Beeman P3 air pistol – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Test and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

This is the other test result you’ve been waiting for. Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the Beeman P3 single-stroke pistol.

All accuracy testing was done at 10 meters using conventional 10-meter pistol targets. Remember that Mac has a red dot sight on his gun. And the pistol rested on a single leather bag that was pushed up snug with the triggerguard.

Mac gives this tip for those with astigmatism and see the red dot as a sparkle. Turn the lamp intensity as low as you can still see it, and the dot will grow smaller and sharper.

RWS Hobby
The lightweight RWS Hobby pellet turned in the second-best performance, with a 0.24″ spread for five shots. That’s quite extraordinary, in light of what all the other pellets did. Hobbys are quite affordable, so this is a good solution for this pistol. P3 owners — be sure to try them.


Five Hobbys went into this well-centered hole measuring 0.24″ between centers.

H&N Finale Match Pistol
The P3 didn’t do as well with the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet. The pistol pellet is light weight, though, at 7.56 grains but not quite as light as Hobbys.


Five H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets went into this group that measures 0.45″ across the widest two centers.

JSB Exact Match
JSB Exact Match pellets, which are not a match pellet at all but a domed field pellet, performed a little better than the H&N Match Pistol pellets but were not close to the RWS Hobbys. The JSB is a domed pellet weighing 8.4 grains, which is getting heavy for a single-stroke pistol powerplant.


Five JSB Exact domes went into this group measuring 0.39″ across.

Crosman Premier lites
Last but not least were the 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers. They turned in the best performance of the test…an amazing group of 5 inside 0.11″ at 10 meters. And, they did it not one time but repeatedly. Mac was highly impressed by the accuracy and repeatability of this pellet.


Five Crosman Premier lite pellets made this phenomenal group that measures 0.11″ across the centers. Mac shot several like this, and it was clearly the best of the test.

The bottom line
With groups like these, I hardly have to justify the Beeman P3 pistol as one of the top guns for a very affordable price. You’re seeing very nearly 10-meter target pistol performance for a fraction of their purchase price.

If you’re interested in shooting targets but don’t want to spend the money for a full-blown target pistol, let the P3 be on your short list of alternatives.

68 thoughts on “Beeman P3 air pistol – Part 3


  1. Smokin’ results…I would have been impressed with .20 ctc!Now I’m gonna have to check the Marksman 2004 results against these….very exciting performance at this price point,especially with a conventional pistol format.Necco wafers at 20 yards should be fun with this one!


  2. Update on Slavia 634 Diana should learn thing or two from Slavia airguns -scoping no problem accuracy outstanding ,all metal(prone to rust from sweaty heands from outside ,but this is no problem at all), 3 min to take apart 3 min to asessamble again this gun will last long long time !




  3. A couple things (assuming that Mac was doing the testing for an apples and apples comparison):

    1. I wonder how well this pistol would do using Gamo Match pellets.
    2. I wonder how the accuracy of this would compare against the Gamo Compact.

    Victor


    • Victor,

      That would still be apples and oranges because I used open sights with the Marksman 2004 and Mac used a dot sight.

      B.B.


  4. BB,

    I am not surprised at the impressive accuracy of this gun. I have owned several of the Marksman copies and one Beeman P17 and all were impressively accurate. Not this accurate, mind you, but still groups at 10 meters of .20 to .30 ctc were very common.

    Also the triggers on all these knock offs were very good. Never experienced the trigger of the P3 so I can’t make a comparison.

    The problem with the Marksman’s and the Beeman was seal failure. Never had one make it to the 500 round mark.

    If someone with a knack for tuning air guns could take a stock P17 and reseal it with appropriate durable seals and work it a bit for accuracy and trigger pull I wouldn’t be surprised if it could rival the P3. Ah heck there goes the tinkerer in me!! Always want to buy something “cheap” and improve it. Like trying to turn a sows ear into a purse.

    I suppose one could just suck it up and save pennies and buy it and have an amazing pistol from the start!


