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CO2 Winchester model 11 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol: Part 2

Winchester model 11 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

NOTE: While I’ve been calling this a 16-shot gun, the owner’s manual and Pyramyd Air’s website state that it’s a 15-shot BB gun. I could easily get 16 shots into the mag. Edith informs me that it’s not uncommon for more shots to be loaded in airgun mags and that manufacturers sometimes understate the max rounds you can load.

Part 1

Winchester 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol
The Winchester semiautomatic BB pistol is an attractive M1911A1-style BB pistol.

Today is the day we look at the velocity of this Winchester 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol. In Part 1, I looked at the design and noted that this is a realistic BB pistol with some of the controls of the firerarm it copies, but there are differences, as well. The two-hand requirement for the safety was a concern, as were the large number of words printed on both sides of the gun. But the heft and feel were about right. As I told you in Part 1, this gun has blowback, which means that on each shot the slide is blown to the rear by the force of CO2 gas. That cocks the hammer and readies the pistol for the next shot. The inertia of the slide imparts a feeling of recoil than many shooters like, including me.

Blowback allows the slide to cock the hammer automatically, making this BB pistol function like a true semiautomatic handgun. Since the slide cocks the hammer, every shot is single-action, which allows the trigger to be as light and crisp as possible. The cost is that some of the CO2 gas must be used to move the slide, and that subtracts from what is available to shoot BBs. But clever designers can offset this by lowering the velocity of the gun and by minimizing the amount of gas needed to move the slide.

Today’s test will focus on two performance variables — velocity and the number of shots that are available from a 12-gram CO2 cartridge. I’ll make an observation here. Do you remember that I showed you the unique way this pistol pierces its CO2 cartridge? I noticed that there was no hiss of gas when the cartridge was pierced. It may be that this pistol pierces its cartridges more efficiently than most other gas guns and therefore conserves some gas. We shall see in today’s test.

Winchester rates the pistol at 410 f.p.s. That’s on the high side for a BB pistol, so it’ll be interesting to see how many shots I can get from one CO2 cartridge. I tested with Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs, which testing has shown to be the most accurate and most uniform BBs available, short of buying the special Avanti Precision Ground shot. In a semiautomatic BB pistol like this one, the extra precision of that shot would be lost, so the standard Daisy BBs are the best.

Ten shots from a fresh CO2 cartridge averaged 388 f.p.s. I allowed a minimum of 10 seconds between shots to let the pistol recover from the cold CO2. The first shot was 395, and the velocity trailed off with each new shot until shot 5, where I waited 75 seconds after shot 4. Then the velocity rebounded from 384 (for shot 4) to 393 for shot 5. When I resumed shooting with 10-second intervals, the velocity again began to decline until shot 10. Shot 9 was 381 f.p.s., and shot 10 was 383, with about 10 seconds between. That tells me that this (the low 380s) is about where the gun wants to be.

The blowback is very powerful. It certainly feels like a .22 rimfire cartridge being fired in a medium-weight semiauto rimfire pistol, and that’s very good for a CO2 pistol.

Next, I loaded the magazine again and fired 15 quick shots. I waited a couple minutes to let the gun recover from the cold and fired the last shot through the chronograph — hoping to record it. Alas, the shot didn’t register, so I reloaded the magazine and started shooting again. On the third shot into the third magazine, I finally got a velocity reading that was 385 f.p.s. at shot 35, so my guess about where the velocity will be after the gun stabilizes seems to be correct. I finished that magazine and loaded another. The gun had now fired 48 shots on the CO2 cartridge. I reloaded and continued firing.

Shot 60 went 385 f.p.s. Shot 70 went 339 f.p.s. and was definitely falling off the pressure curve. That said, there are 4 good magazines of 16 shots each on a CO2 cartridge. Considering the power the gun delivers and the energetic blowback, I would say this is a very conservative gas pistol!

You can continue to shoot after this, of course, but at some point the velocity will be so low that you risk sticking a BB in the barrel, and that’s what I want to avoid. I also want to note that if you fire the pistol as fast as you can, the velocity drops in a pronounced way that can be discerned without the use of a chronograph. You can actually hear the shots getting weaker.

This pistol has something I haven’t experienced in more than 30 years. The trigger is a M1911A1 trigger instead of a longer 1911 trigger. The difference is in the reach of the trigger finger to the center of the blade. The M1911A1 trigger was developed for soldiers with smaller hands, who would have a more difficult time reaching the trigger when the arched mainspring housing was installed. Today, most 1911s have gone back to the flat mainspring housing and the longer trigger of the earlier model. I find the earlier design points more naturally, although the arched mainspring housing of the 1911A1 was developed especially to resolve the pointing problem.

The trigger-pull is two-stage, and please don’t get that confused with single-action. Stage one is very short and stage two is pleasant, but I can feel it move through the stage. There is no roughness to the pull and the trigger breaks at 4 lbs. on the nose.

