Posts Tagged ‘Picatinny rail’
by B.B. Pelletier
Today is accuracy day for the 327 TRR8 BB revolver, and there’s an additional surprise in this report. I was glad to get another chance to shoot this interesting BB revolver that feels so good in my hands. It actually has made me curious about the .357 Magnum firearm. Ain’t that always the way?
I inserted a fresh CO2 cartridge for this session, and we know from the velocity test that there are at least 65 good shots from a cartridge. I’m talking about the best part of the power band, where no excuses for accuracy can be made. So, I could conceivably fire 10 cylinders (60 shots) and be safe. As it turned out, I didn’t even need to shoot that many.
Before the cartridge went in for piercing, it got a couple drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the small, flat end. That ensures some of the oil will be blown through the firing valve, where trace oil will coat every surface, including all seals and valve seats. I want this gun to hold gas forever, and this is cheap insurance!
I used Daisy zinc-plated BBs, which have proven to be the most accurate steel BBs I’ve found. I was recently surprised to learn that Daisy imports these BBs from China in 55-gallon steel drums, but I do know that they then put every BB through a sorting process here in the U.S. before packaging. Whatever they’re doing is working, because these are the most accurate standard steel BBs I’ve seen. Only the Avanti Precision Ground Shot is more accurate — and you’ll probably only see the difference in a precision target gun like the Avanti Champion 499.
I shot the gun at 5 meters, which is the international distance for BB gun competition. I used a rested two-hand hold with my forearms resting on a sandbag. I don’t believe I can hold the gun any better than I held it for this test.
I had said earlier that I thought I’d be using the bright green fiberoptic sight for this test. This revolver has some of the brightest sights I’ve ever seen. But when I lit the target with the 500-watt lamp, I found that I had to use the conventional sight picture of the front post level with the rear notch and lined up at 6 o’clock on the black bull. The bright light on the target made the fiberoptic tubes of the front post and rear notch go black. It was as if this was a conventional set of sights. The sights were crisper than I originally thought when the target was lit this brightly, so everything worked out quite well.
The first group was shot single-action, which proved to be the most accurate way of shooting this revolver, as expected. I was so close to the target that I saw the first shot rip through the black bull. After that, I fell into a rythym and didn’t check the target again. I shot 12-shot groups, since the cylinder holds six loaded cartridges. When all 12 shots were fired, I checked the target through binoculars and couldn’t believe my eyes! It really appeared as if only 6 shots had been fired, because nine BBs all went into a single tiny hole. I doubt very much that I could repeat such a grouop if I tried 100 more times.
The first group was phenomenal! It appears that 9 of the 12 shots went into the tiny group at the lower right, though the hole just above it may have more than one shot. Entire group measures 0.685 inches between centers.
With the success of the first group under my belt, I thought it prudent to shoot a second group single-action, just in case the first one was a fluke. As it turned out, it was. But I could see this group as it formed, and it looked better than the first one from the firing line. I wasn’t until I examined it in the binoculars that the whole story became obvious.
The larger hole in the center of the bull was visible from the firing line as I shot, but the holes that aren’t in the main group were hidden until I looked through binoculars. This is a more representative 12-shot group and measures 0.858 inches between centers.
I’m satisfied that the 327 TRR8 is an accurate BB gun. I was very relieved that the fiberoptics didn’t have to be used, because look at the precision I got. Combat sights (fiberoptics) aren’t ever going to give you that kind of group.
Next, it was time to try my hand at double-action shooting. This is more difficult, because the longer, heavy trigger-pull causes the gun to move in the hand as the trigger is pulled.
The first 6 shots went so well that I thought I’d be recanting my position on double-action shooting, but the first shot from the second cylinder fired before I was ready and as a result it went wide. It was a called flier that I could see because I was concentrating on the front sight so intently.
The rest of the shots went into a fairly nice group, except that there was one high shot that I cannot account for. But when you’re pulling a double-action trigger and the gun shifts by just a few degrees of angle, it’s enough to throw you off target.
