BAM B40 in .22 caliber: Part 4

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

I love my job! Yesterday I got out on the range with the .22 caliber B40 for the accuracy test. The day was fairly calm; but the wind that was there, was squirrelly. It was swirling in all directions, so I had to wait for quiet periods to shoot.

Same scope
I used the scope we saw mounted yesterday, which took three shots to sight-in at 10 feet. At 25 yards, the pellet was a little high, so a couple more shots brought it down to where I wanted it. After that, it was a five-shot group after group after group of 3/4″ spreads. That’s good but far from great. And, I had such high expectations for this rifle!

Excuses, excuses…
Any good rifleman worth his salt can manufacture multiple reasons for his inaccuracy at the drop of a hat. In fact, the skill becomes second nature in most shooters. As I cursed the mediocre groups, my mind began turning over some possibilities. The wind is always a good scapegoat, but on this day it wasn’t bad. Probably no gusts over 5 m.p.h., but coming from all directions as I noted earlier. However, as light as it was and only shooting at 25 yards, I couldn’t really use it. Well, maybe as a backup!

The same annoying bugs were out that I complained about when I tested the .177 B40. They were perhaps a little less annoying, but they still flew into my eyes and nose, which bothered me a lot. I shot well before, despite their pestering, so that was another good excuse down the drain.

The trigger became bad
Remember in Part 1 how happy I was about this rifle having a real two-stage trigger? Well, yesterday it reverted to the same ultra-light trigger that plagued the .177 test, and I didn’t have the tools to correct it at the range. Sometimes it let off with a two-stage pull; but most of the time, it broke at about 4 oz. of single-stage take up. I would slowly take up the slack as the reticle was settling down and then WHAM! – the shot went off when I wasn’t prepared. After blowing a few groups past the one-inch range, I realized what was happening and settled down to use the trigger the way it now wanted to be used. The shots were still surprising me, but I was locked on target when they went off, so once again, excuse blown.

And then a miracle happened!
I had taken four pellets to the range, but realized at this point that I’d only been shooting JSB Exacts. Well, sure I was. JSBs turn out to be the most accurate pellet time after time, so why would I want to waste my time trying anything else? But that doesn’t explain which I also put Logun Penetrators, Beeman Kodiaks and that old tried-and-true Crosman Premier in my range bag. I had to acknowledge that each of the other pellets had been known to beat out JSBs in specific rifles in the past – that was why they were in the range bag.

So, what the hey! I loaded a Crosman Premier into the breech and let fly. It made a hole in the target, a little higher than the JSBs. Then I shot a second one. No new hole. Hey, I know Premiers may not be as accurate as JSBs, but there is no way I could miss that huge 10″x12″ target at only 25 yards. I fired a third shot. This one landed a short distance to the left. Could shot two have gone through the same hole as the first shot? It must have, because that’s where shots four and five both went! The group measures exactly one-half inch, and the four in the same hole measure 0.159″, center-to-center.


The .22 B40 out-shot its .177 cousin! This half-inch group was the best 25-yard group I shot, and the four in one hole measure a bragging 0.159,” c-t-c.

Apparently, the B40 in .22 caliber is also a good shooter – just not with JSB Exacts. At least the rifle I tested seems to think Crosman Premiers are the cat’s pajamas. I am reminded that not every air rifle likes the same pellet. I only shot a little more, but the Premier was firmly established as the pellet of choice for this rifle.

What have we learned?
I have learned that some Chinese airgun manufacturers can rifle barrels for sporting airguns, and this BAM company really seems to deliver the goods. I still will guard my enthusiasm because the Chinese do not have a good track record for staying the course. If BAM were to do so, I think the end will have come for British and German sporting airguns. The Brits are having their own problems just making the guns, and now there seems to be a viable replacement on the street.

However, the BAM still needs trigger work and a stock without wood filler. They could also stand a higher polish on the metal surfaces, but let’s stop right there. These two rifles, the .177 and .22 caliber BAM B40s, have exceeded any requirements I might have for accuracy. They are both powerful and accurate, which is 90 percent of the game, in my opinion.

