Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver Test Review
July 18, 2020
Supplied by Pyramyd Air
Most consistently accurate pistol ever tested by HAM.
Strong shot count per fill.
Point if impact not dead center.
Really nothing else...
VALUE FOR MONEY
This Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver was ordered from Pyramyd Air using a pre-production version of the online software you can see here. On being told by Pyramyd to “order whatever we liked”, HAM Publisher Stephen Archer did so, without knowing the prices. They were not finalized at that time.
Although HAM has reviewed other CO2-powered revolvers, we wanted something that was different from the Colt Duke BB Revolver that we reviewed back in 2016. So we selected a pellet revolver in weathered finish and with a long barrel.
It turns-out that our choice was effectively that of a regular Ace-In-The-Hole CO2 pellet revolver, but with a long barrel. However – at the time – Stephen just chose what he wanted from the configurator software.
In fact, the choices he made – except one – were all “no charge” options compared to the base Ace-In-The-Hole price of $99.99. The only addional cost was for adding the 7.5-Inch barrel. At $30 extra compared to the standard 3.5-Inch barrel option certainly seemed like a fair price.
So this Custom CO2 pellet revolver was priced at just $129.99. Sure, the cost would have been higher had Steve selected – for example – a gold hammer, trigger, barrel and cylinder, together with the faux ivory grips. But – as it was – he selected the elements of the pistol he wanted and enjoyed doing so.
In addition, the gun came with Pyramyd’s “Custom Build Test Drive” check at no additional charge. This included the following range of services:
– Inspect the finished build to ensure no physical defects or blemishes.
– Fire 2 magazines’ worth of shots through the chronograph. Enclose the chronograph tape of fired shots.
– Confirm that the gun cocks and cycles reliably for all shots.
– Verify that the trigger functions reliably for all shots.
– Verify that the safety functions properly.
– Ensure there are no audible or visible leaks.
– Signed and dated testing certificate.
In addition, Pyramyd Air custom built guns carry the same duration as the original manufacturer warranty, as well as the same terms and conditions stated by the manufacturer. (In this case, Umarex).
Then our Custom CO2 pellet revolver was supplied in a black plush “PA Custom” bag.
For that level of choice, testing and customization, the $129.99 was an absolute bargain!
|HAM Test Rating||98%|
|Value For Money||Outstanding!|
|Firearm it Copies||Colt Peacemaker/ Single Action Army|
|Best BB Tested||H&N Field Target Trophy Green|
|Street Price at Time of Test||Varies, ours was $129.99|
|Ammo Type||.177 pellets|
|Power Source||12 Gram CO2 cartridge|
|Useful Shots per Fill||Around 130|
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REALISM – LOOKS AND FEEL
Overall, the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver is a very close copy of the original Colt Single Action Army (as marked on the barrel), or Peacemaker revolver. Appearance is very close to that of the firearm original, as is the size – overall length 13 Inches – and weight – 2 Lb 6 Oz.
The 7.5-Inch barrel matches that of the original model too.
The appearance is enhanced by the metal finish, which is weathered, or worn, as if from extensive use. This gives a close approximation to the patina found on many historic guns and makes this pistol look like it’s a veteran of extensive use. This weathering is very well done and gives a most realistic effect.
Looks also benefit from the CO2 piercing screw being recessed well out of sight in the underside of the pistol grip. And the safety – no doubt required for legal reasons, but not present on the original – is discretely hidden in the frame ahead of the trigger guard.
Balance and feel is very close to that of the original. The plastic grips are shiny and hard. But they look and feel good, too.
Appearance is compromised a little by the screen-printed text on the ejector housing. This legally-required stuff is, however, smaller and less intrusive than we have seen on some other models.
Also the hammer does not lie flat with the frame of the gun when un-cocked, as it should. This is common to many replica versions of the Peacemaker and will be covered in the “Realism – Trigger and Action” section, below.
ACCURACY AND POINT OF IMPACT
First things first. This Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver was the most consistently accurate pellet pistol ever tested by HAM!
Best accuracy was achieved using 5.56 Grain H&N Field Target Trophy Green pellets. These produced a very tight 6-yard group of just 5/8-Inch vertical and 3/4-Inch horizontal CTC for 10 shots. That’s outstanding shooting by HAM tester Doug Wall, especially considering the very primitive sights! (You can see the test targets at the foot of this review).
Obviously this is well inside the “Minute of Soda Can” level of accuracy we expect from CO2-powered replica pellet and BB pistols.
But the most impressive part about this gun is that all the other pellets in the standard HAM pellet pistol test suite performed very nearly as well. That is remarkable!
Out at 10 Yards, the group opened-up, just as you would expect. But it was still well within “Minute of Soda Can” accuracy, something that is far from often found at this range.
The only downside was that the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver tested by HAM shot right and high with all the pellets tested. It was about an inch to the right and an inch high with the Field Target Trophy Greens.
Given the fixed front sight and a rear “sight” consisting of a v-shaped groove machined in the top of the action, it’s difficult to see how this could be corrected. However, HAM has reviewed similar models that did shoot “dead on”.
A regular user would undoubtedly get used to this. And did the centerfire original shoot better to the point of aim? Notably, Pyramyd’s Custom Build Test Drive tests many things, but not accuracy.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
This is difficult to assess using our standard methodology of comparing shooting performance as – after all – this is a custom gun with a non-standard barrel length. The regular “Ace-In-The-Hole” model, on which this gun is based, has a Muzzle Velocity specification of 340 FPS. We would expect the FPS to be higher, however, due to the longer barrel of this custom gun.
The Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver tested by HAM produced an average of 331 FPS across 10 shots at a temperature of 67 Degrees F.
As always, the projectile velocity attained by CO2-powered airguns varies with temperature. It increases by about 2 FPS per degree Farenheit increase.
