CO2

Dan Wesson 8-inch CO2 pellet revolver: Part 2

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

Part 1

Dan Wesson pellet revolver
Dan Wesson pellet revolver.

This report covers:

• Updates on the Ft. Worth airgun show
• On to the report
• Seating pellets — the unwritten lesson
• After seating, there was improvement
• JSB Exact RS pellets
• Single-action versus double-action
• How fast does it shoot?
• H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
• How many shots?
• Trigger-pull
• Evaluation so far

Updates on the Ft. Worth airgun show
I have several announcements about the upcoming Ft. Worth airgun show on Saturday, September 6. First, most of the tables in the main hall are reserved. We will now move the overflow into the second hall, which is 15 feet from the main hall. Both buildings are air conditioned.

Airgun collector Larry Hannusch will be displaying his ball reservoir airguns, so bring your camera. Unlike gun shows, this show allows cameras inside the show. There will be filming for TV and photography for print publications, plus filming for the internet all over the show. If that is a problem for anyone, they need to see me when they arrive. There will be a sign at the entry stating that filming and photography will be taking place on the ranges and in the hall.

Larry is also going to bring several Hakim air rifles to sell, for those who are interested in the type. He says these guns are more distressed, which will help with the price, so you may be able to afford this classic after all.

Scott Pilkington, a 10-meter airgun dealer, will be bringing some retired club target rifles. Many are FWB 300s in need of a rebuild and some TLC. RidgeRunner bought 2 of these from Scott and can tell you what to expect.

Umarex said they’ll have a drawing for an airgun at their table. That’s in addition to the three raffle guns and two door prizes I’ve already announced (AirForce Airguns Condor SS, Walther LGV Competition Ultra and Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE in the raffle — and Air Venturi Bronco and Benjamin Trail NP2 as door prizes).

A new big bore bullet maker, Tin Star Bullets, will be selling at the show, along with Seth Rowland (organizer of the Malvern airgun show), who also makes big bore bullets. If you have a big bore and want to bring it to the show, there will be lots of bullets to buy.

Crosman will be demonstrating their new .357-caliber Bulldog big bore air rifle at the show. They’ll be on the 50-yard range most of the day if you want to try it out.

There will be an informal reception at the show hotel on Friday, the evening before the show. I’ll be there to greet all who attend. It’s from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

I’ll also lead a caravan of cars from the hotel out to the show grounds on Friday at 4:00 p.m. If you want to scope out things the day before, this is your chance. There will be no setting up until Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m.

On to the report
I learned a lot about the Dan Wesson pellet revolver in today’s test. I’ll pass along all that I learned  because it looks like the manual hasn’t got a clue!

Seating pellets — the unwritten lesson
The manual that says nothing about seating pellets, other than to put them into the steel cartridge noses and attach them to the front of the cartridges. But then I shot the first 6 RWS Hobby pellets and noted that the velocity ranged from a low of 198 f.p.s. to a high of 354 f.p.s. in just 6 shots. That’s a spread of 156 f.p.s. I paused a minimum of 10 seconds between shots, so the spread wasn’t from any cooling. I even had three shots where no pellet came out of the gun! The average velocity for the cartridges loaded this way, and shooting single-action, was 271 f.p.s.

Seating pellets
This huge velocity spread, plus the times when no pellets came out, alerted me to the fact that maybe Hobbys are a bit too large for this gun and maybe they’re sticking in the cartridge noses. So, I inserted them deep into each steel nose with a ballpoint pen. This time the Air Venturi Pellet Seater did not work because it’s too large to enter these steel noses, but a common ballpoint pen worked well. I just laid the cartridge nose-down on my desk, dropped a pellet in the rear and then pushed it as far in as it would go. The desk stopped it perfectly at the end of the steel cartridge nose.

It takes time to load each cartridge this way. If you’re impatient, you’re not going to like this airgun. This process was part of what killed the sales of the Brocock Tandem Air Cartridges — many shooters just didn’t want to spend their time loading cartridges before they then loaded them into the airgun to shoot.

After seating, there was improvement
After deep seating the Hobby pellets, the velocity picked up. The next 6-shot string went from a low of 210 f.p.s, to a high of 321 f.p.s. — not good but better than the first time. The spread was now 111 f.p.s.

While this is an improvement, I felt that RWS Hobby pellets were probably just too fat for these cartridges, and subsequent testing proved me right. So, the Dan Wesson cartridges are sensitive to the size of the pellets, regardless of seating.

JSB Exact RS pellets
While RWS Hobby pellets are very light, they are also too large for these cartridges. JSB Exact RS pellets are slightly heavier, but they were much more consistent in velocity. A 6-shot string fired single-action ranged from a low of 271 f.p.s. to a high of 298 f.p.s. — a spread of only 27 f.p.s. They averaged 286 f.p.s., which is close to the Hobby average without the wild swing in velocity.

Single-action versus double-action
Up to this point in the test, all shots were fired single-action. That means the hammer was cocked and then the trigger was deliberately squeezed. This is the way most revolver shooters shoot their guns, because it’s the most controllable and also the most accurate. But I sensed the Dan Wesson might work better in the double-action mode, when the trigger is pulled through for each shot — no hammer cocking. So, I switched to that mode and got the following results with the JSB Exact RS pellets.

Six shots now averaged 317 f.p.s. — an increase of 31 f.p.s. over single-action. The low was 310 f.p.s. and the high was 325 f.p.s., so the spread was 15 f.p.s. — a decrease of 12 f.p.s. over shooting in the single-action mode. Clearly, the Dan Wesson revolver works best in double-action. And, just as clearly, deep-seating the pellets is essential to consistency. And you want to use pellets that aren’t too wide.

One final observation — at least one reader mentioned that these pellet revolvers were known to produce velocities well below the advertised 425 f.p.s. We’re seeing that in this test. While the velocity is not bad, it is absolutely 100 f.p.s. below the advertised numbers.

How fast does it shoot?
Some people just want to know how absolutely fast the gun will shoot, so I tried it with both RWS HyperMAX pellets and with Crosman SSP Hollowpoints. Both pellets fit the steel cartridge noses very loosely and fell out of the cartridges as I was loading the gun.

The RWS HyperMAX pellets averaged 356 f.p.s. with a low of 304 and a high of 404 f.p.s. That’s a 100 f.p.s. spread.

Crosman SSP Hollowppoints averaged 486 f.p.s. with a low of 474 and a high of 498 f.p.s. I shot both of these lead-free pellets in single-action because, as I mentioned, they were falling out of their cartridge noses. I didn’t want to tie up the gun’s action.

So, no arguments about the gun making the advertised velocity. However with the types of pellets you’re likely to shoot, plan on 100 f.p.s. less.

H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
The final pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet. These fit the steel cartridge noses the best of all. They averaged 311 f.p.s., in single-action, with a low of 296 and a high of 317 f.p.s. In double-action, this pellet averaged 339 f.p.s. with a low of 323 and a high of 344 f.p.s. That made this the fastest lead pellet of the test.

How many shots?
Given those results, I then tested the gun to see how many shots there are per fill. On shot 55, this same pellet was going 300 f.p.s. in SA (it averaged 339 in DA on shot 36). Shot 60 in SA went 293 f.p.s. with this pellet. Shot 70 in SA went 259 f.p.s., and that’s where I stopped. Any slower, and pellets will start to stick in the barrel. A safe bet would be 11 cylinders per CO2 cartridge.

Trigger-pull
The trigger broke at 5 lbs., 14 oz in the single-action mode. That is a single-stage trigger-pull, as well — don’t get confused. The double-action pull is 8 lbs., 6 oz, which is extremely light for a double-action revolver. People pay hundreds of dollars to get a trigger-pull like that on a firearm.

Evaluation so far
I feel that this revolver is not going to appeal to as many shooters as we first thought. It was made by an airsoft manufacturer whose corporate focus is perhaps different than that of Umarex and Crosman — both airgun makers. I didn’t tell you this yet, but the entire barrel moves forward and back under spring pressure to lock the cylinder in position when firing. That may be okay for plastic balls and Hop-Up; but when Anics tried it in a pellet pistol, the accuracy went out the window.

