Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver with the 8-inch barrel is a large and impressive all-metal airgun.

There’s no question that there’s a LOT of interest in this Dan Wesson revolver! The response we got from readers was enormous, plus Pyramyd Air reports the same level of interest from their customers. I’m always glad to be able to report on an airgun everyone likes, so this is getting exciting.

If you now go to the Dan Wesson page on the website, you’ll see three additional barrel lengths and two silver-finished guns. So, your choices are many. And if you decide to buy one, check out that “Click to save $8.00 more!” button, because Pyramyd Air has put together a great bundle of necessary stuff to accompany the gun.

I also happen to like the gun, as well as the whole Dan Wesson pistol pac concept. In fact, when Edith, who was unaware of the Dan Wesson history, saw the pistol pac in Part 1 of of this report, she had the same reaction as many readers. She agrees with me that this idea of a gun with many personalities is too good to let pass.

Good ideas
Some of you have wondered where I get all my ideas for airguns and new products like the UTG drooper scope mount base for older RWS Diana spring guns. Well, this is how it happens. I see something that was a great idea in the past, and I know it would be received the same way today; but the people making decisions in the airgun industry are not aware of what has gone before, so all I have to do is modernize the idea and take it to them. However, there’s a potential problem.

Take the Dan Wesson pistol pac idea as an example. When Dan Wesson designed it back in the 1960s, they did it the right way, so the customer would have a properly adjusted gun if he followed their directions and used all their tools when changing his barrels. Fast-forward to the Chinese breakbarrel rifles that have recently been made with interchangable barrels, but in the cheapest possible way. By their design, these rifles are doomed to failure, because they’re not good guns to begin with and their barrel-changing process is not fully engineered — at least not to the same extent that Dan Wesson engineered it.

So, as you can see, a good idea can be executed poorly and doom the outcome from the start. Dan Wesson did it the right way; and as a result, we remember them and desire their products. I have a related story to tell you about a Desert Eagle Magnum pistol, but that will have to wait for another day. Today is velocity day for the Dan Wesson revolver, so let’s get started!

Velocity
The first task is to charge the revolver with a CO2 cartridge. Of course, the tip of every new cartridge gets a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil to keep the inner seals fresh and sealing.

To load the cartridge, pull the grip panel straight back. It comes back and at the last instant flips up out of the way. The website doesn’t show this, so I took a picture to let you see how it works.


Pull the grip panel straight back, and it will flip up to expose the CO2 cartridge housing like this.

Loading BBs
Remember that speedloader I criticized in Part 1? A reader was kind enough to point out how it worked, and when I went to the owner’s manual I found that it’s addressed there, as well. It does work exactly as it should. When I told Mac what a mistake I’d made, he told me that he once bought a speedloader for a .357 revolver and for a year and a half had the same problem. He probably didn’t, but that’s what good friends do — they keep you from feeling like the dufus you really are.

I tell you this because the speedloader is an important part of loading the BBs. Oh, I’m sure you could load them singly and everything would still work just fine, but the manual wants you to put the empty cartridges in the speedloader first, then snug them down and load them that way. Since I was the one who lead you wrong, allow me to show you.


Insert six cartridges base-down into the speedloader. Notice that the speedloader spring is relaxed.


Push in on the back of the speedloader and twist to the right. You’ll hear a click — and the cartridges are locked in the loader.


Load a BB into the mouth of each cartridge. You have to push in the BB until it’s captured by the synthetic lip of the cartridge.


Insert the speedloader into the rear of the cylinder. When it gets to this point, it will push the cartridges forward into the cylinder with a click.

This is a unique way of loading BBs into a revolver. I’ve done something similar with an airsoft revolver years ago, but never before with steel BBs. I like the realism, and it compliments the realistic look and feel of this revolver. I think it helps make the Dan Wesson a winner!

Velocity
I first tested the gun with Daisy zinc-plated BBs. They averaged 466 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 462 to a high of 470 f.p.s. That’s pretty tight. There was also no difference in speed between single-action and double-action. When the cartridges were ejected they were oily, so the Pellgunoil is moving through the valve as it is supposed to.

Crosman Copperhead BBs were next, and they didn’t do as well. They averaged 456 f.p.s., but the spread was much larger — from 445 to 471 f.p.s. That’s still pretty good, but not when compared to the Daisy BBs. Like the Daisys, the Copperheads were just as fast in single-action as in double-action.

