Resealing the Daisy model 41 pellet pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is another guest blog from reader Ian McKee who writes as 45 Bravo. Today and tomorrow he will tell us of his experience in resealing a Daisy model 41 pellet pistol.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at [email protected].

Now, take it away, Ian.

Resealing the Daisy model 41 pellet pistol: Part 1

Ian McKee
Writing as 45Bravo

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Resealing two pellet pistols
  • History of the elusive Daisy 41
  • Separating fact from fiction
  • Three phases of the Daisy pellet pistols 
  • The outside
  • The insides
  • Stop

Resealing two pellet pistols

I have resealed dozens of the S&W 78/79 series pistols over the years, and a few of the Daisy 780/790 pistols, but I have never touched one of the Daisy Model 41s.

One of the blog readers reached out to me about resealing a pair of his pistols that have a lot of sentimental attachment. One is an immaculate S&W 79G, the other is the subject of today’s blog.

The S&W reseal went off without a hitch. The pistol still had the factory seals inside, and they crumbled as I tried to remove them. No one had ever been into the pistol since it was new. But that one was easy. It was the model 41 that challenged me.

History of the elusive Daisy 41

This gun’s backstory is the story of the American boy and his pellet gun. He saved the money from his paper route to buy this pistol, and has had it ever since.

I think the Daisy 41 was only produced for 1 year. The Daisy Museum says it ONLY appeared in the 1985 catalog, and they have no records of dates of production, or number of guns produced. The Blue Book of Airguns says it was produced around 1984. I am sure some of our readers who are Daisy collectors will fill in my gaps.

The serial number of this one is 3D00201, so if my information is correct, that decodes as 1983, April, and serial number 00201.

If this gun was made in April 1983, I can’t see Daisy sitting on stock of ready-to-sell guns until the 1985 catalog hit the customers mailboxes. I think it was in the 1984 catalog, especially since the owner of this pistol says he bought it in 1984. But who am I to question the manufacturers?

Separating fact from fiction

From what I have always read and subsequently thought, the Daisy model 41 was the last gasp of the Smith & Wesson target pellet pistol design. Daisy cost-cut the design to the point that it was just a shell of the original design.

I have learned that Daisy had 3 phases of the S&W design, according to the service manual I now have. My service manual is the last one Daisy published for their shop, and covers repairs of the entire lineage of these pistols, from the S&W pistols, to the 41.

Three phases of the Daisy pellet pistols 

Phase 1 — the pistols are the same as the S&W 78G and 79G air pistols. [Editor’s note: Usually there are a lot of parts in-process when a transfer like this takes place and the new owners finishes those pistols, which makes them identical to what was being produced.]

Phase 2 —  the upper assembly remains the same as the S&W pistols, but it has the redesigned hammer and trigger arrangements that were needed to pass the drop test.

Phase 3 — this is the last run of Daisy 790s and all of the Model 41s. Both guns have the redesigned valve and co2 system.

So, for you dedicated Daisy collectors out there who are looking for the rarest of the rare, according to the service manual, there will be some Daisy 790s that will have the same valve as the 41. Let the hunt begin!

I also had been told by others who had “worked on them,” that the seals were the same, and would interchange.

When you search the Daisy model 41 air pistol online, there are just a few photos of the gun, nothing else. Don’t get sloppy in your search, either. Smith & Wesson also made several versions of a model 41 .22-caliber rimfire target pistol. And they made bunches more of those than Daisy made of the air pistol. Be sure you put Daisy and “air pistol” in your search terms!

SW model 41
Smith & Wesson model 41 target pistol.

Today and tomorrow we will remedy the lack of photos, and we will update the internet searches.

The outside

The Daisy 41 pistol that I was asked to repair appears to be a chrome-plated 790 on the outside. [Editor’s note: All Daisy 41 pistols were plated with chrome. And it is real chrome, which is very rare on a gun. Usually nickel is used to plate guns.]

Daisy 41 left
The left side of the Daisy model 41 air pistol.

Daisy 41 right
Same pistol, right.

