Umarex Colt Peacemaker

Umarex Colt Peacemaker Shootout

BBs vs. Pellets in a Single Action face off

By Dennis Adler

One of the great things about the Umarex Colt Peacemakers is that they fit all SAA holsters. This rig was made for a 5-1/2 inch Colt chambered in .38 Colt. This is noteworthy because the BB and pellet cartridges fit the bullet loops perfectly. (Holster by Chisholm’s Trail Leather)

One of the great things about the Umarex Colt Peacemakers is that they fit all SAA holsters. This rig was made for a 5-1/2 inch Colt chambered in .38 Colt. This is noteworthy because the BB and pellet cartridges fit the bullet loops perfectly. (Holster by Chisholm’s Trail Leather)

The last time I did a “BBs vs. Pellets” comparison I didn’t exactly have a perfectly level playing field. Both guns were Umarex semi-auto designs (the Beretta 92 FS and 92A1) but the 92 FS used an 8-shot rotary pellet magazine while the 92A1 was a blowback action model with a self-contained BB and CO2 magazine. The guns had different operating systems and different average velocities. It was a coin toss decision. This time both guns are exactly the same, Umarex Colt Peacemakers with 5-1/2 inch barrels, the CO2 contained inside the grip frame, and the BBs and pellets loaded into individual cartridges. The only variances are the pellet gun’s rifled barrel vs. the BB model’s smoothbore, and the ammunition, Hornady Black Diamond 5.1 grain black anodized steel BBs and Meisterkugeln 7.0 grain Professional Line lead wadcutter pellets.

The real shootout

Both the pellet model (in the author’s left hand) and the BB model (blued gun) have nearly the identical balance in the hand as their .45 Colt counterparts. This adds to their ease of use and accuracy for those familiar with shooting Colt Single Actions.

Both the pellet model (in the author’s left hand) and the BB model (blued gun) have nearly the identical balance in the hand as their .45 Colt counterparts. This adds to their ease of use and accuracy for those familiar with shooting the Colt SAA.

In July of 1865, one of the greatest pistoleros of the American West, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok had his first public shootout in Springfield, Missouri. His adversary was a former Confederate soldier and gambler name David Tutt. The basis for their disagreement has been disputed over the years from something as simple as an argument over a woman, to Tutt winning a poker game with Hickok the night before the gunfight, where Wild Bill had forfeited along with all his cash a gold cased Waltham pocket watch. Hickok intended to purchase the watch back from Tutt and asked if he would be so kind as to not wear it in public. The gambler chose to ignore the request and told Wild Bill he would be wearing the watch the very next morning. Hickok looked at Tutt and said straight out, “If you do, I will shoot you, and I warn you not to come across the square with it on.”

As history records, Tutt did exactly that and the two men exchanged fire from a distance of approximately 75 paces. In the Old West, a pace was the distance covered in a normal step, and depending upon the individual, that was anywhere from 30 to 40 inches, so around 200 feet between Hickok, standing on the corner of South Street, to David Tutt’s location, standing across the town square at the corner of Campbell Street in front of the court house. Varying witness accounts say that both men drew and fired simultaneously, while another account has Hickok being faster but waiting for Tutt to fire first. He did, and he missed. Hickok rested an 1851 Navy revolver over his left arm to steady it and shot Tutt through the heart.

Taking a page from history the author fired the tests using the same technique as Wild Bill Hickok (in a long distance shootout), by resting the gun hand over the left wrist for added stability.

Taking a page from history the author fired using the same technique as Wild Bill Hickok (in a long distance shootout), by resting the gun hand over the left wrist for added stability.

