. Seeing that this made the firearms lose power and reliability, Boberg recognized that small firearms needed to be reinvented, not just repackaged.” Also, according to the letter, Arne spent several years developing the patented XRTM reverse-feeding mechanism.

Indeed, Boberg’s pistol is certainly an anomaly in the modern pistol genre. The one I am evaluating is designated the XR9-S. On the body of the pistol are the words, “Serial number S01199, 9mm Luger, Boberg Arms Corp., White Bear Lake, MN, USA.” Several models are available to include the “S” version for “Shorty” and the “L” version for “Long” in either all black, 2-tone or platinum. The long version also includes a rail to accept lights and/or laser devices.

I disassembled the pistol and sat there looking at it in wonder. I’m an engineer, but I have no idea how Arne figured this out. He had to keep the pistol small, yet keep the barrel is relatively normal in length—3.35 inches—somewhat longer than most pistols of its size.

Note that it is a full inch or more shorter than some of its competitors, is almost as light as the Ruger and has a barrel about as long as the Glock, which is much longer in overall length.

The grip/magazine is located under the breech, but still feels extremely comfortable in my hand. At first glance, it appears a bit odd, as though the grip had been misplaced. I found it exceedingly easy to fieldstrip, but I was a bit confused when trying to put it back together. A trip to the supplied manual fixed that. It is extremely easy to disassemble and assemble quickly. The parts are very well machined, and after taking it apart, I suspect quality control is watched closely. The pistol is double-action-only and the magazine holds seven rounds.

So how did Arne keep the overall length of the pistol so small and still keep the barrel long? He used a tong setup to extract a round from the magazine. It does that from the rearward position of the slide. Instead of the round being pushed from the magazine like most conventional pistols, the new round is extracted backward from the magazine. The tong, as I call it, has a slot on either side of it. The slot is pushed into the rim of the 9mm case. The tong then extracts the cartridge from the magazine and the slide carries it forward. The spent case is extracted a split second prior to that. Amazing!

What this system did was allow Arne to fashion a smaller O/A-length pistol while keeping the barrel as long as larger pistols. The gun was also made strong enough to allow shooting +P 9mm ammo. People poo-poo the 7+1 ammo amount, but it is difficult to develop a pistol small enough to conceal easily holding more rounds that is as slim. One of the major problems on a concealment pistol is grip length, which is why the Glock 26, 27 and the Ruger LD9 and others are so popular. Of course you can carry extended magazines as backup, but in the carry position, the shorter magazine is easier to conceal.

OB2-0314-2

A right side view shows the extractor and a portion of the barrel. The sights
have tritium dots on the rear and the front blade. The slide is made from
billet stainless steel, the frame from billet 7075-T6 aluminum.

OB2-0314-7

The Boberg XR9-S, though small in Jacob’s hands, shoots and reacts well.
It had a bit of a jump, as would be imagined for such a 9mm, but
Jacob could not fault the concept or performance.

Testing

I took the pistol to the range. Looking at the magazine, I thought loading ammo would be difficult. It was easy, but I found myself wanting to put the magazine in backwards. A few times at it, however, and it became second nature. Since the pistol pulls the case from the magazine, while others push the round from the magazine, it can be a bit confusing at first. A couple of friends showed up, and when I dissembled the pistol these guys, both engineers, were fascinated by how the piece functions.

I had two varieties of 9mm ammo, both from Black Hills. One was their 124-grain JHP, and the other was their 115-grain JHP +P. Boberg states some ammo will not function because the case is not crimped. The Black Hills’ case is, and we had no problem with the 50 rounds we shot. I did have two malfunctions, but neither were the fault of the pistol. You have to pull the slide all the way to the rear and release it quickly.

I had both friends shoot from 10 yards, five rounds at a time, from the standing, unsupported position. The trigger is reasonably light, and the company can supply springs for various pull weights. The change out is easy. Simply remove one side of the grip, remove the existing spring, insert the new one and replace the grip. The trigger pushes a relatively large hammer back until the sear releases it. My helpers had no trouble shooting decent groups from start to finish. Both are accomplished pistol shooters (which is why I had them help test the gun).

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The pistol is easily disassembled, resulting in only six parts: the lower grip portion, the barrel, the magazine, the blocking mechanism, the recoil spring and the slide. The pistol also features a rotating barrel to which the blocking mechanism, just to the right of the magazine in the picture, marries to the barrel, forcing the barrel to rotate slightly during recoil. Near the rear of the slide you can see the tong (bronze in color) with slots that moves into the case’s rim. When the slide moves to the rear, the tong pulls the case from the magazine.

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When Pete Hoffman, a lefty, took a turn, he posted a 5-round group,
a bit less than 2 inches with 9mm 124-grain Black Hills ammo.

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The very first round out of the XR9-S at 10 yards standing unsupported!
Jacob told the shooter, Chris Devlin, to stop and Jacob removed the target.

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Jacob hung a second target. At 10 yards, standing and unsupported, no one
could take much issue with these groups from a small pistol of the XR9-S’
size and DAO trigger. The black ring is only 2 inches.