42 thoughts on “BAM B40 in .22 caliber: Part 4

  1. Howdy B.B.,

    Thanks a lot for the thorough reviews of two Chinese made air rifle offerings. You’ve given me much food for thought.

    This week I found your article, “Which airgun should I buy?” Ha… Guilty as charged! I’ve given my $300 upper limit more importance than it deserves.

    On another topic, two thoughts popped into my head when I read about JW’s odd problem, with pellets dropping through his .22 cal. Diana RWS 34 barrel. First thought was ‘peewee pellets’ and the second was ‘maybe some .177 and .22 pellets got mixed, in his sample pack.’

    Wishing you good luck in working through those issues, JW.

    Cheers,
    GH


  2. Here’s the update, BB: Pyramyd sent the hose, but it does not fit the probe for the Raider. It’s not even close. I even called them to MAKE SURE the hose fit, because the e-mail confirmation said it was “custom made for Sumatra/Career series”. I explained I have a Webley and asked them to please make sure it’s the correct hose. They assured me it was. It isn’t. I give up.

    I ordered an adapter from Cobra Airguns and will be shopping with them from now on. Pyramyd stinks. Sorry, BB; your column is excellent and you seem to really know your stuff, but Pyramyd is run by morons. I refuse to deal with them any longer. When I spend nearly a thousand dollars on something, I expect it to be right. After three calls and three shipments, it’s still not correct. They will be their own punishment. If they treat other people the way I have been treated, they will be out of business sooner or later. I can only hope it’s soon.

    Steve in PA



  3. BB,

    I have been busy playing around with my valve and hammer spring with my CO2 rifle. I came to the point where I can literally place a quarter inch hole at 20 yards. It was a joy to see my shots. What confuses me, at 30 yards, my group just opened up wide. Any reason for this?

    Dave


  4. Crosman’s 850 BB trap uses several “ballistic curtains” but I don’t think they are Kevlar. I haven’t heard of anyone using Kevlar in a trap.

    Fabric isn’t really up to the job of stopping powerful pellets. Even Kevlar will eventually tear, where steel will stop hundreds of thousands of rounds and still be like new.

    Just out of curiosity, why are you interested in a Kevlar trap?

    B.B.


  5. Steve,

    Thank you for your follow up. I hope you get the hose you need and I hope you enjoy the rifle when you get to shoot it.

    B.B.


  6. Dave,

    The only thing that comes to mind is the pellet is barely stable and destabilizes after 20 yards. Are you shooting at a low velocity?

    B.B.


  7. I do not have a chrono, BB, but yes I think you are right, I most likely be running on low velocity. I think I can increase velocity by releasing more amount of CO2. Can I get this accuracy of half an inch from 20 to 50 yards this way?

    My accuracy now at 20 is superb. Does this mean that this particular rifle is essentially capable of same accuracies at longer ranges- provided I tune it right?

    Dave


  8. Dave,

    Yes, that’s what it means. As long as you differentiate between accuracy and the size of the group. A half-inch group at 20 yards will probably grow to 1.75 inches at 50. To get a half inch at 50 you need to get about one-tenth inch at 20 yards.

    The growth of a group is not linear. A rifle that groups one inch at 50 yards will likely group about three inches at 100 yards.

    You are getting great accuracy right now, and to extend it farther you’ll need to shoot a domed pellet of good manufacture (e.g. JSB, Crosman Premier from the cardboard box, Beeman Kodiak).

    B.B.


  9. BB, the thing that is bothering me is that, at 30y and beyond, my groups opens up so wildly, I’d say about 6 inches. That is why I am so convinced when you mentioned I have adjusted it at the low velocity.

    I am hesitant to make readjustments but my gut feeling is telling me I need to retune.

    I simply want at least a one inch group up to 50 yards.

