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Accessories Colt WWII Commemorative CO2 BB pistol: Part 3

Colt WWII Commemorative CO2 BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Colt Limited Edition NRA 1911 BB Pistol right
Colt WWII Commemorative 1911 BB pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

• I shoot BB pistols at 5 meters
• Preparing to shoot
• First group
• Second group
• Pistol not holding open after last shot
• Third group
• The voices in my head spoke to me
• Fourth and final group
• Final evaluation
Pyramyd AIR Cup

Today is accuracy day for the Colt WWII Commemorative BB pistol. Since that version is no longer available, I’ve linked you to the Colt Limited Edition NRA 1911 BB Pistol in this report, and that continues through today’s report.

I shoot BB pistols at 5 meters
I normally start shooting pellet guns that have rifled barrels at 10 meters, but I shoot BB guns at 5 meters. In the past, I’ve sometimes shot them at 15 feet, which is just over a foot closer. Unless I tell you different, all groups are 10 shots. And because this gun runs on CO2, I’ll wait at least 10 second between shots, even though it’s a semiautomatic that can be shot very rapidly.

I decided to run most of this test with Umarex Precision Steel BBs because this is an Umarex airgun and also because I have found them to be the equal of Daisy Premium Grade BBs in past tests.

Preparing to shoot
The gun was charged and loaded, and I sat down to fire 10 rested shots at a 10-meter rifle target that was placed 16 feet, 5 inches away (5 meters). I used a monopod to rest my hands, and I used a 2-hand hold that was very steady. I held the sights at 6 o’clock on the bull, and the BBs seemed to go to the right of the aim point.

First group
The first group turned out to be the best of the session. Ten BBs went into a group that measures 0.937 inches between centers. As you can see, it’s just to the right of the aim point. To correct this, the rear sight could be moved a little to the left, but I’m going to leave it where it is. I won’t be shooting the gun that much and it’s accurate enough to hit pop cans out to 25 feet or so.

Colt Limited Edition NRA 1911 BB Pistol right target 1
This first target was the best all day. Ten Umarex Steel BBs are in 0.937 inches at 5 meters.

Second group
The second group was larger, at 1.279 inches between centers for 10 shots. Still using the Umarex BBs for this one. I tried holding the monopod tighter to reduce any wobbling, but apparently it didn’t matter.

Colt Limited Edition NRA 1911 BB Pistol right target 2
Second target measures 1.279 inches at 5 meters. Though the hold was better, the group is larger.

Pistol not holding open after last shot
I’d loaded just 10 BBs for the second group, but the slide didn’t stay back after the final shot. When I checked the magazine, it was empty. Either the slide isn’t coming back far enough to stay open or the spring in the hold-open device is weak and not catching the slide.

Third group
My third group was a little smaller than the second group, at 1.217 inches for 10 shots. I was holding each shot perfectly, and it was disconcerting to see 2 of them rise up and to the right of the bull.

Colt Limited Edition NRA 1911 BB Pistol right target 3
This third target measures 1.217 inches at 5 meters. That’s slightly better than the second group but not as good as the first.

The voices in my head spoke to me
At this point, I was satisfied with the test. I figured I knew how good the pistol is and that was that. But then the programming from all you vocal readers kicked in and I could anticipate you asking me why I didn’t test the gun with other BBs. So I did.

Fourth and final group
For the last group I loaded the pistol with Avanti Precision Ground Shot — the stuff the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 shoots. If anything was going to do better in this pistol, this would be it.

However, these BBs didn’t improve accuracy. In fact, they produced the largest group of the session. Ten went into 1.684 inches between centers.

Colt Limited Edition NRA 1911 BB Pistol right target 4
This target was shot with Avanti Precision Ground Shot. Ten shots went into 1.684 inches at 5 meters. That’s the worst group of the session.

Final evaluation
This is one of the few times when accuracy isn’t what I’m considering when I evaluate this airgun. And that’s a good thing, too, because there are plenty of less expensive 1911-type pistols that will shoot better. I’ve already tested some of them for you.

What this air pistol has, that the others don’t, is character. It looks like a sidearm that’s been through a war. And that was always the attraction for me. If I want accuracy, I have other air pistols to use — this one is for the nostalgia.

