Winchester model 11 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Winchester model 11 16-shot BB pistol
The Winchester semiautomatic BB pistol is an attractive M1911A1-style BB pistol. It’s also accurate!

You know how I always say that if a gun is accurate it covers a multitude of sins? It doesn’t happen that often, but today we will be looking at a BB gun that is without sin! Sorry to put the conclusion at the beginning of the report, but this test was a real eye-opener for me, and I want to pass along those feelings to you.

I know there are a few of you who are on the lookout for a good BB pistol that can be used for target shooting and firearm handgun familiarity training. I think this Winchester 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol is one of them!

One more thing about loading
I mentioned in Part 2 that the stick magazine for this pistol is set up for easy loading. What I didn’t mention and didn’t discover until I shot it for accuracy, is the magazine is built to be loaded while lying flat on a table. The base of the mag is larger than the rest of it, so it rests on an angle. You can just drop BBs into the big loading hole and most of them will roll down to the front (the top of the mag) out of the way. I did have a couple of jams when I tried loading this way, but overall it seems easier than holding the magazine in my hand while loading.

Winchester 16 shot BB pistol magazine on table
When the magazine is laid flat on a table with the loading hole up (like shown above), it slants toward the top, allowing the BBs to be loaded and roll out of the way.

Shooting
Now, it was time to shoot the gun. I set up the range in my bedroom, where it’s warm. Texas has been cold recently and the garage where I would normally shoot is too cold for a CO2 gun. As the gas cools down the gun, it cannot recover. So, the velocity just keeps getting lower with each shot.

I used a 6 o’clock hold at 15 feet from the target. And I used a one-hand hold. As you can see, the BBs went right to the center of the bull when I did my part.

I used the Winchester Airgun Target Cube to hold a Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C target bullseye that I stuck to a cardboard square taped to the front of the Target Cube. When the group was completed, it took only seconds to rip the old one off and slap a new one down in its place. I like this kind of target because it gives me instant feedback on how I’m doing when the target changes color as the BB passes through. That helped me concentrate on my shooting technique because, with this pistol, all the shots went exactly where I aimed!

First shot
The first shot with any BB pistol is always in doubt because I have no idea where it’s going. A rifled gun will usually be more or less on target, but a BB gun can spray them anywhere. That’s why I shoot at 15 feet — aside from that being the generally established distance for BB guns. But with this Winchester pistol, I needn’t have worried. The first BB went into the 10-ring.

I wish I could tell you that the rest of the magazine went there, too, but it didn’t. I still don’t have the muscle control I used to have to hold a pistol on target with one hand. Even at 15 feet, my group was larger than it should have been.

Winchester 16 shot BB pistol first target
The first group was larger than it should have been, but it wasn’t the pistol’s fault.

After seeing the results of the first 10 shots, I became very interested in this pistol. The group was centered perfectly and the only thing that kept it from being better was me. That’s a good thing because it means this pistol shoots better than I do so I can use it to improve my skills. All of a sudden, I had an air pistol I could use to train with; and it was a repeater that had a light trigger and simulated recoil! That makes it perfect for firearms familiarization training.

I do have other air pistols that can be used to train with, but none of them are repeaters with blowback like this one. This one has a good trigger that has to be managed, and it has the same grip as my 1911 firearms — or close enough that I don’t notice the difference. If I want, I can pull the trigger several hundred times each week and possibly recover some of my pistol shooting ability.

I got a little excited on the second target and rushed several of the shots. The target tells the story. The group is somewhat larger and wider than the first one.

Winchester 16 shot BB pistol second target
The second group was larger than the first one, and I threw one shot out of the black. But all the bad shots on this target are my fault because I could see where the shot was going to go the moment the gun fired.

By this point in the test, I was really excited. Here was an air pistol that shot to the exact point of aim. If the shot didn’t go where it should have, the fault was entirely mine. You can’t ask for a better training tool than that! The cost of shooting this BB gun is a fraction of what I have to pay for firearms cartridges — and I cast my own bullets, so I shoot for very little compared to what most folks pay.

It was time for another target and time for me to buckle down and try my best. Of course, this kind of concentration is very tiring; so by this point in the test, I was starting to experience some shaking in my gun hand. Training will fix that,. With this Winchester pistol, it looks like I’ll get that training.

Winchester 16 shot BB pistol third target
An interesting group. All the shots but one are grouped on the right. That indicates that I was holding the pistol more uniformly and controlling the trigger better, but my feet were not planted correctly. There was tension in my body that caused me to pull each shot to the right. The hole on the left was a wild shot that was my fault.

