by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- BB-gun versus airsoft accuracy
- The gun
- Special ammo
- Acknowledge your physics!
- How accurate?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!