Naturally, I will test the gun for accuracy. But you now see that I’m going to have to shoot it double-action, which isn’t the easiest way to shoot a revolver. I’ll also try it single-action, so we’ll see the best it can do. I still have hopes for the gun, but today’s test was revealing.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Today’s report is the final part of the guest blog from HiveSeeker. He tells us about the various pellets he tested and gives their results.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

Over to you, HiveSeeker.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle
Daisy’s Winchester MP4 is a realistic and fun-to-shoot military replica pellet rifle. The gun is shown here with added Leapers UTG 3-9×32 Bug Buster scope and AR-15 rubber recoil pad.

This report covers:

• Scope notes
• More pellet testing
• I know there’s something going on
• The Winchester trio
• RWS Diabolo Basic pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• H&N Match Pistol pellets
• The magic bullet? Beeman hollowpoint coated pellets
• Retesting the best
• Conclusion
• Other military pellet rifles to consider

In Part 2, I found five pellets that would group 7/8 of an inch (0.875 inches) or better with the Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle at 10 yards (Crosman Destroyer pellets, Crosman Destroyer EX pellets (sold only in discount stores), Crosman Premier Hollowpoint pellets, H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets, and Air Arms Falcon pellets). This was about as good as I expected based on my research before purchasing this gun. However, I’d hoped that I could do better, and most of the reader comments on this blog expressed even greater concern with the mediocre accuracy of this gun than with the ammo feed problem. I’m pleased to report some slightly better news.

Scope notes
But first, I made a minor modification to my scope setup. I mentioned the trouble two other shooters had sighting through the Leapers UTG 3-9X32 Bug Buster scope I mounted on this rifle. I had positioned the scope for my own eye relief, and eye placement proved to be a lot more critical for this compact scope than it is with my full-sized Leapers UTG 4-16X40.

However, at least part of the difficulty they experienced may have been due to a fairly low Picatinny rail on this rifle. When the included factory scope rings loosened after 300 shots, I decided to try a different style mount and also decided to go with high-profile rings. I was surprised at how much easier it became to sight through the scope — especially since I would have thought I wasn’t having any real difficulty before. For most shooters, I believe high-profile scope rings will be the way to go on this rifle. With my new scope setup, I was ready for some final accuracy testing.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle High Scope Mount
High-profile scope rings makes it a little bit easier to sight through the UTG 3-9X32 Bug Buster scope on the MP4′s low Picatinny rail.

One minor note here. On Picatinny rails there’s usually a little play in the scope mounts within the individual recoil grooves, and I usually slide both my mounts forward until they contact the forward stops and then snug them up right there. This is the direction the laws of inertia demand that the scope and mounts will want to go in relation to a rifle recoiling backwards beneath them (especially pneumatic or CO2 guns with simpler recoil than a springer). If the mounts are already braced against the forward stops, then there’s less chance for them to slip. However, on the Winchester MP4, I believe the semi-auto bolt re-cocking generates some recoil in the opposite direction – this may have actually loosened my initial scope installation. This time, I braced both scope mounts against the rear stops, and they seem to be holding fast, so far. I don’t have the equipment to verify this recoil theory, but it’s something to try if you run into a similar problem.

[Editor's note: While Picatinny rails and Weaver rails both have cross slots to stop the rings from moving, Weaver slots are 3.5mm wide and Picatinny slots are 5mm wide. That's the reason for the extra slop when Weaver rings are installed on Picatinny bases. And, for airguns, the pins should touch the rear of the slots.]

More pellet testing
I continued testing with seven new pellets, shooting 10-shot, 10-yard groups outdoors from a benchrest. I shot three groups with each pellet, and reported the best of three below. With my original accuracy testing, all the pellets I tried grouped about 1 inch, give or take a little. However, this time, the groups were generally tighter — even with pellets I’d previously tested. I believe this barrel may have a break-in period — roughly 500 shots by my estimation — and is now smoothed out a little. For this test, I used digital calipers to provide more exact group measurements — though, even with my sharp eyesight and a science background, you can take that third decimal place with a grain of salt!

I know there’s something going on
There definitely seems to be something going on between the number of pellets in the rotary cylinder and accuracy. I’d already mentioned that the last two shots of my 10-shot groups, involving a magazine swap, often opened up the final grouping. Remember that the ammo mag has 8-round cylinders, so finishing off a 10-round group required switching to a cylinder with only the two final pellets loaded. I could blame the repositioning of the rifle between magazine swaps, except that this is not a problem I’ve had with rifles that require pumping or cocking and get repositioned with every shot. This time, I kept specific track of when my final two shots opened up a group, with the results illustrated below.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle Last 2 Shots
You can see how the final two shots (circled) opened up each of these 10-shot groups. Left-to-right are Crosman Premier Super Match pellets, RWS Hobby pellets, and Air Arms Falcon pellets.

This batch of testing also confirmed something else I thought I’d noticed before — groups often started off very small, then opened up as I emptied the magazine. Obviously, shooting more pellets will continue to open up a grouping. What I’m saying is that shot 10 was much more likely to miss the bullseye than shot 1, rather than having a similar probability of hitting or missing it. With this semiauto, I could lock myself into a rested shooting position and do nothing but breathe and squeeze the trigger for 8 shots. Barely moving, my aim and hold were rock solid. However, I almost felt like a spectator at times as I watched pellet strikes begin to roam wider and wider around my point of aim. I believe this is the same phenomenon I observed with my final two shots of each group. My best guess is that adjacent pellets in the magazine cylinder help reduce some CO2 blow-by, or that a full magazine cylinder does not shift or flex during firing as much as an empty one.


Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle target

On the left, the first three shots with Beeman coated hollowpoint pellets go into 0.261 inches, center-to-center. Keeping my fingers crossed at this point! But the fourth shot (circled) opens this group up a bit more to 0.323 inches. Six increasingly scattered shots later, the final group on the right is now even broader at 0.682 inches (that fourth shot is circled on this target as a reference point). This pattern was observed repeatedly. This was not the best example I saw. It was just the one I interrupted to photograph.

The Winchester trio
Since this is a Winchester air rifle, I felt duty-bound to put the Winchester pellets through their paces. While they were the poorest performers of all the new pellets, their best groups were all still 1 inch or less: Winchester hollowpoint pellets (0.826 inches, center-to-center), Winchester pointed pellets (0.859 inches), and Winchester round nose pellets (1.000 inches exactly). As mentioned, the Winchester hollowpoints extended past the front of the rotary cylinder when fully seated and had to be pushed back in slightly before shooting. However, they caused no jams or other firing problems.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle Winchester Hollow Point
The Winchester hollowpoints extend past the front edge of the rotary cylinder when fully seated.

RWS Diabolo Basic pellets
The RWS Diabolo Basic pellets yielded the next largest group of the bunch, with its best-of-three at 0.791 inches. This pellet also produced the largest group that I observed during this second round of testing — 1.324 inches.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle RWS Diabolo Basic
Ten RWS Diabolo Basic pellets grouped inside 0.791 inches –close to the best that was seen in the first round of accuracy tests.

RWS Hobby pellets
The RWS Hobby’s smallest group measured 0.644 inches. This was the best group I’d seen from this gun so far. It’s approaching the as-of-yet elusive half-inch mark, but not quite there.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle RWS Hobby
Ten RWS Hobby pellets in 0.644 inches — easily my best group up to this point.

H&N Match Pistol pellets
I’d tested the more expensive H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets last time, but then I read about H&N Match Pistol pellets actually outperforming the Finales in another gun I own. That’s why I ended up with a tin of these to try. At 0.716 inches, they grouped slightly better than the Finales (even with retesting, as you’ll see in a minute) in this gun, too.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle H&N Match Pistol
The H&N Match Pistol pellet, at 0.716 inches for 10, outperformed both previous and repeated testing of the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets.

The magic bullet? Beeman hollowpoint coated pellets
Okay, I’ll concede right up front that half-inch groups at 10 meters aren’t all that magical in today’s airgunning world. However, with a review quoting Daisy Customer Service as stating that MP4 owners should expect 1-1/2 inch groups at 10 meters, and with no measured groups under 1 inch reported by anybody, I was pleased to finally break the half-inch barrier with Beeman hollowpoint coated pellets.

