Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I start…today is the last day of Pyramyd Air’s weekend Doorbuster Deal on the Gamo Big Cat 1250 air rifle. Besides knocking back the price of the gun, they’ve also taken a huge discount on the Big Cat’s large pre-packaged deal. If this gun is on your “buy” list (for yourself or as a gift), this would be the time to get it.

Part 1
Part 2


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

I can’t report on this gun fast enough. The Dan Wesson revolver has taken off on afterburners at Pyramyd Air, now that people have seen it perform. Today, we’ll look at accuracy — the final question we had regarding this unique new revolver. You won’t be disappointed!

The Rob Speedloader
Blog reader Rob recommended a procedure for loading the speedloader rapidly by simple pressing it into a flat tray of BBs. I didn’t think it would work, but it worked so well that I’m loading the gun this way from now on. This is the fastest BB-loading system I’ve ever seen — commercial speedloaders included. The following two photos will show how it works.


First step is to fill the bottom of a pellet tin lid with a layer of BBs. Keep it to a single layer, so all the BBs are the same height.


Next, press the speedloader into the BBs. One push is all it takes and you don’t have to press hard. Each of the six cartridges will pick up one BB like this. Notice that the layer of BBs in the lid is diminished, and some are piled on top of others. Spread them flat again and you can load several more speedloaders before you have to add more BBs to the lid.

I reloaded the speedloader many times this way with three different brands of BBs, and only once did I come up with less than six BBs. That one time, I just pressed the speedloader back into the tin once more and the last cartridge was loaded.

Basic marketing
Now, however, I have to take Crosman and Walther to task for how they package their BBs. Some marketing committee seems to have decided that shooters want a BB container that releases BBs slowly, so both of these companies have designed a container that releases them haphazardly, instead. Only Daisy allows you to pour the BBs out en masse, and that’s too bad, because with this Dan Wesson revolver, people are going to want to shoot thousands of BBs. Marketing 101 tells us that if your product is cheap, you make sure people have unlimited access to it, so only the Daisy zinc-plated BBs support this style of reloading. The other two brands are difficult just getting six out of the bottle.

Accuracy
Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for. How accurate is this Dan Wesson? Because of the long barrel, I started shooting at 25 feet — like I did last week with the Crosman M4 BB gun. Longer barrels aren’t really any more accurate than short barrels, but you can’t deny that they look like they are!


From 25 feet, 12 Daisy BBs made this 1.622-inch group. Not too bad for a smoothbore!

After seeing this first group I decided to move in and shoot from my traditional 15-foot distance. First up were another 12 Daisy BBs.


Twelve Daisy BBs went into this tight group from 15 feet. It measures 1.019 inches between centers.

I was actually shooting a lot more than the targets reveal. I tried double-action, but I’m not steady enough for that yet. The red front sight glared too much until I turned off the overhead light and just illuminated the target. Then, the front post was dark and sharp against the bull.

Next, I tried Walther BBs, because in tests with other BB guns they’ve worked just as well as Daisys. This time, however, they surpassed the Daisys to turn in the best group of the session.


Twelve Walther BBs went into this 0.817-inch group at 15 feet. This was the best group of the session.

Finally, it was time to try Crosman Copperhead BBs. Though they usually don’t perform as well as Daisy BBs, in the test of the Crosman M4 rifle last week they were more accurate. In this test they put 12 into a group measuring 1.061 inches from 15 feet. That is so close to the Daisy result that I have to say they’re about the same.


Twelve Crosman Copperhead BBs went into this 1.061-inch group, which isn’t much different than the group the Daisy BBs turned in. When it’s this close, it’s too close to call.

Sights
The revolver appears to shoot to the point of aim at 15 feet. When I adjusted the sight higher to bring the BBs into the center of the bull, I ran out of elevation and the screw popped out. So, figure the gun will put a BB wherever the top center of the front sight blade is when shooting from 15 to 25 feet.

I found the sights sharp enough after adjusting the room lighting, but the front red ramp does glare and mess up the aim point more than a little. I have firearm handguns with this same flaw, so it isn’t confined to BB guns. It just seems that the people who make the guns these days don’t shoot them to see how they actually perform. If they did, there would be fewer of these bright, shiny ramp sights.

Number of shots
Well, this BB revolver just keeps on shooting and shooting. I figured that, at its higher velocity, it would run out of gas around 60 shots; but it was still going strong at 97 shots. I chonographed shots 108-113 and report them now.

Shot–>Vel.
108—>299
109—>298
110—>299
111—>303
112—> —
113—>301

Well, these velocities are well off the power curve we saw in Part 2, where the average for these same Daisy BBs was 466 f.p.s. But if you’re popping soda cans in the back yard, I don’t think you’ll notice. However, I did notice that at shots 111 through 113, the BBs were bouncing off the duct seal of the BB trap, so the velocity is getting into the “time to change cartridges” zone. For what it’s worth, that best group of Walther BBs was shot with over 80 shots on the cartridge, so the gun was still in the zone at that time.

