Why Overlooking Eye Protection is a Huge Mistake for Airgunners
So, you’ve finally got some time to get out your new Umarex airgun. It’s time to engage targets and experience some instant gratification while you take stress out on unsuspecting objects. You have your airgun, your pellets and bag full of stuff to shoot at. You’re ready for whatever gets placed in front of you. Or are you? One of your biggest risks as an airgunner isn’t lead poisoning as some might believe; it’s actually your body’s most vulnerable tissue at risk – your eyes.
Your eyes are a big weak spot, and protecting them is something that you might overlook if you’re anxious to pull the trigger. You’d be wise to cover your eyes given all of the dangers a range can dish out, whether airgunning in your backyard or at a public or private gun range. Consider that unexpected ricochets and even debris stirred up by wind at the wrong moment can temporarily blind you. The potential of a ricochet is dangerous enough; shooting blind, well, you’ll probably have to quit the sport and you don’t want that to happen.
There are a lot of options for eye protection and different airgunners will find the various styles and features more comfortable than others. The best eye pro will stop debris, wind, and glare, while also protecting your eyes from UV rays. Lens color is also something to consider not just for clarity in certain light conditions, but also for comfort. For instance, yellow lenses on a bright sunny day may be too bright—they’re intended for cloudy days or low light conditions.
The bottom line is: wear eye protection and take the time to find good quality eye pro that’s comfortable to wear and suitable for your shooting conditions.
Special thanks to Harwood W. Loomis at The M1911 Pistols Organization (www.M1911.org).
The new Colt/Umarex Commander 1911 model is a CO2-powered, (simulated) blowback version of the M1911A1. This is the most accurate reproduction of an M1911A1 I have ever seen in a BB gun. It looks and feels real, and it acts real. The experience of shooting this pistol is amazing – and I shot 1911s when I was in the Army.
The level of authenticity is astonishing. One of my pet peeves is fake 1911 air pistols that have swinging triggers. In this one, the trigger slides straight back, just like it should. The slide stop works. It not only swings up and down, it also locks the slide back after the last shot has been fired. The grip safety not only moves, it also functions as it should.
The thumb safety is functional. Like on a real 1911, it can’t be raised unless the hammer is cocked. As is common on air guns, it has markings for “SAFE” and “FIRE” positions. I can live with that if it gets us a properly functional thumb safety.
The barrel is smooth-bore. A smooth-bore barrel simply can’t produce the accuracy of a rifled barrel. But this is a plinking handgun, so accuracy isn’t critical. The advantage is that it shoots readily-available, steel BBs.
The specifications list the barrel length as 4.50 inches, yet the pistol is the size of a 5-inch M1911A1. This is because the muzzle of the .177-inch barrel is set back a half inch from the apparent muzzle at the front of the slide, for a .45 caliber barrel effect. The “muzzle” even has six ribs on the inside to look like the rifling in a real gun barrel.
What makes the new Colt/Umarex Commander an excellent training aid is that so much of the real 1911 manual of arms remains the same on this reproduction. The Commander is loaded using a magazine that occupies the full magazine well in the frame. The CO2 cartridge is loaded into the magazine, with the BBs, and the pistol is loaded by inserting the magazine and racking the slide. Just like in real life.
The pistol is made of metal, so its weight and balance are very close to those of a real 1911.
The trigger was light, with a bit of creep. The Commander uses some of the gas energy to cycle the slide, resulting in a CO2 air pistol that feels more like shooting a .22 caliber rimfire pistol than it does an air gun.
Airgun hunting is probably allowed in your state. However, you will need to check on restrictions and allowances with your state’s game and fish authority. This article provides guidance on general airgun hunting rules at the time of writing. Because regulations change frequently, check with your game and fish authority each season before you go airgun hunting.
Airgun Hunting Overview
After Rossi Morreale‘s recent turkey hunting trip in California with American Airgunner TV, we have been receiving a lot of questions. The biggest question is can I hunt with airguns in my state? This changes from state to state. Most states will only allow small game to be taken with air rifles. While a few others will allow larger game, such as Whitetail Deer, to be taken. Some states, such as Arkansas, don’t specifically allow airgun hunting. However, they do allow airguns to be used to “hunt” pest animals such as the crow, rabbit, and squirrel. As of right now, only two states do not allow airgun hunting of any kind: New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. There are only four states that specifically allow airgun hunting for turkey: California, Maryland, Michigan, and Virginia.
Airgun Hunting Map
This map is based on interpretation of existing regulations. Do not depend on this map for airgun hunting laws. Always check local regulations with your state’s game and fish group before hunting. The states marked in yellow have special rules for airguns which are explained below the map.
