Using a .209 blank pistol is a great way to save a few bucks:
209 shotgun primers are very inexpensive compared to other blanks.
209 shotgun primers are pretty easy to find locally.
We DO NOT sell the 209 primers since they are VERY expensive to ship because of additional handling fees. Make sure you can get them locally. Any good gun shop will have them for folks that reload shotgun shells.
Double Action means that you can "cock" the starter pistol and fire it or you can pull the trigger without cocking the hammer. It will fire either way - that's Double Action.
This blank pistol is our highest-quality primer pistol. This is what I use for my dog training.
We're looking at the Alpha blank pistols. Alpha is a large-frame blank pistol. It's built on an actual gun frame, so it's got a lot of weight to it, a lot of feel. One of my favorite things about all the Alphas is that they come with orange handles, which makes them easy to find when you drop them in the field. They've also got the orange plug, which is required on a blank pistol.
Alpha is a swing-out cylinder. What that means is you have a button to press. And when you open it up it stays in the cylinder. It has an ejector so that when your blanks are out you can fire them out. Comes with a lanyard ring, which I highly recommend that you strap it to yourself once it's in your holster. This is a large frame pistol. It will fit any of our large frame holsters.
The Alpha comes in three different calibers. This is the .22 caliber. This is the .209 primer. And this is the .32 caliber.
I prefer the .22 because you have three different volumes of blanks that you can use. You can use the small crimp blanks. You can use a medium crimp. And then you can use the loud Winchester .22 short blanks. So that gives you an increase in volume, which is great when you are working with a puppy.
The .209 is probably the most popular we sell, and that's got to do with the price of the blanks. .22 caliber blanks are a little on the expensive side as far as per shot, where .209 primers are a good bit cheaper. The downside of .209 primers is that they are harder to come by because they cannot easily be shipped. So if you are getting a .209 pistol, you need to make sure that you can buy the primers locally. It's just a standard shotgun primer. I prefer CCI's. Most gun stores are going to have them, places that specialize in reloading.
.32 is the least used of the ones that we sell, and a lot of that has to do with the blanks. They are for track and field and for field trials. Certain pointing dog field trials require a .32 caliber blank. I generally do not recommend them for folks that are dog training. The blanks are incredibly expensive.
All three of the Alpha pistols are what are called double action pistols. What double action means is that you can either cock the pistol and then fire it or you can fire it without cocking it.
All of the Alphas come with a hard-shell case. They also come with a cleaning rod. Highly recommend that you keep your blank pistols clean. Typically, if we see problems with them it's folks that just fire them all the time and never bother to clean them off. Any standard gun solvent is going to take care of them. It also depends on the blanks that you fire. The .22 shots are a very dirty blank and they require that you clean it on a more regular basis.
I switch back and forth. With young puppies I use a .22 caliber because I can get that quiet. With older dogs I use a .209. Most people are not going to want that. So a lot of it depends on what you are doing. If you are using a .209 with puppies you just want to back off from them a good bit more and gradually introduce them to the gunfire. I would not take a .209 primer. A .209 primer is almost as loud as a .22 short. It might be as loud as a .22 short. For most people, the .22 is really the way to go. It just depends on how many blanks you are firing.
These pistols cover all of our upland and retriever folks. And really good for rabbit hunters, coon hunters. Anybody that's going to be shooting around a dog, they need to gradually introduce the sound of gunfire to them. And blank pistols are the best way to do that. They're much safer than using an actual load. So you want to gradually introduce gunfire. We've got a couple articles on the website about that.
