Winchester M14 .177-caliber dual-ammo air rifle: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Winchester’s new M14 dual-ammo rifle looks very much like the military rifle it copies.

Let’s test the velocity of the Winchester M14 dual-ammo rifle. Of course, I’ll test it with both BBs and lead pellets. This rifle is a semiautomatic 8-shot repeater powered by 2 CO2 cartridges. Someone made a comment that referred to the rifle having blowback action, but I want to clear that up — it doesn’t. Yes, the action operates by CO2 power and really is semiautomatic; but no — there’s no sensation of blowback, and nothing moves when the rifle fires.

You do have to pull the “bolt” back to cock the rifle before the first shot. It’s not really a bolt — just a plastic cover to hide the metal internal parts of the firing mechanism. But the act of pulling it back is realistic.

The stick mag has an 8-shot rotary clip on each end. After firing 8 shots, you pop it out and reverse it for another 8. Then, you must reload the magazine. I see no reason why you can’t carry additional loaded magazines, as long as you take some care to keep them clean. They do have moving parts that affect their function, so these parts have to be able to move or the gun will jam.

BBs first
I tested the rifle with Daisy zinc-plated BBs first, and discovered that the rotary clips have a magnet inside to hold the BBs in place. Because the chambers in the clips are for .177 pellets, they’re too large for BBs — which are .173-caliber. But the magnets securely hold the BBs in place.

BBs averaged 560 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 546 to a high of 580 f.p.s. That’s a pretty broad spread for a CO2 gun. It’s also 140 f.p.s. slower than the advertised top velocity of 700 f.p.s., which surprised me, because the BBs are very light and are possibly the fastest projectiles this gun can shoot. This BB weighs 5.1 grains and generates 3.55 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, on average.

The stick mag dropped out of position two times during the test, which entailed just over 40 shots. I’ll chalk that up to my not seating it correctly for now, but it’s something I plan to watch as the test progresses. I note that there’s a click deep inside the gun that must be heard to know the magazine is seated correctly.

Now pellets
The first pellet I tried was the JSB Exact RS. As light as this domed pellet is, I felt it would compliment the power of this airgun well.

This 7.33-grain lead pellet averaged 519 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 507 to a high of 542 f.p.s. At the average velocity, it generated 4.39 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Next, I loaded RWS Hobby pellets. At just seven grains, I expected them to be the velocity champs among the pellets, but they turned in a disappointing average of 491 f.p.s. The spread, however, ranged from a low of 443 f.p.s. to a high of 532 f.p.s., indicating the gun was running out of gas. This was after fewer than 30 shots had been fired! Well, it’s possible that I shot it more times while writing Part 1 and just didn’t remember it.

I installed two new CO2 cartridges; and as the old ones were expelled, they both lost a lot of gas. The rifle was not firing at this point, so a lot of gas was being wasted. I kept track of each shot these new cartridges gave, so I could report the total shot count.

With the new cartridges in place Hobbys gave an average 549 f.p.s. The spread, though, was still very large, extending from a low of 507 to a high of 592. Since the first four shots also expelled a cloud of CO2 vapor, I know they were artificially higher than the average, which was more in the 520 f.p.s. region.

I don’t know what to make of these velocity numbers. Clearly, Hobbys were all over the place, depending on how new the CO2 cartridge was. I would guess their average is really closer to 520 f.p.s., which would give them an average muzzle energy of 4.2 foot-pounds.

I must also note that Hobbys were too large to seat in the chambers of the circular clip easily. I had to use the Air Venturi PellSet to get them into each chamber far enough for the clip to rotate freely. Perhaps, that might explain their erratic behavior.

The next pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain dome. These averaged 472 f.p.s. in the M14, and the velocity spread went from 457 to 482 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet averaged 3.91 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Trigger pull
I mentioned in Part 1 that I felt the trigger was close to a military pull. Well, it breaks at an average 6 lbs., 5 oz., so it’s just a little heavier than the standard 5-lb. military pull. The pull is a little creepy, but it’s not bad. I will probably have more to say about it after the accuracy test.