He was later acquitted of manslaughter by a jury based on witness testamony that he had fired in self defense. Wild Bill Hickok emerged from the August 1865 trial with a reputation as a cool and deadly gunfighter. It has been called Wild Bill’s miracle shot. Others claimed he had been lucky. In 2009 I attempted to duplicate the shot using a 3rd Generation Colt 1851 Navy and firing at a man-sized cardboard silhouette target placed 200 feet downrange. I rested the cap-and-ball revolver over my left arm as Hickok had done in 1865 and fired. My spotter told me that my shot struck the 8 ring at 10 o’clock. I tried again and my second round hit the target in the 9 ring at 4 o’clock. With a deep breath and a lot of concentration my third and final shot landed squarely in the target where I had placed a Shoot-N-C bull’s eye over the heart. It took me 15 minutes to accomplish what Wild Bill did in a matter of moments. Hickok’s shot was neither miracle nor luck; it was simply the work of a confident and accomplished gunman.

So here we are seven years later and I figured if I could hit a target at 200 feet with a .36 caliber percussion revolver, I should be able to do the same at 25 feet with a CO2-powered Umarex Colt Peacemaker. So that is the basis for the following shootout between the smoothbore 5-1/2 inch BB model and rifled barrel 5-1/2 inch pellet model.

Lead, steel, and air 

The level playing field is the use of BB and pellet cartridges in both guns. The pellet guns use silver cartridges, the BB models, brass. They load from the rear of the shell where the primer goes.

The level playing field is the use of BB and pellet cartridges in both guns. The pellet guns use silver cartridges, the BB models, brass. They load from the rear where the primer goes.

As luck would have it (and in my case it was luck), my very first shot with the .177 caliber BB model Peacemaker hit the X in the lower right edge. After that it was a cat and mouse game to see if I could do better with the 4.5mm pellet model. I couldn’t. I did put one in the 10 ring cutting the X at 12 o’clock, but not as close as the BB model! In total shots (six for each gun) the pellet model had the closest grouping with four rounds stacking at the outer edge of the 10 ring, the one clipping the X at 12 o’clock, and one in the 10 ring at 11 o’clock.

With the target set out at 25 feet all six shots from each gun were under 2.25 inches with all but two (from the BB model) inside the 2-inch circumference of the 10 and X bull, with a total of four inside the X, three from the BB model (shown), one from the pellet version.

With the target set out at 25 feet all six shots from each gun were under 2.25 inches with all but two (from the BB model) inside the 2-inch circumference of the 10 and X bull. A total of four hit inside the X, three from the BB model (shown), one from the pellet version.

The BB model put two more in the X at either top edge, one in the 10 ring at 9 o’clock and two just outside the small Shoot-N-C bull’s eye at 3 o’clock. Overall, the BB and pellet models have great triggers, with a light 2 pound, 6 ounce trigger pull on the pellet model and 2 pound, 10 ounce trigger pull on the BB firing version. Average velocities were 375 fps and 390 fps, respectively. In the end, they both shoot about the same; not quite a draw, but unless you’re Wild Bill Hickok, close enough.

It’s a close call; the BB model had the most rounds in the X, while the pellet model had the closest groups by a fraction of an inch. If you like the sound of a pellet thwacking into target, it’s a little more rewarding than the BBs, and the pellet gun is more accurate at greater distances than the BB models. At 25 feet, however, it’s a coin toss once again.

It’s a close call; the BB model had the most rounds in the X, while the pellet model had the closest groups by a fraction of an inch. If you like the sound of a pellet thwacking into the target, it’s a little more rewarding than the BBs, and the pellet gun is more accurate at greater distances than the BB models. At 25 feet, however, it’s almost a coin toss once again.

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

25 thoughts on “Umarex Colt Peacemaker

  1. The accuracy has been similar with my revolvers . The bb version has been very accurate for a smooothbore. In fact before the pellet version , some were shooting pellets out of the bb version with very good accuracy, the pellets appearing to act like rifled slugs in a shotgun. The pellet version makes a better revolver for shooting at steel plates , but for punching paper either will suffice , and bbs are cheaper than pellets. By the way I don’t see the blue version of the bb revolver on Pyramid Air, has it been discontinued?


