Improving the accuracy of the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c

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If you have read my review on the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c, you’ll know that I like it a lot. It’s a replica I shoot often and it gives consistent groups at six yards (the range at which I most often shoot). However, after a few hundred shots it shoots just over 2″ low using the recommended 0.2g BBs at that range. Now, I find that very irritating. I prefer a pistol that shoots high to one that shoots low, so I wondered if it might be possible to do something about it? The M&P 9c doesn’t have adjustable sights, I can’t easily modify the sights to improve things and I don’t want to fit a laser or some form of optical sight. So why not adjust the hop-up I hear you say? Well, in my experience with GBB pistols, hop-up makes little difference at six yards. It’s not completely ineffective, but I have found that adjusting hop-up will change the point of impact by only ½” or so at this range. Useful for fine-tuning, but not to correct an error of over 2″.

All the targets shown in this article were downloaded from the Umarex Boys Club forum (http://umarexboysclubforum.myfineforum.org/index.php), though I filled in the centre circle in black, just to give a clear and consistent aim point for testing.

Establishing a baseline

There is no point in trying to improve the accuracy of your replica until it is giving consistent results. A combination of the pistol wearing in and you getting used to it is likely to change where your shots are striking over the first few hundred shots. I have now used my S&W M&P 9c enough to be confident that, with 0.2g BBs, it shoots just over two inches low and a hair to the right at six yards. For all testing, I used the pistol rested (to remove as far as possible errors due to my technique) and for each test I fired a string of ten shots with a fresh fill of gas. Although I show only one picture of each set of results below, I shot many, many more in the course of researching this article.

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Ten shots, six yards, rested, 0.2g BBs. Group is 2″ and the centre of the group is just over 2″ below the point of aim (centre of the black circle)

BB weight

So, I have established the problem. But what’s the solution? The first thing to consider is BB weight. The recommended BB for this replica is 0.2g. In general, heavier BBs will lower the point of impact while lighter BBs will raise it. So, the first thing to try is 0.12g BBs to see if that will raise the point of impact.

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Ten shots, six yards, rested, 0.12g BBs. Group is 3.75″ and the centre of the group is approximately 1½” below the point of aim (centre of the black circle)

Sure enough, using the lighter BBs has raised the centre of the group by around ½”, but the grouping is much worse. It’s clear that I won’t be using 0.12g BBs in this pistol. Just to check, I also try heavier 0.25g BBs.

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Ten shots, six yards, rested, 0.25g BBs. Group is under 2″ but the centre of the group is almost 3″ below the point of aim (centre of the black circle)

As expected, the heavier BBs hit the target even lower, around 3″ from the point of aim. Grouping is good, but using different BB weights doesn’t seem to be the answer here.

So, what is the answer?

Next, time to have a look at the pistol and see if we can find anything that might be causing the problem. It doesn’t take long to find that the inner barrel is a very loose fit inside the outer barrel. With the pistol held level, the inner barrel is actually drooping slightly, which may be contributing to shooting low. The reason is easy to see.

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The brass inner barrel is fitted with an O ring near the muzzle end. This is generally a good idea, because it helps to stabilise the inner barrel inside the outer barrel. Unfortunately, it isn’t working at all here.

t8With the inner barrel in place, the O ring is actually within the wider, threaded section of the outer barrel and isn’t making contact with the outer barrel at all. Hopefully the diagram below explains the problem (sizes and gaps are obviously exaggerated for clarity).

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What can you do about it? A suppressor which screwed into the threaded part of the outer barrel might do the trick. If I had access to a lathe, I’d be tempted to cut a new O ring groove on the inner barrel about 15mm to the rear of the existing groove. This would then seat the O ring within the narrower (unthreaded) part of the outer barrel. However, I don’t have a lathe or a suppressor, so I need a simpler solution. The easiest is to add some packing to the bottom of the inside of the outer barrel, which will make the inner barrel sit straighter. After some experimentation, I used two layers of packing, each made up of a 3mm wide strip of duct tape approximately 40mm long, stuck inside the bottom of the outer barrel. Depending on what you use as packing you may need more or fewer layers. You’re aiming to have the inner barrel still able to move freely inside the outer barrel, but to be supported at the bottom. It’s a little fiddly to place the packing precisely, but it’s worth taking time to get it straight as if it’s off to one side, it will push the barrel off-centre.

