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Growing up watching Bonanza, Gun Smoke, Big Valley and John Wayne movies, I’ve had a fascination with the six shooters and lever action rifles. Decades ago airgun manufacturers designed and sold Cowboy style replica air pistols. Over time these models faded away when Westerns became less popular.
Upon receiving a 2015 Umarex USA catalog in late 2014, I was stunned to see an airgun replica of the Colt Single Action Army (also known as the Peacemaker). My first thought was “There’s now a companion piece to my Walther Lever Action pellet rifle!” Our sample Peacemaker arrived on December 31st, 2014. It was an incredible honor as I read a note from Justin Biddle, Director of Marketing at Umarex USA saying “You and Tom Gaylord got the first two production samples, yours nickel, his blued.”
Upon opening the colorful box and handling the Peacemaker, I estimated that with its size and quality, the airgun would probably retail around $200. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned the MSRP was $150. As an announcer once said at the beginning of the Lone Ranger show “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear” as we take a quick look at this replica of the classic Colt Single Action Army. Not only does this airgun replica look and feel like its firearm counterpart, it functions in many of the same ways!
After loading a BB into the primer end of each simulated metallic cartridge, they are loaded into the air pistol by swinging out the loading gate. With the Colt on half-cock the cylinder is manually rotated clockwise to load each cartridge into the cylinder. After each cartridge is spent, the functioning ejector rod can be used to remove the cartridge from the cylinder.
One departure from the original Colt Peacemaker’s design is the addition of a safety located in the front of the trigger guard. The safety is simple to operate and does not really detract from styling. Powered by CO2, the 12 gram capsule is housed in the grip frame. Also built into the inside of the grip is an Allen wrench for conveniently installing or removing the CO2 capsule.
On a cool 65 degree day, the Colt produced a initial velocity of just over 400 fps. By shot 42, the velocity was at 367. An average of 372 fps was achieved during the test session. Firing the 6 shots from the Peacemaker can be accomplished quickly. The air pistol has the traditional front and rear sight and begs to be used as a point and shooter.
While loading BBs into each cartridge takes longer than actually firing them, I was happy to learn that extra cartridges will be available in the future. Just imagine having the bullet loops in your holsters belt filled with pre-loaded air pistol cartridges.
After several months of use, the air pistol functions and looks just as well as it did when I opened the box. There is now minor wear marks that will be found on the cylinder after the hundreds of shots, but that only adds to it character.
On New Years day 2015, after of watching the Lone Ranger with my son Ben, we started a campfire in the back yard, cooked sausages and eggs on a cast iron pan. After our meal we spent quality time shooting cans with the Peacemaker. Maybe that will be our new New Year’s tradition.
You may want to pick up one of these CO2 powered replica Peacemakers to introduce the younger generation to the elegance and functioning of a single action revolver. The youngsters may even learn a little history of the old west. And perhaps you’ll be able to start your own traditions too.
by Tim Smith (A single action guy in a semi-automatic world)