    • I have to agree with you here.
      I bought two P17s from a major local retailer, returning both because they both started leaking badly after only about a hundred shots each.
      It really was a pity, since they had very nice ergonomics, excellent triggers, decent accuracy, and I even quite liked their much-maligned red dot sights.
      It is reputed on other sites that they can be easily repaired with the proper O-ring, but I was in no mood to tinker, and one would think that Beeman would have resolved this widely known problem by now.
      Truly a pity that Saint Robert sold his controlling interest in the company some years ago.


  5. Also, the Premier lites are domed. Wouldn’t that make this an apples and oranges comparison? Again, I wonder how it would do with the Gamo Match pellets.


  6. I have a P17 with red dot installed. I use the Crosman lite 7.9 dome and also get very tight groupings.

    Other topic: When shooting 3-position rifle- is it normal to sight in the rifle for each of the positions?

    Thanks,
    Stingray


    • Stingray,

      I believe that the NRA rules for three position shooting do allow for the use of sighters on each position. If one of our coaches knows better, please chime in.

      B.B.


  7. Here’s an unrelated question for anyone who may have the answer, but what possible options are there left to mount a 30mm scope on a PCP (specifically, the Benjamin Marauder) that requires a two-piece mount and a provision to adjust for barrel droop?
    I see that the B-Square mount of this configuration has been discontinued altogether, so I see no possibility for mounting 30mm scopes on this rifle, since BB mentioned in his lengthy review of the M-Rod that it requires adjustment to compensate for the droop.
    Am I right in suspecting that we are strictly limited to 1″ scopes for this rifle and those with similar mounting requirements, with the B-Square 10101 being the sole option left?



      • Thanks for the tip, but 63 pounds?!
        That’s about $120-130 US!
        Ouch!
        Plus, that particular mount is designed to accomodate objectives all the way up to Goliath 60mm.
        Kind of makes mounting a 40mm look ridiculous, I believe.
        Is there anything else a bit more reasonable in size and price out there?


        • oldplink,

          Mounts that allow for windage and elevation adjustment are going to be high to allow for the gimble action. Unlike cheaper mounts that allowed for windage and elevation adjustment and accomodated 30mm scopes, the sportsmatch have not diminished in quality.

          If you don’t want full adjustability and just want to adjust for droop get the ATP61. The ATP61 is available in the USA for $69.00 maybe less. Another option is to buy some 30mm rings and have them milled for your droop by someone like mac 1.

          kevin



        • You might keep an eye out for these. They are fully adjustable and are almost exactly like the B-Square except for the softer material. Currently they’re out of stock but you could call them to see when they might be back. I paid about $30-$40 for a pair. They’re probably not as good a quality as the sportsmatch ATP66. They are a softer aluminium material so be careful with over tightening.



            • Just curious as to how you knew these were of softer material.
              I already have to 11mm to Weaver adapters from this vendor, and they are excellent quality.
              But, yes, I already found him, and actually, I believe his products are identical to the B-Square, except without the B-Square name.
              I doubt he will have these in stock again anytime soon, though, judging by the looks of it.



              • oldpink,
                I bought a couple pairs of the Sun’s for the internal level scope they used to sell. I also have a couple pairs of B-Square. The Sun mounts are softer metal than the B-Squares but maybe B-Square went soft, too, and that’s why PA stopped selling them, I dunno, just speculating, probably wrong, they sure look identical except for that.
                -CJr



  8. B.B. -

    Do you ever test RWS Basics in air pistols? At only 7 gr., they are a good weight for low powered airguns. I’ve tried literally dozens of pellets in my CO2 Twinmaster pistol, and I keep coming back to this one. Superb accuracy, wadcutter design, and enough velocity to knock a clean hole through the paper. This works out great for me, since the Basic is the least expensive pellet that RWS sells. If you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out.

    - Jim in KS


  9. Wow! Now, that accuracy is something to talk about and I can relate to the 10m distance. I can see this pistol is much better than my skill level can handle, at this time.