For comparison, I had one of the fellows use the same ammo in his standard-size pistol. His 5-shot group was better, but not by much. Both were impressed with the Boberg. One of them slipped it in his front pocket. Knowing it was there, I still not could make it out. Since my wife’s mother was celebrating her 91st birthday in the big city, I stuck the Boberg in my front pocket and we took off to join the celebration. The streets were packed with tourists, bands, singers, painters, shopkeepers, etc. Not a soul knew I had the gun, not even the wife. It was no burden to carry at all.

The XR9 is pricey to be sure. Does it have any other cons? I struggle to say it did, if for no other reason than to say I am writing a fair article. One of the shooters for the trial is big and has big, meaty paws. The pistol jumps a bit, and he showed me that the rear was making little red marks at the point where the rear of the pistol contacts his hand. On the other hand, I am smaller and had no such problem.

Frankly, although the pistol is unusual, it is very well made and machined. I could not find fault with the finish, the mechanical parts or the functioning. It does take some amount of practice to master the gun, yet for what Arne was trying to accomplish, I give the Boberg very high marks. It is a marvel of engineering, innovation and quality.
By Jacob Gottfredson

XR9-S
Maker: Boberg Arms Corporation
1755 Commerce Ct
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
(651) 287-0617
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/boberg/

Caliber: 9mm+P
Capacity: 7+1
Barrel Length: 3.35 inches
Overall Length: 5.1 inches
Height: 4.2 inches
Width: 0.96 inches
Weight: 17.4 ounces
Finish: Platinum
Sights: Low-profile tritium night sights
Grips: Polymer
Price: $1,349 (tested), $995 (Standard)

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The Charter ARMS PitBull Revolver

This Rimless 9mm Needs No Clips.

About 2 years ago, Charter Arms addressed the problem of auto-pistol cartridges in a revolver and came up with a brilliant answer: Individual rim-contact levers inside the ejector star. Wisely, they introduced it in a Pitbull chambered for the .40 S&W cartridge, a round favored by many, including law enforcement.

Now, finally, they have made it for one of my favorite cartridges, the 9x19mm, also called the 9mm Luger. With the proper loads, the 9mm will come really close to the performance of the “10mm Lite,” and it will do it with a lot less felt recoil. This is an important factor for quick follow-up shots and for the recoil-sensitive.

In the past, designers solved the revolver/auto-pistol cartridge problem in various ways. Everyone knows about the half-moon clips that allowed the .45 ACP round to be used in revolvers. Later, there were full-moon clips and other methods that didn’t work as well. Finally, Nick Ecker, Terry Rush and the design team at Charter got it right.

In recent years I have noticed that in fit and finish, all of the Charter revolvers are excellent. On this one, the matte stainless steel surfaces are both attractive and non-reflective. The rubber grip fully encloses the grip frame and has recesses for all three fingers of the average hand at the front. On this defensive piece, the sights are non-adjustable, square-post front and square-notch rear.

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While shooting the Pitbull in double action (left), J.B. experienced some
vertical stringing with the CorBon 147-grain Match load. Firing single
action at 15 yards, the Pitbull delivered this 1.25-inch group.

OB1-0314-4

The Hornady Critical Defense ammo delivered this 2-inch group at 7 yards.

A steel shroud, integral with the barrel, encloses the ejector rod. The rod has ample travel for ejection of 9mm cases. Because of the continuous contact of the little rim-contact pieces, Charter includes a separate note with the instructions, advising you to point it upward and hit the rod smartly. I had no difficulty. Those nickel-plated Hornady Critical Defense cases slid out easily. Some of the brass cases required a more forceful slap.

On my Lyman Electronic Scale, the smooth and easy DA trigger pull averaged 11 pounds. I am pleased to report the trigger has a smooth face with no pesky ridges. The SA trigger pull is superb, with zero take-up and overtravel and a clean 3-pound let-off. My compliments to the final fitters at Charter.

After all these years, Charter is still making the firing pin in beryllium copper, and for good reason: I have never seen one broken. Also, way back in 1964, Charter was the first modern maker to reintroduce the transfer-bar firing system designed by Andrew Fyrberg in 1890. Since then many others have used it. If the trigger is not fully to the rear, the hammer can’t touch the firing pin.

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Six rounds, ready to go (above). Note that the case heads are fully recessed.
Look closely at the inner curve of the ejector (below), and you can see the
rim contact studs. Charter recommends holding the revolver vertical and
forcefully ejecting the cases.

OB1-0314-6B

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The compact Charter Arms Pitbull (above) is now available as a 6-shot 9mm Luger.
The ejector is shrouded and long enough to positively clear the empties.
The finish of the Pitbull 9mm (below) is an even matte stainless steel.

