Anics SKIF A-3000/3003

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Anics replica air pistols are the anchovies of the replica world – you either love them or you hate them.  The Anics SKIF A-3000 series of non-blowback, multi-shot air pistols certainly seems to provoke very different reactions from owners.  Some praise this Russian replica’s rugged construction and claim good power and accuracy.  Others have found them to be roughly made and finished, unreliable and inaccurate.  I have owned two of these pistols and I suspect that answer lies in the expectations of prospective owners.  If you understand what you’re buying, you may like the A-3000 very much.  If you expect something that is as user friendly as equivalent replicas made in Germany, the US or Asia, you may be disappointed.

Because this review looks at several versions of the A-3000 series, I won’t be assigning scores.

The Anics SKIF A-3000 series

The JSC Anics Group was formed in Russia in 1995 and all Anics replicas have been produced since 2002 in a manufacturing facility in Klimovsk city, near Moscow.  The Anics Group produces a range of products using Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) technologies and this process is used to produce the slides on all Anics Replicas.

The Anics SKIF A-3000 series comprises four variants:

Released in 2001, the Original SKIF A-3000 has an all-black finish, a fully adjustable rear sight and a 4.5″ rifled barrel.

The SKIF A-3000 S, is identical to the A-3000 other than for a nickel finish slide.

The SKIF A-3000 LB, is identical to the A-3000 other than for the addition of a mock suppressor which is used to hide an extended 9″ rifled barrel.  This version of the A-3000 pistol was also sold in the UK and other areas by Brocock Ltd. as the Brocock F1.

The A-3003 Blackbird, was introduced in 2008 and appears to be mechanically identical to the A-3000 but has a re-designed slide with a smooth gloss black finish, a smaller fixed rear sight and revised cocking serrations.  I have also seen a Blackbird with a mock suppressor and extended barrel similar to the A-3000 LB, though this does not appear to be part of the current Anics range.

The Anics A-3000 series are not replicas of a specific pistol, though they do have some visual similarities to firearms such as the Walther P-22.  All versions have a metal slide, hammer, slide release, safety and internal parts and a polymer frame, grip and trigger.  All versions feature an under-barrel accessory rail and all use the same 28 shot conveyor type magazine. All versions are designed to shoot .177” pellets though they can also shoot 4.5mm steel BBs and .177” lead balls.

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SKIF A-3000 S

The slide on all versions of the A-3000 moves, but this is not a blowback replica.  The slide features a cut-away ejection port and can be locked back, but only when the magazine is removed.  The finish on the casting used for the slide on the A-3000 and 3000S is fairly rough though the slide on the later A-3003 Blackbird is notably smoother.  All versions are CO2 powered with the CO2 cartridge stored inside the grip and tightened and pierced using the same system of flaps and screws found on other Anics replicas.  Anics also sell a laser sight which is suitable for use with all versions of the A-3000.

I have owned both an original A-3000 and the A-3000 LB with extended barrel.  Unless otherwise noted, all comments in this article relate to my experience with these versions though I believe that the later A-3003 Blackbird is very similar in operation.

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Packaging and presentation

Like almost everything else about these replicas, even the packaging has notable good and bad points.  The A-3000 series pistols come in a foam-lined hard case, which is good.  Unfortunately it’s a very flimsy hard case, which is bad.  On both my Anics replicas, either the catches or hinges snapped on the cases and one case distorted so badly that the pellet tamping tool could fall out even with the case latched shut.  The larger case used for the LB does seem to be stronger than the standard case.

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SKIF A-3000S in hard case – note how distorted the edges of the case are.  Sadly, this is fairly normal.

All versions come with two magazines and a brass pellet tamping tool, which is good.  However, it’s essential to adjust and use the tool correctly to reduce jamming and the manual provides no guidance on how to do this, which is bad.

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My SKIF A-3000 LB came in a larger case with eggshell foam which seemed to be much stronger.

Appearance

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The A-3000 series look purposeful in a chunky sort of way.  Although not a replica of a specific firearm, they do have the look of a modern semi-auto pistol.  The finish on the slide of many A-3000s is slightly rough, and doesn’t entirely look as if it belongs with the polymer frame.  The later A-3003 has a shinier black slide with a smoother finish.  All markings on early versions are discretely engraved while on the A-3003 they’re laser etched in white.