Shots per fill
We’re using two CO2 cartridges in this rifle. So how many shots does that give? I disregarded the early cartridge swap and started counting after the new cartridges were installed.

I got a total of 112 shots before feeling it was necessary to change the cartridge. That’s a good number for everything else this gun does. Let me tell you how it went.

I used mostly JSB Exact RS pellets for this test, so I could see where the power was at any given time. After the first 40 shots, the gun no longer shot above 500 f.p.s. It stayed around 470 until shot 88; but if several shots were fired quickly in a row without giving the gun time to warm up again, the velocity dipped down to almost 400 f.p.s. Stop shooting a minute, though, and it’s back to 470 with the RS pellet.

After shot 88, the rifle dropped below 400 f.p.s. for the first time and started slowing down. If 5 shots were fired rapidly the velocity at the end was only 312 f.p.s. After shot 104, the gun was always in the 300s. I stopped at shot 112 because I felt the gun could jam if I went too much farther. Shot 112 was fired after a minute’s pause and went 335 f.p.s.

Impressions so far
This rifle is turning out to be somewhat different than I thought at the beginning. It isn’t as consistent as I’d hoped. It suffers too much velocity loss from the cooling effect as the gun shoots. That will be expressed as vertical stringing on any targets. The best accuracy will come by pausing a minute between shots.

Accuracy is next. I am very curious as to what we will see.

27 thoughts on “Winchester M14 .177-caliber dual-ammo air rifle: Part 2

  1. B.B.

    Well, no luck at all. It seems I was over-optimistic with my re-screwing progect – rifle needed some hundred shots for action to lay back into wood and I made only 20-30 of them before going to competition. So, my results were eeer… miserable.
    I spent all Sunday trying to deduct the trouble and made about 100-150 shots – they turned out to be a cure. Groups shrinked back to this rifle’s normal size, screws and bolts got seated into their respective places and I said a lot of unkind words in process. All right, negative experience is a way to learn too, perhaps even a better way due to its painfulness for one’s ego :)
    Still waiting for info on my receiver, machinists were too optimistic about last week – just as I predicted.

    duskwight


    • Hang in there, duskwight. So sorry to hear about the floods in southern Russia. The pictures are awful. Hope that’s not in your area.

      Matt61


      • Matt,

        The place is more than 1200 km south from my home, but tragedy knows no distance. We all mourn for deceased and pray for other’s safety. I’ve already brought clothes, some packs of medicines and first aid kits to volunteers, they are to arrive there after tomorrow.

        I’ve heard about extreme heat in US – is it all right in your place?

        duskwight


  2. A good friend that I introduced into airguns asked me to keep an eye on this report. He doesn’t do internet. He does receive Pyramyd Air circulars and as a result was fascinated by the M14/M1A replica.

    Since I’ve guided him to some accurate springers with decent triggers I initially told him because of trigger pull and CO2 at our elevation he would be disappointed. He persisted. He wants an M14 airgun lookalike that has power, good trigger, decent shot count and ultimately great accuracy.

    The trigger pull would put me off but he remained interested.

    Dual C02 cartridges with these spreads are acceptable? The price per shot is ridiculous.

    I’m reserving ultimate judgement until I see B.B.’s accuracy test but the writing seems to be on the wall.

    kevin


    • Altitude has nothing to do with how CO2 works, unless the altitude makes it too cold. Cold is the only issue.

      I think your friend is wanting more than this rifle can deliver. He will have to learn the hard way.

      twotalon


      • twotalon,

        Bingo! Altitude = Cold. Our problems at 9,800 feet are that the temperature can drop 20 degrees in 30 minutes even in the summer and it’s too cold to effectively use co2 eight months out of the year.

