Umarex Legends Ace in the Hole pellet revolver: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Legends Ace revolver
Umarex Legends Ace in the Hole revolver.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • RWS HyperMAX
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Evaluation
  • Next

Things are back on track today and we will look at the accuracy of the Umarex Legends Ace in the Hole revolver. I hope it’s good!

The test

I shot from a sandbag rest at 10 meters. Ten meters is far for an action pistol, but I am trying to establish where the Ace is, in terms of hitting the target.

I wore my reading glasses so the sights would appear sharp. Single action sights work a little differently than any other revolver sights, because the rear sight is a notch in the back of the frame. The sides of this notch slope up toward the notch on both sides and I find myself holding the front sight blade a little higher than I am used to. Once I get the sight picture, though, I can do good work with an SAA.

The target was fuzzy, but it’s supposed to be. I aimed at 6 o’clock on the black bull.

I shot 6 shots rather than 10, just because this is a 6-shot revolver. That allowed me to test several different pellets.

RWS Hobby

The first group of RWS Hobby pellets was pretty scattered, but I was still learning the sight picture. So I waited until the end of the test and shot another group of Hobbys. This target is representative of what I can do with the Ace I’m testing shooting Hobbys.

Six pellets went into 1.82-inches at 10 meters. The group lies a littler left of center.

Legends Ace revolver Hobbys
Six RWS Hobby pellets went into 1.82-inches at 10 meters. An inauspicious start!

Air Arms Falcon

The next pellet I tested was the Air Arms Falcon. These lightweight domes will sometimes surprise you. Not this time, though. Six Falcons went into 1.663-inches at 10 meters. Once again the group is vertical and to the left of center.

Legends Ace revolver Falcons
Six Falcons went into 1.663-inches at 10 meters.

I was hoping for better accuracy than this. Though the Ace probably won’t be shot at paper targets, it still should be able to hit a bottlecap at 25 feet. And then it happened.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets

The next pellet I tried in the Ace was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter. This time I didn’t look at the target through the spotting scope. Until I walked down to change targets I had no idea this revolver had just put 6 pellets into 0.553-inches! And the group is at the exact point of aim!

Legends Ace revolver Sig Match
The Ace revolver put 6 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets in a group that measures 0.553-inches at 10 meters. This is phenomenal!

Why are the Sig pellets so much more accurate? I don’t know, but I can say they fit the cartridges tighter than the first 2 pellets I tested. Also I know from experience with them that these pellets are often superbly accurate. How about that — lead-free pellets that will shoot!

RWS HyperMAX

The RWS HyperMAX pointed pellet is a lightweight lead free pellet that I haven’t tested much in the past. They go fast because they are light, but in the testing I have done they haven’t been too accurate. In the Ace 6 HyperMax pellets made a group that measures 1.055-inches between centers. That’s better than the first two pellets and not bad for an action pistol at 10 meters.

Legends Ace revolver RWS HyperMAX
Six RWS HyperMAX pellets made this 1.055-inch group at 10 meters. This is very good.

RWS Meisterkugeln

The 8.2-grain RWS Meisterkugeln wadcutter is an old favorite. They also make a 7 grain Meister for pistols, but I didn’t have any on hand. At 10 meters 6 Meisterkugeln went into a 0.915-inch group. That’s very good!

Legends Ace revolver RWS Meisterkugeln
Six RWS Meisterkugeln pellets made this 0.915-inch group at 10 meters. Another good pellet.

Evaluation

Three of five pellets tested gave good groups. One was astounding. The Ace in the Hole revolver is more accurate than I thought it might be. The crisp light trigger on the gun I am testing no doubt added to the accuracy, because I could hold very steady on target.

 

I did try my best with all pellets. I even re-shot the Hobbys, because I had learned the sights.

Next

This would normally be the last test for an air pistol like the Ace, but I want to try one more thing with this gun. I have an Air Venturi Dueling Tree target that was made for guns like the Ace. I want to try it on that. It should be fun!

65 thoughts on “Umarex Legends Ace in the Hole pellet revolver: Part 3

  1. Wow, B.B., that group with the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets is excellent!
    I wonder how they would do at longer range? (20 yards? maybe 25?)
    Cool test; thank you! =D


  2. BB, I noticed in the first part of this series that you talked about ‘fanning’ and ‘slip hammer’ firing of a single action revolver. Have you ever read the book by Ed McGivern (sp?) “Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting”? He talks about the different ways of quickly putting a lot of lead out of the front of a revolver, both with single and double action handguns (and accurately, too). I read it a fair number of years ago, and thought that it was a good read.