For information purposes only. Regulations will change over time. Remember to check your game and fish group every season for updates.
Arizona: Must use a .22 or larger for fur bearers.
Hawaii: Can only hunt with airguns on private property with permission from the owner.
Illinois: Can only hunt with airguns on private property with permission from the owner.
Kansas: Cannot use airguns to hunt bullfrogs or turtles.
New Jersey: Must use an airgun that is at least .177 but no larger than .22. Velocity must be at least 600 FPS.
New York: Must use an airgun that is .177 or larger. Velocity must be at least 600 FPS.
*North Carolina: According to the North Carolina Wildlife website, air rifles fall in the rifle category. All restrictions that apply to rifles apply to air rifles.
Rhode Island: Must use an airgun that is at least .177 but no larger than .22. Velocity of at least 750 FPS and pellets 7.5 grains or larger.
South Dakota: Must use an airgun with a velocity of at least 1,000 FPS. Only hunting pellets are permitted. Read page 41 of the SD Hunting Handbook for legal game.
Texas: Must use an airgun that is at least .177 with a velocity of at least 600 FPS when hunting squirrels.
View Airgun Hunting Regulations by State
FORT SMITH, Ark (July 21, 2015) – Umarex USA, for a third year, is attending the FMG Shooting Industry Masters being held at Claythorns Lodge in Kansas July 24-25. As a Gold Sponsor and side match host, shooters will have an opportunity to pull the trigger on an Umarex Air Rifle for accuracy in a timed event using Yegua Airgun Field Targets. After last year’s successful debut, Elite Force airsoft rifles and premium BBs from Umarex are being used again in the tactical team event.
Funds raised at the event will directly support the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s First Shots program, which introduces new people to guns and safe shooting practices. “Youth and first-time shooters along with practice and training has always been a focus of Umarex USA,” says Justin Biddle, Director of Marketing. “Air and airsoft guns are many times our first shooting experience. It’s natural to use them for introduction to the shooting sports, training, safety, and practice. They’re fun for all ages.”
About Umarex USA
Umarex USA is one of North America’s fastest growing sport and recreation gun companies. Umarex USA develops and markets airguns under brands licensed by its parent company, Umarex Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. KG. Such brands include Walther®, RWS®, Smith & Wesson®, Browning®, Heckler & Koch®, Ruger®, Beretta, Colt®, Magnum Research®, IWI, UZI, and others. For additional information regarding Umarex USA visit UmarexUSA.com and follow Umarex USA on Facebook and YouTube. Follow and subscribe to Umarex USA online: http://www.umarexusa.com, Facebook.com/UmarexUSA, Twitter.com/UmarexAir, and YouTube.com/UmarexAir.
Looking to have a great time outdoors with your kids (or anyone for that matter)? Then pull out the airguns because that’s exactly what Tim from Airgun Hobbyist did. Tim threw quite the birthday party for his 14 year-old son, Ben, at their North Carolina home. The party lasted over four hours and saw 1000 pellets and BBs fired downrange with 30 different airguns and hundreds of different targets to choose from.
They started by preparing their home made range with some painted targets consisting of over 200 empty CO2 cartridges, 50 vegetable cans, dozens of soda cans, 80 water balloons, ice targets and a few rotten eggs. They also set up a few commercial targets including the center piece, the Right Now Range that held Shatter Blast targets, soda cans and some large bulls eye targets.
The targets were placed a minimum of 30 feet away from the firing line and each guest was given safety glasses to wear in case of a ricochet and were of course instructed on safety rules. Backstops were also used behind the targets to protect any wildlife they may have been wandering through.
There were many Umarex airguns at this little party including the Colt Peacemaker, Colt Commander, Colt Python, Walther PPQ, Walther PPS, Walther CP88, a S&W 586 and a Makarov. The Umarex Fusion took down quite a few long range targets and was fired for a fairly long time without needing to replace the CO2.
The Umarex Steel Force and the M712 weren’t as lucky though. The CO2 was constantly being replaced because everyone wanted to shoot them! The M712 was the favorite in full auto mode, and the Steel Force was another favorite with its six round burst mode.
The biggest hit was the Walther Lever Action western style rifle, which felt right at home in this shooting gallery style range. The Umarex Morph 3X was another favorite with its ability to “morph”. It made a great choice for shooters of all sizes.
Everyone left with a smile on their face and comments such as “We should do this more often!” The family also got to enjoy some private shooting time knocking down the remaining targets the next day before clean up.