Top Value Guns

Tim Fin­ley brings us one of the true iconic pis­tols

Airgun World - - Contents -

Tim Fin­ley shows us the iconic Gletcher Parabellum CO2 pis­tol

There are many guns that have iconic sta­tus and the Pis­tole Parabellum 1908, patented by Ge­org J Luger, is one such gun. The semi-au­to­matic pis­tol has a unique tog­gle ac­tion, and was used by Ger­many in both world wars. Univer­sally known as ‘the Luger’, the an­gled grip and slim­line ac­tion make it in­stantly recog­nis­able. The 9x19mm Parabellum car­tridge was de­vel­oped for the pis­tol af­ter it was first pro­duced in 7.65mm Parabellum.

We now have sev­eral CO2 BB-fir­ing ver­sions of the fa­mous Luger on the mar­ket, and Gletcher ‘Mil­i­tary Pre­ci­sion’ has pro­duced two of them in the USA; the P08, and the Parabellum – the new ver­sion, which is brought into the UK by Armex. I al­ready own the first ver­sion of the fa­mous Luger pis­tol, the P08, and both old and new ver­sions have a blow-back ac­tion that mim­ics the real Luger’s tog­gle ac­tion. This truly unique ac­tion is made for a very low re­coil pis­tol, mak­ing it ac­cu­rate as a re­sult, and just as they did with the older P08, Gletcher has made the CO2-pow­ered pis­tol work the same as the real firearm.


Changes have been made with the Parabellum. The P08 was based upon the WW1 firearm, with a brown grip and grey ac­tion, but the new Parabellum is ‘World War Two’ with an all-black ac­tion and grip. The spe­cial model I had for this re­view has ‘WWII Com­mem­o­ra­tive Edi­tion 0001 of 1945’ writ­ten in white on the left-hand side of the ac­tion, mak­ing it a de­sir­able item in­deed. It is also marked ‘PARABELLUM’ in white writ­ten on the side of the ac­tion.

The 12 gramme CO2 bulb is now housed in the re­move­able mag­a­zine and it needs a CRV 1/4 Allen key to pierce the bulb – Gletcher pro­vide the key in the box with the in­struc­tion man­ual. The base also mim­ics the two con­cave discs on each side of the mag­a­zine ,which fit into cut-outs in the grip. I love the grip on the Parabellum be­cause it’s ex­tremely er­gonomic, and so the aim­ing process is very nat­u­ral.


The sight base is 200mm long, and the rear sight is a sim­ple ‘vee’ cut-out in the mov­ing tog­gle sec­tion. The tog­gle ac­tion of the gun re­ally does make it unique, es­pe­cially be­cause the gun is also a blow-back CO2 pis­tol, so the ac­tion cy­cles back like a real firearm. The gun does move in your hand when fir­ing, and the rear sight is a notch on the back of the mov­ing tog­gle mech­a­nism. Of course, this means that you lose the sight pic­ture as the tog­gle comes up, and the fixed ‘vee’ notch has no ad­just­ment – on the real Luger you could move the front post side­ways on a ‘vee-block’ sys­tem. On the Parabellum. the front post is a fixed part of the cast­ing, but I found I could hit what I was aim­ing at very well with the Gletcher.


Un­der the front post, the bar­rel it­self is re­cessed into a faux sec­tion of ri­fling made to re­sem­ble the real 9mm bar­rel. The trig­ger pull on the Parabellum is just over 1.5kg, and the trig­ger blade it­self is the same as the real gun – a three-quar­ter cir­cle tucked snugly into the cir­cu­lar trig­ger guard, and with the an­gled grip, the trig­ger fin­ger sits per­fectly. Ge­org cer­tainly knew a lot about er­gonomics! So much so that Sturm Ruger also went for a 55-de­gree grip on their fa­mous Mk1 pis­tol, to match Ge­org’s de­sign.

A big change on the Parabellum com­pared to my P08 is the colour of the grips, which are very black on the Parabellum to match the coat­ing on the ac­tion. You can get spare magazines for the Parabellum – they cost £26 and have the code GLM26-PARA. They are com­pletely dif­fer­ent to the P08, and ac­cord­ing to Gletcher, hold 19 4.5mm BBs as op­posed to 20 in the thin­ner P08 mag­a­zine, which does not also house the CO2 bulb.

I found I could fit 20 in the mag’, but you need spare magazines to get the most fun out of CO2 pis­tols be­cause mag­a­zine changes are what they are all about. An­other good thing is that you can ac­tu­ally get spare mag’s for the Gletch­ers. Many CO2 pis­tols are sold over here with no real way of get­ting ex­tra magazines.


The gun has a man­ual safety catch on the rear left-hand side of the ac­tion, and this is very eas­ily op­er­ated by the thumb of a right-handed shooter. In the ‘down’ po­si­tion lined up with the lower ‘S’ it is in safe mode and shows the word “GESICHERT” , mean­ing ‘safe’ in Ger­man. Mov­ing the lever up to line up with the ‘F’ cov­ers the ‘safe’ word and re­veals a red dot, which means the gun is ready to shoot. The safety blocks the op­er­a­tion of the trig­ger. Gletcher have even moulded in a loop for a strap, and the very rear of the ac­tion on the real Lugers had a ‘T’ sec­tion to which a butt stock could be fit­ted, so they even have the raised ‘T’ sec­tion on the base of the grip, where butt stocks were at­tached – the at­ten­tion to de­tail by Gletcher is well worth men­tion­ing.

“An­other good thing is that you can ac­tu­ally get spare mag’s for the Gletch­ers


Over the chrono­graph the gun gave me 0.8 ft.lbs. with 5.2 grain steel BBs. Shot count was 47 shots or ‘two magazines and a bit’ worth of shots; half­way down the third mag­a­zine the blow-back tog­gle ac­tion stopped work­ing and the CO2 vented. The rel­a­tively small num­ber of shots is the price you have to pay for hav­ing the ul­tra-cool re­al­is­tic tog­gle ac­tion mov­ing about. The Parabellum also has ‘last shot hold open’, so when your 19/20 shots are done and the mag­a­zine is empty, the tog­gle stays up in the air.

At six yards, the 200mm long sight base and fixed sights gave me groups un­der an inch, which is fine for plink­ing – this is not a tar­get gun and does not pro­fess to be. It is a well-built, qual­ity CO2 BB pis­tol based upon an iconic firearm that ev­ery­one can en­joy shoot­ing.

Many thanks to Peter and all the staff at Armex for their help in the pro­duc­tion of this ar­ti­cle.

Un­like the P08, the CO2 bulb is in the mag­a­zine.

It looks like the real thing. Gletcher has gone into de­tail on the ‘au­then­tic’ front.

The tiny hole to load the BBs. You have to pull down this but­ton in or­der to load the mag­a­zine.

The gun has last shot hold open.

It has a small front fixed post.

The sim­ple ‘vee’ notch is on the tog­gle ac­tion.

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