The revolver is rated at 426 f.p.s.; and as you can see, this one is faster. So, it’s met and exceeded the advertised specification for velocity. I do want to caution all readers that a steel BB going over 450 f.p.s. is very prone to rebound from a hard surface. Wear safety glasses every time you operate this BB gun and make sure everyone in the area does the same.

So far
Well, I love the revolver thus far. If it also turns out to be accurate I’m thinking of making it one of my personal picks. I don’t do that for many airguns, but this one will have earned a spot if it can shoot a decent group.

49 Responses to “Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver: Part 2”

  • J-F Says:

    Since they don’t offer a pac like they did with the original I can’t see how I could save myself from buying 2 revolvers… Oh well :-)

    Now they need to make a peacemaker revolver, offer them in different finishes and length of barrel and I’ll probably have to buy two of those too!!!

    J-F

  • Rob Says:

    Hi B.B.

    Even faster loading of BBs goes like that. Pour liberally a large number BBs on a flat surface e.g. the inside of a steel or aluminum lid for a coffee jar, larger pellet tin can or whatever. Then press the mouths of the cartridges already sitting in the locked loader against BBs. All the cartridges will be loaded with BBs at the same instant. You do not have to load a BB into each cartridge separately.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Rob,

      Spectacular idea! In fact, you only need to dump BBs into a confined space that’s the width of the speedloader, press, insert in gun & commence to shootin’ :-)

      Edith

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Rob,

      I’m going to give your idea a try in the next report.

      Thanks,

      B.B.

      • Reynaldo Says:

        I’ve been doing that already and it’s really great. It’s faster than loading BBs one at a time per cartridge. Hey, I really enjoyed shooting with this 8″ that I purchased the 6″ (silver) too. I purchased 25 additional “bullets” and I am having FUN.

  • Mr B Says:

    Morning B.B.,

    This gun with some extra speed loaders sounds like it would be a lot of fun to shoot, not to mention excellent practice rig for us wheel gun lovers.

    Too bad this beauty wasn’t made with interchangeable barrels like the original. I lusted after one of them for the longest time.

    Bruce

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Bruce,

      I wanted one, as well. But like I mentioned in the last report, the odd cylinder latch and the hard double action trigger pull put me off.

      B.B.

  • curious Says:

    A few questions linger for me:
    1. How is the accuracy?
    2. How many shots per CO2 cartridge should be expected?
    3. What accessories come with the gun? Oil, CO2 cylinder, BB’s, targets, speed loader?

    Note: Pyramyd is backordered on the speedloaders for this gun.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      curious,

      With the gun you get 12 cartridges and one speedloader. The rest of the stuff you have to purchase separate, but the Pyramyd Air bundled deal that I directed you to in the report is exactly what you need.

      As for the number of shots, that’s my bad. I should have tested that for this report, so I’ll pick it up in Part 3.

      B.B.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      curious,

      The Dan Wesson speedloaders were, indeed, out of stock this morning. Looks like they got some more inventory earlier this afternoon.

      Edith

  • Matt61 Says:

    B.B., wow almost one of your picks without even being tested for accuracy. That is impressive. :-) I was hoping that Wayne would be reading since I remember how he loved his Dan Wesson revolver.

    The speedloader is cool. Interested buyers will want to watch Jerry Miculek using a speedloader. It happens in the blink of an eye and is faster than most people can load a magazine into a semi-auto pistol. The technique of loading bb’s into phony cases is reminiscent of my very first airsoft gun–a bolt-action spring piston sniper rifle. Half the fun was loading the cartridges. As one commenter said, “I could spend all day just ejecting those cartridges.” This was an indicator of my true calling which is to dry-fire surplus rifles with snap caps…

    On the subject of IPSC, it is funny to watch the top people run through the courses. No one would mistake them for elite athletes; they look kind of klutzy. But boy can they shoot. In fairness to them, I guess the equivalent would be having the NBA all-stars leap athletically around the course and miss everything in sight.

    Robert, that Ruger M77 in .220 Swift seems to be one of those magic combinations that can be incredibly accurate. Kevin, the Lyman manual has thrown its weight behind your configuration and demolished all of my speculations. The test barrel is exactly 1 in 14. The short answer to your handloading question is that the load you want for a 50 gr. bullet in 22-250 is 33.5 gr. of IMR 4895. This is both the most accurate load for IMR 4895 and the lowest allowable loading for this powder (in this caliber) which goes up to a compressed load of 37 grains. BUT please don’t use this load just yet. I think I have your email and will dig it up so that I can send a scan of the relevant page so that you know that everything is on the level and can double-check.

