by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Lothar Walther barrel
- Loading the pellets
- H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
- RWS Superdome pellets
- Shot count
I got an eye-opener in today’s test of the Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver! I had selected my ammo and was all set to start the test when it dawned on me that this gun doesn’t shoot BBs! I had selected 3 different BBs to shoot in this pellet revolver! That’s how strange it seems to be loading lead pellets into an inexpensive airgun revolver.
Lothar Walther barrel
The second eye-opener came from an alert blog reader who mentioned that these Gletcher revolvers have rifled barrels made by Lothar Walther. Yeah, right, I thought. Then, on checking their website, I discovered that it’s true. I don’t expect them to be match barrels, but all the barrels Lothar Walther makes are pretty good. So, chalk that up in the plus column.
Loading the pellets
I discovered right away that I couldn’t just press the pellets into the plastic bushing in the cartridge base with my thumb. The first pellet I loaded backed out and jammed the cylinder as I was turning it to load the next cartridge, so I stopped and deep-seated every pellet with the Air Venturi Pellet Pen. I’m sure you can get away by seating some pellets without a seater, but since the very first pellet jammed, I decided to deep-seat all the pellets in this test.
That brings us to the velocity test. Gletcher advertises this pellet-firing revolver at 328 f.p.s. We discovered they seriously understated the velocity of their Nagant BB revolver, which they also rated at 328 f.p.s. In my test, I saw it go up to 403 f.p.s. I suspected that this pellet revolver would be faster than stated, as well.
Since the revolver is both single-action and double-action, I tested each pellet both ways. We’ll start with the RWS Hobby pellet, which is a lightweight lead wadcutter. I shot 7 shots for the record and waited 10 seconds between shots. In single-action, the Hobby averages 406 f.p.s. The low was 394 f.p.s., and the high was 426 f.p.s. That’s 98 feet per second faster than advertised!
In double-action, I also shot just 7 shots that averaged 374 f.p.s. The low was 357 f.p.s., and the high was 398 f.p.s. So, the gun is a little slower in double-action. Yes, I waited 10 seconds between these shots, as well.
H&N Finale Match Pistol
Next up were H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. They’re heavier than Hobbys, at 7.56 grains, as opposed to 7 grains for the Hobbys, but that didn’t slow them very much. In single-action, they averaged 404 f.p.s with a low of 388 and a high of 425 f.p.s.
In double-action, these pellets were also slower, at an average 378 f.p.s. The low was 369 and the high was 398 f.p.s.
The last pellets I tested were some 8.3-grain RWS Superdomes. At that weight, they may be as heavy as you should go in this revolver. They averaged 351 f.p.s. in single-action. The low was 333, and the high was 367 f.p.s.
In double-action, they averaged 341 f.p.s. The low was 329, and the high was 351 f.p.s.
The Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver is MUCH more powerful (faster) than advertised. It also held its power through the first 42 shots — which we just examined. Now, I pushed it for the shot count on one CO2 cartridge.
I used H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets for this. At shot 50, the pellet was still coming out at 390 f.p.s. in single-action. Shot 60 went out at 360 f.p.s., also single-action, so that’s where all liquid CO2 was gone and the gun was running on residual gas, alone.
Shot 70 went out at 309 f.p.s., which I note is just under the velocity advertised by Gletcher. Shots 81, 82 and 83 went out at 259, 248 and 236 f.p.s., respectively. So, you better stop shooting after the 10th cylinder if you don’t want to risk jamming the barrel.
The double-action trigger-pull is 10 lbs., 11 oz, which is light for a double-action revolver. There’s a hesitation at the start of the pull then the hammer comes back and stacks at the end of the pull. I don’t think I’ll shoot the gun for accuracy in double-action; but if that’s your thing, this is a good gun for it.
On single-action, the trigger breaks at 5 lbs., 1 oz. and the release is very crisp. I would be happy to have such a trigger on any revolver — firearm or airgun.
That’s it for today. I can’t wait to test the accuracy. As I said, today’s test was a pleasant surprise.