In a Spin

Phill Price gives us a whirl­wind tour of the Tor­nado pis­tol from Umarex

Airgun World - - Contents -

“De­spite the front-heavy ap­pear­ance, I found that the Tor­nado bal­anced nicely”

Ilike re­volvers, but it seems that most CO2 repli­cas these days are based on semi­au­to­matic guns. It’s true that most of the world’s mil­i­tary and po­lice forces carry semi-au­to­matic hand­guns, but in some spe­cial­ist sit­u­a­tions re­volvers still have their place. The most com­mon rea­son that they’re cho­sen is that they’re more re­li­able and less likely to jam at a life-threat­en­ing mo­ment.

Their han­dling is very dif­fer­ent to a semi-au­to­matic and of­ten takes a lit­tle time to find the best grip. This is es­pe­cially true for your weak hand, the left in my case, as I’m a right-handed shooter. You also no­tice quickly that the sights are very high above your trig­ger hand, which can take a lit­tle get­ting used to.


When I saw the UX Tor­nado I was in­trigued be­cause I can­not find the re­volver that it’s based on. It’s a com­pos­ite of dif­fer­ent guns brought to­gether to make some­thing that looks good and han­dles well. It re­minds me of the Smith & Wesson M&P se­ries of heavy-duty re­volvers de­signed for front-line house en­try teams used when ev­ery shot can be a life or death de­ci­sion.

The bar­rel wears a huge shroud that’s al­most full length, on top of which is a Weaver rail to carry a scope or red-dot sight. Be­neath is an­other sec­tion of rail to ac­cept a ‘flash­light’ or a laser for aim­ing du­ties. This adds up to a very chunky, bulky ap­pear­ance, but be­cause the re­volver is al­most com­pletely made from a syn­thetic ma­te­rial it’s not overly heavy. De­spite the front-heavy ap­pear­ance, I found that the Tor­nado bal­anced nicely in my hands.


The grip is very con­tem­po­rary, be­ing clev­erly moulded into a hand-fit­ting de­sign that’s much more so­phis­ti­cated than it ap­pears at first. It also brought the sights very naturally onto aim for my hold, which of course aids a quick first shot. The sooner you can get your sight pic­ture, the sooner you can press the trig­ger. The sights are very ba­sic with no ad­justa­bil­ity or colour en­hance­ment, but I found them well pro­por­tioned and clear.

Load­ing the CO2 cap­sule is the same as the ma­jor­ity of BB pis­tols, in that you re­move the left grip half and drop in a 12-gramme cap­sule with the neck up­wards. Then you use the hex driver that’s built into the grip to tighten the screw in the base of the grip. This drives the cap­sule up into the frame and onto the pierc­ing probe that punc­tures the cap­sule. The CO2 is now freed to flow into the ac­tion ready to pro­pel the BBs.

In a step away from other CO2 re­volvers, the Tor­nado’s mag­a­zine sits be­hind the dummy cylin­der and car­ries 10-shots. I was deeply

im­pressed to see that Umarex sup­plies three of them in the box, which I think is su­perb. With each of the cham­bers filled, the mag’ is slid into the frame from the left and then the pivot rod is pushed through by re­leas­ing in from its keep po­si­tion in the bar­rel shroud. Sounds com­pli­cated; takes sec­onds, once you’re used to it.


Gassed up and loaded we come to the good part, which is get­ting some trig­ger time. I’m very pleased to re­port that the trig­ger is in­deed very good. It can op­er­ate in dou­ble- or sin­gle-ac­tion modes, and the feel and move­ment in both is good. In fact, I think I should say ‘very good’, when you see just how lit­tle this re­volver costs. De­lib­er­ately aimed shots in sin­gle-ac­tion mode were a plea­sure and rapid fire se­quences in dou­ble-ac­tion felt well con­trolled. At six yards the sights shot a lit­tle high for me, but once I knew that ad­just­ing my aim was no prob­lem and I was soon shoot­ing to the cen­tre of the tar­get. In­ter­est­ingly, flat-out, dou­ble-ac­tion strings also shot high and a lit­tle to the right, say­ing some­thing about my tech­nique. I rarely shoot dou­ble­ac­tion re­volvers at speed these days but again once I was aware a quick ad­just­ment of my aim point brought me right back to cen­tre.

With the world go­ing lit­i­ga­tion mad as it has, Umarex now fits safety de­vices to all its hand­guns which can be rather ugly when done crudely. The one fit­ted to the Tor­nado is quite the op­po­site, be­ing sub­tle in ap­pear­ance and er­gonom­i­cally spot-on. The ser­rated tang sits dis­creetly in the top on the grips un­der the ham­mer spur, from where it can be eas­ily ac­ti­vated with your thumb. This po­si­tion also makes it am­bidex­trous. It blocks the trig­ger com­pletely so you’ll know im­me­di­ately if you’ve failed to dis­en­gage it be­fore at­tempt­ing a shot.

I’m sure you’ll have un­der­stood by now that I like this re­volver a great deal. It’s smooth, han­dles well and de­liv­ers ten BBs as fast as you can pull the ex­cel­lent trig­ger. As if that wasn’t enough you can buy one for just £59.95, which makes it an ab­so­lute bar­gain as well.

I re­ally liked the bal­ance and feel of the Tor­nado.

I like re­volvers and this one’s a win­ner. Above: Get­ting three mag­a­zines is quite su­perb! Left: Each mag’ takes 10 4.5mm BBs.

Flip­ping the left grip off re­veals the CO2 cap­sule cham­ber.

The heavy bar­rel shroud has a Weaver rail moulded in.

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