Most of the reviews I write for this site are done within a fairly short time of purchasing a new replica. However, I sometimes find that my initial impression changes over time. So this is the first of an occasional series where I take a look at a replica after I have owned and used it for a longer period of at least one year. Has my initial impression changed? Does it still work OK? Any problems or wear or tear? And probably most importantly, once the first excitement of ownership has worn off, is this a replica that I still shoot regularly or does it spend most of its time gathering dust at the back of the gun cabinet?
For the first in this series I’m looking once again at the Umarex Buck Mark URX which I purchased back in August 2020. You’ll find a link to the original review at the end of this one, but in brief, this is a break-barrel, single-shot, pellet shooting replica of the Browning Buck Mark target pistol produced as a licensed replica by Umarex.
The Story So Far
When my Buck Mark URX first arrived, I was impressed by its good weight and solid construction. I was less impressed when I tried to pull the trigger: straight out of the box, the pull weight was a fairly hefty eight pounds. With use, this rapidly reduced to between four and five pounds. Better, but IMHO, still a bit heavy for accurate target shooting.
I then tried a few things to try to reduce the trigger pull weight (you’ll find a link to that article at the end of this one) and it did improve, a little, though I still feel that it’s heavier than ideal.
The most important question is: do I shoot the Umarex Buck Mark URX often compared to my other replicas? And the answer is yes! I still like the same things that attracted me to this replica in the first place: i.e. I don’t need gas or CO2 and this replica is virtually unaffected by cold weather. Some of my Green Gas replicas get a bit breathless when the weather turns chilly so, over the winter, this is often the one I go to when I want a bit of paper-punching relaxation.
6 shots, 6m, freestanding, Gamo Match pellets using iron sights. Given that this is a replica rather than a specialist target-shooting air pistol, I’m happy with this group of just over 1” and I can replicate it regularly.
And it’s a satisfying target shooter. It still shoots about 1” above the point of aim at 6m, even with the rear sight adjusted as far as possible, but it’s spot-on for windage. I have also tried it with a Swiss Arms Red Dot sight fitted on the top rail, and using that optical sight it’s possible to get the point of aim and the point of impact to coincide precisely. Still feels a bit like cheating though…
The trigger pull feels much better and far lighter than it did when this replica first arrived. Now, it’s possible that is due to the changes I made, or it may simply be that the trigger action has lightened over time or it may even be that I have got used to it. Whatever, I find I can regularly put 6 pellets in or touching the black target centre circle at 6m, and that’s not something I can do with most of my other replicas.
OK, there is no blowback here and you have to load and shoot each pellet separately, but all I can say is that I find that after more than 18 months, I still enjoy shooting this one.
Wear and Tear/Technical Problems
Zip. No problems, no issues and the finish still looks almost new. There is a tiny wear point on the tip of the manual safety where the silver alloy is showing through, but it’s so small that it’s difficult to see in a photograph. The locking mechanism for the barrel is still working at 100% efficiency and nothing feels loose or worn.
I did read on another site that polishing the alloy sear can lead to accelerated wear that may cause this replica to fail to cock or to even to shoot when the safety is released. Well, I polished the sear in an effort to improve the heavy trigger pull, and I can report that mine is still working perfectly after (and I’m guessing here) somewhere between 750 – 1,000 shots since I improved the trigger pull.
Have I changed my mind since the original review?
Not really. I still feel that if the trigger pull was lighter, this would be even better. After an extended bout of shooting, I do sometimes suffer from an aching index finger. And the front sight is right where you want to grip the barrel to cock, though fortunately the barrel is long enough that you can cock it by gripping only the three inches or so between the sight and the break point.
Probably the most surprising thing for me over the last 18 months is how much I shoot this replica. I think the main factors here are accuracy and consistency. With a rifled barrel and shooting pellets, this is actually a fairly accurate air pistol. With the trigger pull improved so that it is no longer a factor, the main thing I need to address is my shooting technique. With the red-dot sight fitted, it’s all too obvious just how much the point of aim wanders around on the target. That forces me to work on my shooting technique in order to produce tighter groups, and that’s a different sort of challenge and one that I consistently enjoy.
So, would you want one?
This is an inexpensive replica and it’s just way more accurate than most BB shooters, which makes it very satisfying for target shooting. I mostly shoot at a range of 6m, but I believe that this replica would be perfectly adequate at 10m or longer range. It has been completely reliable in the eighteen months that I have owned it and is showing almost no signs of wear or distress.
After eighteen months of use, this replica still looks almost like new…
Being a break-barrel, single-shot air pistol, this is just never going to be able to replicate the functionality or feel of a firearm in the way that a CO2-powered, multi-shot replica with blowback can. However, if you are willing to accept its limitations, this is a fun shooter without the faff and fuss of CO2 or gas and it will shoot very nicely no matter how cold it is outside.