I did not have high hopes for what is literally the cheapest pellet I tested. However, a single Pyramyd Air review mentioned it performed well (thank you, DaveTee!); and, for under five dollars a tin, it went into the shopping cart. I shot this pellet last, and it surprised me. My three test groups yielded 0.682 inches, 0.386 inches and 0.442 inches. At the eleventh hour, I’d finally found a pellet that could shoot under half an inch. While one thing that became clear during accuracy testing is that my rifle does not perform the same with specific pellets as other’s MP4s, the Beeman hollowpoint coated is definitely one to try for anyone who owns an MP4, especially at this price point.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle Beeman HP Coated
Thar she blows — these two groups shot with Beeman hollowpoint coated pellets clock in at under half an inch, at 0.386 and 0.442 inches, left to right. (Yes, the pellets are black.) Summer sun heating the barrel on one side caused the point-of-impact shift that can be seen here.

Retesting the best
To wrap up Part 4, I wanted to retest the best-performing pellets from before, which had all grouped 7/8 of an inch (0.875 inches) or less. I was pretty sure one or two could do better, and it seemed that my rifle was starting to produce tighter groups than it had straight out of the box. These were my results: Air Arms Falcon pellets (0.622 inches, beating out the RWS Hobby pellet for second place), Crosman Destroyer EX pellets (0.630 inches, taking third place and booting the RWS Hobby pellet to fourth), Crosman Destroyer pellet (0.742 inches, just a hair better than before), and H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets (0.963 inches, actually a little wider than first time’s 0.875 inches and still getting beat out by the H&N Match Pistol pellet). A small surprise were the Crosman Premier Super Match pellets (0.707 inches) and Crosman Competition Wadcutter pellets (0.720 inches), which I used for initial sighting-in of my new scope mount setup. Both bettered their original 1-inch groups by more than a quarter inch. Again, I believe this barrel is now broken in after 500 shots or so, contributing to these tighter groups and providing better overall accuracy than we saw in the first tests.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle Air Arms Falcon 2
The best of the retests was the Air Arms Falcon pellet, second-best to the Beeman hollowpoint coated pellet, but grouping almost twice as broad at 0.622 inches.

Conclusion
Below is a summary of best groups one inch or better from all accuracy testing:

Winchester MP4 group sizes

While discovering the Beeman hollowpoint coated doubles my effective shooting range to around 20 yards for a 1-inch target, it’s a shame that this gun seems to be a “one-shot wonder” that shoots best with only one specific pellet. From the list above, there’s no single pellet type that this gun seems to prefer as direction for additional testing, so I hope that blog readers will be kind enough to comment if they find other pellets that group under half an inch in the Winchester MP4.

Other military pellet rifles to consider
For the conclusion to my evaluation of the Winchester MP4, I’d like to mention some of the other military replica pellet rifles prospective buyers might consider if they decide that the MP4 is not for them. (BB-only rifles and machine guns are not included here.)

I’ve already mentioned the MP4′s historically older sibling, the Winchester M14. A replica of its namesake, this rifle is also a dual-CO2 canister BB and pellet semi-auto. It uses the same ammo mag and offers the same velocity as the MP4. However, it has no scope rail and many don’t like the fact that the stock is composite instead of wood.

The unquestioned dominator of the military pellet rifle arena remains the Crosman M4-177. This M4 replica is a reliable single-shot BB and pellet pneumatic and bears the coveted Gaylord “Tom’s Picks” seal in the Pyramyd Air catalog. It’s available in a variety of tan or black color and accessory combinations. The new Crosman USMC MOS 0311 Rifleman (an exclusive Crosman variation of the M4-177) appears to be another variant of this very popular replica. This is the gun I had in mind when I mentioned that more accurate rifles than the Winchester MP4 are available for half the price.

The Crosman MK-177 is a replica of the Magpul Masada (now being produced as the FN SCAR). This composite-stock pneumatic offers higher velocity and similar accuracy to the M4-177 (also beating the Winchester MP4 in the latter department, and for half the price). This rifle is a BB and pellet single-shot. B.B. Pelletier recently used the MK-177 to test the Leapers Accushot Scout Scope. While many disparage the bolt placement on the left side of the receiver, I own — and love — one of these rifles and never minded it (this is a replica — check on which side the bolt is actually located on the Magpul Masada). The MK-177 is available in tan or black and has two kit variations.

The Crosman Crosman MTR77NP is an M16 replica that is a single-shot Nitro Piston gas springer. This pellet rifle offers the highest velocity of any of these military replicas but requires heavy cocking effort due to the short barrel. It’s available in only black but comes in open-sight or scoped versions.

If you actually own an AR/M4 firearm, the Crosman MAR177 AR-15 Upper PCP conversion kit replaces the firearm upper with a .177-caliber competition precharged pneumatic unit. Designed specifically for 10-meter competition, velocity is a very nominal 600 fps. This is the most expensive option for a military pellet rifle (and a significant detour from the standalone guns listed here), but it seems like an ideal way to expand where and when you can shoot your military long gun.

The Beretta CX-4 Storm is an 88-gram CO2-powered replica of the tactical firearm of the same name. This semiauto’s claim to fame is the 30-pellet belt magazine, capable of ripping through a tin of pellets in no time. Open-sight and red-dot versions are available, though a scope can be mounted on the Picatinny rail.

The Gamo MP9 copies the B&T MP-9 9mm SMG and is unique among the CO2-powered BB submachine guns in handling pellets as well. Interestingly, this gun is listed as using the same ammunition magazine as the Winchester MP4 and M14, making it a 16-shot semi-auto (with the magazine flip). I included this odd-gun-out because it has a (collapsible) stock and scopeable Picatinny/Weaver rail.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle Flambeau Tactical Case
The Winchester MP4 is a fun military replica that, despite some issues and limitations, will keep you looking like a well-armed commando whenever you feel the need to reconnoiter the backyard.

The options for new military replica pellet rifles are very limited at the moment. I hope that this blog has sufficiently informed readers about the Winchester MP4 to make an educated choice if buying one – or to achieve the best performance from their rifle if they already own one. I also hope that manufacturers will look to success stories like the Crosman M4-177 as well as the burgeoning airsoft market and bring some novel products to this mostly unexplored marketplace.

Editor’s final comment: HiveSeeker has done a super job in testing, researching and documenting his work on the Winchester MP4. I think his report will stand as the best article written about the airgun for a long time.

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 4

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

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 3
Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 2
Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 1
R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 2
R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 1

WARNING: This conversion changes the operation of the pistol to use air at up to three times the pressure it was designed for. The parts that are installed are strong, but there are other parts in the gun that aren’t changed and could fail when subjected to the higher pressures. Pyramyd Air advises anyone making such a conversion to exercise extreme caution.

Crosman 2240 air conversion long barrel
The conversion with the Tech Force TF90 dot sight and adjustable stock attached.

This report covers:

• Sight-in at 12 feet
• Back to 25 yards
• End of the test
• Ft. Worth airgun show update
• Boot Campaign

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the 2240 on air at 25 yards. I’ve installed a 14.50-inch Crosman barrel on the gun, which boosted the velocity, as we saw last time. It also may have boosted the accuracy. Let’s find out.

The UTG Pro 6-Position Adjustable Stock has been remounted using the R.A.I. adapter. So, this is now a handy carbine.

I’m filling the pistol to 2250 psi, because I learned that was necessary when using the factory valve and a heavier striker spring. I get exactly 10 good shots per fill, which works well with my 10-shot groups.

For a sight, I installed the Tech Force TF90 dot sight that was used to test the Hakim rifle at 25 yards. We saw in that report how well this sight works, so it should work just as well on this carbine-sized gun I’ve assembled.

I sighted-in with 5 shots at 12 feet, and the gun was ready to shoot at 25 yards. I’ll show the sight-in target and explain it, so you can understand how this close sight-in works.

Sight-in at 12 feet
I sight-in at 12 feet because it’s safer. I know I’ll be on paper that close to the target, and I also know where the pellet needs to strike to be on at 20 yards. I used to sight-in all the rifles we sold at AirForce Airguns this way and was always on-target when I backed up to 23 yards. To learn more about this method, read this article.

