by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- How the cylinder locks
- Velocity with Air Arms Falcon pellets
- Double-action pull
- RWS R10 pistol pellets
- Crosman Premier Super Match pellets
- Evaluation to this point
- Shot count
In part 1 of this review, most of your comments addressed accuracy. You hoped this revolver was accurate and wanted it to be as good as the S&W 586. I also hope it’s accurate, as the low price would make it a world-beater. We’ll take things one step at a time and wait for the accuracy test.
How the cylinder locks
As mentioned in part 1, this revolver has a barrel that’s spring-loaded and moves forward as the cylinder turns. I’ll show you why it does that. The breech is rounded to fit into a recess in the front of each chamber in the cylinder. You get the same gas-sealing effect as the Nagant revolver, only it’s the barrel that moves backwards — not the cylinder that moves forward. That should give us better gas management, but I don’t know what it will do to the accuracy.
At the front of each chamber, a recess has been cut to receive the rear of the barrel. On a firearm, the front of each chamber is flat. Spring tension forces the barrel back into this recess and also helps lock the cylinder in place for the shot.
The fit of the breech into each chamber helps hold the cylinder in place and also aligns the chamber with the barrel. On most revolvers, the bolt locks the cylinder in place, which is another means of locking it. On the PR-776, the hand (the silver lever that pushes the cylinder to the next chamber) also helps lock the cylinder in place for the shot, so there are 3 separate mechanisms at work to lock the cylinder.
Velocity with Air Arms Falcon pellets
The first pellet I tested was the Air Arms Falcon dome, which weighs 7.33 grains. The first 3 shots on single-action went 434, 438 and 425, respectively. There was a lot of gas coming out the side of the gun from these shots. After that the velocity dropped to 412 f.p.s., which I soon discovered was about right for this pellet on single-action. The first 8 pellets (including those 3 fast shots) averaged 414 f.p.s. I waited 15 seconds between each shot. The high was 438 f.p.s and the low was 394 f.p.s.
I returned to the Falcons after testing 2 other pellets single-action, so a total of 24 shots had been fired when I returned. Four pellets seated deep in their chambers averaged 387 f.p.s. In fact each shot was exactly 387 f.p.s. I was now waiting a full minute between shots.
After that, I fired 4 Falcon pellets double-action. The average was 394 f.p.s. with a spread from 389 to 399 f.p.s. I waited a full minute between shots for this test, as well.
I will say that after about 20 shots, the revolver shoots in the high 300s with Falcon pellets. It does seem to favor double-action just a bit.
The double-action pull definitely stacks! Blog reader Matt61 had asked me if he should let the trigger stack or pull straight through. I didn’t answer him because this report was in the works. With a revolver that stacks on the double-action pull (the trigger stops and becomes noticeably heavier before firing the gun), you want to pull to the stack and then carefully squeeze off the shot. Vintage Colt revolvers always stack on double-action. When the trigger-pull is even all the way, like on a vintage S&W revolver, you pull straight through without stopping.
RWS R10 Match pistol pellets
Next up was the RWS R10 Match pistol pellet, which weighs 7 grains. I normally use RWS Hobbys for this test, but I thought I would change things up. R10s averaged 406 f.p.s. in single-action and 407 f.p.s. in double-action. I waited 15 seconds between each single-action shot and a full minute between each double-action shot. The single-action spread went from 402 f.p.s. to 418 f.p.s. The double-action spread went from 403 f.p.s to 411 f.p.s.
The double-action pellets were shots 39 though 42, while the single-action shots were shots 9 through 16. I’m not trying to confuse you but to demonstrate that the PR-776 is still shooting strong at 40 shots. But you have to wait a full minute between each shot. If you wait only 15 seconds, the velocity is definitely going to drop.
I deep-seated the R10 pellet and got a 4-shot average of 403 f.p.s. The low was 393 f.p.s., and the high was 420 f.p.s. From that large spread, I’m thinking that the effort of deep-seating is a waste of time. But I’ll try it in the accuracy test to know for sure.
Crosman Premier Super Match pellets
The final pellet I tried was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier Super Match wadcutter. These averaged 366 f.p.s. for 8 shots single-action. The spread went from 351 to 375 f.p.s. I was interrupted during this string, and one shot came after a 2-minute wait. It was the fastest shot in the string, and that was what tipped me off that the gun needed more resting time between shots.
Shooting this pellet double-action with a 1 minute wait between shots averaged 365 f.p.s. for 4 shots. The spread went from 361 to 369 f.p.s. Deep-seating the pellet and waiting a minute between shots delivered an average of 353 f.p.s. The spread went from 348 to 360 f.p.s.
Evaluation to this point
I discovered that the 776 revolver needs about a minute between shots to recover. That is very similar to other CO2 handguns. The gun has good power in the high-300/low-400 f.p.s. region with lighter pellets. If you wait for the full minute between shots, the velocity will remain consistent for about 40-48 shots.
The trigger very obviously stacks in double-action. In single-action, it breaks crisply at 5 lbs., 6 oz., which is a little heavy. I’ll have to concentrate to get the best from the gun in the accuracy test.
I fired a total of 48 shots getting all the data to this point. Then, I wanted to see how the velocity performed if I pulled the trigger fast. The next 8 shots were RWS R10 pellets all fired double-action with 5 seconds or less between each shot:
Now there were 56 shots on the gun. I then shot 8 Premier Super Match pellets as fast as I could pull the trigger. I only recorded shot 8, which went 254 f.p.s. Obviously, the CO2 cartridge is running out of gas. To be safe, lets say there are 7 good clips on a CO2 cartridge. Shot 73 was an RWS R10 going 217 f.p.s. I stopped before a pellet was stuck in the barrel.
I think the Gamo PR-776 did well in today’s test. I saw a good use of gas, higher velocity than expected and a nice trigger that’s a little heavy. All that remains is to test the accuracy, which is the big one, as far as I am concerned.