Colt Police “Positive Special”
(Heavy weight version)
Wege's First look review of the Tanaka Colt Police Positive Special Heavyweight.
A first glance review is of the overall impression made on me from 2 days of studying the gun’s exterior and interior quality, along with its performance and apparent durability. All pictures taken are of the actual gun studied and taken at the time of observation. This review is not intended to be 100% conclusive, but to give the reader a better idea of what they can expect from the manufacturer or the particular model
In the International Airsoft Community, Tanaka had earned the reputation of being the “Western Arms of Revolvers”, with that said, I had to see for myself how well built these revolvers are made. They have a wide selection of different brand-replica revolvers & semi-autos (i.e. Colts, S&W’s, SIG’s, Rugers & Lugers), along with variations that make it very hard to decide which one to get first. I was fortunate enough to have a friend that just so happened to be selling his new Colt Police special. As you read this review take into consideration that not all of the revolvers will be the same, but their general quality and detail will most likely be.
The looks of this Tanaka Is impressive. There are more than a few trademarks on the Colt Police Positive Special to note. Two Colt trademark logos in silver, inset within the grip (at the top of the grips). The Colt “Horse” engraved on the left hand side of the body (the metal side). Plus the barrel has COLT’S MFG. CO. HATFORD CT. U.S.A. on the right side and POLICE POSITVE SPECIAL .38 SPECIAL CTG. on the left.
Molding seams were nearly un-noticeable. Tanaka really outdoes the competitors in the revolver category with both the appearance and materials of the exterior.
The weight of the Police Positive Special “Heavy weight” version is 510 grams/1.12 lbs. It feels very much like the real thing. Most of the weight comes from the Cylinder; however the left half of the body is made of a metal composite.
By design, revolvers are very solid feeling in the first place. However, when talking about airsoft revolvers it’s a different matter. Some brands that make revolvers for airsoft (Marui, KWC, etc.) feel too light and too cheaply made to have a solid feel. This Tanaka is not one of those cases. It’s very much like the real thing in reference to the weight and solidity of the exterior design.
The feel of the Colt design is awkward with its curving thin grip. If you have used nothing but semi-auto pistols, you will find gripping this style of handle to be uncomfortable. Your pinky will be forced further forward than the first two fingers holding the grip; However, I found myself growing accustom to it and almost enjoy it’s unique feel from the typical semi-auto’s that plague the Utah Airsoft scene (kidding about the “plague” part).
Moving parts don’t move unless you make them. There is no slack from either trigger or hammer. The cylinder release has a great hold on the cylinder and it takes a little effort to get it to release the cylinder. It’s not a comfortable release button compared to the Smith & Wesson’s (A comparable revolver to the Colts), but as long as it holds the cylinder as tight as it does, I have no real beef with the design. Regardless, I find it more comfortable if I hold the gun sideways instead of pointing forward.
The trigger-pull is much the same as a real revolver. Same goes for the Hammer. When pulling the trigger, it engages the hammer and releases it at the last few millimeters of the action. Firing by using the revolver double action (pull trigger as it pulls the hammer) can mess up your accuracy like nothing you’ve ever felt if you are a semi-auto user. Fortunately, you can use it in single action by pulling the hammer first, then pulling the trigger. The trigger pull will then be shorter, and you can make a more accurate shot.
When pulling the hammer back for single action use you will hear a beautiful locking *click* noise. The cylinder rotates as the hammer or trigger is pulled. Visually, this is very exciting to see especially with Tanaka’s mock shells in view.
The Mock shells are not actual shells that can be pulled out for loading. They are actually a plate that is one piece of metal. It locks into place, but can fall out. I recommend applying a very small amount of glue to the lock-in knobs. Be careful not to apply too much (I stress that point) if you are to get one.
