In a Spin
Phill Price gives us a whirlwind tour of the Tornado pistol from Umarex
“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.
WHAT IS IT?
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.