What I’m looking for is the pellet landing in line (left and right) with the center of the bull, but as far below the center as the center of the sight is above the center of the bore. In other words, if you were to walk up to the target until the muzzle was touching the paper and center the dot (in this case) on the bull, where would the pellet strike the paper?

When you’re 10-12 feet back, the impact point doesn’t change much from that. But when you back up to 20 yards (20-30 yards, actually) the pellet rises up on the paper and ends up close to the aim point. It isn’t exact, but it’s the fastest way that I know to sight-in a pellet rifle.

My sight-in pellets were hitting the target a bit high, but not too high. Once they were centered, I left the sight where it was set and just backed up. I sighted-in with Crosman Premiers.

Crosman 2240 air conversion long barrel sight in
The first 3 pellets hit to the left of center. I adjusted the sight, and shot 4 hit to the right of center. I adjusted back to the left, and shot 5 was close to center. These are hitting too high at 12 feet, but I’ll use the setting as it is.

Back to 25 yards
The first group was fired with 14.3-grain Crosman Premier pellets. The first 3 pellets hit high and right of center. I don’t know how the rest of them hit, but you can see this is a fairly well-centered group of 10 shots. It measures 0.918 inches between centers, which isn’t too bad for a small gun like this at 25 yards. Remember — I’m shooting 10 shots instead of only 5.

Crosman 2240 air conversion long barrel Premier target
Ten pellets made this 0.918-inch group at 25 yards. This is pretty good!

Again, I must comment how nice and clear the TF90 sight is. It really holds a tight group – even though the target appears very small. That makes it a confidence-builder.

Next, I tried the JSB Exact Jumbo RS pellet. These often do well in lower-powered airguns. Remarkably, they went to the same point of impact as the Premiers. That means I don’t have to change the sight settings when using either pellet. This time, 10 RS pellets made a 0.763-inch group! That was very good, I thought. Especially given that I was using a dot sight!

Crosman 2240 air conversion long barrel JSB RS target
Ten JSB Exact RS pellets went into 0.763 inches at 25 yards. This is very good!

End of the test
I’d planned on trying Beeman Devastator pellets next; but when I filled the gun, I noticed a leak at the joint of the HiPAC tank and the pistol’s tube. It was a fast leak and obviously the o-ring wasn’t doing its job. I tried oiling the gun with silicone chamber oil and refilling it, but the leak didn’t stop. So the test was over. I have to find out the problem and fix it if I can.

I do note that the pistol leaked down to 1750 psi and stopped. When I refilled it, the leak was much slower, so the oil may have done something. I think the o-ring and groove need to be cleaned and the tank installed again. But we’ll see.

At any rate, today’s test shows promising accuracy. It may not have been complete, but I’ll return to test the gun again at 25 yards. I plan to mount the TF90 on the Crosman 1077 next, so it may be a while before I get back to the 2240.

Ft. Worth airgun show update
The hotel is filling up fast for the show. Don’t forget to come to the reception at the hotel even if you aren’t staying there. It will be 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday evening. Nothing fancy — just a chance to meet and talk about airguns before we set up Saturday morning.

I’ll be taking a caravan of people out to the range Friday afternoon from the hotel at 4 p.m. The range will be open earlier for people who want to get out there by themselves, but please tell me you are going, because this range is private. They need to know you’re coming or the gate will be locked.

We plan to start the door prize and raffle drawings very early after the show opens, and they’ll be held periodically throughout the day. Get there early and buy your raffle tickets for a chance to win a Walther LGV Competition Ultra, an AirForce Airguns CondorSS or a Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE! Since this show will probably not top a thousand attendees, you’ll have a real chance to win one of these fabulous rifles. And everyone who pays admission gets a chance to win an Air Venturi Bronco and a Benjamin Trail NP2 door prize!

Boot Campaign
Another group coming to the show is the Boot Campaign — a Texas-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the military (past and present) and their families — cultivating awareness, promoting patriotism and providing assistance.

Also, American Airgunner TV host Rossi Morreale will be attending the show, as he’s interviewing the ladies from the Boot Campaign.

I’ll have more news about the show as it develops.

Dan Wesson 8-inch CO2 pellet revolver: Part 1

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

Dan Wesson pellet revolver
Dan Wesson pellet revolver.

This report covers:

• The competition: Where does the Dan Wesson sit?
• You asked for this!
• Where’s it made?
• Details, details
• The big difference!
• Sight options
• Scope rail not strong!
• Reloading speed depends on loading the cartridges
• Things so far

Yes, friends, this report is about a Dan Wesson pellet revolver! It looks like a BB gun, but this one shoots lead pellets. I selected the 8-inch black gun because that’s what I prefer. There’s also a silver-colored version with a 6-inch barrel that more closely resembles the stainless steel firearm.

The competition: Where does the Dan Wesson sit?
I don’t usually do this, but in this case I believe a look at what’s already out there is warranted. This airgun retails for $160. On the low end, the Crosman Vigilante retails for $50; and on the high end, the S&W 586 sells for $260. So, the Dan Wesson sits in the middle.

I’m not going to compare performances of these 3 guns because that quickly devolves into a, “Which brand do I like the most” competition. Because there are so few pellet revolvers on the market, I think it’s good to note where this one is positioned. The maker advertises a velocity of 426 f.p.s. That’s pretty zippy for a pellet pistol, and we’ll test that in the next report.

You asked for this!
Every time I review a nice BB revolver, there are always people saying they would buy one if only it shot pellets. Well, this one does, so no complaints! I also like the other 2 pellet revolvers mentioned above; and if this one turns out to work well, I think it’ll be a fine addition to the market. The S&W can put 10 shots into 1.30 to 2 inches at 10 meters in my hands. It’s been 2 years since I tested one of those, and here’s a link to that report.

Where’s it made?
The CO2 revolver is distributed by Action Sport Games and made in Taiwan, where it appears to have been converted from an airsoft gun. While the manual is clean and larger than a typical Asian airsoft manual, the illustrations are still very characteristic of airsoft manuals. The instructions are written clearly, though you can tell they’re translated because of things, such as the rear sight notch being called the “aiming hole.”

Airsoft manufacturers are making inroads into the conventional airgun market. That’s a good thing because airsoft guns generally have a lot of realism. Since they’ve been mimicking firearms for decades, these guns follow the lines of the firearms they copy more closely than many airguns. And airsoft manufacturers know the importance of all-metal frames and exteriors. They don’t try to get by with plastic parts when the guns get up into the price range that this one sells for. This one has all metal parts on the outside and weighs 36 oz. – lighter than the Dan Wesson model 715 revolver it resembles, but still heavy enough to hang well in your hand.

Details, details
This is a double-action revolver with an 8-inch rifled steel barrel. It can also be cocked and fired single-action if desired. The finish is a black that resembles the black oxide found on steel guns these days, though this metal is non-ferrous. A magnet informs me that many of the action parts are made from steel, but the outside of the gun is non-ferrous metal.

The grip angle is steeper than either a Colt or Smith & Wesson revolver. Some (like me) will like it, while others may find it strangely vertical. Of course, the CO2 cartridge lives inside the grip, which is opened by pulling back on the grip panels. The panels resemble the soft material used on firearm revolvers to counter recoil; but since there’s none with a CO2 gun, they’re hard plastic. I found the grip panel (it’s really a single piece) comes off easily if you don’t pinch it while pulling back.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver grip open
The grip shell is pulled straight back to open the gun for installing a CO2 cartridge. The shell is hinged at the top and doesn’t come completely off the frame. This photo also shows the cylinder release pushed forward to open the cylinder — and back to put the revolver on safe.

The cylinder swings to the left side of the gun, and on this gun that’s all there is to it. The pellets are held in simulated brass and plastic “cartridges” that act and handle like real firearm cartridges. They allow the gun to be loaded and emptied exactly as the firearm is loaded and emptied.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver cylinder out
The cylinder swings out of the frame to load the gun and eject the empty shells after firing.

The big difference!
What sets this pellet revolver apart from all the rest is how it contains and shoots the pellet. There are brass cartridges that appear to be the same as .357 Magnum cartridges. Into each, a black plastic “bullet” is screwed. Only this bullet never leaves the gun. It’s really the chamber that holds the pellet, and the shell is nothing but a conduit for the gas to follow to push the pellet into the barrel. The picture tells the rest of the story.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver shells
The pellet is held in the black plastic head of each shell. When the gun fires, gas rushes down the tube formed by the shell, pushing the pellet into the barrel.

