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Dan Wesson 715 Revolver Review

Discussion in 'Replica Airguns' started by Headhunter, Dec 21, 2019.

  1. Headhunter

    Headhunter Never enough shell loading Revolvers

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    I’ve owned the Dan Wesson 715 - 6” pellet revolver now for well over 18 months and I thought that it’s about time that I did one of those ‘long term ownership’ type of reviews. Firstly, I should state for the record that I actually do own all of the pellet versions, the 6” as already mentioned, the 4” and the baby of the family, the 2.5”. So that should give you a little idea of how I much I love these revolvers….

    Dan Wesson 715-6.jpg
    Dan Wesson 715-2.jpg
    I will just stick to the 6” version for the purpose of this review unless I need to reference something else about one of the other two, when that happens I will try to make it clear which version I am referring to.


    The First impressions

    When you first get the revolver in your hands you cannot help but notice the unusual finish, the manufacturers refer to this as ‘Dark Chrome’, it truly is a beautiful finish, almost like a highly polished, but incredibly dark, blued steel finish that some real steel revolvers have, whereas the 4” & 2.5” pellet versions come in the standard chrome/nickel finish. Now, apart from being a good looking finish, it fails in this respect as a replica of a DW715 (this will be explained further in the section ‘The Niggles’).

    They are all solid revolvers, very hefty with quite a bit of realistic weight to them. The action on them is superb, both in single and double action. In single action the trigger is crisp and light but without being too light, in double action they are smooth and predictable with the ability for staging the shot through cylinder indexing right up to the hammer drop and with minimal practise can yield some great shooting results. The cylinder indexing is both smooth and almost clockwork in nature, making the trigger pull through much lighter than you would expect and again far more rewarding than other CO2 revolvers when firing in double action.

    The grips are some of the best I have seen or felt on any CO2 revolver, far superior to the first generation Dan Wesson examples with their sliding plasticky feel, the DW715’s grips have a metal core with a solid rubberised coating emblazoned with the ‘DW’ symbol on them. These grips allow you to get a very good purchase on the gun making shooting far easier and by extension, more accurate. Once you remove the left grip you find the familiar CO2 caplet insert area with the appropriate allen key built into the removed grip for ease of use, a simple well established system that doesn’t need or warrant improvement.

    The gun itself has a matt black rear sight that is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation, the fore sight is in the same matt black colour, which does make it difficult to use when targeting on a paper target that has a solid black bulls-eye, but this can be alleviated with the use of a couple of small dots of paint or tippex on the rear sight and a single dot on the fore sight.

    Now the whole reason that I ever got back into air pistols, more specifically CO2 pistols, was the advent of the ‘shell loading’ systems that most newer types of CO2 revolvers utilise, this to me was a great step forward in the field of CO2 replica air pistols. The joy of reloading the shells, filling a speedloader with those shells, using that speedloader on the gun and the dumping of empty shells out after use makes for an enjoyable pastime, one which never fails to make me smile. The shells themselves are some of the more realistic ones that are manufactured at the present time, they were originally used in the Umarex S25, S40 & S60 line of revolvers and these are a superbly realistic copy of the .357 magnum shell, their height, diameter and rim diameter are all a pretty good match, which is a huge plus point for the ‘gun nerd’ in me.

    357-DW715 shell comparison.jpg Left - a real .357 magnum cartridge. Right - a DW715 rear loading pellet shell.

    The 4” model has a tactical / weaver / pica tinny rail underneath the barrel for the addition of ‘toys’ (red dot, torch etc.), not something that I would ever use but probably more useful in the airsoft versions, the 2.5” has no such additional rails.


    Manufacturer

    As far as I can find out, these guns are manufactured in Taiwan by a company called ‘Wingun’, a name not normally associated with pellet firing CO2 replica pistols, as they’re normally better known within the world of airsoft weapons. I know that they were also the manufacturer of the Webley mkVI CO2 replica and I believe that they are also responsible for the ASG Schofield, both of which are very fine well made replica handguns. Wingun seem to be quite a substantial step up in quality over other Taiwanese CO2 handgun manufacturers e.g. KWC.


