Dan Wesson Signature Series 8-inch Revolver

Dan Wesson Signature Series 8-inch Revolver

10 Meter test of the long barrel BB model Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

This is one of those situations where you can have your cake and eat it too (though I’ve never really understood what that means unless you buy two cakes), but the Dan Wesson smoothbore can shoot the same pellet loading cartridges as the rifled barrel models. The rear loading pellet rounds (shown) come in a set of 25 so you can have plenty on hand. The bad news is that they won’t work in the speed loader that comes with the front loading BB and pellet cartridges.

Shades of the Crosman Remington Model 1875, another dual caliber revolver is born. Well, maybe not born, just adapted to multi-cartridge use. Any smoothbore BB cartridge firing revolver, where a compatible (correctly sized) pellet loading cartridge is available, can shoot pellets. The smoothbore is just fine for pellets, other than it doesn’t provide rifling for greater accuracy at longer distances. Since the latest Dan Wesson 8-inch BB model has a companion rifled barrel pellet version (in an all black finish), they can both shoot the same pellet cartridges.

The silver smoothbore 8-inch model is a good looking revolver. It is authentic in design to the Dan Wesson Model 15-2 with the exception of using the S&W-style cylinder latch. The DW has an excellent adjustable rear sight. The combo package with BB and pellet shells also comes with two sets of grips, the wood grain pebble finish and black (not shown). It comes with one speed loader, six front loading BB cartridges and six rear-loading pellet rounds.

As we have proven with the Crosman Remington Model 1875 and the smoothbore Webley MK VI Service Model, the guns do quite well with pellets at 21 feet and a fairly good job at 10 meters with their respective barrel lengths. The Dan Wesson Signature Series 8-inch smoothbore has the added advantage of a much longer barrel, so my expectations for 10 meter accuracy firing newer rear-loading pellet rounds (as opposed to the standard two-piece pellet cartridges that come with the DW rifled barrel models) is quite high. Furthermore, the Dan Wesson comes with a rear tactical rail that replaces the rear sight (a tool is included for removing the rear sight and mounting the 3.375 inch long rail). This allows adding any type of dot scope or optics to the Dan Wesson. A good optic can dial this long barrel sixgun into tack driving status.

The windage and elevation adjustable rear sight on the Dan Wesson 8-inch model was almost right on target at 10 meters using 4.5mm pellets. It was shooting just about an inch high and easy to correct with aim. Note the wide rear sight notch.

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I am going to test the DW with its standard adjustable rear sight, and then with a C-More STS optical sight. This is the same sight used on centerfire and rimfire competition pistols. There are less expensive optical sights just for CO2 pistols, but I want to keep this gun streamlined with the smallest possible optic. It is also convenient as I use the same C-More sight on small caliber rifles and centerfire target pistols. If you shoot both centerfire and CO2 pistols, then having a competition level sight like the C-More is an asset since it works as well with airguns and improves proficiency by using the same optic on all your pistols.

10 Meters open sights

There is one unfortunate caveat when using the rear-loading pellet shells in place of the front loading ones that come with the rifled barrel models, the rims are not the same depth and they will not work in the speed loader, so you have to reload the old fashioned way. On the plus side, since they are rear loading pellet cartridges, you can reload them in the cylinder.

Nothing is perfect and the faster to load rear-loading pellet shells have a different rim thickness than the BB or front loading pellet shells and will not lock down in the Dan Wesson speed loader. On the other hand, you can load the empty pellet cartridges in the cylinder! So, maybe a fair trade off.
Target alignment with the Dan Wesson’s sights is a snap with the wide notch and bright red front dot in the middle of the ramped front blade.

For the 10-meter test I began with the pellet loading shells packing Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 grain lead wadcutters. Average velocity for the lead wadcutters from the DW’s 8-inch barrel was 389 fps with a high of 412 fps and a low of 377 fps. Using the open sights, which were just a little high, and firing single action, I managed a 6-round group shooting offhand from a Weaver stance of 1.0 inches.

Using National 10 Meter Pistol Targets my second best result with Meisterkugeln 7.0 grain lead wadcutters at 10 meters measured an even 1.0 inches for six shots. I did have three of the six in one long rip between 12 and 1 o’clock.

I decided to leave the sights as they were since windage was good and the hold under was just an inch. Shooting at one of my sighting targets I was able to tighten up my 6-shot group to 0.75 inches. For a smoothbore at 10 meters, the Dan Wesson 8-inch model definitely brought its “A” game.

My best 6-shot group at 10 meters using my own sighting targets put the shots inside of 0.75 inches. Remember, this is a smoothbore barrel at 10 meters. Not too shabby. Next week we’ll switch to optics and see about some 0.5 inch groups.

Next week we will conclude with a 10-meter test using lighter-weight alloy pellets for higher velocity and the C-More sight to dial in the best possible accuracy from this long barreled Dan Wesson smoothbore.

1 thought on “Dan Wesson Signature Series 8-inch Revolver”

  1. I am not a fan of the Airgun revolver speedloaders I For years I have used hks speed loaders for my Colt and S&W da revolvers. The ones I have for Colt or S&W medium frames work with the rear loading pellet cartridges. The Dan Wesson sights put the UmarexPython to shame

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