BAM B40 Part 3 Accuracy!

Part 1
Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

This is the final test to determine if the BAM B40 is worth buying. In part 1, we saw that the quality of the gun is very high for a Chinese airgun, and there are several areas for concern, such as the woodwork. In part 2, we learned that the gun is just as powerful as a TX200 Mark III, but it has a too-light trigger with no second stage. Today, we’ll shoot it off a bench for accuracy.

Windy day!
This was not a perfect shooting day, as the wind was gusting from 7 to 12 mph from the 3 o’clock direction. I waited for the calmest air I could get, but the wind was always blowing. And, this part of the country is very dry, so the gnats and flies were out in force. They kept flying into my eyes to drink the moisture, and I have to say it’s incredibly difficult to hold steady when there is a gnat crawling around inside your eyelashes. So, instead of 40 or even 50 yards, I set up the range at 25 yards.

The TX 200 was my control
I shot the TX 200 Mark III under the same poor conditions that the B40 faced. My TX has known accuracy. Although the conditions were hard, its groups would be the baseline for accuracy. Both rifles were scoped with Leapers 3-9x scopes, so neither one had an advantage. The TX was already sighted-in, but the B40 was not. I sighted-in at 10 yards. After a handful of shots, I had the rifle printing close to where I wanted it.

Then, the target was moved out to 25 yards. The B40 went first. From the sight-in I knew it was going to be a good shooter because it was putting all the shots into one hole, but 25 yards would show just how good it was. I shot JSB Diabolo Exact heavies, Gamo Magnum pointed, Beeman Kodiaks and H&N Field & Target pellets. The JSBs shot best in both rifles, as I thought they might, but it never hurts to check.

The first group of five JSBs from the B40 went into 0.737.” Under the circumstances, that wasn’t too bad. The next group went 0.780.” Then I tried Kodiaks and the other pellets, but it was clear that the JSBs were the best. The final group of JSBs went 0.619.”


Five JSB Exact domes from the B40 went into a group measuring 0.619″ center-to-center at 25 yards.

That super-light trigger!
Concerning the trigger, I found it easier to use off the bench than I have reported thus far. I’m now certain it releases at under 4 oz., but the pull is very long and that gives me a measure of control. I don’t think it’s unsafe, but I do wish there was a positive second stage. A hunter will have to be very careful with this one.

Now for the control
My TX 200 Mark III has had thousands of shots fired through it, and I have the trigger set exactly the way I like. I am so familiar with the way this rifle shoots that I thought I’d have no trouble shooting better groups with it. But the first group of JSBs went into 0.768.” That’s larger than the first B40 group. So I settled down and shot a second group – also 0.768.” Then, I shot the other pellets, just to make sure the JSBs were still the most accurate, and of course they were. A final group of JSBs went into, you guessed it, 0.768.” Now, I’m sure these groups do vary by several thousandths, but it’s just too difficult to see where those tiny pellet holes begin when you shoot domed pellets. Still, there is a very large difference between six-tenths of an inch and almost eight-tenths. You can see it with your eyes – no calipers required.


The TX 200 gave three 5-shot groups measuring an identical 0.768″ at 25 yards. While that was good under the conditions of the day, it wasn’t as good as the B40.

The BAM B40 wins!
In this test on this particular day, the B40 out-shot my TX 200. It was a hands-down clear victory. Yes, the day was less than perfect, but both rifles had to endure it, so the test was fair. On a different day, the results might be different, but I don’t think the B40 needs any apologies – it is a very accurate air rifle.

Comparing to some others we know
To put this into perspective for you, on the same day a Gamo CF-X might have produced 1.25″ groups under the same conditions. A Beeman R1 would have been the same or perhaps a little better. The RWS Diana 48 might have shot a one-inch group. The TX is really the best air rifle I have seen, until now, so this B40 is remarkably accurate. At least the one I tested is.

Can they keep the quality consistent?
One thing that has plagued Chinese manufacturers is quality control. They cannot keep a consistent level of goods flowing from the factory in most industries. The optics industry is one notable exception, and there is, no doubt, a lot of foreign oversight behind that. Chinese airguns are at the other end of the quality spectrum, and that fact should keep potential buyers wary for a long time to come. BAM seems to have produced an exceptional rifle in the B40, and if they can maintain the level seen in this single rifle, then it’s time for England and Germany to become concerned.

The .22 is next
Pyramyd Air also made a .22 caliber B40 available for testing, so that will be next. I plan to look at it just as critically as this rifle, and I hope it passes muster!

