Dan Wesson 8-inch CO2 pellet revolver: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Dan Wesson pellet revolver
Dan Wesson pellet revolver.

This report covers:

• Update on the Ft. Worth airgun show
• Single-action testing
• H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
• JSB Exact RS pellets
• Air Arms Falcon pellets
• RWS R10 Pistol pellets
• Double-action
• Final impression

Update on the Ft. Worth airgun show
The Ft. Worth airgun show is approaching fast. September 6 is now just over a week away!

A number of people are bringing airguns to sell at the show. Some of these people are gun dealers and others who never knew how or where to sell their airguns. I have a lead on an FWB 124 without a stock for $50. And I know there will be dozens (if not hundreds) of airguns brought by the club members who are putting on the show. I know of a Crosman 99 lever-action rifle coming from one of them; and as the word spreads among the 1500 club members where the show is being held, airguns are coming out of the woodwork. So, bring cash!

There will also be a new big-bore bullet maker at this show. This company has full production equipment to make over 10,000 bullets each hour, and they’re keen to line up some airgunners as customers, as well as some airgun manufacturers.

Now, let’s move on to today’s report. It’s accuracy day for the Dan Wesson pellet revolver. I’ll tell you right now, I was surprised by the accuracy of this air pistol. Read on to learn how accurate.

Single-action testing
I said in the last report that because the revolver shoots both faster and more consistently in the double-action mode, I was going to test it that way. But the bottom line is that double-action is never as precise as single-action. So, I tested it both ways. Single-action first.

H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
The first pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet. I knew from the velocity test that this pellet fit the steel cartridge head pretty well when seated deep. The first shots landed low and left on the target, but I wasn’t prepared for how close they were hitting. The first 2 shots went into the same hole, and all 6 shots went into 0.593 inches at 10 meters, rested. I adjusted the rear sight and thought the second group would be far enough away from the first to score separately; but as you’ll see, it wasn’t. The entire group of 12 shots was only 1.074 inches between centers — even with the sight adjustment!

Dan Wesson pellet revolver first group Finale Match
The first 6 pellets went into 0.593 inches at 10 meters and even after a sight adjustment the next 6 only opened it up to 1.074 inches.

JSB Exact RS pellets
Next, I tried 6 JSB Exact RS pellets. These spread out much more than the Finale Match. Six went into a group that measured 2.007 inches. Notice that this group is very vertical, so the velocity probably varied a lot. This isn’t a pellet for this pistol.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver JSB RS group
JSB Exact RS pellets strung out vertically into this 2.007-inch group that was the biggest of the session.

Air Arms Falcon pellets
Next, I tried Air Arms Falcon pellets. They often do well in lower-powered .177 airguns. In the Dan Wesson, they were certainly better than the JSB RS; but at 1.246 inches between centers, they aren’t anything special.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver Air Arms Falcon group
Falcon pellets grouped better, at 1.246 inches for 6 at 10 meters. But this isn’t good enough.

RWS R10 Pistol pellets
Next up were RWS R10 Pistol pellets — another good target wadcutter. Six of them went into 0.916 inches, with 4 going into just 0.263 inches. This is clearly a good pellet in the Dan Wesson.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver RWS R10 group
RWS R10 Pistol pellets grouped really well, at 0.916 inches for 6 and 0.263 inches for 4.

Next, I went back to the H&N Finale Match pellets that did so well at the start. I shot another group of 6 — all of them single-action. This time, 6 went into 0.811 inches.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver Finale Match second group
Six H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets went into this 0.811-inch group.

Double-action
After the last group of 6, I installed a fresh CO2 cartridge. The velocity test had demonstrated that 7 cylinders were all I could expect with stable velocities.

First up were 6 more H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. I still rested the revolver and squeezed the trigger carefully; but instead of stacking at the end of the pull like a good Colt revolver trigger, the Dan Wesson trigger stacks, then releases and stacks again. It’s unpredictable in double-action. Six pellets went into 1.974 inches, with 4 in 0.524 inches. I’m sure that if the trigger had been better, I could shoot better.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver Finale Match double action group
This double-action group of H&N Finale Match pellets is spread out sideways from the trigger action. It measures 1.974 inches between centers, with 4 in 0.524 inches.

Next, and the last pellet I tried, was a cylinder of RWS R10 pellets. I must have managed the trigger better this time because this group measured 0.908 inches between centers.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver RWS R10 double action group
This double-action group of RWS R10 pellets is more like it. Six in 0.908 inches.

