Dan Wesson pellet revolver: Part 1
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- True Dan Wesson design
- The cylinder release
- BB gun, too
- Dan Wesson grip
- 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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.