Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol: Part 2

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.

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.

65 thoughts on “Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol: Part 2

  1. B.B.,

    Not knowing the exact internals; but it looks just like an Airsoft valve setup on the magazine. Pure speculation: Does the valve get liquid CO2 in it from time to time when you orient the gun differently…did you slap the magazine base after/during the insertion after rotating to the loaded cylinder of pellets and get the low velocity shot?

    If it keeps doing various speeds like that it should vertical string a bit even at 10.

    To bad it is DAO! Even so; is the slide movable? Could it cock the hammer? For something like SAO/DAO

    shootski


  2. I think I would mark the double ended mag (silver Sharpie) and only use one end for the accuracy test

    Errata:
    Falcons deep seated- second paragraph, second sentence
    ‘To see it lets (let’s) look at…..’


  3. Interesting…
    It could be a nice pistol for a basement range, but…
    Is it accurate? Even if this one is, what about the rest?
    Rear sight has to be adjustable; come on now, this is not a 20 bucks bb pistol…





          • B.B.,

            Thanks for that information.

            Well at least it can (perhaps) train the shooter to do the one thing that has cost so many their lives in extremely hostile conditions.

            I don’t know what to say about the grip safety; i know folks have had problems with that especially with the early design.

            Wonder how much it would have cost to at least make it SAO and other than the blowback slide functional.

            I guess i will stay with my Airsoft 1911 with blowback slide and functionalities of an actual US M1911A1. What comes out of the spout really isn’t that important to me on a skills trainer.

            shootski


      • Pacoinohio,

        Accurate only for the folks that use the .50 Cal. Kinetic Bullet Puller, Lol!

        They do work and if impact is on a BIG anvil on a solid anvil stand it usually only takes one TAP!

        shootski


  4. BB,

    Thank you for the in depth look at the magazine. Someone was thinking outside the box on that design. That is a crazy amount of shots. Looking forwards to see what you can do on accuracy.

    Chris


  5. BB,

    Not that it matters too much, but I do not see where you covered/showed loading the CO2 cartridge and the piercing method. I can see from the PA pics that once placed in the pocket, it is pierced with pressure from what I assume is an allan screw and allan wrench. Is the tool kept on board the gun somewhere?

    Chris



  6. BB,

    I am not much of a CO2 guy, but this pistol…

    With that hard trigger pull and humongous velocity spread, I do not see how you could even conduct an accuracy test with this. The reviews on the PA site give it as having 5 star accuracy. Maybe yours is a bad one or they have much lower standards.

    For what this thing costs, it is obvious that the name on the side of it is what you are paying for.

    P.S. Wow. I just looked through PAs offerings of CO2 pellet pistols. These things have really gone up in price. This is about average priced. Wow.


    • RR,

      From other forums, it appears to be the same thing with prices going up (and stuff hard to find).

      I understand the whole supply and demand thing,…. but you have to wonder who is doing the gouging?

      Is it costing JSB more to make pellets? I would argue, no. If that is true, then are they charging PA more?

      If PA gets them for the same (old) price, then it is PA doing the gouging. If JSB is charging more,.. just because they can, then it is JSB doing the gouging and PA is just passing the added cost along.

      This same argument could be made for any air gun, any air ammo and any air accessory.

      It is one thing for a (private) individual to have a massive stash of pellets (for example) and try to sell them at ridiculous high prices. I would expect that.

      I would NOT however expect to have suppliers raise their prices or vendors to raise their prices,… just to take advantage of high demand and short supply,… or a crisis like Covid. An individual is one thing,… but in my book, an established vendor/supplier business is something else,..or should be.

      Chris



        • GF1,

          I like the mix. Not so sure pellet casting would be economical,.. unless they are big ones or air gun slugs.

          I was just commenting on what appears to be gouging or price run up that many seem to be claiming,. and where it originates from.

          Or,… is it just low supply and high demand and they are raising the prices (just because they can)?

          Chris


          • Chris
            Like I just said to BB.

            What if your pellet guns favorite pellet supply dried up.

            Now what you going to do to shoot your pellet guns?

