Posts Tagged ‘CO2 pistols’

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.

The Colt Python BB revolver: Part 2

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

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

Part 1

This report addresses:

• Loading BBs into the cartridges
• Loading CO2 into the gun
• Velocity in both single- and double-action
• Trigger-pull in single- and double-action
• Shot count per CO2 cylinder

Today, I’ll test the power of the Colt Python BB revolver from Umarex. Thanks to Umarex Director of Marketing Justin Biddle, I was able to begin testing this revolver for you before they hit the market here in the U.S. But they’re now in stock, and your dreams can finally be fulfilled.

Cartridges
As you know, this air pistol loads the BBs into individual cartridges — one BB per cartridge. Where a bullet would go in a regular firearm cartridge, there’s a rubber plug with a hole to accept 1 BB. You can’t put more than a single BB into each cartridge.

Colt Python BB revolver cartridges
Two loaded BB cartridges and a .357 Magnum round for comparison. The BB cartridges are slightly larger than the .357 Magnum cartridge; but as you can see, they’re very close.

The revolver comes with a spring-loaded speedloader that lets you load all 6 cartridges into the gun’s cylinder at the same time. It worked perfectly, but I found that loading each cartridge singly was just as convenient. Perhaps, if I had more than 6 cartridges, the speedloader would become handier. Of course, it’s possible to purchase additional cartridges for this revolver, though at the present time they must come in batches of 6 with a speedloader. Maybe when supplies catch up to demand, they’ll become available individually — we hope.

And, before anyone asks, no, you cannot use other BB-gun revolver cartridges in this revolver. They’ll function, but Pyramyd Air techs have determined that you’ll lose a lot of velocity.

Loading the CO2
As you learned in Part 1, the CO2 cartridge is loaded through a port in the bottom of the grip, rather than in the conventional way of one grip panel coming off. That allows the grip panels to remain tight on the gun — something many readers said they care about.

When I installed the first cartridge, I put a couple drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip to ensure positive sealing. The cartridge sealed instantly, with just a quick hiss as I used the large Allen wrench that came with the gun to tighten the CO2 plug in the bottom of the grip.

Loading
As we learned when testing the Dan Wesson BB revolver, there’s a fast way to load the BB cartridges. Spread an even layer of BBs in the top of an empty pellet tin and load all 6 empty cartridges into the speedloader. Then press the tips of the cartridges down into the layer of BBs like you’re cutting cookie dough.

Colt Python BBs
A layer of BBs in a pellet tin lid makes multiple loading easy!

Colt Python speedloadewr
Push the speedloader with cartridges into the BBs, and every cartridge will be loaded at the same time.

The rubber plugs in the end of the cartridges are tough, and it takes some pressure to pop a BB past the lip. You feel it when it pops into place. After loading, check all your cartridges to ensure all the BBs have been properly seated.

Velocity
The revolver operates in both the single-action and double-action mode, so naturally I tested both. In single-action, the revolver shot Umarex Precision steel BBs at an average 394 f.p.s. The low was 381 f.p.s., and the high was 421 f.p.s.; so the spread was 40 f.p.s. I allowed about 10 seconds between each shot to offset the cooling effect of the CO2 gas.

In the double-action mode, the revolver averaged 400 f.p.s., with a low of 380 f.p.s. and a high of 410 f.p.s. The spread was 10 f.p.s. less, and the average was 6 f.p.s. faster, indicating the gun is more effective in the double-action mode.

Trigger-pull
Unfortunately for Umarex, the Colt Python is legendary for the smoothness and lightness of its action. Each one was tuned by human hands before leaving the factory, and there’s no way this CO2 revolver can equal that. You may liken it to a paint-by-numbers copy of the Mona Lisa — you can’t get there from here.

For an air pistol, however, the trigger-pull in single-action (when the hammer is manually cocked before the trigger is pulled) is crisp. It breaks at 5 lbs., 4 oz. In the double-action mode (just pull the trigger to fire the gun each time), it breaks at 9 lbs., 4 oz. which is very light for a revolver. As I mentioned in Part 1, the trigger does not stack (increase in pull pressure sharply near the end of the pull) like a real Colt trigger.

Shot count
Shooting indoors in a climate-controlled environment at 70˚F, I got 70 good shots from one CO2 cartridge before the velocity began to drop off dangerously. The final shot registered 287 f.p.s. through the chronograph, which is a good place to stop before you jam any BBs in the barrel.

Evaluation
The Colt Python BB pistol is something several people have asked for over the years. It’s as nice as the S&W 586 pellet revolver, in many respects, but sells at less than half the price. The trigger is nice, and the way the cartridges load is realistic. The revolver hangs in the hand nicely. If there’s any benefit from not imitating the Python exactly, it has to be that the air pistol’s 38-oz. weight is lighter than the firearm’s 43.5 oz. in the same barrel length. That’s what you get when metals other than steel are used.