    My own reloading has been rather humbling. While reloading a new batch of Matt61 ammo, I twice had the case pop out of my cool new hand primer which caused the primer to pop out too and one of them bounced off the newspaper on my work area right down to the carpet where it disappeared. This is right where I pull my chair in and out so there was no option not to find it. I couldn’t have the primer going off underfoot or under a chair leg. Argh. I did find it eventually. Obviously, I don’t want to use the newspaper as I did.

    Matt61

    • Mike Says:

      Cases popping out of the priming tool. That shouldn’t happen. Check you shell holder. It may not be the right one even if the chart says it is. Example: Some of my .45 Colt brass needs the shell holder for the 7mm Rem. Mag. instead of the regular one.

      Mike

    • kevin Says:

      Matt,

      Thanks for that. If you can’t find my email it’s: klentz4 “AT” comcast. net

      kevin

  • Mike Says:

    BB, you might try the Leverevolution 160 gr bullet in your own handload. It is available as a component. As you know, that can make a big difference.

    Mike

  • twotalon Says:

    I don’t believe it. I just busted a brand new Airmax on my R9.
    I must not be living right.
    Front lens chipped. Don’t even have it sighted in yet.

    twotalon

  • Frank B Says:

    It is really nice to see new well executed ideas hitting the AG market,even the ones that don’t pry my wallet open! BB,I just can’t believe my luck.If you recall a couple months ago I was lucky enough to source 2 new Whiscombe barrels with the HOTS in .177 & .25.The other day my prayers were somehow answered! A new ,.20 barrel with the HOTS actually came up on the Yellow classifieds for $350 shipped!! I have managed what I thought would be IMPOSSIBLE……getting all four Whiscombe barrels the HARD way.I mean,how often does anyone actually sell a barrel separate from the gun??
    I tell you,I don’t deserve such luck……but I’ll take it!

  • /Dave Says:

    Even though I’m not much of a revolver guy (I’ve only had one, a Ruger Police Service Six .357 that I liked but let get away), this Dan Wesson looks like fun! Speed loader with what looks like real ammo, BB’s recommendation, available in different barrel lengths…. What’s not to like? :-)

    /Dave

  • Oliver Says:

    Will this take lead BBs as well? Just wondering about the barrel (rifled yes?)

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Oliver,

      BBs are made of steel. When round projectiles are made of lead, they’re called round balls :-) This revolver is a smoothbore.

      Edith

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Oliver,

      It probably will but you would have to use the smallest round balls you could find, because round lead balls are most commonly 0.174-0.176-inches, which is too large. And, as Edith noted — to what purpose? This is a smoothblore.

      B.B.

      • Rob Says:

        I’ve shot Gamo Round Lead Balls in my Dan Wesson 6″ silver without any problem. However, you are absolutely right B.B. To what purpose? I noticed that the accuracy at 25′ is even worse than that with the RWS Match Grade and Daisy Premium steel BBs. Indeed, no purpose to shoot lead balls whatsoever. By the way B.B., you should check the Dan Wesson 6″ silver. It’s absolutely gorgeous! One more thing. I am not sure how many people realize that the Dan Wesson revolvers are made of cast aluminum alloy. This in itself makes these revolvers very unique. Aluminum alloys are much more expensive than zinc-aluminum alloy popularly called “pot metal” which has been used on numerous airguns (e.g. Umarex). Also, aluminum alloys also more difficult to cast properly. One disadvantage is that they are rather soft. So be careful with your revolvers. They are easy to scratch!

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Rob,

          I did not know the Dan Wessons were made from aluminum. You’re right — that is a major materials upgrade from the norm. One more reason to like them, I guess!

          B.B.

  • Brian C Says:

    Has anyone came up with any ideas for speedloader pouches for your belt? Since these speedloaders are tons taller than real gun ones, the’re too tall for a regular pouch.

    Hopefully, some of you guys that have hoards of tactical gear, will find something that works.

  • RC Says:

    BB, I enjoy that you dig into selected BB pistols, offering much more than a simple review, and it’s one of the reasons I bought a Makarov to go with my Crosman C41 and Colt defender. I enjoy shooting targets with friends who don’t own airguns, offering them a solid selection of metal BB guns to choose from. I’ve got a Dan Wesson 8″ on the way, and am very much looking forward to putting it through its paces. I’ve found Copperhead BBs to be the most problematic ammo, barely functioning in both the Makarov and the Colt, while Daisy zinc coated BBs shoot all day without jamming. Keep up the good work.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      RC,
      I don’t have feeding problems with Copperheads, just accuracy and velocity issues. But I did test them in the Dan Wesson, which you will read tomorrow.

