by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test
- Air Arms Falcon domes
- RWS R10 Match Pistol
- RWS Hobbys
- H&N Match Green
- JSB Exact RS
- The trigger
- Accuracy and the sights
Today we test the Dan Wesson Valor 1911 pellet pistol for accuracy. It’s been awhile since we have looked at this air pistol. So let’s have a brief review.
The Valor is a very realistic CO2 pistol that gets over 150 shots on a 12-gram CO2 cartridge. We actually recorded 196 shots in the velocity test, and 150 of them were close to the maximum.
The Valor has a strange 12-shot magazine that has to be removed from the gun after 6 shots and the top section rotated to a fresh 6-shot cylinder. I showed you pictures of that in Part 2.
The Valor is double-action only with an estimated 18-20 lb. trigger pull. I need to be careful in today’s test to get all that it has to give.
That’s a quick update on where things are. I said at the end of Part 2 that I hoped this pistol was accurate. Now we find out.
I shot 6-shot groups, since that is how many pellets are in each cylinder of the rotating end of the magazine. I shot from a sandbag rest with the bottom of the magazine rested on the bag. I used a two-hand hold and shot from 10 meters, since this is a rifled pellet pistol. I used a 6 o’clock hold.
Air Arms Falcon domes
The first pellet I tested was the 7.33-grain Falcon dome from Air Arms. The first shot hit the target paper an inch and a quarter low and two and a quarter inches to the left of the aim point. It was not a called pull. Since I was on paper with that shot I then shot the remaining five shots without looking at the target again.
When I went to change the target I was shocked to see the last five shots inside the bull in a 0.717-inch group! By adding the first shot the group size grows to 3.788-inches, but those last five shots are amazing.
That first group was certainly a surprise. I was shooting at 10 meters because the Valor has a rifled barrel, but I didn’t expect to see a group like that. Why is the first shot so far from the rest? Guess all you like; I have no idea. It was not a called pull.
RWS R10 Match Pistol
The second pellet I tested was the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. This time the first shot was also a little low and to the left and the remaining five were inside the bull. This 5-shot group measures 0.903-inches between centers. Add the first shot and the group grows to 2.321-inches between centers. So this group is both better and also a little worse than the first one. And once again there were no called pulls.
I didn’t get to test RWS Hobby pellets. Let me tell you why. Hobbys were very difficult to load into the 6-shot cylinder and after I did, two of them fell out inside the pistol. One of those tied up the trigger so it was very hard to pull and the second one went down to the muzzle but refused to leave the barrel. I had to play with the pistol for many long minutes before discovering everything I just told you.
I used a .177 cleaning rod to push the pellet that was stuck at the muzzle back down into the pistol. With the magazine out of the gun it dropped out of the breech and I was able to shake it out of the gun. That was when I discovered the second pellet that was intermittently jamming the trigger. It was also stuck in the breech in a different place. My advice is to stay away from Hobbys in this pistol, or if you do try them, remember that I had these problems.
H&N Match Green
Next to be tried were six H&N Match Green pellets. This lead-free pellet often does well in pellet rifles. In the Valor six of them went into the bull. The first shot was low but to the right this time. And the five that followed are in a group that measures 1.103-inches between centers. With the first shot added the group measures 1.843-inches between centers.
Six H&N Match Green pellets went into 1.843-inches at 10 meters with 5 in 1.103-inches.
JSB Exact RS
The last pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. I substituted them for the Hobby pellets that gave me trouble feeding. This time I failed to see where the first pellet hit, so what we have is six shots in 2.116-inches at 10 meters with four of them in 0.715-inches.
I remember there was a lot of concern what the heavy DAO trigger would do to accuracy. I shared that concern. All I can say is I wish that many air pistols that come with single action triggers that are both crisp and light could do this well. As long as you squeeze the trigger deliberately, there is nothing in its travel that throws you off the target.
Accuracy and the sights
If you have been reading my reports for any length of time you know how rarely a pistol with fixed sights is capable of hitting the bullseye like this Valor does. I don’t know if this is a lucky chance or if all Valors will perform like this. But this one sure does, and I have to tell it like I see it!
Well, we have come to the end of our test, and the Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol has tested quite well. In fact it has tested so well that I can recommend it as a pellet pistol for shooting targets, and as an M1911A1 trainer. That’s a lot of value in a hundred-dollar air pistol!