Colt 1911 Special Combat CO2 BB pistol: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Colt’s 1911 Special Combat BB pistol is a knockout for looks!

Happy Independence Day!
Happy Fourth of July to my U.S. readers! And to everyone else, happy Wednesday!

Today, I’ll look at the accuracy of the Colt 1911 Special Combat BB pistol. We discovered in the velocity test that the pistol doesn’t quite reach the velocity advertised. That made it possible for me to start using and testing the new Winchester Airgun Target Cube that serves as a BB/pellet trap. We also learned that the pistol shoots at dramatically different velocities in single- and double-action. Naturally, I looked at both modes in this test.

The test
I shot the pistol at 16 feet (as close as possible to 5 meters — the international BB-gun distance) from a rest. A fresh CO2 cartridge was installed at the start of the test and was used for the entire test.

The first 10 shots were to ascertain how the sights were set. Also, I knew from the velocity test that this pistol needs a couple shots to “wake up” the valve and get up to its top velocity. So, the first 10 shots were just sighters.

I discovered the rear sight needed some elevation. Happily, the sight is completely adjustable, but the direction for a vertical increase isn’t clear. The straight arrow doesn’t tell you which way to turn the screw. Fortunately, the sight works like most other rear sights, and a counterclockwise turn provides elevation. There seemed to be no click detents in the adjustment, so I watched the orientation of the screw slot.

First up were Daisy zinc-plated BBs, and 10 were loaded into the stick magazine. Then, I fired the pistol single-action, using a 6 o’clock hold with the sights. Yes, at just 16 feet from the target, I could hardly miss, but this was a test of the pistol — not of my shooting ability.

Ten Daisy BBs went into a group that measures 1.58 inches between centers. It proved to be the best group of the entire test.


Ten Daisy BBs made this 1.58-inch group at 16 feet.

Next, I loaded 10 more Daisy BBs and shot them double-action at a fresh target. As expected the group opened up. This time ten went into a group measuring 2.606-inches between centers. Although, the double-action trigger-pull is relatively light, it stacks at the end and is difficult to control. Nevertheless, this accuracy is minute-of-pop-can at the same 16 feet.


Ten Daisy BBs fired double-action made this 2.606-inch group. A stacking trigger-pull was the culprit.

RWS BBs
Next, it was time to try the RWS BBs. Though they appear to be even smoother than Daisy BBs, I find the two brands about equal in most guns I have tested. The first ten were fired single action, making a group that measures 2.369-inches between centers. That is nearly as large as the Daisy BBs fired double-action!

Once during the 10 shots, there was a double-feed, and two BBs went down range together. This never happened again, so I don’t think it’s a problem. And, if the wide shot from that double-feed was eliminated, the remaining 9 BBs made a group measuring 1.668 inches between centers — much more in line with what the Daisy BBs did.


The RWS BB single-action group looks large because the hole at the upper right is one of two that went down range together. Take it out, and the group is much closer to the single-action Daisy BB group. Overall group measures 2.369 inches, but 9 shots went into 1.668 inches.

On double-action, I was able to see several of the BBs as they went downrange. They seemed to all be curving to the left — almost as though the gun had a Hop-Up that wasn’t quite adjusted. This reminded me of the gun’s airsoft heritage. Ten shots landed in a 2.128-inch group, besting the single-action group, but only because of the double-feed while shooting single-action. This group also bested the Daisy double-action group


Ten RWS BBs went into 2.128 inches shooting double-action.

Winchester Airgun Target Cube
I used the Winchester Airgun Target Cube for this accuracy test. It’s a new combination BB/pellet trap that I’ve been eager to include in my testing. The trap is a cube of dense foam that has a metal plate inside. Shoot at it on one side, and you’re just shooting at foam, unless you chance to hit the edge of the metal plate. That’s the side for velocities below 350 f.p.s. Orient the cube the other way and the plate’s in the middle. That’s the side for velocities above 350 f.p.s.

The paper targets were all taped to the front surface of the cube. The solid backing of the cube helped define the BB holes a little. And as light as the cube is, it never moved when hit. The sound when hit is quiet, but it’s noisier than a Quiet Pellet Trap.

