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Education / Training The Beeman P1/HW45 is one of my all-time favorite air pistols!

The Beeman P1/HW45 is one of my all-time favorite air pistols!

By B.B. Pelletier

Spring-piston air pistols are usually pretty anemic, but Beeman’s P1, which is made for them by Weihrauch and also sold as the HW45, is an exception!

Big power in a small package
No, the P1 is NOT small, but the spring piston powerplant that hides inside certainly is. If Weihrauch wanted to, they could reduce the outside of the gun significantly with no loss in power. What keeps it large is maintaining the look of an M1911A1 Colt pistol.

IS it a 1911 or not?
The bottom half of the gun is very true to the M1911A1 pistol. In fact, it’s so close that 1911 grips will fit a P1 and vice-versa. The part that resembles the slide, however, is a different story. It’s HUGE, compared to a 1911. The sights sit much higher in the hand because of the extra height of the slide. That was necessary to house the powerplant with enough metal for the strength needed to cock the gun.

Because the grip is so close to a 1911, the P1/HW45 responds to a 1911 hold. The middle finger squeezes what would be the grip safety into the web of your hand. No other fingers apply any pressure at all. When it fires, the gun bounces in the hand, but in the reverse direction of a .45 firearm.

It cocks like a Webley
To cock the pistol, the upper part of the gun is unlatched and pulled forward, pivoting at the muzzle. There are two distinct clicks in the cocking cycle. When the top is straight up, the first click signifies low power. When the top has swung just a little further forward, the full-power click kicks in.

Although this is a very powerful air pistol, it’s not difficult to cock. You just have to get used to the direction the top is going to swing so you can position your hands properly at the beginning of the cocking cycle.

The first click stops on low power.

The second click is just a little further forward.
That’s high power. No greater cocking effort is
required to reach this point; you just swing
the upper half of the gun farther through its cycle.

What a fantastic trigger!
There are few air pistol triggers as nice as the P1’s. Only target guns and a few single-stroke pneumatics are as light and crisp. And, you can adjust the trigger for the second-stage engagement point.

Weihrauch/Beeman – What’s the difference?
Well, there is a price difference, for starters. Even though they are made by the same manufacturer, the Beeman version costs a little more. Of course, the names and model numbers are also different. But that’s not the biggest difference between the two. Can you guess what it is? Pyramyd AIR will send one free box of Crosman Premier pellets in your choice of .177, .20 or .22 caliber to the first person who posts the correct answer to today’s posting! Use the envelope icon at the bottom of this posting to submit your answer.

27 thoughts on “The Beeman P1/HW45 is one of my all-time favorite air pistols!”

  1. Ooops, I ended up sending an email with my thoughts, here goes again.
    The main difference that I am aware of, is that the
    Beeman P1 offers only in .177 and .20 cal.
    The HW45 offers only in .177 and .22 cal.

  2. Hi There I have a Weihrauch hw45 That we have had in the family for god know how many years. Just recently It’s start firering when closeing the top compartment. So the gun is useless. stipped it down and there’s no aparent damage and nothing out of place. has any one got a clue. .. or can point me in the right direction

  3. Ubardog,

    The HW45 has an adjustable trigger. Is it possible the sear engagement was too light and finally failed to remain engaged?

    Can you change the trigger adjustment to get a better bite on the sear and does that correct the problem? Turn the rear adjustment screw counterclockwise for more sear bite.


  4. Its has always had a light trigger. So adjusting the trigger was one of the first things i done. It basicly dosn’t even get that far. as soon as i squeez the top chamber closed, with the slightest pressure.

    Thank for the quick reply

  5. Ubardog,

    Okay, I’m with you now. I have worked on this trigger and unless it is set up (adjusted) right, it can do what you are describing.

    The pistol is supposed to have a two-stage pull somewhere around 30 ounces as it comes from the factory. Mine is down to 11 ounces and I really think that’s too light. I’m guessing yours is so far out of adjustment that the sear won’t even catch.