Accuracy testing comes next, and I see those adjustable sights give me the ability to really zero this handgun. Let’s hope they mean it!

The Colt Python BB revolver: Part 1

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

Friends, I am so jammed up with work that it isn’t funny. I’ve never been so busy in my life. I’m trying to do everything for everybody, and it’s pulling me in all directions.

I’m not telling you this for sympathy. I’m telling you so you’ll understand the next set of notes.

There’s going to be an airgun show here in Texas on September 6. It will be about 20 miles outside Ft. Worth at a gun club that has asked me to put on an airgun show for them. Their members all own airguns and want a place to sell them. I believe both airguns and firearms will be permitted at this show, which will be a first for any airgun show.

This s a private club that runs 6 gun shows a year, but they have no concept of what an airgun show will be like. I do. They’ll pull in visitors and dealers from thousands of miles away, instead of a 50-mile radius. I already have several commitments.

Pyramyd Air will sponsor the show. Jim Chapman has said he’ll come and be on the big bore range along with Eric Henderson. That’s the two most prominent big bore airgun hunters in the world at the same place and time demonstrating big bores to all who want to learn. Big bore maker Dennis Quackenbush will also have a table at this show. And, no, I don’t know what he will have for sale.

AirForce Airguns said they will have a table, and the “American Airgunner” TV show has said they’ll film the show.

I’ll try to pull in as many major airgun dealers as possible from around the country. But here’s the deal. These guys (the people running the show) have no concept of how big this could get. They haven’t met with me yet to give me names of contacts, table fees, etc. Until I know that, nothing is decided. I’ll keep you informed. Please don’t ask until I tell you — right now, you now know as much as I do.

I’m traveling next week to attend the “Flag City Toys That Shoot” airgun show in Findlay, Ohio. I’ll also stop by Pyramyd Air to return some guns I’ve tested over the past year. I have one other stop to make on the East Coast. That will keep me on the road for over a week, and I need blog reports that I can write quickly without resorting to test results.

What I need are topics I can write while I’m on the road. I have such topics — the choking of a barrel, more on airsoft tuning, safety of CO2 guns, etc. I’m saving those reports for the road. I also have one guest blog from reader RifledDNA that I’m saving for that time.

That’s a quick update on my life and what’s happening. Now, let’s get on with today’s report.

Colt Python
The Colt Python from Umarex is a realistic-looking BB revolver.

Umarex is bringing a realistic Colt Python to market. It’s a BB gun (shoots steel BBs, not plastic 6mm airsoft BBs) that uses realistic-looking shells to hold each of the 6 BBs it fires. When you load it, it loads with cartridges, just like a normal .357 Magnum Python.

When I saw this revolver at the 2014 SHOT Show, I told Justin Biddle, the Umarex USA marketing director, they’re going to sell a boatload of these. I remember the wide acceptance of the Dan Wesson BB revolver when I tested it. This Python is the same thing. It looks real, feels real and customers are going to reward the effort by buying it. I just hope it turns out to be as accurate as the Dan Wesson!

When I opened the box, it revealed all that comes with the revolver, plus an undisclosed but entirely realistic bit of future information. As you can see in the picture below, the revolver comes with a speedloader and 6 (count ‘em) shells that hold one BB each. An astute observer will also note the styrofoam in the box is cut for 4-inch and 2.75-inch barrels, so I think that’s the plan. This revolver that I’m testing has a 6-inch tube.

Colt Python in box
This is what comes in the box. Note the cutouts for the front sights of shorter barrels.

Each cartridge holds a single BB, so this gun is a true 6-shot revolver. I say that because shooters familiar with airsoft revolvers, which this one appears to descend from, usually load 4 plastic BBs into each shell, for a total of 24 shots per loading.

The speedloader assists in loading the 6 cartridges into the revolver’s cylinder. But it can also help you load the cartridges with BBs I showed how to do that in a report on the Dan Wesson revolver. It should work the same for this Python.

Colt Python speedloader
The Python comes with a speedloader that helps load the 6 cartridges into the cylinder. It also helps load the BBs into each cartridge.

What’s so nice about this revolver, besides the great feel of the Python that it captures perfectly, is the way it operates the same as the firearm. The cylinder swings out to the left for loading, just like the .357 does. It’s both single- and double-action, and the trigger-pull is lighter than the firearm in double-action but much heavier in single-action. I’m thinking this one will probably go as high as 5 lbs. in single-action. I’ll weigh both pulls in the velocity test.

Colt Python cylinder out
The cylinder pops out to the left, just like a Python firearm cylinder.

