Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Beeman R9 breakbarrel spring rifle

by B.B. Pelletier

A reader asked for this report. Since the Beeman R9 is such a popular air rifle, as well as having some unique attributes, I was happy to review it.

Out of the box
Like all Beeman/Weihrauch air rifles, the R9, known as the HW 95 elsewhere, is a beautiful example of a modern adult spring rifle. It comes with a Rekord trigger, which I've mentioned numerous times before, and a fine Weihrauch barrel. The fit of wood to metal is flawless and so is the finish of both. It's an air rifle that will make you proud.

Shooting behavior
The new R9 is something of a "buzzy" rifle. Every one I have shot that wasn't tuned tended to buzz more than I would like. This rifle wasn't entirely developed by Weihrauch. When they bought the BSF factory, they also got a nice, powerful long-stroke spring rifle called the BSF 70. They added their Rekord trigger to the 70's action and the Beeman R10 was born.

The "Son of R1" sired the R9
Beeman called the R10 "Son of R1." It had the same power, though it was maxed out from the factory, while an R1 can go faster and harder after a tune. Some R10s were smooth and some were very buzzy. That aspect transferred to the R9, which is uniformly buzzy when new. It's also one of the most hold-sensitive air rifles there is. Hold an R9 right, and it shoots like a TX200. Hold it wrong, and it shoots like an old Gamo. You have to use the correct technique to get this rifle to shoot.

The R9 incorporated the more expensive R10's features into a rifle with a thin-walled spring tube. Because of the thin wall, it disassembles differently than most Weihrauchs and absolutely cannot tolerate scope mounts that clamp too tight. They will collapse the tube! Other than that, it's a less-expensive R10.

Performance
Out of the box, my new R9 fired 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers at an average of 834 f.p.s. - a lot lower than the 1,000 f.p.s. advertised in the early days. After a 500-shot break-in, the average was still just 836. That performance gave Beeman a black eye, so they lowered the stated velocity figure to 930. No longer was an R9 the son of anything. However, the inability to break 1,000 f.p.s. out of the box proved to be no problem for this rifle. Shooters soon learned of its incredible accuracy for a lot less money than a TX, and they started buying lots of them.

Accuracy
As I have said, the accuracy is comparable to the TX200. It takes an extremely soft, neutral hold, but some shooters have learned how to repeat the hold well enough to compete in field target with this rifle.


30-yard target was five .177 Premier lites into a group smaller than 0.375"



40-yard group of Premier lites grew to 0.459"


It responds well to tuning!
Unlike the hell-for-leather R10, the R9 has room for improvement. A good spring gun man can bring the velocity up into the 900s with Premier lites, if that's what you want. I prefer 875, which my R9 did easily after a professional tune. The cocking effort that had been a paltry 27 lbs. from the factory rose to just 33 lbs., which is still on the light side. And, all the vibration was removed. The tuned gun was as smooth as the R1 project I did for you recently, but the recoil was still there. And, that recoil means you can never let up on the holding technique.

The R9 is a poor man's TX200 to a degree that no other spring rifle I've tested can compare. In the right hands, it is a shooter's dream.

46 Comments:

At September 12, 2006 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to put a 6 - 24 x 50 AO varnint scope on a Shadow matic .177 gamo spring gun and mount it on a AA B square one piece mount. What are tour suggestions regarding this? If you have another please feel free to coment.
Thanks,
Earl

 
At September 12, 2006 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That scope is a Leapers.
Earl

 
At September 12, 2006 5:04 PM, Anonymous Josh said...

BB,

Thanks for the Report! The R9 seems like a great little rifle to me.

I'm guessing you'd prefer it in .177 instead of .20 to have the more ideal velocities, and be able to shoot FT. True?

And why is the HW 95 generally a bit less money? I'm guessing the stock.

Would you say that this gun would be a good gun to learn to shoot on, becuase it requires a consistent and precise airgun style hold?

-Josh

 
At September 12, 2006 6:16 PM, Blogger mr-lama said...

