Laser shooting test
By Dennis Adler
The pellet cartridge loading model of the ASG Dan Wesson Model 715 with 4-inch barrel is hard to upstage, however, the high polish blued (steel grey) BB model seems to be running a close second with accuracy at 21 feet under 1-inch. To improve upon this performance I am fitting a Walther Night Force LED tactical flashlight and red laser combo to the 4-inch model. This is a full-sized light/laser unit that is well suited to the length of the Dan Wesson’s under barrel rail section. Smaller tactical light/laser combinations usually have On/Off paddles that extend in front of the pistol’s triggerguard, and these are better suited for semi-autos with longer rails. The Walther Night Force uses a large, single On/Off switch at the back of the housing and has an integral push-button release Weaver/Picatinny spring-tensioned mount. Although not needed for this test, the Walther’s tactical light has six white LED lights surrounding the central 5mw Class IIIA red laser. These project a fairly wide beam of light downrange that is good for about 15 to 25 yards, depending upon ambient lighting. For my test on the indoor range I only used the red laser which brilliantly painted the bullseye on a Birchwood-Casey Shoot-N-C target at 21 feet.
21 feet downrange
With the Night Force mounted to the Model 715’s rail, it took only a few rounds to adjust the elevation and windage for the test distance. The unit adds 5.58 ounces to the end of the barrel, which makes the gun a little nose heavy and alters its otherwise excellent balance in the hand. The weight of the Night Force is due, in part, to using three AAA batteries, which are heavier than the single (or double) lithium batteries used in most tactical light/laser combinations. The 3.75 inch overall length also places the On/Off selector switch on the back of the housing far enough forward on the Dan Wesson’s rail that it has to be activated by the support hand index finger (reaching forward with a two-handed hold, the back side of the finger can easily depress the switch). The unit sits too far forward on the revolver’s short rail section to reach with the trigger finger, and the switch is only on the right side. Being left handed would definitely offer an advantage in this case. Nevertheless, it is easy enough to handle. The first press of the switch turns on the red laser, a second press turns off the laser and activates the six LED bulbs which send a fairly broad, though not intense (only 36 lumens), bluish colored light downrange, a third push adds the laser back into the mix, and another turns everything off. For around $60 it is a fairly versatile light/laser combination that will work with a variety of handguns, and is probably the best option for adding a laser sight to the 4-inch Dan Wesson.
My first target gave me six shots at 0.93 inches, just a little wider than with the open sights but overall shots were closer together with two pairs almost overlapping. I also ended up shooting a little high, so another minor adjustment of the sight was done before target number 2. That target gave me a best six rounds at 0.875 inches with three shots in the bullseye, the same spread as the best groups with open sights. Even with the laser sight the Dan Wesson can’t outdo itself. Not a bad thing, sub 1-inch groups offhand at 21 feet with a 4-inch barrel length (actually 3.5 inch) BB pistol is pretty good. How will it stand up against the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8, (with the same Walther Night Force laser and open sights), is what we will find out next Tuesday.