Record Jumbo Air Pistol
Record Jumbo Air Pistol.
John Griffiths, author of The Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols, writes of this model:
After the demise of the Eusta air pistol in the early 1970's no concentric air pistols were being produced anywhere in the world, and it was not until 1982 that this hiatus was filled, when a new and unusual model from Germany came onto the market. This was the highly innovative Record Jumbo air pistol, made by Fritz Barthelmes KG, Sportwaffenfabrik of Heidenheim-Oggenhausen, Germany.
The pistol was the invention of the then owner of the company, Martin Barthelmes, and its unique features were
(a) A revolutionary oval compression chamber that helped maximise the volume of swept air whilst retaining a narrow profile for the pistol. (b) An overlever cocking system where the pivot point for the lever is below rather than the usual position level with the cylinder. This was the first time a non-circular air cylinder had been used in an air gun of any kind. These features were patented in Germany and the UK in 1982.
Overall these design features made for a very compact pistol that was only 18 cm in total length, virtually the same as the Thunderbolt Junior and yet producing far greater power. In relation to size, ease of cocking and power, the overall efficiency this pistol must be on a par with that of the Hy-Score pistols. The pistol was relatively successful and survived into the mid to late 1990's. It had certainly been discontinued by the time that the Fritz Barthelmes company, which by then had got into financial difficulties, was taken over by I.W.G. Enser Sportwaffen GmbH in 1997.
There were few variations to the design, and pistols were available with smooth, checkered or, in the de luxe version, oak leaf patterned grips. The Jumbo Target de luxe version was introduced in late 1983 and had an adjustable sight. The gun was also marketed as the “Mauser Jumbo”, and had its own distinctive box with this name displayed. The pistol itself is largely of alloy construction with some steel parts, and has a matt black epoxy finish The butt is furnished with walnut grip plates and is hollow to provide a storage chamber for pellets. The appendage at the base of the grip is a spring loaded cover for access. The pistol was available in .177 calibre only and had a rifled barrel.
Although it is a relatively recent production model, it is nevertheless very collectable if not for its rarity, then at least for its interesting and unusual design features, and after all, we are unlikely to see anything of its kind introduced again.
With thanks to Paul for these pics.