The gun comes with 6 cartridges, and a set of 12 additional cartridges may be purchased for $30. If you have the gun, you’ll probably want some of these. They will make reloading the gun go faster — especially when the speedloader is used.

Sight options
The Dan Wesson comes with a crisp set of adjustable sights. The front has a white dot for rapid acquisition, but the post is square. The rear notch is fully adjustable. But, wait! There’s more!

Every pistol also comes with a Picatinny rail that can be installed in place of the rear sight, readying the gun for optical sights. Many of you will welcome this feature, which is included in the package. The gun also comes with a speedloader that handles the shells in the conventional manner and an Allen wrench to attach the scope rail.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver accessories
These accessories come with the gun. The Picatinny rail is installed in place of the rear sight, and the Allen wrench tightens the screws. The speedloader works the same as all speedloaders.

Sight rail not strong!
The design of the Picatinny rail didn’t seem robust to me, so just for grins I mounted it on the gun. It’s very fragile; and, in my opinion, it can’t support an optical sight of any weight. It’s held in place by a single jam screw that pushes against the top of the barrel and a thin narrow dovetail on the barrel’s top. The rear screw goes all the way through its hole and past it, supporting nothing. I won’t be testing a scope with this revolver.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver rear sight off
The rear sight comes off the revolver so the Picatinny rail can be attached.

The rear sight, on the other hand, is well-designed and appears to have no flaws. That’s how I’ll test the revolver’s accuracy.

Reloading speed depends on loading the cartridges
The revolver can be loaded fast once the 6 cartridges have pellets in them, but loading each cartridge takes time and is the revolver’s Achilles heel. They load in the same way that Brocock Tandem Air Cartridges (TAC) did without all the extra maintenance, and they were what killed the Brocock gun sales. It took too long to assemble and load the cartridges.

Things so far
There are some good points and some that aren’t so good. From a functionality standpoint, this revolver should work well. I can’t wait to see how it does on paper.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver right
Dan Wesson revolver is a new addition in the world of pellet pistols.

Crosman 1077 CO2 rifle: Part 1

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

1077 rifle
Crosman’s 1077 RepeatAir is a classic.

This report covers:

• The 1077 is a lookalike
• Ruger’s 10/22 is the most popular .22 rimfire
• Crosman often copied popular firearms
• 1077 debuted in 1994
• 1077 basics
• Magazines & clips (they’re not the same!)
• The BIG lesson (miss this & you might mess up)
• CO2 powerplant
• Summary
• Ft Worth airgun show update

I went around and around about the topic for today’s report. There are several new airguns I wanted to start reviewing, and several vintage guns I also want to look at. But the bottom line is that I had to go with Crosman’s 1077 CO2 rifle. Why, you might ask? Because this rifle is one you need to know about. It’s a classic for many reasons. Perhaps, the first one will surprise you.

The 1077 is a lookalike
The 1077 is a lookalike airgun. It’s a copy of Ruger’s famous 10/22 .22-caliber semiautomatic (rimfire) that’s been produced in the millions (6 million by 2012) since it was introduced in 1964. Most airgunners don’t think of the 1077 that way — they just like it for what it is: A fine, inexpensive .177-caliber repeating pellet rifle. But the fact is that the 1077 is patterned after and certainly named for the extremely popular 10/22.

 1077 rifle and 10/22
The Crosman 1077 is actually styled after the Ruger 10/22 (top).

Ruger’s 10/22 is the most popular .22 rimfire
I’ll catch some flack for saying this, but the Ruger 10/22 is today’s most popular .22 rimfire. That doesn’t mean it’s the best or the most accurate or even the one with the most elegant design. There are even some major drawbacks to the 10/22 design, like it’s notoriously hard to assemble after cleaning, it has to be modified to be cleaned from the breech, the magazine release is difficult to operate and the bolt doesn’t stay open after the last shot is fired. You can even add that the bolt hold-open switch is difficult to work. But all that considered, more people are buying 10/22s today than any other model of rimfire.

The 10/22 is very inexpensive but is built in a modular way that allows the owner to add many times the cost of the rifle in accessories and modifications. It is to rimfires what the 1911 or the AR is to centerfires — a gun the user can customize almost to infinity with aftermarket parts. Like both the 1911 and AR-15, it’s even possible to construct a 10/22 entirely from parts not made by Ruger. By making it modular and allowing a huge aftermarket support base to build up, Ruger has assured its 10/22 of a solid future. And it’s the perfect rimfire for Crosman to copy.

Crosman often copied popular firearms
Crosman’s history with lookalike airguns dates back to the 1950s, when their SA-6 (Single Action 6) revolver was first offered. A Colt lookalike that came to market during the television Western craze, the SA-6 was the start of a long line of airguns that looked like famous firearms. Most of them were CO2, but a couple like the A.I.R. 17 and the M1 Carbine were pneumatics and even spring guns. But CO2 offers opportunities for repeating mechanisms that enhance realism, which is what Crosman was pursuing.

1077 debuted in 1994
The Crosman 1077 RepeatAir rifle came about in 1994. It’s a 12-shot repeating rifle that shoots 12 pellets with one loading. Company literature has always referred to the action as semiautomatic; but, in truth, what you have is a rifle with a double-action only revolver action. That’s important to know because it means the trigger not only fires the gun but also has to advance the circular clip to the next pellet and cock the striker spring. That means the trigger travel will always be long and even a bit crunchy when the gun is new. And don’t even think of modifying it! This trigger should stay as it is and just get better as it breaks in, as all of mine have. I’ll measure my trigger for you in Part 2.

Yes, this will be an old-style Part 1 report because there’s so much to tell about the 1077. I own 2 of them at present and have owned others over the years. This is an airgun I always have to have because of all that it can do and be. That will come out in the reports, but right now let’s look at the gun.

1077 basics
The 1077 is a 12-shot repeating pellet rifle. It’s small, at just less than 37 inches long, and light, at just 3.75 lbs. Because the stock is hollow plastic, the impression is that this is a kid’s air rifle. But that’s misleading! First, the trigger-pull is heavier than most youngsters can operate. Until they mature a little or the rifle breaks in a lot, it’ll be difficult for them to operate. Second, the 1077 is more accurate than its price would indicate. We’ll see just how accurate in a future test, but all who own the rifle know what a sweet shooter it can be. And third, the 1077 is more powerful than you might think. Crosman advertises the velocity at 625 f.p.s., and we’ll soon see how fast my rifle is with different pellets.

The length of pull is 13.25 inches, making the rifle small for adults and just right for older children. It comes with open sights that adjust for both elevation, via a stepped ramp, and windage, using a crude slot with locking screw for the rear sight leaf. The front sight has a green fiberoptic tube, but the rear sight is just a notch with no fiberoptics.

The barrel is a thin rifled steel tube. Like all barrels of this design, it’s possible for the barrel to become loose and cause accuracy problems. My experience, based on the 5 rifles I’ve owned and others I’ve seen is that it will stay tight if the owner leaves the barrel alone. But the moment you start fiddling with it, it becomes a problem. People fiddle with the barrel because other people on the internet advise them to –so consider this as good advice to leave the barrel alone.

Magazines & clips (they’re not the same!)
The magazine and circular clip are the topic that caused this to be a special report. The 1077 has a box-like magazine that contains a separate 12-shot circular pellet clip. The circular clip is loaded with pellets, then placed into the box magazine and locked in place. The box magazine is inserted into the 1077′s action, the same as any other rifle that has a detachable magazine.

1077 rifle mag with clip
The box magazine with the circular clip installed. The post in the slot is pushed forward to release the circular clip.

1077 rifle mag with clip out
The clip is out.

This box magazine interfaces with the rifle’s action to advance the circular clip. And here’s how the 1077 action works. The trigger pulls a hook that pulls back on a stirrup located at the rear of the detachable magazine. That stirrup advances the 12-shot circular clip one pellet chamber, in a clockwise rotation, with each pull of the trigger.

1077 rifle action
That hook (arrow) pulls out the magazine stirrup when the trigger is pulled.

