Unfortunately, we do live in an age of consumables. That phone you paid top dollar for two years ago? Hardly worth repairing today. This is true for refrigerators, phones, and cars, and can openers, coffee makers, and TVs. Does anything have enduring value anymore?
We like to think that there are a few things out there that not only are superbly built and make great gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah now, but will stand the test of time and be passed on to a new generation years from now. Check out the gift suggestions below.
The RWS 34. This gun is a simple break barrel airgun that is available in both .177 and the increasingly popular .22 caliber. This gun has been around for decades with only small changes through that whole production run. Chief characteristics of the RWS guns, and the Model 34 in particular are excellent fit and finish and repeatable accuracy. The Model 34 just feels top quality when you pick one up. This tip-of-the-fingers difference continues and really tells the story when you get to the trigger. No matter if the gun is an oldie with the T01 trigger or a brand new gun with the T06 trigger, when the shooter engages the trigger on a Model 34, you will know what a good trigger feels like. The quality will show up on the target downrange! We receive calls all the time from grandparents who want to get their well-worn and abundantly shot Model 34 refurbished for their growing grandkids. This service is easily and quickly done by our gunsmiths and it is a fraction of the cost of a new gun. Whether you are looking to get yourself a new air rifle or it will be a gift for your children or grandchildren, the RWS 34 is hands down the best quality, most accessible break barrel gun on the market.
Break barrel air rifles hold a soft spot in my heart and many shooter’s hearts, but for others, there is no substitute for a side-cocking air rifle. To this end, the RWS 48 is the perennial champion. Once again the fit and finish of the Model 48 is something you’ll be proud to own and show off! Model 48s have a solid reputation of being both well made and extremely accurate. The side-cocking action is easy to use and become accustomed to. Besides the amazing accuracy of the Model 48, my favorite interaction with this air rifle is depressing the “bear-trap” release before closing the action. The quality of the rifle shows through as you begin to close the cocking arm and you are prepared to take your next shot at the bullseye! Once again, this rifle has been on the market for decades with very few changes. It is a recipe that resonates with shooters all over the world. RWS has enough business sense to leave that recipe alone!
Let's change gears to another line of air guns that we carry here at Umarex, the Walther brand. Walther is best known in the US as making the “James Bond” pistol. While that is very true, it is not the whole story of the Walther brand. In the 1950s Walther began making air rifles and pistols to fill both market need and to help bring the brand back after their production was interrupted after the Second World War. While continuing to make great firearms from then until now, they’ve also continued to make high quality airguns. Their line of air guns ranges from superb consumer level plinkers to Olympic Gold Medal winning Pre-Charged Pneumatics. The Terrus is a newer model for Walther, but it comes with the quality you would expect from a German manufacturer. The design aesthetic of the Walther Terrus is flawless. This gun features a checkered wood stock and the best open sights on any airgun less than $500. The trigger has the feel that you would expect from a gun that costs much more than the Terrus. Whether the Terrus is a gift for yourself or someone special, both the value and quality of the Terrus are hard to beat.
Also from Walther’s host of air guns, we would like to mention the CP88. In the late 1980s, Walther designed a pistol to compete for a military contract. While the P88 did not win the contract, it did win a cult-like following when they released the pistol to the market. The P88 was of top-notch quality from muzzle to magazine base plate. Unfortunately for Walther the P88 was up against long odds. Handgun buyers were moving towards polymer framed handguns that were much less labor intensive to build. The demand for the P88, while strong, was not strong enough to justify continued production of this gun beyond eight years from its introduction. The CP88 was born of the desire to produce a top quality CO2 pistol, and combine it with a great design. The CP88 has been a continual favorite in the Umarex catalog for years. Its appeal is not only to those who would like to get the real firearm one day, but to those who appreciate German engineering and design in a CO2 handgun that they can enjoy for recreation or friendly competition. This CO2 air pistol has been busting out the X ring of targets for years for thousands of happy shooters. Waking up to find this gift waiting for you would be a dream come true for any aficionado of quality design and function.
One of Smith & Wesson’s most famous designs is the 586 series revolver. The 586 is a .357 Magnum 7 shot double action that has been on the hips of law enforcement officers, competition shooters, hunters, and recreational shooters for several decades now. So when the opportunity came to build a CO2 .177 replica of their iconic revolver, we went first class! There are variations in barrel length and finish on our 586 as well as a 10 shot cylinder, rather than the 7 shots of the firearm. The visual appeal of the Smith & Wesson product is intertwined with the function and quality of our German air gun engineers. Yes, revolvers are still very popular today and our Smith & Wesson 586 would be a joy for any fan of wheel guns to unwrap this holiday season.
These gift ideas cover a lot of territory for a wide variety of shooters. The bottom line is that these picks are high quality, fun to use, easy to interface with, and durable. All of these are fully supported with parts from our service department in the even you ever need the gun repaired. It does bear to mention that following the manual for these or any other product will ensure long, happy use. If the manual recommends something for maintenance, follow its advice. Check out our accessories page for products to use in keeping your springer or CO2 air gun clean and healthy.
Mark Davis, avid outdoorsman and family man, is the Social Media Specialist at Umarex USA.