Earl,

I can't tell you how well that scope would work on the shadowmatic, but I can tell you that it's one of the best scopes I've ever used. The magnification is increadible, very clear optics, and great value for the money. I put it on my cf-x and it was definately worth it. One thing though, I had a problem with the red/green illumination, while being awesome without any major problems, I had a couple of times where I would forget to turn off the light. This ran the battery down quite quickly. Fortunately it came with a second battery and I'm more careful now. I would recomend the scope, based on my experience.

lama

 
At September 12, 2006 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hoping you could direct me to a supplier for a pistonn seal for a FWB 124. Thanks

 
At September 13, 2006 6:19 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Earl,

I would be concerned that the long scope will get in the way of the feed mechanism.

B.B.

 
At September 13, 2006 6:21 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Josh,

The Beeman costs more because of Beeman's overhead. The stock is also a contributor.

B.B.

 
At September 13, 2006 6:38 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

JMA,

I answered this on your other post.

You only need to ask in one place.

B.B.

 
At September 15, 2006 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The R9 sounds great but my question is only about a single sentence in your review. You said the R9 was extremely hold-sensitive. What type of airgun requires a technique which is most adaptable to firearms and will build firearms skills? If it doesn't break down by action type, perhaps you can suggest some specific rifles and pistols for developing ordinary field-type shooting skills?

 
At September 16, 2006 12:45 AM, Blogger Rob said...

BB, do you have any info on the proper hold technique for the R9? I know I've been inconsistant with mine switching from loose to firm holds.

Thanks,
Rob

 
At September 16, 2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

That's a good question. The answer is this - all spring guns require a special holding technique to shoot accurately. Some, like the R9, are more sensitive than others. It's the same hold that target firearms require, but many times more important for an airgun, because the pellet doesn't exit the muzzle before a lot of recoil and vibration have happened.

Pneumatic and gas (CO2) guns need no special technique. Therefore, a precharged pneumatic is the easiest airgun to shoot accurately, while a spring gun is the most difficult.

The reason the precharged rifle is the most accurate is because makers put more money into these guns and they have better barrels, better valves and air handling systems, so they are more consistant.

B.B.

 
At September 16, 2006 10:53 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Rob,

I have written about this hold extensively in this blog. Tom Gaylord calls it the "artillery hold." You rest the forearm on the flat of your palm. Never rest the forearm directly on sandbags or anything other than flesh. You hold the rest of the gun as loosely as you can without dropping it.

The object is to allow the gun to move as much as it can when it shoots. This allows the vibration patterns to repeat, and the pellet to leave the muzzle at the same place every time.

Do not grasp the stock with your fingers, or you won't get a group.

One final tip with the R9. Where you place your off hand makes a lot of difference. I like to put mine at the beginning of the cocking slot. With an R1, I like to place it at the banance point, just a few inches in froint of the trigger.

It's a real hassle learning this technique, but once you've got it you will be amazed by your groups.

One final thing. If you've been shooting pellets (especially Crosman and Benjamin Sheridan) faster than 900 f.p.s., you may have a leaded bore. Clean it with JB paste, they way I recommend (do a search), and then try these techniques.

B.B.

 
At June 20, 2007 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

i want to buy a springer for some target shooting. I relly like the TX200 but i want to use my rifle with both, a scope and a peep sight.
I also like the HW77 but i think it might be kinda heavy for long offhand sessions, and i have been thinking of the r9. Will the BUZZ disapear afer a few thousand shots?

Could you give your opinion about theese and if you think there is one rifle i have missed, could you mention it.

Thanks
MX

 
At June 20, 2007 6:05 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

MX,

If you must have a peep sight, the TX is out. The HW77 would be great. the weight is good for offhand target shooting, but perhaps too much for long sessions.

The R9 is so much harder to shoot accurately that it isn't in the same league as the two underlevers.

The old FWB 124 would be perfect for you, but it also takes a lot of technique to be accurate.

B.B.

 
At June 20, 2007 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.
about the buzz in the R9. How many shots do you think it will take to disapear?
also, do you find the HW77 as buzzy?

thanks
MX

 
At June 20, 2007 6:46 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

MX,

I have seen HW 77s that were buzzy and some that were not. Buzz usually doesn't go away with time. It takes tuning to fix it. Both the R9 and the 77 have longer mainsprings that are prone to buzz unless they have carefully fitted parts.

B.B.

 
At June 20, 2007 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

Will the R1 proyect tune you did in this site work for the R9, if so , what will it improve, i dont care too much about recoil, but i would like it to reduce buzz and twang.


thanks

MX

 
At June 21, 2007 5:50 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

MX,

Yes, the R1 tune we did will also work for the R9. You'll need a different mainspring than the R1, if you plan to change springs. Or you can simply use the factory spring with velocity tar.