    I tried a red dot scope myself on an IZH-61 when I was searching for something to compensate for my myopia but it was the cheapest BSA and I had a lot of problems with parallax. I never pursued a more expensive one because I got interested in scopes.

    I find my interest in target pistols is increasing and this one has fueled the lustful flames of desire. OK, that was a little over dramatic.

    -CJr


  10. Whoa, those groups would do credit to a rifle. Nice to see the Hobbys doing well again.

    B.B. that is a good deal with the free ammo for gun writers. I bet very few of them dislike their job. Can you give me a reference for your article on the .22 magnum? I’m quite taken with that caliber in my Single Six. It’s surprisingly powerful; the pistol heated up fast.

    CowBoyStar Dad, I have the very thing for you in your search for an AK: the Saiga. I had heard this name here and there without paying attention. But on investigating, I find that it is an AK action produced by the Izmesh factory in Russia which produces AKs and where Mikhail Kalashnikov still works. The only differences from the real AKs are that it lacks the so-called “evil features” of assault rifles in order to pass import restrictions overseas. In other words, it has a sporter stock with no pistol grip and some modifications to prevent the use of high capacity magazines (although a cottage industry of gunsmiths has grown up who can reverse all of this.) Also, the quality is supposed to be slightly better than most production AKs. It has the super reliability of AKs and groups around 2 MOA. Upon reflection, I am skeptical of reports that the Arsenal AKs can group into 1 MOA, so the Saiga is about as good as you will get. Cost is good at around $400. In comparison with the CZ SA58, it raises the question of why one would want an AK in the first place. The CZ has the external look of the AK but a different mechanism; the Saiga has the mechanism of the AK but a different look. Personally, the Saiga has assumed pride of place as the ideal intermediate range rifle for me. The fact that it is produced at the same place as the IZH 61 is another mark in its favor. Of course, the import rules to Canada is a whole different issue that I know nothing about.

    Mike, you are correct in a common variant reading of The Short Happy Life. From the wife’s point-of-view she doesn’t have much to lose regardless of where her shot impacts. Basic humanity wants her to hit the buffalo to keep her husband from being gored. On the other hand, in Hemingway style, she recognizes that now that the husband has found the courage to stand up to a charging buffalo, he has become a real man whom she can no longer lead around by the nose. Disposing of him and finding someone more tractable would suit her as an American woman, “the most beautiful and most predatory in the world.” (Hemingway not me! :-)) So nobody knows exactly where she was aiming that final shot.

    Here’s another self-defense problem. If you were on a sailboat at anchor and your child was swimming in a crystal clear Caribbean lagoon, what weapon would you want handy if a shark suddenly popped up and headed for your child? Hemingway provides a scenario in Islands in the Stream (the movie version; I didn’t read the book). The father, played by George C. Scott, is some kind of fabled crack shot who never misses, so he only has a single shot bolt action rifle on hand. However, the circumstances shake his concentration, and he misses. The misses undermine his confidence and his hands shake as he reloads. He misses again, and it is not looking good at all. Suddenly there is a terrific racket, and his drunken deckhand cuts loose with a BAR which eliminates the shark and somehow manages to miss the boy in the process. A BAR is hard to argue with if one could get hold of it. On the other hand, in the 1930s, when the story is set, they seemed to be in circulation. Clyde Barrow of Bonnie and Clyde used it as his favorite weapon and so did the policemen who shot him down. I believe that the George C. Scott character was a bootlegger on the side which may explain how he had access to one.

    More impressions of the feminine. While hunting on YouTube for videos on the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR), I came across a video of one tricked out with all accessories including a scope and a bipod and with a selective fire option. Also present was a statuesque blond woman wearing a T-shirt and shorts several sizes to small and calf length high-heeled boots. She assayed to shoot the EBR offhand on full-auto. I knew what was coming…. Actually, I didn’t. Her muscles bulged as she hefted the rifle, and she squeezed of four and five shot bursts like a pro. You’re liable to run into anything out there.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      My article was in Shotgun News several years ago. I’ve lost track of it. I reviewed two 10/22 derivatives offered by Magnum Research. I found the .22 LR rifle a bit mundane, but the .22Mag. was a real winner. And the Hornady V-Max ammo was what made it work.

