Legends M712 Full-Auto CO2 BB Pistol Review
Aug 5, 2016
Supplied by Umarex USA
Full auto fun.
Very realistic appearance.
And did we mention it's great fun to fire full auto?
Low shot count.
Sample shot to left.
You'll spend more time loading BBs than firing them.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Where else can you find a superbly realistic replica BB pistol version of an iconic firearm that gives you both semi-auto and full-auto blowback action? Now factor-in that the chances of ever being able to own the original firearm version are vanishingly small, very difficult (full auto!) and frighteningly expensive.
Measured in these terms, the Legends M712 is in a league of its own. And at a Street Price of around $110, nothing comes close in “smiles per hour” of full-auto fun.
|HAM Test Rating||70%|
|Value For Money||Great accuracy and shot count. Easy Bb loading.|
|Firearm it Copies||It doesn't.|
|Best BB Tested||ASG Blaster.|
|Street Price at Time of Test||$24.99.|
|Ammo Type||.177 caliber steel BBs.|
|Power Source||1 x 12 Gram CO2 cartridge.|
|Useful Shots per Fill||About 180.|
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Umarex M712 Full-Auto CO2 BB Pistol
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Legends M712 BB Pistol
REALISM – LOOK AND FEEL
The Legends M712 full-auto CO2 BB pistol is an outstanding replica of the Mauser Model 1932 selective fire military pistol, usually known by it’s German designation “Schnellfeuer”. In the USA, this gun was marketed as the “Model 712”, hence the M712 designation of this replica.
The overall looks and feel of the Legends M712 are very, very close to that of the firearm original. (I used to own an original Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” pistol and so am intimately acquainted with the basic design – of which the Schnellfeuer was a later development).
The only real appearance negatives are the grey powder-coat finish – instead of bluing, of course, and the lightening cuts in the side of the frame. In the original, these lightening cuts were milled out of the frame and left visible machining marks. In the replica, the lightening cuts are a molded part of the frame. And, OK, the lanyard ring really should be somewhat more substantial…
But these should not detract from the amazing realism displayed by the Legends M712 full-auto CO2 BB pistol. The correct Schnellfeuer ring hammer is fitted, the magazine drops away from the frame in the correct fashion, too. (Non-Schnellfeuer Broomhandles were loaded from the top with a stripper clip and the magazine was an integral part of the frame).
The selector switch is of the correct pattern and in the correct location, as are the safety and sights. The rear sight – again like the original – really belongs on a Mauser 98 military rifle as it’s graduated out to 1,000 Meters (1,100 yards) range. On a pistol, what were they thinking?
My guess is that the 1,000 Meter sights were actually a Mauser marketing ploy, although the original was supplied with a wooden holster that could be fixed to the pistol grip. This transformed the Broomhandle into a carbine of sorts, significantly increasing the effective range – although not even to 100yards!
The wooden holster/stock was attached using a slot in the rear of the pistol’s frame. This slot is faithfully reproduced in the Legends M712. I’ll bet that an original stock will fit perfectly!
The plastic grips have a very well-executed wood grain effect, perhaps the best simulated wood I’ve seen. They have the correct looks, shape and ridges that earned the Broomhandle Mauser firearm its nickname.
There’s not too much non-authentic printing on the frame, all of it is on the right side. Amusingly, the Legends M712 carries “ac” on the frame. This was the German World War Two ordnance code for Carl Walther. But it’s a joke for those in the know as Walther has, of course, been owned by Umarex for many years. Of course the Broomhandle was not manufactured during the Second World War, nor was it ever manufactured by Carl Walther, but someone in Umarex obviously couldn’t resist marking it “ac”.
ACCURACY AND POINT OF IMPACT
The handling – or should I say lack of handling! – of this Legends replica are almost indistinguishable from that of the original. The lack of inherent “pointability” was a major disadvantage of the firearm original and this has been faithfully replicated by the Legends M712 replica.
HAM tester Doug Wall found that the Legends M712 full-auto CO2 BB pistol gave “minute of soda can” accuracy at 6 yards with all the standard HAM BBs except for the Crosman Copperheads.
