Dan Wesson pellet revolver: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dan Wesson pellet revolver
New Dan Wesson pellet revolver.

This report covers:

  • True Dan Wesson design
  • The cylinder release
  • Cartridges
  • Speedloader
  • BB gun, too
  • Dan Wesson grip
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • Evaluation so far

You might read the title of this report and think the Dan Wesson pellet revolver isn’t new. Hasn’t it been around for a couple years? Not one like this one.

True Dan Wesson design

Don’t confuse this CO2-powered pellet revolver with the Dan Wesson pellet revolver I reviewed for you in the past. That gun is also marketed by ASG, but it doesn’t copy the Dan Wesson design exactly. The cylinder release on that one, for example, resembles one from a Smith & Wesson revolver. The revolver I am looking at today has the cylinder release in front of the cylinder where Dan Wesson firearms put it. This one is very realistic.

I saw this revolver at the 2015 SHOT Show last January, and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. When I held it at the show I noticed it was as heavy as a firearm (2.3 lbs.), and I noticed the accurate resemblance to Dan Wesson firearms. The gun I saw there was an advanced prototype that wasn’t working yet. They can’t display working guns at SHOT for liability reasons anyway, so that wasn’t a concern, but I was told by ASG representatives that this gun was brand new. Now we get to see what they made.

The cylinder release

Let’s look at the cylinder release. It’s located on the crane on the left side of the revolver, just ahead of the cylinder. Push it down and push on the right side of the cylinder at the same time and the crane swings out from the frame to the left. It’s never been as easy as a S&W or Colt cylinder release, but it works well and it distinguishes a Dan Wesson from other revolvers

Dan Wesson pellet revolver cylinder release
The cylinder release (arrow) is exactly like the one on the firearm. Push down while pressing on the right side of the cylinder to pop the cylinder from the frame.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver cylinder out
The cylinder comes out to the right for loading and unloading.This picture has been lightened to shot detail on the gun. It’s really dark black.

Cartridges

Like the other Dan Wesson pellet revolver, this one uses realistic brass cartridges to hold each pellet. Each one is similar in size to a round of .357 Magnum ammunition. They have a quarter-inch long synthetic insert in their base that has the same straight ribs we’ve been seeing in all other pellet revolvers cartridges. A pellet is pressed into the base of this insert and then the cartridge is loaded into the cylinder.

Speedloader

The revolver comes with a speedloader for loading 6 cartridges quickly. I’ve never found these to be very useful in pellet revolvers, but if you have several dozen cartridges preloaded I suppose you could load them into the cylinder faster that way than one at a time. Speedloaders are useful for people who carry several of them in their pockets for fast reloads in the field, but with a pellet revolver I just don’t see the need. Realism, I suppose.

Barrel

The barrel is rifled with a right-hand twist of what appears to be 12 lands and grooves. They are very close together and didn’t score the pellet skirt too deep, so they were difficult to count. The head of the RWS Hobby pellet I pushed through the barrel was not marked at all. The point is — this barrel is rifled and should be accurate. Of course that will be something of great interest to all of us. The last Dan Wesson pellet revolver I tested was very accurate!

BB gun, too

This same model revolver now comes in a BB gun version as well. Although the model numbers off the BB and pellet revolvers are the same, they are different airguns. The BB gun has a smoothbore barrel for steel BBs.

Dan Wesson grip

The grip is a grippy rubberized synthetic material that’s shaped like the modern Dan Wesson revolver grip. It’s more ergonomic than grips were 20 years ago. Dan Wesson revolvers were off the market for awhile, and when they returned some changes were made. This new grip shape is one of them.

Like many CO2 revolvers, the CO2 cartridge is housed inside the grip and accessed by prying off a grip panel. Usually the grips are slightly loose because of this, but not this time! Metal inserts inside the panels give strength to contain the cartridge, and they have multiple alignment pins that hold the rubberized panels together absolutely tight. They feel like that are attached with screws! This is the most secure grip lockup I have ever seen.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver grip
These grips are the tightest I have ever seen! They have no wiggle when closed.

Trigger

Dan Wesson revolvers were always sold on the basis of their ruggedness and strength. Although the company touted the trigger, and still does, I always found it to be heavier and not as smooth as a Colt or S&W. That holds for the pellet revolver, as well. I will report the trigger pull in Part 2, but I’ve already tried it in both single action (where the hammer is first cocked manually) and double action (where only the trigger is pulled to fire the gun) and in both modes it is heavier and not as smooth as a Colt or S&W. That said, I think most owners will be very satisfied with the trigger as it comes. In single action the pull does break cleanly and in double action it isn’t too heavy.

As with most pellet and BB revolvers these days, the barrel is spring-loaded and serves as a part of the cylinder lockwork. So the trigger is pushing the cylinder against that force in the double action mode. You also feel it when cocking the trigger for single action.

Sights

The rear sight adjusts in both directions with a small screwdriver that’s not included. There are no scales on the sight for reference and the adjustments do not have click detents, so you have to watch what you’re doing closely. I think as accurate as this revolver might be I will be adjusting the sights to get centered on the bull.

Dan Wesson pellet revolver rear sight
The rear sight adjusts in both directions.

I like the sights on this revolver! The front post has a square profile that fits into the rear notch very neatly. I think I will be able to do well with this pellet pistol.

Evaluation so far

I like what I see in the new Dan Wesson pellet revolver. Of course I have to test it thoroughly, but I’ve noticed that if a gun feels right up front it often shoots well, too. Let’s hope so. And, yes, I will also test the new BB revolver, as well.