The magazine has a large loading hole on the reverse side of the follower slot. It loads one BB at a time but loads very fast that way. I found it quick and easy, and the follower stayed put until I released it.

Winchester 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol magazine
The back side of the magazine has a large loading hole that makes it easy to load, even if it’s just one BB at a time.

The CO2 cartridge that goes in without a hiss turns out to be a problem to remove on the test pistol. The clearance is just too small, and it takes a lot of fiddling to get out the old one. The new cartridge goes in very easily by comparison.

Evaluation so far
I keep finding things to like and things not to like. This is certainly a different BB pistol. I like how it handles, its power, the good blowback and nice trigger. But I dislike all the words on the gun, the difficulty of removing the CO2 cartridge, the two-handed safety and the fact that not all the controls work like the firearm. I guess it all comes down to accuracy.

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.

36 thoughts on “Winchester model 11 16-shot semiautomatic BB pistol: Part 2”

  1. First off, a Happy New Year too one and all. This sure seems a very nice pistol and will be looking forward to the accuracy test, but the double safety mentioned in part one would make it a little impractical for iron plate action shooting. This sport is becoming more and more popular in the UK and compared to the American market there are only few bb guns available in comparison, saying that we still have plenty to choose from but Daisy products inpaticular are unfortunately not in abundance over this side of the lake.
    However i have noticed other rifles and pistols sporting the Winchester name sold here so maybe it might turn up in some places as some daisy products are sold here, but only a very small percentage compared to their whole catalog. I often look through the Pyramid Air products drooling and dreaming and also find it very useful for information on guns that are sold here, for example if i bought a stoeger X 20 i would be aware of the fact of while tuning it i would have to be careful not to put it over 12 ft/lbs.
    anyway all said and done i will have to make do with the still extensive range of pistols for sale in the UK, we get a lot of Umerex, Gamo, Cybergun, and Beretta, and we did get the magnum research which was a well sort after pistol, so thank you for your report and i will be looking forward too many more in the new year’

    best regards wing commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe

  2. B.B., this is a very interesting review thus far. I limited myself quite a bit for the first two CO2 pistols I purchased, insisting on rifled barrels in particular. I also wanted to shot only pellets; no b.b.s. So now I have the Crosman 3576 revolver and the Gamo PT-85 (non-tactical).

    I bought the Gamo on the day after Christmas. I also bought the tin of Crosman Destroyer EX .177 pellets. It has taken me 4 days to run through whole tin of 250. The vast majority were shot with the Gamo and I was not trying to engage in fast shooting. I have only been shooting from 12 feet but I have enjoyed myself. I added at Acculaser to the Picatinny rail (kind of like training wheels and I have shot with it both on and off, using the open sights).

    I was somewhat embarrassed because I have really enjoyed the blowback feature. Looking back at your review of the PT-85 Tactical you mentioned that many shooters like like the feel of the blowback, and today you mention that you are one of them. If you hadn’t already brought this up I might now have been courageous enough to mention it. I will not neglect the 3576 though; it offers its own rewards.

    The “boss” has cautioned me to not go do any binge buying. She is right to do so, as I have been known to become obsessed with something and start buying all manner of things related to said obsession. I will work on pacing myself. I have no interest in CO2 powered rifles so I am safe there (at least for a while; I’m still planning on a PCP before the end of 2013).

    I guess it is officially New Year’s eve not. I should get some shut eye. I return to campus this coming Thursday. Two weeks off and my sleep schedule is all messed up. I would shoot some right now, but my better half is sleeping and it isn’t a good idea.

    Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night.


      • Historically, no… Not until sunset today… (Unless you are celebrating with three Ks — kangaroos, koalas, and kiwi birds — where the date line does mean it is New Year by now)

        All these holidays with “… Eve” in them are based upon the traditional definition of the day running from sunset to sunset, making a “Day” that starts at the “evening”, proceeds through “night”, “morning”, and “afternoon”, with the /next/ day beginning at the subsequent sunset.

        So… “New Year’s Eve” is the evening that is part of New Year’s Day — not the day before New Year’s.

          • You misread — the “day” starts at sunset with the “eve”. On the common calendar, that means “New Year’s Day” started when the sun set on December 31 (with the “evening”).