1077 rifle magazine stirrup out
That hook pulls the magazine stirrup out, advancing the clip to the next pellet.

The BIG lesson (miss this & you might mess up)
Pay attention — because this is where you get in trouble if you over-think the 1077. Just as guest blogger Hiveseeker learned with the Winchester MP4: Every time the trigger is pulled, the circular clip advances. The pellet remains in the clip until the gun fires, but you’ll skip past pellets if you back off on the trigger and do not follow through and fire the gun.

CO2 powerplant
The 1077 uses a single 12-gram CO2 cartridge, which should please many. Crosman says to expect 50 shots from that cartridge and I would agree, but I’ll test it.

Both of my 1077s are converted to bulk operation and do not need to use a cartridge anymore. The gun I’m using for this test is the latest model with fiberoptic front sight, but this is one that has an adapter to use an 88-gram CO2 cartridge. Not only does it get hundreds of shots per cartridge, there’s a valve on the unit that allows me to shut off the gas. When I began the test for you, the cartridge that was on the rifle had been there for over 4 years and is still holding gas. Of course, I always use Crosman Pellgunoil, and I advise you to do the same with each new cartridge you install.

1077 rifle 88 gram
My 1077 has an adapter for an 88-gram CO2 cartridge. The round knob at the bottom shuts off the gas flow.

1077 rifle adapter out
This is what the adapter looks like.

Because I can turn off the gas, I can remove the bulk adapter and convert back to a 12-gram cartridge whenever I want to. So, I’ll be able to get a shot count for you from a standard cartridge. Alas, Crosman no longer offers the 1077 with this option, and the adapter sells used for more than a new rifle these days. It was a really cool thing that I would like to see Crosman bring back as an option.

Summary
So that’s what’s in store for you. This will be a detailed report on the Crosman 1077, including a 25-yard accuracy test that uses a bargain red dot sight that has recently been featured in this blog — the Tech Force TF90.

Ft. Worth airgun show update
Now an update on the show. We’re getting reservations every day now, and the hotel is filling up with both dealers and those just attending the show. Some people have made arrangements to fly in and see the show, then have their purchases shipped back so they don’t have to carry them on the plane!

I’ll be staying at the hotel with the dealers, and we’ll have a reception the night before from 7 to 8:30 p.m. It’s soft drinks and snacks, plus a chance to meet with the dealers/attendees and perhaps transact early show business. You can come to the reception even if you’re not staying at the hotel.

I’ll lead a caravan of dealers from the hotel to the show location around 4 p.m. on Friday. That way, there will be many people who know the route on Saturday morning, plus you get to see the grounds the evening before we set up. There’s no setup that evening.

Crosman Corporation has donated a Benjamin Trail NP2 rifle for a door prize, so we now have 2 door prize rifles and 3 raffle prize rifles. We plan to begin the drawings early in the show; so if you’re going to attend, get there early!

Crosman will also be unveiling two new rifles at this show — a tactical PCP they call the Armada and their new .357-caliber big bore — called the Bulldog. They’ve asked me for air because they’re flying in, so I’m asking those of you who live close by to bring an air tank or two if you can. I’ll have a carbon fiber tank and my new electric compressor to charge Crosman’s tank that they have to bring in empty. Maybe we can top off a tank or two while the show’s running.

They’re bringing Jennifer Lambert (VP of marketing), Chip Hunnicutt, a couple of engineers and one or two others so they can man a spot on the range with their new guns plus their table in the hall.

As this last month counts down, the show is coming together fast. Please register for your tables now or risk the chance we’ll sell out.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle: Part 3

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

Today’s report is a continuation of the guest blog from HiveSeeker. Today, he tells us about the rifle’s performance.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

Over to you, HiveSeeker.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle

Daisy’s Winchester MP4 is a realistic and fun-to-shoot military replica pellet rifle.

This is the third installment in my evaluation of the Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle. The short version of Parts 1 and Part 2 is that this gun might be of interest to someone looking for a realistic AR15-style semiauto pellet rifle — as long as they can accept 1-inch, 10-yard groups and an intermittent ammo feed problem. I was determined to find out what was causing the ammo feed issue in order to minimize or eliminate it and was also certain the gun could shoot tighter groups with more testing. In Part 3 and also in Part 4, I make progress on both fronts.

This report covers:

• Catch-up
• The ammo feed problem
• Testing the ammunition magazine
• It’s the CO2 clip!
• Eliminating minor misfires

Catch-up
Before we continue, I want to add a couple comments that should have been included previously. First, in addition to the authentic realism of this replica gun, at 5.8 lbs., it hefts like a firearm. Most of the other military-style pellet rifles out there are lighter, and a number of reviewers mention that the realistic weight of the Winchester MP4 adds to its appeal. I agree.

Second (and B.B. was kind enough not to chide me for this), I failed to mention that despite the manual’s statement that no additional lubrication is needed for this gun once it leaves the factory, go ahead and put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each CO2 cylinder when you install it. That will help keep all those seals healthy and happy for years to come.

The ammo feed problem
I hadn’t experienced the MP4′s ammo feed problems to nearly the extent of some other shooters, but I was determined to figure out the possible causes and eliminate or minimize them. I suspected that the problem might be related to either the ammunition magazine (which has an 8-shot rotary cylinder on each end where the pellets or BBs are loaded), or the CO2 clip (which holds the two CO2 cartridges). I already had a number of spare magazines and ordered six additional CO2 clips directly from Daisy Customer Service for testing.

winchester MP4 CO2 rifle mag and CO2 clip
Two ammunition magazines on the left. They have 8-shot rotary cylinders on each end that hold the pellets or BBs. On the right are two CO2 clips that hold the CO2 cartridges. The ammo mag slides into it. Keep all these terms straight for the discussion below! That little plastic CO2 piercing key fits neatly into the slot at the bottom of the CO2 clip cover.

Testing the ammunition magazine
While I initially suspected the ammunition magazines were the source of inaccuracy, one curious fact is that these are the same ones used by the Winchester M14 and they apparently work flawlessly in that gun. It got 14 out of 15 five-star reviews at Pyramyd Air. We’ll come back to the ammunition magazine in a moment, but suffice to say that I ended up testing 9 different ammo mags in each of 7 different CO2 clips and found no difference in their performance. None of the ammo mags were malfunctioning.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle testing
Ammunition magazines and some CO2 clips ready for testing in the Winchester MP4. A few pellets, too — that’s coming in Part 4.

It’s the CO2 clip!
The CO2 clips proved to be another story. When they arrived from Daisy, they were all in excellent condition, but it was clear that two of them had been used. When I inquired, I was told that not enough new CO2 clips were available, so two units were pulled from returned MP4s. This is not encouraging, but they were much cheaper than expected, so I had no complaints. I marked all 7 of my CO2 clips and got ready to test the new arrivals. Clip 1 is the already-tested original that came with my rifle.

The first shot using clip 2 (the first of the 2 used clips) was a major flyer, zinging well off my point of aim. Not an auspicious start. Second shot, no pellet — just air (which I’ve been calling a misfire and one of the few ammo feed issues I’ve actually experienced up to this point). The third shot was my very first jam with this gun. The ammunition magazine would not eject from the CO2 clip, and I had to eject the CO2 clip itself to get the ammo mag loose.

I was especially careful to reseat the CO2 clip solidly for my next try. Fourth shot was another flyer but not quite as bad as the first. Fifth shot was another jam. This one was worse than the first, with the trigger jammed solid and the ammo mag again not ejecting. This time when I ejected the CO2 clip, the ammo mag actually stayed lodged inside the receiver!

It was suddenly clear what had happened — a pellet was jammed halfway between the ammo mag’s rotary cylinder and the barrel, locking the ammo mag in place. Fortunately, I had a plastic rod for clearing jams. Sure enough, I could feel the pellet slide back a little and then the ammo mag simply fell out of the gun.

When I examined the magazine, both the noses and skirts of several of the pellets showed visible deformation. This was the first time I’d really experienced the frustration of other MP4 buyers who had ended up returning their guns. I’d had enough — I was done testing clip 2! (Note that Daisy Customer Service replaced this clip with a brand new one at no charge.)

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle jammed ammo mag
The ammo mag was jammed in the gun, separate from the CO2 clip!