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At the Big Tree range, I tried out the 9mm Pitbull with two loads: Hornady’s Critical Defense with the 115-grain FTX bullet and a 147-grain FMJ Match load from CorBon. At 7 yards standing with a 2-hand hold, the Hornady load printed a neat 2-inch group, dead center, firing single action.
Firing double action at 7 yards, the CorBon load sort of walked up the target, the last three in the center ring. Finally, at about 15 yards, I tried some careful SA shots from a casual rest. The CorBon load printed an amazing little 1.25-inch group at dead center. For accuracy, this Charter gets top grades.
With both loads, the felt-recoil was moderate. That all-around rubber grip has a marvelous effect. As I mentioned earlier, the Pitbull in 9mm would be a good choice for anyone who is bothered by the sting of the heavy stuff. And, with loads like the Hornady Critical Defense, it’s going to be just as effective for personal protection.
By J.B. Wood

Pitbull
Maker: Charter Arms
18 Brewster Ln.
Shelton, CT 06484
(203) 922-1652
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/charter-arms/

Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 6
Weight: 22 ounces
Length: 6.75 inches
Height: 5 inches
Width: 1.45 inches
Barrel Length: 2.2 inches
Finish: Matte stainless steel
Grips: Wraparound rubber
Price: $465

Champion Traps & Targets
1 ATK Way
Anoka, MN 55303
(800) 831-0850
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/champion-traps-targets/

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The Mitchell PPSh 41/22

A “Fun Gun” Version Of The Widely
Used Soviet Submachine Gun.

They call it Volgograd now, but back then in the August of 1942, it was Stalingrad. As war-history scholars will know, heroic Russian troops withstood the Nazi siege and won. Today, above the city on Mamayev Hill, there is an impressive statue titled “Monument to the Soldier.” Well-done in stone, it depicts a bare-chested young defender. In his left hand is an excellent rendition of a PPSh 41 submachine gun.

The “Sh” part of the designation honors the designer, Georgi Semyonovich Shpagin. The “PP” stands for “Pistolet Pulemet,” which translates to “Pistol-Machinegun.” It was chambered for the 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridge, and was issued with a 35-round curved box magazine or a 71-round drum magazine. As with most Russian manufacture of that time, it was rather crudely made but worked perfectly.

For those who would like to remember Stalingrad, there is now a beautiful recreation of the PPSh 41. There’s no full-auto, of course, and the cartridge is .22 Long Rifle. For this, we can thank Don Mitchell and the Pietta factory in Italy. And, they have made it with far more precision than the workmen at Tula back in 1941.

The PPSh 41/22 comes with a 10-round magazine, in case you live in one of those states with an oppressive government. Optional, at extra cost, are a 30-round curved box and a 50-round drum. Both are also available “blocked” to 10 rounds, so you can have the “look” and still be legal. I live in a “free” state, and in my test-firing, I mostly used the 50-round drum. It worked flawlessly.

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The 3 magazines available include from (left to right) a
30-round curved, 10-round and the 50-round drum.

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The magazine catch is at the front of the triggerguard. The 10-round
magazine is shown for those in states requiring same.

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The manual safety is at the back of the receiver and rocks forward,
showing a red dot for “fire” or back showing a white dot for “safe.”

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The Mitchell PPSh 41/22 shot just fine. The test target (left) was fired
standing at 15 yards, and the target fired from a casual rest at 25 yards
(right) is 1.5 inches.

The walnut-stained hardwood stock and the matte-blue finish maintain the authentic appearance. The sights are square-post front and V-notch rear. The dovetail-mounted rear sight can be moved laterally. With the exception of the buttplate and the filler-piece around the magazine, the construction is all-steel and nicely done.

The magazine catch is inside the front of the triggerguard and is pushed forward to release. The safety lever is at the rear of the receiver on the right side. It goes forward to fire, rearward for on-safe, alternately showing a red or a white dot. The trigger pull on my gun has a minimal take-up, and breaks cleanly at 6 pounds. After some use, it will probably settle at around 5.

For trying out the PPSh 41/22, I used CCI Mini-Mags. Shooting was at 15 yards standing, and at 25 yards from a casual rest. Either way, the well-centered groups were around 3 inches. After doing the targets, I used up the rest of a drum on “targets of opportunity,” such as beech nuts and dirt clods. This was done holding it at belt level, no sights, like an SMG. It’s a “fun gun.”

With its inherent accuracy, though, you could use it on small game. And, for home- or ranch-defense, the bad guys just might think it’s a full-auto. Appearance-wise, it’s a PPSh 41. Considering the quality and performance, it’s reasonably priced at $495. If you want the 50-round drum, it goes for $149. The fantasy of defending at the siege of Stalingrad is free.
By J.B. Wood

PPSh 41/22
Manufacturer: Fratelli Pietta, Italy
Importer: Mitchell’S MAUSERS
P.O. Box 9295, Fountain Valley, CA 92728
(800) 274-4124
www.gunsmagazine.com/MITCHELLS-MAUSERS

Action: Blowback, semi-auto
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Weight: 4.4 to 5.1 pounds (depending on magazine)
Overall Length: 33.5 inches, Barrel Length: 16.1 inches
Stock: Walnut finished hardwood
Finish: Matte blue
Capacity: 10, 30 or 50
Price: $495

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