Functionality

The A-3000 series use a moving barrel to actually fire the pistol.  As you pull the trigger, the inner barrel moves forward against a spring until it reaches the release point.  It then springs back against the firing valve, allowing the pistol to shoot.  The same system is used in a number of replica pistols from other manufacturers, and it’s generally efficient though it does contribute to a long, heavy trigger pull even in single action.

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In the A-3000 series up to 28 pellets are loaded into a drop-out transparent plastic conveyor type magazine.  Twenty-eight separate plastic pellet holders are arranged in a track inside the plastic housing, and indexing causes these plastic holders to shuffle round the track.  It isn’t a particularly efficient system and it takes a fair amount of force to move the pellet holders in their track.  The magazine is released by using the ambidextrous release in the base of the trigger guard.  This magazine is very similar to the 22 shot conveyor type magazines used on two other Anics replicas – The Berkut A-2002 and the Beretta A-9000S.  The A-3000 cannot be fired with the magazine removed – even with CO2 loaded, pulling the trigger with the magazine removed will cause the hammer to fall, but the pistol will not fire.

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Pellets are loaded from the rear of the magazine via an opening which gives access to just four of the pellets holders at a time.  However, you can only load three pellets at a time as you need to insert the long end of the brass tamping tool into the fourth holder and use this to drag the next empty holders to line up with the opening.  To reduce jamming, extreme care must be taken when loading pellets.  The supplied brass tool should be used to tamp pellets into each holders so that they sit clear of the front and rear edge of the holder (the tool can be adjusted by unscrewing the two halves to set the appropriate depth for different lengths of pellet).  Anics recommend pellets with an overall length of less than 7.6mm.  I found that both my A-3000s worked best with flat-fronted, target type pellets.  Although using the tamping tool is essential if you want to avoid jamming, this tool can distort the skirt of the pellet as it is pushed in to the holder, and it’s possible that this distortion may contribute to relatively poor accuracy with these pistols.  I like the idea of a large capacity magazine, but loading pellets into the A-3000 is so fiddly that I’d happily have settled for something with a lower capacity but that was easier to load.

Loading CO2 involves opening the piercing flap in the base of the grip, and then pressing the cartridge release button on the rear of the grip which allows the CO2 retaining gate to open.  A CO2 cartridge can then be inserted and the retaining gate can be clipped closed.  A screw is then finger tightened and finally the piercing flap is closed.  Generally loading CO2 is done without loss of gas, though it’s best to give the piercing flap a sharp slap to make sure it closes cleanly.   Overall, loading CO2 isn’t particularly difficult, just different to the systems found on most other CO2 pistols.

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Brocock F1 (SKIF A-3000 LB)

The slide on the A-3000 series can be racked and locked (though only with the magazine removed) and the slide release on the left side works as you’d expect.  These replicas also include a working manual safety on the left rear of the frame.  Take-down latches are provided on either side of the frame.  Pushing these down allows the rear of the slide to be retracted, raised, and the slide removed by moving it forward off the barrel.

The rear sight on the A-3000 models is fully adjustable using slotted screws for separate windage and elevation adjustment.  On the A-3003, only windage adjustment is provided.

Shooting

Once you have pellets and CO2 loaded, you’re ready to shoot.  The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up the A-3000 is the odd shape of the grip.  The curved lower part of the grip is much wider than the top.  Once you’re used to it, it’s easy to get a firm grip, but it feels slightly odd and might be an issue if you have smaller hands.  The second thing you’ll notice is the double-action trigger pull.  It’s horrible – long, heavy, scratchy and notably heavier just before release.  Anics claim a 9lbs double action pull, but on both my examples the pull was variable and peaked at over 12lbs.  The problem in double action is that pulling the trigger does several things.  It cocks the hammer, advances the next pellet in the conveyor magazine and moves the inner barrel forward.  The effort required to do all these things simultaneously results in a very heavy double action pull which in turn means that it’s very difficult indeed to achieve consistent accuracy in double action.  I found that after six or so shots, it was extremely difficult to maintain the sights on target during the long pull.  Fortunately, manually cocking the hammer (which also moves the barrel forward) gives a much lighter 5lbs single action pull though the first part of the pull still indexes the magazine even in single action.

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SKIF A-3000 with mock suppressor removed, showing extended barrel

On both my A-3000s, accuracy wasn’t great.  Partly this was due to the nasty double action trigger, but even rested and using single action, I couldn’t get better than 1½” – 2″ groups at six yards with occasional flyers.  Not particularly great for a pellet shooter with a rifled barrel.  Oddly, the A-3000 LB with the extended barrel didn’t seem to be any better than the original A-3000 in this respect.   The A-3000 can also be used to shoot 4.5mm steel BBs or .177″ lead balls, but I have only tested it with pellets.