Very nice blank gun. High quality, solid feel and balance. Runs good single or double-action. Pretty loud, which is the desired result. I would endorse this model to anyone who is serious about their tools and training.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 13161 Reviewed: 2014-08-26
Rugged and loud. When small fireworks were legalized in RI about ten years ago, I started using 22 blanks to keep Canadian geese from destroying my lawn on the river's edge. Now the 209's do it. My dogs also perk up when they hear the pop, and they come in to me if they are out in the fields. The low cost of the primers is the main reason for getting the Alfa pistol, and even though I've already had one jam in the first fifty rounds, the gun seems solid and easy to use.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 15240 Reviewed: 2014-11-05
Every high school track starter should consider this starting gun. The retort is loud enough and concussive enough for all automatic timing systems, and you will save at least fifty dollars a meet or more on spent powder.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 19987 Reviewed: 2015-04-07
Owns 3 dogs. I wanted a training pistol that had a locking cylinder. My new pistol has performed flawlessly since the day it arrived. I expect this gun to last me a very long time. This gun is very well made.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 21485 Reviewed: 2015-06-09
I am a Track and Field starter and ordered the incorrect pistol. Gun Dog is a very good company and I am sending back the Alfa primer and ordering the Alfa 32 blank starter. Gun Dog Supply responds very fast and gets your order to you quickly.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 27832 Reviewed: 2016-03-06
I did a lot of research before I bought this starter pistol. Belonging to a bunch of Versatile Hunting Dog Clubs, I had the opportunity to try numerous pistols. The Alfa pistol proved to be the most reliable. The quality of the pistol speaks for itself.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 30996 Reviewed: 2016-08-04
Owns 2 dogs. Very solid piece. Trigger pull not too heavy to use double action even with lady hands!! 209's nice loud report. Easy to load and unload. Overall a big improvement over the .22 blank pistol we've been using. Orange grip's a great idea. Makes it easy to locate in the training pack.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 30972 Reviewed: 2016-08-03
Lab Retriever. Owns 2 dogs. Hunts. Family pet. Competes.
If you are looking for a great training 209 primer pistol get the Alfa 209! It is well built, and reliable. It takes any 209 primer which are very easy to find and very inexpensive. The shots are clear and laud. I highly recommend it!
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1196 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
Labradors. Owns 2 dogs. Hunts. Family pet. Competes.
I am currently training two dogs at the Master Hunt test level. I have also co-instructed a class for retrievers at a retriever club for the last three years. I have shot hundreds of primers through this training pistol without as much as a missfire. Worth every cent....
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1251 Reviewed: 2011-07-27
The pistol was absolutely great until someone accidentally poured an energy drink in my gear bag without telling me. Of course, it would have been a little hard for the dog to explain in a way I would have understood. Regardless, let's just say I have good reason to believe Monster drinks are a bit corrosive. I loved the pistol. I'll be getting another soon.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1705 Reviewed: 2011-08-05
I use both the Alpha 22 and 32 to start track events. Both are top shelf pieces that work flawlessly. I bought both at gundogsupply because of the good price and friendliness! I buy the hard to get black powder shells from gundogsupply as well. I use the 22 for work at the start line because it isn't as loud. The 32 is really loud and I use it when starting away from the starting line or when there is a big starting stagger.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1706 Reviewed: 2011-08-05
"The gun is very realistic when used for training in the field."
Labrador. Owns 3 dogs. Hunts. Family pet. Competes.
Some primers didn't fit in the gun very well. Drilled out the cylinders and that fixed the problem. Never have had any problems with the gun. Heavy construction. Worth every penny. Don't waste your money on cheap training pistols. This is the one you want.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1138 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
Quality is great i use pistol min. 4 times a week no problem cheap to use, works great. I had a n.E.F. Was a good gun but as it got older the pin would fall out once i lost the cyl., No way with the alpha just a great tool to have when training. Jim
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1139 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
"I have been through 2 other training pistols that did not stand up to all weather conditions or heavy use, this one does."
The most durable, rugged and reliable starter pistol I have ever owned. I have been through 2 other training pistols that did not stand up to all weather conditions or heavy use, this one does. The 209 primers obviusly have the real shotgun sound, are economical and readily available. Definitely worth the investment for the exceptional quality.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1140 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
"I have now used this pistol for a year shooting over 500 rounds through it with no difficulties."
German Shorthairs Pointers. Owns 20 dogs. Hunts. Family pet. Competes.
The Alfa 209 Primer Starter Pistol I purchased from Gun Dog Supply is excellent. It is very well made compared to other starter pistols I have and the primers for it are relatively cheap! Gun Dog Supply's shipping was also very quick and their website is user friendly!
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1169 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
I've used many brands of blank pistols and most of them are so cheaply made that you spend time tinkering around and less time dog training. The Alfa is well made, works smoothly and is much more durable than other brands. It's a bit pricey but with the blaze orange grip its hard to misplace.
Product Rating: 5 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1160 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
"Best on the market for handler/trainer who trains more than one dog every 7-10 years."
Brittanys. Owns 5 dogs. Hunts. Family pet. Competes.
