A look at China's B26 - Part 2
by B.B. Pelletier
My first look at the BAM B26 was back on September 18. At that time,.
00 I was surprised by the rifle's quality and seeming accuracy potential, though it didn't live up to that potential in the first test. The trigger was working poorly and I wanted a chance to look the rifle over before testing it again, because I felt it harbored more than it showed the first time out.
Into the trigger - NOT!
You will recall that the B26 is BAM's second attempt at copying the Beeman R9 (or HW 95). It has a lot going for it, but the trigger on the rifle I am testing is single-stage and lets off with varying force. Because this is a copy of a Weihrauch rifle, I was hoping that I would find an exact copy of a Rekord trigger when I popped the action out of the stock. Alas, that was not to be. Weihrauch and Beeman owners can rest easy; their Rekord trigger has not been knocked off. What we have instead is a Bizarro Rekord - if you understand the Superman reference. For those who don't...this trigger is an imperfect copy.
What it lacks is the Rekord's sophisticated sear adjustment. Instead, a much cruder adjustment mechanism takes its place. So, I didn't go to the effort of removing the trigger, but I did do something else that worked quite nicely. By tightening the trigger adjustment screw, I increased the pull to about 2 lbs. I now have a light, single-stage trigger - sort of the redneck approach to a Rekord. But, hey, it works!
Tightened all the screws
When I removed the action from the stock, I noticed that all the stock screws were loose...except for one. That never helps accuracy. When the rifle went back together, I made sure all screws were tightened the same.
Do as I say...
Two recent projects have renewed my interest in spring guns. The first was the long series on tuning a spring gun, where I was forced to come face-to-face with the internals of a springer once again. That awoke many old memories that are again fresh in my mind. The second big influence was the posting about Making a new spring gun ready to shoot. All those hard "rules" I dictated to you were things that I sometimes skipped. So, the loose screws on the B26 reminded me to do the other right things to give this rifle a fighting chance.
One very big thing I did was clean the barrel with J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. You might think that the bore would still be clean after just a hundred pellets have been shot through it, but that wasn't the case. Though it did clean up much faster than a brand new barrel, this bore was in need of some serious cleaning. After that it was on to the range - again!
Three pellets for best accuracy
The B26 is a .22 caliber, so I selected JSB Exact Jumbos (15.8 grains), Logun Penetrators (20.5 grains) and Crosman Premiers (14.3 grains). I could just as easily have included Beeman Kodiaks, but I felt the Loguns deserved a chance at bat.
Leapers tactical scope
You may remember that I used the Leapers 3-12x44mm SWAT Mini tactical scope with side parallax adjustment. The 30mm tube allows a lot of light to pass through, making this scope one of the brightest in my inventory. The reticle is thicker than I like for target shooting at long range; since I was shooting at only 25 yards, it didn't make much difference.
Wow! That's the best way to describe how this gun shoots. Of course, it is a breakbarrel and a copy of the Beeman R9 at that, so it takes buckets of technique to shoot well. But, when you do - wow! JSBs were good, as usual, with a 0.387" group being the best at 25 yards. The WORST group of JSBs was 0.581". The Loguns were also good, with a 0.381" group, but it looked larger than that, so I didn't shoot a second one. They are definitely a pellet to try. Crosman Premiers would not group at all in this rifle, which is strange, but it happens.
This was the smallest group made by JSB pellets. It looked like the smallest group of all, but Logun Penetrators squeaked past it.
This group of Logun Penetrators looks larger than the JSBs, but it measures slightly smaller. At 0.381" it was the best group of the day.
This is my last look at this B26, though I do have one with a thumbhole stock that I'll also test. Based on what I saw with this one, the B26 is a pretty nice air rifle. It's available in .22, something that's getting rare these days!