BAM B40 – Part 1 A first look

by B.B. Pelletier

Today we begin our look at the BAM B40 underlever spring-piston air rifle. It’s a direct copy of the Air Arms TX200, and you know I think highly of it. This first part is a physical comparison between the two. The B40 comes in both .177 and .22 calibers, and I will test both for you. Because I own a .177 TX200, I will start there.


BAM B40 (bottom) is a close copy of the TX 200…at least in appearance.

Appearance
This is the most beautiful Chinese air rifle I have seen! The stock is a hardwood stained to the light side of medium, and the contouring is nearly perfect. I found two spots where wood filler was used, but that is almost a trademark of Chinese woodwork. The thick black rubber buttpad is perfectly fitted. Even the two parts of the forearm that extend past the breech are nearly centered on the barrel and underlever mechanism.


This wood putty repair on the pistol grip of the B40 is about one inch long. It’s typical of all Chinese wood stocks – even the ones they consider high quality.

The stock differs from the one found on a TX200 in that is there is no checkering on the pistol grip or the forearm, and the forearm wood isn’t tapered to a slimmer profile. Also, the pistol grip isn’t quite as deeply scalloped as the one on the TX. As a result, the B40 stock feels slightly bulkier when held to the shoulder for firing.

The metal is polished, but not to the same extent as a TX. It is, however, up to the same standard as a Weihrauch rifle, which puts it light-years ahead of where Chinese rifles used to be. The triggerguard is dull but evenly black, and the trigger blade is well-formed.

Breech not finished as well
When I cocked the gun, the sliding compression chamber slid back to reveal a cone-shaped breech with some tool marks. The squared-off TX breech is perfect, by comparison. Cocking effort is slightly higher (a pound or two at most), but my TX has thousands of shots on it and this is a brand-new action, so I’ll cut it some slack. Cocking is just as smooth as the TX, and the anti-beartrap ratchet that holds open the sliding compression chamber is just as crisp as the one on the TX. The underlever lock (a ball bearing) has been exactly replicated on the B40 and works fine.


When you scrutinize the work it comes apart, like these tool marks left on the breech.

Very smooth shooting
I’d heard a comment that the B40 had lots of spring noise and vibration, but that isn’t the case with the one I’m testing. It shoots just as smoothly as a TX200, which says a lot. The TX shoots like a tuned gun right out of the box, and I’m saying that the B40 does, too. It’s also just as quiet as a TX, which means the baffles in the barrel shroud are just as effective.

Trigger light but mushy
The two-stage trigger is a copy of the TX trigger, which in turn is a close approximation of the famous Rekord trigger that Weihrauch has used for five decades. The release is very light, but, like I commented about the BAM B26 trigger, the first stage is mushy and the second stage is imprecise. I can get used to it, but it’s a far cry from a TX trigger. I hope I can do something about it before I go to the range for accuracy testing.

Velocity
From the firing behavior, I suspect the rifle will shoot either in the high 800s or the low 900s with the Gamo Magnum pointed pellets I used to check firing behavior. If that’s true, I would expect to get the best accuracy from either Beeman Kodiaks or JSB Exact domed heavy pellets.

We’ll find out in the next test!

32 thoughts on “BAM B40 – Part 1 A first look


  1. Put a card stock wad in the back end of the shell. It must be tight in the shell, so it needs to be 0.380″, or so. Then fill the shell with shot, leaving enough room at the top for another wad to fit tight. The two wads will be inside the shell by a few hundredths of an inch, up to a tenth.

    That’s all there is to it, and that is the way Crosman instructed people to do it, according to the instructions in the Crosman loading kit for the 1100 I used to own.

    B.B.


  2. B.B.,

    Acquired an older model of something and I need help in identification. It is a small breakbarrel, with the following stamped on the barrel:
    IMC Pioneer 3
    Cal 45MM
    1980 A 4978

    The safety is a twist type apparatus located on the barrel just above the trigger.

    Obviously not valuable, but nontheless, I am curious. Thanx

    Bill D.



  3. It’s been a while since I tested a .22 model 48 but a friend just bought a 48 I tuned years ago and he’s getting great accuracy with JSB Exacts.

    I would also try Kodiaks, Crosman Premiers, and any other domed pellet made by a good maker (JSB, H&N).

    B.B.


  4. Bill D.,

    I don’t have any good information on your gun, but with a name like Pioneer can it be anything other than Russian?

    The Soviets exported lots of airguns in the 1960s throught the ’80s to offset their trade deficit with the U.S. and they were almost always .177 breakbarrels. Yours is a .177; that’s what the 4.5 means.

    It probably has leather seals, so use a lot of petroleum oil down the transfer port.

    Sorry I don’t have more.

    B.B.


  5. B.B. i shoot sheridan domes through my gamo 1250, i no that these pellets leave lead deposits in the bore and require cleaning. my question is: when i notice my groups are spreading as a result of deposits will running a brush through the bore take care of the problem or do i need to go the whole 9 yards with jb cleaner and the like.
    many thanks, scopestop


  6. scopestop,

    The whole nine yards. The antimony in any Crosman pellet makes the lead bond to the walls of the barrel at high velocity.