      B.B.


      • My Dad felt the same. He compares .22LR with cap guns, but was very impressed with the .22 magnum. He claims that this caliber makes the Single Six balance better, but I suspect that it is just his love of high power and big calibers. I’ll try out the Hornady V Max.

        Matt61


    • Matt61,

      I recall an article on just this topic – that is, the penetration range and power of bullets striking or fired into water. If I recall correctly, the research showed that supersonic bullets fractured upon hitting the water while sub-sonic achieved several feet of penetration with enough energy to do harm. I’d have to look this up again to verify it, however.

      Fred PRoNJ


    • I believe in the film that the shark’s fin was cutting the water, so the BAR might have worked. However, if a shark was submerged that would cause problems, no doubt about it. I’ve heard that divers can fend of sharks with something called a “bangstick” that is a type of shotgun, but I think you actually need to contact the shark for it to work. How about this solution in the class of pepper spray for bears? If a shark is attacking someone in shallow water, you’re supposed to run behind the shark and grab its tail. This will make it lose all traction just like lifting up the back of a car with rear wheel drive. :-)

      CowBoyStar Dad, that’s quite a history. I hope your Dad and grandfather told you about their experiences or recorded it in some way. Those Scots liked to fight. My own ancestry is Scotch-Irish, and from what I read, they gravitated to the frontier where they spent their time fighting the Indians, each other, and anyone else who got in their way. That’s too bad about the import restrictions. Have you looked into the Civilian Marksmanship Program? They offer service grade M1s for about $600, and lower-priced models, if you would settle for that or are willing to gunsmith. There are a bunch of requirements to fulfill to get one of their rifles which are a pain but not very difficult. They basically involve having a range officer fill out a form vouching that you can shoot and joining any number of clubs like the Garand Collector’s Association. I don’t know if being an American citizen is a requirement; I didn’t look.

      Pete Zimmerman, I would have guessed that your bear guide was putting you on although the Norwegians are not known for their sense of humor. The only relevant scenario that I can think of is a video of a Beatrix Potter story that I was watching while babysitting a little girl. The parents said that she loved it. I was absent-mindedly watching the video that had to do with a cat family until we came to a part showing rats who infested the attic. Bring the airguns! One of the kittens wandered into their territory and was promptly trussed up by the rats. Then, they began smearing butter all over the kitten and gloating over it. No doubt the kitten longed for that last bullet! It seemed kind of perverted and a rather odd thing to show to kids. But the mother cat arrived in time and everything was fine.

      Matt61


  11. Matt61,

    No such thing as a statuesque blond woman in shorts several sizes too small.

    In my experience almost all small sailing vessels that could anchor in a Caribbean lagoon carry shotguns loaded with slugs. Guess it would depend on how deep the shark was as to whether or not this would be effective. The shotguns with slugs are usually stowed for pirates not sharks.

    kevin


    • A 9mm would go about 2 feet under water. A slug probably wouldn’t go as far or much farther. A BAR probably wouldn’t go much farther either, maybe 4 feet but by then has lost most of its penetrating power. Better to have a harpoon.
      -CJr


  12. Matt, I’ll be honest (that really is a stupid saying…as if I’d lie to you unless I specifically stated I was going to ‘be honest’).
    I like the CZ because of the looks. I don’t hunt. My family has a strong military history dating back to the battle of Glencoe in 1693 (Scotland). My father served on corvettes in the North Atlantic in WWII and my grandfather flew Sopwith Camel in ‘the war to end all wars’.
    So I’m somewhat of a military history buff, and if I’m going to go out to the range and shoot ‘real’ powder burners I’ve decided on one of the classics…either an AK or an M1.
    Descent M1′s are outta my price range and no one I know of imports real AK into Canada that have been turned into semi-autos (which the CZ is).
    And that’s the end of the story!


    • I wish I could trace my families military history as far back as you have!