Daisy markets this cube and says the side of the cube that’s rated above 350 f.p.s. is good up to 1,200 f.p.s. for .177-caliber pellets. I won’t be testing it at that speed. Several shots in the same place might blow through the metal plate inside the cube, and I’m not a testing laboratory for Daisy or anyone else. I’m interested in how many practical shots we can expect from this trap, so I plan to keep a record. Hopefully the number will be in the thousands, like other commercial BB traps.


The Winchester Airgun Target Cube has its first 50 shots. Ten were from the sight-in.

The BBs all stayed inside the cube, but it’s too early to say how long this trap will last. As I use it, the tendancy will be to strike near the center of the cube, so in time we will see what effect that has.

What I like about this pistol
I like the trigger in both the single- and double-action modes. I like the adjustable sights, and I like the way the sights look when shooting the gun. I like the snazzy appearance of the gun and the way it is exactly the same size as a 1911 firearm. I like the drop-free magazine/CO2 holder. And I like the velocity that gives a lot of shots per CO2 cartridge. This gun is very quiet and only rates a two on the sound scale!

What I don’t like about this pistol
The accuracy could be better.

The bottom line
This BB pistol has to compete with many other 1911-style BB pistols that all offer a lot for the money. This one probably leads them all in looks, but it trails the field in accuracy. In the end, though, it’s more than accurate enough for a BB pistol.

10 thoughts on “Colt 1911 Special Combat CO2 BB pistol: Part 3

  1. Alright, alright, I’ll buy one of those too. It looks so good how could I not want one?

    Is the Daisy target cube the same size as the one made by Crosman? I’ve been using the one Crosman sells for over a year now without problems. The thing with foam is once the pellets or BB’s enter they don’t seem to go straight. I tried to measure penetration by inserting something in the hole left by the pellet but I couldn’t touch the pellet it went sideways a few mm’s in so I fired a second shot in the same hole and the pellet seemed to move in a different direction and still not straight so the chances to hit another pellet inside seems minimal.
    I also bought a cheap much larger dense foam pad that’s supposed to be made for archery and at less than 4 feet distance none of my sub 500fps airgun was able to go thru it. It’s a bit less than 2 inches thick but it makes a loud WHACK when hit by a pellet at a new spot.

    J-F


  2. I’m still waiting for mine to come in”LikeJ-F says it looks so good “How can you
    not resist not buying one? I am not buying for power but I was hoping for
    better accuracy then the test showed” It still is a beauty though,I wonder if Aftermath
    made it?


  3. I want to say thank you to ALL the Veterans who sacrificed SO much to make this Independance day possible! Everyone have an excellent Fourth of July,eat plenty and be safe. Frank B


  4. Perhaps a different brand of BB might be more accurate. Avantis perhaps? First the pistol needs to be reliable, then it needs to be accurate. If the accuracy isn’t there I would probably look elsewhere.

    Mike


  5. Gotta admit, with this accuracy I’ll stick with my Umarex 1911A1.
    If only it had blowback ;-)
    On a side note, my next purchase is a GSG 1911 Tactical (.22LR).
    Anybody here used one…feedback if you do?
    We briefly though about a .45ACP 1911 but in truth it is too much to handle for my 8yr old. A friend of mine took us out shooting one day…he has a Series 70 Colt and a CZ75 with the .22 conversion upper.
    My boys liked the looks of the Colt, but after two shots my 8yr old would have nothing to do with it…but the little bugger was outshooting all of us at 25′ with the CZ .22 ;-)
    So for now we’re looking for .22 Colt of some sort…the bigger calibre will come later.
    So…if anyone has feedback on the GSG…or any of the .22 1911′s please weigh in.


    • It’s not a sin to buy the .45 1911 for yourself! The kids can shoot other things until they are old enough to handle it.

      Mike


      • Unfortunately, though my heart says ‘yes’…the wallet says ‘no’.
        My main shooting buddies are my sons, most of what we buy is with the idea in mind that we can all make use of it.


