Dan Wesson 715 6mm airsoft revolver: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dan Wesson airsoft revolver
Dan Wesson 715 airsoft revolver looks and operates just like the BB revolver.

Dan Wesson 715 BB revolver Part 1
Dan Wesson 715 BB revolver Part 2
Dan Wesson 715 BB revolver Part 3

This report covers:

  • Realism
  • BB-gun versus airsoft accuracy
  • The gun
  • Special ammo
  • Acknowledge your physics!
  • How accurate?
  • Cartridges
  • Accessories
  • Summary

Some of you have waited patiently for this report on the Dan Wesson 715 6mm airsoft revolver. I don’t do a lot of airsoft reports, but from time to time it’s good to look at one, because we see so many of them being converted into BB and even pellet guns, these days. And airsoft guns can be accurate! It’s been a long time since I edited Airgun Illustrated magazine, but back in those days there was always at least one airsoft article in the magazine. I felt that some shooters needed to know about the airsoft option — not to shoot at other people, because I don’t support that use — but for the accuracy and simple operation of the guns, themselves. I have found that you can learn a lot about airgun function by studying one of these 6mm smoothbore guns.

Realism

We covered the realistic aspect of the ASG Dan Wesson model 715 BB revolver in a 3-part report, and you know how nice I think it is. Nearly all of the operation remains the same for this revolver.

BB-gun versus airsoft accuracy

Several of you asked me to test the airsoft version of this revolver and to compare it to the BB gun, so that’s what I am doing. This will be a regular 3-part test, followed by a comparison report that will also include information about using the speedloader and optional accessory rail. This should be a very complete report on the airsoft gun. That’s why I have already linked to the three parts of the BB-gun report, but am not calling this Part 4.

The gun

This is essentially the same gun as the BB revolver. The barrel is larger to accommodate the larger 6mm plastic balls that airsoft people call BBs. Confusing, isn’t it? It has the same captive Allen wrench inside the left grip panel to turn the CO2 piercing screw, and the same neat safety that you have to look for the find behind the hammer. If you own the BB revolver you’ll feel right at home with this airgun.

Adjustable Hop Up

Many airsoft guns have something that BB guns don’t — a way to control the spin on the projectile as it leaves the muzzle. It gives greater accuracy and a much flatter trajectory. The most widely used name for this feature is Hop Up, and you want it to be adjustable to be able to tune the gun for a specific airsoft BB.

The Dan Wesson revolver has adjustable Hop Up. The adjustment is an Allen screw on top of the barrel and the wrench is provided. The manual shows the 6mm ball going up or down in a curved trajectory with adjustment, but in truth you never know what it’s going to do. It can just as easily curve sharply to the left. You simply adjust the screw until the ball you are shooting is going at straight as possible.

Special ammo

This revolver runs on a 12-gram CO2 cartridge that’s hidden in the grip. Most airsoft guns that operate on gas use green gas, which has a pressure of around 115 psi at room temperature. Carbon dioxide is pressurized to about 850 psi at room temperature, so it’s much more potent. It took a long time for airsoft manufacturers to get the valving worked out for the higher pressure. One of the accommodations this gun makes is by shooting a 0.30-gram BB instead of something lighter.

Airsoft guns typically run one of three BB weights — 0.12-grams for the lower-powered spring piston guns, 0.20-grams for the spring-piston rifles and lower-powered automatic electric guns (AEG) and 0.25-grams for the more powerful sniper rifles, souped-up guns and high-powered AEGs. This revolver is running a BB that’s heavier than even the heaviest BB commonly used.

And here is a warning from me. Some people throw these airsoft BB weights around and say grains when they should say grams, or they drop the decimal points and call them 12-gram BBs instead of 0.12-gram BBs. Don’t do that. The right amount of nitroglycerin in a tablet will keep your heart beating. Making a mistake with the decimal point will get you enough nitro to blow up a bridge! Be specific and careful when you talk about airsoft BBs. It really does make a difference!

Acknowledge your physics!

Most airsoft guns are bought for skirmishing. That’s shooting at people in mock battles — sort of a sanctioned extension of the BB-gun wars little boys have been having for over a century, with less danger (though still present) to the eyes. The physics say that when the weight of the projectile is increased, the energy it generates also increases. Some airgunners concentrate on velocity that also increases energy, but projectile weight does it with more telling effect. That’s why it is possible for an air rifle firing a 405-grain bullet at 750 f.p.s. and take down a 2,000 lb. bison.

This revolver is shooting a 0.30-gram Blaster Devil BB that is going to sting a lot more than a 0.12-gram BB when it hits. The danger distance from the muzzle is a lot farther for the heavier BB. Acknowledge the physics! Don’t recommend this gun for a skirmish because you know it will hurt more when someone gets hit at close range. That kind of thinking is what killed paintball.