Anics claim that the construction of the A-3000 (and the Berkut and A-9000S) provides “20 – 50%” more power than other equivalent air pistols.  On their website they claim up to 400fps for the A-3000 and up to 510fps for the LB version when shooting pellets and up to 560fps when shooting steel BBs. With pellets, my original A-3000 chronoed at around 380 – 400fps and my A-3000 LB at around 410 – 425fps, dependant on temperature.  These are perfectly respectable figures, but only a little better than other equivalent pellet shooting replicas and well short of the 500+fps I have seen claimed elsewhere when shooting pellets with these.  Incidentally, my power figures were measured in double action – for some reason, single action shooting gave around 10fps less on both pistols.

CO2 consumption is about average – I could generally get 50 – 60 shots from a single CO2, but in colder conditions I wasn’t able to shoot two full magazines before the A-3000 ran out of puff.  CO2 consumption seemed to be notably worse when shooting quickly.  I also had a number of random instances of low power shots on both pistols.  The gun would shoot, and a pellet would leave the barrel, but the sound was muted and the pellet seemed to move much more slowly than usual.  I’d guess that these were the result of some sort of partial misfeed rather than any inherent fault with the valve or CO2 system.

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A-3003 Blackbird

As a shooter, there isn’t a great deal to like about the A-3000.  Power is a little better than some other pellet shooting replicas but accuracy is just average and only achievable if you use the pistol in single action.  The double action trigger is so heavy that it’s almost unusable and the A-3000 series do seem to be prone to jammed pellets and random low power shots no matter how carefully you load the magazine.

However, it’s only fair to note that some owners report much better performance from the A-3000 series.  I have seen claims on other sites of over 500fps and consistent groupings of 1″ – 1½” for these replicas.  I don’t dispute these, but I can only say that the two versions I owned didn’t produce these levels of power or accuracy.

Quality and reliability

The A-3000 series generally seem to be well made and finished, but they do seem to be prone to frequent jamming.  If pellets aren’t very carefully tamped into the magazine, the conveyor may fail to index.  However, overenthusiastic tamping can distort skirts and cause a pellet to jam in the barrel, particularly if CO2 pressure is falling.  The worst possible problem is a pellet which jams halfway out of the magazine.  This will cause the pistol to lock up – the trigger can’t be pulled, the magazine won’t release and the slide cannot be removed.  The only remedy is to poke something down the barrel (after removing the CO2!) and try to force the pellet back into the magazine (some versions of the A-3000 come with a jam clearing rod for this purpose), or to knock the muzzle of the pistol against something solid in the hope that the pellet will move into the barrel.

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As the pellet holders in the Anics magazine are made of relatively soft plastic, they do wear over time.  If this happens, pellets won’t be held snugly in place and can slide back and fore, increasing the risk of jams.  Fortunately, replacement magazines are still widely available and relatively cheap.  If you have recurring issues with jamming on an elderly A-3000, it may be worth trying a replacement magazine.

The very heavy trigger pull is a major issue, and the conveyor magazine seems to be responsible for some of this.  Trying the trigger in double action with the magazine removed gave a pull of around 9lbs, still not great but much closer to the figure claimed by Anics.  The conveyor part of the magazine does seem to be very stiff, and dismantling the magazine and using silicone oil or grease to lubricate the channel through which the pellet holders travel does help.  However, doing this just makes the double action pull bad rather than horrible – nothing is going to turn an A-3000 into a creamy smooth shooter.

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Finish on all models seems to be durable, but the slide finish on all but the later A-3003 is very rough.  A number of owners have reported leaks with these replicas, especially from the main CO2 seal, though both of mine sealed perfectly.  I have even seen reports of valves exploding, breaking the slide, though again I have no direct experience of this.

Overall Impression

I have to admit that both my A-3000 replicas spent more time gathering dust at the back of the gun cabinet than being used.  Partly it’s the time-consuming loading process.  You do have to be very careful to tamp pellets down accurately in the magazine, though at least you do get 28 shots without reloading.  Partly it’s the horrible double action trigger pull.  It would be great to shoot off 28 pellets without having to cock the hammer, but unless you have a massively overdeveloped trigger finger, this isn’t going to be possible.  But mostly, it was the indifferent accuracy.  Even after taking time to load pellets carefully and cocking for each single action shot, neither of my A-3000s were particularly accurate.