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With the packing in place, I tried shooting some more, concentrating on 0.2g BBs.

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Ten shots, six yards, rested, 0.2g BBs, with barrel packing in place. Group is over 2″ but is centred much closer to the point of aim

OK, this is much better. It’s now time to start fine tuning by adjusting the hop-up. Moving one increment at a time, I tested until I was able to produce reasonable groups which are centred for elevation precisely on the point of aim.

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Ten shots, six yards, rested, 0.2g BBs, with barrel packing in place and hop-up adjusted. Excluding the flyer on the right, the group is under 2″ and is centred for elevation on the point of aim

Conclusion

Well, that was easy! With a minimum of effort, I have been able to improve the accuracy of my Cybergun S&W M&P 9c.  With a three inch barrel it’s never going to be a tack-driver, but at least now I’m consistently producing groups right on the point of aim. The additional packing inside the outer barrel can’t be seen at all, and after around 100 shots is showing no signs of coming loose or affecting the performance of the pistol.

A poor fit between inner and outer barrels is a common issue on GBB pistols. Sometimes it doesn’t cause major problems, though it can contribute to inconsistent grouping. In the case of the S&W M&P 9c, it seems to have been the cause of the pistol shooting low and this simple fix it has increased my enjoyment of this replica.

Buy:

You can buy the S&W M&P 9c at Pyramid Air here.

Related pages

Cybergun S&W M&P 9c review

Cybergun Smith & Wesson M&P 9c

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As you’ll know if you have read the review (link at the end of this article) I really liked the 6mm Walther PPQ M2 produced by VFC for Umarex. I looked around to see what else VFC have done, and found the S&W M&P in full size and compact versions, produced for Cybergun. I really like compact pistols and I rather like Smith & Wessons, so finding the next pistol to review wasn’t difficult. But would it be as good as the Walther? Well…

Real steel background

By the late 1980s, Smith & Wesson was in decline. Gun sales, especially in the lucrative US market, were relatively flat. Military and law enforcement agencies, the traditional market for S&W revolvers, were looking to swap their revolvers for semi-automatic weapons and Glock and Beretta were taking large chunks of the market away from S&W. By 1986, profits were 41% down compared to 1982. In 1987, S&W was bought over by British firm Tomkins PLC.

In 1994, S&W released their first polymer framed semi-automatic pistol – the generally unfavoured Sigma. In 1997 the firm were sued by Glock for trademark infringement which led to a multi-million dollar payment to Glock and modification of the Sigma. So there was a lot at stake when S&W started development of an all new semi-auto pistol intended primarily for law enforcement use in the early 2000s.

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S&W M&P 9mm

The outcome in 2005 was the S&W M&P series of semi auto pistols. Although these may look similar to other hammerless, polymer framed, short recoil operated, locked breech pistols, there are actually a couple of important differences. First of all, rather than being all polymer, a stainless steel chassis is cast inside the grip and frame. Providing, S&W claim, the lightness and good ergonomics of a polymer framed pistol with the strength and durability of a steel design. The design of the stainless steel slide is also different as the slide runs on four ovoid metal blocks at the corners of the frame. The M&P was initially available chambered for 9x19mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W cartridges and with barrel lengths from 3″ – 5″. In 2007 a version chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge was released with a 4.5″ barrel.

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S&W M&P 9c

In 2006 the M&P Compact was released, featuring a shorter grip, smaller magazine and 3.5″ barrel. The Compact version is functionally, technically and visually similar to the full size M&P. Like the full size version, the Compact is provided with a steel reinforced polymer frame and is available chambered for 9x19mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W cartridges.

The Cybergun Smith & Wesson M&P 9c

The Cybergun S&W M&P 9c is a replica of the 9mm compact version of the S&W M&P pistol. This is a gas powered, blowback, 6mm replica featuring a metal slide, polymer frame and grip (though without a steel chassis) and with full S&W markings. Cybergun also offer a full-size S&W M&P. The Cybergun S&W M&P 9C and the full size M&P are manufactured in Taiwan by Vega Force Company (VFC).