    Dave


  10. B.B.

    My Gamo cf-x sounds like it might be having a problem. Just today it started making a wierd sound when it shot, like a loud, quick, snap sort of thing. It did that for a little while then it got a lot quieter. It was shooting quite a bit quieter than it has ever shot. The cocking was also wierd. At the start of the stroke it was easy (maybe even easier than it was before) but at the end it felt like it was getting stuck on something that I had to push past. It stopped that after a minute and then just started shooting really quietly. I don’t have a chrony to test velocity on but it sounds like it may be shooting slower as well. I haven’t dropped it or anything like that. Any idea what could be wrong with it? Is it possible that its just breaking in because I haven’t broken in my Remington Genesis so I’m not sure what exactly it does when it breaks in. I’ll send this message to Gamo as well to see if they know anything.

    Thanks,

    lama



  11. BB,

    I know you said the caliber doesn’t affect accuracy. But how come pellet makers have looser tolerance for larger caliber pellets. ie, JSB Exact, the ctc tolerance for .177 is 12mm at 50 meter, but 16mm for .22. Why is that? Thanks.



  12. lama,

    I have to agree that what you describe sounds like a broken mainspring. The snap sound I can’t figure out, but the resistence when cocking does sound like something’s in the way. If it weren’t shooting smooter I’d gues it was a broken spring guide, but smooth shooting seems like a broken mainspring.

    B.B.



  13. Ya, unfortunately I think your right. It is now almost imposible to cock because of something its catching. I think it’s still under warranty so I’ll just get gamo to fix it. It’s had maybe 5000 rounds through it. Too bad the thing broke. :(

    lama


  14. Okay I am note requestion another review I am sure that you have enough already. But I recently seen the Gamo Hunter Extreme. It advertised 1600 feet per second. Can that gun be accurate? Does anyone konw what kind of groups it shoots? Thanks.




  15. Baldtrucker,

    The Gamo Hunter Extreme appears to be a Hunter 1250 with a few cosmetic changes (like the extra-long muzzle break they call a jacketed steel barrel). To get 1600 f.p.s., they use the Raptor pellet, which means no accuracy. But the Hunter 1250 is accurate with very heavy .177 pellets.

    B.B.


  16. dm20,

    I found the video very interesting. Of course the narrator kept referring to the shotgun as a rifle, but I would have to say, “Well done.” This is the first glimmer of hope I’ve seen outside this website on how to really market airguns.

    Airgun Depot is to be congratulated.

    Thanks for sending the link.

    B.B.


  17. Hey Gadgethead.

    Good to see your comments. My pellets weren’t actually falling THROUGH the barrel, just out of the barrel (breech) as I closed the barrel back into position. There was a definite difference between before and after using the JB bore compound. Also the RWS Hobbys I’m using did not come from the sampler, they are from a separate tin of 500 I bought. I was using these to break the gun in before I started sampling different pellets. I have shot a few from the sampler though since using the JB and I didn’t notice that they were any more loose than the Hobbys. I now am careful not to make sure the pellet has not fallen from the barrel. I’m wondering if this is normal.

    jw



  18. Barrel harmonics are a good way to get the best accuracy. This is so good that I will make it a blog subject.

    Thanks,

    B.B.



  19. RE: JW wrote “…My pellets weren’t actually falling THROUGH the barrel…”

    Hi JW,

    Oops! I misunderstood what you meant, JW. But, my first two guesses could happen! I’ve inadvertently started to load .177 caliber pellets in my .22 caliber CO2 pistol, in the past and probably will again. And, I’ve found peewees in pellet tins, but not in a long time.

    I use J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound on my firearms, but I’ve never used it on my airguns. I *would* use it on my airgun barrels if I was having accuracy problems. I think it’s safe to use even though steel airgun barrels aren’t hardened like steel firearms barrels.

    I guess when you used the J-B compound you cleaned out wax, preservative, cylinder oil, silicone lube, or whatever stuff was coating the breech. Enough of that kind of gunk could hold the RWS Hobby pellets enough to keep them from falling out.