      B.B.

  • murdok Says:

    i am new to airgunning and last week bought a camo silent stalker whisper in .177 i only have the pba ammo that came with the gun. i can cut bullet holes at 25 yds but at 50 and 75 yds the group is about 3 inches. i would also like a little less noisy round but still enough to kill small game. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      murdok,

      You only have to post a question one time to get an answer here.

      The PBA pellets are not known for accuracy. And they are about the worst hunting pellets you can use. They don’t upset in game.

      I tested a .22 Silent Stalker and could not get it to shoot anything accurately. The problem was too much looseness in the breech. You can read the entire report here:

      http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/2011/11/gamos-silent-stalker-whisper-igt-air-rifle-part-4/

      If I were you I would try to slow the gun down as much as possible by shooting the heavier pellets. Try Beeman Kodiaks and JSB Exact heavies.

      B.B.

  • curious Says:

    Head’s up if you are ordering the Dan Wesson CO2 Revolver for Christmas this year.

    The product from Pyramid Air did ship promptly, but extra speedloaders were not shipped.

    As shipped this product is not complete! WARNING FOR CHRISTMAS!! You need to order BB’s, CO2 and oil to make this a complete useable product. There are no sample BB’s nor CO2 cartridges included in the box.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      curious,

      The extra speedloaders are out of stock, but all the guns come with a speedloader & cartridges. The airgun with the 8″ barrel comes with 12 cartridges & a speedloader. The others come with a speedloader & 6 cartridges.

      It’s very clear on the product page descriptions what is and is not included. None of them say they include Pellgunoil, CO2 or steel BBs.

      The extra speedloaders are expected to be in stock before Christmas. In the meantime, enjoy shooting the gun!

      Edith

  • Brian C Says:

    B.B. Pelletier…….What does Pyramyd have that will fit the Dan Wesson speedloaders to wear on your belt?
    I’m sure there’s “magazine pouches” here that will fit them. But without measurements, I can’t make a determination.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Brian C,

      This isn’t easy to answer. What kind of belt? Web? leather? Tactical or civilian?

      I would think there might be something in the airsoft line that will work. We’ll ask Pyramyd Air to check for you.

      B.B.

      • Brian C Says:

        Just something that will slip on a 1 1/4- 1 1/2 web belt. I bought a cheap nylon double speedloader belt pouch, but of course, due to the tallness of these speedloaders, the top flaps aren’t even close to being able to close.

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Brian C,

          I just measured the speedloader with cartridges. It is 3 inches long by 1.5 inches wide.

          B.B.

          • Brian C Says:

            Yup. The diameter of a D cell battery, but 3″ tall. I’m eyeballing the UTG LEPVC-MP2 dual magazine pouch. But there’s no measurements given. Just says what mags will fit in them.

  • Josh Says:

    In a Airsoft game (with the 6 inch silver version that shoots slower) what is the shortest distance you would say would be safe to shoot it someone. Cuz I was playing a close quarters game today and I got shot with a 400+ FPS AEG in the head and I bled all over. Later that day I (with my dan wesson) did the same thing to the same guys jaw and he was bleeding all over. Both shootings were at the 15ft range lol which is obviously to close but what is a good distance for this gun (6inch)?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Josh,

      NEVER shoot a BB gun at a person or animal. NEVER!

      There is no safe distance. This is an absolute, just as there are no slight pregnancies.

      The reason I say this so vehemently is because shooters must learn to discipline themselves to not shoot at people or animals, unless the object is to kill them. Even the little .22 long rifle bullet can and even has killed people at distances of one mile.

      So — we don’t drive our motorcycles on the sidewalk, even in the very early morning when there are no people present — and we don’t shoot guns at people or animals we don’t intend to kill.

      That said, I do understand that airsoft guns have a component called skirmishing in which it is acceptable to shoot at people. And I know that Asian manufacturers call the 6mm plastic balls these guns shoot BBs. It is unfortunate that the Asians used the same term for their lightweight projectiles as what airgunners have known as BBs for a century and a quarter, but it happened. And a young person may not be able to differentiate between a 2.3-grain 6mm plastic ball going 350 f.p.s. and a 5.1-grain 4.3mm steel ball going the same speed. One will sting when it hits while the other will penetrate flesh and cause painful wounds.