The slide and frame are metal. The grip panels, CO2 cap, rear sight, bolt and bolt catch are plastic. The velocity adjustment system below the barrel is plastic, just like on the Daisy 790, phase 2. There is only 1 power level for the cocking lever.

The insides

The two grip panels are removed by 4 Phillips-head screws — two per panel.

Daisy 41 left grip off
The left grip panel is removed to expose where the CO2 cartridge is loaded.

The CO2 cartridge system is very different than the previous models. It uses a face seal around the piercing pin on the bottom of the valve body. The threaded plastic CO2 cap does not have any seals. It is a plain threaded plastic cap with a wire loop that serves as a handle to screw the cap down and push the cartridge into the base of the grip, where the piercing pin is.

Daisy 41 CO2 cap
The CO2 cap is plastic, with a wire loop that’s used to tighten it. As it tightens it pushes the CO2 cartridge down into the piercing pin.

Daisy 41 piercing pin
Looking down on the piercing pin we also see the face seal that seals the CO2 cartridge.
This is an important photo because it also shows a unique feature of the CO2 valve that is partially shown in the center of this picture.

Stop

This is BB. I’m ending this report here and breaking it into two reports. This is an important blog and I want to do it right.

Tomorrow I will begin with the disassembly of the Daisy 41 air pistol. Or I should say, 45Bravo will. Stay tuned.


Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dan Wesson Valor
Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Review
  • The test
  • Air Arms Falcon domes
  • Surprise
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • RWS Hobbys
  • H&N Match Green
  • JSB Exact RS
  • The trigger
  • Accuracy and the sights
  • Summary

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.

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.

The test

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.

Valor Falcon group
The first Falcon hit low and left, but the remaining five went into the bull in a 0.717-inch group.

Surprise

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.

Valor R10 group
Once again the first shot was low and left. The last 5 shots are in the black, measuring 0.903-inches between centers. Add the first shot and the group grows to 2.321-inches between centers.

RWS Hobbys

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.

Valor H&N Match Green group
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.

Valor JSB RS group
Six JSB Exact RS pellets went into 2.116-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.715-inches between centers.

The trigger

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!

Summary

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!


What do YOU want?: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • In a handgun
  • A target BB pistol
  • What it’s for
  • A hunting handgun
  • Any holes?
  • Get real!
  • Over to you
  • Summary

This is a continuation of your opportunity to affect the world of airguns. I told you last time that airgun manufacturers all over the world read this blog daily. Of course there are exceptions to that from time to time. Sometimes a personnel change at a company diverts the attention of its people to other things and we loose them for awhile, but then someone in the company has a question about something airgun-related and they go online to research it. That usually brings them to this blog and they bring the others in their company back with them.

In a handgun

What do you want to see in an air handgun? It can be anything from a simple BB gun to a big bore airgun capable of taking big game. I’ll get you started and then turn the discussion over to you.

A target BB pistol

Something I have long wanted to see is a target air pistol that’s lightweight and easy to cock. It must be inexpensive yet deadly accurate — BUT!

Okay — right up to the BUT what I’m asking for sounds like what a lot of folks say they want. But there is a difference. I have a way of getting what I want that most people don’t. I give a manufacturer a solid and inexpensive way of doing what I am asking.

I want a target BB pistol that’s made along the lines of the Daisy Match Grade Avanti Champion 499 BB gun. Because of how the powerplant of a BB gun works, the shot tube/barrel on this pistol can be shorter than the one on the 499. It can be made from the same tubing as the shot tube in the long gun. Give me an overlever cocking mechanism that is essentially the 499 spring and piston with the lever on top of the spring tube and in front of where it is now, rather than in the rear. Give me a good Patridge front sight whose width is well-matched to the notch in the rear.

Patridge sight
The Patridge front sight (named for E.S. Patridge)  is usually undercut at the back to eliminate reflection. Some are slanted slightly to the front.

For the rear sight give me a good adjustable one with a square notch and fine clicks for both windage and elevation. Put it as far back on the top as feasible, for a longer sight radius.

Give me good grips like the ones on the Daisy Targeteer that shot BBs. They don’t have to be expensive. They do have to be good. Think Crosman Marks I and 2.

Targeteer 177
Daisy’s Targeteer 177 wasn’t expensive, but it did have nice hand-filling grips.