Conclusion

When the SKIF A-3000 was introduced almost twenty years ago, there were relatively few multi-shot pellet pistols on the market.  Now there are many more to choose from and technology has moved on.  The A-3000 feels like a slightly quirky bit of Russian engineering and it doesn’t always compare well with other designs.  If you compare this replica to (for example) an Umarex Walther CP88 or one of the other early Umarex pellet shooters, you’re unlikely to be impressed.  The SKIF A-3000 is built like a T-72 tank. Which is sort of OK. But something like the Umarex CP88 is built like a 5 series BMW, which for most people is even better.

However, it’s not all bad.  The A-3000 series is robust with a durable finish and all versions come with a spare magazine, which is always welcome.  But you do have to put up with a very nasty double action trigger pull, average accuracy and CO2 consumption and these replicas do seem to be very prone to misfeeds and jamming.  If you don’t want to pay out for an Umarex pellet shooter, for a little less than you’d pay for an A-3000 you could buy a much more recent pellet shooting replica like the ASG CZ P-09 Duty.  The ASG replica doesn’t have a perfect trigger pull, but it’s way, way better than the A-3000 and it’s overall a much better shooter.  Given that, it’s difficult to see why you’d want an A-3000.

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However, if there is an A-3000 shaped gap in your collection, just make sure you take the time to adjust the pellet tamping tool to suit the pellets you’re using and use it every time you load.  Also consider trying new magazines if you continue to have jamming issues.

There are people on-line who will tell you that the SKIF A-3000 series are some of the most accurate and powerful replica pistols ever made.  Neither of mine were, but perhaps I was just unlucky?

Related posts

Anics Beretta A9000S review

ASG CZ P-09 Duty review

Umarex Walther CP88 review

Anics Beretta A-9000S

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Most replicas are based on successful and well-known pistols;  The Colt 1911, Beretta 92 and various models of Glock have long and distinguished histories and all have spawned lots of popular replicas.  The Anics Beretta A-9000S however, is a Russian-made replica of the Italian Beretta 9000S-F pistol.  The original was an Italian sports-car of pistols – styled by a prestigious design house, it featured fantastic styling but sadly wasn’t terribly practical and was quietly dropped from the Beretta range after less than four years.  The replica shares all the flaws of the original, but it’s an interesting pistol and fun to shoot.

Real steel background

For more information about Beretta, please see the WE Bulldog review (link at the bottom of this article).

In 2001 Beretta launched their first polymer framed pistol; the Beretta 9000S. Technically, the 9000S was fairly straightforward – it was a compact, polymer framed semi-automatic pistol with the traditional Beretta open-topped slide.  It was available chambered for either 9mm or .40 S&W rounds.  The Pistol was offered as the model D, with double action only and without a safety catch or de-cocking lever, or as the Model F with double and single action and complete with combined safety catch/decocker.  The pistol was intended chiefly as a concealed-carry weapon for civilian use.

It’s the visual design of the 9000S that is particularly interesting – it would probably be fair to describe this as a designer pistol.  Beretta contracted out the visual design to another Italian concern – the Giorgietto Giugiaro Design group based in Torino.  This group was responsible for such iconic automotive designs as the Lotus Esprit, De Lorean DMC-12 and Maserati Spyder though it had very little experience of firearm design.

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Looking at the pistol, it’s easy to see that something other than strict functional or engineering requirements dictated the design.  Take that odd, elongated, egg shaped takedown button/lever – it must be much more difficult and costly to manufacture than a regularly shaped item.  Same with the slide release, safety catch and magazine release.  All share swoopy, curved styling cues which reference features on the frame and grip.  Compare this to the brutal simplicity of something like a Glock and it’s easy to see that the 9000S is the product of a very different design philosophy.  This is a pistol designed specifically to look good in a Gucci handbag or a Salvatore Ferragamo shoulder holster.

