Beeman SS1000H dual-caliber rifle combo - Part 5
.22 barrel test 1
by B.B. Pelletier
Okay, today we have another hot topic. A return to the Beeman SS1000-H, this time to test the .22-caliber barrel.
Reader Don expressed concern for how the .22 barrel fits in the test rifle. He purchased one and the .22 barrel was loose, though the .177 was fine. Pyramyd exchanged it and the second rifle had the same problem, so I was interested in how tight our .22 barrel fits.
Well, Don, this one fits tight - at least at this time. I will keep a watch on it as I test this caliber and give you an update as we go. One thing I will mention: the rifle comes with a second screw in a small baggie with the Allen wrench and an o-ring. Is it possible that screw would tighten the fit of your .22 barrel? Mine didn't need it because the .22 barrel fit the same as the .177.
By this time, the rifle has over 150 shots on the powerplant. I expect a lot of the initial dieseling to be over and the velocities to be more consistent.
Ever the "standard " pellet in .22 caliber, .22-caliber Crosman Premiers weigh 14.3 grains, nominally. In the test rifle, they averaged 694 f.p.s., but one shot recorded a very odd 458 f.p.s. I thought it might have been due to a lighting malfunction with the chronograph, but the same thing happened with other pellets, so it isn't an anomaly - the powerplant is malfunctioning. Given the average velocity, which doesn't include the slow shot, the pellet generates 15.3 foot-pounds, which is a little low for this rifle. Based on the .177 results, I had expected power in the 17 foot-pound region, at least.
Beeman Kodiaks were consistent, averaging 544 f.p.s. The extreme spread was 24 f.p.s., which is fine for a springer that's new. Energy was 13.75 foot-pounds for this 21-grain pellet, which is low. But I expect the heavier pellets to generate less muzzle energy in a spring-piston gun.
RWS Hobbys will have to serve as the lightweight pellet for our test, because they're the lightest .22s I have. At 11.9 grains, they're pretty light, though there are some synthetics that shave another several tenths. They averaged 748, but two shots went 517 and 500, respectively. This was now officially starting to concern me. If I use the high average, the energy is 15.42 foot-pounds.
Beeman Silver Ace
The Beeman Silver Ace is an old pellet dating back to the 1970s. The "piston-ring" look was really popular back in the 1978-1982 timeframe. They've been made by several different manufacturers and in this test the vintage pellets I used averaged 14.1 grains. Today's Silver Aces weigh 1.1 grains more. Mine averaged 689 f.p.s., with two pellets as slow as 441 and 430. Taking the high average, the energy is 14.87 foot-pounds.
RWS Superpoints were the last pellet I tried. They exhibited a reversal of performance, with five pellets going 530, 404, 444, 439 and 437, respectively, and only one that went an expected 705. I did not finish the string, and now I have some concerns about the health of the powerplant.
The barrel remained firmly in place throughout all testing, so that's a plus. But the muzzle energy didn't increase as expected. Instead, it went down. Clearly this rifle works most efficiently as a .177.
Next, I'll test accuracy, then I'll retest the .177 for velocity, though now I don't hold a lot of hope that the rifle will have broken in as I thought before. Stay tuned for an interesting test!