Umarex Colt Defender Review
by: Dennis Brooks
The Colt Defender stands out in quality and performance. It’s light compared to the actual Colt Defender Lightweight without any ammo. This Umarex replica does not look exactly like the real Colt Defender, but instead looks like a compact variant of the real Colt 1911A1 with a Picatinny rail in front of the trigger.
On the package of the Defender, the icons on the front and back give a full description of the construction, capabilities, features, ammo, power and expected velocity. Inside the package, you will find the manual of the Defender. Please read the manual before use and be sure to adhere to all safety information listed in the packaging.
When loading 12g CO2 capsules into the Defender, the chamber is accessed by pushing in the magazine release on the left side of the grip. The grips slide back revealing access on the left side. A spring tensioned folding half disk head screw extends from the bottom of the frame. You open it as indicated and rotate it counter clockwise to lower the dished head and insert a CO2 cartridge. Umarex brand CO2 capsules are recommended because they seal better and are “food” grade, presuming to be a cleaner CO2 source. (for why differences in CO2 quality make such a big difference in gun performance, see this CO2 quality article) Use RWS Chamber Lube as indicated. You tighten the screw by rotating clockwise until the CO2 capsule is pierced and seals.
If you flip the air pistol over you will see a follower on the right side. It slides down to a locking notch, allowing you to load 16 BB’s in the beveled area. Release the follower to apply tension for loading then slide the grips forward until they latch. The air gun is in a loaded condition with CO2 power available.
On Page three of the included manual, checking to see if the air gun is unloaded is mentioned. While you can verify the air pistol is loaded with the grips closed, with a short segment of the feed slot being visible above the right grip, you cannot be sure it is not loaded if even no BB’s are visible in the area. The follower is visible, but there may be one or more BB’s above. DO NOT assume the air pistol is unloaded just because you do not see a BB in the feed slot! After it is first loaded, presume a BB is there but not visible, even when it stops releasing BB’s during firing. One may be hung up and fire the next time you squeeze the trigger. After the first time it is loaded, this air gun should be treated as always loaded.
I found the premium BB’s worked best for consistent feeds and velocities. At a rated 440 fps, which I exceeded at 447 fps through the Chrony, this air pistol shoots faster than many BB air rifles. Keep this and the 325 yard rated range in mind, using a safe back stop and a clear area behind the target. Follow the directions in the manual. They are very good about backstops and range safety. As the manual states; BB’s are also prone to ricochet, always have everyone with you wear adequate eye protection and be aware of anything to the sides or behind you that might be damaged, as well as what is in front of you or beyond the target.
The safety is on the right side just above the forward part of the trigger guard. Note the “Press”, you push in to release and slide back to remove the safety. A white “safe” dot is covered and the red “fire” dot is revealed as the safety is slid. The air gun is now ready to fire. It is double action only. The hammer is molded on and does not move. The barrel actually moves forward as you squeeze the trigger. At sear release it falls back against the valve venting the CO2 and firing a BB. Push in and move the safety slide forward to re-activate the safety. Parts sometimes fail. Even with the air gun on “Safe” do not point it at anyone or anything you do not intend to shoot!
The molded screws make the rear sight seem adjustable. It is not, nor can the sight be “drifted”, the dovetail mount is a solid molding. The front sight is also fixed. The sights were not a problem—the Defender I received was accurate right out of the package.
You can mount an adjustable laser sight using the Picatinny mount forward of the trigger guard. I installed the Walther FLR 650 light-laser combination to provide a laser for shooting without bringing up the sights and the light for shooting in low light or dark conditions. This laser light system works well out to the effective 10 meter range of the Colt Defender. The system has the laser in the center of six LED’s. There are three functions accessible by sequentially pressing the activation button on the right; laser, laser with lights and lights only. Pressing the button a fourth time turns the system off. Do not store on with the right side down. I have found the system will activate with movement in a case and you will run down the batteries without knowing it. You also reduce the life of the laser and can remove the air gun from a case with the laser on. This can be a problem since the laser is dangerous when focused on human eyes. The FLR 650 does make the air pistol muzzle heavy, but is no real deterrent to accurate shooting.
The Umarex Colt Defender seems to be a composite of similar Colt’s or an issue I have not seen. The biggest differences between it and the actual firearm seem to be the flat rear adjustable sights, the lack of an extended beaver tail grip safety and the tang versus solid trigger and the Umarex has a Picatinny rail mount under the muzzle. I do not have a problem with these differences and found the Umarex Colt Defender well worth the money. The differences in this gun are more than the Umarex Beretta M92 pellet pistol, which is almost perfect, but it is still a great gun to own and easy to shoot. Overall, I feel that you are getting a great value for your money.
The Umarex Colt Defender CO2 BB Repeater is a joy to shoot and very well constructed. I find it easy to load new 12g CO2 capsules and BB’s. It is a nice solid replica air pistol that I would recommend you buy to start or add to your collection.
Umarex air pistols, like this realistic looking Colt Defender are meant to enhance your replica collection and provide a reasonably accurate BB pistol for target shooting and plinking.
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