The Mindful Shooter: Zen and the Art of Replica Pistols

Zen Buddhism and replica pistol shooting. Two things that you might suspect don’t have much in common, but you’d be wrong…

Here’s the situation; you have got yourself a nice, accurate shooting replica, you have learned appropriate stance, grip and sight picture and yet, you still can’t get those shots to group the way you want. Maybe there’s a bit of your technique you have forgotten to work on? The bit that lives between your ears, for example? Like most activities that require intense concentration, shooting any kind of pistol needs mental as well as physical preparation if you are going to do it well.

Image: 3.0 Brazil via WikiMedia Commons

Something that many athletes and top sports people are now using to improve their focus and concentration is mindfulness, a concept taken from Zen Buddhism. In this article I want to talk about how this relates to replica pistol shooting. OK, I know, it’s probably not what you were expecting when you arrived at a site devoted to replica guns, but bear with me for a few moments – there may actually be something here for all of us. And don’t worry, there’s no extra charge and you won’t have to shave your head or give up burgers in order to use these techniques.

Kenjuu Do – The way of the pistol

One of the reasons I enjoy target shooting with replica pistols (or any other type of pistol) is that it demands absolute focus if you are to achieve consistently decent results. You just can’t shoot accurately if you’re thinking about that proposal that must be finished for Friday or whether that strange smell in your son’s bedroom really is incense as he claims or some other less socially acceptable herbal substance. After a good shooting session I generally feel strangely relaxed and worry-free. So I was fascinated to discover something called Kenjuu Do, a precept of Japanese Zen Buddhist philosophy which translates roughly as “the way of the pistol”. This uses pistol shooting both as a form of meditation and as a practical way to learn aspects of Zen Buddhism.

The ideogram for The Way of the Pistol

It may initially seem strange to talk about target shooting with a pistol as a form of meditation, but it actually makes sense if you think about it. Pistol target shooting isn’t just a physical act. Certainly you need to get things like grip, stance and breathing right but it also involves the correct mental preparation and approach. If your mental approach is wrong, you just can’t shoot well. I suspect that this need for focus and mental engagement while you’re shooting helps to distract you from the worries and concerns of everyday life and that this is part of what makes you feel relaxed and content afterwards.

Zen provides ways to tune your mental approach for target shooting and suggests that the approaches and techniques used to improve your shooting can also be applied to other aspects of your life. I’m not a Buddhist or a practitioner of Zen or any other philosophy but I do find some of the teachings relating to Kenjuu Do fascinating and I thought I’d share them with you. Will they make you a better shooter? Maybe. Will you become a Zen Master? Almost certainly not. But you might just learn something about our hobby and why it makes you feel the way it does.

The path to enlightenment via replica guns? Take a Crosman MKI and add a little bit of Zen philosophy…

Zen: Oneness of body and mind

Zen is based on a subset of Buddhist teaching and was originally propounded in China in the 8th Century before becoming established in Japan in the 14th Century. The word Zen is an English derivative of the Japanese word dhyana which means “to think“. It’s important to remember that Zen is not a religion in the conventional sense. That is, it does not ask you believe in anything supernatural nor does it offer a set of rules to be followed in order to receive benefits in an afterlife. Rather it provides guidance on how to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. In Zen Buddhist terms this is known as reaching enlightenment. Part of this involves achieving fusion between mind and body so that the two operate in harmony.

The Horyu-Ji temple at Nara was one of the earliest Buddhist temples in Japan

When Zen Buddhism reached Japan it became integrated with the existing warrior ethos and tempered with a more practical view of how to achieve enlightenment. This often used seemingly ordinary tasks such as flower arranging or gardening and used them as arts (or “Ways”) that helped lead to spiritual growth. These activities were not done just for their physical results but also because they helped to learn mindfulness, an attitude that can be applied to other things. Archery (Kyudo) and later pistol shooting were seen as perfect Zen activities which required a combination of physical discipline and mental focus. To me, one of th e most interesting things about Zen thinking is the way in which it can be applied to almost any activity (including of course, motorcycle maintenance!).

But how, you might reasonably ask, does all this relate to shooting your replica pistols? Well, let’s have a look at four linked precepts of Kenjuu Do and see if they can be used to improve your shooting. Bear in mind that I’m not in any way a Zen expert and what you have here is simply my understanding of how some elements of Zen can be applied to our hobby. To find out more about Zen Buddhism in general and Kenjuu Do in particular, you’ll find a link at the end of the article to a website that describes all of this in more detail.

