Duke Colt pellet revolver, weathered: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Duke Colt pellet revolver

John Wayne Duke pellet revolver.

This report covers:

  • BB Guns Remembered is in stock
  • Today we look at accuracy
  • The test
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • QiangYuan training pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • RWS Superdome
  • Overall Evaluation

BB Guns Remembered is in stock

The book, BB Guns Remembered is in stock! This collection of short stories makes a wonderful bathroom reader and it’s priced to be the perfect stocking stuffer this Christmas season. Get one while supplies last.

Today we look at accuracy

Today is the day many readers have waited for. We finally get to test the accuracy of the John Wayne Duke Single Action Army pellet revolver. A lot of folks have their eyes on this one.

I shot 6-round groups because of the cylinder capacity. As things turned out, that will give you a good idea of the accuracy.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 10 meters to start with. I thought that would be a reasonable distance for a pellet pistol. However, the sights were off and the pellets struck about 2 inches low and 2 inches to the right. Since I used a 6 o’clock hold they came very close to leaving the pellet trap, so I moved the shooting bench up to 25 feet and tried again. This was a better distance, though all the shots still hit low and right. Let’s begin.

RWS Hobbys

The first group was 6 RWS Hobby pellets. They hit 1 inch low and 1-1/4-inches right. Six pellets went into 1.904-inches at 25 feet. As the test turned out, this was one of the larger groups.

Duke Colt pellet revolver Hobbys
Six RWS Hobby pellets went into 1.904-inches at 25 feet. Shot off a bag rest.

Air Arms Falcon

Next I tried 6 Air Arms Falcons. They didn’t leave holes as clear-cut as the wadcutter Hobbys. The group was 1 inch low and 1.5 inches to the right. This group is the second smallest one of the test. It measures 1.73-inches between centers.

Duke Colt pellet revolver Falcons
Six Falcon pellets went into 1.73-inches at 25 feet.

QiangYuan training pellets

I tried the Qiang Yuan Training pellet next. I expected good things from them because they have been good in nearly every airgun I have tried them in. In the Duke 6 Qiang Yuan Training Pellets went into exactly 1.5-inches, as near as I can measure it. That was the best group of the session! They did land an inch low and about 2.5 inches to the right.

Duke Colt pellet revolver Qiang Training
Six Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into 1.5-inches at 25 feet. This is the best group of the test.

H&N Finale Match Pistol

I tried something different with the next pellet, which was the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets with 4.50mm heads. No, I didn’t sort them with the Pelletgage. For this target I held the sight level with the middle of the bull and on the left edge at 9 o’clock. That moved the group up to the bottom of the bull and also brought it to the left. Six Finale Match pellets went into 1.77 inches at 25 feet.

Duke Colt pellet revolver Finale Pistol
Six H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets went into 1.77-inches at 25 feet. The aim point was 9 o’clock on the bull.

RWS Superdome

The last pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome. Being heavier, I expected them to land lower on the target, and they did. The center of the group is about 2.5-inches below the aim point and 2 inches to the right. This was the worst group of the session, at 3.069-inches between centers. One pellet landed below the target paper.

Duke Colt pellet revolver Superdome
Only 5 of the 6 RWS Superdome pellets hit the target paper. The 6th pellet landed about one inch below the bottom of the paper. The group measures about 3.069-inches between centers.

Overall Evaluation

The Duke pellet pistol is no tack-driver, that’s for sure. You will have to use Kentucky windage to get on target, though at action pistol distances it shouldn’t be too bad.

Despite today’s performance, the Duke and all its SAA cousins are some of the most realistic air pistols around. They are still perfect for Cowboy Action Shooting events when they come into being. This test has shown the Duke to be both reliable and capable, as well as fully realistic of the firearm it imitates. I think you will be satisfied with this one.

56 thoughts on “Duke Colt pellet revolver, weathered: Part 3

  1. Although I’ve never shot the firearm this gun mimics I believe it’s probably an accurate representation of the look,feel and accuracy of an unmolested one so I consider it a successful copy.