        You may be right that he wants more out of this gun than it can deliver. Seems he was attracted to it based on looks alone. He doesn’t want to “learn the hard way” which is why I’m paying attention to B.B.’s test and paying close attention to comments from people I respect like you.

        kevin


        • B.B. might have his hands on one that is a bit “deader” than average. We won’t know until a few credible reviews (with some good information) start coming in. Some real facts from other shooters.
          B.B. does get hold of a pig once in a while.

          Don’t respect me too much….
          I make enemies by saying what I really think once in a while.

          twotalon


          • twotalon,

            Good point about B.B. getting a pig. Nonetheless, with very rare exception, “other reviews” don’t mean much to me.

            “Saying what you really think” is appreciated by me. It’s those folks that soft soap and tell me what they think I want to hear that are troublesome and waste my time.

            kevin


    • Kevin, has your friend considered the Crosman 1077 air rifle? Inexpensive, incredibly accurate (at it’s price) and fun to shoot.

      Based on B.B.’s testing so far, as cool as the Winchester M14 looks, it just doesn’t look like it’s going to make it to my wish list. Velocity is all over the place and it appears to be so inconsistent as to be almost useless. Maybe it’ll turn out to be a good can popper but I can’t see it being used for much else.


      • chasblock,

        The only thing the M14 has over the 1077 at this point is a better trigger. But the CO2 use is too high and the velocity is just not there.

        B.B.


      • chasblock,

        He hasn’t said anything about the 1077. I think he’s enamored with the looks of the M14 first and performance second.

        kevin


    • Kevin,

      I am underwhelmed by the rifle at this point, also. Unless it is extremely accurate, I think it’s going to be a bust.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        For Jack accuracy could be this guns salvation. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up buying it just for the looks. Never knew about the memories he has that this gun dredged up in him.

        kevin


  3. I am very dissapointed with this gun.I only got 30 shots before the
    action had to be manualy cocked to cycle.
    I don’t like all of the plastic and the fact that Daisy does not
    offer clips for the rifle or the 1911 pistol yet.
    Using two co2′s doesn’t offer any increase in power or accuracy and frankly
    I think this could be a turkey and a bust.
    The charging nuts are only made of plastic and you get two in box”One hard turn
    and goodbye charging the gun.The inconvience of loading does not seem to be
    worth the time and effort for the so so performance.
    This might be good for collecting,there are a lot better guns out there
    than this one.I think for collectors like me who buy every new gun on the
    market it’s ok.
    By the way the bonus bucks is a great idea and who ever thought of it
    should get a raise because I only will buy from Pyramid to get them and not from another source
    and who else has the selection of Pyramid?


  4. It’s kind of looking like one of those guns that’s going to take a lot of work to get what you want. And if it takes that much work, for my money there had better be a lot more wood and steel…

    /Dave


  5. I wonder if the two CO2 canisters are the reason why the gun loses so much velocity between shots. That is an unfortunate feature that bugs me about all CO2 guns. Waiting a minute is a bit much, especially when you’re trying to replicate a semi-auto firearm.

    Mike, thanks for the info about co-witnessing. Makes perfect sense. In my limited experience, having your red dot zeroed differently from your iron sights is extremely distracting, so this would be a must.

    PeteZ, congratulations on beating the cancer. As for a return to shooting, I know how frustrating that can be. After a long layoff, due to a sore leg, my wrist hurt from cocking the IZH 61, and I had lost the ability to concentrate for long periods. But the shooting skills themselves had deteriorated less than I thought. On the other hand, just as I felt like I was getting back into it, my neck has started hurting. So, there are all sorts of obstacles to be expected.

    Matt61


  6. I was shooting one of my Walthers PPK/S CO2 pistols a couple days ago. It had no power at all from a fresh CO2 cartridge. The one before it worked just fine.

    I removed the cartridge and replaced it with another, adding a drop of Pellgunoil. Everything worked normally then.

    I didn’t hear any gas escaping from the cartridge (leaking) while the gun was performing poorly. Apparently, the cartridge itself was bad.