R9 disassembly is slightly different, as the end cap is held by 4 small tabs that have to be popped out while the cap is restrained in a fixture.

B.B.

 
At June 22, 2007 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

do you think a tune up and a new mainspring are worthy in a new R9?

if so what do you recomend?

Thanks
MX

 
At June 22, 2007 4:39 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

MX,

Yes, and R9 is worthy of a good tune. The new ones tend to buzz a bit, and a good tune can quiet them down to nothing.

Paul Watts is a good tuner and so is Russ Best. You should be able to find either one of these guys with a Google search on their name.

B.B.

 
At June 23, 2007 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

is buttoning a piston (as Paul Watts does) really worth it?

MX

 
At June 23, 2007 5:36 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

MX,

"Buttoning" a piston (installing synthetic bearings aroung the periphery of a piston skirt to reduce vibration and friction) is a proven tuning method. Ivan Hancock used it on his best power tunes.

And Paul Watts has a good reputation with R9s.

Go for it!

B.B.

 
At June 24, 2007 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

Where i live i only have access to mendoza and gamo rifles. Do you know of any rifle of those manufacturers than can compare to the R9? because i wanna see if the R9 will work well at the altitude i live in.

thanks in advance
Alex

 
At June 25, 2007 8:04 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Alex,

I don't know what criterion you are using to compare these guns. If it's accuracy, then no, there is nothing from either company that compares.

B.B.

 
At June 25, 2007 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

I meant something like powerplant or power similarities. Because im worried that if i order an R9 it might not work properly. Im asking about gamo and mendoza because those are the only ones that sell in my area that i can test.

Thanks
Alex

 
At June 25, 2007 2:10 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Alex,

For power the Gamo Shadow 1000 is pretty close to the R9.

B.B.

 
At June 25, 2007 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

does that mean that if i go to a store in my area and test a gamo shadow 1000 and it happens to work well, then an R9 will work well too at the altitude i live at.

thks Alex

 
At June 25, 2007 5:08 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Alex,

Yes, but how high are you?

B.B.

 
At June 25, 2007 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB.

I live at 6500 feet.
I am concerned that it woudnt work very well here, but what makes me wonder is that gamo and mendoza breakbarrels are selling a lot around here, and i think that if they didnt work, people wouldnt buy them.

Alex

 
At June 26, 2007 8:39 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Alex,

At 6500 feet you lose about 30 percent of the power available at sea level. You probably won't notice much differtence unless you use a chronograph.

Now 30 percent of power is not the same as 30 percent of velocity, which would be a lot greater power loss.

Read this post:

http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2005/10/shooting-at-altitude.html

B.B.

 
At July 06, 2009 6:50 PM, Blogger Carlo said...

B.B,

Do you know if I can use an R9 (or BAM 26) receiver with an R10 barrel, stock and trigger? I have an non-functional R10 that I believe has a bent/twisted/crushed receiver. All other parts are good.

Thanks!

 
At July 06, 2009 7:58 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

Carlo, pop on over to http://www.pyramydair.com/blog. There you'll see the latest articles and discussions, and you'll get a lot more responses to any questions.

In any event, the R10 trigger will not work in the B26 tube. For some reason they slightly changed the spacing of the pins that hold the trigger in. As for the other stuff - well, the barrel might fit the tube but beyond that I think you'd be out of luck. And the B26 assembles like an R9 - it does not have the threaded end cap of the R10.

You say you 'believe' the tube is damaged. Can you see any damage? What does the gun do or not do?

 
At July 07, 2009 5:45 AM, Blogger Carlo said...

Vince,

Thanks for the reply!

The mainspring broke early in its life. After disassembling without a spring compressor and forcing reassembly, the cocking stroke is extremely rough, like the piston is scraping the chamber. This was done 20 years ago and the gun is in storage. I haven't looked at it since.

 
At July 07, 2009 9:35 AM, Anonymous Vince said...

Carlo, I doubt that the tube is damaged the way you seem to think. Unless you put the tube in a vise and cranked down on the unsupported, hollow part I'm not sure how you could have screwed it up. For the record, I've disassembled and reassembled spring guns hundreds of times without a compressor - including my own R10.

