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Definitive Guide to Umarex EBOS

Dating back to 1972 and with roots in Arnsburg, Germany, Umarex USA proudly carries on the tradition of German ingenuity. Specializing in air guns, airsoft guns, and most recently powder burners, Umarex Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. KG clearly understands the business of powerful creativity. Synonymous with the sciences, Germany has produced some of the world's greatest inventions and inventors. So who better than to bring us a fully automatic BB repeater in the shape of a subcompact machine gun? Steve Scialli, airgun reviewer, takes a closer look at the Umarex EBOS, short for Electronic Burst Of Steel, and its capabilities as a tactical CO2 BB rifle.
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Detailed Review
At almost 38 years old, I felt a little childish ordering the (Electronic Burst of Steel) EBOS Even walking into the store and buying BBs had me inventing a story for the cashier as to who they were for. Up until the 5th grade, "War," was a common game we used to play before girls & sports became the focus. Up to that point, it was guns, RC Cars, destruction, guns, guns, and more destruction. In the late 1980's guns for youth were as popular as they are today, with Laser Tag, Photon, Daisy slingshots, colored water spritzing automatic squirt rifles and the occasional BB/pellet gun among the more sophisticated. I'm not sure how it happened but somehow, Father Time caused the memory of it all to slip away and in its place stood everyday life... responsibility, family, work, savings, bills, etc. As it turns out, owning the Umarex EBOS is more than just a short escape from the daily grind. It's a vacation time machine. One in which I could be a kid again and be taken back to a time when things were simpler.
The gun itself is crafted after a small machine gun. Its looks are a blend of Uzi meets Pulse Rifle from James Cameron's "Aliens". Plainly put, the EBOS looks futuristically cool. The gun's skin is a bit toy-like and not as refined as that of Umarex's Morph 3X. But it gets away with it because of the gun's heft & quality switch gear. In the hands, the EBOS feels substantial and all the switches move around as if attached to something more expensive. Add BBs, a 90 gram CO2 cartridge, and 6 AA batteries to the chassis... and you have one heavy little thumper that feels ready for more serious duty.
Preparing the EBOS for shooting is easy enough. Install six AA batteries in the handle, add a drop of silicone oil to the tip of a 90 gram CO2 cartridge and screw it into place at the rear of the gun. Pour up to 400 BBs into the hopper located at the top of the action and slide the hopper's door closed. Finally, work the magazine spring forward to its catch and start shaking to allow the BB's to fall into place. It took some experimenting to figure out how best to get the BBs moving... but after half a day of frustration, I finally figured out the magic shake. Hold the EBOS so that the magazine is square to your chest and so that you are looking directly at the left side of the gun. While holding the gun level, shake the EBOS towards your chest and away from it... using short choppy shakes. If you get this right, the BBs will drop quickly into place. If you don't, you'll find yourself fruitlessly shaking like mad and wondering if your gun is defective. If you like buttons and choices, the EBOS won't disappoint. On the left side of the gun, within finger's reach of your off hand, there are two sliding switches. Furthest forward is one that reads 1-4-8 and controls the amount of BBs that will be released with each squeeze of the trigger. Just behind this switch is the on/off switch that pulls double duty as a safe/fire button. On the opposite side of the gun, also on the forearm and within fingers reach, is an additional sliding switch that reads 300-400-500. This slide controls the rate of fire and is measured in BBs released per minute. The temptation is to set the gun on 8 round burst and 500 rounds per minute but I had just as much fun playing around with the slower settings. The slower rates of fire would inspire thoughts of a large caliber machine gun thumping away. The faster ones inspire those of a zippy futuristic machine pistol. Experiment and you'll see what I mean. Under the forearm is an adjustable handle that can be slid fore and aft, or can be removed altogether if so desired.