    • Reb,

      This is a close approximation to a firearm except for the grips. This one has longer grips to house the CO2.

      Of course the recoil of a Colt .45 is something that has to be appreciated. They bounce in your hand (shoot one-handed) and the grip rolls back.

      B.B.



  2. B.B.,

    I just checked your report on the smooth bore BB version of the Colt SAA using lead pellets, and with it you shot a rested 25 foot group of six RWS RS10 Pistol Match pellets that measured 1.243 inches. Strange results, then, from this rifled version of the same revolver.

    Would you try this Duke model, using RS10 Pistol Match pellets, but with the shells intended for the smooth bore Colt? I wonder if the slightly different shells for the rifled versions are the culprit.

    Michael



    • Michael,

      I shot the RWS R10 Match pellets in my Duke Colt revolver. Bear in mind that I was shooting at a distance of only 18 feet and not 25 feet. My R10 Match 6 shot group was 0.75 inch.

      I also posted additional comments to B.B. below, so scroll down to read them as well.


  3. BB I picked up your new book as a gift for my son to give me for Christmas, when I handed it to him and said keep this for me til Christmas, he said Oooo! Can I read it! He keeps reporting all the cool stories in it. Guess I should get him one now ☺️




        • RPM,

          That seems so out-of-the-norm to me. I wrote the stories as though I was writing in the first part of the 20th century. The language I used has to sound odd to a 10-year-old. I never thought a young person would like my stories.

          Does he read a lot? I’m guessing he does, because those who read find older dialect easier to understand.

          B.B.


          • He does read a lot, his favorite thing to do is goto Half-Priced books and “look around”

            He reads the comics in the Sunday paper and a lot of random interests.

            I’m not complaining, I’ve always been a big reader myself.


          • B.B.,

            Despite the “vintage” language, I would expect a youngster to love reading your book. I haven’t purchased mine yet (I’ve actually dropped two not subtle hints to my wife that it would be a welcome Christmas gift for me :^), but I sounds to me like something that would be quite appealing to all ages, but for different reasons. For me, the appeal might in part be nostalgia and an ability to relate to your experiences.

            I teach young adults, not children, but the notion that they lack a curiosity about “the old days” is dead wrong in my experience. They are very interested in how things used to be in the (to us) recent past. The week before the last 9/11 anniversary I killed a few extra minutes of class by describing how travel and crossing back from Canada and Mexico have changed radically. They are fascinated by that sort of thing. I could have bowled them over when I told them that there were plenty of U.S.-Canadian border stops that were unattended. All you did was pull over, go into a lean-to (had to define that one for ’em) and fill out one line of information, all on the honor system.

            After I read it, I’ll lend my 28 year old nephew your book, and I’ll bet he devours it.

            Michael


            • I completely agree, I read habitually as a youngster, if I wasnt outside catching frogs and snakes or riding bikes and skateboards I was reading without fail. When I was 10 I would have eaten this book up, and the fact that it captivated me like it did now still as an adult shows good writing and well spun yarn are ageless, from the days of the cowboys around a campfire to now, with us collected here telling our tales. I can say enough how great a job Toms done with this book, it is something I think we (airgunners/ing) needed, keeps us light hearted and nostalgic, which, airgunning being our break from the everyday, is exactly how we should be. Thanks again! On the Duke, I have a feeling your barrels going to need breaking in, or the cartridges, to get them leaving the same, one cartridge to the next they are not letting go of the pellet the same, im sure. I wonder if you shot a group using just one cartridge for all shots, that would be a definitive test… could you? I think itll show a lot about how the cartridges get involved.



  4. B.B

    The BB version of the SAA was more accurate with pellets and the sights were closer to being on. This and the fact that BB model costs less would push me to purchasing the BB version and shooting it with pellets. Now your just started report on the Dan Weston 715 has caught my interest. Oh no what to do if the 715 is accurate which do I buy first?

    David


  5. Still waiting for the 4 & 3/4″ bbl-ed gunfighter model.

    Tom, any ideas why the smoothbore BB version is more accurate?

    —Joe

    ps. I, too, am buying your book—Thanks!