As I write this there is a question mark in the Pyramyd Air description for this gun regarding this airgun’s velocity. The number given is 450 f.p.s. With a 0.30-gram BB, that means this revolver is considerably more powerful than most airsoft sniper rifles. I will test it in Part 2, of course, and we will nail down the actual velocity for you.

How accurate?

The big question everyone has concerns the accuracy. I am among those who want to know. I have seen airsoft guns that could easily hit a man-sized target at 50 yards, and I have had handguns that could hit a hotel soap bar at 30 feet with every shot. So I have to construct a test for all of this.

I plan to begin at 5 meters, because that is the distance at which the BB revolver was tested. If you will recall, the Dan Wesson 715 BB revolver proved extremely accurate at 5 meters — producing one group that was just over one-half-inch. It will be harder to measure the airsoft groups because the larger balls tear larger holes. I plan to use Shoot-N-C targets at all distances, and we should at least get a good idea of how well the gun shoots. And of course I will not only adjust the Hop Up — I will describe how to do it for those who are new to airsoft. You don’t do it by shooting at paper targets is all I will say at this time.

Cartridges

Like the BB revolver, the airsoft revolver uses individual cartridges for each BB. They are just as long and have a similar synthetic piece at the front into which the airsoft BB is loaded.

Dan Wesson airsoft revolver cartridge
Dan Wesson 715 airsoft revolver cartridge (left) is very similar to the BB cartridge, except the opening for the 6mm airsoft BB is larger.

Accessories

The revolver comes with the same speedloader as the BB gun and it accepts the same accessory rail that the BB revolver uses. I will cover these in a later report.

Summary

We have a full test ahead of us. Three full parts on this revolver, then a comparison report with the BB gun and a look at how the accessories work. In all it is a full report!

21 thoughts on “Dan Wesson 715 6mm airsoft revolver: Part 1

  1. HI BB and the group,
    I will watch this test with interest, as I know nothing about air soft guns. I do know some popular bb pistols are cloned from air soft , so will be interesting to see how the accuracy of this pistol compares to the bb version. The hop up feature explained will be very important as some of my bb pistols are touted as having hop up and we know that is not true.
    Best wishes
    Harvey


    • Harvey,

      I plan to be very sensitive in this report to all who don’t know about airsoft. We have picked up several thousand new registered users since I wrote the last report on airsoft, so I will not use a lot of jargon and I will try to explain everything as I go.

      B.B.


  2. Some BB guns do have a hopup system, some are even adjustable.
    One of my favorite ones is the Tanfoglio Witness 1911 Blowback BB Pistol.
    Yes, it is a .177 adaptation of an airsoft gun, but at 10 yards, the hopup system definitely keeps it close to point of aim, and accurate.
    I wish more BB guns had the feature, but it reduces the long term reliability of the gun if the hopup becomes damaged.


    • 45Bravo,

      Your comment grabbed my interest, so I looked it up. The P.A. product page states that while the box states that it does have hop up adjustability, it in fact does not. So the question is,….what are you adjusting? Are you sure it just not a plug of sorts or set screw that is there to just plug the feature on the airsoft model, since they are using the same frame? Perhaps the manual is a “blend” of the airsoft model and the steel bb model?

      I believe you are adjusting something,.. and I believe that you believe that you are seeing results from your adjustments. Any additional info. you could offer would be of interest. Thanks, Chris


      • Chris,

        The manual shows where the adjustment screw is located, and it is there on the gun. And there is a wrench in the box for adjustments.

        Please let me take this at my pace. I will alert PA when I establish if the Hop Up adjustment works as the manual says. If corrections are required to the description, I will make sure they happen. I used to just tell Edith and she did it, but the process takes longer now.

        It’s going to take me several hours of work to check this, and I am not prepared to get into it right now. If you raise a fuss, PA will ask me to stop what I am doing and find out right away. I really don’t have the time to do that, because there is whole lot more to this issue than just yes/no. Let’s just let this unfold as it should.

        B.B.


      • I will let Tom explain it in the review. I am sure he will include photos.

        On the witness, I never had to adjust it, nor did I try, it was good out of the box.
        But when I cleaned the barrel, I had to be careful not to disturb the 2 rubber parts (bax system) that impinge on the BB’s flight.


  3. BB
    Lot of good info already. And from what little I have messed with airsoft it sounds like this pistol will be a shooter. Especially if the velocity holds true to the claims with the heavier air soft bb. And I would really rather call it a airsoft ball not a bb. But again that’s just me.

    And I can’t wait till you get into talking about the hop up and how it affects trajectory. Maybe some top and side view drawings of what the air soft ball looks like in flight when the hop up is adjusted with more or a less amount of hop up.