I used the quick-loading procedure that was reported in Part 2 of this report. That’s where you press the mouths of the 6 shells into a layer of BBs, and they all pop into the cartridges. While doing this, I noticed one time that two of the BBs had not popped into their cartridge all the way. That would cause them to have less friction than the other four BBs and that could cause a variation. In handloading firearm ammunition, it would be called neck tension — and it’s a vital component of accuracy.
This is what happened when the cartridges were not pressed down evenly on the layer of BBs. Two BBs are sticking out the top of the cartridges and will have less friction than the other four that are deeper. When they were pushed into the cartridge, a noticeable pop was felt.
The bottom line
This completes the test of the S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver. We’ve seen how it works and all of its good features. It is a very well-made BB gun that looks like it will give good service for a long time. Accuracy is above average, and the power is well above the modest advertised velocity.
by B.B. Pelletier
The 327 TRR8 BB revolver is distributed by Umarex, which claims the muzzle velocity is 400 f.p.s. In fact, they print it right on the box!
To appreciate what I’m about to tell you, there are two things you must bear in mind. First, the manufacturer of an airgun has to publish the top velocity that gun could achieve. If they don’t, and if there’s ever a lawsuit, it would be bad if the gun was more powerful than advertised. A plaintiff could argue that they bought the gun, thinking it was capable of shooting at a certain velocity, when in fact it was actually capable of higher velocity. They could then argue that they would never have allowed their children to shoot (they may say “play with”) that gun, if they had known its true power.
This argument sounds bogus to a shooter, who would know that any gun is potentially dangerous, regardless of its velocity, but jury selection teams work hard to keep people with such knowledge off the jury, if they can. And to the uninformed, hearing that the gun is more powerful than advertised somehow makes it more evil, if the facts are presented in the right way.
Second, if a manufacturer advertises a certain gun to have a certain velocity and it clearly does not, they have just scored a black eye in marketing and public relations. They are called liars who just want to skew the facts in favor of their product.
This is the dilemma every manufacturer and distributor faces when they advertise their airguns. So what I am going to tell you today must be considered in this light.
Loading the CO2
I showed you the CO2 compartment in Part 1. The cartridge goes in easily, and the piercing screw is turned until a hiss of gas it heard. I then turn the screw just a little farther to make certain the hole in the cartridge is large enough. The pressure of the gas will prevent you from screwing the piercing screw too far.
I should add that, as always, I put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before installing it. The oil gets blown through the gun’s valve and gets onto all the seals. It’s the best thing you can do for your CO2 gun.
The 327 TRR8 BB revolver has both a single-action and a double-action trigger-pull, and each must be tested for velocity. Sometimes, they’re fairly close, but there have been guns where the way the trigger was pulled made a 100 f.p.s. difference.
I used Daisy zinc-plated BBs for all shooting in this test.
Fresh CO2 cartridge — single-action pull
The first 10 shots on a fresh CO2 cartridge averaged 447 f.p.s., which is well about the advertised velocity. The string ranged from a low of 431 to a high of 462 f.p.s. That’s considerably above the advertised velocity and produces an average of 2.26 foot-pounds.
Next, I fired 10 shots double-action and got an average 441 f.p.s. The low was 428 and the high was 445 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 2.2 foot-pounds. So, there’s not too much difference between single-action and double-action in this revolver.
The trigger-pull seemed heavier than I remembered from the first report. It averaged 6 lbs., 4 oz. in the single-action mode, which is on the high side. However I must report that the trigger-pull is very crisp. It’s a single-stage trigger in this mode, which means there’s no travel before the trigger stops at the break point.
In the double-action mode, the trigger is easier to pull than on many other revolvers. It breaks at an average 9 lbs., 5 oz. on the test gun. When it’s pulled, there’s a definite stop point where the pull force increases before the release. It feels very much like a Colt double-action trigger from the 1920s rather than a Smith & Wesson trigger — because the Colts always stacked at the end of the pull, while the Smiths did not.