The Empty Mind

“In shooting, you learn more about yourself than any other sport.”

Frank Higginson

One of the central tenets of Zen is the ability to remain calm and retain mental balance in all circumstances. This is called achieving mushin, an “empty mind”. This shouldn’t be confused with the state of mental blankness which can be induced simply by watching back-to-back episodes of America’s Next Top Model. In Zen terms, achieving an empty mind means focusing completely on the present moment, accepting responsibility for your actions and, where these haven’t achieved the desired result, calmly trying again without allowing emotions or thoughts of success or failure to intrude. Achieving an empty mind involves removing all of the seven “defilements” which can upset mental balance. These are:

    Happiness (Yorokobu)

    Anger (Okoru)

    Greed (Urei)

    Expectation (Omou)

    Sadness (Kanashimu)

    Terror (Osoreru)

    Surprise (Odoroku)

“Tranquillity in tranquillity is not true tranquillity; it is tranquillity in action that is the true tranquillity”

Extract from the Fudochi Shinmyoroku (Divine Record Of Immovable Wisdom) by the Zen priest Takuan

We all lead busy lives and these leave us constantly filled with conflicting thoughts and emotions. That’s perfectly normal. However, target shooting gives you the chance to practice consciously clearing away all of these. If you use a pistol capable of accurate shooting but you don’t achieve the accuracy you expect, the problem may lie in your mental approach. For example, does this sound familiar; you’re shooting a string of ten shots. You get to number eight, and you can see that all the previous shots are grouped nicely, right in the centre of the target. If you can just do as well with the next three, you’ll beat your own best previous effort… Except of course that you won’t. Because as soon as your mind is filled with the defilements of excitement and happiness, your shooting gets worse.

When you take up your stance for shooting, you should consciously try to practice ensuring that you don’t feel excitement, concern, stress, worry or anything else. Instead, focus completely on the present shot without thinking about previous or subsequent shots. It’s not easy, but if you can do it, this will almost certainly help you to shoot better. It’s the fact that accurate pistol shooting demands that you clear your mind before and during the activity that has led some people to describe this as a perfect example of Zen standing meditation.

One shot, then die

“When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”

Shunryu Suzuki, Sōtō Zen master and teacher

The Japanese phrase “Issha Zetsumei” is sometimes used in Kenjuu Do. The direct translation is something like “one shot and then die”. The concept comes from the idea of a dying soldier on the battlefield who has only a single shot left. This soldier will have no other opportunity to leave his mark upon the world other than through this single shot. Zen teaches that there are no second chances in life and that everything you do should be approached with 100% focus and attention, just like the dying soldier. Each thing you do, no matter how ordinary it may be, should be approached as if it is the single most important thing in your life.

If you are not completely focused on what you are doing, or if you start thinking about what has gone before or what may happen in the future, it distracts from the here and now and your performance suffers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should literally approach each shot as if it were your last, but rather that you must take each shot separately and individually. Zen teaches that people often spend too much time thinking about the past and planning for the future. If instead you focus completely on the present moment you will achieve more satisfactory results. When you are shooting, don’t be distracted by what has gone before or possible aggregate scores. Don’t get angry if the previous shot was bad or excited if it was good. Instead, remain calm and try to bring all your attention and focus to the present shot. Like achieving an empty mind, this isn’t easy and it takes conscious effort.

Focus on the target

“Right concentration keeps the mind and body working together properly… They will not miss the target, nor will they be deluded or distracted from the Right Path of Life.“

The teachings of Buddha

One of the things that Buddhism teaches is the importance of focus or “right concentration.” To whatever you are doing, you should give absolute concentration and avoid distraction or irrelevancy.

One of my favourite Zen parables concerns a Japanese Zen master archer. While teaching his young pupils, one day he told them that he wanted to demonstrate an important lesson. He had them cover his eyes so that he could not see, then he took aim and shot an arrow towards the target. The pupils were embarrassed to note that he completely missed the target – they had imagined that he would somehow use his Zen skills to shoot accurately even when he could not see the target. He removed the blindfold and explained that he wanted to illustrate that, if you want to succeed, you must always focus on the target.

OK, Duh! If you want to shoot accurately, you need to focus on the target. Who’d have guessed? But actually this idea links closely with the first two ideas. To shoot well, you must be completely focused on the target. If you allow yourself to be distracted by anything else you will shoot less accurately.