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle damaged pellets
This is what a bad CO2 clip does. This jam was so bad that the ammunition magazine remained lodged inside the receiver even after the CO2 clip was ejected. Note the damage to the two pellet skirts, especially the one on the right.

With no small amount of trepidation, I shot a full magazine using original clip 1, just to make sure my gun had not been damaged. Thankfully, everything was back to normal.

I was ready to test CO2 clip 3 — the other used one. Except for being a little tight in the receiver (something I’d also noted with my original clip), it performed flawlessly with all 9 ammunition magazines. I did have to push harder for the ammo mags to click into place, but that was all — and this actually smoothed out by the time I was finished testing. My experience was identical with the remaining brand-new CO2 clips 4 through 7. They varied in how tightly they fit into the receiver and how tightly ammunition magazines fit inside them, but they smoothed out with just a little use. And after hundreds of pellets, I had only a few misfires, which I subsequently decided were my own fault.

Here’s my important finding: The worst ammo feed problems are probably being caused by bad CO2 clips. Either the CO2 clip itself is not seating correctly within the receiver, or ammunition magazines are not seating correctly inside the CO2 clip. Either will cause the pellet not to line up with the barrel, resulting in a jam or misfire. This also explains why the identical ammunition magazine performs flawlessly in the Winchester M14 (where it locks directly into the receiver) but suddenly starts having problems in the MP4.

The obvious conclusion is that a replacement CO2 clip just might fix a misfiring MP4. If you order one directly from Daisy, try to make sure you’re getting a brand-new one, as these performed flawlessly – though I only had trouble with one of the two used clips. Note: To add to the nomenclature confusion, if you order this part from Daisy Customer Service, both they and the exploded parts diagram refer to the CO2 clip as the “Puncture Unit” (Part 79).

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle parts diagram
The Winchester MP4 exploded parts diagram. If you are ordering a replacement CO2 clip, it’s referred to as the “Puncture Unit” (Part 79).

We’ll take a minor detour as long as we have the MP4 parts diagram up. A number of reviews and blog comments describe the MP4 as a dressed-up Winchester M14. I initially thought otherwise, but the schematics prove me wrong. The barrel assembly and many other internal components appear identical. The CO2 clips share many parts as well. However, in the M14, the ammunition magazine slides freely through a hole in the CO2 clip and locks directly into the receiver. In the MP4, the ammo mag latches to the CO2 clip, which then latches into the receiver. As we’ve seen, having a middleman (the CO2 clip) between the ammo mag and the receiver is a potential problem. Besides the CO2 clip, the biggest differences between the M14 and the MP4 lie in the trigger mechanisms, receivers, and stocks and forearms.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle M14 parts diagram
T
he Winchester M14 does, indeed, share many parts with the MP4.

 

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle M14 CO2 clip
These are Winchester M14 CO2 Clips. The ammunition magazine slides freely through a hole in the CO2 clip (circled) but does not click into it. Instead, the ammo mag locks directly into the receiver — no middleman here! An ammo mag is shown inserted into the hole in the clip on right. This CO2 clip can be misaligned with the M14’s receiver without affecting ammo mag alignment at all.

Back to the MP4. One Pyramyd Air review suggests that the ammo mag misalignment may be caused by CO2 pressure pushing the CO2 clip slightly out of position. This is certainly plausible and might also explain why this problem can worsen over time (as other reviews report) if increasing wear is occurring. If wear is occurring on the CO2 clip, a replacement CO2 clip could fix the problem. If wear is occurring inside the receiver — or should something actually be wrong with the receiver to begin with — then it’s time to contact the manufacturer or start picking out a new rifle.

I ended up content with the fact that one of my new CO2 clips was not working (again, Daisy Customer Service sent a free replacement). Otherwise, I would still be scratching my head about what could be causing the more severe ammo problems I’ve been reading about. The fortunate bottom line is that this provides a likely fix for people with MP4s that are misfiring or jamming. Order a replacement CO2 clip from Daisy or Winchester Customer Service and see if that doesn’t remedy the problem.

Eliminating minor misfires
Although I never experienced a major ammo problem or jam, except while testing CO2 clip 2, I was still having minor misfires (firing a blank or a skipped pellet left in the ammunition magazine when done shooting). This was occurring about once every one or two magazines (or once every 16 to 32 shots if you’re counting — roughly 5% of the time). I wanted to eliminate this if I could. When I contacted Daisy Customer Service to order the extra CO2 clips, I inquired about this. While the Daisy rep did not acknowledge a known ammo feed issue with the MP4, I not only received some suggestions over the phone, but a follow-up email with additional information, as well.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle skipped pellet
Except for testing CO2 clip 2, all of my own ammo feed problems were limited to infrequent misfires (blank shots) and an occasional skipped pellet that remained in a supposedly empty ammunition magazine.

Daisy cautions that you should use good-fitting (tight) pellets and make sure they’re seated all the way. This will prevent pellets from backing out of the magazine (more specifically the rotary cylinder), causing a jam. I’ve been using a Pellet Pen with Pellet Seater for loading, and the advice makes sense. However, none of the pellets I tested were loose, and most actually fit quite tightly. Ironically, the only pellet that caused a problem was Winchester’s own hollowpoint, which stuck out the front of the cylinder (even when fully seated) just enough to interfere with the cylinder’s rotation. I simply pushed the pellet noses back in slightly and didn’t experience any misfires during subsequent accuracy testing.

Despite how tightly most pellets fit, however, if I pulled an ammo mag that still had pellets in it I sometimes noticed that pellets I had seated all the way into the cylinder were loose and pushed back a little. On one occasion, I actually had a loosened pellet fall backwards right out of the magazine. I could not determine what might actually be pushing pellets backwards in their cylinder cavities, but my first guess is that CO2 bypass somewhere must be exerting pressure on the front of the pellets. The gun’s mild recoil (or possibly the bolt recocking action) might be another possibility. Whatever the cause, once this happens previously stopper-tight pellets will slide easily in the cylinder. As far as I could determine, though, pellet fit was not a problem in my gun. And it was not the problem for Pyramyd Air reviewers who tried a range of pellets with all kinds of persistent problems, either – that was probably the CO2 clip.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle loading pellets
I went to great lengths to load each pellet the same.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle rotary cylinder
Use a pellet seater to seat pellets fully into the rotary cylinder. A very tiny ridge (arrow) stops the pellet skirt within each individual cylinder chamber.

Daisy’s other – and I think more relevant – suggestion was to shoot slower, allowing 3-5 seconds between shots to let the CO2 cartridges recover. My first thought was that this takes away a lot of the fun of a semi-auto. This specific feature was one of the reasons I’d purchased the MP4 to begin with. Of course, the first thing my wife did as soon as she got her hands on my new gun was see how fast she could make me work the reset cord on our knockdown target. Sure enough, she had a skipped pellet in the magazine following her quick-fire volley. That’s not quite fun.

My second thought, in the form of a tiny bell ringing in the back of my mind, was that during my chronograph tests when I was waiting a full minute between shots, I didn’t have a single misfire for almost 150 rounds. I thought this was an anomaly, but it wasn’t!

With this advice in hand, I continued my testing, making a point to take time to breathe several times between shots. Lo and behold, I went through nearly 600 pellets with only 4 misfires, and I believe I actually caused these. Two of the misfires were from shooting fast during some other testing, and the other two are discussed below. Slowing down my shooting has essentially eliminated all my misfires—though I’m not having quite as much fun with the semi-auto MP4 as I was before.

Now, as to those final two misfires. After ejecting a supposedly empty ammunition magazine and discovering a skipped pellet still present, I remembered that on one shot I’d partially depressed the trigger, run out of “breath” before I was ready to shoot and released the trigger for another try. When I later removed the CO2 clip, I inverted the gun and squinted down into the receiver. As I squeezed the trigger, sure enough, I saw the catch that indexes the rotary cylinder move. So, squeezing the trigger indexes the ammo mag cylinder, and I’d inadvertently rotated a pellet out of queue, causing a skipped pellet. This revelation occurred early in my latest round of testing, and I continued shooting with steady, deliberate trigger pulls after that (and tried to make sure I didn’t run out of “breath” again). This also means that you should fully release the trigger between shots, though this was not a problem for me as far as I could tell. More deliberate trigger work, along with slower pacing between shots, has resulted in no more misfires so far.

