by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Loading the CO2
- Loading the cartridges
- The tests
- RWS Basic
- Crosman Premier lite
- Qiang Yuan training pellets
- Shot count
- Trigger pull
- 2017 Pyramyd Air Cup
- 2017 Texas Airgun Show
Today I test the velocity of the Dan Wesson 4-inch pellet revolver. This should be an interesting test.
Loading the CO2
I installed a fresh CO2 cartridge in the grip, after putting a couple drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before piercing. The oil gets blown into the valve and coats every seal inside, ensuring the gun remains gas-tight.
Loading the cartridges
The cartridges load from the rear, which is easy to do. The pellets slip into the plastic liners of each cartridge easily and stay there securely until the gas blows they into the barrel.
The loaded cartridges also load easily into the cylinder. When you’re done shooting, all you have to do is open the cylinder and tip the muzzle up and the cartridges fall right out. There is no expansion from gas the way there is with a firearm cartridge.
I will test the revolver in both single action and double action fire. We want to know how consistent the action is in either mode, as well as whether there is a big difference in velocity.
I waited a minimum of 10 seconds between each shot, and sometimes longer. CO2 cools the airgun as it is discharged and cooling leads to lower pressure, which means less velocity. CO2 guns are just not well-suited for rapid fire, unless certain special things are done to them.
First up was the 7-grain RWS Basic pellet. This pellet weighs the same as an RWS Hobby, but sells for less. Basics averaged 376 f.p.s. on single action and had a spread of 31 f.p.s., from 362 to 393 f.p.s. When shot double action the average was 380 f.p.s. and the spread tightened to 8 f.p.s., ranging from 376 to 384 f.p.s.
Crosman Premier lite
Crosman Premier lites weigh 7.9 grains and averaged 359 f.p.s. from the Dan Wesson revolver when fired single action. The spread was 22 f.p.s. and went from 345 to 367 f.p.s. When fired double action, Premier lites averaged 358 f.p.s. and had a spread of 10 f.p.s. The range was from 354 to 364 f.p.s.
Qiang Yuan training pellets
The last pellet I tested was the 8.2-grain Qiang Yuan training pellet. This was the heaviest pellet I tested, but I think the results are going to surprise you. They loaded into the cartridges easier than the other two pellets and in single action they averaged 376 f.p.s. — the same as the lightweight RWS Basics. The velocity spread went from a low of 367 f.p.s to a high of 383 f.p.s. That’s a range of 16 f.p.s.
In double action this pellet averaged 363 f.p.s.and the spread went from 360 to 368 f.p.s., a range of just 8 f.p.s. This pellet is very efficient in the revolver.
At this point in the test there were a total of 39 shots on this CO2 cartridge. Now I returned to the RWS Basics that had averaged 376 f.p.s. in single action, and I started seeing how many good shots there were on the cartridge. Shot number 51 went out the muzzle at 350 f.p.s. You might be tempted to think the gun was slowing down, but then shot 62 went out at 365 f.p.s. Don’t count it out yet. Shot 71 was 308 f.p.s., so the gun is definitely slowing, though the shots are still powerful. Shot 81 was 245 f.p.s. which is getting low enough to stop shooting. Given that the cylinder holds 6 rounds I think it’s safe to say there are 12 good cylinders or 72 shots in one CO2 cartridge.
In the single action mode, where the hammer is cocked manually, the trigger breaks at 5 lbs. even. When the trigger is pulled to fire the gun in the double action mode the pull is just over 9 lbs. It ranges between 9 lbs. 2 oz and 9 lbs. 4 oz. That’s very light for a double action trigger pull
I learned several things from this test. First, the average velocity with lead pellets seems to be around 376 f.p.s. Sure, I could have loaded lead-free alloy pellets and probably would have gotten velocities above the 410 f.p.s. rating, but these are the velocities you will see with the kind of pellets you will most likely use.
I also discovered the revolver is more stable when shooting in the double action mode. With each pellet the velocity spread was about half as large as it was in single action.
The average velocity was close to the same in both modes, with a very slight bias toward single action. When I shoot it for accuracy I will be shooting single action only, because I am not that good in the double action mode. That takes training and practice.
2017 Pyramyd Air Cup
The 2017 Pyramyd Air Cup will be held August 25 – 27, 2017 at the Tusco Rifle Club in New Philadelphia, Ohio. There will be more information on this event very soon.
2017 Texas Airgun Show
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the Pyramyd Air Cup this year, because the 2017 Texas Airgun Show is being help on Saturday August 26 at the Arlington Sportsman’s Club in Mansfield, Texas. I do plan on attending the 2017 Flag City Toys That Shoot airgun show in Findlay, Ohio on Saturday, April 8, so if you want to see me, look for me there. I will share two tables with Dennis Quackenbush.