Smooth Op­er­a­tor

This CO2-pow­ered BB gun stands out from the crowd, as the ed­i­tor dis­cov­ers

Air Gunner - - Co2 Pistol -

“The fixed sights were spot on for me at 6- yards, and I got good ac­cu­racy straight from the box”

Just when I thought that I’d shot all the pis­tols in the Umarex cat­a­logue, I no­ticed the SA 9 Op­er­a­tor. It looks like a very mod­ern 9mm ser­vice arm with some tasty up­grades to make it stand out from the crowd. It’s fed power from the ubiq­ui­tous 12- gramme CO2 capsule, which lives in­side the grip, and a 20-shot magazine to carry 4.5mm steel BBs, just like loads of other CO2 pis­tols out there.

This one dif­fers in the ‘ports’ ma­chined into the slide that show gold plat­ing on the bar­rel sleeve. This ‘porting’ idea be­gan life in the world of com­pe­ti­tion semi-au­to­matic hand­guns where speed is ev­ery­thing, and light­en­ing the slide made it cy­cle faster. This model is a blow-back, which means that the metal slide cy­cles back and forth throw­ing the weight around as the pis­tol fires. This sim­u­lates the re­coil of a firearm very well and adds re­al­ism to the CO2 ex­pe­ri­ence.

DAO

The ac­tion is what Umarex calls a ‘ DAO’, which stands for ‘dou­ble-ac­tion only’. There is no ex­posed ham­mer so you can­not cock it man­u­ally to of­fer a sin­gle-ac­tion op­tion for ul­ti­mate ac­cu­racy. This gun is based on the kind of pis­tol that spe­cial forces sol­diers use in the most ex­treme con­di­tions when speed and re­li­a­bil­ity of fire out­weigh ac­cu­racy.

The syn­thetic blade sim­u­lates the trig­ger of the su­perb Glock ser­vice pis­tol with its in­no­va­tive safety. On the Glock, there’s a slim metal blade that must be de­pressed be­fore the trig­ger can be pulled. This adds Fast reloads are pos­si­ble with the stick- style mag’s an ex­tra level of safety so that the pis­tol can only fire when cor­rectly han­dled and can­not go off in an ac­ci­dent, such as be­ing dropped. The one on the Op­er­a­tor is only there for looks and has no func­tion, but I liked it all the same.

FAKE SAFETY

The safety of the Op­er­a­tor is mounted on the right side of the frame above the trig­ger and can be op­er­ated by the right-handed shooter whilst on aim. When en­gaged, it dis­en­gages the trig­ger mak­ing it very good in­deed. I par­tic­u­larly like the ‘ last shot slide lock’ fea­ture, which is just the same as a real firearm. As you fire the last shot, the fol­lower in the magazine in­ter­rupts the slide from go­ing for­ward, clearly sig­nalling to you that you need to reload.

The fixed sights were spot on for me at 6 yards and I got good ac­cu­racy straight from the box, both with slow, de­lib­er­ate shots and rapid fire. I found the trig­ger a lit­tle heavy, but I have some ten­don dam­age in my right arm at the mo­ment, so I might not be best placed to judge.

If you’re look­ing at some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to the rest, or would like to add a lit­tle style to your range time, then the SA 9 Op­er­a­tor is well worth a look.

Good looks add to the plea­sure of this pis­tol

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