    There are two adjustments. One is the sear contact and the other is the first stage travel adjustment. If the first stage is adjusted completely out of the pull, giving the gun a one-stage trigger, it might do what you describe. That’s one reason most triggers have two stages – so the second stage can set itself reliably when the gun is cocked.

    My suggestion is to try to put a long first stage pull back into the trigger. If you can, you’ll have a working gun again, and you can then adjust the first stage as you like it. If you can’t get the first stage back, that gun needs to be repaired (or returned if it is brand new).


  6. hello mr pelletier
    it’s nice to see that there is someone to count on for answers and advice.
    my name is benoit debbane and i am an airgun enthusiast and collector , i live in beirut lebanon and here airguns and co2 pistols are banned since 2003…so its pretty hard to find new guns..
    i managed to assemble a collection of 24 guns (gamos,walther ppk/s webleys ,daisys ,baikals,crosmans etc.)
    i recently purchased the famous beeman p1 at a local old gunshop ,the guy had the gun stashed somewhere in his dusty wearhouse …i was so happy to find that gun after hearing so many good things about it on the net, that i gave the vendor a big hug although the price for the gun was 450 usd …
    now i can say that this gun is my favourite without any doubt…i love it …but it’s a 2.0 caliber and the pellets for it cannot be found here in beirut,so i changed the guns barrel to a .177 by sawing off the barrel of a cheap chinese air rifle and adapting it to the beeman…the result was great….
    i have an old daisy co2 200 gun that is amazingly accurate for a bb gun but unfortunately the seals are leaky and i cant find a replacement valve unit for it, but still its nice to have it as a vintage gun..do you think it’s fixable?
    one of my oldest spring guns is the webley junior mk1 in mint condition, and i also have an old webley premier mk2 .. i love webleys,and although they are old , they work as good as my tempest and my hurricane…
    i wanted to get your opinion on something: i found a bsa scorpion for sale but i wasn’t satisfied with it when i tested it , the cocking effort was huge and it didnt deliver the expected velocity , although i heard its a pretty powerfull gun ,the seller is asking for 150 usd , do you think that its worth bying it knowing that i will have to pay to repair it ????can this gun be considered as a rare gun?
    you can answer me on “bdebbane@cyberia.net.lb”

    thanks a bunch

    sincerely yours

    benoit debbane

  7. benoit,

    First, let me say that I hope you are safe.

    Now to your questions. The Daisy 200 is unrepairable here in the U.S. It is a wonderful air pistol, but the seals have not been made for a long time. It might be possible, if you have access to machinery, to make the seals from synthetics, but it would take a lot of work.

    One thing you might try is putting a drop or two of silicone oil on the tip of the capsule before puncturing it. Automatic Transmission Fluid usually works well for this. The internal seals need oil periodicaly to keep their sealing power.

    The Scorpion is a fairly rare airgun. It is actually a rifle that was cut down to make a pistol. As you say, it isn’t pleasant to shoot, but the price seems very fair.

    I only answer comments here, so all our other readers can see both sides of the conversation.


  8. thanks for your response and your concern for my safety , here where hezbollahs extremists are taking control of our lives….
    anyway, by ” sillicone oil “, do you you mean “crosmans pellgun oil” ?
    is there a way i can send you pictures of a few alterations that i proudly made to my guns or to get an estimate on some guns from my collection??

    by the way i found a rare walther lp53(the one with the spring inside the handle) in bad shape but fixable , and i am not sure the owner wants to sell it…how much do you think i should offer for this gun , is it supposed to be expensive???

    thanks again sir for your support

    sincerely yours

  9. ben,

    I didn’t mention Crosman Pellgunoil because I didn’t know if you could get it. Of course that is the best thing to use.

    I’ll have to check to see how you could send pictures. There is no way right now.