37 thoughts on “BAM B40 Part 3 Accuracy!

  1. I have a music store and while this may seem unrelated, there are a ton of Chinese made band instruments flooding the market at this time. Just like the airguns, the quality is inconsistent…some are real dogs and every once in a while there’s a good one.

    One thing for sure though, when the Chinese finally get it right current top manufacturers better watch out, whether it be air rifles or band instruments.

    While this can mean a boon for buyers (being able to buy a lot of bang for the buck) it can be a death nell to domestic manufacturers.

    I’ll get off my soap box now : )


  2. Bob,

    Your observations are very valid. Many types of Chinese goods seem to share these characteristics. Only in optics have some Chinese manufacturers excelled, as far as I know. But I believe that’s because the owners of the brands (Rollei, Cannon, Olympus, etc) are in the factory in force, watching every step of the process.

    B.B.


  3. The chinese air gun industry has started to take an interest in the quality of their higher end rifles in the last two years, I compared one model of their rifles coming off the line now with one’s that were produced 4 or 5 years ago and the difference is amazing. Better stocks and more consistant QC of the internals. That said they still have a way to go but at least they are trying. Now if they could build something that is original………


  4. Mike,

    I have watched the Chinese from inside the industry. For the most part, they have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to where they are today. Left to themselves, they would still be in the bad old days of 1970.

    As for the originality comment, I don’t know why that is. It may be that their society is so conservative and closed to new ideas that it’s almost a crime to innovate. I used to think it was the Communist influence, but now I believe it’s much deeper than that.

    As Americans we take innovation for granted, but in some other countries it’s actually rare and not always accepted.

    What scares me is that I don’t think the Brits are taking the Chinese seriously enough. And the Germans could stand to be more cautious. We joke about televisions no longer made in America, but what does Umarex think about some of their pistols being made in China?

    In the 1970s, the optic world all moved to Asia, with companies like Rollei being entirely made in Singapore. You couldn’t tell them from the German cameras.

    Anyway, this is a trend to watch.

    B.B.


  5. Is this accuracy really par for the course for spring piston guns???? In your review of the 392 you said you could expect 1/2″ groups at 60 feet/20 yards!!! Are these particular springers unusually difficult to shoot accurately due to their power or some other reason?

    If this is so, why were all the deluxe airguns springers for so long? Even today, you can only get a PCP gun if you want a top-of-the-line pneumatic. Why can’t I get something like a 392 with a barrel equivalent to a lothar walther and a match trigger?


  6. I thought I explained it pretty well but here is the comparison. On this day, a 392 would have been lucky to shoot 1.5-inch groups at the same distance. There were gusting winds and insects flying into the shooter’s eyes all the time.

    On the same perfect day that the 392 would shoot a half-inch group at 20 yards, these two would shoot a quarter-inch group five yards farther out.

    The weather and shooting conditions play a huge part in the accuracy of a rifle.

    B.B.


  7. 392,

    I forgot to answer your last question. You CAN get a multi-pump pneumatic with a Lothar Walther barrel. It’s a Daystate and the last time I checked it was selling for almost $700.

    I’m not sure they are still being made, because when people learn the price they simply get a PCP. But you can find them used for around $550.

    B.B.


  8. Fascinating result. Thanks for the test.

    Another thing the Chinese are getting very good at making is high quality audio equipment. A surprising amount of excellent tube amplifiers and similar audio toys are being made there; wonderful craftsmanship and quality control.


  9. I little behind on the surfing but wanted to say Thanx for the reply Re; this.

    It’s good to see your excitment is still high.

    It’s sounds like a good intro to springers gun for this die hard pcp guy.


  10. turtle,

    The only reservation I have it the consistency thing. I wish I knew the score there, but it’s still too early to say. However, if all the guns are like the one I tested, Air Arms has a very tough row to hoe!

    B.B.


  11. How Accurate would the Crosman Quest or Phantom be? I would use the gun for starlings at 10-30 yards.
    If anyone out there has a quest, write in your comments.


  12. I don’t know about most of you guys out there but i can’t offorda a $400 springer or a $600 PCP. What is the best springer for under $130. I;m looking for something powerful, otherwise I’d get a IZH 61?
    Any suggestions?

    Keep up the good work BB




  13. BB, Thanks for reviewing the B40. Are they licensed to manufacture as close a copy of the TX200 as this? If not, I would not purchase a “knock-off” just because I think it would be a disservice to those who actually put the time, sweat and work into the design. Just my humble opinion.