    And I think the Shoot-N-C targets is a good idea.

    And maybe one other thing. Maybe you could give a example of what the fpe is on the air soft gun after you find out the velocity. Then tell how much fpe a steel bb makes at that velocity it shoots at. That would give a good indication I believe of the difference between grams and grains. It takes a pretty hot shooting heavy air soft ball to come close to the energy a steel bb makes.

    But I do think this will be a exciting series of tests. And can’t wait for the side by side shooting of the air soft pistol and the bb pistol.


    • GF1,

      I also prefer the use of the term airsoft ball. But we have thousands of readers who are new to airguns in general, and if I try to impose my hidebound conservative ideas I will confuse them. They are going to see 6mm ammo referred to as BBs, so that is what I will call it, too. I will try to keep in some modifiers, so the veteran airgunners know I’m talking about airsoft ammo and not steel BBs.

      Heck — all the manufacturers refer to a steel BB as 4.5mm caliber right on the container. But when it comes time to do anything with those steel BBs, THEN the actual size becomes important. Remember — these are the same people who think that a bolt action rifle is a single shot because they can’t just keep pulling the trigger and the gun keeps firing.

      Also remember that YOU can calculate the muzzle energy of anything I report by simple using the Pyramyd Air calculation formulas found here:

      https://www.pyramydair.com/article/What_is_Muzzle_Energy_August_2003/5

      As for adjusting the Hop Up, I’m still working out how I plan to represent that. I’ll probably do some simple drawings.

      B.B.


      • BB
        With you on all you just said.

        Maybe you can talk some about if air soft bb’s/balls can be reused also in the next report. And also about the biodegradable air soft ammo for outside use.

        Just trying to bring up some points about why maybe somebody would rather shoot air soft verses steel bb’s.


  4. BB
    I will be also reading this series of reports with interest. I have an air soft pistol that is spring driven. It could not hit a playing card at 5 feet so I considered air soft to inaccurate to be useful. However I may have to give air soft another try.


  5. B.B.

    I am not into AirSoft or PaintBall – not my thing – but I am very interested in knowing more about this technology.

    Looking forward to your next reports!

    Hank


  6. I only have 4 (really they are my kid’s) airsoft guns. They are in the “lower” power bracket for airsoft. The springers are around 275 fps and the two electric springers are 185 fps. So I only buy .12 gram airsoft balls. But, I’ve seen those 29 gram aluminum airsoft balls and they look so nice. My youngest wanted me to buy some but I told him I didn’t think the guns were powerful enough to shoot them. We too do not shoot each other. Just plink with them. I haven’t really gotten “into” them like I did paintball back years ago.


  7. B.B.,

    I am very interested in what you discover with this revolver, even though I am not an airsoft enthusiast per se.

    I do have two inexpensive spring powered airsoft pistols, and at 20 feet or so the 6mm plastic balls almost seem to be locked onto whatever I am shooting at, usually a cardboard box with a target drawn on the side.

    One advantage I think is that every shot is like a tracer round that I am able to see as it flies at the target. Perhaps it somehow directs my aim. But they shoot at far lower velocities than this CO2 gun does, so I would be interested in knowing if you are able to see the balls in flight well enough that it might be helpful to your accuracy.

    Michael


  8. Till this year I was fairly ambivalent towards airsoft…not so much the guns, they looked very cool, but I did (and still) have a bit of a problem with people who give their very young children the cheap airsoft guns and then tell them to go shoot their sibling with it…and yet expect the same child to realize that he CANNOT point a firearm or air-rifle at someone.
    But this year my boys, now 12 and 15 picked up an interest in milsim games.
    As If felt that they had proven theywere responsible with firearms (I get many comments at our range about how people completely comfortable with my boys on the firing line)…and they were old enough to realize the difference between and airsoft M4 and our Mossberg AR I caved in to their desire to play.
    For Christmas this year they each got a G&G M4 and to tell the truth I was blown away.
    Same size and feel as our Mossberg MMR. It was obvious that it was well built.
    We had them chrono’d at the local airsoft facility (an old warehouse that has a complete run down Afgan village inside) and they were both right around 450fps out of the box, that was lowered to the mandatory 400fps for milsim ‘play’. ( I hesitate to use the word play…most of the participants are adult and they are as well equipped with tac vests, helmets, two way radio, etc as any actual military folk).
    At 25 yards the rifles have no problem hitting a playing card 10 out of 10 times…so accuracy isn’t an issue.
    Gotta admit B.B., I’m like you (and many here)…I like anything that shoots, is well made and fairly accurate.