    • Joe,

      My idea isn’t really an idea. It’s more of a notion.

      I don’t think the smoothbore barrel is more accurate. I think the rifled barrel is less accurate. In other words, I don’t think the rifled barrel is doing all that it should or could do.

      We’ll see when I test the accuracy of the new Dan Wesson revolver. It loads pellets at the rear of the shell, too.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        My 8 inch ASG Dan Wesson pellet revolver is every bit as accurate, maybe indeed more accurate, than my 8 inch 586, and I suspect one of the reasons it is so accurate is that it requires pellets of a certain minimum head diameter. Your test of the 715, with its less fussy shells, might prove me completely wrong, if it’s very accurate, or it might suggest that I’m onto something, if it is notably less accurate.

        By the way, the most fun-to-shoot CO2 revolvers currently produced are, in my experience, the 2.5 inch Dan Wessons. The accuracy is nothing to write home about, but it is kind of the revolver equivalent to the CO2 Walther PPK/S. Shooting it just puts a smile on your face, The trick is to plink at larger targets. I have a half dozen empty gallon paint cans. Throw one out at 25-30 feet and be either James Bond or Mannix, take your pick.

        Michael




      • B.B. and Joe,

        I care more about a gunfighter barrel length version than I am anything else. For the longest time the coolest looking air gun I have (although yes, it is not really an air gun) is my Daisy 179. Ooooooh if I could just get an Umarex Legends Series SAA in the short barrel!

        Michael




    • David,

      Until shooting the Dan Wesson revolver I tested a year ago, the S&W 586 was the most accurate.

      The most fun is harder to say. I don’t get to play with these guns as much as I would like. I though the Mosin Nagant carbine was going to be fun until I saw the acuracy. It’s so realistic.

      I guess I’m still waiting to find a fun one.

      B.B.


  6. Good afternoon B.B.,

    What are your thoughts about the RWS Model 52 in .25 cal? Do you think that platform would perform well in .25? I know you’re going to ask, “What do you want to do with it?” — I would say small to mid-size game hunting, pest control, and mostly fun. I just don’t know enough about how .25 cal does in springers. Everything I read about it is about .25 PCPs. I’m wondering if it would be a disappointment in a Model 52, as far as overall performance — accuracy, and hunting effectiveness. I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    Jim M.


  7. B.B.,

    At 1.5″ the accuracy is about what I expected. Not great, but not too bad for an action pistol. The sights being that far off is more troublesome but I think this revolver is well worth having. For me at least the sights are not as important when action shooting. You mentioned that the accuracy shouldn’t be too bad for action shooting distances. I believe you are talking about a 10′ to 20 ‘ range. Is that correct?

    By the way, I am going to get your book. I think I will really enjoy your stories. Are any of them pure fiction or are they all based on your actual experiences?

    G&G

    G&G

    G&G


    • The accuracy of my first Colt replica was abysmal.
      It was a .36 Navy and I tried to keep the cylinder-forcing cone gap at a minimum to avoid chainfires. I suspect that played a role in the groups landing about 6″ to the upper left @ about 10:30.
      Other than that and a broken handspring every once in a while it was a good gun and enticed me into purchasing it’s bigger brother-the .44 Dragoon.
      These guns weren’t really meant to be aimed using their crude sights but rather point & shoot.
      My next BP revolver will be a Remington replica and I’m considering the Target version.



        • 40yds, at the time that was a range I felt was challenging yet doable with most handguns. And I just might still be able to pull it off being that I’m right handed and the strokes mostly affected my left side but it also had an effect on my vision and stability so I can’t wait to get to a range with one to find out.



  8. Update:

    On the 92FS .177 pellet pistol, I fired 2 eight shot clips in single last night ( after the 100% tear down ) and it was flawless. I will put it through it’s “paces” in single and double this week end and get the laser zeroed back in.

    As for the single and double action,….I have come to think of it in a different way,….it is not what (you) are doing,…as in you are doing 2 actions in single,…cock hammer and the pull trigger,….but rather what the (trigger is doing). The trigger in double is doing (2) actions at once via the “double”….cock hammer and fire.. VS ..the single in which the trigger is only performing 1 function,….firing the pistol,….because the hammer has already been cocked.