            I mentioned this on the blog before covid even happened.






                • GF1,

                  Yes, it’s easy to pour coins from one container to another and worship John Frum. But it’s hard to make the coins multiply. Siraniko probably knows what I mean. I’m referring to the Cargo Cults of the Pacific islands.

                  BB



                  • B.B.,

                    It’s been years since I’ve heard of Cargo and John Frum cults. I remember seeing the odd photo in Nat’l Geographic of Oceanic people wearing chromed car parts as jewelry and holding wheel covers as ceremonial war shields.

                    I’ve read that such phenomena are examples of commodity fetishism. We chuckle at it with an air of superiority, but really, is a Rolex any more functional than a Timex Expedition that sells for 99% less? It does not keep better time. (FWIW, if I won the lottery, one of the silly extravagances I would indulge in would be a Patek Philippe.)

                    Michael


                  • BB
                    I have been saving the lead from my pellets I shoot.

                    I still might make a swaging tool just for the heck of it and makes some pellets.

                    I think I’ll make them for my .25 Condor SS.

                    Probably in a few years after I retire. Not much extra time right now.


              • B.B.,

                I had never heard of Swan Shot before, so I did a little research. From what I understand it is homemade shot dropped from a short height that is anywhere from F/TTT (.22 caliber) to #3 Buck (.25 caliber). Probably not terribly spherical or uniform.

                Michael



                  • BB
                    If a person wanted to put some time and effort into it they could make something that could produce a accurate pellet or whatever we want to call it.

                    Maybe that could be a retirement projectfor me.

                    Heck maybe a metal 3D printer could produce pellets or even a mold.

                    Nowdays there is alot more technology available for a do it yourselfer at home.

                    You never know.



  7. While I love the high shot count, the trigger pull and the awkwardness of just six shots leading to “shooting blanks” is a big draw back to me – it is not a revolver but sure acts like one. The only CO2 pistol I have to compare this to is the Sig P365, and I love how it stops with the slide back when empty, similar to the real thing (with no firing blank shots). I’ll take the trade off in fewer shots per cartridge for this benefit.



  8. BB,

    It would be interesting to check the chambers on each 6 shot magazine with some calipers (brief/quick) just to see if you can come up with a notable difference. You might pick up something with a drill bit (more slop in one, than the other) as another idea.

    Being molded plastic, I can see where you could end up with 2 that would have come from different molds.

    Do the 6 shot clips come out, or are the permanently locked in place?

    Chris



  9. Shootski,

    I did not know if you would see my reply to your answer concerning the o ring seal between the compression chamber and the valve body.

    Here it is again.

    Thanks for the link. I should have looked there in the first place. That is where I bought my rear sight assembly.

    As for the o ring, I was looking for the exhaust valve body gasket, CRS105-031.

    If I knew the size, I could probably get one a lot cheaper. Ah well.


    • RidgeRunner,

      I actually got the email notification with your reply!
      You are very welcome! Any time i know how to help a fellow airgunner i’ll take the time! It is pure selfishness since all you all help me!

      Hope she is up and shooting soon.

      shootski


  10. It’s a nice looking pistol. And I was one of those people years ago that bemoaned all the smoothbore pellet pistol designs. Now we have a rifled barrel that we hope will be more accurate but the velocity spread is enormous and the trigger pull is ‘off the scale’….. ughhhh. Double action only certainly makes the pull heavier, but I think there’s either excess friction somewhere in the mechanism or there’s an overly stiff ‘lawyer spring’, similar to the original Marauder, that the user has to remove to get a light trigger pull.

    So there’s no blowback on the slide, but there is a high shot count. It takes energy to move the slide, so this is the designer’s compromise. You can’t have both. I think I’d rather have the high shot count.

    Looking forward to your accuracy testing.



    • I have a double stack Para with the LDA (Light Double Action). After thirty years of shooting single action 1911s, I was prepared to hate it, but…..

      I absolutely love my Para! Double action is fine when done right. This pellet gun— not so much. I can accept the trade off of no blowback action in exchange for the high shot count. That trigger pull, though….