      My great-uncle was at Remagen, my great-great-grandfather was at Chateau-Thierry, Bellue-Woods…But would never talk about it. I had an ancestor who was in the Massachusetts volunteer Cav in the Civil War, and thats as far back as I can trace.

      Sorry for rambling :)


      • Malcolm, in no way are you rambling.
        Intersting about your great-great-grandfather. My father served on corvettes from ’41-’45, yet hardly ever spoke of it. It was only after I found his medals in a drawer once that he opened up. Seems watching his best friend literally torn in two during a submarine attack left him with a sour taste in his mouth. He battled his demons throughout his life and I have great respect for him or anyone who goes to war to protect those of us at home.


  13. kevin…

    A bit more fooling with the TO5 trigger.
    I came to the conclusion that once you get close, not to go by any more than 1/16 turn at a time.

    twotalon



  14. AlanL

    For 10% off enter “AirgunsJuly28″ during checkout.

    This coupon supposedly expires on August 3rd, but I have found that PA coupons tend to work well beyond their stated expiration dates.


  15. Color me silly, but I don’t really like the appearance of this pistol. I like airguns to look like airguns, and firearms to look like firearms. An idiocyncrasy of mine, of course, but there it is.


  16. rikib

    The scope that I recommended for your 2240 and that I have mounted on my 1377 is the Leaper’s Bugbuster 3-9x32AO. You will also need 1″, 2-piece, low or medium height mounts with dovetail.

    The cross-hair is a little thick, but it is a great scope that won’t be overwhelmingly big for your pistol, and you can focus as close as 3 yards with it.


    • rikib,

      As luck would have it, the scope SL recommends is also available as a used version. Used might mean someone bought it and it didn’t fit their rifle…so they ret’d it. But there’s also a possibility it was used by a writer while testing or was pulled out of the box to mount on a gun for photography or was used by Pyramyd Air’s tech people to test a gun for accuracy. The scope is normally $62.95, but the used one is $50.36. Get what you want & save money in the process.

      Edith


      • Thanks Edith. Now I know what it means. I’ve been wondering myself.
        One question thought: wouldn’t it be easier for buyers if each used item has a description about the condition and possibly one of the reasons you’ve just mentioned?
        Thanks.


        • tdung,

          The problem is that there may be more than one item. What if we had one that was returned by a customer who found that it didn’t fit his gun, one that we used for photography, one that was returned by a writer and one that was used by tech support for 2 weeks to test some new guns? One might have a few wear marks since it was used in the field, while another may have just been mounted for a few minutes while being photographed. We create just one product page for a particular used item. Maybe the first time, we created it just for the one we used for photography. When it was sold, we deactivated that page. However, 3 months later, somebody returns one, and then we reactivate that page. So, that’s why we use the term “used” and don’t explain the conditions of use. Sometimes, a product has more than just casual/incidental wear, and then we would provide further details so the customer knows exactly what he’s getting.

          Edith



        • KA,
          Plan too, just trying to find the right mounts. If you need/want it go ahead my man, you’ll probably use it more than me anyway. No harm no foul, first come with the money :) :) I’ll get my chance or buy new mate, don’t wait around. Someone else may not and we both loose out. If it’s there I’ll get it, if not then I hope you did!

          rikib


    • SL,
      Would there be a disadvantage to using high mounts? Do you have a preference for brand? There are so many mounts to look through.

      rikib


      • rikib

        The objective, (large end of the scope) is only 32mm wide. A high mount will raise the point of aim so that accuracy will be more difficult at a variety of ranges. Low or medium rings will raise the scope up just enough for your pistol.

        Ideally you want the scope to be as close to the rifle’s barrel as possible, without interfering with the operation of the rifle or the scope. The higher up the scope is, the more you have to angle the scope downward to meet the trajectories of the pellet.

        BTW: I hope Charlie is getting along well.