    My third and last guess: Now that your barrel breech is really clean perhaps the RWS Hobby pellets aren’t inserting deeply enough into the barrel breech, for the pellet skirt to positively engage the barrel rifling.

    That happens with nearly every type of pellet I use when I’m loading my Diana RWS 5G air pistol. I can see and feel a bit of the pellet skirt still sticking out of the barrel breech.

    If that’s happening to you pressing the pellet into the breech more firmly, with your finger tip or thumb tip, may push the pellet that tiny fractional inch deeper so the pellet skirt is flush with the breech. That may help stop those Hobby pellets from falling out as you close the barrel.

    If that appears to be the problem and your finger tip isn’t doing the job you may want to consider a pellet seating device/tool. Here’s the URL for one at Pyramyd Air which seems suitable for use on break barrel airguns:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=711

    I own an adjustable “T” shaped version of the tool which will seat pellets at a precisely chosen depth, into both break barrel *and* fixed barrel airgun breeches. It’s also a Beeman brand but I bought it ages ago, so it may no longer be available.

    Of course, if you’re a DIY type person you’ll figure out how to make one of these gadgets. I offer two cautions for consideration. Use some kind of material that’s softer than the steel barrel… wood, plastic, aluminum, brass, etc. Limit the tool’s length, in some manner, so that a pellet is only pushed far enough for it’s skirt to be held by the rifling.

    Remembering what B.B. has written about how airguns work [Such as his two part article 'Piston bounce: When is a pellet "JUST RIGHT"?'] a pellet needs resistance to movement until the air pressure is just right. So, seating a pellet too deeply in the barrel could negatively affect an airgun’s performance. If a too deeply seated pellet aquires decreased resistance to movement it could begin moving down the barrel before air pressure is optimal.

    In other words, I doubt that a pellet seating tool is suitable for general everyday use with high power or magnum air rifles. But, judicious use is probably a better alternative than occasionally firing an unloaded airgun, because the pellet fell on the ground as the barrel was being closed. {grin}

    I hope that helps, JW. I’m fresh out of ideas if it doesn’t.

    Cheers,
    GH


  20. Hey B.B.,

    Excellent series of articles. I ordered a BAM B40 in .22 from Pyramid which I just received the other day, and I have a couple of comments plus a question.

    First, I agree that this is a fine .22 springer right out of the box, but the trigger needs a little work to make it great. Mine arrived with a barely perceptible first stage, so I’m going to remove the trigger guard and try some adjustments this weekend. The finishing of the stock and barrel is “very nice”. I’ve got one spot of filler on the underside, but it’s hard to notice. Also, I’m not getting any drag or unusual etching in the chamber as you were.

    The biggest problem I had was at the end of the cocking stroke; the safety wouldn’t engage unless I applied extra force. I’d get a pretty uniform amount of resistance all the way through spring compression, through the click…click…click of the anti-beartrap, and then have to pull quite hard to get the 4th click of the safety setting. If I wasn’t paying close attention, half the time I’d press the release button and the under-lever wouldn’t move. Of course, just pushing on the lever again would engage the safety and it would be fine, but it was getting quite annoying. Fortunately, either this loosened up or my technique adjusted so I hardly notice it now; maybe once every 40 shots. Still, I’m going to see if there is anything I can do to eliminate it entirely.

    Now for the question. At first I installed a set of standard 2-piece scope mounts, which in a springer of this power would slide off the rails in 10 shots. Then I tried the AGE rocktite mounts with an integrated stop pin, but the pin wouldn’t center in the hole so when I mounted the scope it was noticeably canted to the left. PyramidAir wasn’t able to make a recommendation on a mount yet, so I’d like your opinion on a good mount for this rifle. I saw in your review you used a separate scope stop, which unfortunately would put the objective lense over the feed mechanism so I’d prefer an integrated solution. Can you make a recommendation?

    Regards,

    ScotchDiver


  21. ScotchDiver,

    I would recommend Accushot rings. They have the stop pin you need. Since I don’t know what scope you have, I can’t select the height, but you can.

