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Education / Training Smith & Wesson M&P R8 BB revolver: Part 3

Smith & Wesson M&P R8 BB revolver: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos and test by Earl (Mac) McDonald, unless otherwise indicated

Part 1
Part 2

S&W M&P R8 BB revolver. Photo provided by Pyramyd AIR.

Today we look at the accuracy the S&W M&P R8 BB revolver offers. Because this is a BB revolver Mac tested it at 15 feet, but he also tested it at 25 feet as well. So we’ll get a look at what is considered to be a long distance for any BB pistol.

Oddly, Mac found the revolver more accurate when fired double-action and timed-fire. Timed fire means he got off all eight shots in about 20 seconds. It gets its name from a type of handgun shooting in which the competitors are given a certain amount of time to fire all their shots. So perhaps it is best understood as deliberate aimed fire, rather than slow aimed fire.

There was some question last time as to whether the velocity reported was obtained from single-action or double-action fire. Mac says it doesn’t matter because both ways produce the same results. The hammer on double-action releases at the exact same place as it does single-action, so the only real advantage is that in single-action you can slow down. However, that brings up a second controversy.

Several readers wondered about the high number of shots from a single cartridge. Mac advises that he charged the pistol twice and got the same results, so it isn’t s fluke. It really does get 120 good shots per cartridge, as long as the shooting is deliberate.

Many of you commented that the single-action trigger pull seemed very heavy, and at over nine pounds I guess it is. Mac says it doesn’t feel that heavy when you are shooting, but he does admit that the single-action pull is a bit stiff. He thinks that may be linked in some way to this action that is different than most other BB pistols he’s tried.

He felt the light weight of the gun did not hinder him while shooting, but adds that if he were keeping it, he would find ways to increase the weight. Putting lead in the cavities in the grip is one way to do this, and adding accessories is another.

During all the testing Mac used Daisy zinc-plated BBs.

From 15 feet Mac got an eight-shot group that measured 1.2-inches between centers. He shot this group single-action, using Daisy zinc-plated BBs.

The accessory rail under the barrel of the S&W M&P R8 revolver is the perfect place for a compact laser. At BB-gun distances, the dot would be easy to see. Also, Mac feels the extra weight would be nice.

Next he moved back to 25 feet and tried again. This time he tried it in both the single-action and double-action modes.

Shouting single-action the best Mac did was this two-inch group at 25 feet.

When he switched to double action at 25 feet the group tightened to this 1.85-inch size.

One more observation
Mac also noticed that one of the chambers in the plastic BB clip seemed loose. He noticed that there was always one or more fliers in his groups and he thinks this may be the reason why.

Mac feels there is a lot to like in the S&W M&P R8 BB revolver. He likes the realism and the large number of shots he gets from a single CO2 cartridge. For the price he thinks it’s a pretty good buy.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

33 thoughts on “Smith & Wesson M&P R8 BB revolver: Part 3”

  1. I can’t take much more of this.

    Just recently I’m told that E=MC squared is a fallacy.

    Now I’m told there’s a pistol that is more accurate fired double action than single action.

    My little world had a crack and now it’s crumbling. I’m going to bed and hope that the sun comes up and all men are still walking on two legs.


  2. Hi BB,
    I looked for you at the Market Hall gun show in Dallas this weekend. If you were set up there I just missed you. I had a good time. I picked up a .177 Winchester 250 (Diana 45) and a .177 Beeman R-1 with a Beeman MS-1 4×18 Blue Ribbon scope. I have never seen or heard of that little scope before. It’s about 7″ long and uses standard rings. It does not have AO. I have not played with it yet to see what distance the parallex is set for. Both guns are really clean. I had never shot a Diana 45 before but the trigger feels great on this one.

    I hope you had a good Thanksgiving,

    David Enoch

      • B.B.,

        Thank you.

        Does anyone else have a site address where they share reloading info? Specifically I’m looking for pet, soft but accurate loads that work in a .22-250 with a 1:14 twist barrel.


        • Kevin,

          I don’t load for that caliber. For the ones I do reload, I start with the low side of any similar recipes that I find at the powder and/or the bullet mfg’s site and work up from there. A lot of them have info available on line. Like Hodgdon and Vihtavouri both publish recipes. Searching and finding the sweet one for your own particular gun is the fun part!


          • /Dave,

            I would agree with you if I still had my reloading equipment. Gave it to a friend almost 30 years ago. I’m relying on the kindness of a local shooter that reloads to cook up a few loads. Don’t want to take advantage of his generosity and turn this into a major, lengthy experiment. Based on my little bit of shooting factory loads in this gun I think a bullet around 50 gr is where I need to be. Hoping for better info than just a guess based on my limited shooting of this gun with limited ammo.


            • Kevin,

              Good to hear you respecting what’s involved with your friend loading for you. Your friend is lucky in that respect. But there really isn’t gonna be a shortcut for this, as I am trying to find a load for a friend who asked me to load some for his .223. I bought him 100 rounds of factory ammo and made him promise to take me away from my work and projects to help him shoot his ammo!! The hardest part I think was deciding on the powder. I meant to call my uncle today with your question but things got hectic. Will try tomorrow, as he shoots 22-250 and reloads for it.


  3. A gun like this, you should be able to set up in a Ransom Rest. You ever considered getting one? A have seen GOOD shooters get better groups with the same gun, as a Ransom Rest. But they are a handy tool for mere-human shooters.

    This gun may be capable of really good groups.

  4. Ooh! I just thought of something!

    Is it possible to stick .177 pellets in the chambers and not have any interference with operation? You’ve have a pellet-shooting smoothbore, but the “squishiness” of the lead pellets may mean less tight vs. loose chamber problems.

      • I would try it but then you know me by now….. I put .22 pellets and .22 primed brass in my Single-Six and in fact it DID jam the gun.

        I think as long as the pellets don’t project past the chamber face it should work OK?

        I don’t think it would occur to the manufacturer to tout it, after all, it’s a smoothbore.

  5. For those balking at the 9 pound trigger, revolver legend Jerry Miculek shoots one with a 10 pound trigger (DA) so that it doesn’t outrun his very powerful trigger finger.

    Say, here’s a seemingly simple but rather aggravating little puzzle. For IPSC events, what in the world is that little device that some guy is holding up behind the shooter and running around with him so as to keep it on target? I think we also saw this in a video that B.B. posted about some world-class Chinese shooter running an IPSC type course, so this device seems essential. If I were a shooter, I think I would be irritated. It can’t be a stopwatch since there would be no reason to hold it up and no reason to chase the shooter. It can’t be a little camera since you would be getting a better picture by following the shooter from a stable position. I’m completely flummoxed.

    Happy Cyber Monday. I hope PA cleans up. At least nobody can pepper spray you through a computer screen.


  6. The BB pistol is both fun and inexpensive to shoot. It is an exact duplicate of the real gun. In my opinion it is a gun for plinking at cans, not for serious target shooting. It just doesn’t have the accuracy, anything beyond 30′ you would be missing the target quite a bit. That is probably the only negative in my opinion is accuracy. But at the price it sells for it is hard to expect that.

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