Winchester MP4 CO2 rifle cylinder indexing
This rectangular catch (shown by the large arrow) just under the breech indexes the rotary cylinder on the ammunition magazine when the trigger is pulled. The inset photo and small arrow show the ratchet teeth on the rotary cylinder that the catch engages. A false start on a trigger pull can rotate the cylinder without actually firing, causing a pellet to be skipped in the firing sequence.

In summary, misaligned CO2 clips appear to be causing the most severe ammo feed problems in the Winchester MP4, and a replacement CO2 clip should get a malfunctioning MP4 working correctly. Tight-fitting pellets, slower shooting and more deliberate trigger pulls can eliminate minor misfires; but these require additional time and concentration and take some of the fun out of shooting this semi-auto. While I really like the Winchester MP4 and continue to enjoy shooting it, I’m having to jump through hoops to make it work properly, which is something prospective owners need to consider.

In Part 4, I’ll complete my accuracy testing (and finally break the half-inch barrier) and wrap up my evaluation.

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 3

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

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 1
Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 2
R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 1
R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 2

WARNING: This conversion changes the operation of the pistol to use air at up to three times the pressure it was designed for. The parts that are installed are strong, but there are other parts in the gun that aren’t changed and could fail when subjected to the higher pressures. Pyramyd Air advises anyone making such a conversion to exercise extreme caution.

Crosman 2240 air conversion long barrel
The steel breech and longer barrel increase the 2240′s length dramatically.

This report covers:

• Installation of a steel breech and longer barrel
• Easy steps
• First velocity test
• Crosman Premier pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• RWS Superdome pellets
• What have we learned?
• Replace the striker spring with a heavier spring
• Crosman Premier pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• RWS Superdome pellets
• Evaluation to this point

This is the third look at converting a Crosman 2240 CO2 pistol to run on high-pressure air. In the last report, we saw how the conversion works with the factory barrel and factory striker spring. Today I will install a longer barrel with a steel breech and see what that does. Then I will add a stronger striker spring and see what that does.

Installation of a steel breech and longer barrel
Installing a Crosman steel breech and a Crosman 14.50-inch barrel on the 2240 pistol took all of 10 minutes. Four screws were removed, and both the plastic breech and barrel came off. After the detailed disassembly you saw in Part 1 of this report, this modification was a walk in the park.

Easy steps
The new breech was made by Crosman and sold by Pyramyd Air for $38, plus shipping. The barrel was also made by Crosman, and I bought it off eBay for $37 plus shipping. Together, these two parts have added about $85 to the cost of the gun, on top of the $65 for the air conversion that was given to me by Rick Eutsler. That’s an additional $150 I’ve put into this gun. And I’m not counting the adjustable stock and adapter that turns this pistol into a carbine. I’m not complaining about the cost, but don’t let anyone say this is a cheaper route than buying a Benjamin Discovery outright. What you get with this conversion is the time you need to make the investment. You can do this in easy steps.

First velocity test
I left the factory striker spring in place for this first test and pressurized the pistol to 2000 psi. Then, I shot the same 3 pellets I’ve been testing all along:

14.3-grain Crosman Premier pellets
11.9-grain RWS Hobby pellets
14.5-grain RWS Superdome pellets

Below are the velocities on CO2 for the factory gun; then the velocities for the factory gun with the high-pressure air conversion; and finally the velocities for the gun with the steel breech, longer barrel and factory spring — all operating at 2000 psi.

Crosman Premier pellets
CO2 avg…………..Air in factory gun average…………..Air in long barrel average
448 f.p.s…………………..486 f.p.s………………………………………517 f.p.s.

I got 15 shots with this pellet and the longer barrel. They ranged from 504 f.p.s. to 524 f.p.s.

RWS Hobby pellets
CO2 avg…………..Air in factory gun average…………..Air in long barrel average
482 f.p.s…………………..526 f.p.s………………………………………564 f.p.s.

This pellet gave me 18 shots from a 2000 psi fill with the longer barrel. They ranged from a low of 548 f.p.s. to a high of 573 f.p.s.

RWS Superdome pellets
CO2 avg…………..Air in factory gun average…………..Air in long barrel average
455 f.p.s…………………..483 f.p.s………………………………………525 f.p.s.

Superdomes gave 14 shots on a 2000 psi fill. With the longer barrel, the low was 516 f.p.s. and the high was 534 f.p.s.

What have we learned?
Obviously, the pistol shoots faster with the longer barrel and no other changes. Adding the steel breech does strengthen the rear of the barrel, but it doesn’t add anything to velocity.

All 3 shot strings posted above started out slow and increased as the shots were fired. So, the pressure curve is about ideal when the fill is at 2000 psi.

The velocity increase from CO2 in the standard pistol to high-pressure air in the longer barrel is very significant. But by leaving the factory striker (hammer) spring in the gun, we’re not getting all this conversion has to offer.

Replace the striker spring with a heavier spring
The kit Rick Eutsler sent me contained two striker springs — both of which are stronger than the factory spring. I removed the factory spring and installed the spring that was the weakest of the two, though stronger than the factory spring. I wanted to keep the fill pressure at 2000 psi, and the strongest spring would not be the way to do that.

I filled the gun to 2000 psi and proceeded to shoot Crosman Premiers. Here are the first 8 shots.

581
577
576
575
578
576
570
568

The velocity dropped with almost every shot. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but the trend is generally down. What this means is that the new spring is too strong for the fill pressure of 2000 psi. The pistol wants to start at a higher pressure with this spring.

I decided to fill the gun to 2250 psi. This is above the maximum I wanted to use, but it illustrates the relationship I just mentioned and is worth a look. Let’s look at the velocities at this pressure.

Crosman Premier pellets
588 f.p.s. average, low 582 f.p.s., high 594 f.p.s.

Compare the above to the average velocity with the factory striker spring and longer barrel, which was 517 f.p.s. This is a huge increase of 71 f.p.s. The stronger striker spring gives more of a boost than the longer barrel by itself. But — and understand this — without the longer barrel, the stronger spring would only waste more air. This is a modification that requires all the components to work together. You can’t just pick one item and be done with it.

RWS Hobby pellets
640 f.p.s. average, 632 f.p.s. low, 646 f.p.s. high

The remarks are the same for Hobbys as they are for the Premiers.

RWS Superdome pellets
590 f.p.s. average, 580 f.p.s. low, 596 f.p.s. high

Same remarks apply to this pellet as to the others.

All three pellets gave me maximum shot strings of 10 shots when set up this way. Obviously, more air is being used and the volume of the reservoir has remained the same.

Evaluation to this point
We’ve taken this Crosman 2240 pistol from one power on CO2 to a much higher power with high-pressure air, a longer barrel, a stronger spring and a steel breech. These modifications cost a total of $150 over the cost of the initial pistol ($60). Is it worth it?

The answer will depend on who’s talking. Some shooters enjoy putting their hands on the parts of their airguns and making their own creations. Others look at the total investment and just want something that shoots well for the least amount of money. This 2240 modification is not for the latter group, because we still have to add a $60 RAI adapter and a $60 UTG Adjustable Stock. That brings the cost of the gun we’re modifying to a total of $330.

The next step is to try this modification for accuracy. For that, I’ll attach the adapter and stock, again. I think it has to be tested to at least 25 yards with a scoped gun.

Top-notch springer
Air Arms TX200 air rifle

When it comes to spring-piston air rifles, the Air Arms TX200 Mk III is a favorite of many airgunners, including airgun writer Tom Gaylord. His favorite caliber is .177. While the gun will initially impress you with its beauty and superior craftsmanship, you'll be even more impressed with the incredible accuracy! Tom claims this is "the most accurate spring gun below $3,000." Beech or walnut, left-hand or right-hand stock. Isn't it time you got yours?

All the fun, none of the hassles!
Uzi CO2 BB submachine gun

You've seen tons of movies with guys spraying bullets from their Uzi submachine guns and probably thought it would be a blast. Except for the cost of ammo! You can have all that fun with this Uzi BB submachine gun at just pennies a round. Throw shots downrange for hours on end with all the fun, none of the firearm hassles and a fraction of the cost.

Archives