    Accuracy

    With its full length rifled inner barrel, the 6” is far beyond what we have come to expect from a CO2 pellet replica in terms of accuracy especially in the single action, target shooting mode. The 4” is a great revolver for backyard plinking both in single and double action, the shorter barrel seems to give it a better balance in the hand which makes if far easier to keep on target when firing in double action but for sheer double action fun the 2.5” version is the tops, it never wanders like a bigger revolver does and makes single handed, double action shooting reliably accurate and very rewarding as a result, the ‘grin’ factor is enormous with this little beast and considering the shorter barrel lengths in both the 4” & the 2.5” the accuracy does not suffer too badly, obviously they cannot compare to their big brother in single action but they can certainly hold their own out to 8m when plinking at tin cans in either double or single action.

    I’ve tried quite a few types of pellets in these revolvers over the considerable time that I have owned them and can state unreservedly that they favour the RWS meisterkugeln 4.49 7grn over all others, very accurate results with tight groups.

    Here is the 6” version fired in single action, five shots in a rested position at about 5.5m/6yds that I did in a friendly forum competition.
    Dan Wesson715-6 rested.jpg

    FPS performance

    I have chronographed my DW715 revolvers, the shot count figure shows the amount of useable consistent shots from one CO2 caplet, the avg.fps is the average fps across the shot count. The guns do fire more shots than the shot count but the fps normally drops off substantially after they reach the shot count number, obviously in summer you can achieve a higher shot count (roughly +6) with a slightly higher average fps and in winter the shot count is normally less (roughly -6) with a lower average fps.

    Dan Wesson 715 6” - 383.7 avg. fps shot count 72
    Dan Wesson 715 4” - 351.5 avg. fps shot count 78
    Dan Wesson 715 2.5” - 344.2 avg. fps shot count 84


    Additional extras

    ASG do manufacture some additional products for these guns ; holsters, speedloader holders and of course shells & speedloaders. Whilst the gun belt accessories are good products the material used is more suited to the airsoft shooting fraternity, they offer good protection for your gun with their shaped woven holster and the same for your speedloaders with speedloader holders, but they do appear to be quite expensive for what they actually are.

    I have found that the DW715 revolvers are a perfect match for the S&W N frame holsters and as a result I own two leather holsters that are a perfect fit for my guns, a high ride Western Price holster that is a great fit for my 6” & 4” and a low ride Bianchi holster that is just a perfect fit for both my 4” & 2.5”. Leather holsters are more a personal preference but offer far better protection than the standard offerings from ASG and if you are planning to use a holster you might as well get the best you can afford and secondhand leather holsters can be had for less than what you would pay for a new ASG DW715 holster.

    DW715 holsters2.jpg
    From left to right - ASG holster, Western Price high ride holster, Bianchi low ride holster.

    Additional shells and speedloaders are mandatory for me, there’s nothing better than seating pellets in 72-84 shells, loading the speedloaders and then plinking away until all are spent, then changing the CO2, reloading all the shells and doing it all over again. This allows for some good shooting sessions with no distractions when trying to concentrate on improvements to your own shooting techniques. Well worth the extra cash, plus it increases the ‘grin’ factor tremendously.

    The DW715 pellet shells are also compatible with the following CO2 handguns;

    Umarex S25, S40 & S60,
    ASG Dan Wesson (1st gen) 2.5”, 4”, 6” & 8”
    Remington 1875
    Crosman Cowboy


    The Niggles

    ASG have released a superb CO2 replica revolver in the form of the Dan Wesson 715 series of revolvers but…….
    Firstly let’s start by looking at the point I made earlier on to do with the finish on the DW715-6”. For all those gun nerds out there (I am a gun nerd) the real steel DW715 only ever came out in a stainless steel finish, the blued versions are in fact an altogether different beast, the Dan Wesson model 15-2. When Dan Wesson introduced the stainless steel version of their hugely popular DW15 series they attached a ‘7’ prefix to the model number, thus it became the DW715, same gun different finish (this is not uncommon with gun manufacturers, S&W do the same with their guns eg. model 586 in blue becomes the 686 in stainless steel, they just replace the first number which designates the finish, in this case they replace the ‘5’ with a ‘6’). So what does that mean ? Well, if you’re a true gun nerd then the only finish it should of had is a bright chrome or nickel finish (to mimic the stainless steel finish) exactly the same as the 4” & 2.5” pellet versions, it bears more of a resemblance to the DW15 than a DW715. I cannot fathom why ASG released the 6” pellet version in the same finish that they used for the 4” & 2.5” bb versions, why did they not just have the 6” in the standard/chrome finish which is more inline with the finish on the real steel DW715 handgun. Shame, but not a deal breaker, would’ve been nice though but I say all of this as a true gun nerd who is afflicted with terrible OCD tendencies, lol.