    This is the only time in my life I’ve encountered a bad CO2 cartridge. Never even heard of it happening to anyone else. Has anyone else here run into this problem?

    Ambient temperature was around 95F.

    Congratulations to Pete Z on his recovery. And also to Matt61.

    Duskwright, glad to hear you can help out with the floods. Our problem in this part of the country has been wildfires, in addition to the long heat spell. Some rainy weather moved in yesterday and cooled things off. We have experienced some flooding in Colorado as rains on burned-over mountains cannot be absorbed by the barren ground. Lots of people homeless account of the fire, especially as it got into a residential area of Colorado Springs and destroyed 365 homes.

    BB,

    The M14 appears to be a disappointment. Perhaps if it had been built on the 1077 it would have worked better. CO2 locally runs almost $1.00/cartridge.

    I was initially interested in the M14, but not so much now. May get a 1077. I like to shoot CO2, even though I can’t use it in the winter, and enjoy target shooting in the winter especially.

    Les


    • Les,

      I bet that CO2 cartridge in the PPK/S wasn’t pierced well enough. If the end was a little thicker, that would explain it. Even when it is pierced correctly, the hole isn’t very large.

      B.B.


      • BB,that touches exactly on my question(s).First,will you examine the spent Co2 powerlets for inadequate piercing? Also,is there positive indexing of the clips and their loading? Of all the things that might rob power in this one,those are the manufacturing points that I would suspect.


        • Frank,

          I already checked that out. The cartridges on the test rifle are adequately pierced, but that doesn’t mean that every cartridge is the same. Those with thicker bottom plates may not pierce as completely.

          As for the circular clips indexing, all I can go by will be the accuracy. An air pistol isn’t quite the same as a firearm revolver, where there can be misalignment issues with the forcing cone. In an air pistol the tolerances are greater to keep that from happening, and you never know if there is pellet shaving unless there are particles left inside the gun. It doesn’t spit out the front of the cylinder like a firearm.

          B.B.


          • BB,

            I shot both pistols again today, and noticed that the spent CO2 cartridge from the one that had performed poorly last time had only a minimal piercing hole. Even so, it performed well today.

            Perhaps I will need to tighten the screw a little harder when piercing a new cartridge. I installed a new valve assembly recently in it. The valve assembly includes the piercing device.

            On the M14 you reviewed, what purpose does the double CO2 serve? I don’t understand what is gained by it, especially in a gun that does not have a blowback action feature.

            Les


  7. Pete Z,I sincerely hope you have the cancer beat….and make a rapid recovery.I would be very happy to lend you an accurate,lightweight springer that cocks w/ one finger to help you recouperate.It would be my pleasure.frankbpc at aol(dot)com
    What do you make of the Higgs boson announcement??


  8. Petez,

    Welcome back to the land of the living! Good to have you back!

    5+3 doesn’t equal 8 today…. Hmmmmmmm’…..

    /Dave


  9. Thanks for the great news, Pete! Here’s one for you:

    A Higgs boson walks into a church.
    The priest says “sorry, but we don’t acknowledge your existence.”
    The boson says “well, you can’t have mass without me.”

    I wonder how much market there would be for a high-end version of this M14, with wood, metal, and an authentic heft. Nah, it’d probably cost more than the real thing!

    -Jan


  10. I bought the Winchester/Daisy M-14 as soon as I could and reviewed it on Pyramyd
    and execpt for the excessive use of plastic (even the trigger) and price (@2 1/2 X’s the price of a 1077)
    I have no complaints performance wise. It’s a very good all day plinker and target gun with very good accuracy using RWS .7Gr. Basics @ 21Ft. It’s not a hunting gun nor was it designed to be one.
    Want something with a little more heft & weight ,accuracy and cheaper to shoot ?Then try the Cyber Gun AEG M-14 airsoft. 8 lbs. 300 shot magazine. 400 fps sniper accuracy ,scopeable and semi/full auto capability available @ Pyramyd.


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