Intuitive awareness

“Thousands of repetitions and out of one’s true self perfection emerges.”

Zen saying

Another precept of Zen Buddhism involves attaining what is called an “intuitive understanding” of any activity. In part, this is achieved through frequent repetition. If you do something often enough, you cease to think about it consciously and instead it becomes understood at a much deeper level. This true of any activity but particularly those which require mental and physical co-ordination. Multiple world champion racing driver Ayrton Senna spoke about how, on a couple of occasions, he was able to set his fastest laps after attaining a state where he was no longer conscious of driving the car and instead seemed to be watching himself from outside. The same things apply to more mundane activities that we all undertake. When you drive to work in the morning, you almost certainly aren’t thinking about gear changes, braking points and steering. You have done these things so often that instead they become fused into a single activity which you do for the most part without conscious thought leaving you free to focus on the whole process of driving safely.

The same things apply to target shooting. If you are consciously thinking about your stance, grip, breathing, sight picture, score or any other specific element, you will not shoot well. If you practice often enough these things will become intuitive and automatic and you will reach a point where you will be able to focus instead on the process of shooting as a whole rather than thinking about its individual elements.

Conclusion

“The shooting practitioner does not look at the target for the result of his or her practice, but inward, for the target is not a target – it is a mirror. And if the heart is right, each shot clears away some more of the obstacles clouding the vision of one’s true nature.”

Zen in the art of pistol shooting website

If you can apply these four techniques to your shooting, you may be on the way to what Zen describes as “shooter, bullet and target as one.” If you achieve this, shooting ceases to be composed of several different activities and becomes instead a single, intuitively understood process where the shooter, the gun and the target are all involved. Zen also suggests that the mental disciplines and techniques developed for target shooting can be applied to everyday life – that’s one of the reasons that both archery and shooting are used as a part of the teaching of Zen philosophy.

This has been a very quick look at Zen as it relates to replica pistol shooting. I hope there is something here you may find useful and that may even help to improve your shooting. In shooting, as in many other activities, mental preparation and training can be just as important as other techniques. Zen thinking is one way of approaching this. And if anyone accuses you of wasting your time playing with toy guns in the future you can explain that you’re actually exploring the precepts of Zen philosophy!

May your aim be true and your shooting free of defilement.

Links

If you’re interested in learning more, here is a website that provides much more detail about both Kenjuu Do and Zen Buddhism:

https://www.bullseyepistol.com/zeninfo.htm

Many of the images used in this article come from a collection of photographs of real Samurai taken in Japan between 1860 and 1880. You can see more of the collection here:

History Collection Samurai photographs

Umarex Beretta 92 FS

921

The Beretta 92 FS was one of four (or five, if you count the RWS C225) CO2 powered, pellet shooting semi-auto replicas introduced by Umarex between 1996 – 2000. All shared similar mechanical design, with a rotary pellet holder concealed within a cast zinc alloy body with a moveable front part of the slide which gives access to the loading area. Sixteen years after it was launched, the 92 FS is still part of the Umarex range and is still popular with shooters and collectors. But can a design that’s almost vintage by replica standards really be that good?

Real steel background

The Beretta 92 FS is a development of the original Model 92 and a result of the outcome of the complicated, confusing and controversial process by which the US military selected its new service sidearm in the 70s and 80s.

9212

Early Beretta 92 with frame-mounted safety

The Beretta 92 design originated in the early 1970s and was intended as a replacement for the elderly Beretta M951. Launched in 1975, the 92 is a short recoil operated, locked breech pistol with an aluminium frame and a distinctive cut-away slide that has become a feature of Beretta pistols. The 92 is chambered for the 9x19mm round, can be operated in SA and DA modes and has an exposed hammer. The earliest models featured a frame mounted safety but the 92S launched in 1976 and all subsequent models featured a slide mounted safety.

The Beretta 92 was adopted by the Brazilian army in 1977 and by Italian law enforcement and military units in 1978. In 1979 the United States Air Force (USAF) was instructed to hold trials to find a replacement for all US military M1911A1 and 38 Special revolvers. The Joint Services Small Arms Program (JSSAP) represented a massive opportunity for sales and semi-auto pistols were submitted by Colt (with the SSP, a development of the 1911 design in stainless steel), Heckler & Koch (with the P95 and the futuristic VP70), Smith & Wesson (with the Model 459), Star Firearms (with the M28) and FN (with variants of the Hi-Power). Beretta submitted the 92S-1, a slightly modified version of the 92S.