Great product- well built and perfect functionality. The only drawback for me is the weight. Pretty heavy for wearing all day training or at a Field Trial, though some may prefer this as you'll surely notice if you drop it and the Orange grips make it easy to find and fit nice in your hand.
Wish they still offered it in nickle finish though-
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1268 Reviewed: 2011-07-27
Like: Well built. Easy to handle and has never not fired.
Don'ts: Little too heavy. Harder to squeeze trigger for women and younger kids while helping me train. Pro trainer says he has worn one out in a couple years. Had Six Shooter that got stolen. Really liked it. Lighter and easier to pull trigger.
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1165 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
field bred English springer spaniel. Hunts. Family pet. Competes.
When I tried to clean it part of the mechanism at the firing pin came loose and fell into the works. I had to take it to a gun smith to repair it. I didn't expect that dabbing it with solvent could loosen something. Otherwise it has performed flawlessly.
Product Rating: 4 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1177 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
I'm a professional trainer (www.ruggedretrievers.com) and use the blank pistols on a daily basis. The Alpha 209 Primer Pistol is probably one of the worst I have ever owned. I purchased 4 of these a few years ago. Had not even had them 6 months when problems started. I am now down to 1 working Alpha pistol. A complete waste of money. I will never purchase these again, nor will I recommend them. Since the H&R .22 caliber, 9 shot blank pistols are no longer being produced, I am still looking for a reliable blank pistol that will stand up to daily use.
Product Rating: 1 out of 5-stars. Review ID: 1136 Reviewed: 2011-07-26
"Our highest-quality primer pistol. This is what I use for my dog training." -- Steve
Temporarily sold out. Expected to be back in stock by late February, 2017.
Video of Alfa 209 Primer Starter Pistol
Restricted shipping. ONLY Available to U.S. addresses accessible via UPS. Shipping prohibited to Puerto Rico.
These blank pistols are not props and can cause serious injury if used improperly. They are not recommended for use in theatrical productions or indoors.
Alfa 209 double action revolvers are rugged and reliable.
Limited Lifetime Manufacturer's Warranty
Bright orange grips -- easy to find if you drop it in the field
Grips made of high impact polymer
6 shot swing out cylinder allows easy loading and unloading
A lanyard ring is included for security
Bright orange cap on the barrel is a reminder that the revolver is not a firearm
Comes complete with a carrying case and cylinder cleaning brush
.209 primers recommended
The design and superior manufacturing quality of the Alfa is at the same level as those of licensed arms. The Z-MAC zinc-aluminum frame with a rust resistant blued finish and the high strength heat-treated steel parts promise trouble free usage. Thanks to the automated drop safety lock and machine tooled steel double-action-trigger mechanism the revolvers are absolutely safe.
Use and/or possession of Blank Pistols (Starter Pistols) and Blanks is prohibited and/or restricted in some jurisdictions. Laws change frequently. Therefore, all buyers should check with local authorities prior to ordering pistols and/or blanks.
Owner's Manual Download Alfa Blank Pistol Owner's Manual, downloadable in .pdf format. Click here
to read the Alfa Blank Pistol Owner's Manual.
Limited Lifetime Warranty
In addition to offering repair and service, Alfa-Proj warrants to the original purchaser that the product is free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use. Damage due to abuse, misuse, neglect or unauthorized adjustments or modifications made or attempted by anyone other than the stated factory repair service is excluded from this warranty. The Lifetime Service Policy covers functional defects. Alfa-Proj will repair or replace, at its option, any defects due to faulty materials or workmanship.
The conditions of this warranty are twofold:
First, the purchaser must return the warranty card with proof of retail purchase to: Elite Custom Guns, 2522 Tranquil Way, Sevierville, TN 37876-0170 within thirty days of purchase. Please include a copy of your purchase receipt.
Second, the purchaser must notify Elite Custom Guns service department, in writing or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), stating the difficulty experienced and the date and place of original purchase.
Excluded from this warranty are malfunctions caused by misuse or abuse of the starter revolver, damage due to lack of proper cleaning and maintenance, unauthorized modification, adjustments or repairs, shipping damages, careless handling, normal wear and tear, and defective or improperly loaded ammunition and corrosion.
Alfa-Proj's responsibility under this warranty is limited to the repair or replacement of the revolver. Responsibility or liability for damage to property other than the revolver, personal injury or death, or consequential damages is SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED.
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