Carry and first shooting test
By Dennis Adler
In terms of modern revolvers, modern meaning the last half century since revolvers date back more than 180 years, the 4-inch barrel length double action is today’s equivalent of the Old West 4-3/4 and 5-1/2 inch barrel length Single Actions. These were the barrel lengths often chosen by lawmen and a considerable number of outlaws because of the ease and swiftness of draw and reasonable accuracy at moderate distances. For longer ranges the 7-1/2 inch barrel was most always preferable, as it was for military (Cavalry) issue in the 19th century. Today, a 4-inch double action revolver is less common in general use than a snub nose (2-1/2 inch barrel length) but is no less desirable for carry and self defense. Until the overwhelming popularity of semiautomatic pistols overtook wheelguns in law enforcement, the 4-inch revolver was a staple of police and law enforcement, most notably the famous.38 Special Colt Police Positive. Later lawmen shifted to the Colt Python, and various S&W revolvers before the resurrection of the 1911 as a preferred carry gun in the latter 20th century, and the development of even more efficient semi-auto designs, beginning in the late 1980s and continuing to the present day. Even still, there is no shortage of 21st century double action revolvers in every imaginable barrel length; even Colt is back in the double action revolver business.
The ASG Dan Wesson
The 4-inch model, as noted in Part 1 of this article, is an ideally balanced handgun for a variety of shooting regimens including practicing holster carry, loading and reloading, and fine tuning trigger skills firing both double action and single action. The ASG model offers all of the advantages of practicing with a centerfire model at a mere fraction of the cost and in terms of authenticity it has no equal among CO2 models.
As shown in the photos, the Dan Wesson holsters well in the Galco DAO Dual Action Outdoorsman holster, as well as in a tactical vest holster. The under barrel rail allows the quick attachment of a laser sight (the same feature that makes the S&W Performance Center R8 desirable with some law enforcement SRTs that choose to have members carry a large caliber revolver), and that will also be a part of evaluating the ASG Dan Wesson Model 715.
In overall dimensions the 4-inch Model 715 has a length of 9.7 inches, maximum height of 6 inches (base of grips to top of rear sight), a width of 1.25 inches at the cylinder, carry weight of 38 ounces (empty), a 4-inch external barrel length with an internal .177 caliber smoothbore barrel recessed 0.5 inches from the muzzle, for an actual length of 3.5 inches (including the floating forcing cone). In comparison, the Dan Wesson Model 715 with the 4-inch barrel mounted has an overall length of 9.5 inches, height of 5.75 inches, width of 1.5 inches and carry weight (empty) of 47 ounces, making the CO2 model a little lighter in the hand, slightly longer in the grip frame, and almost the same overall length. As air pistols go, it’s a darned close match up.
Open sights, 21 feet
Today’s shooting test will be at 21 feet using Umarex .177 caliber steel BBs and my sighting targets. All shots will be fired double action (staging the hammer), using a Weaver stance and a two-handed hold.
Double action trigger pull on the test gun averaged 9 pounds, 6.5 ounces, which is in the ballpark for a double action revolver. Single action trigger pull averaged 5 pounds, 8.0 ounces. Take up fired double action is 0.75 inches, 0.187 inches single action. The trigger is heavy but consistently stages the hammer for double action accuracy. A straight DA trigger pull hangs slightly at the point where the cylinder locks into battery, which is why this one staged the hammer so cleanly from shot to shot. This, however, is not necessarily a good characteristic for the trigger. Single action is heavy at over 5 pounds but there is no creep and the short take up makes for a clean break. Average velocity with the Umarex steel BBs was 341 fps.
Not a tack driver like the rifled barrel pellet model, the smoothbore is not bad delivering two 6-round groups at an average of 0.875 inches. The rear sight was dialed all the way down for elevation and had a one click adjustment left. I was shooting a little low but left the elevation alone to see how it shot out of the box. The 4-inch BB model can deliver sub 1-inch groups at 21 feet.
Saturday in the Part 3 conclusion, I will add a laser under the barrel and see if accuracy can be dialed in a little tighter, and then the 4-inch Dan Wesson goes one-on-one with the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8 at 21 feet to see which of the tactical rail revolvers is the most accurate.