In 1980, after over one year of testing, the USAF declared the Beretta 92S-1 the winner. However, that wasn’t the end of the story. In 1981, the US Army challenged the outcome of the JSSAP in Congress, claiming amongst other things that the USAF had used the “wrong kind of mud” in tests. In early 1982, the US Department of Defence declared the results of the JSSAP void, and ordered the US Army to conduct a new series of trials. In May 1982, the US Army declared that all pistols submitted had failed the required tests and this second trial was abandoned.

In 1983, Congress instructed the US Army to re-start testing, this time under the designation XM9 Service Pistol Trial. Pistols were submitted by Smith & Wesson (Model 459A), Heckler & Koch (P7M8 and M13) , Walther (P88), SIG-Sauer (P226), Steyr and FN. Beretta submitted the 92F, a further modification of the original 92 design with a new finish and a re-shaped grip and trigger guard. Testing continued until September 1984 but the announcement of the result was delayed by a legal challenge from H&K and S&W after their designs were eliminated from the trial. Finally, in January 1985, the US Army announced the adoption of the Beretta 92F as the M92 pistol. Orders were placed for over 300,000 pistols.

9210

US Navy personnel training with the Beretta M9

And that, you might think, would be the end of the story. Except it wasn’t. The M9 was adopted by, amongst many other units, the US Navy SEALs. Several M9s used by SEAL units suffered catastrophic failures, where the slide split in two and the rear half of the slide struck the shooter in the face (“You aren’t a Navy SEAL, Until you’ve tasted Italian steel.“). At the same time lobbying in Congress by S&W resulted in the announcement of yet another trial in early 1989, the XM10 Service Pistol Trial. Beretta submitted the 92 FS, modified with a slide over-travel stop and a re-worked hammer to prevent a broken slide from striking the shooter in the face (the failures in SEAL M92s were later found to be due to the use of over-pressure ammunition rather than any inherent defect in the M9). In May 1989, the Beretta 92 FS was declared the winner (for the third time!) and orders were placed for an additional 60,000 M9s.

So, it took ten years, four rounds of testing, several allegations of misconduct, a Congressional inquiry, legal action, a major fall-out between the US Army and the USAF and a huge amount of suspicion and ill-feeling, but in 1989 the Beretta 92 FS was finally accepted as the standard sidearm for the US Military.

The Umarex Beretta 92 FS

Released in 1998, the Umarex Beretta 92 FS is a replica of the pistol used by the US military and followed the design of the Walther CP88 and Colt 1911 which had preceded it. It’s an all-metal design and up to eight .177″ pellets are held in a rotary holder which is loaded by pressing down on the takedown lever, which allows the front part of the slide to move forward, exposing the loading area. CO2 is retained inside the grip and accessed by removing the right side grip. The ambidextrous slide mounted safety is fully operational though it does not incorporate a de-cocking function.

922

Early glossy black finish 92 FS with walnut grips

The 92 FS was originally available in black or nickel finish with black plastic or walnut grips. The original black finish was a glossy, polished finish but this was later changed to a more matt, bead-blasted finish. In 2014, a matt grey finish version was introduced as the 92 FS Sniper Grey. All versions are mechanically identical.

Umarex originally supplied a (non-functioning) compensator in black and nickel finish as an accessory for the 92 FS. Unlike the Umarex Walther CP88, the compensator on the 92 FS is not used to conceal a longer barrel or to increase the sight radius – it’s just a cosmetic addition and I’m not certain that it is still available. Umarex also supply a rail which can be attached in place of the rear sight and which allows the mounting of an optical sight.

Spec;

Calibre: .177″ pellet

Magazine capacity: 8 pellets

Propellant: CO2

Barrel length: 4.52″ rifled

Weight: 1260g

Overall length: 210mm

Sights: Notch and post, rear sight has windage adjustment

Action: SA/DA

Packaging and presentation 4/5

924

Gloss finish 92 FS in early style case

The Umarex Beretta is supplied in a plastic hard case with a foam insert. Earlier models were supplied in a blue hard case with foam cut-away to accept the pistol and accessories. Later models are supplied in a black case with generic, eggshell type foam. All versions are supplied with two rotary pellet carriers and a hex key for sight adjustment and both styles of case can be used to store the 92 FS with a compensator attached.

