Colt Peacemaker BB pistol: Part 3
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Fresh CO2
- Air Venturi Steel BBs
- The test
- H&N Smart Shot lead BBs
- Plastic BBs
- JSB Exact RS
- Shot count
- Trigger pull
Today we look at the Colt Peacemaker BB revolver with the 7.5-inch barrel. This test is the one I’m doing backwards. You will recall that I did Part 2 as an accuracy test, so today we look at velocity. That’s out of order but I think it won’t matter that much. Let’s get started.
Part of the velocity test is determining the shot count, so I removed the 12-gram CO2 cartridge and installed a new one. I knew the moment the cartridge was pierced because I heard it, so the test began with the first shot.
Air Venturi Steel BBs
First up were Air Venturi Steel BBs. Six of them averaged 413 f.p.s. The spread went from 407 to 421 f.p.s., so that’s just 14 f.p.s. After this first cylinder, however, all shots were slower. This was probably caused by part of the liquid CO2 coming through the valve and evaporating in the barrel.
I allowed the gun to recover temperature for at least 10 seconds between shots. If you don’t do that, most CO2 guns get slower with each shot, because they are getting colder.
H&N Smart Shot lead BBs
Next to be tried were H&N Smart Shot BBs. They averaged 343 f.p.s. with a low of 315 and a high of 366 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 51 f.p.s. On this cylinder every shot went slower, even though I rested between shots.
Okay, here is what you have been waiting for. The next BBs I tested were those plastic BBs that came with the ASG X9 Classic BB pistol I reviewed a few weeks ago. They weigh 1.2 grains, but they jammed in the X9 Classic. I thought this pistol could handle them better because of how it works (it’s a revolver and it’s firing from a cartridge). I have no idea where to buy more of these. They did okay in the accuracy test, which surprised me. Now let’s see how fast they went.
Six plastic BBs averaged 650 f.p.s. Yes — that’s very fast! The spread for 6 shots went from a low of 628 to a high of 669, so 41 f.p.s. The velocity dropped with each shot.
JSB Exact RS pellets
Remember I tested this revolver with JSB Exact RS pellets, too. They averaged 381 f.p.s. The spread went from 375 to 387 f.p.s., which is just 13 f.p.s. And this time the velocity did not drop with each shot. It dropped with the first three shots and increased with the second three. The final shot was 387 f.p.s. — the fastest shot with this pellet.
The gun handles BBs well, but the velocity does drop as you shoot. It shouldn’t affect accuracy at close ranges, which is all this gun was meant to shoot. Now it’s time to find out how many total shots are in a typical CO2 cartridge.
By this time in the test there were 39 shots on the cartridge. Some did not register through the chronograph. Shot number 40 was an Air Venturi Steel BB that went out at 392 f.p.s. Remember, the average I got before was 413 f.p.s. Here’s a list of velocities with the same BB after that.
When the velocity starts to drop like you see around shot 80, it means all the liquid CO2 has evaporated to gas and that is what’s powering the gun. From that point on, the velocity can only decrease. You can still shoot safely and still be accurate, but at some point you will notice the BBs are dropping more and the discharge will be quieter.
I went farther in this test to show you what happens. I could tell by around shot 110 that the gun was slowing down from the discharge sound. I stopped at shot 120 because I didn’t want a BB stuck in the barrel. But any way you look at it, this revolver gets a lot of shots at reasonable velocity.
The trigger is single action only, of course. That almost always means that is is single-stage, as well. The hammer must be cocked manually each time you shoot, both to ready the gun to fire and to advance the cylinder to a new chamber.
The trigger breaks cleanly at between 3 lbs. 1 oz. and 3 lbs. 3 oz. That’s better than a stock Colt SAA revolver will do!
This revolver is very nice for many reasons. First, I like the 7.5-inch better for its balance best of all the SAAs. The 4-3/4 is the fastest, but this one is the easiest to handle.
Next, I like the imitation ivory grips. They are smooth and well-fitted to the gun, plus they are on very tight.
I also like that the 1860 Colt Army grip frame was used instead of the SAA grip frame. That gives you larger grips and makes the gun easier to handle. Of course it is needed to hold the 12-gram CO2 cartridge.
The cartridges go in and out of the cylinder easily, plus they are very easy to load with BBs. I would rather load BBs in the bottom of the cartridge than in the nose. It seems more natural.
If you like single action airguns, this is definitely one to consider.