Umarex Boys Club

Paddy Egan and John Milewsi join forces to bring us this four-page Umarex spe­cial with their take on the bat­tle-worn MP40

Airgun World - - Contents -

On the 5th of April, I hap­pened to do one of my ‘pop in and say hello’ trips to Armex Tow­ers, where I learned that they had just re­ceived the new Umarex MP40s. I didn’t have any pre­vi­ous knowl­edge of this, hon­est, but Della the Gen­eral Man­ager, and Alan the MD, were kind enough to let me have a look at one. First im­pres­sion was, ‘now that’s nice!’ and much bet­ter than what I was ex­pect­ing. Con­ver­sa­tions flowed and af­ter I’d used my Ir­ish charm, ‘Go on, go on, go on’, ‘You will, you will,’ and lastly ‘I’ll fight ya for it’, they al­lowed me to take it home to test and re­view, on the pro­vi­sion that I bring it back on the fol­low­ing Mon­day.

Now, be­fore I go onto the Umarex MP40 let’s have a short his­tory les­son:

‘The MP40 (Maschi­nen­pis­tole 40) is a sub­ma­chine gun cham­bered for the 9×19mm Para­bel­lum car­tridge. It was de­vel­oped in Ger­many and used ex­ten­sively by the Axis pow­ers dur­ing World War II. De­signed in 1938 by Hein­rich Vollmer, with in­spi­ra­tion from its pre­de­ces­sor the MP38, It was of­ten called the ‘Sch­meisser’ , de­spite Hugo Sch­meisser hav­ing no in­volve­ment in the weapon’s de­sign or pro­duc­tion.’

Umarex have made two types of the MP40 – nor­mal and bat­tle­worn ‘Legacy’ mod­els, both in 4.5mm BB. The one I had to test was the bat­tle-worn model that I think is the best one for looks, due to the orig­i­nal age and era.


I’m go­ing to start from the very be­gin­ning and that’s the box. It is made of solid card­board and the de­sign is a wooden crate with pe­riod-style sten­cil writ­ing. This makes it more of a pre­sen­ta­tion case than a box that you’d likely dis­card. So, if Umarex have made such an ef­fort on the de­sign of the box, you know that they have put in sim­i­lar work on the gun it­self.

The MP40 is held in place se­curely within its eggshell-type pack­ag­ing, along with the mag­a­zine, Allen key, and small, user man­ual ly­ing on top, and once you take the MP out of the box, you re­alise how solid and well made it feels. It weighs in at 7.7lbs, and the real MP40 comes in at 8.75lb, so there is not much dif­fer­ence at all. The stock is folded in the box, and to un­fold it you just press in the but­ton at the rear left-hand side of the gun, un­fold it un­til it locks into place, and then flip round the butt plate. There is some move­ment up and down on the stock, but noth­ing ma­jor and, to be hon­est, so did the real one so Umarex are still stay­ing true to this gun.


Be­fore you in­sert the mag­a­zine, you will first need to put some CO2 in it and to do this you use the Allen key sup­plied to re­move the nut at the bot­tom, then in­sert two 12g CO2 cap­sules and re­place the nut – sim­ple. To fill the mag­a­zine with 4.5mm BBs, you must hold down the spring-ten­sioned BB fol­lower and pour in the BBs. Gen­tly does it, or they’ll go ev­ery­where and you can take it from some­one with ex­pe­ri­ence, or maybe it’s just me with but­terfin­gers. I used Umarex black steel BBs, and the mag­a­zine has a ca­pac­ity of 60 BBs, so that is a fair bit of shoot­ing in one go!

To in­sert the mag­a­zine into the mag’ well, push all the way up with the spring fol­lower fac­ing for­ward and the cal­i­bre mark­ings on the left-hand side. Once in, it is a nice solid fit with no play at all, and the black BBs blended into the mag­a­zine rather well, much bet­ter than sil­ver BBs. I didn’t use those BBs for that rea­son, though, it was just that they were the clos­est to hand in my ammo box. How­ever, I would con­sider us­ing th­ese black ones reg­u­larly, un­less I was shoot­ing metal plates, and then I would opt for lead BBs be­cause of the ob­vi­ous re­bound is­sues. To take out the mag­a­zine it’s just like the real MP40; you press the round but­ton on top of the mag’ well and pull down on the mag to re­lease.