            You get to try to sleep through the destruction. (Think the scanner had one report of fireworks going off… MI law was recently changed to permit them 30 days a year — the day before, the day of, and the day after each of 10 holidays)

        • Thank you, Wulfraed. After I wrote it I became suspicious that “eve” had more than a passing relationship with “evening”. However, you have provided confirmation of that and more. ~Ken

    • You’re not alone Ken, I’m a big fan of those action BB and pellet pistols owning 20 something of them with the Browning Hi-Power and the new Umarex P38 probably joining soon.
      Owning firearms handguns (considered restricted firearms in Canada) is difficult here, the restricted part means they can only be shot at shooting clubs or ranges with very few exceptions, sadly ones backyard no mather how large is not one of those exceptions, neither is some piece of land where no lives. The transportation of said restricted firearms to anywhere but your home range is also prohibited, no stoping for some groceries or to eat at a restaurant with the gun(s) in the trunk of the car.
      Lots of smaller barreled handguns are just plain prohibited!
      So owning these pistols is the next best thing for me.
      I especially like the true single action ones where the slide will cock the hammer.


      • J-F, the blowback CO2 is “the next best thing” for me, also. Not only is shooting it enjoyable but I am using it and the 3576 as my personal training tools. My barber has invited me to go with him to a local range and try out his pistols. I am looking forward to this. It will give me a chance to see whether my practice translates to firearms.

        You do live with more restrictions than we do in the States. Here, we do need to be aware of state and local laws and ordinances, as I think you are aware. Where I live the law stipulates that I can shoot a firearm on my property if I have at least 10 acres (I assume what direction and what backstops I should use). I don’t have 10 acres so going to a range is called for. Firearm laws are moving targets as the struggle over the 2nd amendment never ends. Laws regarding airguns vary greatly. Of course, blowguns are outlawed in a couple of the more “progressive” states. I haven’t determined whether they are more concerned about “armed” robbery or assassinations.


        • Some time in the late 80s I think I worked out that one would need 20 acres to have a chance for a “home range” — two 10acre squares end-to-end.

          I think the relevant Michigan law was that one had to be 500 feet from any public roadway… While a 10acre square made the 500 feet from the sides possible, the shooting location and backstop would have been too close to the roads.

          • Wulfraed, I am sure you are correct. I don’t know particulars, but I do know some folks who have property that is not square and are on good terms with the owners of adjacent acreage. The one rule still applies; that is, no projectile should cross a property boundary. Living in an unincorporated area we have neighbors who do have some acreage (and it may not be 10 acres). The shoot from time to time; thankfully in the 24 years we have lived here they have behaved responsibly and we have had no problem with it. I can’t reasonably shoot any firearm on my property as it is less than 1 acre. Thankfully, I can shoot my small caliber airguns to my hearts content. I shoot only indoors or in an area of my property where I have about 35 yards available and a good back stop. Happy New Year (balloons, bells and whistles). I still have 44 minutes before the new year arrives here. ~Ken

  3. Interesting gun.
    If only the Umarex 1911A1 pellet gun had blowback, it would be just perfect!
    I too hate the warnings so many pellet/bb gun manufacturers feel impelled to put on their guns…it’s like reading a novel. The worst has to be my Umarex Nighthawk. Nice black finish with all the warnings in white…jeez, how to wreck the looks of anotherwise fine gun. At least the 1911 has black on black.
    Also near the top of the list is the Avanti 853…all raised lettering that looks amateurish.
    Then there is my Slavia…all it has is the calibre, serial number and the CZ logo and place of manufacture.
    Just like it should be.
    To all here a happy New Year. May 2013 bring lots of good shooting.

  4. Regarding the mag capacity, I noticed the some of these blowback pistols would jam on the first few shots when the mags are loaded to the full capacity. This seems especially true for the Cybergun KWC pistols, sometimes they don’t jam but a BB will end up floating around the mecanism inside the slide.

    I often load about fifteenish BB’s in them no mather how many they can hold.


  5. Having the entire Encyclopedia Britannica printed on the gun is the only thing preventing me from buying this gun. I like a far cleaner look with less stamped words on my guns. I can’t even hydro dip this thing to make the words disappear. I guess people are dumbing down too much and need reading material on their guns to remind them how to shoot the gun. A instruction manual and a cleaner looking gun appears to be too much to ask for here.

    • Over at Barnes&Noble, people are complaining because a recent software update to the Nook Simple Touch now displays the instructions for waking up the device at the bottom of the standby screen image. “Press the ‘n’ button to wake up your Nook”

      • funny considering my mom just got a kindle fire for christmas. I had to read the instructions and help her learn how to turn the thing on. But seriously. I think just about everybody recognizes a gun and can figure out point at target, take off safe, squeeze trigger without stamping several paragraphs on both sides of the gun telling us how to use it and not use it. But I could be wrong. I did grow up literally all my life around guns of all types so to me it is as natural to aim a gun as it is for most people to point a finger.

        • John,
          I read an article in Readers Digest a few years ago about the years most ridiculous law suits. One of the law suits, and it was actually won, was from a guy who was driving a motorhome and he left the driver’s seat to get a drink or go to the bathroom or something. The thing crashed, of course, but the guy sued the motor coach company because they didn’t post any warnings saying he couldn’t do that. I believe that’s why we have all these silly warnings now, as we have become a litigious society.

