The Colt Python BB revolver: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Colt Python
Colt Python from Umarex looks like the real deal!

This report addresses:

• Sighting in.
• Corrections to the manual.
• Accuracy at 16 feet, 4 inches (5 meters).
• Accuracy at 25 feet.
• Summary

Today is accuracy day for the Colt Python BB revolver. I know this is a test many readers have been waiting for, and I think it’ll be worth the wait!

I shot the revolver from a rested position, using a 2-hand hold with my hands forward of the rest and unsupported. My forearms were resting on a cushion, and the revolver was steady in my grip. The target was lit brightly, so the sights were in sharp relief.

I charged the gun with an Umarex CO2 cartridge and shot only Umarex Precision steel BBs in this test. I loaded the cartridges individually, and I found that was faster than using the speedloader. It eliminates some steps that take time.

The first few shots landed too low on the target and also a bit to the left. I first adjusted the elevation of the rear sight and left the windage alone. I did this without consulting the manual, because we all know that the rear sight must move in the direction you want the round to move on target. The gun was shooting low so the sight had to come up — it’s as simple as that. There are directions for elevation adjustment on the rear sight, and they told me to turn the screw counterclockwise to raise the sight. It worked perfectly, but I had to make several adjustments before the BBs were hitting as high as I wanted.

Then, I shot my first 10-shot group. Yes, I shot a complete cylinder and 4 more from the next cylinder. And I’m glad I did. The first group was the best of the day, putting all 10 shots into 0.537 inches between centers. Until I walked up to examine the target, it seemed as though all shots were going into the same hole. But as you can see, the group isn’t quite that spectacular. It’s close, though.

Colt Python target 1
This first 10-shot group was the best of the day. It measures 0.537 inches between centers.

Manual has errors
Next, I wanted to adjust the group slightly to the right, so the rear sight had to be adjusted again; but this time I was stumped. The windage adjustment requires a 1.5mm Allen wrench, while the elevation adjustment is a plain slotted screw. I carry a pocketknife that has a screwdriver, but now I had to find a small Allen wrench. It turns out neither the windage nor the elevation adjustment tools are provided with the gun. I think that’s a mistake because the typical buyer of a gun like this in not likely to have a lot of Allen wrenches laying around (there’s an Allen wrench included, but it’s larger and for removing the cap that holds the CO2 cartridge).

There are no directions for the rear sight adjustment on the gun, so I consulted the manual. That’s when I discovered that both the windage and elevation instructions are backwards in the manual! This is of no concern for elevation, because the instructions are on the gun — but for windage, you have to stop and figure it out yourself.

Then, it was back to shooting targets. This time, I used the slightly smaller 10-meter bulls instead of the 50-foot rimfire bulls I’d used for the first group. The BBs landed higher on this smaller bull, and it appeared that I adjusted the rear sight too far to the right.

The next 10-shot group measures 1.119 inches between centers. The first shot was a flinch that went high and right — out into the white, and the other 9 shots were in the black and measure 0.941 inches between centers. It’s twice the size of the first group and represents the second-worst group shot from 5 meters.

Colt Python target 2
This group is still good, but much larger. The shot in the upper right that missed the black was a called flyer.

I didn’t change the sights before the next group. Eight of the BBs went into 0.602 inches, but the other 2 shots opened the group to 1.166 inches. It’s the worst group; yet, it contains a remarkable smaller group inside the main group. I think concentration is what determined the group size, more than the accuracy of the gun. In other words — I was tiring out!

Colt Python target 3
All these shots looked perfect at the release. That one in the white was not a called flyer. This group measures 1.166 inches, with 8 shots in 0.602 inches.

25 feet
Finally, I tried shooting a group at 25 feet. This time only, I fired all 12 shots from 2 full cylinders. The group measures 2.121 inches and demonstrates how quickly the accuracy of a BB falls away as the distance to the target increases.

Colt Python target 4
Shot at 25 feet, these 12 shots went into 2.121 inches.

The Colt Python is accurate
Without a doubt, this Colt Python revolver is an accurate BB gun. I don’t like to make comparisons, but I know a lot of readers want them. I looked at other accurate BB pistols I’ve tested over the years and found this one to hold its own. In other words, about on par with the other accurate BB pistols, and quite a bit better than an average BB pistol.