Sadly, though it looked good, the 9000s had a number of practical problems.  Ergonomically it’s not great – the grip is both chunky and rather short, so it doesn’t really suit large or small hands and there is a long reach to the trigger in double action.  The hammer is small and recessed into the slide, making cocking imprecise and the foresight is large and angular, providing a potential snagging hazard for concealed carry. The smooth, curved shape of the slide may look good, but the small grip area is not easy to hold firmly, making racking the slide difficult.  In operation the 9000S proved to be less than totally reliable, gaining a reputation for frequent jamming.  It was also very heavy for a concealed-carry weapon at almost 1kg loaded.  It didn’t sell well and was dropped from the Beretta range after less than four years (though some of the visual design cues were repeated on the much more successful PX-4 Storm pistol).
The Anics A-9000S

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Anics Group JSC is a Moscow-based engineering company which has been producing CO2 powered replica airguns since 1995.  The company uses a process known as Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) to produce accurate large metal parts without machining (this process is used to produce the slide of this replica).  The Anics A-9000S is a licensed replica of the Beretta 9000S-F.  It shoots either .177 pellets or 4.5mm lead BBs from a 22 round conveyor style magazine through a 4.5″ rifled barrel.  CO2 is stored in the grip and the slide is moveable (though not blowback).  The frame and grip are of polymer construction while the slide and internal parts are metal.

Spec;

Calibre: .177mm pellet/4.5mm BB

Capacity: 22 round conveyor type magazine

Propellant: CO2

Barrel length: 4.5″ rifled

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Length: 7.7″

Sights: Non-adjustable, white dot

Action: SA/DA

Packaging and presentation  4/5

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The Anics A-9000S comes in a good quality black hard case lined with eggshell foam.  In addition to a brief user manual and conveyor magazine, the package also includes a useful tool for tamping down pellets into the magazine and a cleaning rod.

Visual accuracy  9/10

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Beretta 9000S (left), Anics A-9000S (right)

The Anics A-9000S is an extremely accurate visual replica of the Beretta 9000.  Every curve and whorl of the frame, grip and slide are accurately reproduced.  The complex shapes of the safety, magazine release, slide release and takedown button are also all faithfully replicated.  The overall size and profile are very close to the original.  In fact, the only visible differences between original and replica are a shiny slide on the Anics version and painted rather than engraved markings on the slide.

As a licensed replica, the Anics A-9000S includes a Beretta logo on the lower part of the grip.

Functional accuracy  10/15

Functional accuracy is good on the A-9000S.  All controls (safety/decocker, magazine release, slide release and takedown button) look and operate as they do on the original.  The slide on the replica is movable and can be locked back, but this isn’t a blowback pistol so the slide does not move when shooting.

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Beretta 9000S with slide locked back (left), Anics A-9000S (right)

This pistol has a drop-out magazine, though this isn’t full sized.  The only feature on the original which isn’t replicated is the distinctive upward tilt of the barrel when the slide is pulled fully back.  It’s also notable that the slide on the replica can be pulled back only around ½” compared to over 1″ on the original.

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The A-9000S can be field stripped as per the original through use of the takedown button on the lower front of the left side of the frame.  For such a small pistol, the 1.2 pound weight feels good, though this is just half the weight of the real pistol!

Shooting  25/40

Before shooting the Anics A-9000S you must first master the slightly idiosyncratic CO2 and pellet loading procedure.  Loading CO2 involves lifting the piercing flap, which allows the CO2 retaining gate to open.  The CO2 cartridge can then be inserted and the retaining gate closed.  A knurled screw is then finger tightened and finally the piercing flap is closed.  Generally loading CO2 is done without loss of gas, though it’s best to give the piercing flap a sharp slap to close cleanly.  I have occasionally found that tightening the screw and closing the flap fails to pierce the CO2 – particularly on those cartridges where the piercing face is slightly recessed.  In these cases, a blade screwdriver can be used to further tighten the screw, and this usually achieves leak-free piercing.  Overall, loading CO2 isn’t difficult, just different to most other CO2 pistols.

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Loading the conveyor magazine is a little fiddly.  A plastic window in the magazine is opened to reveal four pellet chambers.  Pellets are pressed into the chambers, though they must also be carefully tamped down to avoid jamming.  The conveyor is then moved on to reveal the next four chambers, and so on.  Due to the design of the magazine, the Anics A-9000 can only accommodate .177 pellets of up to 7.6mm length – anything longer simply won’t fit.  When all chambers are loaded, the plastic window is closed and the magazine inserted in the grip.  Loading requires a degree of care and isn’t particularly quick, but at least when you’re done you have 22 shots before re-loading.  Loading lead BBs is done in precisely the same way.