    B.B.


  7. BB,

    There is new airgun manufacturer making waves in the airgun industry in the Philippines. It is called Filarms. I guess it will be available in the US soon. I hope you can post a review on their Caiman or Tornado models soon.

    Dave


  8. I just bought a used Gamo Shadow 1000 from a friend. He took alright care of the gun, but there is evidence of use. The gun shoots very well and I’m really happy with it, but I’m worried that there might be rust in the barrel. It looks as if there maybe a tiny bit of rust on the outside of the reciever. When the gun is “broken” to load a new pellet, the o-ring inside looks pretty beaten up and quite dirty. What would you recommend me do?


  9. Dave,

    Philippine airgun companies come and go. I like to wait to see if any American dealers (real dealers, not hobbyists) will carry and support the guns they import.

    Otherwise, you have a lot of disillusioned buyers.

    Thanks for the heads up,

    B.B.


  10. Gamo 1000,

    As long as the rifle still shoots well, I’d leave it alone. You can clean the rear O-ring with a cotton cloth soaked in pure silicone oil (chamber oil) but I woudn’t try to replace it unless the gun doesn’t shoot.

    As for the bore, you can clean it with JB Non-Embedding Bore Compound, 20 strokes of a laden brass brush in both directions, starting at the breech. Or you can just shoot the gun. Do not attempt to clean it with any gun products other than JB Bore Compound. Do a search on the latest page of this blog for how to clean barrels.

    B.B.


  11. B.B.

    Just updated my 2240 and 1377 with steel breeches, etc from RJ Machines. The 2240 feels and sounds more powerful than before. Is this possible? Plus accuracy has improved greatly with the red dot that I used before. ??

    Best shots came from RWS Super Hollow Points, which were just okay before. Can the simple upgrade be responsible?

    Thanks,

    Bill D.


  12. Hi BB,

    Sorry to follow you around with this question. I’ve looked over my IZH61 very carefully, and I can’t for the life of me see any hole that would access the transfer port behind the clip (mine is the plastic breech / receiver version). In the user manual I have there is a drawing of the gun with most parts labelled. Its not totally clear, but the piston is below the barrel with the front of the compression chamber ahead of the clip, and sort of below the removable screw I mentioned in the upper. What could be (fuzzy picture)the transfer port coming up from the front of the chamber into the underside of the barrel is right there to. In front of the clip. Baikal recommend lubing every 500 shots, yet don’t refer specifically to the lube location!

    Thanks for any comments. Gazza.


  13. BB,

    I have a condor. Is there a setting on the power wheel that would produce most consistent shots? I could careless about the adjustability. I just want consistent shot strings with small standard deviation. Thanks in advance.



  14. Gazza,

    That hole is the transfer port. Sorry for the confusion.

    Here is what to do. Put a drop of oil in the hole then insert the clip and cock and load the gun. The suction when the piston retracts will suck the oil into the chamber.

    B.B.


  15. BB,

    Here is a new found info. That new Philippine airgun manufacturer apparently was helped by no less than Tim of Mac1 in terms of technical advise. Now , isnt that great if true, considering the innovative skills of the Filipino. Since they will be exporting to the US soon, I am really excited to find out how they perform.

    Will Pyramydair carry them?

    Dave

    Dave


  16. Dave,

    I only know what you have told me, thus far. But I do have a caution on this.

    The Filipinos are not known for making accurate barrels. Their Armscor company makes some of the worst barrels I’ve seen. I have never seen a Philippine rifle from ANY maker that was accurate.

    Let’s wait and see what they do.

    B.B.


  17. BB,

    I agree with you on the barrel. That is a fact. According to their blogsite, Filarms is using HW match barrels for their high end models.

    However, I am just kind of not too comfy about their claim that “accuracy is a given” with their pcp airguns. Hmmm, lets wait and see, hopefully in your post for all to know.

    Dave


  18. Dave,

    This just became more interesting. HW does know how to rifle barrels, so that information is encouraging.

    Are we talking about a PCP? Another point of interest.

    Tim McMurray was heavily involved in the design of the QB77, a Chinese copy of the Crosman 160. For several years that rifle was a good one, but when the Chinese began flooding the market with the QB78 that had a sometimes good, sometimes bad barrel, the 77 vanished and the picture changed.

    I hope we aren’t in for another ride like that.

    B.B.


  19. BB,

    Same here. The people behind Filarms have explicitly mentioned they have Mr. Tim’s blessings and technical advice with their new toys. And yes, they are PCP.

    According to the forum, they have just installed CNC machines to speed up production. Implicitly, it seems they see as major market here in the US. There is talk about export papers already done. So I hope it will be soon.