What do I think of this air pistol?
Up to this point, I’ve been critical. I didn’t like all the words on both sides of the gun, nor was I very keen about the CO2 piercing arrangement because it makes it difficult to get the spent cartridge out of the gun. I also don’t like the safety that takes two hands to operate. But all that goes away when I see just how well this pistol shoots. As I’ve said many times, accuracy makes all the difference!

After my third group, I talked about the gun with Edith. She doesn’t get out to the range as much as I do, and she needs this kind of training even more. So, we decided to buy the test pistol from Pyramyd Air!

I’ve shot other BB pistols in the past, and several of them were quite accurate. That, by itself, is not what makes me like this one so much. I like this one for the trigger that feels a lot like a firearm trigger, and I like the sights that are so realistic. The designers could have put fiberoptics on the gun and ruined it completely, but they didn’t. You can aim this one exactly as you would a firearm.

I hope they’re all like this; and if you order one, I hope you get one that’s as nice as I got. Two thumbs up!

26 thoughts on “Winchester model 11 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol: Part 3

  1. I didn’t want to buy this one but how can I resist now?
    “I’m buying this one” “two thumbs up”
    I was ready to order the Browning Hi-Power and Browning Buckmark URX but now I’ll have to wait a little and buy this one too…

    I think if you like this one you should really give the Tanfoglio Witness 1911 a try.
    I love these blowback pistols, since I have no spare mag I load all the mags and bring all the pistol outside (or in the garage during the winter) and shoot them all one after another so since I only shoot one mag per gun it usually doesn’t freeze.

    J-F


  2. Hmmm… Makes me wonder how you’d do /now/ with the SIG P226 X-Five reviewed last year (I believe you had commented that it was your first off-hand pistol shooting since all the medical work).

    After all, your review at that time was sufficient to make me buy that pistol.


    • Correction: year and a half ago…

      My, how lay-off time flies… It’s been 15 months now… 12 since the traverse from CA to MI.


      • Wulfraed, I am glad you have narrowed my search :) Actually, I am glad you mentioned this because I am looking for air handguns to compare and contrast with other models. Now that I have one blow back and one revolver with rifled barrels I am open to other like them or different.
        What I like about this review is that it verifies something I think should be true, that a good smooth bore barrel shooting a good spherical (aka globular) projectile can be accurate within certain boundaries. ~Ken


      • Wulfraed, I found the review. The search function worked quite well. However, here is the link to part 2. Part 1 is just a click away once on the part 2 page. Of course, everyone here knows that. I just start babbling when I should be asleep already. ~Ken



      • My apologies for the double post. As you can see there is a slight difference between them. I tried to stop the first one from going through, but even on dial-up it went quickly on its way, straight as an accurate pellet fired from an accurate gun with no abort function once fired. ~Ken


  3. B.B., You got my attention. I can tell that some of what I have written because you were right on to predict I would find today’s blog of special interest for you.
    So far, I absolutely love the 3576 and the PT-85. At this point I have to believe they both shoot better than I can. I haven’t done the exercises I have found to be important for several days and that is a mistake; I will do some before I hit the sack.
    However, your review had insured I will put this 1911 on my wish list. I want to be able to back up to 15 feet soon. However, it is good that I have been limited to 12 feet because it has insured I will practice at this distance for a while. My dime sized group of 7 (I console myself that the 8th shot was a flier) proved to be an anomaly for now. I have done well enough to get most inside a 2″ circle. This is true for both handguns.
    A short while ago I shot two groups of 8, one with the heaviest pellet I have (Gamo .177 9.6 gr. Rocket) and the lightest (Daisy .177 7.2 gr. Pointed Field Pellets). I put all 8 shots with the 7.2 gr. inside my 2″ bull with 2 shots in the bull’s eye. I put 6 of the 8 shots with the 9.6 gr. inside the 2″ bull and none in the bull’s eye (and those inside the 2″ bull were spread more than the group with the lighter pellets.
    I start to feel like I am writing too much about my hit and miss beginner’s story. I many here have been shooting more regularly for years.
    To reiterate, this pistol is definitely on my wish list. Target shooting and firearm handgun familiarity training my primary goals. I like the fact that this accurate BB gun has the feel of the firearm it is patterned after, with blow back and reduced cost of shooting (even less than lead pellets).
    I think I will have a customer review to write. I will read other customer reviews as reviews well by B.B., Paul and others. I don’t think this will influence my focus; in fact I believe it will sharpen my focus and make my findings and opinions more relevant. I already rate customer reviews on a five point scale :)
    Lastly, the fact that you, B.B., are purchasing this handgun for you own rehab is significant to me. ~Ken
    P.S. Unlike when I write in blogs or forums, I will redact my reviews to death. I take writing here seriously, but a customer review will have less give and take. I don’t mind being educated and corrected here or in a forum; I need to be able to stand solid on any review I may write.



