Posts Tagged ‘CO2 pistols’

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.

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 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.

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 2

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

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 1
R.A.I. Adjustable Adapter: Part 1
R.A.I. Adjustable Adapter: 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
My Crosman 2240 has been converted to operate on high-pressure air.

This report covers:

• Where we are
• Before filling the first time
• Shooting the gun
• Crosman Premier pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• RWS Superdome pellets
• What comes next

Let’s look at what the conversion to air did for the Crosman 2240. Boy, was there ever a lot of discussion on that report! I think this may be one of the all-time most popular subjects on this blog.

Where we are
Here’s where I am with this subject. The 2240 is now converted. I plan to test it with 2,000 psi air today, and I do not plan to go higher. This is a test of what’s out there and some of the things that can be done with a 2240, but I’m not in the business of hotrodding this pistol. Many other folks are doing that very well; so, if you are interested in what’s possible, read what they have to say.

Today, I’m going to test the pistol with the conversion but with the stock striker spring still installed. In other words, if you simply screwed the tube into the gun and did nothing else (the front sight still has to come off to clear the tube), this is what you’ll get. I did change the face seal, which is why I disassembled the pistol in the previous report; but that wasn’t strictly necessary, since I am pressurizing to only 2,000 psi. I did it just to show how the entire kit is installed.

Before filling the first time
Before filling the gun, which is now done through the male Foster nipple on the end of the air tube, I put several drops of silicone chamber oil into the fill nipple. It came to me bone-dry, and I wanted all the seals inside the unit to get a coating of this oil. Then, I connected the gun to my carbon fiber air tank and slowly filled it to 2,000 psi. I say slowly, but as small as this air tube/reservoir is, it fills pretty fast. It probably took only 15-20 seconds to fill it all the way. You want to go as slowly as as possible to keep heat from building.

When I bled the air connection in the hose, the inlet valve in the air tube remained open and all the air bled out. So, I refilled it and bled it a second time. This time, it sealed as it should — thanks to the oil, I believe.

Shooting the gun
It was now time to test the gun. I had no idea what it was going to do, but I left my hearing protection off to hear if the first shot was loud. It wasn’t. Perhaps the gun is a little louder than it is when using CO2, but the difference is not that great. Of course, I used eye protection for the chronographing session, because the pellet trap is so close. I use a trap with duct seal to keep the rebounds down and the noise to a minimum.

Crosman Premier pellets
The first pellet I tested was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier dome. I should add that I shoot only the pellets from the cardboard box, which is why I link to them, only. We were informed several months ago that Crosman planned to stop selling Premiers in the cardboard box and I stocked up on them. But I see they’re still available.

Back in 2010, I did a test of the CO2 2240 pistol, so I have the recorded velocities for this exact pistol on CO2. It averaged 448 f.p.s. with Crosman Premiers. On 2000 psi air, the first shot was 468 f.p.s. It increased to a maximum of 492 f.p.s. by shot 7 and dropped back to 466 f.p.s. by shot 15. At the end of the string, the gun was still holding 1200 psi of air pressure. The average velocity of 15 shots was 486 f.p.s., which means air boosted the average velocity of this pellet by 39 f.p.s.

RWS Hobby pellets
Next up were 11.9-grain RWS Hobby pellets. When the pistol was running on CO2, these pellets averaged 482 f.p.s. On 2000 psi air, they started at 515 f.p.s. and increased to 537 f.p.s. by shot 9. The velocity droped back down to 511 f.p.s. by shot 16. The average velocity for this string of 16 shots was 525 f.p.s. — a 43 f.p.s. increase on air. The remaining pressure was 1200 psi, once again.

RWS Superdome pellets
The final pellet I tested was the 14.5-grain RWS Superdome. When the pistol ran on CO2, Superdomes averaged 455 f.p.s. On 2000 psi air, they started at 470 f.p.s. and drifted up to 495 f.p.s. by shot 7. They dropped back down to 467 f.p.s. by shot 16. The average velocity was 483 f.p.s., an increase of 28 f.p.s. over CO2.

Notice that the gun performs similarly, regardless of what pellet was tested. The curve starts out slow, builds to the maximum quickly and then drops back to the starting point just as quickly. The three pellets gave a total shot count of 15, 16 and 16, respectively.