What it’s for

An air pistol like this is ideal for teaching someone how to shoot with a handgun. Until you train shooters, you can’t fathom all the differences there are between teaching somerone to shoot a long gun and a handgun.

This pistol doesn’t need to be accurate to a great distance — 5 meters is fine. A velocity of 240-250 f.p.s. is also fine. So it should be obvious that I’m talking about a BB gun.

The overlever cocking means almost anyone can cock it. The lever runs from the front sight along the top of the gun to the rear of the gun, and it pivots there to pull a lightweight spring and piston back to the cocked position. The light weight makes the pistol easy to hold in one hand, so the basics of handgun marksmanship can be learned by almost anyone.

A pistol like this could expand the Daisy International BB gun championships. It could be an ideal tool for teaching new shooters how to shoot a handgun. There is no good air handgun for training new shooters. Women and youngsters, especially, would be glad to have a light accurate target pistol. This could be the one to do all of that.

A hunting handgun

We already have several wonderful hunting air handguns. In the lower end of power I just reviewed the Ataman AP16, and don’t forget that October is the month when I will pick a winner of the pistol I reported on from the US readers of this blog. 

In the same power range as the Ataman is the Benjamin Marauder pistol. It’s less expensive and just as accurate, with a trigger we all talk about.

To step up in power you can move to the TalonP by AirForce Airguns. It’s very affordable, yet delivers the best power of any commercial air pistol today. A host of factory accessories can turn it into a handy carbine very quickly. Add a longer barrel and boost the power dramatically!

Any holes?

So we do have good hunting air pistols today. But are there any gaps?

Yes, there are no hunting air pistols in the 25-40 foot-pound range. Is that even a valid thing to consider? Well, any gun that’s built for that power range has to be wary of the TalonP, so watch the price, the overall length, the accuracy and perhaps the flexibility, too.

Some people want a lot more power than air pistols give them and they want it in a package that fits conveniently into a holster. Oh, and it would be okay if the maker charged as much as $300 for such an airgun!

Get real!

For starters, if you are a reader of this blog for very long you know why such an air pistol is impossible. And I’m not talking about the price. To get power from a precharged airgun in any caliber requires a longer barrel. You can’t get there with higher air pressure alone — just ask those guys who have built 4,500 psi airguns, only to see them eclipsed by guns that fill to a much lower pressure but have longer barrels! The laws of physics cannot be broken.

And, speaking about price, let’s get real. When a company comes out with the next great thing they are going to charge for it. They know that there are those who will pay a lot to get the latest technology. If they are the only ones selling it, they would be fools not to capitalize on their situation. How many of you ever turned down a raise at work because it was not in your company’s best interest?

The time always comes when the demand goes down and prices have to be slashed. If the bottom line is your main concern, be prepared to wait.

Over to you

There you go. I have given you a few thoughts to get you started, now you take over and tell the world what you want in an air pistol. I liked my summary to Part 1 so well that I decided to just use it again.

Summary

Want to affect the world of airguns? Then stop tipping over the porta-potties and help us empty the garbage cans!


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.


Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dan Wesson Valor
Dan Wesson Valor 1911 CO2 pellet pistol.

This report covers:

  • History
  • New cartridge
  • Service use
  • Features that were changed
  • The Valor
  • Repeater
  • No blowback
  • Sights
  • Licensed replica
  • Barrel
  • Summary

Today we start looking at a new pellet pistol — the Dan Wesson Valor 1911. They call it a 1911, but this pellet pistol is a replica of a 1911A1 if ever I saw one. Let’s begin the report by learning the difference between the two firearm models.

History

The Colt 1911 pistol was designed by John Moses Browning in — that’s right — 1911. Earlier versions of the gun competed in rigorous Army trials, along with many other pistols from around the world — including the gun we call the German Luger! The 1911 was far superior to all other pistols being tested  in terms of ruggedness and resistance to hostile climates. It was the best of its time with the result that it served the American military from acceptance in 1911 until it was phased out in 1985. I say it was phased out, but that is only for general military use. The pistol continues to be used by special operations forces with the U.S. Marine Corps placing an order for twelve thousand M45A1 pistols (an upgraded M1911A1) in 2014. It turns out that the .45 caliber round is just too good at what it does to pass up for those who really need a sidearm.