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Just as on the real weapon, the ambidextrous three-position safety catch incorporates a de-cocker.  The lower position is “fire”, the middle position is “safe” and the upper position safely de-cocks the hammer to a half-cocked position.  Moving the catch to the “safe” position then safely drops the hammer all the way.  The non-adjustable front and rear sights include white dots, with the foresight incorporating a particularly large and easily acquired dot.

Cocking the hammer for single action shooting, or the first part of the trigger pull in double action also indexes the conveyor magazine to bring the next pellet to the firing point.  The movement of the conveyor can clearly be felt even when manually cocking the small hammer and the DA trigger pull is very long and fairly heavy.  The long, heavy DA trigger action is exacerbated by the shape of the trigger, which is broad and angular.  However, the action is notably smoother than an Anics Berkut pistol which I used to own and which had a similar design.

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Slide locked back – this requires more effort than you might imagine

With the hammer cocked, the single action pull and release are light and crisp with no creep.  It would be nice to have the option of pulling back the slide to cock the hammer for SA shooting, but sadly this isn’t really feasible.  The slide features a very strong return spring and racking the slide also cocks the hammer and indexes the magazine.  A fair amount of effort is thus required and this, combined with the curved shape of the slide, shallow serrations, small grip area and slippery black paint mean that racking the slide requires the grip and tenacity of an angry gorilla.

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The grip on the A-9000, just like the original, is rather short but also fairly broad. So those with average to large sized hands may find that it’s easier to hold with the little finger below the grip.  People with smaller hands may not have this problem, but they will struggle with the broad grip and long reach to the trigger in double action.

The pistol shoots with a loud and satisfactory bang.  Power is reasonable;  using RWS Hobby 7.0gr pellets on a very chilly December day I got an average fps of 365 for a six shot string (with a high of 374 and a low of 356).  I haven’t tried shooting with lead BBs.  I can generally get 80 – 100 shots from a single CO2 without any major loss of power.

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22 rapid shots, six yards, RWS Hobby pellets.

I generally get groups in the order of around 1” – 1½” at six yards, and at that range it’s hitting on target for windage, but about ½” above the point of aim. However, within any full magazine I tend to get two or three flyers which can strike anything up to 3” from the point of aim.  These are unpredictable, though it does appear that the more shots I fire in quick succession, the more accurate it gets.  I generally shoot in single-action only.  I do find that for some reason this pistol is very sensitive to grip and technique.  It is necessary to be very focussed on stance, breathing and aimpoint to get the best out of it.

Quality and reliability  14/15

The Anics-9000S gives the impression of very high quality construction and finish.  I bought my A-9000S as a well-used second-hand example and it shows almost no signs of wear internally or externally.  I have had no misfeeds or jams with this pistol, though I know from experience of other Anics pistols that this is dependent on carefully tamping down each pellet while loading the conveyor magazine.

I’m not aware of any reported reliability problems with this pistol.

Overall Impression  10/15

The Anics A-9000S reminds me strongly of the Baikal MP-654K Makarov air pistol.  It has the same sturdy, well finished feel though the DA trigger pull on the Makarov is better and the slide on that pistol can be racked relatively easily.

The moving slide on the A-9000S is so difficult to rack that it is almost pointless.  This is easier if you first cock the hammer (and index the magazine), but in that case why would you want to rack the slide?  The grip is too short for big hands and too wide for small hands.  Accuracy isn’t bad, though with occasional flyers.  And yet, despite all this, I really enjoy shooting the A-9000S.  It’s a challenge to get decent groupings, but very satisfying when you do.

Conclusion

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The A-9000S has a number of flaws, many of which are inherited from the original pistol.  The Beretta 9000 is a polymer and metal testament to why  visual design should not be allowed to dictate the ergonomics of a pistol, though having said that I do think that it looks good and very distinctive.

The CO2 and pellet mechanisms in the A-9000S are quirky and less than perfect in operation.  And yet for reasons I struggle to explain rationally, this is one of my favourite replica air pistols to shoot.  While other more technically proficient pistols gather dust at the back of the gun cabinet, this one gets taken out often.  It’s certainly well made and finished and it’s a pleasant pistol to handle and shoot.  Perhaps the fact that this is a replica based on a little-known and not terribly successful original firearm probably doesn’t make it attractive to many potential buyers?

Overall, I’d recommend anyone who wants something a little different, and which is a challenge to shoot, to consider adding one of these to their collection.

Total score: 72/100

Related pages:

WE Bulldog (Beretta PX4 replica) review

Umarex Beretta PX4 Storm review