What comes next?
I can’t test the pistol for accuracy as it is right now because the front sight has no clearance to be re-installed. And the plastic 2240 receiver does not have a scope base on the receiver. Decision time.

I could get a steel breech for the 2240 from Pyramyd Air. While it will not accept the 2240 rear sight, it does have 11mm dovetails for a scope. That’ll work with the barrel that’s on the gun right now; but if I get a longer barrel, I’ll get a little more velocity from this same setup. So, I ordered a 14.5-inch barrel from an eBay vendor.

There are a number of different ways this can go with these parts, so I will wait to see what seems best once I have them.

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 1

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

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

This report covers:

• What this is
• Thanks to Rick Eutsler
• Step-by-step instructions
• How hard is it?

Today, I’m starting a fresh and different look at the Crosman 2240 air pistol. You may have noticed that I linked to the R.A.I. adjustable shoulder stock adapter at the beginning of the report. That’s because my plan is to convert the 2240 to operate on high-pressure air and test it again as a small PCP carbine. And, I might add, not only is it small, it’s also affordable if done in stages.

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.

What this is
What we are looking at today is a device that is so simple, yet apparently effective that many will slap their foreheads and wonder why they didn’t think of it themselves. It’s a drop-in device that changes the operation of a 2240 pistol from CO2 to air. It appears very simple, but there’s some disassembly and parts-swapping involved, so that’s what I’m going to show you today.

What’s happening is that you’re dropping a high-pressure air cartridge into the space where a CO2 cartridge would normally go. And if that was all there was to it, we would be done. Just remove the CO2 cap, remove the empty cartridge, slide the unit in and screw it tight against the face seal. But there’s the rub. The face seal in a 2240 is not designed for high-pressure air. So, we have to substitute a different face seal, and that’s where the disassembly comes in.

Thanks to Rick Eutsler
This conversion was suggested to me by Rick Eutsler, who appears with me on American Airgunner. He thinks a lot of it and wondered if I’d tried it, yet. No, I hadn’t. So he sent me a device. The device is made and sold by PowerMax-HiPAC.com. This one I am testing sells for $65, according to their website, but there are many other configurations and accessories available. I’ll focus on just this one for now, and we’ll see where it takes us.

Before starting the conversion, I removed the CO2 cartridge. Then, I removed the UTG 6-Position Mil-Spec Stock Assembly and the R.A.I. adapter that connects it to the pistol. The gun was now in its factory configuration, and the conversion could begin.

 Crosman 2240 air pistol stock removed
The R.A.I. adapter and UTG adjustable stock were removed from the 2240.

Crosman 2240 air pistol air tank
The air tank (bottom) goes into the 2240, replacing the CO2 cartridge and end cap. The tank is threaded just like the end cap. The face seal inside the gun must also be changed, so disassembly is necessary.

What follows is a step-by-step disassembly and replacement of the face seal. The work is easy, but some of the parts are small — and you have to exercise caution to keep from losing them. Note that I did my work on a dark wool blanket. The wool keeps parts from moving, and the dark color allows me to use flash photography without the dark parts appearing black. If a white background were used, that’s what would happen.

Step 1. Remove front sight
The front sight is knocked off with a wood block and rubber hammer. The sight isn’t attached by fasteners, so it comes off with a light tap.

Crosman 2240 air pistol front sight off
A wood block was placed against the rear base of the front sight and tapped with a rubber hammer to remove the sight.

Step 2. Remove barrel band
The barrel band is held by Allen screws, top and bottom. Loosen both, and the band slides off the gun.

Crosman 2240 air pistol barrel band off
Loosen the screws of the barrel band and slide it off.

Step 3. Remove rear sight
The rear sight is held by a single screw that’s one of two holding the end cap to the action. Take it off, and the end cap is almost ready to come off the gun.

Crosman 2240 air pistol rear sight off
Remove the rear sight by removing one screw.

Step 4. Remove grips (optional)
The grips come off next. This step isn’t necessary; but if you want to see all the working parts inside the grip, you can do it.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove grips
Each grip panel is held on by a single screw. There isn’t a lot to see.

Step 5. Remove end cap
Remove the rear grip frame screw, and the end cap will come off the gun. There’s a powerful spring pushing against the cap, so contain it as you remove this screw or the end cap will go flying.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove end cap
When the rear grip frame screw is removed, the end cap and mainspring are free. Contain the end cap or it’ll go flying.