New cartridge

The pistol was designed around a new cartridge — the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) that the U.S. Army specified because of bad experiences in the Philippines against Moro warriors. Just prior to going into the Philippines the Army had retired its Colt Single Action revolver that fired the .45 Colt cartridge, and substituted the .38 Long Colt cartridge in a double action revolver. That cartridge proved ineffective against the Moros and the Army quickly reissued .45 SAA revolvers to take its place. That experience lead to the requirement for a new .45 caliber cartridge that would work in a semiautomatic pistol — the .45 ACP.

I find it interesting that when lives depend on it, the .45 ACP and the 1911 seem to prevail. Without question modern semiautomatic pistols like the polymer-framed Glock and the ones Sig make are more rugged and reliable over a longer period of time than the all-steel 1911/A1. There have been many tests that proved it. But the 1911 is a design that refuses to go away!

Service use

After World War 1 the Army felt some small but important changes needed to be made to 1911. These changes were adopted in 1924 and the new model was designated the M1911A1. Let’s now look at a few of the changes.

Features that were changed

1911
A few of the 1911 features that were changed.

1911A1
These are the same features on the 1911A1.

Besides what you see in the pictures, the ejection port was enlarged slightly on the A1 and the sights were made bolder — front and rear. That means a wider notch in the rear and a wider and higher post up front. I note that the 1911A1 that I show has a lanyard ring. Some had them and others didn’t. Maybe when they fell off they weren’t deemed critical because most soldiers besides paratroopers stopped using them. Only half of the pistols in my arms room in the 1970s had them. I’m not saying they shouldn’t all have them — just that some of the ones I saw didn’t.

I had both 1911s and A1s in my arms room. The 1911s in my care had been updated with A1 parts like the longer grip safety, shorter trigger, trigger relief cuts, better sights and the ejection port that was more open. But their serial numbers put them back in the 1911 era.

The Valor

Enough history, what about this pellet pistol that we are looking at? It’s a 1911A1 in most respects, but it does have the wider beavertail hammer of the earlier 1911. And, because it is a double-action-only air pistol, it has what appears to be the older long trigger. That length is needed to push the hammer back far enough to fire the pistol.

Repeater

The Valor is a 12-shot pellet repeater. The magazine is unique in that it has a section at the top with two 6-round rotary clips — one on either end. What you do is shoot 6 shots, then drop the mag and rotate the top to the other 6 pellets. So the Valor is a 12-shot repeater with a difference.

Valor mag
The Valor magazine that holds the CO2 cartridge also has a short section at the top that rotates to present six chambers on either end.

No blowback

Although the Valor runs on CO2 the slide does not blow back when it fires. Before you go on the warpath, the description says this gives you more shots. According to the specs the pellets are going out at around 330 f.p.s., so if the pistol did blow back we might see 60-75 good shots. This airgun should give even more than that. That will be something I test for you.

Sights

The sights are not adjustable and as far as I can remember they are very good copies of 1911A1 sights.  I don’t own a 1911A1 firearm to compare them to. Let’s just hope the pistol shoots close to where those sights look!

Licensed replica

This is a licensed Dan Wesson replica. I find it very similar to my 1911 firearm in all respects. The weight is about perfect!

Barrel

The barrel is rifled, as you would hope. I hope this pistol turns out to be accurate because we can always use another accurate replica pellet gun.

Summary

The Valor is out of stock at the present time. The website says they should be in around the 19th of this month. There will be at least three parts to this report, so perhaps it will arrive while I’m still testing it?

At any rate, the Valor looks like another fine replica airgun. We shall see.


Ataman AP16 Standard air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ataman AP16 Standard
Ataman AP16 Standard PCP air pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

JSB Jumbo Heavy
Firing behavior
Fill
Trigger pull
More velocity tests
Air Arms Falcons
H&N Baracudas
Discussion
Summary

Today we look at the power/velocity of the Ataman AP16 precharged pneumatic air pistol. In Part 1 I linked to Tyler Patner’s test of the Compact model. The one I’m testing is the standard model. It has a longer barrel so it gets higher velocity and the reservoir is larger so it also get more shots. As I recall, Tyler got 23 good shots from the Compact model.

