CompareComparing...


Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

Overview
Testers

Doug Wall
Stephen Archer

Caliber

.177 BBs

Model Number

2251803

Test Date

October 7 2015

Serial Numbers

14K02046

Source of Supply

Umarex USA

Condition

New

We Like

Fun, fun, fun with the blowback action!
Sooooooo realistic.
Great trigger.

We Don't Like

Poor shot count.
So so accuracy.
Not much else.

HAM Rating
Value for Money
100%
Comparison to Makers Claims
100%
Consistency
70%
Appearance and Finish
100%
Buying and Owning
70%
Realism, Looks Feel
100%
Realism - Trigger, Action
100%
Accuracy and Point of Aim
60%
Shot Count
40%
Muzzle Velocity
70%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

The Umarex P08 blowback pistol is a polarizing airgun. Most will love it: but a few won't.

If you've always loved the looks of the iconic Luger firearm and want a BB-shooting replica, you'll love it. The excellent realism, feel and the real operating toggle action make this a "no brainer". Buy it, shoot it fast, have loads of fun!

Just remember to buy a few extra magazines, a truckload of BBs and CO2 cartridges.

But if you're looking for accuracy and lots of shots from one CO2 cartridge, this is not the BB pistol for you. The realistic toggle action uses lots of gas and you need to keep reloading CO2s after every two magazines of BBs. This makes the Umarex P08 blowback pistol relatively expensive to shoot.

This is a HAM Silver Award winner.

86%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
Full Review

VALUE FOR MONEY

At a Street Price of around $110, the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is relatively expensive for a BB-firing replica air pistol. However, it offers a fine blend of realistic appearance, blowback operation and “field stripability”.

And, of course, it’s a replica of one of the most iconic and recognizable pistols ever made – the Luger.

Yes, there are cheaper, non-blowback versions of the P08 available. But HAM recommends that you spend a few bucks more and buy this blowback version if you want experience firing a P08. The Umarex P08 blowback pistol is the nearest you’ll come to enjoying a Luger firearm without buying the real thing.

HAM Test Rating86%
Value For MoneyVery realistic looks and blowback toggle operation.
Firearm it CopiesLuger (4-inch barrel, WW2 version).
Best BB TestedHornady Black Diamond.
Street Price at Time of Test$110.00.
Ammo Type.177 caliber steel BBs.
Power Source1 x 12 Gram CO2 cartridge.
Useful Shots per FillAbout 46.

Given the enormous collectability of the Luger firearm, it would be great if – someday – Umarex could offer a replica one of the long barreled versions – like the “Artillery Luger” – complete with wood grips, “snail magazine” and wood shoulder stock. But that’s wishful thinking! Until then, the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is available today and it’s a great replica at an affordable price.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Umarex Legends P08 Full Metal Pistol with Blowback
BUY FROM AMAZON
Umarex Legends P08 Blowback .177 BB Pistol

 

REALISM – LOOKS AND FEEL

The looks and feel of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol are outstanding. At arm’s length, this BB pistol is almost impossible to differentiate from the original cartridge firearm, except if you look very closely at the printed markings.

The size, looks and weight are all extremely close to those of the immortal “Luger” firearm that the P08 copies. Weight of the gun tested by HAM was 1 Lb 15 Oz. That’s exactly the same as the firearm it copies.

The number 15 is marked on the takedown lever, trigger side plate and safety bar of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. This detail is copied from the original firearm where the parts were hand-fitted and slightly different for every gun. The last 2 digits of the serial number were marked on some critical parts like this to ensure that the right parts went back on the right gun after cleaning. It’s another example of the attention to detail displayed by this BB pistol.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

 

REALISM – TRIGGER AND ACTION

The big deal about the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is that it offers a fully-operational toggle action, exactly like that of the Luger firearm. While the actual action cycle of the toggle may be very slightly slower than that of the Luger firearm, it really gives a kick to the gun when it’s fired. The toggle also locks “up” when the magazine is empty. Again, just like the firearm. This is a very realistic action.

The trigger of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol has that unusual, almost fully curved, design of the Luger firearm also. Not only that, but the external part of the trigger mechanism (the sear bar) flexes when the trigger is pulled. Again, just like the firearm. Trigger pull is short and crisp. Similar to the original, it’s actually better than some of the Luger firearms Steve has shot in the past.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

The trigger of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol tested by HAM was very suitable for “double tap” operation. It could be fired twice very rapidly, as fast as the trigger could be pulled.

Trigger pull weight averaged 3 Lb 9 Oz. This is a fairly accurate weight for a “good” Luger pistol.

Of course, the magazine release is in the correct location and functions as you would expect.

