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The Golden Age Of Co2 Pistols

Discussion in 'Replica Airguns' started by Whisper, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. Whisper

    Whisper Engaging Member

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    I love collecting things, especially things I can play with, Dinky cars as a kid and as an adult … guns! :D

    This is my Umarex four kings collection and many people on this site will know a lot more about them than I do, so this post is more from a fan’s point of view, rather than a review.

    I suppose the four kings are from the Golden Age of C02 pistols what with their designs going back 25 years. The kings I own are from a much later production run and are only a few years old but the heritage is there and the design hasn’t changed much over the years.

    Walther CP88 /4" Barrel


    The CP88 is my favourite of the kings simply because I owned one from the first production run in 1996? I can’t remember the year exactly but I got rid of it soon after and regretted it ever since. Needless to say I bought it again a while back and won’t be making that mistake again.

    1.JPG

    2.JPG


    Beretta 92FS /5" Barrel


    My next favourite is the Beretta 92FS - not because it’s technically any better than any of the other kings but simply because I grew up on Die Hard and Lethal Weapon movies. Who didn’t want a Beretta as a teenager lol? I certainly did and while this isn’t a powder burner, in some ways it’s a lot better - as I can shoot this one in the garden whenever I feel like it without having to worry about the police jumping over my fence and shooting me.

    5.JPG

    6.JPG


    Colt Government A1 1911 /5" Barrel


    Next up is the Colt Government A1 1911. I love this pistol’s construction - it’s not a million miles away from a powder burning 1911 dimensionally and despite the lack of a moving top slide it looks very authentic when compared to the real steel version, imo at least.

    3.JPG

    4.JPG


    Smith & Wesson 686 /6" Barrel


    Probably the best of the kings: The Smith & Wesson 686. Accuracy is amazing and both single and double actions are buttery smooth, and it puts a smile on my face every time I pick it up. If you want to play out your Clint Eastwood, Rick Grimes or any one you ever saw on telly pointing a six inch barrel at anything from a bad guy to a zombie, this is the gun to do it.

    7.JPG

    8.JPG

    With each king having a fully rifled barrel ranging from the CP88’s 4 inch to the S&W’s 6 inch there’s a gun in the collection to suit all moods, ranges and shooting styles and if I didn’t like the BB smoothbore Glocks as much as I do I’d sell the other guns in my collection and spend my plinkin’ days solely in the company of kings.

    If anyone has the urge to post photos of their own kings they’d be welcome, although I know that kind of thing has already been done to death. Then again if rock groups can have comeback tours theres no reason why the kings can’t have them too lol.

    My final thoughts are why didn’t Umarex continue this wonderful series of pellet firing pistols? I believe three of the four kings are still in production but I haven’t seen a new pellet firing design from them since the four kings, or am I missing something?

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. td_boy

    td_boy Donator

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    The golden age of air pistols was the late 50's and 60's when Crosman produced arguably some of the best air pistol designs ever IMHO.
    Crosman 150, 600, 45, mk1/2, 38's and their western models.
    Most of today's models are just variations on an 8 shot basic revolver platform or weedy BB firers.
     
  3. Doyley83

    Doyley83 Previously 'thedoylemeister'

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    I'm not really qualified to comment on this statement as I have had no experience or exposure to the Crosman pistols mentioned, so I wouldn't argue against the fact that these were likely a huge step forward for pistol innovation.

    In my opinion however, I would say that the Umarex models mentioned by the OP were a huge step forward in terms of emulating the aesthetics of the real steel pistols and were probably the first decent quality licensed replications?
     
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  4. td_boy

    td_boy Donator

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    I suggest that honour too goes to the Crosman 38's having been specifically requested by the USAF as trainers for the base security units and air crews many of whom were located in far flung corners of the globe with no centrefire ranges on site.
    The model was made to emulate the S&W Combat Masterpiece model 15 which was the service issue sidearm at the time.
    So successful was it - it was also bought by both the police and FBI and used with a Crosman designed combat simulator with shoot or not-to-shoot scenarios.
    There are not many air pistols with that pedigree ;).
     
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  5. Doyley83

    Doyley83 Previously 'thedoylemeister'

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    Then it sounds like Umarex may have been standing on the shoulders of the Crosman giant!
     
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  6. Vulcanfreak

    Vulcanfreak Many a man hath less hair than wit

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    If your age wasn't visible in your profile, i would have immediately thought you to be a millenial with that selection/shortlist.
    @td_boy selection was much more appropriate.
    Unfortunately, and i do own a few, we are stuck with overpriced, monkey/pot metal replicas at the moment.
    As much as our saa, webley mkvi, glock etc etc etc are pleasing replicas, they are cheap quality, made for the masses, waiting to fail ok'ish replicas.
    Not having a go as i own a few and have recently added a few to my collection, however they are what they are.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  7. Doyley83

    Doyley83 Previously 'thedoylemeister'

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    I am a millennial (just about) and as such the Umarex pistols were all the rage when I was in my teens.