I like the trigger in both single- and double-action, I like the sights, I like the speedloader and the way the cartridges grab each BB so positively. The power is good and so is the shot count. There’s nothing to dislike, save the lack of sight adjustment tools and the small transposition in the owner’s manual.

If you have a hankering for a Colt Python and cannot or will not spend $1,400 to buy one, this revolver scratches a lot of the itch.


The Colt Python BB revolver: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Colt Python
Colt Python from Umarex looks like the real deal!

Part 1

This report addresses:

• Loading BBs into the cartridges
• Loading CO2 into the gun
• Velocity in both single- and double-action
• Trigger-pull in single- and double-action
• Shot count per CO2 cylinder

Today, I’ll test the power of the Colt Python BB revolver from Umarex. Thanks to Umarex Director of Marketing Justin Biddle, I was able to begin testing this revolver for you before they hit the market here in the U.S. But they’re now in stock, and your dreams can finally be fulfilled.

Cartridges
As you know, this air pistol loads the BBs into individual cartridges — one BB per cartridge. Where a bullet would go in a regular firearm cartridge, there’s a rubber plug with a hole to accept 1 BB. You can’t put more than a single BB into each cartridge.

Colt Python BB revolver cartridges
Two loaded BB cartridges and a .357 Magnum round for comparison. The BB cartridges are slightly larger than the .357 Magnum cartridge; but as you can see, they’re very close.

The revolver comes with a spring-loaded speedloader that lets you load all 6 cartridges into the gun’s cylinder at the same time. It worked perfectly, but I found that loading each cartridge singly was just as convenient. Perhaps, if I had more than 6 cartridges, the speedloader would become handier. Of course, it’s possible to purchase additional cartridges for this revolver, though at the present time they must come in batches of 6 with a speedloader. Maybe when supplies catch up to demand, they’ll become available individually — we hope.

And, before anyone asks, no, you cannot use other BB-gun revolver cartridges in this revolver. They’ll function, but Pyramyd Air techs have determined that you’ll lose a lot of velocity.

Loading the CO2
As you learned in Part 1, the CO2 cartridge is loaded through a port in the bottom of the grip, rather than in the conventional way of one grip panel coming off. That allows the grip panels to remain tight on the gun — something many readers said they care about.

When I installed the first cartridge, I put a couple drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip to ensure positive sealing. The cartridge sealed instantly, with just a quick hiss as I used the large Allen wrench that came with the gun to tighten the CO2 plug in the bottom of the grip.

Loading
As we learned when testing the Dan Wesson BB revolver, there’s a fast way to load the BB cartridges. Spread an even layer of BBs in the top of an empty pellet tin and load all 6 empty cartridges into the speedloader. Then press the tips of the cartridges down into the layer of BBs like you’re cutting cookie dough.

Colt Python BBs
A layer of BBs in a pellet tin lid makes multiple loading easy!

Colt Python speedloadewr
Push the speedloader with cartridges into the BBs, and every cartridge will be loaded at the same time.

The rubber plugs in the end of the cartridges are tough, and it takes some pressure to pop a BB past the lip. You feel it when it pops into place. After loading, check all your cartridges to ensure all the BBs have been properly seated.

Velocity
The revolver operates in both the single-action and double-action mode, so naturally I tested both. In single-action, the revolver shot Umarex Precision steel BBs at an average 394 f.p.s. The low was 381 f.p.s., and the high was 421 f.p.s.; so the spread was 40 f.p.s. I allowed about 10 seconds between each shot to offset the cooling effect of the CO2 gas.

In the double-action mode, the revolver averaged 400 f.p.s., with a low of 380 f.p.s. and a high of 410 f.p.s. The spread was 10 f.p.s. less, and the average was 6 f.p.s. faster, indicating the gun is more effective in the double-action mode.

Trigger-pull
Unfortunately for Umarex, the Colt Python is legendary for the smoothness and lightness of its action. Each one was tuned by human hands before leaving the factory, and there’s no way this CO2 revolver can equal that. You may liken it to a paint-by-numbers copy of the Mona Lisa — you can’t get there from here.