The 327 TRR8 comes with a speedloader, and Paul Capello showed us in his video of the Dan Wesson BB revolver how to quickly load the BBs. The 6 cartridges are loaded into the speedloader, which is then pressed down onto a layer of BBs held in the lid of a pellet tin. All 6 cartridges will be loaded this way, and it works perfectly every time.
As powerful as this revolver is, I was concerned about how many shots a single CO2 cartridge would give. And I wanted to stretch the number to as many as I could get, so I paused a minute between shots. Doing it that way, the first 25 shots were all in the 430+ f.p.s.range, regardless of whether they were fired single- or double-action.
After 46 shots had been fired, the velocity remained in the 412-425 f.p.s. range, again with a minute’s pause between shots. After 62 shots, the velocity was definitely falling and ranged from a high of 397 f.p.s. to a low of 286 f.p.s. at shot 85. In other words, there are plenty of shots in this revolver for the average backyard plinker. The high number of shots surprised me a bit, given the high velocities we saw at the beginning, but I did nurse the gas by pausing so long between shots. If you fire faster, and most shooters will, you can expect at least 10 percent fewer shots and all at a lower velocity. You’ll be able to hear when the velocity trails off and can stop shooting before you jam a BB in the barrel.
Observation thus far
So far, the 327 TRR8 seems to be holding up well. It’s powerful, reliable and gets a good number of shots from a cartridge. The trigger seems good, if not very light. The sights are fiberoptic, but have the brightest green tubes I’ve ever seen, so they’ll be used for the accuracy test, which comes next.
by B.B. Pelletier
S&W 327 TRR8 is an exciting new BB revolver.
Smith & Wesson’s firearm 327 TRR8 revolver is designed for self defense. The revolver is an 8-shot .357 Magnum revolver that employs a tactical rail, hence the TRR (for tactical rail revolver) designation. I wonder why S&W chose the number 327 for this revolver, because Federal Cartridge Company recently introduced their .327 Magnum cartridge that’s been touted as more effective in the real world than .357 — whatever that means.
The firearm revolver this BB gun copies retails for just a few dollars under $1,300, so you know it has to be a serious handgun! At 40-60 percent more than other models, the 327 must have a lot going for it. Its purpose is to provide a revolver that gives up nothing to the 1911A1, because it holds a similar number of rounds. Remember the comparison is being made with the .45 ACP, not a smaller law enforcement caliber; and .357 Magnum is considered to be equivalent to the big .45 as a man-stopper and superior in other aspects such as penetration. SWAT teams can now choose between a 1911-style semiauto or a revolver.
The firearm frame is made of Scandium, S&W’s lightweight metal that replaces steel. Although its large, it’s lightweight, at 35.3 oz. The BB gun is just a trifle heavier, at 35.9 oz. The firearm comes from the S&W Performance Center and has a custom-tuned trigger, trigger stop and a tuned action. That’s where the extra money goes.
I don’t own a 327 firearm, nor have I ever shot one, so I can’t evaluate the claims that it has the best trigger S&W is currently putting in revolvers or that it handles the recoil of the .357 cartridge more effectively than any other revolver. The closest handgun I have that also handles .357 Magnum recoil is a Desert Eagle pistol, and that comparison would be unfair and unbalanced in every way. This report will have to focus on the BB gun, by itself.
The prototype firearm is a high-capacity revolver, but shockingly the BB gun holds only 6 rounds instead of the 8 promised in the model name. And the size of the BB gun is on the small side. I find the finger grooves are too close for comfort. Instead of an N-frame Smith, this seems like more of a K-frame gun. I find that confusing. Isn’t the whole purpose of the gun to hold 8 shots? But looking at the BB-gun cylinder I can see there isn’t enough metal for any more than 6 rounds, so I must assume that the cylinder on the firearm is larger than the one on the BB gun. But the BB gun is about one full inch longer than the firearm, which I attribute to the angle of the grip that houses the CO2 cartridge.
