Beeman SS1000H dual-caliber rifle - Part 4
.177 test 2
by B.B. Pelletier
Got a lot of territory to cover today, because I learned a LOT about the Beeman dual-caliber SS1000H with this test. First, Vince advised me to adjust the trigger. I did and it works much better now. There are three adjustments, but two are tiny slotted screws and I didn't have time to hunt for my wee teeny screwdriver, so I lightened only the pull weight. I cut it from 4 lbs. down to about 2. The creep remained, but was lessened by lightening the pull weight, so the end result was okay. However, an overtravel screw would be great on this rifle.
Trigger adjustment is where the vanilla Beeman "manual" really let me down. I had to guess what each screw did, based on experience, because the manual contains NOTHING about adjusting this trigger!
I removed the scope that came with the gun and mounted a Bushnell 6-18x Trophy in its place. Wonderfully clear, plus it adjusts down to 10 yards. I was still shooting at 21 yards, so that was perfect.
Both the JSB Exacts and the Beeman Trophys were already proven, so I didn't waste time trying what I knew didn't work. Just for fun, I also tried Gamo Tomahawks, but they were pretty bad in this rifle. They grouped close to 2". When I show you how good the rifle can shoot, you'll agree that's bad.
Couldn't shoot a group!
I tried group after group and couldn't shoot anything under 0.75"! That was after shooting several great groups yesterday. Well, the only difference was the scope, so I checked it thoroughly. The mounts were tight. The erector tube was screwed all the way down (pellets were shooting high) so there was zero chance of the reticle moving. Then, I checked the parallax.
Parallax was HORRIBLE!
Remember how I complained about the Beeman scope having parallax? Well, this one had a lot more! I could move the reticle more than 2" just by moving my head. Yes, this scope has parallax correction; and yes, it was adjusted right. But, scopes may still have some parallax after all corrections have been made, and this one does - buckets of it. Now, I know why I was never more than a mediocre field target shooter back at DIFTA! (Just kidding.) Actually, this scope has been mounted on dozens of rifles over the past 10 years, and it's probably getting a little out of adjustment.
I fixed it
I've told many of you how to do this, so now I'll demonstrate how to correct parallax. The goal is to position your eye in the same place every time - a good "spot weld," as it has been called in the military. Since both of my eyes are fairly well connected to my head, if I can put the head in the same place, the sighting eye usually follows. I put a strip of painter's masking tape across the stock where my head went and then each time I got into position, I slid my head forward until I could just feel the tape against my cheek. Neat, huh? The type of painter's tape I used doesn't remove the finish or leave a residue.
Not quite enough
That helped, but it wasn't quite enough. I could hear all of you wondering why I was able to do so well yesterday with the fuzzy scope, but when I changed to the clear one that cost ten times as much, things went bad. Then, I tried something I have recently told you about and even promised to blog for you. Well, I won't need to blog it any more. I'll just include it in articles like this one.
I had just finished lunch and my heartbeat was wild from digestion. The reticle was dancing all over the place. I flipped my hand over and laid the forearm on the backs of my fingers where there are no blood vessels and guess what - steady as a rock! For thirteen years I have been writing about the artillery hold and in one day I learned a better way of doing it. Oh, and that solved the problem. Shots went into tight little groups the way they're supposed to.
I'm done with the .177 (except for re-examining velocity) and will move on to test the .22 barrel.