Best accuracy was obtained using the Umarex Steel BBs. These gave a 10-shot group of just over 1-inch CTC at 6 yards, although the group opened-up a lot at 10 yards, as you can see from the test target below.
The Legends M712 tested by HAM shot somewhat left of the point of aim with all the BBs tested. As there’s no windage adjustment available with either the front or rear sight, there’s not much that be done to correct this, except for aiming-off.
Of course, the Broomhandle Mauser was never intended to be a precision target pistol. Personally, I would have been very pleased to achieve targets like this with my old firearm C96!
And one other thing. Obviously, Doug shot for accuracy in semi-auto mode. Firing the Legends M712 CO2 BB pistol in full-auto mode leads to huge smiles from the shooter. The HAM testers found that reasonable accuracy was obtained in full auto by firing short bursts of 5-8 shots with a two-handed grip, holding the magazine with the forward hand. This held the shots on target and the warmth of the hand helped to limit the cooling effect of firing.
Shooting full auto one-handed in a long burst will scare even a paper target, but don’t expect to actually hit too much! In this respect, too, the M712 is just like its firearms original.
On a serious note, using full auto on the Legends M712 requires extra care for safety. So be VERY AWARE of your surroundings to allow for this and ensure that everyone in the area is wearing safety glasses. Yeah, they should be anyway, but double check before moving that selector switch to “R”!
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Umarex claims a muzzle velocity of 360 FPS for the Legends M712. In HAM testing, the highest muzzle velocity for a 10-shot string was 345 FPS. But the highest muzzle velocities for individual shots were in the 350+ FPS range. As you can see from the test targets, these were always the first shots in a string.
Given that HAM testing was undertaken at a range temperature of 67 degrees F, fairly low for a CO2-powered airgun, it’s clear that the manufacturer’s muzzle velocity claim for the M712 will be achieved, or even exceeded, in warmer temperatures.
Another claim is that the M712 is an 18-shot BB pistol. In HAM testing, we consistently loaded 20 BBs at a time into the magazine without any problems. Again the manufacturer’s claims were exceeded.
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. In Doug Wall’s shooting test, the Legends M712 gave reasonably consistent muzzle velocities throughout the strings. This was reflected in the fairly low Standard Deviation numbers of 10 FPS or less.
Muzzle velocity was thus more consistent than we anticipated in semi-auto firing. But, of course, all bets are off in full-auto and the muzzle velocity would be expected to fall very fast with the selector set to “R”.
The HAM tests were undertaken at 67 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 of the M712 was also fairly consistent. Most measurements showed trigger pull weights on the 5 Lbs+ range, although one strayed down as low as 4 Lb 4 Ozs.
Accuracy also was fairly consistent in the M712 tested by HAM. With the exception of the Crosman Copperhead BBs, 10-shot groups at 6 yards were all in the 1-inch to 1.5-inch range. Again, this is good consistency.
During HAM testing, the Legends M712 full-auto CO2 BB pistol delivered no jams or misfires.
REALISM – TRIGGER AND ACTION
Just like the original, the Legends M712 has no slide. The bolt moves back and forward and is cocked by pulling back on the “wings” just in front of the hammer. The blowback action of the M712 BB pistol replicates that of the original here, too.
The selector switch can be set to “N” for semi-automatic fire. Rotating this to “R” sets the gun to its full auto, “Rock and Roll” mode and the shooter’s face to a big smile! Note, though, that there’s no hold open on the Legends M712. After the magazine is emptied of its 18 BBs, the gun will continue to fire full auto until you release the trigger, even though many of these shots will have been blanks.
The single action trigger pull comes in at a military grade 5 Lbs plus. HAM tester Doug Wall liked the trigger. Here’s what he wrote in his testing notes: “The trigger is very nice. It feels lighter than the 5 Lbs+ measured pull. Very crisp!”
The manual safety is to the left of the hammer. Up for safe, down to fire. The original Mauser Broomhandle firearm was notorious for its unreliable safety mechanism. Make that safety mechanisms, as a number of safeties were developed during the course of the firearm’s production life. As far as I know, none of them was ever 100% safe. In HAM testing, the Legends M712 safety worked well, so this could be one important area where the BB version is superior to the original.