    A different way to look at it from a newbie point of view. The confusion is evident with the constant clarification from BB when ever single and double action is clarified……which by the way,….helped me to keep it straight! 😉

    It seems backwards, but that’s the way it is.


    • You’re right and my 1008 in double action was all over the place but in single action it was actually pretty good.
      I opened it up to wring more power outta it but wish I had left it alone.


      • Reb,

        The single/double talk above was just another way to look at it. Not an indication of what the 92 is doing. It seems to be doing fine in both but I will be doing at least 128 rounds this weekend to be sure. 64 in double and 64 in single. No clue as to why it messed up last weekend.

        But yes, the double will require a lot more trigger pull and will tend to pull a shot more.



          • Reb,

            I had chrony results at one time. Hopefully I still do. The one thing that was causing the hammer slop was a link that had a spring on it. A roll pin on that link was keeping the link/spring pressure from following the hammer all the way to the pin. It was sending the hammer forward and then the hammer momentum finished the job. I removed that roll pin. An older version was set up like this and the newer version had the roll pin. That was the only change I made. When I first fired it, it seemed real loud. But, it had been several months sine I had heard it. The second C02 it sounded weaker/not as loud. I could get 8×8 shot clips before and will see if I still can. If not, then it may be putting more CO2 through it. The 1st. CO2 still had gas in it, so at least that is ok.

            I did find the chrony results. Low/High/Avg. 409/455/429. I will be seeing what it’s doing now and may try the single vs double a try as you mentioned.



  9. B.B.

    Like you I tried shooting the Duke Colt at 10 meters. While aiming at the center of the 2″ shot spot, Crosman Premium wadcutters landed 1.75″ low and 1.75″ left, and Meisterkugeln Pistol wadcutters landed 2″ low and 1.375″ left. After seeing that, I moved in closer at 18 feet and did my bench rested shooting from there. Using an aim point at the center of the 2″ shot spot, most of my shots at 18 feet were hitting either on the left side of the shot spot or just off of the left side of the shot spot. My 6 shot groups were slightly smaller than yours probably due exclusively to the fact that I was shooting at a shorter distance.

    RWS Hobby: 1.375″
    Air Arms Falcons (first 6): 1.625″ (I managed to get 5 of the 6 in about 0.75″)
    Air Arms Falcons (second 6): 0.875″ (all 6)
    H&N Finale Match Pistol: 1.125
    RWS Superdome: 1.25″
    RWS R10 Match: 0.75″ (all 6)

    Compared to all my other shots, the RWS R10 Match and the second 6 Falcons were either flukes or insanely crazy luck. I’ll have to reshoot some of these at 25 feet distance to see if my results come out more like yours. I am also starting to wonder if it’s reasonable to think that two different Duke Colt revolvers can produce significantly different results. Or are the manufacturing controls precise enough to make all the revolvers so much alike that it’s not possible for one to have better accuracy than another off the same production line?



      • I had read that this pellet gun was not very accurate and after shooting about 30 rounds through it I was ready to agree. I was about ready to call for an RMA when I decided to give it one last try. Instead of just pushing the pellet flush by hand I took a pen and depressed the pellet a little below the surface. Went from a 6 inch pattern to a 1 inch or less. If your having this trouble you might want to give this a try.


  10. I finally shot my UMAREX Colt Duke revolver. I purchased 2, but only shot the one tonight to see how accurate it was, and how long I could shoot on one cylinder. I shot Air Venturi Pellets, .177 Cal, 7.48 Grains, Wadcutter, and got an amazing 150 shots before it quit. I used my Air Ventri pellet pen pellet seater, and seated each round just a tad below flush. Thanks for that tip Cwastell. I used 24 of the cartridges, the pellet silver ones. I notices some of the bores of the cartridges had what looked like tools marks. I shot them with the smoother bore majority. I didn’t let the gun warm between shots in the basement. Shooting at 30 ft I was able to hit a 2″ bullseye when shooting from a rest, and often shooting twohanded without a rest. Some of my offhand shots had very tight groupings with flattened out splat target shots touching.