Step 6. Remove grip frame
Now the front grip frame screw is removed, and you can separate the frame from the action tube. Be very careful in this step not to lose the tiny spring and ball detent for the safety — it rests in the left side of the grip frame.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove grip frame
Remove the front grip frame screw and lower the frame from the action tube. Be careful not to lose the safety spring and ball detent that are in the grip frame.

Crosman 2240 air pistol safety spring and detent
The safety spring and detent ball are very small. They are not under tension when the grip frame comes off; but if you turn the frame upside-down, they’ll fall out.

Step 7. Remove receiver from tube
At this point, just a single screw holds the receiver and barrel to the action tube. That screw is located in the pellet trough and is very small (I believe it’s an .050, but it may be larger). Unscrew this screw, and the receiver and barrel can be separated from the tube.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove action screw
Remove this screw, and the action and barrel lift off the tube.

At this point, you can remove the barrel from the action. It isn’t required; but if you do, you’ll see where the transfer port fits in the bottom of the barrel.

Crosman 2240 air pistol barrel
If you slide the barrel from the receiver, you can see the machined spot where the transfer port fits.

Step 7. Remove gas transfer port
After the barrel is off the tube, the steel transfer port will be exposed. It usually stays with the tube, but nothing holds it except the seal in the valve. This small part is how the compressed gas (or air, when we convert the pistol) moves from the valve into the barrel to push the pellet. So, it’s very important.

Crosman 2240 air pistol transfer port
The steel transfer port usually stays with the tube when the barrel’s removed. If not, don’t lose it.

The transfer port has two lengths to it — a long side and a short side. The short side fits into the seal in the valve that’s still in the tube, while the long side goes into the underside of the barrel.

Crosman 2240 air pistol transfer port detail
The short side of the transfer port goes into the tube and into the seal in the valve. The long side goes in the bottom of the barrel.

Crosman 2240 air pistol transfer port seal
The transfer port seal is shown here. You see the brass valve body under it.

Step 8. Remove striker
Next, remove the striker — or what many call the hammer. It’s held in place by a small pin that must be lifted out, then the striker will come out the rear of the tube. This pin connects the bolt to the striker and is how the gun is cocked.

Crosman 2240 air pistol striker pin
To remove the striker, first remove the striker pin. There’s an enlarged hole at the rear of the cocking slot through which the pin is lifted out.

Crosman 2240 air pistol striker out
Once the striker pin is out, the striker slides out the rear of the tube.

Step 9. Remove valve screw and valve body
Remove the screw holding the valve body in the tube. When it’s out, the valve will slide out the rear of the tube. I pressed it lightly with the barrel to start it, but some valves may take a little coaxing depending on how long they’ve been in the gun — but it isn’t difficult to remove this part.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve screw
Remove the one valve screw.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve body
The valve body slides out the rear of the tube.

Step 10. Exchange the face seals
Now we come to the place where the face seals are exchanged. The light-colored seal is for CO2 cartridges and is too soft for the air pressure we’ll be using. It must be pried out of the end of the valve, and the black seal that’s supplied with the air conversion kit should be installed in its place. Getting the new seal in is much like buttoning a shirt collar with small buttons. The new black seal will also work with CO2; so if you want to convert back, you can skip this teardown and just remove the air tank.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve face seal
Here’s how the face seal looks before you pry it from the valve body.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve 2 face seals
Here’s the factory face seal (lighter one on left) and the new seal to be installed. Notice that continual use has made a groove in the factory face seal.

How hard is it?
It took me a total of 20 minutes to disassemble the pistol, and that includes taking the pictures seen here. It isn’t hard, but there are places where caution should be exercised.

Assembly is the reverse of disassembly, and there are no special tips. Just make certain that the bolt will engage the striker pin when you assemble the action, and make sure all the seals are properly seated.

That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll put air into the pistol and chronograph the results.

The Colt Python BB revolver: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

Colt Python
Colt Python from Umarex looks like the real deal!

This report addresses:

• Sighting in.
• Corrections to the manual.
• Accuracy at 16 feet, 4 inches (5 meters).
• Accuracy at 25 feet.
• Summary

Today is accuracy day for the Colt Python BB revolver. I know this is a test many readers have been waiting for, and I think it’ll be worth the wait!

