Gun test: The Umarex RP5 Carbine
PUBLISHED: 15:04 12 March 2019
When is a pistol not a pistol? When it’s an RP5 Carbine, of course! Dave Barham checks out the exciting new RP5 Carbine combo from Umarex
Just before Christmas, I was lucky enough to have one of the first Umarex RP5 pistols in the country dropped onto my desk to play with. This innovative, pump-action, CO2-powered pistol comes with either a single-shot tray magazine, or a 5-shot inline mag’ – and luckily for me, I’d been sent two of the 5-shot mag’s. However, after playing with the pistol, I now wish it was available with a 30-shot mag! what great fun it is to shoot!
Naturally, I took the RP5 home with me over the Christmas break and I had hours of fun in my back garden, whilst the rest of the family were sleeping off their Christmas dinner on the big day. The open sights provided are great for plinking, and I was looking forward to asking for a red-dot sight to see if that spiced things up a little.
When I returned to the office in the New Year, I received an email from Claire, at John Rothery Wholesale, asking if I’d like to take a look at the all-singing, all-dancing RP5 Carbine kit – basically an RP5 with the detachable stock fitted, a single-shot tray and a nifty hard case to keep it all in.
Of course, after having such fun with the pistol version, I was keen to see how it all transformed into a mini rifle. I wasn’t expecting what happened next, though.
All the gubbins
A day or so after replying to Claire, I received another email from her, this time asking if I would be so kind as to present a couple of sales videos for the RP5 set-ups, to which I replied ,“No problem at all.”
When the ‘box of goodies’ arrived in the office for the filming, I was excited to see that I’d been sent a plethora of add-ons, which transform the RP5 pistol turn into something that resembles a tactical rifle!
In the box there were various Picatinny rails, a Walther 4x32 MINI DC illuminating reticle scope, a Umarex TMB II bipod, an Airstream HiPower silencer and a Walther FLR650 laser sight/LED flashlight. I couldn’t wait to get home and get building.
The thing about this ‘pistol’ is that the permutations and add-ons are endless. The detachable, ambidextrous stock is a doddle to put on and take off – it’s held securely in place with a single Allen screw. With the Picatinny rails in place, you can attach whatever your heart desires and build your own gun to whichever spec’ you choose. If you want a red-dot sight, you can mount one on the Picatinny rail, or as I opted for, you can use mini-mounts and attach a scope directly to the pistol’s own 11mm rails.
Once I’d fully built the ‘rifle’ at home, it looked like something the Special Forces would use, rather than an air pistol. I was really keen to get outside and play with it, but it was dark by the time I’d finished, so in my excitement I just ran around my empty house in my boxer shorts with the laser sight switched on, re-enacting the Iranian Embassy siege instead!
The next morning, I set about doing some chronograph work to see what this set-up was pumping out. It was cold outside, really cold, in fact my bench had ice on it, and I wondered how that would affect the power, bearing in mind this is a CO2-powered pistol.
Time and time again, I had to tell myself that this RP5 was a pistol, not a rifle. So when it came to setting up some targets and zeroing the scope, I paced out ten metres and set up a backstop of slabs on which to pin my targets.
I loaded both mag’s, and cocked the pistol by depressing the large button on the pump grip and sliding it back. This moves the pin in the breech back so you can insert the magazine – it simply pushes into the slot, as simple as that.
Then it’s just a case of pushing the grip forward until it clicks, and you’re good to go.
It only took me ten shots to get the RP5 zeroed, and after that I was producing five-shot groups smaller than a 5-pence piece, regularly. The barrel on the RP5 is smooth, not rifled, but it is choked, which means the bore dimensions reduce slightly at the muzzle to ‘size’ each pellet just before it leaves the barrel. This ensures uniformity, and it certainly showed on the paper targets during my testing.
I shot standing, kneeling and finally back on the bench, each time emptying a 5-shot magazine into each target. You can see from the photo how accurate it is – very impressive!
I was having so much fun I completely forgot to take note of how many shots I was putting through it before I had to change the CO2 capsules. Oh well, I just had to start again. However, before I did, I called my mate, Roger, to tell him about the new set-up. He was itching to see it, so I suggested I drive over to his place so he could have a play with it, too.
Roger has a large yard, with all manner of odds and sods in it, which gave me the perfect location for an ‘urban airgun range’ photo shoot, and by the time I got there, he had set up a few targets dotted around the yard, each with a suitable backstop. We were now in full-on ‘random target’ mode, and the next hours flew by as we both took turns moving from shooting post to shooting post, taking shots at all the targets.
This time, I managed to keep a note of the shot count, which was bang on 50 shots for this .177 version. There was still a little gas in the tank, but I could hear that the pressure was dropping and the accuracy was beginning to drop away, too.
I think you can tell by now that I really like the RP5 Carbine. It’s so much more than just a pistol. It’s accurate, reliable and great fun to shoot.
The build quality is superb and Umarex are extremely proud of this fact, stamping ‘Made In Germany’ firmly on the breech block. Okay, the price tag might seem a little excessive to some, but I believe the quality of this pistol commands it.
The Umarex RP5 and its optional accessories create the perfect set-up for those ‘I just want to go outside and have some fun’ sessions. Highly recommended.
Importer: John Rotherary Wholesale
Model: RP5 Carbine
Type: CO2 (two 12-gram capsules)
Calibres: .177 and .22
Length: 752mm (without silencer)
Magazine capacity: Five or single shot
Pistol weight: 1140g
Carbine weight: 1940g (without bipod, scope and silencer)
Shot capacity: 30-50 depending on temp
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