    Here in America, an LP53 in good shooting condition sells for $250-300 at an airgun show. Are you sure its bad? Most of them I have tested shot in the low 300s. And it’s a springer, so it does need oiling to maintain compression.


  10. actually i have a mailbox in the u.s and i order from pyrmidair through amazon …so i am waiting for a delivery of 3 pellgun oil tubes , but unfortunately i cannot order guns since they are banned here in lebanon…once the items arrive to my u.s mailbox, aramex ships them to me in lebanon…

    i have an ncstar red/green dot sight that i cannot use on pistols because when you hold the pistol at an armslengh , the red dot appears too big..so i searched for a walther multidot sight but could not find one on the net , and all the multi dot sights available ( 3/5/8 M.O.A )have a weaver mount which is too big for the 3/8″ rails on most of my guns…
    what should i do ?
    can you please suggest a red dot sight which has a 3/8″mount,and that is not cheap plastic made like the daisys or crosmans that are not very stable (the elevation and windage setting screws get jamed and the whole frame is shaky…)and most important it should project a small dot ( preferably 3 or 5 M.O.A) that will not cover a large portion of the small ruby tinted glass screen when held far from the eye and mounted on a pistol….

    i recently ordered a “NcSTAR 4×32 Black Illuminated Cross Hair Pistol & Long Eye Relief Scope ” and i am waiting for it to be delivered but i still need a red dot sight for my pistols…

    i think that my beeman p1 will look cool with a scope and a laserlyte triggermount laser , don’t you?

    thank you for your advice, and hoping i am not diturbing you too much
    waiting for your next advice concerning the right red dot sight to purchase

    thank you


  11. Try the ARD50BS in BLACK at http://www.a1optic.com/wst_page4.php. Im very happy with mine. 11 power settings, 50mm Dia. Glass.
    Small mount-.22/Airsoft
    1x= No Magnification-use both eyes and see everything
    3″ Relief FOV 101’at100yard 10″ Relief FOV 63’at100yards 20″ Relief FOV 35’@ 100yards

  12. Jannik Lindquist,

    You've asked a very interesting question.

    Unfortunately you've asked your question in a blog that was written in 2005 and very few airgunners check back on these old posts.

    I'd suggest that you ask your question under the most recent article that B.B. has written. B.B. writes a new article every weekday. Here's a link that will always take you to the most recent article he has written:


    Just scroll down to the bottom of the first article (most recent) and click on comments. Many airgunners will be there and are always willing to help.

    Hope to see you there!


  13. Jannik,

    Kevin is right about the dates. Please come to the current blog to post comments.

    However, the major advantage of the HW 45 over the HW 40 and the HW 75 is power. The spring gun is quite a bit more powerful than either of the single-stroke pneumatics you mentioned.

    The HW 45 also has a wonderful trigger, though not as good as the trigger on the HW 75.


  14. B.B., Kevin – thank you. I'll remember to comment on current blogposts. I already have the HW 40, but the HW sounds like it might be an interesting companion to it.

  15. I believe the comment about the P1 and HW45 difference is incorrect. I have a stock Beeman P1 in 22 cal. It does not have the first low power cocking position of the 177 and 20 versions due to the higher swept volume required of the larger caliber. I also obtained the 177 and 20 cal conversion barrel sets later so I can use all three calibers at the full power level. i wish I could find a 25 cal barrel that I could modify to use in it as well.

  16. Beeman imported the P1 in .22 caliber for a very short time. They didn't like the fact that there is only one power level on the bigger-caliber gun.

    So the answer was correct, taken in the context of the time it was asked.


  17. if no one has adressed this- i also had a couple firings upon closing. its because the trigger was pulled before it was cocked. unlatch it, and relatch it without cocking it. the sear will be set so it wont fire upon closing.

  18. Walther,

    I think your trigger is adjusted too light. The sear engagement surface is too small. Because a properly adjusted P1 doesn't do that.

    I just tested it on mine and it does not fire.

    Set the sear for greater engagement and see if the problem doesn't go away.


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