  3. B.B.,

    With that one group you have sold a few Ace in the Hole’s. I will be thinking real hard about putting an Ace in the Hole on my list. Will be waiting for Part 4.

    Don


  4. Hi BB et al..
    Well, I guess I know which pellets I’ ll useing in the Ace now! Great review so far.
    I’ve been setting up the Ace in the Hole to be used for rapid fire shooting from a holster. The UTG Commando Holster (PY-A-637) and Heavy Duty Web Belt (PY-A-1642) from Pyramyd Air work together nicely as a dominant hand or cross draw rig.
    The only problem is the Mickey Mouse plastic front sight doesn’t stay on all the time when the Ace is quick drawn!
    I tried a different, slightly larger holster and the same thing happened so it wasn’t specific to the UTG rig. I tried rounding the back of the front sight post with no success. The sight still popped off every now and then.
    So, I decided, when holstered, not to use the plastic clip-on front sight.
    For actual aiming I’ll just have to get used to useing the groove in the top of the frame without a front sight.
    The Pocket Ace can be easily rapid fired by drawing and fanning with the left hand, albeit, you need to stand close to the proverbial barn door for any kind of accuracy!
    I rounded off the sharp front edge and corners of the hammer immediately above the spring loaded firing pin. If you accidentally caught the top of the hammer when fanning or slipping the hammer it hurt. Wearing a glove on your left hand is a necessity for fanning.
    After reading BB’s earlier report that fanning would eventually ruin the gun I may get another Ace and use it only for fanning and keep track of how many shots before the gun self destructs.
    Fanning, especially with that big hammer, is a fun way to shoot the Ace!
    Slipping with the trigger tied back was the next exercise and it didn’t work very well useing one hand – the hammer is just too big and clunky one handed, and when you do manage to get a few shots off, they are mostly at reduced power due to lack of hammer control (hammer release too early). A two handed grip (see below) works better but the ½ cock position just isn’t there with the trigger tied back. This makes loading and unloading a chore.
    This gun is an air pistol and requires the hammer to have full travel to hit the valve with full force for each shot. Anything less will result in a low powered inaccurate shot.
    I found the most accurate way to rapid fire the gun was, on drawing the gun, immediately pull the trigger back and establish a two handed grip on the way up to eye level. Once there the sight picture should show the POA sitting just on top of the sight groove. By then your left thumb should have the hammer pulled all the way back. Release the hammer to fire and repeat as required.
    At first it feels awkward but with a little practice you’ll be able to easily print groups on 8½” x 11″ paper at 10 metres.
    Shooting this way is slow compared to fanning which is 4 or 5 times faster but without the accuracy.
    I’ve had the UTG holster and belt for a few years. This is the first time use and the velcro strap arrangement of the belt loop stabilizes well in both dominant hand and cross draw positions as well as a more vertical (somewhere between 1 and 2 o’clock) back draw position.
    It’s a great low cost rig and a perfect fit for the Pocket Ace.
    Check out the attached photo with the holster set up for cross draw.
    Cheers
    Dave


    • Dave,
      That’s a very cool and well-detailed report on the gun.
      And I believe this…
      ” I may get another Ace and use it only for fanning
      and keep track of how many shots before the gun self destructs.”
      …would also be of interest to the readers here.
      Like what happens after 1000, 2000, 5000 shots?
      Is there gradual degradation? Or does all go well until catastrophic failure?
      Perhaps the manufacturer would even take note of your findings for product improvement.
      Thank you.
      take care,
      dave


  5. It obviously has to be the pellet design and possible material used for the Sig Match pellets to do so well. Hope they perform as well with the rest of the Colt revolvers. Looked closely at the picture and the pellet skirt looks proportionally longer when compared with the head and the waist looks a bit wider. How about the inside area and diameter?

    But…then again is the shorter spring loaded inner barrel more accurate than the longer barrels? Less play? Probably not because the other pellets did not do as well.
    How about a quick test of these pellets in a long barrel Colt pellet pistol.


    • I wonder if the barrel rifling twist rate for pellet rifles or pistols has been decided through research or just put there to spin a pellet and not given much attention?


      • Bob M,

        You can probably find all the answers to your twist rate questions in one of these blogs that BB did in the past.
        /blog/2013/07/how-does-rifling-twist-rate-affect-velocity-andor-accuracy-part-13/

        /blog/2017/10/they-have-the-wrong-twist-rate-part-2/

        Half


        • Halfstep
          Thank you for providing the reference on barrel twist rates. Once again the Godfather has enlightened us and provided a vast amount of information on the subject.
          No doubt about it, we have the right man in the right place running this blog.