The Legends M712 is fairly loud for a BB pistol when fired. There’s also some felt recoil, probably due to that heavy bolt slamming back and forth under fire. Both of these things enhance the experience of shooting the gun – at least in the HAM team’s opinion!
From all appearances, the Legends M712 will probably field strip in a similar manner to the firearms original. But I know enough about Broomhandle Mausers not to try this! The mechanism of the C96 Broomhandle was very intricate – and that Schnellfeuer more so. I never field-stripped by own C96 firearm and I’m not going to try with the M712 BB version either. If you want to try, go ahead but don’t be surprised if you can’t get it back together again. I strongly recommend that you don’t try this at home, folks.
One very minor inaccuracy is that – as with other BB-firing replicas from Umarex, the hammer does not actually hit the bolt and doesn’t rest against it when on safe. But this is less obvious than with the revolvers from the same manufacturer. The hammer actually hits the pin you can see below the hammer in the photo below.
The smile count may be high for the Legends M712, but the shot count isn’t. In HAM testing, semi-auto fire gave only 55 shots from one CO2 cartridge. The valve dumped the remaining CO2 at around shot 55 when the muzzle velocity had fallen to around 200 FPS.
When shooting full auto, the shot count is likely to be less, due to the strong cooling effect of rapid fire and the great likelihood that you’ll fire many blanks unintentionally.
This low shot count is likely due to the large, heavy bolt (again, just like the firearm). This needs a lot of energy to cycle and that means lots of CO2 used in the blowback action.
The Legends M712 full-auto CO2 BB pistol tested by HAM gave surprisingly high muzzle velocities in the range between 335 and 345 FPS with the standard selection of HAM test BBs. This is close to the highest of any BB pistol tested by HAM to date and gives a muzzle energy of 1.3 to 1.45 Ft/Lbs. That’s plenty for paper punching and some close range plinking, but still not for hunting any type of critter under any circumstances.
|BBs||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Crosman Copperhead 5.13 Grain||334 FPS||1.27 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Umarex Steel 5.29 Grain||340 FPS||1.36 Ft/Lbs||Very Good Best tested.|
|ASG Blaster 5.32 Grain||342 FPS||1.38 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Hornady Black Diamond 5.36 Grain||336 FPS||1.34 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Daisy Avanti 5.44 Grain||345 FPS||1.44 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Umarex Precision Steel BBs 5.1 grains, Speedloader, 1,500ct, 0.177″
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Umarex Steel BBs, 1500 Count
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Overall appearance and finish of the Legends M712 is very good.
Yes, the finish is a powder coat and not the deep bluing of the firearm original. (But so are all replica BB pistols). And we started to see the first signs of surface finish wear during testing. Look at the mark around the “S” of the safety in the photograph below.
But look, too at the very realistic appearance of the “wood” grips! Incidentally, these are the only external parts made of plastic. Everything else is metal. For such a realistic replica pistol selling for around $110, it’s very difficult to quibble with this level of finish.
BUYING AND OWNING
As we noted above, the M712 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 may want to buy additional magazines for the Legends M712. Especially when firing full auto, having multiple magazines pre-loaded with CO2s and BBs is the best way to ensure an enjoyable shooting session. The M712 has far from the slowest BB pistol magazine to fill, but filling it still takes a relatively long time – time that you would prefer to use for actually shooting…
The only downside here is that additional magazines are $40 each. This sounds expensive, but it’s not really when you look at the size, weight, finish and complexity of the magazine.
At any event, buy a ton of 12 Gram CO2 cartridges. 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 M712. But if you loose it, you may like to know that the size is 6mm metric.
Like other BB-firing replicas from Umarex, the Legends M712 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.
Packaging of the Legends 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.
The gun is supplied with an comprehensive illustrated instruction manual. This provides some operational and safety information. However, it fails to mention that the bolt needs to be pulled back (grip those wings) and then released before the gun can be fired. OK, most of us would know this, but it’s a strange omission from an otherwise quite comprehensive booklet.
The manual is 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
10 YARD TEST TARGET
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Umarex M712 Full-Auto CO2 BB Pistol
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Legends M712 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.