by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dan Wesson Valor
Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • First things first
  • JSB Exact RS domes
  • H&N Match Green
  • Air Arms Falcon dome
  • Falcons deep seated
  • Shot count
  • Drop-free magazine
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

First things first

How does that Dan Wesson Valor 1911 pellet pistol 12-shot magazine work? Lots of interest and questions there. Let’s get right to it.

Valor magazine rotated front
This is the front side of the magazine with the cylinder unit swiveled for loading. It’s loaded from the other side.

Valor magazine rotated rear
This is the rear of the Valor cylinder unit, where the two cylinders are loaded. Rotate the 6-shot clips manually, one chamber at a time, to load. They stop at each new chamber.

Valor magazine loaded
The magazine is loaded.

There are your 3,000 words on how the Valor magazine works. Any questions?

Today we will look at how the Dan Wesson Valor pellet pistol shoots. This is velocity day, so let’s get going!

JSB Exact RS domes

First up were JSB Exact RS domes. I loaded all 12 chambers with them and started the test. The first thing I noticed was this Valor is double action only. I had reported that in Part 1, but it really sank in today. I had planned on cocking the hammer and firing single action for 6 shots and double action for the other 6, but because this pistol is DAO I had to pull the trigger for all of them. This is why testing an airgun is so important. Little things like that can slip right by unless you try them yourself.

The first pellet missed the rear skyscreen. The other 11 gave an average 300 f.p.s. velocity. But after the 6th shot I wasn’t counting my shots, Yogi, and I fired a blank! It was time to rotate the cylinder unit.

The low velocity for this string was 285 and the high was 316 f.p.s. That’s a total spread of 31 f.p.s., which is high for a CO2 gun. Remember — this pistol has a rifled barrel and I plan to test it for accuracy at 10 meters. Let’s try something else.

H&N Match Green

The H&N Match Green pellet is a lead-free pellet made from pure tin, so of course they are more expensive. And they only weigh 5.25 grains, so they should be faster. Twelve pellets averaged 332 f.p.s. from the Valor. This time I remembered to count my shots so no gas was wasted.

The low was 318 and the high was 345 f.p.s. so the spread was 27 f.p.s. The Valor is rated at 330 f.p.s.,  so this pellet puts it right on the mark.

Air Arms Falcon dome

The final pellet I tested was the Air Arms Falcon dome. Besides the velocity I learned a couple more things with this pellet.

The average velocity was 276 f.p.s., which surprised me. I expected these to be faster than the RS domes, but I think I know why they weren’t. Before I discuss that the low for this pellet was 248 and the high was 296 f.p.s. — a spread of 48 f.p.s. The reason it was so high is the other thing I think I learned. 

Falcon domes have wide skirts and they didn’t go all the way into the Valor cylinders. When I advanced the cylinder to load another pellet the cylinder jammed on the skirt of the pellet I had just loaded. This was with the magazine out of the gun. The gun never jammed when the magazine was loaded.

The solution for this was to deep-seat the pellets that stood a little proud. I did that  but I didn’t deep-seat all of them. That is what I think caused the 48 f.p.s. spread. Well, I have to do a shot count anyway, so let’s have another look at Falcons. This time all of them are deep-seated.

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Falcons deep seated

I learned a lot from this string. For starters, the average for the string was 264 f.p.s and the pistol is not running out of gas. The spread went from a low of 208 to a high of 290 f.p.s. — a colossal 82 f.p.s. difference!  So my theory about the wide skirts causing the slower velocity and seating them deep would speed them up was incorrect.

I learned something else that was quite startling. To see it let’s look at the entire string.

Shot………Vel.
1……………243
2……………255
3……………264
4……………259
5……………265
6……………268

Now the magazine was removed and the cylinder unit was rotated to the other 6 shots.

7……………208 — slowest shot
8……………270
9……………280
10…..……….290 — fastest shot
11…..……….282
12…..……….283

Do you see it? The first shot from this second cylinder was the slowest in the entire string, then the shots that followed exceeded all the velocities from the first cylinder. So, the two cylinders perform differently. I offer no opinion on why that is or what it will do for accuracy. 

Shot count

To this point in the test the Valor has fired 49 shots. Let’s see how many more there are. I will shoot the JSB RS pellets for this. It averaged 300 f.p.s. in the first test.

Shot….Vel.
50……….271
60……….293
70……….263
80……….299
100..…….285
110..…….258
120..…….268
130..…….289
140..…….286
150..…….269
160..…….277
170..…….254
180..…….241
186..…….196 stop

That answers the shot count question rather well, don’t you think? During this sequence that lasted for more than an hour, I discovered one more important thing. For the magazine to go into the pistol all the way, the cylinder that’s on top must have its top chamber centered.

Valor magazine not aligned
Looking down on the magazine, the top cylinder is not aligned. The top chamber is off to the right. The magazine cannot be inserted into the pistol this way.

Valor magazine aligned
Now the top cylinder is aligned and the mag will go into the pistol.

Drop-free magazine

The Valor magazine is supposed to be a drop-free mag, meaning that pushing the mag release button on the left side of the gun releases the magazine. But it does not drop from the gun like other 1911 mags. You have to pull it down and out.

The report

Well, I can’t get by with telling you what I think about the discharge sound anymore. Now that I have that fancy-Dan sound meter smart phone app I have to use it. The sound meter was set 3 feet to the left of the muzzle for this test and the C scale was selected. The pistol rated 94.9 dB on the C scale.

Valor discharge
The Valor pistol makes 94.9 dB of sound when it fires.

Trigger pull

I don’t have a scale strong enough to measure the double action trigger pull. I estimate that it’s in the 18-20 lb. range. It’s smooth and consistent, but accuracy testing will require a lot of control!

Summary

Well, so far the Valor is testing pretty good. The trigger is on the heavy side and the magazine requires some learning, but everything else seems to be fine. Accuracy is next, and I sure hope it’s there.