The gun weighs 39 ounces, which is several ounces less than a firearm Python with a 6-inch barrel (44 oz.). But it’s definitely muzzle heavy, just like the firearm.

The one major departure from the firearm is the inclusion of a manual safety, located behind the hammer. Push it in to lock the action. Pull it out, and the gun operates normally. It’s very difficult to see, so it doesn’t hurt the look of the revolver one bit.

Colt Python manual safety
The manual safety (shown in the “on” position) is unobtrusive. Pull it back to take it off.

The sights are adjustable in both directions, as you can see in the photo above. I’ll report on how well they work in the accuracy test.

The CO2 cartridge is housed inside the grip, but you don’t access it in the normal way. The “normal” way would be to pop off one of the rubberized grip panels, exposing a place for the cartridge and some sort of mechanism to tighten it during piercing. Instead, this one uses a large, plastic threaded plug that screws in with a large Allen wrench supplied with the gun. It’s easier to operate, plus it keeps the grip panels from loosening during use…as they always do with the other arrangement.

Colt Python CO2 access
The CO2 cartridge drops into this hole and is tightened by this threaded plug.

All things considered, and with the revolver in hand, this BB gun is everything I’d hoped it would be. All that remains is to test it.

Gamo P-25 air pistol: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

Gamo P-25 air pistol
Gamo P-25 is a 16-shot blowback pellet pistol.

Today is accuracy day with the Gamo P-25 air pistol. I inserted a fresh CO2 cartridge into the gun, loaded both of its 8-shot rotary clips and then slid the magazine into the grip.

I shot the pistol at 10 meters, which seems appropriate for a gun of this type. I shot it rested with a two-hand hold and my arms resting on the sandbag but the pistol free to move.

The pistol has open sights that are not adjustable. They have white dots, both front and rear, but that was cancelled by lighting the target brightly and shooting from a dimly lit place. I used a 6 o’clock hold, and the sights were very sharp and easy to align.

Because each rotary clip holds 8 pellets, I shot 8-shot groups instead of the usual 10. I don’t think it makes a big difference; and when you see the targets, I think you’ll agree.

The P-25 has blowback, so every shot except the first is single-action. I therefore cocked the hammer for that first shot, so all shots were single-action. It’s the most accurate way to shoot any handgun.

RWS Hobby pellets
The first pellets I shot were RWS Hobbys. Because they’re wadcutters, they left good holes in the target paper that were visible from the firing line. The pistol shot Hobbys to the left, as you can see, but the elevation was pretty good. The pistol’s sights are not adjustable, so to move the shots means you have to either aim off or use some Kentucky windage.

The group isn’t very impressive — 8 shots in 2.169 inches at 10 meters. Perhaps one of the other pellets will do better.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with RWS Hobby pellets
Eight RWS Hobby pellets went into 2.169 inches at 10 meters.

Gamo Match pellets
The next 8 pellets I shot were Gamo Match wadcutters. These pellets will sometimes be very accurate in a particular gun, but the P-25 I’m testing isn’t one of them. Eight shots went into 2.894 inches, though 7 of them are in 1.846 inches. Still, neither group size is especially good. They did go to approximately the same point of impact as the RWS Hobbys, however.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with Gamo Match pellets
Eight Gamo Match pellets went into 2.894 inches at 10 meters.

Crosman Premier lites
Next, it was time to try some 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lites. These domed pellets are sometimes the very best in certain airguns. And this was one of those times. Eight of them went into 1.624 inches, though they also went way over to the left.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with Crosman Premier lite pellets
Eight Crosman Premier lites went into 1.624 inches at 10 meters. This was the best group of this test.

Gamo Raptor PBA
The last pellet I tried was the lead-free Gamo Raptor PBA. We know from the velocity test that these pellets go the fastest in the P-25, but now we’ll see how accurate they are.

And the answer is — not very. Eight PBA pellets made a shotgun-like pattern that measures 4.036 inches between centers. Interestingly, they did tend to group in the center of the target — the only pellet of the 4 tested to do so.

Gamo P-25 air pistol target with Gamo Raptor pellets
Eight Gamo Raptor PBAs went all over the place, making this 4.036-inch group. I had to reduce the size of the photo to get all the holes into it.

Shooting behavior
This was one time I found myself hoping for greater accuracy from the test gun because it was so much fun to shoot. The blowback action is quick, crisp and comes as close to the recoil of a .22 rimfire pistol as I think I’ve experienced in an air pistol. Although the trigger is long and full of stops and starts, it’s also light and can become predictable after you learn its quirks.

Bottom line
The lack of adjustable sights means you have to find a pellet that shoots to center and is also accurate. Good luck with that. If Premier lites had shot to the center, they would have made this test end on a higher note. Because it shoots lead pellets from a rifled barrel, I’d hoped for better accuracy than this. Had I seen it, I would have rated this Gamo P-25 a best buy.