JSB Jumbo Heavy

I’ll start with the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy that Tyler recommended for best accuracy. And I will show the entire shot string so you can see the shot-to-shot consistency.

Shot………..Vel.
1……………608
2……………612
3……………616
4……………614
5……………615
6……………614
7……………614
8……………611
9……………612
10…………..613
11…………..613
12…………..609
13…………..611
14…………..610
15…………..609
16…………..608
17…………..611
18…………..610
19…………..609
20…………..609
21…………..611
22…………..611
23…………..613
24…………..613
25…………..612
26…………..614
27…………..613
28…………..614
29…………..617
30…………..613 135 bar left in reservoir
31…………..616 
32…………..616 average 612 f.p.s. to this point
33…………..614
34…………..612
35…………..did not register
36…………..DNR (blank shot)
37…………..615
38…………..615
39…………..614
40…………..611
41…………..614|
42…………..614
43…………..617
44…………..DNR
45…………..613
46…………..602
47…………..597 average 612 f.p.s. from shot 33 to this point
48…………..588 90 bar remains
49…………..577
50…………..570

Stopped

I will call the average velocity for this pellet as 612 f.p.s. and that produces an average 15.08 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

I call it 46 good shots from a fill. That’s exactly twice what Tyler saw with the Compact. The high was 617 f.p.s. and the low was 602 f.p.s. That’s a 15 f.p.s. spread for the string. That regulator is doing a fine job!

Wow! I wasn’t expecting so many shot from a fill! And wow, again! I fired the first shot with no hearing protection. Man! The AP16 is a solid 5 on the Pyramyd Air sound scale! After that the electronic earmuffs went on.

I did shoot a blank shot (shot 36), so the pistol doesn’t stop shooting when the pellets run out. You have to keep track of where you are.

Firing behavior

When the pistol fires you feel it in your hand. It’s not so much a recoil as it is a power pulse.

Fill

When I filled the pistol before the start of the first test, it filled instantly. Watch your tank’s valve and try to open it as slowly as you can. I did that the second time and still it filled too rapidly.

Trigger pull

Stage one of the two-stage trigger stops at 12 ounces and stage two broke at 15 ounces as the pistol came from the factory. If it remains that light I would have to be careful when shooting for accuracy or I’d put one into the wall. I adjusted the second stage pull up to 22 ounces and it seemed okay. But the second stage is not crisp and I have no idea of where it is. So I have to be on target before touching the trigger.

More velocity tests

I refilled the reservoir and, as mentioned, once more it went too fast. Then I shot two other pellets for velocity. Falcons were first to see what the higher velocity looks like. I only shot 7 shots because that’s how many the circular clip holds.

Air Arms Falcons

Twenty-two caliber Falcon pellets that weigh  13.43 grains averaged 680 f.p.s. At that speed they generate 13.79 foot pounds at the muzzle. The low was 674 and the high was 684 for a 10 f.p.s. spread.

H&N Baracudas

To see how powerful the pistol is I shot 21.14-grain H&N Baracudas next. They averaged 584 f.p.s. over 7 shots and that generates 16.01 foot pounds at the muzzle. The low was 581 and the high was 588, for a 7 f.p.s. difference.

Discussion

What we have in this pistol is a lot of shots on a fill, and good power for the shots there are. The trigger is light and, if the pistol proves accurate, the AP16 could be a very good airgun to hunt with.

You know what I don’t see in this test? A slow-filling regulator. I waited no special time between any of the shots in today’s tests.

The AP16 has open sights, so I will try them first. And I will show you how to adjust them, which the manual doesn’t cover. That will be next. After that I’ll mount a dot sight and go again.

Summary

The Ataman AP16 PCP pistol is not inexpensive. So it’s important that it stacks up well in the categories of the power, accuracy, reliability and looks. So far, it does.


Ataman AP16 Standard air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier


Ataman AP16 Standard
Ataman AP-16 Standard PCP pistol.