The bottom line
Well, it’s official. In a couple days, I’ll submit this revolver to Tom’s Picks. It delivers on everything that’s promised and is a very good training gun, to boot. I may have to retain this one in my personal collection — just so I can come back to it from time to time. It’s all in the interest of science, you understand.

42 thoughts on “Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver: Part 3

  1. I’ve got a kudos for Pyramyd. Last week I used the money I had racked up on the $5 feedback on the beta site a while back to buy a new Titan GP. I’d been wanting to try one for a while now and thought it would be a great way to use the credits I got. The rifle arrived on Thursday and I took it out of the package, loaded a pellet and BAM! detonation, loaded another and BAM! another, another pellet and BAM! another detonation. The rifle was dripping with oil, I had no idea how long it would take to clear it all out and besides I find it virtually impossible to purchase a new airgun and not take it apart. So, take it apart I did, to clean, debur and lubricate properly with a little moly. When I took it apart (and this is where the kudos comes in) I saw that the piston seal was already badly damaged, probably during installation because of the burrs on the piston cut-outs. So, I called Pyramyd to see what could be done. I described the above and without hesitation the person helping me said that she would forward my information to Crosman and they would send me a new seal. That’s it! no questions asked! Thanks Pyramyd.



    • Yikes! And I came *that* close to getting one! I note the one in the box at my Wally’s has been opened, wondering if it was an oil-gooped dieseling wonder too?

      I should just save up and get a PCP.


  2. B.B……..I’m putting my bb’s in the plastic box that “DY-257 (PY-P-550)” pellets come in. The shells captured in the speedloader, fit right in it. I just kinda stab it in the box a few times like i’m chopping walnuts. The bb’s make it into the shell tips, then I just push the bb’s in the rest of the way, till they click in completely, using my finger.
    Don’t need a single layer in the box. 3/4 full or less works a charm. Quite fast.


    • Brian,

      That’s good to know. But I didn’t “…stab it in a couple times.” I only pushed it into the tin once and all the cartridges were filled every time except the one time I mentioned.

      B.B.


  3. Hi BB,

    Remember, longer barrels are more accurate because they support longer sight radius when compared to shorter barrels of the same configuration.

    As far as the bright front sight, I have a S&W firearm revolver with that sight. I don’t have a problem with shifting the point of aim due to it’s function as a defensive combat firearm. In bright light that exposes the ramp color, I am always shooting double action for practice. If I am shooting it to settle a bet I try to be in the shade and shoot it single action!

    Thanks again for the blog,
    Scott


  4. Morning B.B.,

    Your review of this revolver has got me reaching for the phone to give PA a call. I do have one question for you which is would you please give us an idea of how much noise it makes. I’m sure you drove past and through Riverdale while you were living in MD and realize how close together the houses are. As realistic as this Dan Wesson CO2 revolver looks, I sure don’t want to be visited by the PG County SWAT Team. How does it compare to say a Crosman 2240 or a 1377?

    Bruce


    • Bruce,

      I think the Dan Wesson is comparable to the 2240 and 1377. It isn’t too noisy. My cats complained when I started shooting, but after a couple minutes I found all of them had gone back to sleep. They just like to complain for good measure. Sort of like a bus full of professional protesters. “What is it we’re against, today?” ;)

      B.B.


      • That’s what I’d really like one of, the 2240 or is it the 2230, the one with iron sites. That looks like one sweet little pistol!


  5. B.B. you say “Longer barrels aren’t really any more accurate than short barrels” so do you think I can expect the same kind of accuracy out of a 6 inch barrel? It’s as accurate as my GSG92 at 15 feet and the barrel is quite short so I should be ok with the 6 inch.

    Thanks Rob for the BB’s loading trick.
    I’ll make sure to use it when the gun gets here because I’m definatly getting (at least) one.

    My christmas/birthday list is going pretty well:
    -MTM Predator
    -a table to put it on
    -Dan Wesson 6 inches
    -Dan Wesson 4 inches
    -The Gamo plinking target with ball drop
    -a Scuba tank
    am I forgeting something?

    If PA shipped to Canada it would be a one stop shopping for me, the wife would be happy ;)

    Too bad the m4-177 isn’t in Canada yet, it would have been on the list too.

    J-F


  6. Walther came out with an Olympic Free Pistol that had a very short barrel, about 4 inches I think, the design had the barrel very low in the hand, the actual sight radius was decently long, it was very strange looking, LOUD, and ultimately the UIT banned it.

    The idea was the short barrel would decrease barrel-time, and what really mattered was sight radius.