This revolver has a cylinder that swings out to the left side of the gun when the cylinder catch is pressed forward. And when it is pressed back, the safety is engaged. Once out of the frame, the ejection crane does not come all the way back to fully extract the cartridges from their chambers. It isn’t necessary, because the cartridges do not swell during firing the way firearm cases do. So you can simply tip the muzzle up and the cases will drop from the cylinder on their own.
The spring-loaded breech of the barrel is rounded to fit into the front of each chamber, which is the primary way the cylinder locks during firing. There is a locking bolt that engages the rear of the cylinder, as well, but it doesn’t lock very tightly. It is possible to turn the cylinder in either direction with the gun’s hammer down in the fired position.
There are six brass-bodied “cartridges” that hold one BB each, and they are used to load the gun. They are approximately the same size as a .357 Magnum cartridge, so you get the realism of handling ammo when you load the gun.
The gun comes with a speedloader to hold the cartridges and it will be used to rapidly load each cartridge by pressing all six cartridge “mouths” into a flat pellet tin filled with a layer of steel BBs. When the speedloader is inserted into the cylinder, a central release button is automatically depressed, releasing all six cartridges into the cylinder. Gravity will do the rest and the cylinder can be closed. You may need to practice this move several times to develop a feel for it, but once you do, it seems to work fine.
The sights are fiberoptic on the BB gun. While I don’t like fiberoptics in general on any gun, in this case they work because this isn’t a target gun. It is supposed to be a rapid-acquistion handgun, and these sights support that goal perfectly. All three green dots are bright in nearly any light. Your eye will pick them up quickly, and putting them in a row give you the sight picture you want. So, forget groups on paper targets and think of rolling soda cans. That’s what this gun was designed to do.
Besides the open sights, there’s a Picatinny rail located atop the frame and another under the muzzle. The gun was built for optical sights. I may try that after the conventional accuracy test.
The CO2 fits neatly inside the grip with nothing showing outside. Even the piercing screw is hidden, which is what most buyers say they want.
The gun fires in both the single-action and double-action modes. I’ll describe the trigger-pull in greater detail in Part 2, but for now let me say that, in single-action, it’s relatively crisp; and a single-stage pull in double-action is short and reasonably light.
This revolver is distributed by Umarex. It’s very realistic-looking, even to the matte finish that the firearm has. It will be an interesting gun to test.
by B.B. Pelletier
Well, it all came down to accuracy, and the Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol has it in buckets. However — and it’s a big one — the trigger is so hard to pull and it’s also double-action only that it creates a problem shooting the gun accurately. If this had a single-action trigger, I bet I could shoot half-inch groups with it — especially at 15 feet. But I’m getting ahead of the story.
The first BBs I used were the RWS BBs that I’ve mentioned in the past. They seem to group just as tightly as Daisy’s zinc-plated BBs, and I wanted to give them a chance in this pistol.
I started the test at 15 feet, and the nature of my range dictates a one-hand hold at that distance. I didn’t expect very much until seeing the BBs all go to the point of aim. However, I wasn’t able to hold the gun still enough to pull the trigger, which requires over 12 lbs. of effort, and still keep the pistol steady.
Since it shot so straight at the close distance, I decided to back up to 25 feet and try it. Normally, I don’t shoot BB pistols that far back, but at that distance I could use a barricade rest and this pistol might surprise me.
A barricade rest is a very steady hold for a handgun — especially an air pistol that doesn’t recoil. I grab onto the barricade, in this case a door jamb on my right side, with my left hand and rest my right (shooting) hand on top. Then, I lean into my hands to further steady myself. This eliminates the shakes and allows for a good arm’s-length sight picture.
The Mayhem trigger-pull is so heavy that, after the first group at 15 feet, I had to pull the trigger with my middle finger because my index finger was out of strength. The BBs also went slightly higher at 25 feet.
After this group, I reloaded the magazine with Daisy zinc-plated BBs for another try. My trigger finger was giving out at this point, so this was the last group I would be able to shoot with any accuracy.
This time, I gave it my best for 10n shots. From where I stood, every shot looked like a perfect release; but when I walked to the target, I saw that the group was more spread out. Ten shots went into 1.873 inches.