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There are a couple of other version of the M&P available in 6mm: KWC produce a version of the full-size M&P and WE Tech produce the Big Bird and Little Bird, which look very similar to the full size and compact M&P but aren’t licensed. And, by the way, a note to whoever chooses the model names at WE: Come on guys, “Big Bird” and “Little Bird” may sound fine in Taiwanese, but in English these are just really stupid names for guns, OK? Umarex also do two CO2 powered replicas of the M&P: the 4.5mm BB shooting M&P 40 and the .177 pellet and 4.5mm BB shooting M&P 45. Neither of the Umarex versions feature blowback.

Spec;

Calibre: 6mm

Magazine capacity: 14 BBs

Propellant: Airsoft gas

Barrel length: 3″

Weight: 580g

Overall length: 170mm

Sights: Front: fixed, blade, white dot. Rear: Windage adjustable, notch, white dots.

Action: SA only

Packaging and presentation 2/5

The Cybergun S&W M&P 9c comes in a rather plain card box and features the pistol, one magazine, two alternative backstraps and a short user manual.

sw2My M&P 9c arrived with an orange plastic tip glued in place. This was easily removed, but note that these orange tips are a legal requirement in some areas, so don’t remove this without first checking that this is OK where you live.

sw6This replica also comes with a small plastic bag containing some very tiny parts. There is a serial number plate (featuring what appears to be a unique serial number) and inserts for the front and rear sights. The sight inserts take the form of very small, opaque circular white inserts, and really tiny transparent inserts which fit inside these. Why VFC don’t just fit these at the factory, I can’t imagine. Take great care when fitting – one sneeze and they’re gone! Oh, and you also get a magazine insert which allows the pistol to be fired without BBs and without the slide locking back.

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My M&P 9c arrived totally lacking any lubricant and required a full lube before the slide would cycle reliably.

Visual accuracy 10/10

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S&W M&P Compact (above), Cybergun S&W M&P Compact (below)

Like the VFC Walther PPQ M2, this is about as good as it gets for visual accuracy. The Cybergun S&W M&P 9c is indistinguishable from the original firearm. Every line and contour of the original are replicated and all markings are precisely the same as on the original. There is nothing here that isn’t on the original -no “F” mark for the German market, no “Cal. 6mm“. Look, I particularly hate white safety text printed on my replicas, but even the safety text here (CAUTION CAPABLE OF FIRING WITH MAGAZINE REMOVED”) printed on the right of the slide is a copy of the text on original. Even the inner barrel is deeply recessed and difficult to see. I don’t see how you could have a better visual replica than this – full marks

Functional accuracy 14/15

At under 600g, the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c is light, but its small size makes the weight seem reasonable and it has very good balance. And it’s only around 20g lighter than the (unloaded) cartridge version.

sw9The slide moves through a full range of travel and locks back on empty. Both left and right slide release catches work (after a little modification – see the Quality and Reliability section below for more information). The takedown latch works as per the original. The S&W M&P 9c has no manual safety and can’t be de-cocked, once it is cocked, the only way to decock is to discharge the pistol without gas in the magazine.

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The magazine latches and releases as per the original. The trigger is a good replication of the original, with a short, light action. Even the two-piece trigger safety works as it should. If you try to pull the upper part of the trigger only, the pistol will not fire.

This is a very, very good functional replica and would make a useful training and practice weapon for users of the firearm version.

Shooting 28/40

Whether it shooting BBs or bullets, a pistol with a short barrel is generally going to be less accurate than a pistol with a long barrel. Part of the reason is that the longer barrel gives the projectile more time to stabilise, making flyers less likely. But the main reason is that the sight radius (the distance between the front and rear sights) is smaller on a short barrelled pistol. The shorter the sight radius, the harder it is for your eyes to detect minor changes in the position of the front sight. The S&W M&P 9c has a sight radius of just 140mm. Combine this with a 3″ barrel, and it’s clear this isn’t going to be winning any accuracy prizes.