Gamo P-25 air pistol: Part 2

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

Part 1

Gamo P-25 air pistol
Gamo P-25 is a 16-shot blowback pellet pistol.

Today, we’ll look at the velocity of the Gamo P-25 air pistol, and something interesting that happened. Normally, I report on the velocity of 3 or 4 pellets and leave it at that, but a strange thing happened with the first CO2 cartridge in the test pistol.

I didn’t screw the piercing screw deep enough into the CO2 cartridge, resulting in the gas flow being hindered. I’ve experienced this a few times in the past, but this time it was very pronounced. After each shot, there was a period of time that ranged from 5 to 10 seconds, during which the gas flowed audibly from the cartridge into the gun’s valve. It sounded like a leak in the gun, but I noticed it only lasted a few seconds before stopping, so it wasn’t venting to the outside. It was the gas flowing from the cartridge into the gun’s valve, where it would be used for the next shot.

Gamo P25 air pistol piercing problem
The piercing screw wasn’t turned in far enough to properly pierce this cartridge. You can’t even see the opening through a 10X loupe, but it’s there. This was operator error.

Shooting the pistol in the rapid-fire mode proved impossible with this first cartridge. The first shot went out at the normal velocity, and shot 2…fired immediately after the first shot…clocked 88 f.p.s. through the chronograph.

It was my fault
So, I screwed the piercing screw much deeper into the next cartridge. Problem solved! Don’t be tentative when piercing a cartridge in this pistol. Do it like you mean it. After I pierced the second cartridge correctly, the pistol performed exactly as expected. Rapid-fire worked as you would expect, and the gun kept up with my trigger finger.

Hobby
The first pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby. Weighing 7 grains, the all-lead Hobby pellet tells me so much about an airgun’s powerplant. For starters, it tells me what needs to be done to get the 425 f.p.s. velocity that’s claimed for the gun.

Hobbys averaged 353 f.p.s. in the P-25. They ranged from a low of 333 to a high of 379 f.p.s., and some of that large variance may be due to the gas flow problem I mentioned. At the average velocity, Hobbys were generating 1.94 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

The Hobbys told me what I wanted to know. This pistol wasn’t going to get its rated velocity with a lead pellet. So, I needed to try it with a lead-free pellet; and since this is a Gamo gun, the Gamo Raptor PBA sounded like a good selection.

PBA
The Raptor PBA pellet is made from metal that’s harder than lead. It weighs 5.4 grains and will generally boost the velocity of an airgun above what a lead pellet will, though the hardness of the metal actually slows it down sometimes. But in the P-25, the Raptor PBAs worked just fine. They averaged 412 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 395 to a high of 432 f.p.s. So, the ads are right on the money. At the average velocity, this pellet generates 2.04 foot-pounds of energy.

Gamo Match
Next up were the lead Gamo Match wadcutters. They weigh 7.56 grains and are sometimes quite accurate in some guns. In the P-25, they averaged 348 f.p.s. with a spread from 329 to 357 f.p.s. The average energy was 2.03 foot-pounds. This will be a pellet to try in the accuracy test.

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain lites
The last pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite. They fit in the circular clips of the magazine rather easily, which caused some concern they might fall out; but the way the magazine is designed, only 2 pellets at a time are exposed in its clip. So the worry was for nothing.

Gamo P25 air pistol clip closeup
The way the magazine is designed, the pellets are not exposed until they’re ready to be shot. This one needs to be pressed into the clip.

Premiers averaged 344 f.p.s. in the P-25, with a spread from 330 to 360 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they generate 2.08 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Trigger-pull
The double-action trigger-pull broke at exactly 8-1/2 lbs., which is light for a DA pull. On single-action, it broke under 4 lbs., with a huge creep at 2-1/2 lbs. That creep is consistent and lets you know when the gun is ready to fire.

Shot count
While I got just 50 shots on the first cartridge, I got more with the second one. Besides the velocity testing, I did another test with an entire cartridge, just to see how the pistol operates in the rapid-fire mode. So, the correct piercing is very important. I fired an entire cartridge, just to see how the pistol handled. Everything worked smoothly until shot 48, when the blowback failed for the first time. After that, the blowback would work if I waited long enough between shots, but not if I shot rapidly. However, if you allow time for the gun to warm up, it keeps right on shooting.

There are certainly 75 or more powerful shots in the gun if you allow the gun to rest between shots. The blowback will work reliably past shot 50, as long as time is taken between shots. Shoot fast, however, and the gun cools too much and wastes gas.

Impressions so far
So far, I like the P-25. I like its simplicity and the light single-action trigger. If it’s also accurate, this might be a best buy.

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