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Air Pistols

Discussion in 'Air Rifle & Pistol Discussion' started by slofyr, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. slofyr

    slofyr Seattle Member

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    If any of you get inspired by the Olympics to try air pistol shooting, I'll offer some info. You can spend around $50 for a pistol that will be accurate enough, or up to around $2K for an Olympic level pistol. The current trend among competitors are pre-charged pneumatics [PCP] which use a pressurized canister for power. Decades ago the spendy match pistols were spring-piston powered with complex recoil-canceling mechanisms. They were quite large and heavy handfuls which were challenging to shoot well. The evolution from that era were single-pump pneumatics [SSP's] which were smaller, lighter, and recoilless without the mechanical complexity. There are some very nice shooting SSP pistols in production today for much less money than the lofty PCPs.

    Just like firearms, what you get by spending more are better triggers, grip and sights, performance consistency, and nicer build fit and finish. With 22lr pistols, an affordable Ruger or Buckmark can shoot groups in the 10-ring just like a spendy Benelli, Pardini, or Walther if the guy pulling the trigger is dialed. It's the same with airguns. Below are some SSP air pistol options for basement Olympics, club league competitions, or consistently knocking beer cans off of fence posts. Unlike PCPs which require expensive supporting paraphernalia to charge them, the only addition needed to shoot an SSP is a tin of pellets.

    Btw, air pistol competitions are shot offhand from 10-meters [33 feet] at a 3 3/8" bullseye with a 10-ring measuring about 1/2" in diameter. Most of us mortals become friends with the 1 1/8" 9-ring.

    In order of price, all have adjustable sights:

    Beeman P-17 -- a Chinese clone of the Beeman P3, aka the HW40 made by Weihrauch in Germany. Not a bad shooter for $40. The guts vary a little in manufacturing quality from the P-3.

    Avanti 717 -- accurate enough but the balance is not spectacular making it difficult to hold steady. I list it because of the price point, but friends don't let friends buy this one [the P-17 has a better trigger]. $160

    Beeman P-3 -- similar grip mass and feel as a centerfire pistol, lightweight, high bore axis and sight line, surprisingly good trigger, capable of 10's if you cooperate. This is likely the best all-around fun gun, and very good for keeping you dialed when you can't go to the range with your firearms. $240

    IZH-46M -- Miles ahead of everything previously mentioned in design/function, build quality, and ease of operation; this is a true competition air pistol. All metal construction, extremely durable, adjustable sight and trigger, and adjustable grip. This pistol is so popular that Rink makes custom match grips for it. You don't need to be a master to shoot lots of 10's with a 46. The absolute best buy on the market. $480

    FAS-604 -- This pistol has been around since the 80's and is [IMO] what influenced the manufacture of the successful P3. By comparison, the P3 is a toy, though. The 604 is all metal and everything that the IZH-46 is, but in a smaller package with a size similar to a Buckmark or .45 centerfire. Like the IZH, it costs a fraction of the $2K match pistols but will hold it's own in competitions with them. You can buy a 604 with ambidextrous or adjustable grip for $795~$895.


    Just for comparison, here's a state-of-the-art Steyr for $2425 that will likely be seen at the Olympics.

    Sources:
    Air Guns and Airsoft Guns | Air Rifles, Air Pistols, BB Guns and Pellet Guns
    FAS 604 RDX - Larry's Guns Inc.
    FAS Air Pistols

    Avanti 717
    Daisy-Avanti-717_DY-717_lg.jpg


    Beeman P-17 and P-3
    Beeman-P3-BN-2360-air-pistol.jpg


    IZH-46m
    IZH-46M-Match-Pistol_IZH46M_pistol_lg.jpg


    FAS-604
    fas604pair.jpg

    Beeman-P17_BN-2004_pistol_lg.jpg

    Daisy-Avanti-717_DY-717_lg.jpg

    Beeman-P3-BN-2360-air-pistol.jpg

    IZH-46M-Match-Pistol_IZH46M_pistol_lg.jpg

    fas604pair.jpg
     
  2. nwsam

    nwsam Idaho Falls, ID Member

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    I agree with this 100%. It's a wonderful pistol, especially considering you don't need air canisters for it.
     
  3. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    I have small collection of air pistols from Walther LP3 and LP53, FAS604 [left and right hand Morini grips] up to my present competition pistol, a Steyr LP10 and it's five-shot cousin, the older LP5.

    I use the FAS604 to teach disabled people to shoot - here in UK it is a firm favourite with the pony club scene, too, and is, IMO the ONLY air pistol ever produced that EXACTLY mimics the feel of a real firearm. Back in the days I had the .22 and the .32 version as a set.

    tac
     
  4. slofyr

    slofyr Seattle Member

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    The 604's engineering is simply brilliant. Its ergonomics and balance get the same praise.


    fas604.jpg


    fas604vsfas602.jpg
     
  5. slofyr

    slofyr Seattle Member

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    The IZH46.....


    p1030735izh46.jpg
     
  6. slofyr

    slofyr Seattle Member

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    For you frugal shooters, there is the recoilless UBLO Model-1....


    macd.jpg