          It would be nice if manufactures would suggest the approximate pellet weight to use with the given twist rate of their airgun but then again all the other variables would obviously come into play and still leave us finding the right pellet(s) for a given airgun through trial and error.

          In the end my question was answered, they do consider the twist rate.
          Bob M


          • Bob M

            I think most smallbore pellet guns are 1 in 16 like .22LR guns, but I did see a video tour of the BSA plant in Birmingham, England and they had some .177 barrels in a hopper labeled 1:19 if I remember correctly.

            I’ve also seen a few YouTube videos where the poster is trying different twists to stabilize one of the really heavy .22 pellets. JSB Ultra Shock, I think it was.

            Half


            • Half
              I did some research and found that generally a heaver bullet (pellet? ) responds better to a faster twist rate. The article was mainly about the AR barrel twist rate evolution down to 1:7. to better use heavier bullets.
              They consider the bullet weight, FPS, material used and barrel length to come up with the best twist rate.
              I would assume the same applies to pellets but at a totally different level considering the weight and FPS of pellets and airguns.
              With the new FX Smooth twist barrel they apparently have paid some attention to pellet accuracy after perfecting the rifle.
              I think a 1:16 airgun twist rate may just be a generally acceptable rate, kinda like I mentioned above just to spin a pellet. How could one twist rate always be effective with all the different pellet weights and designs?
              I bet we’ll see more attention paid to the subject as airguns evolve and accurate shooting improves with vendor competition. Perhaps not on big box airguns but competition shooting rifles. It may already have been addressed in that field of shooting, high priced, but I don’t know much about those rifles.
              Bob M


              • Bob M,

                I’m no expert on this subject and most of what I know has come from reading here and a few other sources. Those resources have mostly contended that it’s not as critical with pellets as it is with bullets. If I recall correctly, it is because bullets travel faster, they have a greater length to cross section ratio, which responds to changes in spin rate more and they rely solely on spin stabilization where as a pellet is primarily drag stabilized, hence the wasp-waist diabolo shape of most pellets. My brain tells me that there should be differing rates for each pellet but what I’ve read doesn’t really bear that out.

                Half


                • Half
                  Good point. perhaps the total weight variance with pellets is insignificant when compared to bullets and they ‘generally’ don’t have to deal with the sound barrier. A little twist just helps it along especially with heavier pellets and probably a lot with ones like the H&N Piledriver.
                  I believe the smooth twist barrel lets the pellet gain speed before it spins the pellet.

                  Speaking of pellets, Noticed JSB is redesigning some of theirs and they seem to be moving toward a longer skirt while reducing the head size. I think the Sig Ballistic Alloy pellet is similar in design and did very well for BB. It just keeps getting better.
                  Bob M


                  • Bob M,

                    I saw that in a AEAC video recently. I’ve shot the redesigned Monsters alongside the old style from one of my Urbans and the redesigned ones grouped best.

                    I think the reason different weight bullets require different spin rates is because they are basically solid rods of metal. To make them heavier you must usually make them longer. Longer requires more spin to stabilize. Most pellets ( Piledrivers and Hydrashocks excepted) are hollow in a good portion of their makeup so they can be made quite a bit heavier without needing to be lengthened. And don’t forget magic!

                    Half



  6. I just got reminded of something from Bob’s comment. I was going to bring this up the the other day about my old Benji pump pistol.

    It said on the Crosman description it was a 1:14 twist rate. So that’s a little faster twist than what we hear of now days. Normally a 1:16 twist is what’s usually seen on air guns if I remember right.

    So maybe that faster twist rate helps stabilize the pellet better in my old Benji. It is definitely accurate for a pistol.


  7. Yipes I forgot how expensive those Sig pellets are.

    35 bucks for 500. Sounds like how much some of the .22 long rifle rimfire bullets are going for now days. Oh and I was just picking up a new battery for my mower today at the farm supply. They had a over abundance of .22 rimfire bullets on the shelf. Different brands and loads at that. Needless to say you know I got some.

    And don’t you just hate when the most expensive pellet makes those one hole groups. But you know what pellet I would be buying for that Ace in the Hole if I had that one BB is testing. The Sig pellets. Once I get accuracy I got to have it. What can I say. Maybe that’s why it’s called the Ace in the Hole.


  8. The Sig’s shot about 60 fps higher than RWS’s in the velocity test. Maybe that is what it needs for 10 meters. Fine shooting especially for that sighting system.

    The AV Dueling Tree looks interesting. The 3rd picture on the PA site show a rear view in the 3rd picture and looks to be quite the contraption. It also mentions 7 fpe to function.