    Dave




  20. Hi Guys,

    It’s Chris from Filarms, I don’t know how a chinese rifle review ended up with our name in it hehe. But just to clarify a few things…

    yes, Mac-1 did help a lot in our valve development and material supply. I have been a Mac-1 regular for almost 8 years. It took us 3 years to develop our first rifle, the Tornado. Our reservoirs are sourced from the same place as Mac-1′s USFT reservoirs. We do hold accuracy in great regard, but sad to say that most if not all philippine airguns that have made it to the american market are very inferior to the ones that we are actually proud of. Armscor does not care too much for their airgun line (low margins), but they were unfortunately the only ones with a license to export weapons of any kind out of the Philippines before. Squires Bingham is another but they are now under Armscor.

    Our rifles are built around accuracy. We take pride in that. We use steel sleeved brass barrels that can rival the HW barrels in accuracy. I’ve seen that and proven that. HW barrels are available for those who doubt the brass barrels.

    About being taken for a “ride”, I don’t see that in our future. We are just not as profit oriented as the chinese and take pride in each and every one of our rifles. It is just not in the cards for us to give up quality for mass produced dollars. I have had several offers from dealers, but we shall see from there. Our first shipment lands in the U.S. around Nov. 15. 2006. I hope you will take the time to test the rifles yourself.

    Thanks,

    Chris


  21. BB,
    Bam 40 sure looks like a good buy! I know you didn’t have much luck with the Bam 50 but it is currently for sale for $299.-, not much more than the benjamin discovery (of course you’ll need a pump). Is your impression of the 50 so bad you would discourage people from getting it, could your rifle have been a fluke, or is it likely there are more defective Bam 50′s out there. I haven’t read many other bad reports, it seems like a good started PCP. What’s your thought?

    Thanks,

    DH


  22. DH,

    The BAM B50 is Chinese, which means its quality isn’t as reliable as an American-made product. However, I have heard lots of good things about these guns after they have been tuned up by aftermarket places like Mac-1.

    I have also heard of several that leaked down the same as the one I tested. Your protection from that is dealing with Pyramyd Air, who will back anything they sell.

    B.B.


  23. ARMSCOR PHILIPPINES has recently released a number of pcp riffles for field testing. some of my hunting buds were able to acquire this riffle and it performed well in the field with good accuracy and precision. Of all the manufacturers of pcp riffle here in the philippines, i think ARMSCOR is the best….if you really want to have a durable, accurate and precise airgun or PCP riffle, you should go to the local gunsmith especially in iloilo, and hav your toy made there


  24. Hello there. I just bought BAM 40 and i want to know what is the best scope for the gun (magnification, size of the objective lens).
    Thank You!


  25. Hello BAM B40 owner!

    Congratulations on your new airgun. Have you read the other two articles that B.B. wrote on your gun? You posted your comment under part 1 of the Bam B40 series. Here's a link (you need to copy and paste this link) that will take you to part 3. At the top of part 3 you can click on part 2 in order to read this series in order:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/10/bam-b40-part-3-accuracy.html

    Scope choices are very personal and the choice is initially narrowed down by what you intend to use the gun for. Long range accurate target shooting? Hunting at 30-40 yards in open desert? Hunting in dense, dark forest? Plinking tin cans in the back yard?

    In general a lower magnification (4x-6x) works well for hunting since the lower magnification helps in faster target acquisition. Higher magnification helps in long range target shooting.

    Don't overlook the importance of good mounts/rings for your scope. Buy the correct size (1" or 30mm) for the scope tube diameter that you ultimately choose. Make sure the mounts have a proper scope stop built in since the Bam B40's recoil can move your mounts and scope. In addition to choosing the right diameter of scope rings remember to choose the right height of mount/rings so that the objective on the scope you choose will clear the receiver.

    Leapers scopes are great for the money.

    Pyramyd Air tech support can help you with mount/ring selection once you choose a scope.

    If you have anymore questions you can find most of us addicted airgunners in the comments section under the most recent article that B.B. has written (he writes a new article everyday, Monday-Friday). Here's a link that will always take you to his latest article:

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

    Look forward to seeing you there!

    kevin


  26. Hello again. I read all the 3 parts for BAM 40. Thank You Kevin for the advices that you gave me!
    The gun will be used for accurate target shooting and also for shooting cans :). I found a scope with a lot of features for good money: CenterPoint 4-16×40 Adventure Class.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Centerpoint_Optics_Adventure_Class_4_16x40_Rifle_Scope_w_free_Shooting_Stick/2566

    Is this a good choice ?
    I hope the recoil wont destroy the scope.
    Thanks.


  27. Bam B-40,

    I've only used one Centerpoint and it was a good scope for the money. Had it on a B-26. The Centerpoint you've choosen is a big (16x),heavy (18oz plus mount) scope and heavy scopes and heavy recoiling guns don't usually mix. Do you really think you need a 16 power scope?

    If so, then I would encourage you to look at the leapers line of scopes that have the TS (True Strength) rating. Very good scope for a recoiling springer. Consider a fixed power (6x?) for the shooting you said you were doing. Less weight, less cost.

    The most important item if you'
    re going to scope your B-40 is the mount/rings.

    Make sure to get the correct size rings for the scope (either 1" or 30mm) and MAKE SURE THE MOUNT/RINGS HAVE A SCOPE STOP. A one piece mount with rings is a good value if it has a built in scope stop.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    kevin


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