22 thoughts on “Dan Wesson pellet revolver: Part 1


  1. I like this one. I hope it does well. And, since this is a pellet pistol article,…a bit of an update on the 92FS pellet pistol repair that was done over the holiday weekend. As stated, the first magazine fired all 8 shots flawlessly. I had 7 other 8 shot magazines and in the course of shooting them, the gun locked up a few times and then would function just fine. I (just) cycled it in double and single, carrying the hammer, and it worked fine through about 100 cycles. I am out of .177 pellets and it will be the weekend before I get more. It’s the only .177 I have. I know the “guts” well enough to know the “key” players when it comes to parts. If it fails to perform, I will order as needed. Hopefully it will break in and not just break. If I have to go “back in”, it won’t be fun. Moly in lots of areas. Anyone that has played with Moly will know what I mean. Anyways, just a follow up for anyone interested.



      • I little is good, more is not better! We all know that one, but im kinda confused why sticky mucky greases and oils get used as much as they do, I like dry lubes anywhere I can, like the marauder bolt, the manual says graphite it, I love graphite lube, super slick, sticks right to metal in a thin coat and nothing gets stuck in it.


        • Dry lubes certainly have their place, such as on the Marauder bolt or a lock mechanism or a motorcycle control cable, however I would not use such in my engine. I would also not use a petroleum lubricant around high pressure air. Each has a particular place where it is well suited, however it is not unusual for them to be used where something better would have worked or perhaps a smaller quantity would have sufficed.

          Moly grease is superb for trigger mechanisms as the moly component “fills in” the pores of the metals and also acts as a polishing compound to help smooth the mating surfaces, while the grease provides a suspension medium and a lubricant. Due to the high pressures, a dry graphite lubricant would soon be worn away.


  2. I myself just never got into CO2 pistols and such. I had an inexpensive Crosman for a bit, but it wasn’t me. Some of the newer ones have been tempting, most especially these pellet pistols with cartridges. Now if someone comes out with a realistic blow back semi pellet pistol, I might have to give in.


    • RR,

      Well, it was my first airgun in a very long time. Before the TX and LGU. Your comment on blowbacks surprised me as I thought there were some already out there. It is nice,….I just hope it starts working 100%.

      A bit of an update,…I did get some .177’s today at Wally’s on the way home from an eye glass appt. after work. We will see. It was a toss up between the Super Mega Zombie Blaster pellets and the Crosman 7.9’s. A domed hollow point none the less. Huh? If the 92 survives, I will get some PA pellets to feed ‘er. Crosman’s for now and further testing.

      As for Moly,…never-seze has it beat,….but they are close! 😉


  3. I have been biding my time until some company comes out with a revolver that has all it’s faults ironed out and produce an accurate and consistent pistol, so i am now waiting with baited breath to see how this pellet Dan Wesson and the pellet single action Umerex perform. Also enjoying the new direction you’re taking with airgun history and oddities being more prominent than the usual 4/5 part write up on the latest rehashed rifle from whoever the hell is knocking out airguns at the moment.

    Anyway this one looks promising, so lets wait and see. Wait being the operative word if you’re living in the UK when it comes down to actually purchasing one of these fine items.

    All the best.

    Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe (Wing Commander retired)


  4. B.B.,

    I’ve been drooling over this one since I first noticed it on the P.A. site.

    Do you know if these new design pellet shells are compatible with the earlier Dan Wesson pellet revolvers with the screw-on tips?

    Michael


  5. B.B.,

    As an owner of the previous model, I would want to do it with that one if I were to buy one of these. I would even buy extra shells of the new design so that I could use them in either model.

    Michael


  6. BB– The cartridges can be reloaded without removing them from the cylinder. loose fitting cartridges could reduce accuracy. I would rather have a cylinder without removable cartridges. If you were to use tape or glue to make tight fitting cartridges, would you get an improvement in accuracy ? If you numbered the chambers, and set up 6 targets, you could test the accuracy ( and poi) of each chamber. Revolver shooters have done this in the past with powder burners , often with interesting results. Ed


  7. B.B.

    The original Dan Wesson pellet revolver had the pellets loaded into the front nose of the cartridge. Are you saying that this new revolver loads the pellets into the back of the cartridge just like the Colt SAA pellet revolver?


  8. B.B., good to see this gun get it’s pellets loaded from the bottom of the cartridge and not the top (or that’s how I read it anyway). That one step was enough to turn me off the other Dan Wesson pellet revolver. I’m excited and look forward to all the test results! I looked at both bb and pellet versions on PA’s site. I found it odd that the pellet version had the same velocity listed as the bb version (426 fps). But then again, I guess that’s why you put them to the test. Thanks for another great read/review!
    Doc


  9. BB– Yes, forever and ever. And I want to be around to read every blog that you write. I think that loading pellets in to the base of the cartridge is similar to a long free bore in a firearm. If each cartridge is slightly off center, or has an irregular bore, or is loose,etc there could be a loss of accuracy. I think that the closer the pellet is to the barrel forcing cone (or throat) the greater the accuracy. There should be fewer variables as the pellet leaves the cylinder chamber (or cartridge) and enters the barrel. I am looking forward to your test. If I had the tools (or the money) I would have a second cylinder made- – no cartridges, and perhaps front loading to put each pellet close to the barrel, like the S&W 586. Ed


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