    Good Day to one and all,…. Chris


    • Chris,

      I have an “antique” pellet target that has one set of paddles that operates in this fashion. Rhino Targets has a target system that works with this same system. Steel Plinkers makes a dueling tree that can take a bit more punishment than this one. The dueling tree is a lot of fun for two shooters.


  9. Hi all,

    I just went over to the SIG website and noticed they have an alloy domed pellet now too. Called Crux.

    May be interesting to see it’s performance.

    It sure looks a lot like the H&N FTT..

    Do you know if SIG makes them themselves? Or maybe they have a similar deal like air arms with the falcons?

    Best regards,

    Carel



  10. BB

    I can’t help but wonder if the very accurate group can be confirmed with another 6 shot group. There have been times when I’ve shot a tight group and then be unable to validate it. And that is with 10 shot groups. If you are able to get another 6 shot group even under .75″ I will spring for the $35. I know how busy you are. If other readers are not interested I will understand.

    Decksniper


  11. Not sure how much it would help this short barreled version but Increasing the power on these is fairly easy.
    I removed material from the face of the hammer so that the lever at the bottom would open the valve fully.
    Alternatively material could be added to the lever but there’s not much room to work in there.
    I also added more spring tension to hold the valve open a bit longer.
    Someone really adventurous could open the channel from the valve to the port behind the cylinder for better flow.
    It gave me more noise per shot and deeper penetration in my phonebook test medium lol.
    Of course this was at the expense of fewer shots per co2 cartridge but it only brought it down to ~80 shots @ 30 ft before pressure was low enough that the POI was changed too much to suit me.


  12. Ok here’s a picture of the piston seal and spring. There appears to be chunks of brass imbedded in the seal is this normal? And can I make a hole punch the same size as the piston to make a new seal out of leather? Also got my blue book today exciting!
    Carl



  13. Off subject, I got an email from PA yesterday about the Diana Chaser C02 pistol and and the rifle kit. Very interesting. I either didn’t know about it or it had slipped my mind. And for $20 more it becomes a multi shot. Looking at the velocities of both, I would think the rifle would have more fps than it does.
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Diana_Chaser_CO2_Air_Pistol/4612
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Diana_Chaser_CO2_Air_Rifle_Kit/4613

    Doc


    • At least Diana was smart enough (or whoever makes it) to move the rear sights down the barrel on the rifle. Umarex Morph, Crosman’s 2260 and some others put the rear sight way to close to the end of the gun (too close your eye) to be able to use the rear sight. Not very well designed in my opinion.

      Doc


      • Doc,

        The rear sight on the 22xx and 13xx guns that Crosman produces shoulder stock kits for, as well as the 2260 rifle, to the best of my knowledge, have a peep or aperture sight that needs to be right up next to your eye.

        Half


        • Half,
          Yes, I have a 2260 and while it does have a peep, it’s a very poor one. For me anyway. It’s about like the peep on my newer model Daisy 25 bb gun.

          Doc



  14. Blue book update, the section on evaluating gun conditions was very informative and imho worth the price of admission on its own. It all falls back to you don’t know what you don’t know!
    Carl


    • Carl,

      Glad you like the Blue Book. Now someone else besides me can sing it’s praises. 😉

      Thanks for the pics on your new acquisition. Wow, that piston and seal look rough to say the least. Looking forwards to more pics as you proceed with it’s restoration. Nice Opinel by the way. I have been wanting one but I keep talking myself out of it. Glad Vortek was able to assist you as well.


      • Chris
        I will definitely keep you and everyone else apprised. I think everyone is aware I’m dealing with a serious airgun blog addiction and your one of my favorite enablers.
        Carl


        • Carl,

          When you get a chance,… look up LD Air Guns in the “L” section. In my opinion that is some of the most beautiful rifles and pistols that I have ever seen.


          • That rancher super with the interchangeable barrels and fishing reel is just about the coolest gun ever. Yes a lot of their guns blur the line between art and weapon.
            Carl


  15. B.B.,

    Good shootin’!

    I have found my Ace-in-the-Hole is one of a few “Zen” shooters I have. Another is my vintage Crosman Single Action 6. Both shoot best by far if I shoot casually and relaxed, one-handed, unrested. At 10 meters I do as well or better that way with those two than I do rested with by Avanti 747 and Gamo Compact from a rest two-handed!

    Those two CO2 revolvers, at least, are “Don’t think; shoot” air guns.

    By the way, my Ace likes RWS Basics and Crosman Premier Lights, although it isn’t especially pellet-fussy.

    Michael


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