by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

The Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver with the 8-inch barrel is a large and impressive all-metal airgun.

There’s no question that there’s a LOT of interest in this Dan Wesson revolver! The response we got from readers was enormous, plus Pyramyd Air reports the same level of interest from their customers. I’m always glad to be able to report on an airgun everyone likes, so this is getting exciting.

If you now go to the Dan Wesson page on the website, you’ll see three additional barrel lengths and two silver-finished guns. So, your choices are many. And if you decide to buy one, check out that “Click to save $8.00 more!” button, because Pyramyd Air has put together a great bundle of necessary stuff to accompany the gun.

I also happen to like the gun, as well as the whole Dan Wesson pistol pac concept. In fact, when Edith, who was unaware of the Dan Wesson history, saw the pistol pac in Part 1 of of this report, she had the same reaction as many readers. She agrees with me that this idea of a gun with many personalities is too good to let pass.

Good ideas
Some of you have wondered where I get all my ideas for airguns and new products like the UTG drooper scope mount base for older RWS Diana spring guns. Well, this is how it happens. I see something that was a great idea in the past, and I know it would be received the same way today; but the people making decisions in the airgun industry are not aware of what has gone before, so all I have to do is modernize the idea and take it to them. However, there’s a potential problem.

Take the Dan Wesson pistol pac idea as an example. When Dan Wesson designed it back in the 1960s, they did it the right way, so the customer would have a properly adjusted gun if he followed their directions and used all their tools when changing his barrels. Fast-forward to the Chinese breakbarrel rifles that have recently been made with interchangable barrels, but in the cheapest possible way. By their design, these rifles are doomed to failure, because they’re not good guns to begin with and their barrel-changing process is not fully engineered — at least not to the same extent that Dan Wesson engineered it.

So, as you can see, a good idea can be executed poorly and doom the outcome from the start. Dan Wesson did it the right way; and as a result, we remember them and desire their products. I have a related story to tell you about a Desert Eagle Magnum pistol, but that will have to wait for another day. Today is velocity day for the Dan Wesson revolver, so let’s get started!

The first task is to charge the revolver with a CO2 cartridge. Of course, the tip of every new cartridge gets a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil to keep the inner seals fresh and sealing.

To load the cartridge, pull the grip panel straight back. It comes back and at the last instant flips up out of the way. The website doesn’t show this, so I took a picture to let you see how it works.

Pull the grip panel straight back, and it will flip up to expose the CO2 cartridge housing like this.

Loading BBs
Remember that speedloader I criticized in Part 1? A reader was kind enough to point out how it worked, and when I went to the owner’s manual I found that it’s addressed there, as well. It does work exactly as it should. When I told Mac what a mistake I’d made, he told me that he once bought a speedloader for a .357 revolver and for a year and a half had the same problem. He probably didn’t, but that’s what good friends do — they keep you from feeling like the dufus you really are.

I tell you this because the speedloader is an important part of loading the BBs. Oh, I’m sure you could load them singly and everything would still work just fine, but the manual wants you to put the empty cartridges in the speedloader first, then snug them down and load them that way. Since I was the one who lead you wrong, allow me to show you.

Insert six cartridges base-down into the speedloader. Notice that the speedloader spring is relaxed.

Push in on the back of the speedloader and twist to the right. You’ll hear a click — and the cartridges are locked in the loader.

Load a BB into the mouth of each cartridge. You have to push in the BB until it’s captured by the synthetic lip of the cartridge.

Insert the speedloader into the rear of the cylinder. When it gets to this point, it will push the cartridges forward into the cylinder with a click.

This is a unique way of loading BBs into a revolver. I’ve done something similar with an airsoft revolver years ago, but never before with steel BBs. I like the realism, and it compliments the realistic look and feel of this revolver. I think it helps make the Dan Wesson a winner!

I first tested the gun with Daisy zinc-plated BBs. They averaged 466 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 462 to a high of 470 f.p.s. That’s pretty tight. There was also no difference in speed between single-action and double-action. When the cartridges were ejected they were oily, so the Pellgunoil is moving through the valve as it is supposed to.

Crosman Copperhead BBs were next, and they didn’t do as well. They averaged 456 f.p.s., but the spread was much larger — from 445 to 471 f.p.s. That’s still pretty good, but not when compared to the Daisy BBs. Like the Daisys, the Copperheads were just as fast in single-action as in double-action.

The revolver is rated at 426 f.p.s.; and as you can see, this one is faster. So, it’s met and exceeded the advertised specification for velocity. I do want to caution all readers that a steel BB going over 450 f.p.s. is very prone to rebound from a hard surface. Wear safety glasses every time you operate this BB gun and make sure everyone in the area does the same.

So far
Well, I love the revolver thus far. If it also turns out to be accurate I’m thinking of making it one of my personal picks. I don’t do that for many airguns, but this one will have earned a spot if it can shoot a decent group.