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However, a small number of compact pistols have a grip that fits my hand perfectly, and the the S&W M&P 9c falls in to this category. The front of the grip is just long enough to allow a good grip with all my fingers, and the shorter rear of the grip has a curved end which fits precisely into the hollow of my palm, at the base of my thumb. The result is a pistol which seems to lock in to my hand perfectly, making it a pleasure to grip and shoot.

The blowback on this replica is strong and snappy, making it feel more powerful than it is. The sight inserts, though fiddly to fit, are easy to acquire and the sight picture is very good indeed. The result is a pistol that will shoot 2″ groups at six yards, which isn’t bad, though it does shoot about 1½” low with 0.20g BBs. However, it excels at rapid fire snap shooting, which does spread the groups out a little. It also locks back reliably on empty and (now that I have fixed the slide release – see the Quality and Reliability section below for more information) is completely ambidextrous. The magazine holds just 14 BBs (the manual says 16, but it’s not actually possible to squeeze more than 14 into the stubby loading chamber).

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Ten shots, six yards, 0.20g BBs, free standing

Target downloaded from: http://umarexboysclubforum.myfineforum.org/index.php

One of the things that really surprised me with the S&W M&P 9c was gas efficiency. With a relatively small size mag, I had expected two mags worth (28 shots) per fill. Maybe. What I got (at around 70°F and using Umarex Elite Force airsoft gas) was 55 – 60 full power shots per fill, with maybe 5 or six more before it ran out ofpuff. After around 50 shots, power and accuracy were dropping, but still, that’s almost four mags worth of full power shots from a single fill of a short, stubby magazine. Highly impressive.

Quality and reliability 9/15

There some really nice detail touches on the S&W M&P 9c. I like the unique serial number, the slide casting is very good indeed and the distinctive serrations are well replicated and crisply moulded. The outer barrel and slide rod are metal rather than plastic and the front sight is drifted in place rather than moulded. The finish on the slide is nicely done (though I don’t suppose it’ll be any more durable than the finish on any other Taiwanese replica) and matches the finish of the polymer frame very well. The alternate rubberised backstraps are a nice feature and ensure a good grip for most hand sizes and the sight inserts work very well. The finish on the slide looks reasonably durable and matches the finish on the frame and grip.

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However, there are things that just aren’t done well. Take the ambidextrous slide release for example. As a lefty, this is important to me, and it’s one of the reasons I bought this pistol. The internal mechanism appears to be faithfully modelled on the original, and should work on both sides. However, the operating arms and the sear which engages with the notch in the slide are made of plastic, and if you try to use the control on the right side of the gun, the whole arrangement flexes so much that it fails to release the slide. Looking on-line, most owners report the same thing (most other reviews actually describe the right-hand slide release as “non-functional“, which is sort of correct, but it certainly isn’t designed to be that way!), so I don’t think this is just a fault with mine. I find this very disappointing. What’s the point in spending time and money designing and manufacturing a feature to work, then executing it so poorly that it can’t possibly function? Beats me. It’s easily fixed (I’ll post a how-to article if anyone is interested) but it shouldn’t need to be.

And what about the outer barrel? It’s threaded, presumably to take a silencer, but the process of threading has caused the front 15mm or so to bulge slightly on mine, occasionally making it bind in the slide which fails to move fully forward. It’s also notable that the hole in the slide is oval rather than round, which is evident when looking at the front of the pistol and may be part of the reason it shoots low. And the magazine release is a one-piece plastic moulding which feels as if it’s made of the same soft plastic that was used on my Airfix toy soldiers back in the 1960s. These things don’t ruin this replica, but they do make me wonder if testing and quality control are concepts VFC are familiar with. And using plastic parts in hard-used components like the slide and magazine releases makes me question how long it will all keep working?

This isn’t a terrible quality replica by any means, but my feeling is that it’s not up to the standard of some other modern Taiwanese replicas and it certainly isn’t as good as, for example, the Walther PPQ which VFC also make. This seems as though it has been built down to a price to make a good visual replica but without ensuring efficient, reliable and long-lasting function.