Like any automatic gun, the EBOS has a voracious appetite. It gulps BBs and CO2 the way Willy Wonka's Augustus Glop devours chocolate. This isn't a complaint... It's a warning to have plenty of extra ammo and CO2 on hand. If you decide to invite a friend, bring a crowbar too... because they aren't going to want to give it up. This thing is a blast to play with. What you're able to mow down and destroy is only limited by your imagination and the boundaries of safety. We found ourselves destroying blocks of ice, tin cans, soda cans, tennis balls, sofa cushions, shoe boxes, plywood boards, styrofoam, apples, bananas, bottles of water, paper targets, and even one lizard... oh and we took a wasp out too. Before your eyes, they will all be reduced to shreds, as flying streaks of gold & silver erode them away in mere seconds.
Your shot count will vary depending on outside temperature and rate of fire, but expect one 90 gram CO2 cartridge to get you through approximately one hopper of BBs. At roughly $7 per 90 gram CO2 cartridge, the EBOS can consume resources quickly. There is an economical alternative, however. If you have access to bulk fill CO2, such as from a paintball or airsoft playing field, you can purchase two additional products along with your EBOS Buy a refillable 20oz CO2 bottle and the adapter to retrofit this bottle to your gun. One refillable 20oz bottle of CO2 will allow you 6 times more shots than that of a 90 gram CO2 cartridge... and the 20oz bottle only costs about $5 to refill. In other words, once you have invested in the initial cost of the refillable CO2 bottle and adapter (approximately $50)... you will spend $5 refilling your bottle rather than $42 on six disposable 90 gram CO2 cartridges. I found that you could get 2,250 + shots out of one $5 charge to the 20oz bottle and the benefits don't stop there. Over the chronograph, I observed some minor pressure drop when rapid firing the 90 gram CO2 cartridges. Firing in rapid succession would cause the smaller cartridges to cool and temporarily loose some velocity. It's harmless enough, but this phenomenon was not present with the jumbo-sized 20oz bottle and the velocity stayed at a consistent 530 feet per second. There are benefits to the 90 gram cartridge, however... if lightweight, balance, and compact form are of primary importance, then stick with the disposables.
The EBOS can do more than just shred. It's got skills too. I found mine to be plenty accurate. The trigger is electric, meaning that its light pull won't yank you off target. What will initially force you off target is all of the air & steel erupting simultaneously from the muzzle. Squeeze the trigger and hold on! The Umarex EBOS will dance around, as does a real sub-machine gun. But once you learn to contain your laughter, the spray can be kept on target. I elected to experiment with red dot scopes, lasers, open sights, and even reticle scopes. In the end, I settled on a UTG laser. I liked being able to shoot the EBOS two handed from the hip, from the end of an extended single arm, or while pulled neatly into my chest & cheek. There is some seriously childish satisfaction in seeing targets get shredded on command beneath a spot of guided red beam. No matter what you're shooting at, it'll soon be obliterated with an EBOS pointed in its direction.
Effective range for the EBOS is inside of 30'... even in single shot mode. If you take things out further you risk missing smaller targets. On that note, always wear eye protection and shoot in an area void of other people or valued property. Expect BBs to ricochet off of harder objects and fly everywhere. We went dumpster diving and managed to get things under control using old sofa cushions for our backstop. The BBs would zip almost all the way through them and get held up just short of exiting... so a secondary means of backstop would be wise. I rested the EBOS on a bag to try shooting for groups and was rewarded with some neat little patterns. Oddly, mine was more accurate in fully automatic mode than when fired one shot at a time. With rapid-fire settings, expect 1.25" groups at 30'. In single shot mode, expect them to be 2.25". Much beyond 30' and patterns start to resemble buckshot, so keep things close.
The Umarex EBOS is mostly about two things...feeling like a kid again and dishing out mass destruction. It is very machine gun like in nature and will do a fine job of making you believe you have a real one at your disposal. I found the EBOS a delight to play with, a wonder to hold & shoot, and economical to own. Its signature is one of excess meets grace and it will succeed in taking you back. Until now, I thought time machines were just science fiction but as it turns out, Umarex proved me wrong.
Burst Mode On one side of the gun, also on the forearm and within fingers reach, is an additional sliding switch that reads 300-400-500. This slide controls the rate of fire and is measured in BBs released per minute. The temptation is to set the gun on 8 round burst and 500 rounds per minute but I had just as much fun playing around with the slower settings.