    B.B.


  22. Dear Mr Pelletier

    Now that you have evaluated the Chinese springer, how about doing the same for the B-50/51 PCP rifles…..? I am sure they have proved to be far superior in both accuracy and finish, than what they are given credit for….
    We have successfully converted a few in .20 cal. as well and they all perform better than expected….

    Malan



  23. I’ve had my B40 to the range once for a short session. It was raining lightly with gusty, but not heavy wind gusts. Shooting was rested over my range bag at 50 yards, using a BSA 3×12-44mm scope in BSA airgun rings with the stop pin engaging a hole in the mounting rail. There has been no scope movement in about 300 shots fired.

    I have made a groove in the end of the cocking rod, so it engages/disengages the ball detent more easily. Otherwise, other than a little cleaning, the rifle is the way it came our of the box.

    My rifle did not like Crosman Premiers at all; groups ran about 2-1/2″.

    Diablo Exacts grouped about 3/4″ side to side, but strung vertically about 4″. Go figure.

    Kodiak Extra heavies grouped into about 1″.

    Wolverine FTs, a domed Czech-made pellet sold in tins of 500 at our local Sportsman’s Warehouse, grouped about 3/4″. Under the conditions, I find that amazing.

    My rifle also requires hard pull at the end of the cocking stroke, to cock the trigger and set the anti-beartrap release. My mechanical whiz friend, Joe Kollmann, and I will go through his .177 B40 and my .22 soon, and doubtless strip that hard but slippery coating off the stocks to let the wood underneath show—and feel like wood.

    As far as I’m concerned so far, the B40 is The Grail of Chinese springers. I’ve got a B3, B30, B36-2 and the B40; while I (really) like them all, the B40 seems to be a step above the others and looks great doing it. Given the price, it should!

    We’ll get some chrony readings from them, asap.

    Agiyo



  24. BB,
    All the 50 yard shooting was with the rifle lying across my range bag a.k.a. Craftsman tool bag. The fulcrum of the support was back close to the trigger housing, and I steadied the butt of the rifle with my left hand (right-handed shooting) grounded to the shooting bench.

    This was consistent for all the ammo I shot, so if there was technique-related stringing, it should have appeared with all ammo. Or so I surmise.

    If I can dedicate a day at the indoor range, which is not 50 yard but isn’t snowing tonight either, more definitive results should be forthcoming.

    But I can assure you, this B40 is one excellent piece. There are so many enticing air rifles available, I think we dissipate efforts trying variations. The B40 is so promising, I believe it warrants dedicated effort and development. It is a really capable weapon.

    Agiyo


  25. Dear Mr Pelletier
    Having read Agiyo’s comments, I agree with him 100%…..!!!
    It is time he gets introduced to the BAM B-51 in PCP…. For shot-to-shot consistency it is imperative that the tuning to the hammer-striker is done in order to get consistent velocity, which will ensure consistent shot-placement….
    When you get around to evaluating the B-51, please chrony the speed beforehand to make sure it is properly tuned…. I have a dedicated 12 ft.pound shooting more than 80 consistent shots, and a Hunter version, shooting at 24 ft.pounds, also reaching some 80 consistent shots… They both fill to 180 bar for the maximum “sweet-spot” pressure….

    Thanks for your consideration

    Malan





  26. With proper shot placement, is this .22 rifle strong enough to kill an armadillo or possum at less than 30 yds? If not, what would?

    For the armadillo, do I need to use pointed pellets to get through the shell?

    Thanks!


  27. Possums, yes. Armadillos – never! An armadillo shell can turn a .22 rimfire bullet, so no pellet can make it through. I know a man who shoots them with a 9mm pistol and they still get away sometimes.

    B.B.


  28. I shot a large armadillo this morning with a RWS 350 Mag in .22 caliber using the pointed pellets. I shot it in the side, it went 50 feet and dropped over dead. I’d rather shoot them with my .45, but not too sure how the neighbors would like that at 5:30 am.



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