The Mayhem BB pistol has several things going for it. It gets an incredible number of shots per CO2 cartridge, yet the velocity remains high. The BB magazine is very easy to load and manage. Accuracy is also well ahead of many BB pistols.
On the down side, the sights aren’t adjustable. As we see from this test, it would have been nice if they were.
But the trigger is the biggest sticking point I had with this pistol. It’s double-action only, so there’s no possibility of relief from the excessive pull. I’m usually pretty neutral when it comes to triggers. I shoot so many airguns that I can adapt to just about anything. But this one is too much even for me. I know I could have shot better with a trigger-pull half as heavy or with a single-action pull.
by B.B. Pelletier
Announcement: Before we begin, I want to mention a correction I’ve made to the review of the Evanix Conquest. Apparently, the dual mag is not included with the gun. It was simply sent with the gun for testing. I’ve edited the review and noted the edits. The dual mags are available for purchase.
Today, we’ll look at the power and velocity of the Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol. As you recall, this pistol is double-action only (DAO), which means the trigger retracts the striker before firing. So, the trigger-pull will never change as you shoot. It’s always going to be heavier than a single-action trigger.
Don’t confuse single-action and double-action with single-stage and two-stage. They describe entirely different things. Single-stage triggers are those that have no movement when the gun is cocked. You just pull until the gun fires. Two-stage triggers have a lighter first stage that stops at stage two, which then should break or release crisply when the gun fires.
I always learn something from every test I conduct, and this time was no different. For the first time in my experience, I found a CO2-powered BB gun that needs a short break-in! I tested the gun with Daisy zinc-plated BBs. The initial shot went just 351 f.p.s., and I was stunned to see that it was 80 f.p.s. below the advertised velocity. But the next shot went 404 f.p.s., then the third went 373 and so on throughout the first 10 shots.
I saw a high of 429 f.p.s. around shot 10, but the average was far below that number. I reloaded the stick magazine and tried again!
The second time was similar to the first. Shot one went 399 f.p.s., and then the velocity dipped as low as 384 f.p.s. Shot six then went 423 f.p.s., which was the fastest shot in the second 10-shot string that averaged 407 f.p.s.
Then, the gun started performing better and better. The average of the third string was 427. String 4 averaged 421 and on and on until the 11th string averaged 408 f.p.s. That was the final string that made over 400, but there were still about 20 more usable shots left.
Yes, this pistol gave me over 130 shots on a CO2 cartridge! It was as close as I have come to cold fusion in quite a while. I almost had to break the velocity test into two parts because the testing was taking so long. Is that music to your ears? This is the ideal air pistol for those who lament the cost of buying CO2 cartridges.
The fastest recorded shot went 435 f.p.s., so the gun seems to be right on spec. I even got used to the DAO trigger and believe I can control it during the accuracy test.
The gun doesn’t seem to need much recovery time between shots to maintain its velocity. At times I was firing as fast as a shot every 5 seconds without hurting the velocity at all.
Yes, this pistol gave me over 130 shots on a CO2 cartridge! It was as close as I have come to cold fusion in quite a while. I almost had to break the velocity test into two parts because the testing was taking so long.
I said in Part 1 that the magazine looked to be easier to load than most stick mags — now I can say that with confidence. The follower locks down in place positively, yet a flick of the finger releases it after the magazine is loaded.
The safety on this pistol is located on the right side of the frame and is one that requires a forward push on the milled plate to unlock the safety lever, which then moves up and down. It’s a design that requires some thought to operate, but it completely disconnects the trigger from the striker, rendering the gun incapable of firing.
Made for a silencer
The Mayhem has deep roots in the world of airsoft. One of the ways you can tell is by examining the muzzle, which is threaded for a fake silencer. While it wouldn’t change the minimal report (the gun really isn’t very loud), it will probably appeal to many shooters. I don’t know that there’s an optional silencer for this handgun — yet; but if there’s enough demand, one probably could become available in the future.
This is the ideal air pistol for those who lament the cost of buying CO2 cartridges.