The Cylinder is one of the coolest features. Releasing it to reload is such a satisfying experience; However, You do not need to release the cylinder to reload though. It’s pretty cool actually. Let me explain how this can be done. This involves 2 separate operating parts of the cylinder (besides the valve that takes in gas, and releases the gas). The type of system that Tanaka uses is called the Pegasus system.
The Pegasus system is a combination of an outer and inner cylinder. The internal part holds the gas (that is fed in an intake valve next to the mock shells) and a reserve of BB’s (that is fed into one hole in the front of the cylinder). The internal cylinder holds 6 rounds as the reserves while the outer cylinder holds 6 in each chamber. The inner reserves are stored allot like a standard AEG mag works, except they go in a circular direction. This internal cylinder does not rotate when firing.
The external cylinder is the rotating part. It’s turned by the action of the receiver’s mechanism. The outer cylinder rotates over the inner-cylinder, and as this happens the outer cylinder chambers are loaded with a single BB while it passes over the loaded tubing of the internal cylinder. This is called the Pegasus system (an original design by Tanaka Works).
The coolest thing (in my opinion) about the Pegasus system is when you load the cylinder as is it closed, directly in the BB intake of the inner cylinder, you can then release the cylinder out, spin it, and all external chambers will be loaded as they spin past the BB reserve. You’ll have to do it to understand how fun it is.
The cylinder spins very freely making a silent sound hard to describe. You can then jerk it into the body. A very satisfying experience especially if you are playing Russian roulette J
The Performance: The cylinder will rotate into position for the next shot, but if you are shooting it in single action mode (pulling the hammer back first, then the trigger) the cylinder can be slightly misaligned and the cylinder will not catch after the first shot, making the cylinder keep in place until it is assisted.
It’s a bit more sensitive in single action mode. When the hammer is pulled back manually, it must be pulled back firmly otherwise the cylinder rotation issue will happen.
You can usually tell if the cylinder is not locked into the correct place by looking at the shells while aiming. If they don’t appear to be symmetrical, the cylinder is most likely not locked in correctly as needs manual assistance. What I did to prevent this from happening was I gave the cylinder a soft turn to the right after I pull the hammer back. It will make a soft *click*. It will then complete the lock of the cylinder and continue in double action after the single action shot.
As for the velocity, here is where it gets fun. I have read that the revolvers have a low FPS. Perhaps I lucked out with this version, but I couldn’t disagree more. Most GBB/Semi-auto pistols shoot around 180-220 with HFC134a gas. This revolver shot 250 CONSISTANTLY with 134a, and it shot 350 with HFC22 gas (“Green Gas”)! How’s that for power?!
Quirks and Amazing features of the Pegasus system
Loading gas SUCKS if you do not have Tanaka’s gas loading adaptor. Because of the position where the intake valve is (in the cylinder) you cannot get a straight position when loading gas. So, if you don’t have that adaptor, you have to take off the left grip to get a *some-what-but-not-really-straight* angle to load of gas. It works, but it has the potential of damaging the intake valve. Unfortunately, if the Tanaka adaptor is lost an after-market adaptor can not be found.
Now, here’s the outstanding feature of the Pegasus system...
*A GBB/semi-auto pistol gets an average (if you’re lucky) 2x full-mags-worth of shots (2 loads of BB) with a single charge of gas, roughly 30-60 shots depending on the type of pistol you use.
This revolver shot 90 rounds with 134a gas before losing power and depleting its entire gas load. That’s 15 cycles of 6 shots. And, once you get use to loading without taking the cylinder out, you can keep yourself a threat to anyone nearby for a long time after they typically run out with their GBB pistol. Green Gas only lasted for 13 cycles (78 shots), but that’s still awesome.
My overall impression of this Tanaka Works Colt revolver is that the design of the exterior and interior with its Pegasus system surpasses any revolver that uses the standard shell system. The attention to detail put into the logos, mold seams, etc. is nearly flawless. Any revolver fan should get a Tanaka if they want to experience revolver combat the fun way, and the best way.