        • SL,
          Thanks, I guess I was just concerned about bolt clearance/loading. Charlie is doing great we are supposed to start service dog training again tomorrow if I’m up to it. Spent 6 hours at hospital this morning going through stress testing, hopefully all results will come back well. Thanks again for your ongoing patience with my ignorance! :) :)

          rikib


  17. I’m one happy pistolero tonight! Allow me to explain…see I’m like a racecar driver.You never see one fixing the car.That is why my Crosman 600 sat when it failed to fire,waiting for someone besides me to fix it.They are very complicated,true semi-auto pellet guns from the early ’60′s.I figured no way should I think about dis-assembly!! But then a recent purchase off the Yellow classifieds arrived.A nice 677,the “plink-o-matic” BB firing version of the 600!Now this pistol is rare…Crosman only offered it for about 2 years,probably because it’s a perfect storm for BB ricochet potential!Anyway I loaded my new to me pistol,pointed it safely and pulled the trigger……..nothing.The person I bought it from was reputable,so this had to be something simple.I looked up repair info{from Nick Carter]worked slow…and fixed it!!!


    • PT.2…Bursting with newfound confidence…I got out my 600 that jammed and quit firing.It has sat forgotten as I continued my conquest to buy every airgun I could afford that was worth preserving.Really sad because it quit the very day Tim at MAC-1 shipped my 14″ custom barrel with 3 baffle brake.Hmmmn,can it be that bravery and Nick’s blog for guidance will go 2 for 2 on the day???Yes!!!I even found my plumbing O-ring job box,and found the right size O-rings for both Co2 piercing caps.Tomorrow will be awesome,seeing how these two already powerful Co2 pistols perform in 102 degree heat.


      • Frank B,

        Those guys ( Nick and Derrick) are amazing at making things look so simple and inspiring others to do it themselves. I check in with the blog daily there.

        Glad to hear of your recent successes!

        KA


        • You couldn’t say anything good about Derrick….without me agreeing!He has treated me like family.Nick is someone I have never spoke to,and yet I am in his debt.There,I just drank a toast to them both…


      • Frank B,
        Congrats! You may become a new guru in the making :) ! You’ve reminded me how CO2 loves the heat, we’ve had many record setting days in a row down here in SWGA. I guess I need to get out an shoot some myself! Once again CONGRATS on a job well done!

        rikib


  18. Before all let me tell you that I enjoy a lot your blog and thanks for the tons of knowledge i have acquired reading it. Now the question, I would like to know the substantial difference between the P3 and the P17. I know about the German quality versus the Chinese manufacture and of course the price, but do you recommend to buy the P17 for starters and if you like the platform go for the P3? Or going directly for it? (or may be the HW 40 ;)) Thanks in advance


    • Raul,

      The tone of your question contains your answer. If that is the way you are thinking, buy the P17 first. You won’t be happy any other way.

      B.B.



  19. B.B.

    I’m confused about which Crosman pellets you are using. Your note links to Premier Light 7.9 Grains, Domed. Why not use the Crosman Premier Super Match .177 Cal, 7.9 Grains, Wadcutter? Is your choice based on the domed pellets’ lower price or are they more accurate? Thanks. I’m learning a lot reading your posts.

    Jim K


    • Jim,

      Mac used Crosman Premier domes because they are one of the most accurate pellets in the world. Crosman wadcutters, on the other hand, are good but not great. At 10 meters it probably wouldn’t have made a huge difference, but most experienced airgunners will try Premiers in a gun before most other pellets, except JSB Exact domes, which are another world standard.

      B.B.


  20. Just received my Beeman P3…great pistol. Super accurate, very well made, excellent fiber optic sights, amazing trigger, quiet, and nice ergonomics on grip. Service ( I think Ruth took my phone order ) was superb – she walked it through the system to get the 10/10 check and I got it early before Christmas. A tremendous value and tons of fun. Cocking effort is a bit challenging but after two days it seems to be better or my technique is improving ( hold it close to your body for better leverage ) Thanks for a great customer experience and an air pistol that rivals Target guns at twice or more the price,

    Peter G,
    Elk Grove , California

    PS Derek, on chat was very helpful answering all my questions as I waited for the P3 to become available …I can now understand its popularity and awesome value for the price.


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