  2. I have a pair from around the same time . Happen to like the blued with poly ivory grips better. IMHO the Colt pellet revolver in nickel would have looked better with poly ivory Colt medallion grips. Dropping the standard blued version I believe is a mistake


  3. That was a great test. Now I will have to re-read your test of the Scofield NO. 3 to see which is the more accurate. I appreciate your excellent photography and research you do for these blogs.
    Thank you again
    Harvey


  4. The family tree will be getting bigger! See under new products section of Pyramid Air ,a 7 1/2 barrel Colt pellet Saa is shown . Will be in before the end of the month .I like me a revolver with some heft. she Picture shows nickel finish with dark grips , no medallions. Description says poly ivory. Any info on the actual grips? Hopefully 4 3/4 barrel will be coming.


    • Well, heft you will be getting, this is an authentic 7-1/2 inch barrel length Peacemaker, and it comes in weighing (on my scales) at 36 ounces. My Colt SAA 7-1/2 tips the scales at 40.5 ounces, so like the 5-1/2 inch .177 caliber Peacemaker, the 7-1/2 inch is just a little lighter than a comparable barrel length .45 Colt SAA. But for being an all alloy gun that’s not too bad, and it looks terrific. As for the grips, the guns will come with wood grained plastic grips and white grips will be available as an option.


      • will the grips be available as an after market version, or will they offer two different revolvers? I like the blued guns with wood more than the nickel revolvers, the only ones who seem to like wood grips on bright Peacemaker revolvers are the Italian cloners. For some reason they like overly red finished wood grips . I have a nickel plated toothbrush with stag grips!


      • I see Pyramid is now listing two versions of the 7 1/2 inch barrel, the poly Ivory version goes for $20 more than the wood stocked version, stated to be available 10/24/16. No mention of grips alone being available.


        • This appears to be the way it will be done for now since there is time to order a gun with either wood grain or white grips, rather than having to purchase the gun with wood grained grips and then buy another set of grips for it. Some folks will want wood grained grips. No blued version in the mix yet, in case you were wondering.


          • Will go for the nickel with ivory grips. Umarex should think about offering optional after market grips .Not any other options for grips out there for Peacemakers.



      • Well my nickel with ivory grips revolver arrived today . I was a little surprised that it came in a box showing the wood grips .I usually store the extra shells under the box liner. When I went to place the shells in out slid a pair of wood grips.That explains the price difference.It appears that the revolvers are shipped from the factory with the wood grips and the ivory grips are an aftermarket option.One the bb versions there was no price difference for ivory grips, the revolvers came with only one pair of grips. The price is reasonable and hopefully ivory and wood type grips as well as others will be available down the trail.With either grip style it is one fine looking handgun. You were right it does have some heft!


  5. The guns will only come with the wood finished grips, the white grips will be offered as a separate item. No blued version is planned, just nickel, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a hand engraved 7-1/2 inch down the road.




    • Will be interesting to see if the longerbarrel picks up some significant velocity. Would like to see over 400fps . That being said even at 375- 380 fps they pack some wallop . Saw a video on YouTube of a guy killing rattlesnakes up close with head shots.


  6. I received my 7.5 in her, NRA special yesterday. I’m very pleased with it so far. I have not had a chance to test accuracy yet but point ability is outstanding. Pick a target, point the gun, hit.
    The gun’s fit and finish is very good. Adding a little sewing machine grease, applied with a toothpick,to the cylinder ratchet smoothed out the action nicely.


    • I think you and everyone who purchases a 7-1/2 inch model is going to be pleased. This is the best looking Colt air pistol yet, especially if you are a big fan of the loner barreled Colts as I am. The action on my test sample seems to run smoothly. Never tried sewing machine grease, I try to use only the recommended lubricants for airguns just to be sure there is no migration of any product that could potentially damage the seals. Enjoy your 7-1/2 incher!


  7. I got the nickel pellet version and am very impressed with the overall quality. Mine shot low out of the box (and it is a BOX thankfully), but once the gun let me know what it liked I adjusted my POA and it has proven to be very accurate. I’m not using any fancy pellets, just RWS Basics and Excite Plinkers. Both are great in this pistol. About one inch groups at 20 feet in my garage range, not bad for these old eyes. Wonderful trigger, all the correct clicking sounds, and wow, the look! Yikes, almost as good as your picture shooting it! Thanks for a great review.


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