  7. Yay, another Tom’s pick and very well-deserved too. That’s a neat way of reloading the speed loader. It reminds me of a device for picking up tennis balls which is a sort of wire frame basket with the wires spaced very slightly narrower than the balls. You press down on the balls with the basket and the wires bend to swallow them up. Genius. Would your double-action shooting get more accurate if you shot faster I wonder? Shooting faster usually decreases accuracy, but if you are decreasing the time of uncertainty as the hammer cocks, you might get a net increase of overall accuracy–although it will never be as good as deliberate single-action shooting.

    Thanks Herb for the spiraling pellet video. Yes, indeed pellets can fly in a helix, but regarding our longstanding discussion, I will note the following. The helical pathway seems to be a subset of total instability from which there is no return once it begins. So, for example, there is no zeroing to compensate for a pellet spiral at different distances; the behavior is so chaotic that it would not repeat itself precisely to zero. And there is no getting more accurate with distance by having your helix “stabilize” at some distant point. Also, I don’t know that the very last pellet is actually spiraling. It could almost be oscillating back and forth essentially in a plane and the oscillations seem to be speeding up which is to say period decreasing.

    On another note, that set-up is the dream where you can look through the scope at a shot. Very interesting.

    Flobert, yes I own a Single Six, a real beauty. As for what can go wrong with your pellet experiment, my mentality is to say anything unless you know exactly what will happen. I guess I’m thinking of damage to the bore or the chamber with a projectile that is not designed to fit in there.

    Matt61


    • Matt

      When I was about 14 or so my parents paid for me to have tennis lessons, inexplicably. By a rare turn of fate, the instructor was a drop dead gorgeous blonde girl who’s grace on the court was matched only by her beauty. This was an hour I looked forward to on a weekly basis. If only my awkwardness wasn’t matched only by the size of my Adam’s apple.

      Wait…where was I going with this? …oh yeah, she used such a device to pick up tennis balls.


    • Again, thanks are due to Harry for the video not me. I just provided a link to Harry’s good work.

      BB had called the curved flight a spiral which is closer to the truth. maybe “chaotic spiral” would be a better characterization. There isn’t any parabolic center-line. The pellet changes direction in a very chaotic way.

      I’d totally agree that once the pellet starts the chaotic spiral that any hope for “accuracy” is over. I’d also expect that the distance downrange at which the chaotic spiral starts is ill-determined. So it might be 35 feet for one pellet that is shot and 45 for the next of the same type.

      I do think though that the video clearly defines how a pellet’s flight will degrade. Thus we get a glimmer on how to simply the complex equations which define external ballistics. For instance the Coriolis Force although real is insignificant when shooting 200 yards. It of course matters when you are shooting 26 miles like 16 inch guns on a battleship.

      So the questions are – What equation would predict the distance downrange at which the pellet would start to spin in a chaotic spiral? How do we experimentally fit the needed constants to that equation?

      Regards,
      Herb


      • I’ll make an educated guess. A pellet is in the physics sense a top? The fact that it’s moving forward doesn’t much matter. The pellet is being torqued downward by gravity, and the top precesses. Most of the equations are in Goldstein’s book “Classical Mechanics” or in more modern grad school mechanics books. The forces will come from aerodynamics.

        PZ


        • I think of pellets as working like badminton birds.

          BTW actual serious badminton birds are made with real feathers. It’s a hell of a sport – we in the US admire tennis which is more about power, badminton is about speed and technique. I’ve had the fun of playing with the national team, they used to get bunches of noobs like us to play with occasionally, because noobs do weird things and it’s good training. There were feathers everywhere.


    • Matt – thanks for being concerned. I can imagine some really dumb things to do with pulled .22s and a pistol, fortunately I don’t plan to do any of them!

      I can almost imagine my “shooting pellets out of a ruger single-six” series going to 8 parts, in fine Pelletier style! I can do one just on pulling the bullets, and the interesting powder and primers in each of the types of .22 rounds I intend to use: CCI CB Longs, Remington “golden bullet” 550-pack, and for an interesting twist, Federal Gold Medal Match. Likewise, I have 3 types of pellets, the Daisy wadcutters, some Crosman pointed ones, and again for an interesting twist, some very expensive RWS pointed ones make out of some light alloy for high velocity. $7 for 100 of ‘em!

      I didn’t get to it today, I could do the bullet-pulling part tonight but I have some stuff to clean up and make pretty to sell to the antique stores tomorrow, and then I’m just going to want to read stuff on the Internet for a bit and then sleep. I *should* be able to do Part 2 in my series, tomorrow evening.


  8. BB,

    Way off topic – a while ago, you did a report on cold blueing with Blue Wonder. I was wondering how it was holding up?

    I have ordered an LW barrel for my Marauder, and it will arrive without any treatment. I’m thinking of cold blueing at least the portion of the barrel that goes inthe breach block to minimize the chance of it ever rusting in place, and of course I’ll give it a good wipe with Ballistol before installing it. So I thought I’d ask how that the cold blue worked out for you on your barrel that you did.