Overall Impression 12/15

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Size comparison with the Umarex Walther PPQ M2

If replicas were dogs, this would be a Jack Russell puppy – small, a little ugly and a bit snappy, but kind of cute and lots of fun. Quality isn’t always fantastic and it’s not the most powerful or accurate shooter. But visually it’s indistinguishable from the cartridge version and it fits my hand perfectly. High quality, precision tool? No. But lots of fun all the same.

Conclusion

As noted above, I have mixed feelings about the Cybergun S&W M&P 9c. It has a couple of faults (the poor fit between outer barrel and slide, the bulge in the outer barrel and the non-functioning right hand slide release, for example) which could and should have been sorted before it left the factory. It’s also fairly light, I worry about how long some of the internal plastic components will last and the full-auto mode seems like a pointless gimmick.

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And yet, here’s the thing – I like it and enjoy shooting with it far more than the score below might suggest. It’s my go-to gun when I want a quick blast of airsoft therapy. It seems to fit my hand very well indeed and it’s just such fun to shoot. Snappy blowback, very good gas efficiency and just about enough power and accuracy to be lots of fun. I also like the way it looks – it’s difficult to see how you could have a more visually accurate replica. So, I’ll probably have to leave you to make your own decision on this one. If you like compact pistols, try handling and shooting one of these. If it feels as good to you as it does to me, you may want one despite its faults. If not, well, the VFC Walther PPQ M2 is still a fine replica…

Total score: 75/100

Buy:

You can buy the S&W M&P 9c at Pyramid Air here.

Video review

Related pages:

Umarex Walther PPQ M2 review

WE Bulldog (PX4 Storm) review

Links

S&W M&P 9c on the Cybergun site

Umarex S&W M&P 45

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I’ve been an avid shooter for over two decades. A great portion of my shooting has involved the use of low-cost .22 Long Rifle ammunition. However, after a mass shooting tragedy in late 2012, .22 rimfire ammunition is nowhere to be found in the United States. Consequently, in 2013, I turned to CO2 airguns to augment my desire for informal target shooting otherwise known as “plinking.” I have acquired several CO2 pistols, and one that has really impressed me is the Umarex S&W M&P 45 CO2 Pistol. It is a bargain priced replica that really shoots circles around many other guns that are out there. It is also a decent visual replica in its own right.

Real steel background

The S&W M&P series was introduced in 2005, but really didn’t appear on the market until 2006. It is no accident that it looks a little bit like the ubiquitous Glock. This is Smith & Wesson’s latest answer to the Glock. The M&P series evolved from the Sigma line which was Smith & Wesson’s first heir apparent to compete with the Glock brand. Joe Bergeron led the design team.

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The M&P series features a “Melonite” finish which is a proprietary coating. The pistols also ship with three interchangeable grip inserts to accommodate a variety of different hand sizes. This can be a selling point for law enforcement agencies that need to accommodate a variety of different hand sizes. Another feature is a unique hinged trigger mechanism. The M&P pistols are all polymer framed, striker-fired designs that were clearly inspired by the success of Glock. The most common variants are the full-size 9mm and .40 S&W versions. These full-size pistols have a substantial following with local and state law enforcement here in the U.S. There are also compact versions offered in both calibers that are popular civilian concealed carry guns. Lastly, the gun was later offered in a .45 acp version that is not very common among police forces, but is available for commercial sales.

The Umarex S&W M&P 45

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The Umarex S&W M&P 45 was introduced in 2011, a year after the introduction of the very similar Umarex PPQ. It is manufactured in Taiwan by Wingun for Umarex. It achieves an attractive price point that is a third or fourth of the price of the German-made Umarex Pellet Pistols. It even shares the same eight-shot rotary pellet holder that is interchangeable with the German pistols. However, unlike the German-made pellet pistols, the Wingun-made replicas are capable of shooting both pellets and BB’s. One difference between the Umarex PPQ and the Umarex S&W M&P 45 is that the latter offers the option of being cocked for a more precise single action shot by pulling back the rear part of the slide to pre-cock the mechanism which results in a shorter, lighter trigger pull.

