M4 PLAYER

The ed­i­tor is taken aback by this stun­ning M4 air­gun from Umarex

Air Gunner - - Contents -

The ed­i­tor has doubts, but changes his opin­ion when he re­views a Colt M4 from Umarex

Umarex has a fan­tas­tic rep­u­ta­tion for mak­ing airguns that are also repli­cas of some of the most iconic firearms the world has ever known. It seems that they have the cred­i­bil­ity and mar­ket pres­ence to per­suade man­u­fac­tur­ers to is­sue them with li­cences, which is no easy feat. Be­cause of this, the de­tail and ac­cu­racy of the repli­cas is quite ex­em­plary, so when I heard that they were go­ing to of­fer a Colt M4, I was ex­cited, but when I saw a photo and was told it was a break-bar­rel, I’ll con­fess that I had my doubts. I won­dered if I’d been sent the wrong photo. When they said it would make over 11ft.lbs., I was re­ally sure I’d been sent the wrong photo. How could they fit a spring-pow­ered, break-bar­rel ac­tion in the same space as a fully au­to­matic 5.56 as­sault ri­fle? It just didn’t seem pos­si­ble.

The ri­fle in ques­tion sits be­side me on my desk as I type, and it’s time for me to eat my words. It is in­deed a break-bar­rel springer and the high­est praise must go to the de­sign­ers and engi­neers at Umarex, be­cause any sign that it’s an air­gun is al­most com­pletely hid­den. Only the ar­tic­u­lated cock­ing link­age that can be seen in the gap un­der the fore end re­ally shows, and there’s a short cut- out in the top Weaver rail where the breech swings up. From the side, the replica is ut­terly con­vinc­ing. An­other wel­come part of the li­cence is that Umarex were able to ap­ply Colt trade­marks to the ac­tion, along­side all the other mak­ings the firearm would carry, even to the ex­tent it reads ‘5.56 NATO’ on the bar­rel telling us the car­tridge used.

FULL-POWER PROVEN

To see if the claim of full power would also prove to be true, I chrono­graphed the M4 with my stan­dard test pel­let, the ever- re­li­able Air Arms Field Di­ablo, which weighs 8.44 grains in .177. Av­er­age ve­loc­ity was 793fps for a cal­cu­lated muz­zle en­ergy of 11.79ft.lbs. Well, it’s time for me to eat my words again! That’s as pow­er­ful an air­gun as you can own with­out the need to pos­sess a firearm cer­tifi­cate. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the ri­fle is a lit­tle lively in the hands and re­ally quite loud, but for those look­ing for a firearm-like ex­pe­ri­ence, both of those qual­i­ties will be most wel­come.

Umarex copied the bat­tle sights with a post-style front sight and a flip-up peep sight at the rear. The rear one has a sim­ple thumb-screw ad­juster for windage whilst the front is more un­usual. To ad­just el­e­va­tion you en­gage a small tool supplied to wind it up or down, which is

“as pow­er­ful an air­gun as you can own with­out the need to pos­sess a firearm cer­tifi­cate”

neat. Be­cause the rear sight folds down it gives ac­cess for you to use whichever add- on sights you might like. The long sec­tion of Weaver rail will eas­ily ac­cept red- dots and holo­graphic sights, as well as more con­ven­tional scopes. How­ever, please re­mem­ber that it you do fit a full-size scope, it will need to clear the breech as the bar­rel is cocked, so don’t choose any­thing too long. The front sight is fixed, so you will see its shadow through op­ti­cal sights.

COM­BAT COOL

Many will buy this ri­fle to en­joy the fea­tures that a com­bat ri­fle of­fers, and the M4 has stacks; some prac­ti­cal, some just for fun. On the ‘ fun’ list is the dummy mag­a­zine that is re­leased and re­fit­ted, just as in the real thing. The mag­a­zine even has a spring-loaded fol­lower that com­presses as it would if you were load­ing car­tridges. I’m sure in­ven­tive minds will find ways to use this to store ac­ces­sories and clean­ing kit. On the more prac­ti­cal list, we find acres of Weaver rails that will al­low you to load the ri­fle with lasers, flash­lights, ther­mal im­agers and any other ac­ces­sory you can think of. On the sides of the fore end, the Weaver rail is cov­ered with hand guards that pro­tect your fin­gers from the sharp edges and the RIS ( Rail In­ter­face Sys­tem) al­lows them to be un­locked and slid off in mo­ments when you want to add ac­ces­sories.

AD­JUSTABLE STOCK

Per­haps the most use­ful ac­ces­sory of all is the in­stantly ad­justable-length stock. This copies the com­bat firearm per­fectly, of­fer­ing six pull lengths, from 10 to 13” at the press of a large lever. Metal sling swivels are also stan­dard, mak­ing longer car­ries more com­fort­able and al­low­ing for mil­i­tary-style, aim sup­port tech­niques to be adopted.

Adding to the plea­sure of own­er­ship, the Umarex M4 has a good heft in the hands and feels chunky and solidly built, de­spite the amount of plas­tic used in the con­struc­tion, but you say just the same about the orig­i­nal firearm. It looks great, is an hon­est, full-power air ri­fle and drips with mil­i­tary cool­ness.

It has a good heft in the hands yet is very lively on fir­ing

It re­ally is a break- bar­rel, although from the side you’d never know

The dummy mag’ is re­leased just like the real thing

Be­cause this is a li­censed gun it wears the full Colt trade­mark­ings

The stock can be col­lapsed at the press of a lever

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