  6. Happy Fourth of July. How appropriate to run a story on the 1911 on this day. I would have thought that accuracy for action pistols at close range was not a big deal, but my mind was changed with my flirtation with the Crosman pellets for my Walther Nighthawk. The large groups were highly disturbing, and I felt much better when going back to my RWS Hobbys.

    Carel, thanks for your response. I guess the natural question that arises now is what do we mean by harmonics. My sense of the term is that harmonics refers to all the vibrations in a gun between all the moving parts and through all the non-moving parts. The sum of all this is intrinsic and unique to every model of gun and every copy of every model. Without having seen it, I’m supposing that the harmonic tuner on the Whiscombe is some device that slides along the barrel to control barrel harmonics, not unlike the BOSS on certain Winchester 70 rifles of the Target Mini-14. This would take care of the barrel harmonics but not all of the other things. So, by adjusting this harmonic tuner you would be controlling for some harmonics between one pellet and another but not for all, so it would be difficult to generalize the results to any gun besides the Whiscombe. I do think this procedure moves the stake in the ground forward, but it doesn’t appear to control absolutely for the test gun. So, whether one is moving forward to more precise results or making them relative in a different way seems to be a value judgment.

    Desertdweller, hadn’t heard that the Japanese were skittish about crocodiles. I suppose that the prehistoric reptiles rising out of the water or remaining submerged to bite you would give pause to any rational person. On the other hand, the Japanese had fought very successfully in the jungles of Burma and Malaysia at this point and would have been conditioned to face crocodiles as much as any one could be. (And as an aside, I understand that in certain African societies in the past–and perhaps still–long-term health care consists of leaving the aged parent on the riverbank to be taken to the other world by the crocodile god.) As for other modes of dealing with crocodiles, I understand that Sherman’s Army in its March to the Sea and through South Carolina merely brushed past crocodiles in the swamps without even slowing down. And that was with single-shot rifles. Also, there are the destructive examples of our very own PA readers who convincingly put down the titanaboa, the bus-sized prehistoric snake. First prize for diabolic ingenuity went to Wulfraed for luring the titanaboa in with a bleating goat and then blowing him up with a grenade. Strong second to PeteZ with the flamethrower.

    As for the Japanese at the Tenaru, they were members of the elite Ichiki Detachment, that was hardcore to a fault. They were heavily outnumbered by the Marines, and their attack made no tactical sense. But if they were actually scared of crocodiles, they weren’t the last word of the Japanese military. Word is that legendary Karate master, Gogen “The Cat” Yamaguchi was posted in Manchuria as an intelligence officer in Manchuria when he was taken captive by Russian forces. They decided to put him in a cage with a tiger to see what would happen when Yamaguchi came out the winner. The Russians were so impressed that they made him a teacher of their prison guards. Naturally, there is no proof of this, and Yamaguchi himself had quite a strange and unprepossessing appearance. He was short in the way of the pre-war Japanese–under five feet–with freakishly short legs. Even in old age, he looked like a little kid or a dwarf. But one didn’t get his kind of reputation in the uninhibited martial arts of pre-war Japan without having something. And the Americans servicemen whom he taught after the war seem to have been impressed.

    Matt61


    • Well, if one could find a sample, I’m sure the critter would have found a bleating hart more to its liking <G>

      (Don’t all boo at once)


    • Matt

      Sherman’s men would have encountered alligators, not the salt-water crocodiles the Japanese faced. I can’t fault the Japanese for not wanting to face these things in the water, but surely a few hand grenades would clear them out. The ones not killed in the blasts would probably have been stunned by the shock effects in the water.

      I’ve worked around alligators at night. Let’s just say I’d rather avoid them.

      Martial arts expert vs. tiger, my money would be on the tiger.

      Guess I missed out on the titanaboa challenge. Too bad. I did hear boas were pretty much taking over the environment in South Florida. Might make a good airgun challenge. I hear snakes’ skulls are very thin. Would suggest C.P. .22 hollowpoint pellets for headshots, with a stout springer.

      Les


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