I shot the revolver from a rested position, using a 2-hand hold with my hands forward of the rest and unsupported. My forearms were resting on a cushion, and the revolver was steady in my grip. The target was lit brightly, so the sights were in sharp relief.

I charged the gun with an Umarex CO2 cartridge and shot only Umarex Precision steel BBs in this test. I loaded the cartridges individually, and I found that was faster than using the speedloader. It eliminates some steps that take time.

The first few shots landed too low on the target and also a bit to the left. I first adjusted the elevation of the rear sight and left the windage alone. I did this without consulting the manual, because we all know that the rear sight must move in the direction you want the round to move on target. The gun was shooting low so the sight had to come up — it’s as simple as that. There are directions for elevation adjustment on the rear sight, and they told me to turn the screw counterclockwise to raise the sight. It worked perfectly, but I had to make several adjustments before the BBs were hitting as high as I wanted.

Then, I shot my first 10-shot group. Yes, I shot a complete cylinder and 4 more from the next cylinder. And I’m glad I did. The first group was the best of the day, putting all 10 shots into 0.537 inches between centers. Until I walked up to examine the target, it seemed as though all shots were going into the same hole. But as you can see, the group isn’t quite that spectacular. It’s close, though.

Colt Python target 1
This first 10-shot group was the best of the day. It measures 0.537 inches between centers.

Manual has errors
Next, I wanted to adjust the group slightly to the right, so the rear sight had to be adjusted again; but this time I was stumped. The windage adjustment requires a 1.5mm Allen wrench, while the elevation adjustment is a plain slotted screw. I carry a pocketknife that has a screwdriver, but now I had to find a small Allen wrench. It turns out neither the windage nor the elevation adjustment tools are provided with the gun. I think that’s a mistake because the typical buyer of a gun like this in not likely to have a lot of Allen wrenches laying around (there’s an Allen wrench included, but it’s larger and for removing the cap that holds the CO2 cartridge).

There are no directions for the rear sight adjustment on the gun, so I consulted the manual. That’s when I discovered that both the windage and elevation instructions are backwards in the manual! This is of no concern for elevation, because the instructions are on the gun — but for windage, you have to stop and figure it out yourself.

Then, it was back to shooting targets. This time, I used the slightly smaller 10-meter bulls instead of the 50-foot rimfire bulls I’d used for the first group. The BBs landed higher on this smaller bull, and it appeared that I adjusted the rear sight too far to the right.

The next 10-shot group measures 1.119 inches between centers. The first shot was a flinch that went high and right — out into the white, and the other 9 shots were in the black and measure 0.941 inches between centers. It’s twice the size of the first group and represents the second-worst group shot from 5 meters.

Colt Python target 2
This group is still good, but much larger. The shot in the upper right that missed the black was a called flyer.

I didn’t change the sights before the next group. Eight of the BBs went into 0.602 inches, but the other 2 shots opened the group to 1.166 inches. It’s the worst group; yet, it contains a remarkable smaller group inside the main group. I think concentration is what determined the group size, more than the accuracy of the gun. In other words — I was tiring out!

Colt Python target 3
All these shots looked perfect at the release. That one in the white was not a called flyer. This group measures 1.166 inches, with 8 shots in 0.602 inches.

25 feet
Finally, I tried shooting a group at 25 feet. This time only, I fired all 12 shots from 2 full cylinders. The group measures 2.121 inches and demonstrates how quickly the accuracy of a BB falls away as the distance to the target increases.

Colt Python target 4
Shot at 25 feet, these 12 shots went into 2.121 inches.

The Colt Python is accurate
Without a doubt, this Colt Python revolver is an accurate BB gun. I don’t like to make comparisons, but I know a lot of readers want them. I looked at other accurate BB pistols I’ve tested over the years and found this one to hold its own. In other words, about on par with the other accurate BB pistols, and quite a bit better than an average BB pistol.

I like the trigger in both single- and double-action, I like the sights, I like the speedloader and the way the cartridges grab each BB so positively. The power is good and so is the shot count. There’s nothing to dislike, save the lack of sight adjustment tools and the small transposition in the owner’s manual.

If you have a hankering for a Colt Python and cannot or will not spend $1,400 to buy one, this revolver scratches a lot of the itch.

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