  11. BB, the ‘New King’ will live on, but this thing might make a good cigarette lighter, if you could use green gas.
    It does look all business, but so does the Sig M17. I am going to guess this pistol is accurate, but cost less than other guns out there. You may need an ace bandage for your trigger finger, tho.
    Rob


  12. BB,

    In my own personal view there are two good reasons for replica guns: to take the place in our collection of an impractical dream (let’s say an MP-40 or full auto AR-15) or as a training aid for a real gun (the P365 and Colt Commander come to mind). A good replica allows the user to become familiar with the controls, aiming picture, etc. of the real gun while providing safe and inexpensive practice time.

    In general I try to avoid negative comments, but this time it is difficult. This gun, being a revolver that looks like a famous semi-auto but without an operating slide or SA trigger mode, doesn’t appeal to me. Its saving graces could be the high shot count and – hopefully – accuracy. On the other hand, with a high velocity spread, fixed sights and a tough trigger I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Henry



  13. B.B.,

    I just realized where I’ve seen this pistol before. It’s a repackaged (and much better looking) Hatsan 1911-A1.

    Does the magazine (clip, technically) have the catch as on the Hatsan?

    Michael


  14. B.B. and Readership,

    After reading the posts about Swan Shot i have shelved my blueprints for my underground 100m range!
    I have started work conceptually on a way to construct or modify existing urban structures into Shot Towers!

    I pray our situation doesn’t come to that; but it may!

    shootski


    • Shootski,

      Just did a quick search on Swan Shot,…. a way to make shot (lead balls). Just so happens that our town has a 300’+? tower from an old glass factory. A local business owner (big time), paid to have the whole complex torn down, but left the tower for an observation tower. Steps about 1/2 way up. Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Look it up. No doubt there will be pics. The lady that does most of the big time community financing is owner of Ariel.

      Good, bad or otherwise,… she has sunk a TON of money into the town.

      Chris


      • Chris USA,

        Was that glass factories’ tower used to make solid glass spheres? Sometimes called marbles or Shooters?
        A while back RidgeRunner and I had an exchange about Shot Towers around the country and near us. Smokestacks the old brick ones are certainly one of the possibilities for repurposing.

        shootski


        • Shootski,

          There was 2 plants. One made bottles (I think) and there other plate (window) glass. Look it up. I am sure the town site will have the tower front and center. Foundation Park,.. I believe is the name of the re-done industrial site. I am not sure which plant this was (bottle/plate).

          Chris


          • Chris USA,

            I visited their site.
            That observation tower was the smokestack for the PPG (Pittsburgh Plate Glass) kiln. Interesting place i wish we had known we were that close to such an interesting venue on one of our cross country paddle trips. My wife and I stopped in Zanesville to paddle for a day in our EPIC 18X Double on the Muskegon (sp) river. We could instead have terrorized the kayak and canoe paddlers on the ponds ;^)

            shootski


            • Shootski,

              All correct. I worked for close to 15 years in a portion of the complex. It was broken up into different manufacturing uses. Overall, the complex was pretty ran down.

              Muskingum River. I cat fished it for several years, several times, from the bank, usually near one of the many locks. Been about 1/2 way up it, down to the Ohio River. Fished that too. The Kokosing River is the local one. Good for canoe, but can run low during dry spells enough to have to get out to manually float it.

              The ponds/lakes,… they drug out more than a few stolen cars when doing the park. I worked with a guy that put 2 of them there after “borrowing” and joy riding maybe 40+ years ago.

              As for the smoke stack,.. I figured it would work. As I recall, the molten lead is dropped through a water cascade. Said to make pretty good product as I recall. I was close, 280′ tall with the deck at 140′.

              The tower was not featured as predominantly on the site as I remembered. (Thanks for visiting the site). I live rural about 10 miles North of town.

              Chris




  15. Hey B.B., I may have missed it (apologies if I have) but how does it compare to the Umarex 1911?
    I know it is 1/2 the price, but I’ve had my Umarex for near 15 years and after literally tens of thousands of shots it is a little worse for wear.
    Would I be happy replacing it with this?


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