This report covers:

  • AP16 features
  • Description
  • Velocity
  • Lothar Walther barrel
  • Heavy?
  • Conventional crossbolt safety
  • Sights
  • Watch the Insyder
  • Hammer spring can be adjusted
  • Modular design
  • Sound
  • One last thing
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the Ataman AP16 PCP pistol. This is a very different kind of air pistol and not inexpensive, but from what I have seen it’s loaded with features.  Let’s look at them.

AP16 features

  • regulator
  • lightweight adjustable trigger
  • adjustable open sights
  • 11mm dovetail for optical sights
  • 7-shot rotary magazine
  • muzzle energy in the 15-18 foot-pound range
  • choice of attractive finishes
  • checkered walnut grip panels
  • manual safety

Description

The pistol comes in .22 caliber. It’s 14.37 inches long, but if that’s too large there is a compact version available that is nearly 2.5 inches shorter. This is a pneumatic, so the longer the barrel the more energy it gets. Accuracy isn’t affected by barrel length, but velocity is in a pneumatic. The standard gun also holds more air because the reservoir is longer.

The fill is to 300 bar (4350 psi) so either a carbon fiber tank or a small compressor is required to fill. The pistol comes standard with two fill probes — one with 1/8 BSPP threads and the other with a male Foster coupling. Coupled with the regulator this fill will give you lots of shots.

Velocity

This isn’t the velocity test. But my pistol came with a 14-shot test ticket from a chronograph. Nowhere was it indicated what pellet was used to get those velocities but the 7-shot test group was shot with JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain domes, so I’m assuming the same pellet was used for the velocity.  The average velocity of the test gun is 663 f.p.s. and the group size at 10 meters was 0.231-inches. Do I have your attention yet?

Lothar Walther barrel

Yes, the barrel is from Lothar Walther — the world standard for accurate airgun barrels. The barrel sits inside a shroud, but it is not shrouded in the sense of being silenced. It’s simply a jacket around the rifled tube. The muzzle comes to the end of the shroud.

Heavy?

The Ataman AP16 Standard I am testing weighs 2 lbs. 4 oz. That’s light for its size but bear in mind the reservoir is full of air. As long as it is you would think that it’s muzzle-heavy but it isn’t. It feels like a conventional 1911 to me.

Conventional crossbolt safety

There is a conventional crossbolt safety behind the trigger and above the grip panels. It works in the standard way — push to the right for safe and to the left to fire. But while testing it I discovered that it’s possible to push a bit TOO far to the left and the trigger is rendered inoperable. If you can see a groove at the bottom of the safety button when it’s pushed to the left, the gun will not fire.

Ataman AP16 safety
When you can see the groove in the safety like this the gun will not fire.

The pistol can be decocked by pulling the trigger and riding the bolt down with the cocking lever.

Sights

The sights adjust for both windage and elevation. The rear sight slides sideways in a dovetail for windage and the front sight blade raises and lowers for elevation. I plan to shoot the pistol with these sights (of course!) so I’ll describe the process for you.

Ataman AP16 front sight
The Ataman front sight pivots up and down for elevation.

Watch the Insyder

Tyler Patner did an excellent job of reviewing this pistol. He looks at a Compact version, but, except for having less air and a shorter barrel, the two pistols are virtually the same.

Hammer spring can be adjusted

You can adjust the power by adjusting the hammer spring tighter or looser. Tyler mentions in his review that the spring is already about as tight as it will go when it comes from the factory, so there is more adjustment for lower velocity than for higher.

Modular design

If you want to change your AP16 from Standard to Compact, you can install a shorter  barrel or reservoir or both.

Sound

This pistol is loud! It is not backyard friendly unless you have several acres and understanding neighbors. If you can shoot a .22 rimfire in your back yard there you can shoot the AP16.

One last thing

I have one last thing to tell you readers, but not in this report. If you remember West Side Story — Something’s coming! Something BIG!

Summary

The Ataman AP16 is an unusual air pistol. It has decent power for close-range hunting, a great trigger, above average accuracy and seems to get lots of shots on a fill. The quality of the build looks flawless. We will have fun with this one!