    Regards,

    Fred


  14. Fred,

    The Chinese usually don’t license anything, when it comes to airguns. They knock things off. The B40 is not licensed from Air Arms, nor is the B26 is licensed from Weihrauch.

    They select designs that are so old that any patents will have run out. The TX was first created in the late 1980s, as was the Beeman R9 (HW 95). So there are no patents still in force.

    The one gun that may be licensed is the HW45 pistol (Beeman P3). I don’t know whether it is, but I do know that Weihrauch is well aware of the gun and they even service them in Europe. Plus the Beeman name is on the box of a similar Chinese gun (Beeman 17) sold by Sportsmans Guide.

    B.B.


  15. To all interested in the BAM B40, go for it! I received mine just the other day, popped on a bushnell sportsman 4-12×40 riflescope, and the accuracy is great! I only had a chance to fire it in my basement, which is about 12 yards, but I was putting shot after shot through the same hole using 15.9gr JSB .22 Straton Diablo pellets. Then, to try something a little different, I taped a good old lincoln head penny to the target of my pellet trap. One shot dead center of the penny and it actually split into 3 pieces AND the entire penny was pushed THROUGH the cardboard behind the target and into the pellet trap!

    Check out the penny..

    http://members.aol.com/foshizzzzzzzzle/penny.jpg



  16. Ha Ha great shot…

    Just watch out the Feds don’t get you for defacing money. That penny cost the mint more to make than it was worth. Copper value is more than the coin.

    I am looking at getting the B-40 soon and wondered how I know what level of quality the stock is?

    I’ve read about walnut being a better stock but I want to be certain I get a nice one even if it a few bucks more. Can I assume that the one from Pyramid has the better Walnut Stock?

    Anyways I wanted to get myself a nice springer since I bought my son a Gamo Young Hunter and I’m looking forward to getting something before this spring so we can shoot together.


  17. ok
    again about how loud this gun is (i asked about the crosman pistol not that long ago) but,

    how loud is it to a Talon SS CO2 (guess)

    can it be shot left and right handed

    and is the scope show as a kit good or would you recomend something else

    ?

    thankyou




  18. The B40 is more of a 2 SOUND level (I assume that’s what you mean – not power).

    Call Pyramyd Air to find out if they can get a left-hand gun. They don’t have one ;isyed.

    Yes, the gun is a great buy for the money.

    No, I meant the Talon SS on air, which is louder than the gun on CO2.

    B.B.


  19. Hey BB, I know this is an old link, but I just got a B40 a couple of months ago and in general I like it.
    I have had problems with consistant accuracy. I will shoot a clover leaf and then a bunch of flyers then another clover leaf.
    I have been experimenting with hold:
    –very light to no butt pressure
    –for stock–at balance point no grip, light grip, touch pressure on one side
    –grip light no thumb wrap
    –trigger finger tip pressure, practice no cock firing
    I am amazed at how sensitive the rifle is.
    I have an RWS 52 which shoots like a cannon and jumps all over 2x what the B40 does and it is a tack driver!!
    I have been using RWS Superdomes which do put in clover leafs but I have also used CP heavies with luck.
    I know it may have been awhile but can you give me some insights on shooting this gun. I think the accuracy is there but I cant bring it out consisitantly???
    Thanx Randy


  20. Randy,

    I had similar problems with a b-26. Here’s a few suggestions.

    First, superdomes were initially the best pellet out of 5 I tried and the best performing pellet I read about on the chinese forum. What I learned is that they leaded the barrel something terrible. Please scrub the barrel with jb bore past as B.B. has explained in many places (search cleaning a barrel or jb bore paste).

    Second, religiously check the stock and trigger screws. With the wood used in the bam guns the screws work themselves out very quickly.

    Third, try a different pellet. After more testing my b-26 liked the air arms pellets best.

    I hope these 3 areas lead you to the road of accuracy with your gun. It worked wonders for mine.

    kevin


  21. Thanx Kevin, I may try cleaning the barrel. I check the stock strews before every session. I have tried several other pellets: CP Heavies, Kodiaks, Exact heavies. Some other hollow points are not accurate, but with the other domes the results is the same. Accuracy doesnt seem to be the problem, Consistancy is and that I attest to my hold of the rifle. I am amazed that a rifle with much less recoil than my RWS 52 is so sensitive.

    I wonder if adding a weight wrap somehow would help?

    Randy


  22. Randy,

    Never tried a weight wrap. Let me know the results if you try it.