Once this process is done, it’s ready to shoot. Cock the han­dle back and it opens the breech cover, be­low the breech se­rial num­ber, cal­i­bre and ‘F’ Pen­tagon

mark­ings, and then it closes two-thirds of the way. As you put the MP40 into the shoul­der and lean into the gun, the stock be­comes very solid, there isn’t any play or move­ment, and the gun feels very well bal­anced con­sid­er­ing the fold­ing stock.

The sights are fixed at the front with a blade and round cover, and the rear has flip-up bat­tle sights, and when you look through the sights, you get a clear pic­ture of what you’re aim­ing at.

I had al­ready set the range up for six yards, and put up our UBC Vin­tage and Open Class pa­per tar­get, to seen how the MP40 grouped straight out of the box. The tar­get has two roundels on it, and I opted to shoot five shots into each. The first shots were low and right, with a quite open spread, and on the sec­ond roundel, the group was tighter, but still low and right.

I then got a Tomb­stone Marx­man tar­get for rapid fire, send­ing BBs down­range as fast as I could, and all BBs hit the tar­get. I didn’t do any plate shoot­ing be­cause I didn’t have any lead BBs, but it is def­i­nitely on my to-do list.

I can hon­estly say it is a dream to shoot. Whilst shoot­ing you can see and hear the bolt go­ing back and forth via the blow-back ac­tion. The trig­ger is light and easy to pull, and be­cause of its short length, you can tran­si­tion from one tar­get to an­other quickly. Once it beds in and you get used to the aim points, this is a very ac­cu­rate BB gun. My son tried the MP40 out as well; he loved it, and just like me he liked how the cock­ing went back and forth and the slight ‘kick’ it gives you


I’m lucky enough to have a Denix Metal replica MP40, so I used it as a side-by-side com­par­i­son and there are only a few things that are slightly dif­fer­ent. There isn’t a full cut-out for the cock­ing han­dle to travel and be held all the way back, but this doesn’t de­tract from the gun’s shoot­ing in any way, and the Umarex one isn’t field-strip­pable

One other note – on the Umarex model there is a safety catch on the un­der­side, just in front of the trig­ger guard hous­ing which needs a push for­ward for ‘safe’ and rear­ward to make ready to fire. I omit­ted it from ear­lier in the ar­ti­cle be­cause I wanted to put it in the com­par­i­son bit, as the orig­i­nal didn’t have one and with cur­rent guide­lines Umarex picked the best spot to put it in.

All in all, Umarex have done a great job get­ting this air­gun as close as pos­si­ble to the real thing. It is such an iconic gun and I ex­pect it to sell ex­tremely well. When we at the Umarex Boys Club saw th­ese come out for the Amer­i­can mar­ket as full auto, and un­avail­able in this coun­try, we thought we’d have to wait for some time to see the UK spec­i­fi­ca­tion ver­sion, but this is not the case and they will be in your lo­cal RFDs. So, if you like your mil­i­taria, or want a blast from the past with­out hav­ing to go down the VCRA air­soft route, then the Umarex MP40 is the way to go. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see if Umarex bring out any other clas­sics, Sten or Tommy Gun per­haps. As for this MP40, it is now mine be­cause I pur­chased it - plus it will sit nicely with my C96!

It was love at first sight and now it’s mine.

Be­low: MP40 replica, stripped.

Above: Even the box is classy.

MP40 Umarex and Denix replica.

Left: Black BBs are less vis­i­ble through the slot.

Be­low: Max­man tar­get 30 shots.

Be­low: A thumbs up from my son.

Be­low: The red dots show my sec­ond set of 5 shots at 6 yards.

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