    • Ken I own the regular (no rail, mag well and muzzle brake) of the SIG and I love it.
      You might as well get a look at the GSG 92 which is made to look like a Taurus (PT99 if I’m not mistaken) pistol, with nothing but a screw driver and a file you also have access to the full auto option which turns the pistol into a gas hog but a FUN gas hog.
      http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/2011/07/gsg-92-co2-bb-pistol-part-3/
      There’s a 3rd pistol made by the airsoft manufacturer KWC I believe which is a 1911 like this one, a bit less accurate but prettier (with no “press here to shoot” markings) and with the exact same look and operation as a 1911 firearm http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Tanfoglio_Witness_1911_CO2_BB_Pistol_Brown_Grips/2534

      All 3 can be taken apart like the firearms they closely copy. I own all 3 and like them a lot. Someone on the Canadian Airgun Forum claimed he was able to achieve a shrunk size of his groups with the firearm by about a 1/3 of what he used to get because of his practice with the BB gun.

      You won’t get the kind of accuracy you’re getting with the PT85 but they’re quite fun plinkers.

      For pellet blow back there’s the Beretta PX4 which looks a lot like your Gamo but a nice one is the Desert Eagle http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/06/desert-eagle-first-impressions-part-3.html
      It’s a great pistol too, the grips are quite large being a Desert Eagle but the single action makes it manageable for someone like me who has shorter hands as the trigger is close to the grip and doesn’t have to be pulled back very much to let the shot go off. They should really make more model like this one but it’s more plastic than metal so the blowback won’t feel as hard as some of the other pistol mentionned and it’s more expensive.

      You’re getting on a very slippery slope Ken, you might want to turn around while you still can because those action pistols are fun and ADDICTIVE (especially if like me you don’t have access to the “real thing”). I started with 2 or 3 and before I knew it I had over 20 of them.

      You can have a look at this website too, the guy doesn’t review the guns a thorougly as Tom but he has pretty much every CO2 firearm copy I know of (and some I didn’t know of): http://www.co2airguns.net/index.htm
      He also has some cool print out targets at the bottom of the page that help tell you what your doing wrong with where your pellets are hitting the target.

      J-F



  4. I commented in part two on that if gun shot well, it would make an ideal gun for Iron Plate Action Shooting. Well it seems it does that which is excellent news if only it becomes one of the few daisy products to got sold in the UK, one can only wait and see.

    What i did like in the article were the Casey N C targets, i used to make my own with a can of water based yellow paint sprayed over a sheet of thick paper, then spray over stencils for your target pattern with a can of gloss black enamel paint. Known here as splatter targets it seems to be that most have to make them themselves as they are very hard to find in any shops, and E-bay tend to charge more than I’m willing to pay. But saying that i haven’t checked in a while so you never know if things have changed since last i looked. Thank you for a very informative review, TTFN

    best wishes wing commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe.



  5. I’m not one much for BB guns, because of their general lack of accuracy compared to rifled pellet guns, but this review definitely caused me to add this pistol to my wishlist at PA. With the “fun factor”, and accuracy, this gun will definitely be a positive addition to my collection.

    BB, I’m going to assume you continued to use the Daisy ammo that you mentioned in the previous parts of this review?


    • Chasblock,

      Yes, I used Daisy BBs for accuracy. But last night a friend and his wife were over and I had both of them shoot the pistol. They both got 10-shot groups like mine at 15 feet and they used RWS BBs. So with good BBs, this gun shoots!

      B.B.


  6. Good grief!! There are a number of posting attributed to me. Just to set the record straight, sadly, they are all mine.
    B.B., a fellow named Dick Metcalf has generated a bit of controversy regarding twist rates in handguns. The article, Twist and Shout, is in the Feb/Mar 2013 issue of Guns & Ammo Handguns. The website http://www.handguns.com doesn’t have this article on line, however a search regarding the author and twist rate does find some conversation, mostly negative so far, about his findings.

    There is quite a bit online, however. One even goes with the diagnostic targets I downloaded earlier.
    http://www.handgunsmag.com/2012/12/03/how-to-cure-common-shooting-mistakes/
    ~Ken


  7. Accuracy isn’t too bad considering it is a pistol that recoils. How does it stack up against the Witness 1911…..the all metal one, not the plastic one?



  8. The metal one is definitely worth a look. Maybe when you are done with this one. I liked mine, but sold it because I needed the money.


  9. I wonder if you might test the Daisy XT15 bb pistol. It gets good revues, has a pretty high velocity, and many reviewers are reporting good accuracy also. It sells for $29.99. Also available with a Daisy dot scope, and as the 5170 (take a look at that one).


  10. would be very interesting to pit this gun against the new Crosman 1911 GI blowback. They look the part with Crosman getting the sight nod for velocity (if as stated).


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