Webley has its own history with air guns and the new Mk VI air pistol (bottom) is an accurate BB-cartridge-firing copy of the maker’s original Mk VI (top), which was produced from 1915 to 1923. World War Supply made the holster shown and John Bianchi crafted the Sam Browne belt. (<a target=blank href=http://webleymkvi.com>http://webleymkvi.com</a>)
Umarex has duplicated the Mauser C96 in exacting detail. The gun at top is an original circa-1930 Broomhandle with its wooden shoulder stock holster. The 712 is an accurate copy of the circa-1932 select-fire Mauser. The removable box magazines hold the CO2 capsule and 18 steel BBs. (<a target=blank href=http://www.umarexusa.com/Legends-M712-177-Black.html>http://www.umarexusa.com</a>)
Developed in Belgium in 1895, the Nagant revolver was one of the most advanced designs of its time. Designed by Leon and Emile Nagant and manufactured at their armory in Liege, Belgium, the brothers were already famous for the 1891 Mosin-Nagant rifle. Adopted as the standard-issue handgun for the Russian Army, the seven-shot, 7.62mm Nagant was also carried by Russian police and the KGB. Gletcher’s all-metal, .177-caliber air pistol replica accurately reproduces the original pistol’s features and, like the Webley revolver, uses reloadable brass BB cartridges, making this a true DA/SA revolver. The MSRP is $180. (<a target=blank href=http://gletcherguns.com>http://www.gletcherguns.com</a>; 877-969-0909)
Striving for authenticity once again, the Umarex Legends Luger P.08 uses a Luger-style magazine that contains both the 12-gram CO2 capsule and a charge of 21 steel BBs, allowing for additional magazines to be carried for quick and authentic reloads. The Luger operates exactly like the original with a blowback toggle action. The pistol’s all-metal construction provides the weight (32 ounces) and heft of a real P.08 semi-auto. Developed in 1898 and put into production in 1900, the P.08 is another of the earliest semi-auto designs that saw use in both WWI and WWII. It is also one of the most recognized handguns in the world. The Umarex reproduction does Georg Luger proud. The MSRP is just $119. (<a target=blank href=http://www.umarexusa.com/Legends-P-08-Air-Pistol.html>http://www.umarexusa.com</a>)
By combining the CO2 canister and BB magazine into one piece, Umarex’s Makarov provides authentic loading and the classic lines of the Russian original, complete with plastic grips emblazoned with a Russian star. The air pistol also delivers the weight (24 ounces) and balance of the real 9x18mm pistol designed by Nikolai Makarov in 1951. Intended to replace the aging Takarev TT-33, the pistol was essentially a Russian version of the Walther PP. The Makarov remained in use by the Soviet military and police for over half a century and is still popular throughout the world. The all-metal, blowback-action BB pistol holds 16 BBs. The MSRP is $91. (<a target=blank href=http://www.umarexusa.com/Legends-Makarov.html>http://www.umarexusa.com</a>)
There is an almost inexplicable attraction to early military revolvers and semi-automatic pistols that has not diminished with the passing of years. Aside from the Colt Model 1911, most are of foreign origin and you can count them on one hand: the Mauser C96 Broomhandle, the British Empire’s venerated .455-caliber Webley Mk VI revolver, the Belgian Nagant seven-shot revolver carried by Russian soldiers in two World Wars, and lest we forget one of Germany’s most famous military sidearms, the Luger P.08 Parabellum. These, along with early post-war military handguns like the popular Russian Makarov semi-auto, have been faithfully recreated as high-quality .177-caliber air pistols.
In recreating these historic handguns as air pistols, manufacturers like Umarex, which has an exclusive Legends line that includes the Mauser M712 select-fire C96 Broomhandle, the Luger P.08 and the Makarov semi-auto, eschew the use of plastics in manufacturing these timeless pistols by using all metal components to provide durability and accurate styling as well as the proper weight and methods of operation. How authentic are they? The Mauser C96 and Webley Mk VI models pictured are shown alongside the real guns, and it takes a second look to tell one from the other!
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