    • Cowboystar Dad
      I’m with you on the not pointing a gun at a person no matter what kind of gun it is. My dad made sure me and my brother both knew that you don’t even point the gun at something you don’t intend to shoot. And I taught my 2 daughters that from the time they started shooting at 7 years old. Now 18 and 15. They handle guns as good as adults that have been shooting for a long time. And better than other adults. So yes no people shooting with our air soft guns. We plink and target shoot with the ones we had. And I will add the air soft guns were fun to shoot.


  9. Is paintball dead? I thought those people were heavily armored and having a great time. The only fatality I heard of is when the air tank from a gun got loose, flew through the air, and hit somebody. But I was never tempted to participate because of the pain of the paintballs. I knew a woman who said that she participated in a corporate team building event that used paintball. The event was supposed to help everyone bond but she ended up hating some people because they shot her up close to hurt her. She might even have had to play with those same individuals in another bonding game which involved team members passing a horse collar from the neck of one person to another without using their hands. Do not buy airguns from corporations that train their staff this way.

    And even though paintball and airsoft are technically safe, the aggression they enable turns me off. It resembles a church fundraising event I watched where people could buy chances to dunk a priest. The priest, who was visiting from South America, sat on a seat over a tub of water. If people hit a target projecting out of the side with a softball that they purchased, a lever would open the seat, dropping the priest in the water. Enormous guys were positively baring their teeth and whipping that softball for all they were worth, and the poor priest hardly had time to resume his seat before he got dropped again. It was ugly.

    The Dan Wesson revolver was deja vu for the blog post on the SW 686 airgun revolver which inspired me to buy the firearm. Not this time…

    August, you are welcome and thanks for your question. Your description of the method was the old way that I reconstructed from the description of the Apache Indian. Fido3030 can obviously make it work. But the new method is a little different. The one and a half revolutions you describe are the start. But then, instead of releasing the stone, you swing into another vertically oriented circle on your left side to complete a kind of figure eight around your body. But you complete the circle on your left by letting the stone continue around your back and then over your right shoulder where it is released. So, the releasing motion is more like a baseball throw than the direct overhand method (which is like bowling in cricket). The new way feels more powerful and natural. For a demonstration, just search YouTube for a demonstration by a character who calls himself David the Shepherd.

    As for ammo, you are right that the ultimate is a kind of lead football that is aerodynamic in the same way that a spitzer bullet is compared to a musket ball. Fido3030 proposed lead fishing weights as a substitute. Maybe, but the ones that I’ve seen are not symmetrical; they appear front-weighted. I believe I’ll stick with the 99 used golf balls that arrived last night.

    Fido3030, if you can sling a stone 300+ yards I’d say that qualifies you as a primitive man. I’ve heard that sling length is proportional to power, so having it hang just about the ground sounds right. I couldn’t make your method work, but I haven’t been able to sling 300 yards either. I have heard of the famous Balearic slingers. However, their method that I’ve seen on YouTube is highly unorthodox and looks like they are whirling a propeller behind their backs. I haven’t gotten that to work at all.

    On the subject of superior primitives, I must share this story. I was watching a contest on YouTube between a trained gymnast and an orangutan to see who could hang the longest from a bar. I love contests like this. After the contest began, they hung motionless staring at each other for a few minutes. Then, the ape relieved its bladder. After a few more minutes, the ape got bored and casually swung up its feet to brush against the bar. That’s it. The ape was disqualified although they let him stay up there. After six minutes the gymnast began to flag and began releasing each hand alternatively to try to regain circulation. But shortly after, he fell off the bar from exhaustion. Later they interviewed the gymnast about his victory with the clock showing 15 minutes after the start of the contest, and the ape was still swinging happily on the bar in the background. Japanese flying ace Saburo Sakai claims that after brutal pilot training, he was able to hang by one hand from a bar for 20 minutes while smoking a cigarette. So, he would have beaten the gymnast but probably not the ape.

    Matt61


    • Matt 61
      Very interesting! I read about the sling method you described in the Rick Brant boys’ series books i read as a kid but i couldn’t get the hang of it. BTW there are quite a few Greek and Roman sling pellets on Ebay. Search for “ancient sling.” Who knows if they’re authentic but there were probably millions made and they probably turn them up at ancient battle sites with metal detectors like they do musket balls here.
      Have you heard of the staff sling? Tie one end of a sling to the top of a mop handle and put the loop just above it. Swing it over your shoulder like a catapult. Thanks for bringing up an interesting subject. Be sure to register your slings.
      Fido3030


  10. Thank you B.B. for all your patient and understanding with your expertise and taking all of these comments, some time with a grain of ? Also I used to play alot of golf! I have PGA Pro friend that competes in Long Drive! Unofficially he has driven a golf ball that bounced to to 457 yards! If it wasn’t for the new type golf balls I would not be able to compete myself! Golf balls bounce and roll far! Semper fi!


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