Spec;

Calibre: 4.5mm

Magazine capacity: eight .177” pellets/ or BB’s

Propellant: CO2

Barrel length: 3.5”

Weight: 644g

Overall length: 8”

Sights: Front fixed, rear adjustable for windage only

Action: SA/DA

Packaging and presentation 1/5

My pistol arrived in a cheap, clam-shell, plastic bubble which I quickly discarded in “the bin.” It contained a manual, warranty card, obligatory safety warnings, one metal eight-shot rotary pellet holder, and one plastic eight-shot rotary BB holder. I would liked to have seen two of each type of holder, but this is an entry-level priced replica. I would also have preferred better packaging but in my country, this replica is marketed in mass market department stores. Although I acquired mine via mail order, I’ve seen it for sale at Wal-Mart department stores in a somewhat wider clam-shell packaging that includes two CO2 bulbs, a pair of safety glasses, and a small quantity of pellets and BB’s. This would be nice for folks who want to start shooting right away or to be given as a gift that contains all that is required for one to get started.

Visual accuracy 5/10

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S&W M&P 45 (above), Umarex S&W M&P 45 (below)

While I do not own a real S&W M&P 45 pistol, I have handled one in a local gun shop. Outwardly, this is a decent replica of the real firearm. It is rendered in high-grade plastic which includes the slide. It says “Stainless” on the slide just like the real steel firearm. Others have mentioned that this is ironic that “Stainless” in etched into the plastic slide of this plastic replica, but I appreciate the level of detail. I would have liked a metal slide, but that would have increased the price. The grip frame does look very much like a real gun. They’ve hidden the seam lines of the swing-out CO2 loading mechanism. The S&W trademarks are quite realistic. The three dot sights are yellow which simulate glow-in-the-dark night sights. The barrel is recessed by about half of an inch which also adds to the realism.

Functional accuracy 3/15

As others have pointed out, the Umarex Pellet Pistols are truly revolver mechanisms embedded in a semi-auto pistol inspired chassis. It must be an engineer’s nightmare to try to figure out ways of getting pellets into vertical magazines. However, the real center-fire S&W M&P series are striker-fired pistols with consistent longish trigger pulls much like double action revolvers. This is much different than a Glock trigger pull which has a rather short arc. The trigger pull of the Umarex S&W M&P 45 also feels much like a good double action revolver which was the intent of the real M&P series, I think. The firearm that this particular Umarex replica mimics happens to have one mode of firing unlike traditional double action firearms which really have two trigger modes. In this regard, this replica can be used in the same manner as the firearm unless one elects to pre-cock the mechanism for a deliberate single action shot.

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One notable difference is that the trigger on this replica is metal and not hinged plastic like the firearm. The manual safety is the typical Umarex set-up that is on the right side of the frame. It is unobtrusive, but not very user friendly. I usually take a new air pistol “off safe,” and leave it there for the duration of its service life. I typically forget that the manufacturers ship new pistols with their manual safety applied which always makes me wonder if I’ve received a defective pistol until I remember this fact and take the pistol off safe! This gun does not field strip, and really is a one-piece design. The only thing that is removable is the eight-shot pellet/ BB holder. The magazine release button doesn’t work, and is just a molded part of the frame. For loading/unloading CO2, the magazine base pad swings open to reveal the CO2 loading mechanism. It is an ingenious design, but I would have preferred the removable CO2 magazine of the German-made Umarex Walther P99 series. However, this would have likely resulted in a higher price point.

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Shooting 36/40

Shooting this pistol is pure joy, and really where this replica shines. To ready the pistol, the magazine base pad is swung open and a CO2 bulb is inserted. I find that all brands of CO2 work well with this gun. The plastic CO2 knob is tightened until the bulb is pierced. A loaded eight-shot pellet or BB holder is inserted. Shooting may commence if the safety is not engaged. As mentioned before, this pistol is capable of both single and double action shooting. I prefer to do the vast majority of my shooting double action, but I realize that others will likely use the single action mode more than I. Single action shooting does lend itself to testing various pellet brands by removing as many variables as possible. I think the double action trigger pull is quite smooth and light. My Wheeler Trigger Pull Scales only goes up to 8lbs. The DA pull maxes out the scales testing right at around 8lbs. The SA pull checks in at a consistent 7.5lbs, but is a much shorter arc. The three yellow dot sights are quite easy to see. The plastic rear sight is windage adjustable by the use of a small allen key which is not supplied with the pistol. I found my gun shot a little to the left, so I drifted the rear sight slightly to the right to adjust the point of impact. This pistol’s velocity is rated in the mid 300fps range. It is satisfyingly loud and clangs my airgun rated steel swinging target with some authority.