    DW 15-2.jpg

    Above - the real steel Dan Wesson model 15-2 handgun. The similarity between this and the DW715 6" pellet version is very obvious.

    Another point worth mentioning is that underslung tactical rail on the 4” version, ASG could’ve just supplied a separate additional rail that you could fit yourself if needed, rather than the non-optional moulded in version that we got and being an OTT gun nerd again, this was never part of the original real steel DW715-4”.

    I would have loved it even more if they had gone fully down the route of replica ‘nirvana’ and given us the interchangeable barrel system like the real steel versions have, Umarex cleverly gave us this function with the S&W model 586 & 686 CO2 revolvers with their interchangeable barrels and locking barrel nut, so it’s not beyond the realm of realistic manufacturing to suppose that this could have been done for the DW715 series. Again, not a deal breaker but would have been a very nice touch for replica realism.


    Repairs and modifications

    During the time that I have owned my DW715s I have had to replace two hammer springs and a valve stem. The first broken hammer spring made me realise that the spares market for these revolvers is very ‘thin on the ground’, I looked into this at great length only to find that the same fault had arisen with quite a few other owners. It seems to be a manufacturing fault with the springs, the machine that makes them can sometimes grab the wire too tightly and create a fracture point at exactly the same place, every time ! Whether that’s to do with using poorly sized wire or tension tolerances within the machine is unknown but ultimately it ends the same way, you cock the hammer, hear a snap and the hammer goes ‘limp’. In the end I resorted to creating a jig and manually making the springs myself, this stops the fracture point from even existing as man made springs (as opposed to machine made) don’t crimp the wire whilst forming the spring. The first hammer spring failure was in my overused DW715-6” and the second was in an almost new, rarely used DW715-4”, the last one was quite a shock to me as I had only owned it for about three months when it happened whereas the DW715-6” was second hand to me and I had used it extensively over the following six month period until it broke.
    As a side note, I have made spring replacements for other forum members, so If you are unlucky enough to be in need of replacement hammer springs for the DW715 (or the Umarex Colt SAA) then please feel free to send me a pm.

    The valve stem that failed in my DW715-6” had snapped clean in half, right across the CO2 ports in the valve stem and this I cannot put down to poor quality ASG manufacturing as I may have been a tiny bit overzealous with a diamond tipped dremel whilst enlarging the CO2 ports in the valve and this may have weakened the integrity of the valve stem, this was done in a successful attempt to increase the fps. Curiously though, the replacement valve stem was a spare part for an airsoft version of the DW715-6” which I managed to get from a company on ebay and after fitting the new part, I chronographed the gun and it turned out to be just as powerful as my original modded valve stem, so I was pleasantly surprised at this result.


    Ultimately

    So, apart from my little nerdy-like gripes, the gun itself is accurate, good looking, solidly made and above all else Fun, with a capital F ! It has a grin factor that until you’ve spat lead down range you will not believe, is only let down by some randomly occurring hammer spring failure that may or may not happen to you, yet, if ever, maybe.

    Would I buy it again ? Well I’ve got three of them, so that must tell you something. If my DW715-6” had a fatal, non repairable fault, would I replace it ? In a heartbeat, without even thinking about it, in fact I would probably use it as the excuse I need to buy the 6” chromed bb version and do an inner barrel swap with mine, just to ‘tick off’ one of my gun nerd boxes and to satiate my OCD tendencies, lol.

    The Dan Wesson 715 revolver series are, without a doubt, one of the best modern style CO2 replica revolvers currently available. Their substantial weight, accuracy and general good looks will go to make this revolver a firm favourite amongst the CO2 handgun fraternity and once owned will always hold 'pride of place' within any collection.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
  2. stew87

    stew87 Certified

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    Excellent review:up:, I dont shoot mine half as much as I should but when I do it is fantastic fun, thanks for the tips on the shells I'm on the lookout for some more in the near future
     
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  3. Douglas Soal

    Douglas Soal Pistol enthusiast for life.

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    Excellent review, really enjoyed the read.
     
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  4. garryt

    garryt Posting Addict

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    Great review - I'm blasted tempted now....
    Dunno why they used a rail on the 4". Really annoying for me, as I hate tactical rails, but prefer 4" in revolvers.
     
