Posts Tagged ‘Umarex Python .357 CO2 BB revolver’
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report addresses:
• Sighting in.
• Corrections to the manual.
• Accuracy at 16 feet, 4 inches (5 meters).
• Accuracy at 25 feet.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Here’s our second look at what’s new in airguns for 2014. Last February, while I was having dinner with Hans Wonish of Umarex, he told me about the upcoming Broomhandle Mauser I’m now testing. After we discussed that for a bit, Herr Wonish asked me if there were any other handgun models that I though might be well-received by airgunners. Several crossed my mind, but the one that really stuck out was the Colt Python! This year, I saw that revolver in the Umarex booth!
BB gun shooters are going to love the new Colt Python .357 from Umarex. It uses real shells to hold the BBs!
Another new rifle from Umarex is going to have a lot of hunters excited because it offers something they’ve been requesting for a long time. The new Umarex Fuel breakbarrel spring rifle (with Reaxis gas piston and SilenceAir technology) has a bipod built right into the stock! That’s right — there’s nothing more to buy. Just pull the legs apart and rotate them down to make a solid field stand. Or flip them back up, and they’re just part of the stock.
Built-in bipod makes the Fuel spring rifle stand out — and up!
When not needed, the Fuel’s bipod folds neatly back into the stock.
Edith and I went snooping over in the German pavilion. In the Diana booth we saw a gun that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. yet. It’s the 340 N-TEC Premium, a breakbarrel Diana with a nice silencer on the muzzle and a beautiful walnut stock with deep checkering. That’s all pretty usual fare for Diana, except this rifle has something new. A gas spring that’s 100 percent German made!
The Diana 340 N-TEC Premium is German’s first rifle to have a German-built gas spring.
We’re fortunate to have Herr Michael Mayer (of Mayer and Grammelspacher — the owners of Diana) show the gun to us. He was justifiably proud of the craftsmanship of this beautiful rifle and told us we may start seeing them in the U.S. by June of this year.
AirForce Escape nets big sales on first day!
Remember the Escape rifles I showed you 2 days ago? Well, AirForce sold their entire first 3 months of production on the first day of the show! The reception was overwhelming for this rifle; and like I predicted, people who aren’t traditional airgunners were buying them, too!
Remington gets back into airguns
They haven’t made airguns since 1929, but Remington Arms is revitalizing their airgun selection in 2014. Leading the effort is Dani Navickas, the lady who served many of us at the old Beeman organization for so many years. She has spent a lot of time teaching the Remington staff about the airgun market, and it looks like it will pay off this year.
The first offerings are guns made in China, but don’t make a face. When I saw them, I was shocked. The quality looks as good as anything that comes from Europe these days. Each model is patterned after a popular Remington firearm, and the guns should be available to the U.S. market by early summer.
The Remington Express and Express Compact are 2 new air rifles from Remington. They say I can test an Express very soon!
Reminton also has a neat 1911A1 BB pistol. It has blowback and can fully disassemble like the firearm. I’ll test that one as soon as possible!
New Remington BB pistol has blowback and offers full disassembly. The grip safety really works!
Another new product from Remington are some great field targets with features I haven’t seen before. They offer killzone reducers that are permanently attached and just flip in and out of position! And some of them are resettable with a second shot — ending the need for long cords that can tangle and break.
Killzone reducers simply flip in and out of place! And reset the target with a hit on the bottom paddle!
With Dani at the helm, we can count on Remington to enter the airgun world in the right way. I hope they realize how fortunate they were to get her to lead their efforts!