Even more impressive is the manner in which the Umarex P08 blowback pistol field strips. You guessed it: just like the firearm – at least as far as it goes.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

Steve was very excited about the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. As a fan of the Luger firearm (he once owned a 1917 “Artillery” Luger, with 8-inch barrel and clip-on wood stock), he just couldn’t stop shooting this gun!

 

ACCURACY AND POINT OF IMPACT

Accuracy of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol tested by HAM was generally “minute of soda can” accurate at 6 yards with most of the BBs in the standard HAM test range.

Best accuracy was produced in the Umarex P08 blowback pistol tested by HAM using Hornady Black Diamond BBs, although the ASG Blaster BBs also gave decent groups.

HAM has certainly tested more accurate BB pistols than this one. It’s possible that the toggle action – which gives the P08 its realistic kick – also causes some of this inaccuracy. But the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is not intended to be a target pistol. If accuracy is your biggest requirement in an air pistol, there are many other choices out there.

The Umarex P08 blowback pistol tested by HAM tended to shoot high and left, as you can see from the test targets below. Of course the realistic sights – a notch in the rear of that moving toggle and a fixed front – are never going to give great accuracy. On the original Luger firearm, the front sight could be drifted over to adjust the point of impact. But the Umarex P08 blowback pistol does not have this feature, so the gun just shoots where it shoots. (Steve doesn’t care, he’s STILL smiling!).

Below. The grips can be un-clipped after removing the retaining screw. Visible are the magazine release (left) and safety (right) mechanisms.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

There was also a tendency to vertical stringing on the target. This may have been due to the rapidly-falling muzzle velocity during each string (see Consistency, below), but it’s more likely caused by the very primitive rear sight rising and falling on the toggle action.

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Hornady Black Diamond Steel BBs, .177 Cal, 5.1 Grains, Anodized Finish, 1500ct
BUY FROM AMAZON
Umarex USA .177 Black Diamond Steel BBs

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

The Umarex P08 blowback pistol tested by HAM matched the manufacturer’s claims for a muzzle velocity of 300 FPS. The magazine holds the 21 BBs claimed, too.

And all claims for realism of looks and operation are fully met by the P08.

 

CONSISTENCY

As with any CO2-powered BB pistol, best velocity and consistency will be with slow fire. Some velocity will be regained by resting the gun between strings, thus allowing it to warm up. However, the Umarex P08 blowback pistol tested by HAM lost muzzle velocity very fast.

As you can see from the test target Chrony printouts, the loss in muzzle velocity over 10 shots could be as high as 54 FPS between Shot 1 and Shot 10. And that was during our 10-shot slow fire strings…

Once Steve began blazing away with rapid fire, it was far worse. Muzzle velocity fell like a stone from shot-to-shot and the CO2 cartridge in the magazine became coated with ice! Falling FPS with rapid fire is inherent to any CO2-powered airgun, of course. It’s just that Umarex P08 blowback pistol shows this characteristic more markedly than most CO2 pistols.

For the record, the HAM tests were undertaken at 64 degrees F. This is lower than is preferred by CO2-powered airguns, but it is typical of the temperatures in basements where many replica pistols are often fired.

Trigger pull weight was quite consistent. varying by less than half a pound more or less than the average of 3 Lb 9 Oz.

During HAM testing, the Umarex P08 blowback pistol delivered no jams or misfires.

Accuracy varied quite widely in the Umarex P08 blowback pistol  tested by HAM. Although never great, the groups opened-out more with both the lightest BBs (Crosman Copperheads) and the heaviest (Daisy Avanti). Mid-weight BBs gave the best accuracy in HAM testing.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

 

SHOT COUNT

That excellent, realistic toggle action has another big downside when it comes to shot count in the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. Overcoming the inertia and friction of the multiple moving parts requires energy. That energy has to come from the CO2 that is then not available for propelling the BBs.

Also, there’s clear evidence of CO2 mist coming from the action when the P08 is fired, particularly when the cartridge is new and the pressure high. That’s simply wasted gas.

HAM tester Doug Wall’s test results show that the Umarex P08 blowback pistol runs out of usable shots at about shot 46. This is very low and effectively means that you’re installing a new CO2 cartridge every second magazine (it holds 21 BBs). Doug recorded his verdict in his testing notes: “Shot count is not very good. For this muzzle velocity, I would expect much higher.”

So realistic operation has its cost. The great toggle action of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is paid for with a very low shot count.

 

MUZZLE VELOCITY

Muzzle velocity of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol tested by HAM produced 10-shot averages in the range between 294 FPS and 301 FPS. The first shot in each string was generally in the 315-330 FPS range.

As described in the Consistency section of this review, there was a considerable drop in muzzle velocity with each shot due to the cooling effect of the CO2 used to operate the toggle blowback. This gives the lower average numbers you see here.