    My b-26 was tuned by mike melick and helped with consistency. Nonetheless, I’d start out with shooting a great group of 3 shots and the next 2-3 shots would open up. Frustrating. Would always have one or two “flyers”. The air arms pellets grouped consistently without flyers at short range (20-25 yards). At 30+ yards the air arms pellets would always have a flyer or two. At long range, the jsb 18 grain pellet is the best. At short range the 18 gr. also groups well but it’s and expensive pellet so I shot the air arms pellets at short range. Don’t know if the 18 gr. pellet is too heavy for a medium springer like the b-26 but time will tell. As long as they remain accurate we’ll shoot them.


  23. thanx Kevin, My B40 is from Mike Melick and like I said it will drill a great group then fliers then drill another clover leaf. I try hold it the same but I have noticed that very small changes cause the group to open up. Thats why I was wondering if there is a trick for the B40 and/or if others have similar experience?
    Thanx for your thoughts


  24. Ransome,

    It sounds like you either have loose sights or a loose barrel. Since sight are easier to check–check them first. Grab the rifle by the scope and shake it, feeling for a wobble. Then shake the rifle and scope while holding on to the stock, listening for a rattle.

    The barrel is not what you can see on the outside. That’s just a shroud. The real barrel is tucked inside the shroud and is much shorter.

    B.B.


  25. Hey BB, I watch the scope for movement vigilantly. It hasnt bugded. Screws are tight.
    There is a bit of a rattle. It could be the barrel but I know the cocking arm is a bit wobbly when released for cocking.
    I am going to try the JSB’s some more since you found them to be the most accurate in your tests.
    And I am going to try “free holding” it with my elbows on a table instead of my hand on the bag.

    No tricks to holding this?

    Thank for your in put. I like the rifle– size, sound and potential accuracy. I just want to find the consistancy.
    Thanx again
    R


  26. Ransom,

    As long as you use a good artillery hold, there are no additional holding tricks for the B40.

    Put your thumb on the cocking link when you shake and see if there is still a rattle.

    If not, clean the barrel with JB Bore paste. You have to clean from the front and the brush has to be short enough to fully exit the breech, so the bristles allow it to reverse directions.

    BB.


  27. Hey BB, I held the cocking arm and gave it a good shake and everything seems tight.
    I tried some CP heavies and a slightly different hold on the table…just letting the bag support my arm and super light to no shoulder pressure and had some really good shots.
    In fact the wind is howling from a 3-4 oclock direction. I shoot out of my garage. I filled 3 1″ bulls with 5 shots each?? 30 yds. That is what I like to see!! I am fairly certain that the gun is capable of great shots but I was doing something wrong and hoping to find the trick.
    I appreciate all of your input in my quest.
    Keep up the good work.
    R


  28. Ransom,

    Well done! And in howling wind? I can feel the enthusiasm coming through your message. Maybe your cheek weld moved a little bit in your former holds? Whatever it was it sounds like you fixed it.

    Did you know that you have posted your comments under an article that B.B. did in 2006? There are hundreds of enthusiastic airgunners, like you, currently sharing their airgun experiences, asking each other questions and answering each others questions. We need more airgunners like you on the current blog that are excited about this hobby and willing to share their knowledge. You will find the majority of these airgunners communicating by clicking on “comments” under the most recent article that B.B. has written (B.B. writes a new article every day, Monday-Friday). This link will take you to the most recent article everytime:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/

    Hope to see you there!

    kevin


  29. hi BB
    Great article, thanks. Do you happen to know if the V-Mach tuning kit for the TX200 works on the B40? Would make a good project.
    thanks
    John



  30. I know I'm a couple of years late on this blog on the B40 but thought I would toss in my 2 bits. I picked up a .22 B40 a couple of years ago. Beautiful spotless stock, metal all looks as good as my RWS 48. If I am having trouble hitting a cloths pin on the line with the RWS 48 I can almost always nail it with the B40. I took it all apart deburred everything and found it was missing one of the screws and springs in the trigger assy. I ordered those parts and put it all together. I am not at all happy with the workmanship in the trigger assy but it works. It does give me 2 stages but still really light. I also camfored the breach where you put the pellet in which made that a lot easier. I used a bit of emery paper of crocus cloth. I also dremeled a small grove on end of the under-lever cocking arm for the ball to track in when closing it. That removed all tendency for the under-lever to go any where but snap in place. In my experience the B40 is a very accurate and consistent shooter It is a beautiful air rifle if you only look skin deep. The guts are all functional but lacking in precision and detail.



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