For an air pistol, however, the trigger-pull in single-action (when the hammer is manually cocked before the trigger is pulled) is crisp. It breaks at 5 lbs., 4 oz. In the double-action mode (just pull the trigger to fire the gun each time), it breaks at 9 lbs., 4 oz. which is very light for a revolver. As I mentioned in Part 1, the trigger does not stack (increase in pull pressure sharply near the end of the pull) like a real Colt trigger.

Shot count
Shooting indoors in a climate-controlled environment at 70˚F, I got 70 good shots from one CO2 cartridge before the velocity began to drop off dangerously. The final shot registered 287 f.p.s. through the chronograph, which is a good place to stop before you jam any BBs in the barrel.

Evaluation
The Colt Python BB pistol is something several people have asked for over the years. It’s as nice as the S&W 586 pellet revolver, in many respects, but sells at less than half the price. The trigger is nice, and the way the cartridges load is realistic. The revolver hangs in the hand nicely. If there’s any benefit from not imitating the Python exactly, it has to be that the air pistol’s 38-oz. weight is lighter than the firearm’s 43.5 oz. in the same barrel length. That’s what you get when metals other than steel are used.

Accuracy testing comes next, and I see those adjustable sights give me the ability to really zero this handgun. Let’s hope they mean it!


Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I start…today is the last day of Pyramyd Air’s weekend Doorbuster Deal on the Gamo Big Cat 1250 air rifle. Besides knocking back the price of the gun, they’ve also taken a huge discount on the Big Cat’s large pre-packaged deal. If this gun is on your “buy” list (for yourself or as a gift), this would be the time to get it.

Part 1
Part 2


The Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver with the 8-inch barrel is a large, impressive, all-metal airgun.

I can’t report on this gun fast enough. The Dan Wesson revolver has taken off on afterburners at Pyramyd Air, now that people have seen it perform. Today, we’ll look at accuracy — the final question we had regarding this unique new revolver. You won’t be disappointed!

The Rob Speedloader
Blog reader Rob recommended a procedure for loading the speedloader rapidly by simple pressing it into a flat tray of BBs. I didn’t think it would work, but it worked so well that I’m loading the gun this way from now on. This is the fastest BB-loading system I’ve ever seen — commercial speedloaders included. The following two photos will show how it works.


First step is to fill the bottom of a pellet tin lid with a layer of BBs. Keep it to a single layer, so all the BBs are the same height.


Next, press the speedloader into the BBs. One push is all it takes and you don’t have to press hard. Each of the six cartridges will pick up one BB like this. Notice that the layer of BBs in the lid is diminished, and some are piled on top of others. Spread them flat again and you can load several more speedloaders before you have to add more BBs to the lid.

I reloaded the speedloader many times this way with three different brands of BBs, and only once did I come up with less than six BBs. That one time, I just pressed the speedloader back into the tin once more and the last cartridge was loaded.

Basic marketing
Now, however, I have to take Crosman and Walther to task for how they package their BBs. Some marketing committee seems to have decided that shooters want a BB container that releases BBs slowly, so both of these companies have designed a container that releases them haphazardly, instead. Only Daisy allows you to pour the BBs out en masse, and that’s too bad, because with this Dan Wesson revolver, people are going to want to shoot thousands of BBs. Marketing 101 tells us that if your product is cheap, you make sure people have unlimited access to it, so only the Daisy zinc-plated BBs support this style of reloading. The other two brands are difficult just getting six out of the bottle.

Accuracy
Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for. How accurate is this Dan Wesson? Because of the long barrel, I started shooting at 25 feet — like I did last week with the Crosman M4 BB gun. Longer barrels aren’t really any more accurate than short barrels, but you can’t deny that they look like they are!


From 25 feet, 12 Daisy BBs made this 1.622-inch group. Not too bad for a smoothbore!

After seeing this first group I decided to move in and shoot from my traditional 15-foot distance. First up were another 12 Daisy BBs.


Twelve Daisy BBs went into this tight group from 15 feet. It measures 1.019 inches between centers.

I was actually shooting a lot more than the targets reveal. I tried double-action, but I’m not steady enough for that yet. The red front sight glared too much until I turned off the overhead light and just illuminated the target. Then, the front post was dark and sharp against the bull.

Next, I tried Walther BBs, because in tests with other BB guns they’ve worked just as well as Daisys. This time, however, they surpassed the Daisys to turn in the best group of the session.


Twelve Walther BBs went into this 0.817-inch group at 15 feet. This was the best group of the session.

