In 1993, Umarex and Carl Walther came together. It was a natural union, because Umarex had its roots in Zella-Mehlis, a town famous for its gunsmithing tradition, and Zella-Mehlis was also where the Carl Walther company, founded in 1886, had manufactured calculating machines and weapons. Here Walter Riem, an engineer at Walther, had built the Perfecta blank firing pistol, which was later sold by Mayer & Riem as the Perfecta Model G1.
In 1995, the managers at Umarex realized that a change was coming. Restrictions governing the purchase of blank firing guns would soon be tightened. Moreover, the market for imported airguns was saturated. It was time to introduce a new line of products. In Arnsberg Umarex expanded the production by high-quality CO2 guns. The strategy was to penetrate new markets, especially abroad. The company’s courage was rewarded. The airguns, which were excellently designed and manufactured, enjoyed enormous growth rates. Exports boomed.
The CP88 became a symbol of Umarex quality. This CO2 pistol gave Umarex an impressive technological lead. The groundbreaking idea, on which all later CO2 designs were based, was the innovative, patented “Fast Action“ system. The gun was loaded by opening the barrel with the dummy slide catch. CO2 capsules were inserted by opening the grip plate. The German gun magazine “Visier“ gave its Winner of the Year award to the CP88 in 1996.
When the CP88 was presented at the 1995 Shot Show in Las Vegas, Umarex scored a breakthrough. The major American firearms manufacturers, later joined by the oldest weapons manufacturer in the world, Beretta, granted licenses for replicas of their famous models.
This completed the portfolio. Umarex was finally crowned king of replicas.