SW 29
S&W model 29 BB revolver from Umarex.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Charging
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • Double action
  • Loaded the cartridges in the cylinder
  • Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot
  • Air Venturi Dust Devils Mark II
  • H&N Excite Smart Shot
  • Now for pellets
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Hobbys on a fresh CO2 cartridge
  • Trigger pull
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the Smith and Wesson Model 29 BB revolver from Umarex. And today I really did get the velocities.

The test

I tested the revolver in both single action and double action with steel BBs, lead BBs, frangible BBs and with lead pellets. Since the cylinder holds 6 rounds that was the test — the average velocity of 6 shots. I tried to allow at least 10 seconds between shots but as the test advanced I saw that this revolver doesn’t lose as much velocity as it goes.

You saw the chewed up cardboard box on Wednesday, but I’ll show a picture to remind you.


To register the BBs I had to aim at the same place on the box every time.

Charging

I installed a fresh CO2 cartridge in the pistol and turned the piercing screw with the wrench on the inside of the left grip panel. Naturally I put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before installing it. No gas escaped when the cartridge was pierced so I had to shoot the gun to know if it was pierced.

Hornady Black Diamond

The first steel BB tested was the Hornady Black Diamond.  In the single action mode six shots averaged 428 f.p.s., with a spread from 423 to 434 f.p.s. That’s an 11 f.p.s. difference. 

In the double action mode six BBs averaged 426 f.p.s., with a low of 418 and a high of 438. That’s a difference of 20 f.p.s.

Double action

The trigger advances the cylinder quickly in double action and then it stalls. It’s a relatively light pull after that, but if you go easy you can hold it at this point every time. 

I had to hold the revolver with two hands to get the BBs to register on the chronograph. The window for the skyscreen to “see” the BB is very narrow.

Loaded the cartridges in the cylinder

Since a reader asked if it was possible, I tried loading with the cartridges still in the cylinder and found it to be very convenient. This is how I loaded for the entire test.

M29 BBs loaded
To load swing the cylinder out and drop each BB into a cartridge, then press in with your thumb.

Shop Benjamin Rifles

Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot

The next and last conventional steel BB I tested was the Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot. In single action six of them averaged 412 f.p.s. The low was 407 and the high was 419 f.p.s. for a difference of 12 f.p.s.

In double action this BB gave a real difference, with an average of 437 f.p.s. The low was 427 and the high was 453 f.p.s. — a difference of 26 f.p.s.

Air Venturi Dust Devils Mark II

Next I tried Air Venturi Mark II Dust Devils. They fit the BB cartridges very loose and I felt they would be slower because of it. As loose as these BBs fit I don’t think they will be accurate.

In single action six BBs averaged 401 f.p.s. the low was 372 and the high was 417 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 45 f.p.s.

In double action six Dust Devils averaged 415 f.p.s. The low was 409 and the high was 429 — a difference of 20 f.p.s.

H&N Excite Smart Shot

Next to be tested were six lead H&N Excite Smart Shot BBs. They weigh over two grains more than conventional steel BBs, so I expected them to be slower, which they were. In the single action mode six averaged 346 f.p.s.with a low of 333 and a high of 363. That’s a difference of 30 f.p.s.

In the double action mode Smart Shot averaged 352 f.p.s. The low was 338 and the high was 361 f.p.s. — a difference of 23 f.p.s.

Now for pellets

The M29 is a smoothbore BB gun, not a pellet gun. But several readers asked me to try pellets, so I did. I used RWS Hobbys to test it.

RWS Hobbys

The RWS Hobby pellet averaged 345 f.p.s. in single action and 319 in double action. But on the double action test I noticed that the velocity started dropping after the third shot, which was the 64th shot on the CO2 cartridge. So I exhausted the gas and installed a fresh CO2 cartridge. There were perhaps 10 more shots that sounded good, though they were more than 100 f.p.s. slower than the average with the same projectile. Call it 12 cylinders (72 shots) per cartridge?

Hobbys on a fresh CO2 cartridge

On a fresh cartridge Hobbys averaged 395 f.p.s. in the single action mode. The low was 373 and the high was 417 f.p.s., a difference of 44 f.p.s. The pistol was using liquid CO2 for the first couple shots, and I think the average was influenced by that. You can tell when liquid CO2 is passing through the valve because there will be a big white puff of condensation after the shot. The liquid CO2 is flashing to gas inside the barrel. Those shots are always faster because there is more pressure behind them.

In double action the Hobby pellet averaged 394 f.p.s. and the spread went from 373 to 413 f.p.s. — a difference of 40 f.p.s.

Trigger pull

In the single action mode the trigger breaks at 6 lbs. 13 oz. In double action it breaks at 9 lbs. 8.5 oz. It’s heavy for single action and very light for double action. I can feel some movement but no creep (jerky movement) in the single action mode.

Discussion

The M29 shoots a little faster in the double action mode most of the time. I don’t think it’s worth doing that because some of the accuracy will be lost, due to the movement of the gun.

I would definitely recommend loading the cartridges while they are in the cylinder. It’s so much easier because the cylinder holds them so well.

Summary

Well, the accuracy test is next. I’m thinking of doing the BBs separate from the pellets, so each type of ammo gets a good trial. Stay tuned for the results!