Finally, it was time to try Crosman Copperhead BBs. Though they usually don’t perform as well as Daisy BBs, in the test of the Crosman M4 rifle last week they were more accurate. In this test they put 12 into a group measuring 1.061 inches from 15 feet. That is so close to the Daisy result that I have to say they’re about the same.


Twelve Crosman Copperhead BBs went into this 1.061-inch group, which isn’t much different than the group the Daisy BBs turned in. When it’s this close, it’s too close to call.

Sights
The revolver appears to shoot to the point of aim at 15 feet. When I adjusted the sight higher to bring the BBs into the center of the bull, I ran out of elevation and the screw popped out. So, figure the gun will put a BB wherever the top center of the front sight blade is when shooting from 15 to 25 feet.

I found the sights sharp enough after adjusting the room lighting, but the front red ramp does glare and mess up the aim point more than a little. I have firearm handguns with this same flaw, so it isn’t confined to BB guns. It just seems that the people who make the guns these days don’t shoot them to see how they actually perform. If they did, there would be fewer of these bright, shiny ramp sights.

Number of shots
Well, this BB revolver just keeps on shooting and shooting. I figured that, at its higher velocity, it would run out of gas around 60 shots; but it was still going strong at 97 shots. I chonographed shots 108-113 and report them now.

Shot–>Vel.
108—>299
109—>298
110—>299
111—>303
112—> —
113—>301

Well, these velocities are well off the power curve we saw in Part 2, where the average for these same Daisy BBs was 466 f.p.s. But if you’re popping soda cans in the back yard, I don’t think you’ll notice. However, I did notice that at shots 111 through 113, the BBs were bouncing off the duct seal of the BB trap, so the velocity is getting into the “time to change cartridges” zone. For what it’s worth, that best group of Walther BBs was shot with over 80 shots on the cartridge, so the gun was still in the zone at that time.

The bottom line
Well, it’s official. In a couple days, I’ll submit this revolver to Tom’s Picks. It delivers on everything that’s promised and is a very good training gun, to boot. I may have to retain this one in my personal collection — just so I can come back to it from time to time. It’s all in the interest of science, you understand.


Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The Dan Wesson CO2 BB revolver with the 8-inch barrel is a large and impressive all-metal airgun.

There’s no question that there’s a LOT of interest in this Dan Wesson revolver! The response we got from readers was enormous, plus Pyramyd Air reports the same level of interest from their customers. I’m always glad to be able to report on an airgun everyone likes, so this is getting exciting.

If you now go to the Dan Wesson page on the website, you’ll see three additional barrel lengths and two silver-finished guns. So, your choices are many. And if you decide to buy one, check out that “Click to save $8.00 more!” button, because Pyramyd Air has put together a great bundle of necessary stuff to accompany the gun.

I also happen to like the gun, as well as the whole Dan Wesson pistol pac concept. In fact, when Edith, who was unaware of the Dan Wesson history, saw the pistol pac in Part 1 of of this report, she had the same reaction as many readers. She agrees with me that this idea of a gun with many personalities is too good to let pass.

Good ideas
Some of you have wondered where I get all my ideas for airguns and new products like the UTG drooper scope mount base for older RWS Diana spring guns. Well, this is how it happens. I see something that was a great idea in the past, and I know it would be received the same way today; but the people making decisions in the airgun industry are not aware of what has gone before, so all I have to do is modernize the idea and take it to them. However, there’s a potential problem.

Take the Dan Wesson pistol pac idea as an example. When Dan Wesson designed it back in the 1960s, they did it the right way, so the customer would have a properly adjusted gun if he followed their directions and used all their tools when changing his barrels. Fast-forward to the Chinese breakbarrel rifles that have recently been made with interchangable barrels, but in the cheapest possible way. By their design, these rifles are doomed to failure, because they’re not good guns to begin with and their barrel-changing process is not fully engineered — at least not to the same extent that Dan Wesson engineered it.

So, as you can see, a good idea can be executed poorly and doom the outcome from the start. Dan Wesson did it the right way; and as a result, we remember them and desire their products. I have a related story to tell you about a Desert Eagle Magnum pistol, but that will have to wait for another day. Today is velocity day for the Dan Wesson revolver, so let’s get started!