    Since the barrel will be in the shroud I won’t have to worry about the blue wearing out, but I’d at least like to know if it will help hold back any corrosion before I take the time to do it.

    Alan in MI


    • Alan

      This would make an excellent guest blog, if you were so inclined. Cold bluing and/or before and after results with the LW barrel. I definitely think the Marauder is a worthy platform for such an upgrade.

      I myself find it very difficult to stop and take pictures when I am trudging through mechanical work with filthy fingers. So if you simply don’t feel like it, no pressure on my part. But it would make a good read.


      • SL,

        I’ll think about it, but I’m not sure. I’m only looking to do this as an added once of prevention of ever having the barrel rust in place in the Breech block. The barrel is stock in length and although 0.470″ diameter, is machined to take the stock shroud mounts – which I will do, so the whole thing will be hidden and never really handled again. I wasn’t really thinking of doing the whole thing, but I guess I could.

        Plus all I want to do is get it in the gun and start shooting!!

        But I’ll consider it – maybe I can recruit one of my sons to take pictures as I go, as I don’t want to be getting the bluing chemicals on the camera either . . . . plus when I read BB’s requirements on doing a guest blog, I find that I’m not completely qualified either ;-)

        Alan in MI



    • Alan,
      Maybe a touch of choke tube lube or anti-seize compound would do what you want even easier? I use the choke tube lube on breech plugs, nipples and/or vent liners and they don’t seize up, though exposed to BP fouling, water, etc. I guess I should put some on my 870′s choke tube too :)!


  9. Question: I have been given some Beeman coated pellets. I’ve only shot Crosman pellets before (gotta support Crosman 6 miles away!). Apparently, the black coating on these Beeman pellets is to reduce the lead handling. Will the coating fowl up my barrels? With lead pellets, one typically does not next to clean the barrel, but I’m wondering if I might with these. Any experience or tips? Thanks.


    • Bristolview,

      Your Crosman pellets are coated, also. Just not as much. All pellets are either coated or waxed or oiled to reduce oxidation.

      All it does is improve the metal of your barrel. It’s graphite.

      B.B.


  10. I’ve been reading about a lot of nice pistols and rifles lately, and it had me thinking about buying another. I only own a modified 2240, which I am happy with. I don’t shoot that often, but reading about all these others just got me thinking. Then as I was looking for a quote that I normally add to my posts, I came across this one that just caught my attention.

    “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
    Epicurus

    rikib


  11. Great review! I ended up purchasing a 6″ stainless model. One question though… Do you find that the hammer is a bit wobbly when in the decocked position? On mine, I can wiggle the hammer a few millimeters in each direction when decocked but when I cock the hammer, all the slack is gone and it feels much more solid.



    • Mike,

      I may have misunderstood what you asked. I thought you meant move the hammer side to side. If you meant move it farther back in the direction it was cocked and then relax and it moves, you just described every double-action revolver I ever handled. Even Colt Pythons do that. It part of the action and not a fault.

      B.B.


      • No, I did mean side-to-side wobble. Hmm, I hope this doesn’t mean my gun is defective. I haven’t had a chance to run gas and BBs through it yet so I don’t know for sure if it works but I hope this doesn’t make it a lemon. Thanks for your time!


    • Would you happen to have done something that could have caused that? Like say pull the hammer while the revolver safety was on?

      BB could this be the cause of the hammer wiggle?

      J-F


      • The first time I pulled the hammer back, it was really stiff, but it cocked. It could well be that the safety was on at the time, but if that were the case, shouldn’t I not have been able to move the hammer at all? If the safety was on, would it have caused damage to the gun? Because the hammer still cocks, the cylinder turns and pulling the trigger drops the hammer so as far as I can tell, the gun works like it ought to.



        • Yeah, these are airguns. They aren’t going to be made with precision exacting tolerences like actual firearms. If they were……..we’d be paying 3-400 for them. I think we’re getting plenty from these Dan Wessons, for the price. I’m estatic with my 8″black, 6″silver, and 2 1/2″silver ones.


  12. B.B.,

    I was rereading some older reviews and I thought I’d make a comment on your observation, “. . . Only the Daisy zinc-plated BBs support this style of reloading. The other two brands are difficult just getting six out of the bottle.”

    I always have two bottles of Crosman Copperheads open at a given time. With one I cut the tip to a small opening so only one BB can come out at a time. The other one I cut much farther down on the spout so that the hole is comparatively huge. That is the bottle I use for my Dan Wesson and to fill my Marksman BB speedloader (an exceptionally cool loader): http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/Marksman_Premium_Grade_Steel_BBs_5_1_Grains_Speedloader_1_300ct/439

    Michael


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