    I lubes both guns with silicon grease, the cylinder pawls, hand, hammer, and cylinder pins. This really smoothed the action up. I used AirSoft silicon oil on the CO2 cylinder. I found that using Birchwood Casey flat black touch up pen on the back of the front sight helped me see the front sight. I had good results aiming at the 6 o’clock position on the orange bullseye. I didn’t measure the trigger pulls on the guns, but I will do that as well. I only shot the one revolver to get a feel for it’s accuracy and CO2 usage per cylinder. I was amazed that I was able to shoot so long. Though I did move in to 10 ft for the last 25 shoots. I liked the grips and since I shoot Bisley’s they are about the same feel to me.

    I’m going to coat both guns with Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish. I coat all my guns with this stuff. I use it on my tools as well. Best safe guard against rust ever. Museums use this stuff. [URL=http://s138.photobucket.com/user/twolabdad/media/GUNS/Weatherby%20Vanguard%20Sporter/RENAISSANCE%20WAX_zpsaeps0goi.jpg.html][IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q270/twolabdad/GUNS/Weatherby%20Vanguard%20Sporter/RENAISSANCE%20WAX_zpsaeps0goi.jpg[/IMG][/URL]




    • I did a Pyramyd Air review of this gun in Nickle finish as well. It is pending review by the gurus. I think I said the ejector was plastic. That is incorrect, a better look and feel in better light showed me it is in fact blued metal. I did wax the revolver I shot Monday night. It looks great. I read the policy on reviews at Pyramyd Air, they also had policy on pictures. I didn’t see any way to post pictures. I did post pictures on Amazon since I paid for the guns via them. Maybe you just put a link in the body of the review?

      I will try another picture link here.

      [URL=http://s138.photobucket.com/user/twolabdad/media/2008-09/IMG_2573_zps4oxc9ce9.jpg.html][IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q270/twolabdad/2008-09/IMG_2573_zps4oxc9ce9.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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    • [URL=http://s138.photobucket.com/user/twolabdad/media/UMAREX%20COLT%20DUKE%20CO2%20REVOLVER/IMG_2573_zps4oxc9ce9.jpg.html][IMG]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q270/twolabdad/UMAREX%20COLT%20DUKE%20CO2%20REVOLVER/IMG_2573_zps4oxc9ce9.jpg[/IMG][/URL]



  12. I posted some pictures of my revolvers on the Pyramyd Air product pages. I just realized they are consecutive serial numbers, although I didn’t ask for that. NICE! I have shot both of the SAA’s now. I also purchased more cartridges, both Umarex pellet 24, Umarex BB 12, and Black OPS .177 pellet 12. I found the bores of the BB cartridges to be much rougher than the Umarex pellet cartridges. I used a drill bit that made a nice fit with patches wrapped around it and used JB bore cleaner and JB bore brite to smooth the BB cartridge bores. Before, a patch would hang up trying to push through. Now they are just as slick as the pellet cartridges. Out of 24 pellet cartridges, I found a couple that had some tool marks. I polished them up too. The bores or the Black OPS cartridges were the smoothest of all. Ran a patch with Ballistol down all of them. After 125+ rounds each I cleaned the barrel with a patch soaked in Ballistol. I was suprised how dirty they both were. Ran two clean patches after that and good as new, probably better. I used a kit called PatchWorm. It comes with pre-soaked Ballistol patches just the right size, and clean dry patches. It has a polymer worm that fits just right to push the patches through. You can find it on Amazon or there is a web site for PatchWorm as well. I still have to measure trigger pull, but it is sweet on both revolvers. No heavy main spring to fight like a real SAA. Betty even enjoyed shooting them with such a nice hammer pull and trigger.

    I’m going to compare accuracy among the three types of cartridges. I’ll get back with that info. Pictures of all three of my cartridges are on the Pyramyd Air pellet cartridge review pages as well. Well, they are under review so should be there soon.


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