Full Auto BB Fun

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The Umarex Legends M712

The September 2014 issue carried my review of the Umarex Legends C96, a stunningly realistic BB-firing copy of the famous Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” semi-auto pistol. Given the fact that the Umarex C96 really imitated the looks of the selective-fire M712, I expressed my wish for Umarex to produce a BB-firing blowback copy of the M712.

Well, apparently the folks at Umarex were paying attention, because Umarex soon after marketed an incredibly realistic BB-firing copy of the M712, complete with semi-as well as fully-automatic fire capability.

Outwardly, the Umarex C96 and new M712 are almost indistinguishable from each other. Close inspection, however, reveals that while the C96 sports a molded synthetic body, the M712 has full-metal construction, tipping the scales at a hefty 3.1 pounds.

Dimensionally, both Umarex models are quite close, with the M712 being 12 inches overall and the C96 1/2-inch shorter. Their barrels are also slightly different: the C96 at 5-1/4 inches and the M712 at 5-1/2. The sights, grip plates and blowback action of both models are basically identical. As far as magazine capacity is concerned, the M712 takes a total of 18 BB’s, while the C96 can load 19. The M712, like the Umarex C96, sports an elevation-adjustable rear sight optimistically graduated to several hundred meters. It does, however, add to both pistols’ realism.

Both models employ a disposable 12-gram CO2 capsule for shooting power. Umarex rates the M712 at a muzzle velocity of 360 fps, as opposed to 380 for the C96. Both are still quite capable of drilling cans at reasonable distances and can also dispatch small pests at close range.

The original M712, initially designated the Model 1932, reportedly given the M712 designation by the German army, was chambered for the standard 7.63mm Mauser cartridge. These pistols are also known by the German moniker Schnellfeuer (fast fire) due to their full-auto capability. They were produced between 1932 and 1936, with a large number of them being exported to South America and China. A small number of these pistols were also supplied to the German army during WWII.

Firing offhand from 15 feet in semi-auto mode gave 3-inch groups. Full auto shredded aluminum soda cans.

The Umarex M712 (top) is a faithful copy of the real 7.63 mm Mauser M712 including offering fully auto fire. Jess (middle) puts the Umarex M712 through some real fun testing. Eye protection is important for all participants when shooting BB’s. A wooden holster/stock (bottom) from a non-firing Mauser C96 replica fits the Umarex M712 perfectly, although the M712 is a bit too bulky to be holstered even with the magazine removed.

The Umarex M712 is definitely a “must have” piece for anyone interested in Mauser broomhandle-type pistols. Like the original, the fire selector is located on the left side of the frame, above and behind the trigger. Pressing down on its button allows the selector to easily pivot between the semi-auto (N) and full-auto (R) positions.

Despite having a realistic blowback operation, the Umarex M712 does not have the same stout recoil of the C96 due to its heavier all-metal construction. Recoil is still felt, however, as the bolt kicks back strongly with every shot. This is more pronounced when firing in the full-auto mode. Just keep in mind your CO2 consumption increases significantly on full-auto. Long bursts are to be avoided to conserve CO2. Best results are obtained firing short bursts of three to four shots.

Tests quickly revealed just what a terrific plinker the M712 is in either firing mode, perfect for spirited plinking fun in the backyard. Just remember eye protection is a must because steel BB’s tend to ricochet strongly when they strike a solid object. Like the C96, the long barrel of the M712 produces ample accuracy for a smoothbore BB pistol. Using a 2-hand hold firing bursts of three to four shots, most BB’s grouped within a 3-inch circle at 15 feet. Deliberate, slow semi-auto fire ensured soft drink can hits at 20 feet. (The same cans are easily shredded on full-auto fire at the same distance.)

One additional fun factor of the M712 is that, like the original, it has a slot cut in the backstrap of the grip. This allows mounting a wooden holster/shoulder stock to turn the M712 into a nifty carbine. Years ago I obtained a non-firing replica of the C96 complete with wooden holster/stock from Collector’s Armory. Guess what? That holster/stock fits the test M712 perfectly. Although the long magazine does not allow the pistol to fit in the holster, it can readily be used as a shoulder stock, adding to the fun factor of this terrific BB spitter. My advice, if you purchase a Umarex M712, is to get an ample supply of CO2 and BB’s because once you start blasting away with this amazing replica of the Mauser M712, it’s hard to stop!

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