For the plinkers in the audience I wanted to cover a fun little item that is an accurate enough replica to be valuable as a training arm as well – the Walther PPK/S from Umarex. This is an all metal semi-auto replica of the pocket .380 firearm. As Walther is part of the Umarex family, this little 1.2-pound replica BB shooter sports the Walther logos and is a pretty exacting copy. The only deviations would be the non-functional safety on the left side of the slide (an actual safety is located on the right side of the frame) and in the case of my slightly older version, a protruding thumbscrew used to pierce the 12-gram CO2 cartridge. Newer models no longer have the thumbscrew, replacing it with a threaded plug needing a hex wrench, and this gives a more realistic look.
A 15-round drop-free stick type magazine forms the “pinky ledge” that would be part of the magazine on the real deal. The CO2 cylinder sits behind the stick magazine under the left grip panel which is held in place with spring clips. The pistol operates by single action and Umarex rates the gun at velocities up to 295 fps. I experience less velocity because I live at higher altitude but was unable to measure the fps due to a malfunctioning chronograph. BBs still hit with some authority and in no way diminished the plinking fun that can be had with this little pistol.
The non-adjustable trigger was very nice with a smooth pull that averaged around 2 ½ pounds. The face of the trigger is grooved like it is on the firearm and after a slight take up it travels about ¼ of an inch before dropping the hammer. As this is a blowback action gun, some CO2 is bled off to cycle the slide and prepare the next shot. After the last BB is fired, the slide locks back, but only partially. Still, it is somewhat realistic and prevents the waste of gas by pulling the trigger on an empty magazine. The pivoting safety switch on the right side is made of plastic and disengages the trigger when in the downward position. There is a small cutout in the right grip panel so the lever needs to be slightly depressed to move upward, revealing a large red dot and readying the pistol to fire.
Sporting a 3.5-inch smooth bore barrel, a high degree of accuracy cannot be expected but if you keep your targets to within 25 feet or so, you’ll put plenty of BBs on soda cans, pinecones and other reasonably sized targets. This pistol was pretty conservative on its gas use so I was able to get up to 90 shots before the pressure dropped to where the slide would not cycle. It is possible to get additional shots with a fair amount of punch by simply manually cocking the hammer each time thereby getting the most of the CO2 cylinder.
Having excellent balance and feel in the hand, plus a very nice trigger for this price range, the PPK/S is a lot of fun. The MSRP is around $85 and it comes with a 90-day limited warranty. Umarex USA has a good reputation for warranty work should you need to make use of it. Check out this model [http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/bb-pistols/walther-ppk/s-bb-co2-pistol/] and other licensed copy CO2 pistols which are available on the Airguns of Arizona website at: www.airgunsofarizona.com.