Note that the HAM tests were conducted in a range at 64 degrees F. This is low for any CO2-powered airgun, but it is typical of the basement ranges where many of these guns will be fired. Of course, muzzle velocity will be higher if the Umarex P08 blowback pistol was operated at higher ambient temperatures.

BBsAverage Muzzle VelocityAverage Muzzle EnergyAccuracy
Crosman Copperhead 5.13 Grain301 FPS1.03 Ft/LbsOK.
Umarex Steel 5.29 Grain301 FPS1.06 Ft/LbsOK.
AEG Blaster 5.32 Grain294 FPS1.02 Ft/LbsGood.
Hornady Black Diamond 5.36 Grain285 FPS0.96 Ft/LbsGood. Best Tested.
Daisy Avanti 5.44 Grain294 FPS1.04 Ft/LbsPoor.

Muzzle energy is in the 1 Ft/Lb range. This is perfect for paper punching and close-range plinking, but the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is not powerful enough for any hunting use. This applies, of course, to all other CO2-powered BB pistols.

 

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

The Umarex P08 blowback pistol seems to be manufactured entirely from metal, except for the plastic grips. Yes, if you observe closely, you’ll see that the metal finish is not blued like the original: it’s black powder coated.

And yes, there are raised “F” and “S” letters above the safety, together with a red dot revealed when the pistol is not on safe. These are not on the original forearm but are sensible safety precautions for the modern shooter. But the original GESICHERT (it means “made safe” in German) is still revealed when the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is on safe. The safety scratches a neat semicircular line in the finish when it’s used – again just like the original.

Although most Lugers were fitted with wood grips, some late WW2-models are reliably reported to have been fitted with black plastic grips. This is the type fitted to the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. The WW2 affiliations of this replica are enhanced by the “42” at the top rear of the toggle. On the firearm this represented the year of manufacture – 1942.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

There’s also a maker’s code printed on the toggle of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. It’s “ac”. You can imaging someone at Umarex enjoying this. Why? Well, “ac” was the WW2 German code for the manufacturer Carl Walther. Walther is now owned by Umarex so, in a way, the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is a replica of a gun manufactured by a predecessor of Umarex itself!

 

BUYING AND OWNING

Like other BB-firing replicas from Umarex, the P08 blowback pistol has a 90-day warranty. Although this is greater than the warranty period provided by some other manufacturers (ASG and SIG give just 60 days), Crosman provides 12 months warranty on its BB replica pistols and Gletcher gives a class-leading 18 months.

As with other BB pistols, the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is not designed to be repaired – certainly not by the customer. However, as the valve is contained in the magazine, it can be easily replaced if defective, simply by replacing the magazine.

And you definitely will want to buy several additional magazines for the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. Given the low shot count, having multiple magazines pre-loaded with CO2s and BBs is the best way to ensure a long, enjoyable shooting session with the P08. Buy plenty of 12 Gram CO2 cartridges at the same time as you get the additional magazines. You’re going to be using them fast!

A separate Allen (hex) wrench is required for installing CO2 cartridges. Of course, one is supplied with the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. But if you loose it, you may like to know that the size is 6mm metric.

Packaging of the Umarex P08 blowback pistol is excellent. There’s a strong card box and molded foam insert. This will help ensure that your new air pistol reaches you in perfect condition, no matter what rough treatment a shipping company may deal out to the parcel.

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review

The P08 is supplied with an excellent illustrated instruction manual. This provides considerable operational and safety information for using the Umarex P08 blowback pistol. It’s in English, French and Spanish. Also included a leaflet explaining how to register your airgun (for warranty purposes) and a useful “Airgun Safety Rules” leaflet.

SAFETY FIRST. As with all BB-firing airguns, it’s necessary to wear shooting glasses when firing this airgun. Also do not shoot at hard surfaces or water. BBs tend to bounce off these surfaces and may hit you, or something other than what you intended. If in doubt, don’t pull the trigger! Due to the realistic appearance of this product, handle it as you would a firearm. Do not display it in public or in any place where it could be mistaken for a cartridge firearm.

 

6 YARD TEST TARGETS

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review Crosman Copperhead BBs

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review Umarex Steel BBs

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review Hornade Black Diamond BBs

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review ASG Blaster BBs

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review Hornady Black Diamond BBs

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review Avanti BBs

 

10 YARD TEST TARGET

Umarex P08 Blowback Pistol Test Review Hornady Black Diamond BBs 10 yards

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Umarex Legends P08 Full Metal Pistol with Blowback
BUY FROM AMAZON
Umarex Legends P08 Blowback .177 BB Pistol

This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.