ACH­TUNG SCH­MEISSER!

John Milewski con­cludes this MP40 re­view spe­cial

Airgun World - - 4 Page Test Special! -

The Umarex Leg­ends se­ries of CO2-pow­ered, replica BB-fir­ing air­guns has en­joyed ever-in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity since its in­tro­duc­tion. How else can we en­joy the plea­sure of shoot­ing a blow-back Luger or Mauser pis­tol, for ex­am­ple? With the in­tro­duc­tion of the MP40, I pre­dict that the brand will go from strength to strength and th­ese new mod­els will sell like hot cakes.

OFF TO A BAD START

You will have seen Paddy Egan’s re­view of this clas­sic just prior to read­ing this, and un­like Paddy, who paid more at­ten­tion to his mag­a­zine, I al­most ruined my test gun be­fore I had fired a shot. When I picked up the MP40, in my rush to start shoot­ing, I in­ad­ver­tently tight­ened up the CO2 pierc­ing screw at the base of the mag’ too far be­cause I couldn’t hear the two cap­sules be­ing pierced. This com­pletely man­gled the washer and re­sulted in a leaky mag’. The in­struc­tions do not warn you of this, so please don’t over-tighten when in­sert­ing CO2. Luck­ily, I could visit Protek Sup­plies of Bog­nor Regis, who were able to sup­ply a spare ‘O’ ring of the cor­rect size, and I was back in busi­ness. Thanks guys – I owe you!

A replica leather sling can be ob­tained from Epic Mil­i­taria, who trade on Ebay, and it’s pretty es­sen­tial for looks and prac­ti­cal­ity. Hook the MP40 around your neck or over the shoul­der dur­ing mag’ changes be­cause the gun is very front-heavy and the sling pro­vides a ‘third hand’ for sup­port.

HEFTY AND RE­AL­IS­TIC

Orig­i­nally, the MP40 was avail­able in full auto-blow-back only, but the UK spec’ for the MP40 is semi-auto only due to our leg­is­la­tion. US ver­sions can also fire full-auto and there is a dis­creet safety/fire se­lec­tor un­der the fore end that doesn’t de­tract from the MP40’s looks be­cause it is nicely out of the way. The gun it­self weighs a good 7lbs and is made from steel, with plas­tic fur­ni­ture, just like the orig­i­nal. It is a hefty solid pack­age and in­cred­i­bly re­al­is­tic.

The stock folds un­der the fore end when not in use. Press­ing the stock lock but­ton at the left rear of the frame re­leases the stock, which can be moved down and back to

ex­tend. The shoul­der butt frame was ini­tially a lit­tle stiff, but soon wore in. Once two CO2 cap­sules have been loaded with their necks point­ing one to each end, and up to 50 BBs or cop­per-coated lead balls in­serted into the double-stack mag’, you are good to go. Pull back and re­lease the charg­ing han­dle, then point and shoot. The MP40 then dis­charges with a lot of noise and re­al­ism. As soon as the mag’ is empty, the bolt locks to pre­vent you from wast­ing gas, which is use­ful.

BET­TER OUT THAN IN

I started off on my in­door 6-yard range, just to sight the gun in, and was soon drop­ping the bars of my ex-fair­ground plink­ing box in a hail of fire. It soon be­came ap­par­ent that this is more of an outdoor gun, where vol­ume of fire takes prece­dence over ac­cu­racy. I set up tin cans and skit­tles out­doors, lined up on them and was soon en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of han­dling the MP40 far more than clin­i­cally drop­ping tar­gets. The rear-sight is a fixed, U-shaped notch, with a fur­ther op­tional fold­ing U-notch for ad­just­ment, just like on the orig­i­nal, where the fixed sight was in­tended for shoot­ing up to 100 me­tres, and the fold­ing blade an op­ti­mistic 200. Due to the MP40’s com­pact de­sign, the sight was too close to my aim­ing eye for me to see it prop­erly, so I sim­ply ad­justed my aim by watch­ing where the ball had im­pacted.

BEST BBS

I tested steel BBs, lead ball, and cop­per-coated lead ball dur­ing my tests. The cop­per-coated lead fed with the least amount of jams, but did stick when I loaded the mag’ any­where near its ca­pac­ity. I think this was down to the double-stack na­ture of the mag’ be­cause some­times the balls would jam against each other un­der the pres­sure of the re­turn spring. It could have been that I had a sticky mag’ be­cause Paddy did not ex­pe­ri­ence any jams with his MP40, but a nar­rower chan­nel for the ball ammo would pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing.

DOESN’T MAT­TER IF YOU MISS

I ad­mit that I missed more tar­gets than I hit, but I found my­self not car­ing as my thoughts turned to fond mem­o­ries of my heroes in War­lord, a comic which read­ers of a cer­tain age will no doubt re­mem­ber. Bal­loons can be shot at from the hip, but please be mind­ful of a large suit­able back­stop, such as a wall, if you in­tend to shoot this way.

The orig­i­nal MP40 was never in­tended to pro­vide match ac­cu­racy, but vol­ume of fire­power from a com­pact pack­age and ap­pre­ci­at­ing this fact en­abled me to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence of shoot­ing the gun, rather than hit­ting the tar­get.

This is a gun you can en­joy shoot­ing for its own sake, and even if you miss it doesn’t mat­ter be­cause it doesn’t de­tract from the ex­pe­ri­ence. I liked the test gun so much that, just like Paddy, I had to buy it there and then for ahem … some ex­tended test­ing!

Above: Ger­man sol­diers were taught to sup­port the MP40 by hold­ing the flared mag’ hous­ing, rather than the mag’ it­self.

Above: Shown with stock folded. Ex­tend­ing the stock and us­ing it cer­tainly helps with ac­cu­racy down­range.

Be­low: Shoot­ing from the hip is pos­si­ble, but you MUST have a suit­ably large back­stop and stick to lead rather than steel ball in case of re­bounds.

Above: The rear­sight is ba­sic, but true to the orig­i­nal.

Above: The knurled muz­zle nut can be re­moved and was in­tended to pro­tect the thread for a blank fir­ing adapter on the orig­i­nal.

Above: DO NOT screw down on the CO2 pierc­ing screw any fur­ther than this, or you’ll man­gle the ‘O’ ring!

Above: Ex­tend­ing the stock. Press the re­lease but­ton and move the stock down and back un­til it locks.

Above: The dis­creet safety catch un­der the fore end. US ver­sions have a third op­tion for full-auto.

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