Winchester M14 CO2 Air Rifle Test Review
.177 pellets and BBs
January 3 2016
Purchased anonymously at retail.
Looks like a M14 battle rifle.
Good shot count.
Low muzzle velocity
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a Street Price of $70.00, the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle offers lots of features for the money. Its nearest competition is probably the Crosman 1077. Although the M14 scores for many people with its battle rifle looks, the Crosman 1077 tested by HAM was a much more accurate shooter.
|HAM Test Rating||60%|
|Value For Money||OK price and lots of fun so long as you're not looking for precision accuracy.|
|Best Pellet Tested||JSB Exact|
|Street Price at Time of Test||$70.00.|
Easy to Shoot.
If looks and fun are prioritized above accuracy, the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle will probably be seen as good value for money by many buyers.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
Daisy Winchester M14 CO2 Air Rifle
SPEED AND ACCURACY
First of all, we need to say that the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle was tested by HAM in an indoor range at 61 degrees F. This is important because the M14 – like all CO2-powered airguns is sensitive to temperature and shoots slower in the cold.
Based on testing with other CO2-powered air rifles, we would expect the muzzle velocity of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle to increase by about 2 fps per degree Farenheit and to peak at a temperature of around 95 degrees.
Because CO2 is a refrigerant gas, shooting the gun fast also causes the gun to shoot slower. The HAM tests were made with one shot every 5 seconds. This may not sound very slow, but just try timing it yourself! Waiting 5 seconds between shots feels like a very long time.
Daisy is obviously aware of these issues and explains them clearly on page 10 of the operation manual – at least to those of us who bother to RTFM!
So, the muzzle velocities achieved by the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM should be understood in the light of the above.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 4.7 Grain||549.8 FPS||3.13 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain||510.5 FPS||3.22 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|RWS Hobby 7.0 Grains||447.7 FPS||3.12 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Crosman Premier HP 7.90 Grain||439.1 FPS||3.38 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|JSB Exact Diabalo 8.44 Grain||417.4 FPS||3.27 Ft/Lbs||Poor. Best Tested.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain||396.2 FPS||3.01 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain||354.8 FPS||2.98 Ft/Lbs||Poor|
As you can see, the maximum muzzle velocity achieved in the HAM tests was 550 fps with Gamo Raptor Platinum 4.7 grain alloy pellets. Although the M14 air rifle also can fire BBs, these shot slower (as expected) than pellets.
This muzzle velocity of 550 fps at 61 degrees F leads us to expect that the maximum muzzle velocity of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle would be in the region of 620 fps at 95 degrees F.
Accuracy was, frankly, poor. The Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM was “minute of soda can” accurate at 10 yards, with the best results being obtained from JSB Exact pellets. with a 1.5 x 0.75-inch CTC group for 10 shots. The HAM team did not anticipate great accuracy from the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle, but we hoped it would be a little better than that!
The test targets all displayed vertical stringing, probably due to the falling muzzle velocity during the shot strings. It’s possible that shooting in a higher temperature would reduce that stringing somewhat as the relative cooling effect of each shot would be less.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
JSB Match Diablo Exact pellets, .177 caliber
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The trigger pull of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM averaged a heavy 7.5 Lbs. The pull is long and feels very “creepy” at first.
But familiarity allows the shooter to pull back fast through most of that creep – just like a long first stage – and then stop at the clearly-defined release point. Shooting in this way makes the heavy trigger pull weight of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle feel less than it actually is and not unpleasant.
There’s a manual trigger block safety that’s placed in the front part of the trigger guard. This works well, precisely and intuitively. The positioning of this safety is identical in location and operation to that of the M14 firearm.
Just like the firearm, the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle has a cocking handle on the right side of the breech. The shooter is guided by the Operator’s Manual to pull back on this cocking handle before firing the first shot. Operating the cocking handle has a curiously light, insubstantial feel, but it is actually cocking the action.
After cocking for the first shot, pulling the trigger then releases the shot all. Subsequent shots do not require the cocking handle to be pulled back: the gun fires as often (and fast) as you pull the trigger. This makes it easy to use, so long as you’re not put off by that heavy pull.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
The main selling point for the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is its similarity to the M14 firearm. Based on looks alone, it’s very clear that this air rifle meets the manufacturer’s claim. There’s no claim that the air rifle matches the weight (and therefore feel) of the firearm. Of course, it doesn’t.
The muzzle velocity claim for the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is 700 fps. Based on HAM testing, it’s very unlikely that this figure can be met, even on a very hot day. We estimate 620 fps is about tops with the lightest alloy pellets.
The other claim is that this air rifle has a semi-automatic action. Although the action has no need of any manual bolt manipulation, it seems more like a revolver-type action in the HAM team’s opinion, rather than semi-automatic. But most buyers probably won’t care about that.
The Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM demonstrated fairly good consistency.
Accuracy was not noticeably influenced by the type of pellet used in it, it remained plinker grade – at best – throughout our testing.
Muzzle velocity fell quite steadily and predictably during shooting, although the Standard Deviation (measurement of shot-to-shot variation) generally increased with increasing pellet weight. This is probably reflected in the vertical stringing displayed on most of the test targets.
The Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is not fitted with a silencer. However, the noise level from shooting this gun is very moderate, as you would expect from the low muzzle velocity. The noise level is fine for indoor use – outdoors, your neighbors are unlikely to hear this gun being fired unless they are very close by.