All things considered to this point, the Mayhem has a lot going for it — especially the gas economy! But at the price, it’s going to come down to accuracy.
by B.B. Pelletier
If you liked the Dan Wesson revolver we looked at a couple weeks ago, here’s another realistic airgun for you — the Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol. This one is a semiautomatic pistol style, and the owner’s manual says that it fires semiautomatically. Without a 12-gram CO2 cartridge installed, all I could feel was a double-action-only trigger-pull, because every pull of the trigger was obviously also cocking the internal striker. So I installed a cartridge to see if it really is semiautomatic once charged.
Not a semiautomatic
Indeed, this is not a semiautomatic! When you pull or squeeze the trigger, you’re also retracting the internal striker against a powerful spring. A true semiautomatic would cock this striker spring for you by the action of firing. In a firearm, the moving slide would push the external hammer back until the sear caught it and then all you would have to do is squeeze the trigger a little each time to release the sear. That is the definition of semiautomatic. The exposed hammer you see on the gun is a solid cast piece that doesn’t move, so the real striker (the correct name given to a weight that is internal and doesn’t pivot on an axis, but moves straight back and forth to impact the end of the valve stem) is inside the frame of the gun and hidden from view.
Some people insist that double-action-only applies to just revolvers, but that is incorrect. Glock sells only firearm pistols, but they label their triggers correctly as double-action-only. The Mayhem trigger is also DAO.
The Mayhem is very large and heavy. The grip feels wide — like the grip on a double-stack firearm pistol in which the cartridges in the magazine are offset to accommodate twice as many in the same magazine height.
The entire exterior of the pistol is metal except for the grip. That’s where the weight of 2.29 lbs. comes from.
The sights are the fiberoptic type that I usually criticize for their lack of precision, but this is a BB pistol and probably capable of shooting to the same precision as the sights can control. So, in this case, the sights match the capability of the gun very well. There are no adjustments for these sights. The front is a red tube that is largely unprotected from impact and the rear is a curved green tube that appears as two green dots.
The entire top of the pistol is a stylized Weaver rail that Pyramyd Air calls an optics rail. Under the muzzle, there’s also a short Picatinny rail for accessories like tactical flashlights. Weaver bases will attach to Picatinny rails, but not vice-versa.
Looking down on the top of the pistol, we see the stylistic “Weaver” sight rail that extends the length of the gun. It should accommodate standard Weaver bases, but it has non-typical scalloped notches instead of the usual square Weaver notches.
The whole plastic grip panel pulls back to expose the CO2 cartridge housing. Loading is quick and easy and the screw that tensions the CO2 cartridge does not show when the grip is forward.
The 19-shot BB magazine is a stick-type located in the front of the grip. It’s made of metal and better-made than 90 percent of the stick magazines I see in similar airguns. The spring-loaded follower pulls down and locks at the bottom so you can load the magazine with one hand. There’s a wide opening for loading the BBs. When you’re finished, push the base of the follower that protrudes through the bottom of the magazine, and it’ll unlock and spring forward to tension the BBs.
The slide doesn’t move on this gun, nor is there any blowback sensation. The trigger stacks toward the end of the pull, allowing you to control the gun for more precision. It isn’t as easy to control as a gun with a single-stage trigger, but you can learn to control this kind of trigger pretty quickly. I imagine a gun like this will be chiefly used for plinking at soda cans and targets of equal size, though I do plan to test it on bullseye targets.
The power is rated at 430 f.p.s. Since this is a steel BB gun, there can be no confusion about what that means. Only steel BBs will be used in the gun, so any that I try should go approximately that fast.
This is another air pistol that made the transition from airsoft. You can see that in several places, starting with the threaded muzzle that’s obviously meant for a silencer. A second clue are multiple references made in the owner’s manual, where the instructions refer to this as a “soft air” pistol.
There’s nothing wrong with transitioning from an airsoft gun, We saw that in the Dan Wesson revolver and liked it very much. But this pistol must stand on its own merit, so it’s going to be treated the same as all other BB pistols. As nice as it feels, I hope it does well!