      At 400 f.p.s. you are at the upper edge of what a 6mm airsoft projectile will do. Yes, there are some that go faster — but not by much. On the other hand, 400 f.p.s. is about in the middle of the velocity range for the much heavier steel BB. So what about a steel BB going 500 f.p.s.? Or 700 f.p.s.? How far away should you stand to shoot someone with that?

      The answer is, don’t EVER shoot anyone with a steel BB! No distance is safe, because it isn’t a matter of physics. It’s a matter of mindset, and conditioning yourself to never cross a line.

      B.B.

    • Wulfraed Says:

      I’m going to presume “silver one” refers to THIS
      http://www.pyramydair.com/a/Airsoft_guns/Airsoft_pistols/CO2_Green_gas/180/Dan-Wesson/brands_233
      and not the steel BB gun that is the subject of this particular blog entry.

      That said, even cheap $30 clear plastic spring AirSoft will sting at 10-20 foot distances. AEG can run more powerful (even though the firing cycle itself qualifies as “spring”, the motor may have enough torque to compress a larger/more potent spring with a larger diameter piston than a $30 “pull to cock” pistol). I suspect CO2 and “green gas” could be the most powerful of the bunch.

      Skirmishing, a so-called game in which shooting at each other is expected, typically runs longer range, and the players are wearing protective gear (stiff plastic helmets, face masks [not just goggles], and layers of heavy clothing [at the least, something like combat fatigues/BDUs -- sturdy enough that a 6mm plastic ball will not penetrate the fabric]). Since AEG rifles tend to be in a “sniper” role for these games, I’d expect the guns to be tuned for distances of 25-50 YARDS.

      It’s not meant for these, but stuffing some numbers in ChairGun Pro (I left the ballistic coefficient at 0.01 since I don’t have values for round ball)…

      0.236 inch, 3.0 grain (0.20gram), 400 fps. 6″ “kill zone” [in skirmishing you’re scoring on a large target, and 6″ is the largest CGP will allow — +/- 3.0 inch of sight line… A 30 YARD zero gives a “point blank range” from muzzle to 35yards; yes, it drops 3 inches going from 30 to 35 yards).

      Muzzle energy is just over 1 ft-lb — not a squirrel killer, but still going to be painful

      At 5 yards (15ft) it still has 375fps and 0.94ft-lbs.
      At 30 yards (90ft) it is 275fps, and just over 0.5ft-lbs.

      In contrast, a cheap spring gun — 250fps with 0.12gram ball [the cheap clear plastic with air bubbles, not the high density ones) and 30 yard zero

      Muzzle energy 0.66ft-lbs
      5 yards gives 375fps, 0.58ft-lbs
      30 yards result is 275fps, 0.31ft-lbs

      Basically, the high end 400fps gun using dense ball has as much energy at 30 YARDS as the $30 spring pistol using cheap ball has at 5 YARDS.

  • Brian Says:

    I once owned a stainless steel Dan Wesson and it was a very fine revolver. The grips were interchangeable too, so you could go from target, to snub nose revolver, to hunting revolver. Cool.
    The name of the game with replicas is realism, and this one has it down pat. Made of metal, serious velocity, and it works like a revolver, minus the recoil.
    Replicas seem to give us two choices. High priced ones that closely resemble the originals, but often have modest performance, and cheap ones that rarely give satisfaction and pride of ownership.
    This does both, while still being able to meet the mortgage.

  • Dave 666 Says:

    Hi everyone, to address the speedloader issue, I got a few real steel HKS .38/.357 loaders. I’m in the UK and I got them easy through ebay. They have a lower profile than the one that comes with the Dan Wesson and work great! I just made sure I got the right type, didn’t take long to figure out. If you live in the US I reckon it must be lot easier to find these things at your local gun shop/store, and you won’t have to pay a load of shipping!!!
    Regards, Dave

  • Matt Says:

    Hello. I was wondering what the diameter of the 6 holes in the chamber. I would like to know. I hope the diameter I bigger than .43 but that probably will not be the case. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Matt,

      I’m sorry, but I no longer have this airgun. I returned it to Pyramyd Air last year.

      B.B.

    • Wulfraed Says:

      Based on the “nose” photo, if those are .177 BBs in the nose of those cartridges, I’d estimate the case to be in the .38 range.

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        Wulfraed,

        Yes, the Dan Wesson cartridges are nearly exactly the same size as .357 cases, but that wasn’t what he asked. He wanted to know the outside diameter, and since we don’t know the case thickness, anything we say would be a guess.

        B.B.

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