Pyramyd AIR Cup
The big event is rapidly coming! If you haven’t registered for the Pyramyd AIR Cup shooting tournament and gun fun weekend, then get on it!

It’s October 24-26 and will be 3 great days of shooting. How much you participate is up to you. Shoot field target. Shoot silhouette. Shoot sample guns Pyramyd AIR supplies at the sight-in range. Watch the matches. Chat with me, airgun hunter Jim Chapman and Airgun Reporter Paul Capello. Or do all of them!

It’s up to you what you want to do. Any way you slice it, you’ll have fun as you immerse yourself in airguns. All the info is on the special Pyramyd AIR Cup website.

Pyramyd AIR Cup

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

31 thoughts on “Colt WWII Commemorative CO2 BB pistol: Part 3”

  1. I desperately want attend the pyramyd cup but don’t know if Ill make it, where do I reserve a camp spot at the site? The clubs website? Do I need to reserve or just pay when I get there and there’s plenty of space? On the Commerative, is it supposed to hold at the empty clip? You’d think people would check out the guns their sending to The GoAG, being such an influential evaluation you conduct. By the way, did you read Jim Carmichel/Outdoor Life a lot when you were beginning your writing career?

  2. G&G,

    Your comment about the objective lens size of the Bug Buster making it unsuitable for longer ranges reminds me of how spoiled we have become. I used a Weaver 3-6×20 most of my teen years. I guess with our old, worn out eyeballs we need a little more light to see what we are looking at. 😉

    • RR
      You know now that you mention that about scopes it made me think of something.

      I never used a scope when I was a kid. Always open sights. It wasn’t till later on that I started using a scope. And what’s funny is I shoot with my adjustable magnification scopes at 6 power with both eyes open. The only time I turn the power up is to focus for range then it goes back down to 6 power.

      I even like the lower power because you get a bigger field of view. Makes it easier to find a squirrel in a tree. And it usually gives a sharper picture.

      But I know that there are people out there who like the power turned up in at close range. I guess its all about what you get use to.

    • I missed this comment about longer range. At what range does the Bug Buster become unsuitable? I’m at the extreme end of near range, shooting it on my IZH 61 at 5 yards. On the other hand, if I ever get that M10 762 AK47, the best deal in assault type rifles that I know of and a true rifle of genius, I was thinking of mounting a Bug Buster scope on it. Then the range limitation might come in to play. On the other hand, my local range has a limit of 100 yards, and I doubt I would shoot any further with an AK.


  3. BB,
    Do any of the 1911 BB Pistols with blow back have ambidextrous safeties? Also, have you written about the Blaster top assembly that went on your on 1911 frame?

    I like the looks of the blog now. It seems to work well. Thanks to you and Edith and others that were involved in the changes.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      I can’t remember, but I think some of the better ones may have ambi safeties.

      I never tested the Crosman unit. Is it called the Blaster? A guy at the Ft. Worth airgun show had one that was like new in the box, but he wanted a lot for it and we couldn’t come to terms. I have never tested it.


  4. Everytime I see this gun I like it more just because of how they weathered it.

    I mentioned before I’m not much of a pistol shooter but I would like one of these for the realism it offers.

    And speaking of realism I think next time PA has a 10% off and free shipping one of these and that P.08 with the functional toggle is going on the list.

    The only bb airgun/pistol I have right now is a Steel Storm. But I can see myself getting a little collection going. And I really like the P.08 so we will see.

  5. I think the 10% and free shipping and triple bonus points are a great promotion
    I always find something buy when it is offered.
    No other supplier has so many incentives.Who ever thought of it should get a raise.
    The more I see the Colt WW11 the more I like it.I have several co2 clones but I am
    always on the lookout for another.

  6. I have a question. And why I was thinking about it.

    If I ordered the 16 dollar spring from PA for a HW30 will it fit in a HW50s? I would like to slow the velocity down a little more and hopefully have a even smoother shooting gun. Plus I save myself the 329 dollars of buying another gun.

    I know there is the vortek kits out there but will they slow the velocity down. And maybe I shouldn’t want to slow the gun down if it shoots even smoother with the same velocity.

