Umarex HDX 68, the CO2-powered home defense shotgun

In the past we already dealt with the products that the German company Umarex offers as part of its T4E line, an acronym for “Training for Engagement”, such as the HDR Home Defense Revolver, powered by CO2 cartridges. These are non-lethal guns that shoot spherical hard rubber balls. If in the version with a power of less than 7.5 joules the effectiveness of these balls for home defense is certainly insufficient, it is worth remembering that in many countries there is no limit to the power of these guns, so much so that the Umarex HDX 68 is available in a non-limited version that a a projectile energy of as much as 40 joules, certainly much more effective at short range. There is also a third version – of intermediate power, so to speak – which develops a muzzle energy of 16 joules. 

Umarex HDX 68, the CO2 shotgun

Umarex HDX 68, the CO2-powered home defense shotgun
The Umarex HDX has a tubular magazine with a capacity of 16 rounds. The 12-gram CO2 cartridge is places inside the stock.

The abbreviation of this new Umarex product is HDX, or Home Defense Xtreme in .68 caliber, which immediately makes its intended use clear. Aesthetically, it looks like a martial-inspired pump-action shotgun with an AR-15-style pistol grip and a skeletonized folding stock. The upper part of the receiver is entirely occupied by a long Picatinny rail on which it is possible to mount optics or conventional iron sights, including flip-up types. A short Picatinny rail is also present in the lower fore-end, an ideal position for mounting a tactical flashlight. The magazine has a capacity of 16 rounds and is integral: to load it, the balls must be inserted through what in a shotgun would be the ejection port – the operation is assisted by a loading ramp that when not in use is located inside the grip. 

The 12-gram CO2 cartridge is placed into a tube inside the stock. With an adapter it is possible to use two 12-g cartridges at the same time and also 88-gram bottles. As for all the "non-lethal weapons" of the T4E series, there is a piercing button for easy CO2 installation and fast deployment. In case of need, it is sufficient a light blow on the butt plate to pierce the cartridge, which is signalled by a visual and tactile warning device that protrudes from the receiver, just in front of the point of attachment of the stock. For the rest, the HDX works like a real pump-action shotgun, so after each shot you have to pull and push back the fore-end, with a rather short stroke compared to that of a 12 gauge shotgun. Even the safety is borrowed directly from 12-gauge shotguns and consists of a small cross-bolt located on the rear of the trigger guard.

The adapter
The adapter that allows two 12-gram CO2 cartridges to be used in the Umarex HDX at the same time.

On whether to use such a tool for home defense, perhaps against an intruder armed with a live-firing gun, rivers of ink will surely be certainly written, and this is not the place to address the issue. The possibility of using, in some countries, the full power version and/or the special pepper balls (powderballs) makes the HDX a viable option, anyway.

For the moment the official price of the Umarex HDX 68 has not yet been announced. As soon as it becomes available we will update the news.

Umarex HDX 68 specs

HDX 68
Pump-action shotgun
Powered by: 
12/88-gram CO2 bottles
Magazine Capacity: 
16 rounds
Automatic, on the trigger
Overall Length: 
35”/896 mm
Barrel Length: 
15.8”/401.3 mm
6 lb/2850 grams
Muzzle Energy: 
<7.5 joule - 16 joule - 40 joule
To be defined

To learn more about Umarex products please visit the manufacturer's website.

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