The Cody Thunderbird revolver: The face of innovation

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

• History
• Design
• Innovation
• Sights
• Disassembly
• Safety
• Flaws
• Summary

Thunderbird revolver
The Cody Thunderbird revolver was produced at the end of the 1950s.

Want a look behind the scenes at what it’s like to write a blog? Yesterday, for example, I was about to test the Webley Rebel for accuracy, when everything fell apart. I will explain what happened when I do the report on the Rebel, but suffice to say I wasted 90 minutes fiddling around and getting nowhere.

That’s when I punt. I’d been wanting to cover the Cody Thunderbird revolver for a long time, so here it goes!

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S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


S&W 327 TRR8 is an exciting new BB revolver.

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.

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S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


S&W 327 TRR8 is an exciting new BB revolver.

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.

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S&W 327 TRR8 BB revolver: Part 1

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.

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Smith & Wesson pellet revolver: Part 3

by B.B.Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

S&W 586 revolver is impressive!

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the S&W 586 pellet revolver. My memory of this revolver dates to several years ago, and I had been shooting five-shot groups for accuracy back then; but for today’s test, I shot 10-shot groups. Given the nine different pellets I tried, and a couple of them twice, I shot well over 100 rounds in this test.

I shot so many shots because I was looking for a good pellet. Most of the pellets were giving group sizes of around two inches, and I knew the gun was capable of better than that. So, I hung in there until I discovered two pellets that did relatively well. All shooting was done at 10 meters with a two-hand rested hold. My ability to hold a handgun with one hand has diminished in the past several years, and I didn’t want that to influence the outcome of this test.

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Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver is a classic for airgunners who like shooting pellet pistols.

Let’s look at the velocity of our Smith & Wesson 586 with the 6-inch barrel. But before I get to that, let’s first look at the trigger-pull.


Here’s the revolver with the cylinder open. It’s easier to remove the circular clip from the crane and load it separately than to load it while it’s still in the gun like this.

This test gun has the most variable trigger I’ve tested recently. In the double-action mode, it breaks between 8 lbs., 10 oz. and 9 lbs., 6 oz. In single-action mode, it broke somewhere between 5 lbs., 1 oz. and 6 lbs., 10 oz. That’s a broad range in either mode, yet when I hold the gun and pull the trigger normally I can’t feel the difference. So forget what the numbers say — the trigger feels remarkably stable and even light!

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Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Smith & Wesson 586 pellet revolver is a classic for airgunners who like shooting pellet pistols.

I’m starting a report on a classic air pistol. It’s one that is so well designed that it has caused a stir in the firearms community. I’m looking at Smith & Wesson’s 586 revolver. The 586 exists in S&W’s line as a .357 Magnum revolver, along with its stainless cousin, the 686. The pellet gun also comes in both black and silver finishes, and the silver finish is named the 686, just like the firearm. Both guns are .177-caliber pellet guns with rifled barrels. No other calibers are available.

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