Visual accuracy 9/10

925

Beretta 92 FS (left), Umarex Beretta 92 FS (right)

The Umarex Beretta 92 FS is a very good visual replica of the original. Every line and contour of the original is accurately reproduced, the sharpness and details of the castings is outstanding and the join between the front and rear part of the slide is unobtrusive and concealed by the slide serrations. The safety, takedown lever and magazine release are all operational (even though they don’t perform the same function as they do on the original) and even the non-functional slide release is cast as a separate part and looks convincing. The looks are enhanced by accurate Beretta markings on the slide and grips.

Functional accuracy 5/15

Given its design, the Umarex Beretta 92 FS is never going to be as a functional replica as a blowback design. The rear part of the slide doesn’t move, there is no drop-out magazine, there is virtually no felt recoil when shooting and only the manual safety operates in the same way as it does on the original (though it doesn’t include a de-cocking function).

929

That said, this has more convincing weight and heft than most blowback replicas. It’s one of the few replicas which actually weighs more than the loaded cartridge version. The hammer and trigger action are also very close to those of the original. So, ironically, while it doesn’t mimic the functionality of a cartridge firing semi-auto pistol, this handles and shoots more like a firearm than many more functionally accurate replicas.

Shooting 37/40

CO2 is retained inside the grip and the CO2 chamber is accessed by pressing the magazine release, which causes the right side grip to pop out. A hinged pad at the base of the grip is pulled down, the thumbwheel is loosened and the CO2 cartridge is placed inside. The thumbwheel is then tightened, and the CO2 is pierced by pressing the hinged pad flat against the base of the grip. This is best done with a sharp slap from the palm of the hand – if you try to close the pad slowly, there will be a notable loss of gas.

926Pellets are then loaded into the rotary pellet carrier. It’s worth taking time to ensure that all pellets are firmly tamped down into the carrier – if not, the carrier may fail to index, causing the pistol to jam. The front part of the slide is opened by operating the takedown lever, the pellet carrier is placed inside and the front part of the slide is pushed to the rear until it latches. You’re then ready to shoot.

927

The sights on the 92 FS are a simple notch and post design with no white dots or aiming aids. They’re clear and easy to read except against very dark backgrounds. The rear sight can be adjusted for windage by loosening the small hex screw on top of the sight – a suitably sized hex key is supplied. The 92 FS can be fired in double or single action. The double action trigger pull is fairly long and moderately heavy, but it is smooth, consistent and has a clear break point. Manually cocking the hammer also indexes the pellet carrier, so this replica has a true single action trigger pull which is short, light and crisp. The trigger action is very nice indeed in DA and SA – creamy smooth with no catches or graunches and with a clear and consistent break.

Like most of the Umarex pellet shooters, the 92 FS shoots with a loud and satisfying bang. It’s notably louder than most BB shooting replicas though not so loud that you’re likely to upset the neighbours or require ear protection.

9211

Six shots, 6 yards, RWS CO2 target pellets. Inner (black) circle is just over 1″ diameter

Most owners report power close to the claimed 400fps. I chronoed both my 92s on a chilly day in November and got a very reasonable average of around 375 fps for both. Accuracy is very good. Both my 92s were capable of grouping at around 1″ at six yards and at about 1½” – 2″ at ten yards. I also shot the 92 FS on several occasions at 25m, something I don’t normally bother with on a replica pistol with iron sights. At 25m from a rested position the 92 FS was capable of placing all eight shots within a 6″ square target and could probably realistically group at 4″ or less. At 25m I find that I’m at the limit at the abilities of my eyesight for shooting with open sights, and any error is likely as much down to me as the pistol. Flat fronted target type pellets seem to work well in the 92 FS, though if you are shooting at ranges of over 20m, you might want to try pointed or domed pellets as these seem to be more accurate at longer ranges.

CO2 consumption is good. I was generally getting between 55 – 70 full power shots from my 92s depending on temperature.

Overall, this is a very good shooter indeed. It’s as good as any of the Umarex pellet shooters at 6m, and does seem to be slightly better at longer range. I don’t know why that should be, and it may simply be that the 92 FS suits my style and eyesight better, but both examples I have owned seemed to be effective shooters at 10m and over.