    I was going to ask this the other day when it was ask a stupid question day and forgot that the blog was set up for questions that day.

    And not looking for a big debate. I would just like to know if the HW30 spring would work in the HW50s.

      • BB
        Cutting the spring sounds like something I could do. Didn’t think about that.

        But the last part about getting another spring that fits right. How do I know if its not fitting right. Do you check to see how far the spring needs compressed when you assemble. Or do you meant the outer diameter of the spring could be to big or to small. I’m sure small would be buzz and big could be vibration.

        Is that what you mean by fitting right. Sorry about the off subject question but I was trying to make a decision on the HW50s and also going ahead and purchasing the HW30s also to add to my spring guns. Maybe I do need to get the vortek kit for the HW50s?

        • There are a lot of spring choices out there for the HW50 and HW30. Proper spring choice is important to achieve your tuning goals. It’s only one piece of the tuning puzzle though and many other components are just as important to increase the odds of you being happy with the outcome (proper lubes in the right places, deburring, spacing, guides, etc.).

          You can buy a spring for your goals. Why buy a spring that isn’t ideal then cut and regrind if it’s unnecessary?


          • Kevin
            I understand everything you said about tuning. BB mentioned cutting the spring. My question was if the HW30 spring would be a drop in fit in the HW50s.

            If not then I thought about the vortek kit if I’m calling it the right name for the HW50s. But like I just told BB below I’m way happy with the performance of the HW50s and I was debating on just getting a spring or kit verses the HW30s.

            But I see now that the HW50s will remain untouched and I will just have to get the HW30s to fit that category of shooting I’m looking for. I want a in closer shooting mini-sniper gun is where I’m going with all of this.

          • BB
            That’s exactly what information I was looking for.

            And that is about the same process to getting the right valve spring to match with a bigger camshaft install when hopping up a car engine.

            And you answered my question. I will leave the HW50s alone. I’m very happy with the way it shoots.

            And it looks like I will just have to go ahead and get that HW30 then dog gone it any way. 😉

  7. What I don’t get about the Colt WW II Commemorative is that it has a distressed finish to simulate a gun that went through that war, but has commemorative lettering on it, along with a silhouette of the Iwo Jima Memorial which marks it as a gun made after that conflict. Would have been more authentic if they just distressed the finish and put simple markings copying a real Colt WW II 1911 A1.

  8. So, is character worth the extra price for this gun? 🙂 It does look cool. But I’m more interested in the blowback, semiauto action. As I understand the original design parameters, John Browning designed the gun to hit hard and fast at close quarters. I do believe that the 1911 must still be one of the fastest shooting pistols out there. I’ve seen videos of people firing them as fast as machine guns. But here I cannot fail to acknowledge the notorious Beretta video.


    Anyway, I believe the famous accuracy of the 1911 was something of an unintended consequence. So one could appreciate bb gun and its history in rapid fire mode. At close range, I doubt the warming CO2 would be noticeable. Besides, there’s always instinct shooting with single shots, and accuracy has a different meaning there. As another aside, I understand that the famous British commando W.E. Fairbairne preferred the 1911 when he developed his point shooting techniques with the Shanghai Municipal Police. Now there was an authority on all aspects of combat with his real-life point shooting and duking it out with Kung Fu gangs.

    More good news for me. I have been in quest, mostly through fantasy, for a true long distance shooting range of hundreds of yards. It turns out there is one almost next door. Blog reader, Victor, who lives in Nevada just over the border has access to some kind of abandoned 600 yard range formerly used by the army. How cool is that. And I didn’t quite grasp how good of a shot Victor is as a former master shooter and national competition winner. I just have to figure out how to get over there.


  9. Also note that the Colt logo on the WW II Commemorative is the “snake” logo devised after the introduction of the Colt Python. The old horse and arrow logo would have been better for maintaining the WW II flavor of this pistol.

  10. Good evening BB. I read your article about the 1911,which one would you recommend? I love the aged look but sure didn’t sound too good to hear about the accuracy and the slide. Probably not something I will be buying soon just have always loved a 1911,so I’m thinking. I pray this finds you well this evening. Thanks.

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