Velocity
The first task is to charge the revolver with a CO2 cartridge. Of course, the tip of every new cartridge gets a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil to keep the inner seals fresh and sealing.

To load the cartridge, pull the grip panel straight back. It comes back and at the last instant flips up out of the way. The website doesn’t show this, so I took a picture to let you see how it works.


Pull the grip panel straight back, and it will flip up to expose the CO2 cartridge housing like this.

Loading BBs
Remember that speedloader I criticized in Part 1? A reader was kind enough to point out how it worked, and when I went to the owner’s manual I found that it’s addressed there, as well. It does work exactly as it should. When I told Mac what a mistake I’d made, he told me that he once bought a speedloader for a .357 revolver and for a year and a half had the same problem. He probably didn’t, but that’s what good friends do — they keep you from feeling like the dufus you really are.

I tell you this because the speedloader is an important part of loading the BBs. Oh, I’m sure you could load them singly and everything would still work just fine, but the manual wants you to put the empty cartridges in the speedloader first, then snug them down and load them that way. Since I was the one who lead you wrong, allow me to show you.


Insert six cartridges base-down into the speedloader. Notice that the speedloader spring is relaxed.


Push in on the back of the speedloader and twist to the right. You’ll hear a click — and the cartridges are locked in the loader.


Load a BB into the mouth of each cartridge. You have to push in the BB until it’s captured by the synthetic lip of the cartridge.


Insert the speedloader into the rear of the cylinder. When it gets to this point, it will push the cartridges forward into the cylinder with a click.

This is a unique way of loading BBs into a revolver. I’ve done something similar with an airsoft revolver years ago, but never before with steel BBs. I like the realism, and it compliments the realistic look and feel of this revolver. I think it helps make the Dan Wesson a winner!

Velocity
I first tested the gun with Daisy zinc-plated BBs. They averaged 466 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 462 to a high of 470 f.p.s. That’s pretty tight. There was also no difference in speed between single-action and double-action. When the cartridges were ejected they were oily, so the Pellgunoil is moving through the valve as it is supposed to.

Crosman Copperhead BBs were next, and they didn’t do as well. They averaged 456 f.p.s., but the spread was much larger — from 445 to 471 f.p.s. That’s still pretty good, but not when compared to the Daisy BBs. Like the Daisys, the Copperheads were just as fast in single-action as in double-action.

The revolver is rated at 426 f.p.s.; and as you can see, this one is faster. So, it’s met and exceeded the advertised specification for velocity. I do want to caution all readers that a steel BB going over 450 f.p.s. is very prone to rebound from a hard surface. Wear safety glasses every time you operate this BB gun and make sure everyone in the area does the same.

So far
Well, I love the revolver thus far. If it also turns out to be accurate I’m thinking of making it one of my personal picks. I don’t do that for many airguns, but this one will have earned a spot if it can shoot a decent group.


Umarex BB speedloader

by B.B. Pelletier


Umarex speedloader: shoot more, load faster.

We’ve been testing a lot of BB guns lately, and all of them have magazines that need to be loaded. Some of those magazines are like the straight stick magazine in the TT33 Tokarev pistol. They’re usually loaded one BB at a time, which can be tedious. The Umarex speedloader was designed specifically for this job.

There’s really nothing new about the speedloader because it descends almost directly from the airsoft world. But this application is for steel BBs, and that crosses the line into airguns. Mac used the speedloader in some of his tests and was very pleased with its operation. Simply connect the loader with the magazine, press down on the plunger and load 8 BBs. It’s that fast. If your mag holds 17 or 22, you’ll have it loaded in seconds.


Comes with 3 adapters to fit almost any BB gun.


Speedloader output port will connect to some BB mags without any adapter.

Adaptable
Not all BB guns are made the same, so the Umarex speedloader comes with a complete package of adapters that allow it to be connected to virtually all BB guns. When Umarex USA tested it, they couldn’t find a single BB gun it wouldn’t connect to.


To refill the speedloader, flip open the door & fill with BBs.


When the speedloader is not in use, the plunger can be locked down.

Easy to fill
The speedloader is made mainly of synthetics and holds a large reservoir of BBs inside. It’s easy to refill by just dumping the BBs in the open loader door.

This is another piece of equipment that isn’t sexy by itself; but if you’re a BB pistol enthusiast, then you really need this speedloader.