Quality and reliability 14/15

The Umarex Beretta 92 FS is well made and finished and suffers from few reliability problems. One issue which seems to affect most of the Umarex pellet shooters which use the rotary pellet carrier is a tendency for the screw which retains the front part of the slide to loosen and even to strip its thread. The screw is located below the muzzle, in the position occupied by the guide rod on the original. If this fails or comes loose, the front part of the slide will fly off the gun when the slide release is operated. Problems can be avoided by periodically checking that this screw is tight and by cushioning the forward movement of the slide when you operate the release lever (while being careful to keep your hand away from the muzzle!).

9213

Seals do wear eventually, but replacements are readily available. The complex trigger and indexing mechanism benefits from regular lubrication, though this requires splitting the casing halves and may be something best left to a professional unless you’re confident to reassemble a range of tiny pins, springs and sears. The rifled barrel also benefits from regular cleaning. Very rarely, the front sight on the 92 FS has been known to come loose with extended use. This can be fixed by using a dab of superglue when re-attaching the sight.

Otherwise, this is a very reliable and long-lasting replica. The finish in particular appears to be very hard wearing and durable. The 92 FS seems to accept a range of pellet types, but both examples I have owned gace the most consistent results at 6 – 10m with flat-fronted, target type pellets.

Overall Impression 13/15

In some ways, this feels like a throwback to an earlier period. Remember when replicas felt as if they were assembled and finished by craftsmen rather than churned out in an anonymous Asian factory? That’s how the 92 FS feels. It exudes quality and thoughtful design and doesn’t give the impression that any element has been built down to a price. Perhaps that’s because it’s one of the few currently available replicas which is manufactured, assembled, finished, assembled and tested in Germany.

There are those who argue that the later matt black finish doesn’t look as good as the earlier glossy finish, and there may be some truth to this. But pick up a 92 FS compared to almost any other replica made within the last five years and it feels like a better quality product in almost every way. It may cost twice as much as some other replicas, but you get the feeling it’ll last much longer. As ever, you get what you pay for.

928

And it’s a great shooter too. It’s probably the most accurate multi-shot replica I have owned at ranges of 10m and even 25m. Combine this with a creamy smooth trigger and reliable and long lasting mechanicals and you have a satisfying replica that should last for years.

The black and nickel finish 92 FS and the new Sniper Grey version are still part of the Umarex range. The nickel finish version is available with walnut grips and I believe that Umarex also still sell the wood grips separately for this model. These are expensive, but they do transform the looks of this replica. One thing to note is that the wood grips seem to have a slightly more rounded profile than the plastic versions, making the grip more bulky. If you find the standard grip of the 92 FS rather wide, you may want to think carefully before fitting wood grips.

Conclusion

Given its design and the lack of blowback, the Umarex 92 FS doesn’t replicate the feeling of shooting the cartridge version in the way that blowback versions do. However, balanced against this 92 FS is way more powerful and accurate than most blowback designs – this is one of the very few replica pistols I have owned with which I could reliably place a shot on a standard size target at 25m. It’s also very nicely made and finished – the quality of the castings is outstanding, early glossy versions in particular look superb and the finish seems to be very hard wearing and chip and scratch-resistant. I’d go so far as to say that a black or nickel version with walnut grips is one of the best looking replicas you can own.

923

This is also a weighty replica with the heft and feel of a firearm. This is good – if you want to persuade someone of how realistic replicas can be in terms of feel, hand them a 92 FS. But it’s also a drawback. Like the original, the Umarex 92 FS is bulky and can feel very heavy if you’re shooting for extended periods. The 92 FS probably isn’t the ideal choice if you have small hands or weak wrists.

Overall, I probably prefer shooting the Umarex 1911 over the 92 FS at 6m, simply because that pistol is slimmer and a little lighter. But despite their mechanical similarities, I found the 92 FS to be the better pistol at longer ranges, and the SA and DA trigger action is just wonderful.

This is a great looking, powerful and accurate replica, and provided you can deal with its bulk and weight, a fantastic shooter. Grab a black one, find a set of walnut grips and you’ll have an attractive, accurate and satisfying air pistol that will still be shooting long after most other replicas have been consigned to the spares box. They don’t make ’em like this any more. Except fortunately, they do!

Total score: 82/100

Please take a moment to complete the Pistol Place survey to let me know what you like (and don’t like) about the site.  Thanks.

Related pages:

Umarex Walther CP88 review

Umarex Walther CP99 review

Umarex Colt 1911 review

Cybergun GSG92 review

KJ Works M9 review

Buy

You can buy the nickel finish version of the Umarex Beretta 92 FS at Pyramid Air here.

Links

Beretta 92 FS on the Umarex website