Subjectively, the HAM team feels that the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is a little louder than our benchmark for quietness, the Benjamin Marauder, but not bu much.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
The Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is really an open sights only air rifle.
The open sights of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle are quite similar to those of the original firearm. There’s a front post, combined with an aperture rear sight that is easily adjustable for both windage and elevation.
The front post has protecting “ears”, just like the firearm it copies. The rear sights are click-adjustable for elevation and windage. Again, the appearance and function of the rear sight is very close to that of the original M14. The left side knob controls the elevation and rotates against a simple click system. The right knob adjusts windage and – again like the firearm – rotates in quarter turn increments, needing to be pulled out slightly in order to make the adjustment.
These sights work well at close range and the HAM test team was happy with the sight picture and usability out to 20 yards with soda can-size targets.
The action of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is – again like the firearm original – less than ideal for scope mounting. The HAM team is not aware of a scope mount ever having been produced for this air rifle, but it’s clear that someone once thought that it would…
Just in front of the rear sight assembly, there’s a molded plastic dovetail running at right angles to the bore. And further forward on the left of the receiver, there’s a hole through the plastic exterior molding to a tapped hole in a metal part of the breech. It’s actually tapped for a metric M4 screw. Above it is a molded vertical locating slot.
Again, this “dovetail and screw” scope mounting system replicates that of the original M14 firearm very precisely. (Well, except for the diameter of the screw hole!).
Given this attention to detail, it’s disappointing that a scope mount has never been made available for the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle.
But, the accuracy level demonstrated by the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM suggests that a scope would not be an useful addition, even if it could be fitted.
The size of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is a strong point. At 44-inches overall length, it’s the same as that of the M14 firearm. This allows the gun to be held naturally by adults.
But the all-plastic construction means that the gun feels much too light. There’s a mis-match between the actual weight and the weight you expect this gun to have. It’s disconcerting and the HAM team felt that the CO2-powered M14 would benefit from increased weight.
The trigger pull weight of the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM averaged 7.5 Lbs. However the HAM testers felt the gun shot fairly well in spite of this.
The low muzzle velocity and poor accuracy mean that the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is a “soda can plinker”. It’s not suitable for use hunting any type of bids or critter – however small – and it’s clearly not a target gun either.
Most shooters will use this gun for rapid fire fun in the back yard. The light weight means that all the family will be able to use it – a benefit to make up for the lack of realism in that area!
Loading CO2 cartridges is simple, although it does require the use of a plastic key to tighten them in position. Fortunately this key is retained in the magazine housing by means of a clip and a spare is supplied in the box.
Dropping the magazine to reload is easy, using the button on the side of the magazine. And reloading the double-ended magazine with pellets or BBs is simple, too.
With the BB magazine removed, the complete lower magazine assembly can be removed from the gun by pressing what looks like the firearm’s magazine release. This can be done even under pressure – although there’s a “pop” of gas that’s released when you do this – which is a good safety feature that makes the gun instantly safe, if required.
It should be recorded that the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM experienced two jams during our testing. These were, however, cleared fairly easily with the assistance of a cleaning rod and following the procedure described in the operation manual.
Of course, there’s no heavy cocking action and – like all CO2-powered air rifles, the M14 has no recoil. These are two primary benefits that lead to good shootability, especially when compared to the popular, $100+, 1,000+fps break barrel air rifles that are often (mistakenly) chosen as a first air rifle.
The low (good) RateAGun score of 4.0 confirms that this is an easy air rifle to shoot.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
At a distance of more than about 10 feet, it’s very hard to tell that the Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is not an M14 firearm. Even close-up some of the details are very well done and copy the firearm almost exactly – as we’ve pointed-out throughout this test review.
There’s even a mock flash hider and bayonet mount! The sling swivels actually work well and allow a 1-inch rifle sling to be fitted for ease of carrying and/or looks.
The quality of the plastic molding is generally good for the price point, with a “grippy” stippling on the stock and a textured finish on what would have been metal parts of the firearm to simulate (a little) a Parkerized finish.
The only real let-down is the sharp mold lines of the stock – particularly on the bottom – combined with some completely smooth areas on the underside of the stock. The Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle looks better from above than below!
Overall, the appearance is more than adequate for a $70 air rifle. Yes it would be great to have external metal parts – and a real, tree wood stock! – but the price would probably be double in that case.
BUYING AND OWNING
The Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle is widely available online and in big box sporting good stores. It’s supplied in a very stylish and strong cardboard package that stands out from many other air rifles on store display racking.
The bilingual – English and Spanish – operation guide is very good. Clear and well-illustrated, it’s a model for what many other air rifle instructions should be! There’s also a very useful “Introduction to Winchester Air Rifle Shooting” section that covers useful tips on proper gun handling and marksmanship (such as trigger and breath control), sighting-in the gun and indoor shooting.
The Winchester M14 CO2 air rifle tested by HAM gave around 100 shots from one fill of 2 x 12 gram CO2 cartridges. This high shot count as the inverse of the relatively low muzzle velocity and makes long plinking sessions realistic without needing more CO2.
There’s a 12 month warranty available from Daisy, together with a repair service for guns out of warranty. In both cases, the owner is responsible for shipment both ways and the operation manual clearly states that your gun may be repaired and returned to you, or replaced with an equivalent model at the company’s option.
There’s no spare parts available for the M14 air rifle, but this is not a gun that is really serviceable by the user.
Additional pellet/BB magazine sticks are readily available at about $7 each if you want to have a long shooting session without loading pellets.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
Daisy Winchester M14 CO2 Air Rifle
This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.