Final impression
This Dan Wesson pellet revolver is surprisingly accurate. It rivals the S&W 586, but for a lot less money. But loading the cartridges with pellets is time-consuming. I know it will bother impatient shooters.

The trigger and sights on this revolver work well for a target shooter. And the double-action trigger-pull is as light as I’ve ever seen. My recommendation is to get the Dan Wesson if you like hitting what you shoot at, but not if you like fast-action handguns.

15 thoughts on “Dan Wesson 8-inch CO2 pellet revolver: Part 3

  1. That is really pretty good for a replica CO2 pistol. That is better than most of the replica rifles. Doesn’t it feel good to be able to hit what you are shooting at?

    I wish that I could get to that show. I guess I will have to satisfy myself with a trip to Hickory.



  2. Pretty good shooting, BB. Especially with a less than perfect trigger and iron sights. I’d be happy to shoot some of those groups with an iron sighted rifle. How’s the leg coming along?

    Fred DPRoNJ


  3. Hi BB,
    The show slipped up on me too. I want to make some type of gun rack this weekend. I have to decide what guns to take. I am afraid I am not going to be able to take much cash. I wish it were otherwise but I will deal with it.

    I will keep posting reminders on the Yellow about the show as well as reminding everyone on my local list.

    The weekend following the show we will have a Fun Shoot plinking at the Elm Fork Range in Dallas.

    David Enoch


  4. If it shoots anything like my SW 686 firearm, it must be good. I bought the firearm largely on the recommendation of the pellet gun and other reviews I was led to and have never regretted it. A truly awesome design. I’ve just begun playing around with the double-action. Is there any technique for firing a double-action precisely or do people just go to single-action for that? I imagine the technique is the same for every other trigger where you apply pressure up to the release point and then start your shooting sequence. But it is a little weird to see the hammer moving as you do this.

    Matt61



    • Hey Matt,
      On your question on double-action shooting with revolvers.
      I came kind of late to revolvers, having grown up/professionally equipped with autos most of my life (military & security.)
      It took the accidental acquisition of a 3″ Colt Python and Ed McGivern’s book on “Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting” to begin my education
      Among the lessons I’ve learned is that once you’ve learned their quirks, double action is not only MORE accurate, but MUCH quicker than single-action shooting whether with an auto or a revolver. Sam Colt didn’t think much of double-action revolvers, but that was because there weren’t many around to try out.
      Hard to imagine, especially if you’ve never actually witnessed a true master of the craft
      But let it be said, whatever your choice of weaponry, you’d never want to go up against Wyatt, Wild Bill, or (God help you,) Ed McGivern.)
      (Ed was documented as being able to fire a six round burst from a Smith & Wesson revolver faster than a Browning 1919 machine gun in the 1930′s. Accurately. Really!)
      Among the things to…contemplate…while considering your…next unique acquisition…is the phrase, “six for sure.”
      Once I got into it, I found revolvers are more fun than autos anyway.
      And I still treasure not only McGivern’s book from 1938, but the Python above all others. Still got both.
      (However, if I ask you to stand over in the corner and put this apple on your head, just say NO!)


  5. The double action groups are interesting.

    And now I got to make a decision. Get a air gun that I want now. Well decide which one of the ones I want to get right now. If that happens then I don’t go to the Texas show. Or do I wait and use some of the money for the trip to Texas and not have enough left over to get what I really want when I get there. Decisions, decisions.



  6. Tom,

    Thanks very much for the review! The third part is the charm!

    I received my assortment of H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets in 4.5, 4.49. and 4.48 head sizes from Pyramyd Air on Wednesday. My groups with the 4.49 heads were best, just barely tighter groups than the 4.50 and much better than my old 4.51s. With the 4.49s, I even had groups only slightly larger than yours!

    I own an 8″ Umarex S&W, and my “Danno” is just as accurate, at 10 meters, anyway. The U,arex S&W 586-8 is still at the top simply because of its outrageously good build quality and much higher velocity, but the Wesson, with its full-size cylinder, is the best looking pellet revolver in my collection.

    The small margins, most accurate of all my pellet revolvers, however, are still my Daisy Powerline Model 144 (8 inch, chrome) in SA. and my Poweline 44 (black )with the optional 8 inch barrel. Those are pretty rare, though, but they are probably the best co2 guns Daisy has ever made.

    So, the Danno is a winner after all! (But do use the H&N Match Pistol pellets in 4.5 or 4.49.) I love shooting mine and recommend it to anyone out there.

    Michael


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