If you wanna get into it and figure out what's wrong with it, or if you'd want to have someone look at it for you, you can email me at vfblovesnancy@yahoo.com. I may be able to help you out.

 
At July 07, 2009 12:01 PM, Blogger Carlo said...

Vince,

Thanks. Maybe it is time to take it out of storage and look at it with my now older eyes.

 
At July 07, 2009 5:03 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

OK... again, if you need any help you can email me or head on over to the current blog.

You might find these interesting:

http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/01/for-rekord-part-1.html

http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/01/for-rekord-part-2.html

This is a blog I did comparing the Rekord trigger out of my R10 with one out of my B20 (same as the B26)

 
At July 07, 2009 7:51 PM, Blogger Carlo said...

Vince,

You were right. The tube was fine. The problem seemed to be caused by a burr on the small fitting that connects the cocking arm to the piston. I dremmelled it smooth, lubricated everything and reassembled the gun. Works like new. Thanks for the advice!

-Carlo

 
At July 07, 2009 7:58 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

Glad to hear it! But I'd suggest thinking about replacing that piston seal. Mine had deteriorated from age, and had gotten soft and crumbly. No doubt you can get it from Beeman, but you can also get it here:

http://www.airrifleheadquarters.com/catalog/item/251485/1151533.htm

 
At July 07, 2009 8:12 PM, Blogger Carlo said...

Vince,

Thanks once again! I will order one this week. Can you tell me how to get the old seal off and put the new one on? I couldn't tell how it was attached and didn't want to mess with it too much since I did not have a replacement seal on hand.

-Carlo

 
At July 07, 2009 8:39 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Carlo,

I wholeheartedly endorse Vince's incredibe talent as an airgunsmith. Save yourself the aggravation and potential disaster in mutalating a fine airgun and send it to Vince for a proper fix.

If your gun was a Gamo I would be the first to suggest that you tear into it yourself and try to fix it. BUT this is an R10. Please do yourself and your fine airgun a favor and have a pro that does this as a passion rather than a business fix this fine airgun for you. You won't regret it.

Vince has owned and worked on R10's. Send it to him. It will become your favorite pellet rifle.

If it doesn't, I'll buy it.

kevin

 
At July 07, 2009 9:01 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

Kev, thanks for the plug but it's not really necessary (and frankly I'm not as good as you say!). The R10 isn't a difficult gun to work on, and even if the guy is new at it, it's not hard to do it right if he goes slowly and pays attention.

Carlos, as I recall the seal just pulls or pries off. Not hard at all, and when you get the new one it'll be self-explanatory. You might want to take the opportunity to buy some lubes from Maccari and really do it properly. And don't forget the breech seal!

Oh - and one other thing - get yourself a small file or two (including a round one), and use them to knock down the sharp edges on the inside of the slots and holes in the tube. You can also use a small grinder on a Dremel-type tool. You don't have to go nuts, just dull the edges. Clean it out after you do that to get rid of the shavings. When you put it together this will make it easier to get the piston reinstalled without those edges cutting into the seal.

 
At July 07, 2009 9:50 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Carlo,

Send it to Vince.

Minor inconvenience and major payback.

Classic that deserves his attention.

Please disregard his humility.


kevin

 
At July 08, 2009 5:45 AM, Blogger Carlo said...

I can tell that Vince knows what he is talking about, but I've had that R10 apart so many times, I'm pretty sure I can handle what Vince is talking about. Besides, I like to learn how to do things like this for myself. If I do get in over my head, I do know who to send it to.

Thanks for all the replies!

-Carlo

 
At July 19, 2009 6:42 PM, Blogger Carlo said...

Update: The R10 has been fixed and has new Maccari breach and piston seals to go with the 20-year old, but unused, Maccari spring.

 
At July 20, 2009 5:52 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Carlo,

Now we await your report on the performance of your new (overhauled) R10.

B.B.

 
At July 20, 2009 2:48 PM, Blogger Carlo said...

B.B.

Will do. So far, it is accurate as heck, even with cheap pellets. Cloverleaf five-shot groups at 50 feet are not a problem. There's some buzz, but firing behavior is generally good. I don't have a chronograph, but it puts .22 pellets through 3/4 inch of pine with ease.

-Carlo

 

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