Cometa Indian Spring-piston Pistol
Mark Camoccio tries the Cometa Indian, an unusual air pistol with an overlever cocking action
Air pistols may be incredibly hard to shoot accurately, but there’s no doubting the satisfaction when it all comes together, and the groups start to form. Deciding on the power source, as with rifles, can be a little confusing, but if half decent accuracy is high on the list of desirable features, then the choice begins to narrow.
Price range is a key factor, and if you consider that the top PCP match air pistols are as costly as their rifle counterparts, such a significant outlay can hardly be justified by everyone. Likewise, expecting top class results from cheap and cheerful entry level kit, is obviously wide of the mark; so some form of compromise has to enter the equation.
I find shooting air pistols therapeutic, in the way that, with the pressure off, away from my usual competitive arena, emphasis can be firmly placed on enjoyment. With expectations relatively low, I am often pleasantly surprised by the results, and so it was with my subject here - the Indian pistol from Spanish makers, Cometa.
The Indian is indeed a dark horse, and currently retailing below the £200 mark, makes it in my view, something of a bargain.
It turns out that the Indian has been with us for some time, but how this pistol could have escaped my attentions however, I’m not quite sure; since, as I have already intimated, it really is rather good.
Available in either black (my test example, supplied with a free zip-up case), or Nickel plated, (supplied with a hard plastic case), the Indian is a spring-piston powered design, which generates a healthy 4ft/lbs of energy. The mainspring is compressed via a rather unique ‘up and over’ cocking arm. This style mimics the classic Webley layout, save for the barrel on the Indian being fixed, whilst Webley use the barrel as the cocking lever. The fact that the barrel is fixed and not prone to wear on its axis, is an obvious advantage in the longevity stakes, with the only downside being the slightly Heath Robinson appearance of the cocking lever itself. In fact first impressions, save for that slightly spindly lever, are of a wonderfully solid, well balanced pistol.
The machined and chemically blued cylinder sits on top of a solid cast chassis which incorporates the trigger guard and central section of the grip. Polymer/composite grips are moulded, incorporating a right biased, anatomical palm rest, which I found particularly comfortable. One point of note here though, is that after showing this pistol to my father (who has fairly large hands like myself), he found the shape of the grips too restrictive - so clearly they will not suit everyone. I’m not quite sure what ‘crispy handling’ (taken from the instruction leaflet) means either, but to be fair, I was impressed regardless.
Cock and load
To cock the Indian, first push on the safety catch, then holding the grip firmly with the right hand, take hold of the cocking arm with the left, and pull up and round in a sweeping arc, passing through around 315degrees, until the trigger engages, holding back the piston. Now return the lever all the way back and let it drop down into its main rest position. The pop out breech tray will automatically be exposed at the rear of the action, and a pellet can be gently nudged into place in the loading groove. Close the breech, and finally nudge off the safety catch.
As usual, just describing the process makes it sound complicated, but in practise, it soon becomes a formality. Cocking the Indian is a particularly slick affair, with all the internals feeling very smooth and efficient. Add to this the minimal effort required, and this pistol begins to appeal. Recoil, minimal as it is, comes straight back towards the shooter, because of the piston arrangement, yet in practise, the Indian sits well in the palm, and feels a mature, well conceived product in use.
OK; the trigger is hardly top class, and is effectively a non-adjustable, single-stage affair, yet the inherent creep is predictable and the overall pull weight bearable.
From a rest, I achieved 5 shot groups at 10yards, which could be covered by a 5 pence piece; and over 20yards, just over 1 1/2inches was possible. Consider this was all shot with the notch and blade open sights, and I finished my test confident in the knowledge that this little Indian could indeed give a good account of itself. A pistol scope would close down those groups significantly, and bear in mind that this is all from a recoiling spring/piston pistol, and you may see why this product deserves a bright future.
Consistency over the chronograph confirmed the effectiveness of that silky action, returning a variation of just 8fps, using the more accurate of my two test pellets, Crosman Accupell. The Cometa wadcutter ammunition supplied with the pistol were OK, but did concede a little in group size; probably as a result of their greater weight variation, as highlighted by spot checks over a set of micro scales.
With HFT competitions now including a pistol event more often than not, this Indian would certainly make sense on that score.
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed shooting it over the course of my test, and clearly with the right pellet, its inherent accuracy and pleasant firing characteristics, make it a prime candidate to deliver good all round shooting pleasure for many years.
|Country of Origin||Spain
|Stock||Anatomical composite grips|
|Trigger||Single stage, non-adjustable|
|Velocity||Using Crosman Accupel pellets over 10 shots:
Average velocity 477fps
Average spread 8fps
|RRP||£185 including soft zip-up case|
|Options||Nickel Plated version £199 including hard plastic case|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates