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CO2 pistol test: The Shooting Party Taichi

PUBLISHED: 14:07 12 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:35 12 December 2016

Innovation, power and accuracy

Innovation, power and accuracy

Archant

Phill Price looks at an innovative new CO2 pistol, which comes in a choice of colours

Available in three colours - here's Phill's favourite Available in three colours - here's Phill's favourite

The manufacturers wanted the Taichi CO2 pistol to stand out from the crowd, not least because it comes in three colours. You can choose from black, electric blue or, my favourite, an anodised, matte brick-red. The colours aren’t the only thing to makes this gun different, though – It uses an efficient and innovative loading system that makes great sense too.

In its general layout, it’s much like other barrel-over-reservoir pistols with the cylinder containing the 12-gramme CO2 capsule lying below and parallel to the barrel. At the front is a chunky, knurled cap that you remove to load the CO2 and to compress the capsule against the piercing probe, which allows the gas to flow into the action. A neat touch here is that the cap has a steel insert where it contacts the capsule, to eliminate premature wear from the rotating pressure of driving the capsule in.

Above this, the slender barrel is contained within a shroud enclosing a machined muzzle brake, to eliminate any unwanted flip as the high pressure gas follows the pellet out. The shroud has three small holes drilled along the sides back toward the action, which I think are intended to vent pressure from the shroud. Whatever the plan, the Taichi is smooth and surprisingly quiet on firing.

The shroud hides this complex muzzle brake The shroud hides this complex muzzle brake

This is especially impressive when you find out my sample was making 4 1/2 ft.lbs. of muzzle energy in .177. My standard test pellet, the Air Arms Diablo Field (8.44grains), was approaching 500 fps with a fresh capsule on a warm day, so there was a lot of energy for the shroud to quieten down.

The pistol has no open sights as standard, but does have an 11mm scope-rail machined into the receiver to accept scopes, lasers or red-dot sights of your choice. I wanted to fit my favourite old Nikko Sterling Model 70 red dot that has served me well for years, both in IPAS competitions and plinking. However, it has a Weaver standard base so I fitted some Sportsmatch 11mm to Weaver adaptors (RB5), taking just seconds and was a rock-solid combination.

Coming to the rear of the pistol, we find the unusual loading mechanism. It’s a large block that swings to the right-hand side to expose the breech. The pellet is loaded straight into the barrel’s rifling, and you can feel the contact as you do. This helps you to spot any that are either too tight or too loose.

You can feel the pellet right into the rifling You can feel the pellet right into the rifling

The breech seal is in the face of the barrel, and the CO2 flows from the valve, up through the breech block and into the pellet’s skirt. After just minutes, I found the loading procedure completely natural, so much so I could do it without needing to look. After loading a pellet, you need to cock the exposed hammer with your thumb, just like you would a cowboy revolver.

The ambidextrous grips are lightly textured and quite deep from back to front, but narrow side to side. They worked well enough with my usual two-handed combat grip offering decent control.

Another highly unusual feature is the way the trigger travels straight back on a rod, rather than swinging on a pivot at the top of the blade. My test gun was a bit sticky and felt like it needed a bit of running in before it would give its best performance – even better would be a professional trigger job that would release its full potential.

The CO2 capsule is carried in the tube below the barrel The CO2 capsule is carried in the tube below the barrel

With the sight fitted, I was keen to get about shooting some groups. I’m pretty out of practice shooting handguns these days, but at 10 yards I was averaging 1”, with the odd flyer most likely being down to my shaky hands. It would be interesting to fit a scope with some magnification, and to shoot from a rested position, to see what the pistol is really capable of, rather than testing my skills.

I really like these pistols and can see why they’re selling so well. They offer plenty of interest and innovation alongside power and accuracy, all at a reasonable price. I can see the ‘upgrade and modification’ types taking them into their workshops to learn how to extract every last drop of accuracy from them.

The Shooting Party folks tell me these pistols are selling as fast as they can bring them in, so ask your local dealer if he can get you one. I think you’ll like the Taichi just as much as I did.

SPECIFICATIONS

Importer: The Shooting Party

Model: Taichi

Type: Single-shot, breech-loader

Power: 12 gramme Co2

Length: 13”

Weight: 1.4lbs

Includes: 5 x 12 CO2 capsules, plus a tin of pellets, and delivery

RRP: £239.00

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