As HAM testing was undertaken at a cool 67 degrees F, this means that this 331 FPS average we recorded would be as high as 377 FPS at a 90 degree ambient temperature. That’s considerably above the manufacturer’s claims for the Ace-In-The-Hole model, even allowing for the longer barrel!
The Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver tested by HAM displayed excellent consistency. As mentioned above, the gun consistently accurate with the whole range of standard HAM pistol test pellets. That’s a very unusual occurrence!
Trigger pull also demonstrated exemplary consistency. The average pull weight of 1 Lb 5 Oz only varied by plus or minus 3 Oz throughout HAM testing. That’s effectively a completely uniform pull.
Of course, muzzle velocity will fall with rapid fire. This is inevitable with any CO2-powered airgun. But the single action and gate-loading system means that this effect is less pronounced than on many other CO2-powered pistols due to the naturally slower shooting cycle it requires.
The average Standard Deviation across the target shooting tests was 11.48 FPS. That’s pretty reasonable for a CO2-powered air pistol.
REALISM – TRIGGER AND ACTION
As a single action only revolver, the trigger pull of the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver is not required to cock the action and rotate the cylinder. The shooter undertakes these functions by pulling back on the hammer.
Of course, this allows the trigger pull to be much lighter – and better – than that of a double action revolver. This generally makes shooting slower (at least for most of us), with a big benefit to accuracy.
Trigger pull weights on Colt Single Action Army firearms are typically in the 1.5 to 3 Lbs range (although they can be much lighter on “gunslinger specials”). That of the tested by HAM averaged just 1 Lb 5 Oz, a very nice, light pull weight that felt just right.
HAM tester Doug Wall summarized it very well in his testing notes, writing: “This is a very light, smooth trigger.”
Trigger pull of the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver tested by HAM was extremely smooth,. There was almost no creep and a very crisp let-off. The short, single-stage pull is ideal and a close approximation to that of the firearm.
As with the original Colt Single Action Army, the tang of the hammer is perfectly positioned. Pulling the hammer back and down with the thumb produces a very satisfactory-feeling (and sounding) series of clicks as first the cylinder is rotated and then the trigger cocked. That “clack, clack, clack” action of cocking the hammer is a joy and a significant part of the attraction of the Colt Peacemaker and its CO2 copies.
Now, being extremely picky, this hammer action is not completely realistic. There are actually three clicks each time the hammer is cocked. The Single Action Army has four. Unlike the firearm original, the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver has a hammer that does not sit flush with the frame when uncocked. It looks as if it’s at a “half cock” position, as you can see from the photograph below.
For the SAA expert and perfectionist, only three clicks and the set back hammer would undoubtedly be a black mark for our Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver. But they’re very small deviations from realism that are unlikely to stop most of us from feeling just like a cowboy as we thumb back that hammer.
For the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver build, a fanning hammer was specified. We did this just for looks! We didn’t try actually fanning this airgun and don’t suggest you do either due to concerns that it could damage the mechanism. Don’t try this at home, folks!
Another big benefit to realistic appearance and operation is that the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver uses six, individual “cartridges”, each of which is pre-loaded with a pellet. These cartridges require to be loaded with a pellet one at a time, with the pellet at the rear.
They are then inserted individually into the cylinder through the flip-out loading gate. Just like the original!
After shooting, the individual cartridges are then extracted from the cylinder with the functioning ejector rod. Again just like the original. The cartridges are about the same size as those of a .357 Magnum firearm.
This makes the overall shooting experience of our Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver very much like that of the firearm original, as well as contributing to the high level of realism and engagement felt by the shooter.
The Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver tested by HAM gave 130 shots at 67degrees F with a Muzzle Velocity of above 188 fps from one 12 gram CO2 cartridge. This is the highest shot count we have found for a single CO2 cartridge pistol in HAM testing.
Of course, the single action nature of the gun requires no blowback and this gives good efficiency in CO2 usage. Once again it highlights the penalty in shot count that blowback actions produce!
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain||331 FPS||1.35 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
|RWS Meisterkugeln Pistol 7.0 Grain||311 FPS||1.50 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|RWS Hobby 7.0 Grain||308 FPS||1.47 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|Crosman Premier HP 7.9 Grain||295 FPS||1.52 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain||281 FPS||1.52 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
As described above, the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver has an outstanding level of finish and overall appearance. Just check-out the photographs!
BUYING AND OWNING
Of course, there’s only one place to buy the Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver. That’s online through the Pyramyd Air website.
One practical feature is that the hex tool for tightening the CO2 cartridge is incorporated into the removable grip side plate. (See photo above). So, there’s no more lost hex wrenches and no unsightly external tightening key.
Loading pellets is very easy due to the separate cartridge design and feeding was good. Sets of six cartridges are available as an accessory product and the HAM team feels that it would be good to buy extras to enhance the shooting experience without continually reloading the same six cartridges.
There were no jams or misfeeds throughout the HAM tests of the Pyramyd Air Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver
The operator’s manual is that for the Umarex Ace-In-The-Hole model on which this cutom gun is based. It’s well-illustrated and explains how to operate the gun clearly in English, Spanish and French.
Warranty for the Custom CO2 Pellet Revolver is 90-days. Coverage is provided by Pyramyd Air. That’s a short period, but not unusual with CO2 replica pistols. Of course, the “Custom Build Test Drive” provided with each gun should ensure that the gun reaches you in perfect condition and render warranty repairs unnecessary.
SAFETY FIRST. Due to the realistic appearance of this product, handle it as you would a firearm. Do not display it in public or in any place where it could be mistaken for a cartridge firearm.
6 YARD TEST TARGETS
10 YARD TEST TARGET
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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.