          • Oh I remember this one! But it WAS the companies fault because he DID put that thing on cruise control.
            Can you imagine the other poor motorist seeing a 30-40feet bus veering towards them on the highway with no one at the wheel!
            It’s surprising he didn’t kill himself in the crash (he could have been a very good contender for the Darwin award that year).


          • I’ve heard of many people doing strange things. One I remember was one guy picking up his push mower to trim his hedges while it was running. Naturally he lost 8 fingers and sued the company for not labeling the mower saying to keep hands clear of blade. Now all mower decks are required to have a label stating hands and feet should be kept clear. I understand why they have to label everything to death but it just seems to me this particular gun is overly labeled compared to some others that are fully the equal of this gun if not better. So I’d likely go with the Tanfoglio Witness 1911 over the Winchester simply because it has a nicer appearance to my eyes or a GSG 92 of which mine has a fully automatic setting for when a single shot just isn’t making me happy. But I do see the Winchester appears to be a fine gun functionally. I can find no fault with it based on how it shoots. I just don’t like all the stamped writing.

  6. Hi B.B.,
    Regarding the cartridge removal, I was wondering if you tried holding back the spring loaded button located on the right side of the Co2 cartridge opening when removing it? Usually, this makes removing the spent cartridge much easier. Most of the time the cartridge will simply fall out using this procedure. However, I have found that Daisy Co2’s seem to be easier to remove in comparison to the Crosman cartridges I have used in general. I have even used a set of calipers and the Crosman cartridges seem to be just a hair longer. Every once in a while I will run into a Crosman cartridge that is too long too fit easily, even when installing the cartridge. But as you mentioned, it is an extra bit of unnecessary work to remove the cartridge regardless.

    • Curtis,

      Yes, I did try holding that spring clip back. I think the cartridge was just a little too long, as I had to finally use a small Allen wrench to get behind the neck of the spent cartridge to pull it out.

      Thanks for the advice, though.


      • Curtis, B.B.: I own both the black and tuxedo versions of the Walther PPK/S. I have to size each box of Crosman CO2 cartridges because some are too long, and the tuxedo version will flat out not accept them. You might have a look at your cartridge length and see if this helps.

  7. I got a bit more curious about the difference in the Crosman Destroyer pellets. Looking at the tin lid I discovered that the Destroyer EX .177 are labeled as part number DS1776P-001 and the Destroyers are labeled DS177-001, all of which is meaningful to someone, I’m sure.

    Benjamin Discovery .22 pellets that are the same configuration as the Crosman Destroyers are called Pointed Expanding pellets and the part number is BDES225. Crosman now has Destroyers in .22 and the part number is DES22.

    I downloaded the 2012 Crosman PDF catalog. I got cross eyed just looking at the pellets section. The box for the Benjamin Discovery Ultimate Hunting Pellet Assortment doesn’t list any part numbers. It does say the Super Point is one of the 4 pellet configurations. On the Crosman side, Super Point appears only as a Premier .177 while the non-Premier in .22 is just called Pointed. There is no pointed pellet listed in the catalog for the Benjamin side. I suspect both brands ladle from the same soup pot.

    I knew about the smaller caliber Nosler bullets but I didn’t know about the plastic belted pointed “Flight Penetrators”. Regarding other brands of this type I haven’t seen much that is complimentary.

    People often say, “the proof is in the pudding”. This is an error, I think. I learned the saying as, “the proof of the pudding is in the tasting”. And this undoubtedly holds true for all pellets. The proof of the ballistics and accuracy is in the shooting (as everyone here knows). ~Ken

  8. My Sheridan Blue Streak (purchased new in 1976) has become a single shot pneumatic. It is able to propel a diabolo pellet (I have some Beeman Silver Jets and some Crosman Copperhead pointed). I don’t care to even try Sheridan solids. I am almost curious enough to invest in a chronograph just to be able to get more data, and no doubt will before very long.

    I have taken a look in the breech end and I do need the special tool to remove the innards. If anyone here has any ideas about what makes it possible to get that single pump of air and what may be the root cause, I will certainly like to hear from you. I may need the repair kit available from PA, but I don’t know enough to count.


    • ken….
      Are you telling us that your streak has turned into a single pump pneumatic ? They were single shot in the first place.

      Something wrong with the valve at the bottom of the compression tube. Try oiling the crap out of the compression tube and repeatedly firing it to see if the valve will start working again. Use pellgunoil.


  9. twotalon, I had a single shot, multi-pump that became a single shot, single pump. When I begin pumping I feel a bit of resistance, and any following pumps feel the same. I will oil the compression tube and let it sit on its butt for a day or two. Thanks. ~Ken

  10. where can i buy additional magazines?the winchester model 11 came with only one magazine.if i lose it,break it,i’m out of luck.i can’t locate it on the internet.thanks

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