sw457I’ve read a number of Amazon.com reviews that complain that the pistol doesn’t work well with certain pellets. If a user only has one brand of pellets on hand, they may be out of luck if the pellets aren’t compatible with this pistol. I concur, as I have also found that the Umarex S&W M&P 45 is a very pellet specific shooter from a reliability standpoint. Its eight-shot pellet holder binds with several brands of wadcutter pellets. It’s best not to force the trigger pull if this happens. I found that my specimen works best with Beeman Wadcutter and Winchester Flat Nosed Pellets which are both made in China. Between those two brands, the best accuracy was achieved with the Winchester branded pellets. Off-hand, using the factory sights at six yards, I was able to keep five out of eight shots within an inch and a half bulls eye. The other 3 shots brought the group size up to 3.5”. I have not tried the pistol with BB’s. I fall into the camp that does not want to compromise a rifled steel barrel by shooting steel BB’s through it. I also appreciate pellet shooting replicas for their accuracy potential. In this regard, I find pellet shooters most similar to shooting firearms. However, it’s nice to have options. Umarex has given the buyer of the Umarex S&W M&P 45 and the PPQ the option of using lower cost steel BB’s. This is nice for folks that are on a tight budget and may only be able to afford to shoot BB’s in this relatively low-cost replica.

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Quality and reliability 12/15

Color me impressed, as this does appear to be a quality Taiwanese produced item. Conversely, it does strike me as a somewhat disposable pistol as compared to the higher priced Umarex models. For example, it doesn’t look like it would be easy to take this pistol apart to replace a seal as in a vintage Crosman. However, at the entry-level price point, I’d be willing to replace it with a new one if it ever quit working. I didn’t find any reports of issues on the internet about users having mechanical problems that couldn’t be attributed to pellet selection. I’ve shot it quite a bit in the year that I have owned it, and it hasn’t skipped a beat. The CO2 loading mechanism seems well executed, and is spring loaded. However, it wouldn’t be good if it were to fail, as it would impact the grip interface of the pistol. It might result in a “loose grip” feel. The finish is the typical dull black polymer that is seen on the grip frames of many genuine firearms and has held up quite well.

Overall Impression 13/15

This has quickly become one of my top three favorite pellet shooting replicas. There is just something about the ergonomics of this gun and the smooth trigger pull that makes me reach for it before many others that I own. It often accompanies me on my trips to the local “fun” club. I sometimes fit the pistol with a Swiss Arms Universal Pistol Tactical Weaver/Picatinny Rail, and I use a Tasco BKRD30 Red Dot sight. I also own it’s stablemate, the Umarex PPQ, which is a fine pistol in its own right, but the PPQ just doesn’t feel as good in my hands. I realize that this is very subjective, and I am proud to have both pistols in my collection.

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Conclusion

As previously stated, I would have liked to have seen this pistol with a metal slide and a removable CO2 magazine. I would gladly pay 3-4 times for such a pistol. However, the Umarex S&W M&P 45 hits a price point that is quite low for the amount of features that it has. For example, it costs about as much as three 50 round boxes of .45 acp ammunition. For the price of 150 centerfire rounds, one can obtain an “under study” pistol for practicing shooting fundamentals. This gun should attract buyers that are new to CO2 pistols, and might not be able to afford a more expensive Umarex Replica. This is a lot of gun for the money. I can recommend it to experienced collectors and shooters without reservation.

sw455

Total score: 70/100

Ryan from the US

Links

Umarex web site

Buy:

You can buy this pistol at Pyramid Air here.

Related pages

Umarex Walther CP99 review

Umarex Colt 1911 review

Umarex Walther CP88 review