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  5. ibo7

    ibo7 Big Poster

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    If only.more reviews were like yours, love it:thumb:
     
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  6. Jim-in-Darwen

    Jim-in-Darwen Donator

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    I have the six inch model and really don't use it as often as I should. You have encouraged me to get it back into action and try a variety of pellets to see what I can do on paper targets. Last time I chrono'd it it was doing around 2ftlb's

    Jim
     
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  7. CaineIsCarter

    CaineIsCarter Donator

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    Excellent read.
     
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  8. CaptDAR

    CaptDAR Always count your shots

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    Superb write-up and appraisal. I’ve just shot this afternoon for the first time my new DW715 6” Steel Grey and it does hold, look and shoot as you have described above. I will need to pin mark white dots on the sights. These pistols are a must have for any serious collector and target shooter. Nice to know there are other shells that fit because none of my others do, nor my Plano Ammo boxes.
     
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  9. Hiram

    Hiram Posting Addict

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    Now that's a comprehensive review! A local gun shop has a used 6" (powder burner) I've been fondling and they aren't even asking too much for it, less than I paid for my TX, in fact. I think it's great that these companies are coming up with Co2 versions of so many classic revolvers. As I told someone last night, they have a lot going for them. Cheaper to shoot, safer to shoot, more convenient to shoot and pretty much as much fun at close range as the powder burners. They're nice to have around in their own right. I have both a Colt SAA in .45 Colt and the Umarex version, both 5.5" in nickel. I have a LOT more rounds out of the Umarex than the actual Colt.
     
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  10. Mr_Garth

    Mr_Garth Donator

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    Very good review, thank you!
    You really seem to like and know yours.

    Now, intersting to read that you rate trigger pull highly.
    I’ve just shot my 4” 6 mm. airsoft version once so far and did not find it that good. Maybe there’s some internal differences between models?

    Does the pellet version 4” and 2,5” also have the cylinder lock in wrong place for DW as with the airsoft version?

    -Garth




    .
     
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  11. Headhunter

    Headhunter Never enough shell loading Revolvers

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    If you take a look at the very first picture in my posting, you can see the cylinder latch just in front of the cylinder. If yours is in the same position then it is correct when compared to the real steel DW715.
    If yours is behind the cylinder then you have a first generation Dan Wesson CO2 handgun.
     
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  12. Douglas Soal

    Douglas Soal Pistol enthusiast for life.

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    The cylinder lock is in the correct position for a DW, front of the cylinder
     
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  13. CaptDAR

    CaptDAR Always count your shots

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    Can anyone recommend a bullet case that the DW shells will fit. None of my Plano boxes are any good as the DW shells are longer then Webley/Colt/Schofield.
     
  14. Mr_Garth

    Mr_Garth Donator

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    ^^ and ^^^

    Indeed in the pictured 6” inch version the cylinder lock is in right position. However, in my 4” airsoft version it is in front of the cylinder and has Smith & Wesson action. Hence, I was wondering how it is in 4” and 2,5” inch pellet versions. Pics. I’ve seen of the 2,5” airsoft version also has cylinder lock in front.

    EDIT: A pic of mine:
    [​IMG]

    -Garth




    .
     
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  15. Headhunter

    Headhunter Never enough shell loading Revolvers

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  16. Headhunter

    Headhunter Never enough shell loading Revolvers

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    Garth that is the Dan Wesson first generation - not the Dan Wesson 715, the internals are very different hence why the trigger pull and feel is so different. In fact that has more in common with a S&W than a Dan Wesson, cylinder lock position, cylinder rotation, frame shape, hammer spring etc..
    This is a 4" DW715....
    PY-4338_Dan-Wesson-715-4_1485373627.jpg
     
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  17. Mr_Garth

    Mr_Garth Donator

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    ^
    Thanks for shedding light on this!

    -Garth


    .
     
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  18. CaptDAR

    CaptDAR Always count your shots

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  19. Headhunter

    Headhunter Never enough shell loading Revolvers

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    No, but now I have I definitely want one, lol :cool:
     
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  20. GeeTee

    GeeTee The man with the Golden Gun

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    A great review @Headhunter,i agree with everything you said,I love mine, they are outstanding. Pistols IMG_20191219_120657.jpg
     
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