    I am however always happy to be educated, which is one of the reasons I like this forum so much. I've spent the last hour looking into the Crosman models listed by @td_boy. Every day is a school day!
     
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  8. td_boy

    td_boy Donator

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    If they interest you, try here : https://www.google.com/amp/s/worap....a-air-pistol-review-crosman-38-revolvers/amp/
    & here :
    http://cinedux.com/crosman-airguns.php
     
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  9. Doyley83

    Doyley83 Previously 'thedoylemeister'

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  10. td_boy

    td_boy Donator

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    I liked their slogan at the time; Power without Powder.
    :cool:
     
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  11. td_boy

    td_boy Donator

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    I reckon one of their Moving Picture Combat Simulators would be fantastic fun to have a go on.
    All you need really is a projector and a roll of paper and a means of stopping the image at the sound of the shot.
     
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  12. Whisper

    Whisper Engaging Member

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    After reading your post, very interesting it was btw, I did some Googling and read about the Crossman 38’s history. It was all a bit of an eye opener to be honest and very surprising at how similar the 686 design is to the Crossman 38. I find it fascinating that the design has been around so much longer than I realised and your reply has added a new dimension to my interest in these pistols, thanks for that. Like others have mentioned, the Crossman 38 is a part of air gun history to be discovered by those like me who didn’t know about it.
     
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  13. Whisper

    Whisper Engaging Member

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    I do understand your POV and I agree with your comments but like most mass market products that are available, you make your choices based on just that, what is available. That said, I have no issue at all with whatever these pistols are made out of and I think they’re really well made, perhaps not up to the standards of real steel firearms but if you asked me what I’d change on the pistols I’ve posted in the OP I’d struggle to tell you and even if I could, they’ed be minor things.

    I’ve had a few co2 pistols over the years, mainly BB that I’ve really felt were of a poor quality and they’ve been sold on but the current ones in my collection I’m very pleased with.

    I think looking for a level of expected quality in any product and not finding it leads to disappointment leaving the only real alternatives being to move away from the products themselves or enjoy them for what they are. I like to enjoy things for what they are.

    Thanks for the comments, different POVs make the thread more interesting.
     
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  14. Vulcanfreak

    Vulcanfreak Many a man hath less hair than wit

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    All valid comments, similar to my take on things really.

    I own quite a few of the replicas that i'm criticising.

    I just wish the manufacturers would up their game, improve their materials and charge more accordingly.
     
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  15. twodoctors

    twodoctors Air Pistol Hoarder...

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    Everyday is a school day as Doyle83 said.

    From my other posts you'll know that I don't rate the 4 "kings" very highly except for the SW586/686. The Crosman 38 looks interesting, I probably would have bought one myself if it was "launched tomorrow".

    Out of interest then, SW586 and Crosman 38T, side by side, which would you have picked? (for me based on the info from td_boy I would still pick the 586 because the trigger is ligther...)
     
  16. Whisper

    Whisper Engaging Member

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    I think the airsoft range generally have a better quality to them above the .177 pellet and bb firers but that’s not really something I’m into. I’m happy as a back garden plinker with my pellets and my BBs and my targets :up:
     
  17. td_boy

    td_boy Donator

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    The material quality depends what you've been exposed to...

    If all you've owned are Umarex models then they're not that bad...

    But, if you have ever owned or handled a post war Webley Senior - arguably the only air pistol ever made to truly firearm standards with beautiful cording and blueing - it's enough to make you cry! :D
     
  18. Whisper

    Whisper Engaging Member

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    I'd go for the Crossman 38 for its sheer original vintage appeal and I’d collect every poster, advertisement and magazine from that era that had a review of it. I love things like that and in fact I can probably do all of the things I’ve just mentioned. That’s my evening sorted out :) Hello old magazines on eBay!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  19. Whisper

    Whisper Engaging Member

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    I’m a pot metal Umarex boy through and through. No wonder I’m happy lol.
     
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  20. td_boy

    td_boy Donator

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    I've owned a 586 and to honest the triggers are pretty similar in pull weight.
    The 38's lockwork is smoother than the 586, but feels a little heavier because the blade is narrower.
    I think if you added a trigger shoe to the 38 it would nudge it.
    But the 38 just feels so much better in the hand, which is surprising given the rubber combat grips on the 586.

    PS the 586 got sold and I've still the Combat model 38 ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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