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Beeman Pell Seat – does it work?

by B.B. Pelletier

Beeman’s Pell Seat is a simple tool, but sometimes very useful.

Quick question
This question came from Phil last week. He asked if the Beeman Pell Seat was really useful for straightening the skirts of pellets. Since I have personal experience using one, I told him I’d blog the answer.

Quick answer
Yes, to answer the question outright. The Beeman Pell Seat does open the skirts of damaged pellets, providing they haven’t been damaged too much. But how does it know when to stop? Better yet, how do YOU know?

You don’t HAVE to know!
The beauty of this device is that you don’t really have to know how far to go when opening and reforming a pellet skirt. You have a wonderful pellet sizer called the barrel of your airgun. It will swage the skirt down to size if you’ve been a little too aggressive in using the pell seat.

Okay – exactly what are you doing?
You’re using the ball end of the pell seat to round out or flare the skirts of lead pellets. The ball is rolled around the inside of the pellet skirt, where it presses the skirt out equally in all directions. It’s harder to envision than it is to do.

Pellet on the right has a deformed skirt. It can be reshaped with the pell seat.

Why should you care?
If a pellet with a deformed skirt is loaded into a barrel, there’s no telling what will happen. The skirt may flare out perfectly just from being squeezed down by the bore. But, it can also collapse on one side, making an opening in the skirt where air can blow past when the gun shoots. If you want the best accuracy from a gun, don’t use pellets that have damaged skirts or reform them with a ball tool. The pell seat is the most convenient tool available to do this.

Some pellets won’t reform
Hard pellets, such as those made by Crosman, will not flare as easily as pure lead pellets. They also tend to have very shallow skirts that prevent deformation in the first place. If you shoot Crosman Premiers, for example, it’s probably better to just throw the bad ones away than to try to flare their skirts. That comes from years of experience shooting Premiers.

What about seating pellets?
This IS a pellet seater, after all. The other end of tool is used for that. Seating means pushing a pellet into the barrel by a uniform amount every time. Is that important? It can be for some guns. Some spring guns like to have their pellets seated deeply, while others seem indifferent. The AirForce Condor (a PCP) will get a small gain in velocity and will have a tighter velocity spread if you seat the pellets deep. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of room to align the pellet seating tool at the Condor’s breech, so sometimes I just use an Allen wrench with a very short end.

Modern target guns, on the other hand, don’t seem to require seating. When I say modern, I’m saying PCPs, only. The older springer target guns may need their pellets to be seated.

So, Phil and everyone, this simple aluminum tool actually does work. For some guns, it’s an essential tool; but for nearly all pellets, it can be a lifesaver!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

57 thoughts on “Beeman Pell Seat – does it work?”

  1. O.K. B.B.,

    I need your advice. I’ve finally decided to spend the money and get a good PCP gun. I’ve narrowed my selection down to 2. The Talon SS and the Logan S-16. I want it in .22. As far as I can tell, the Talon seems to be a better deal because not only is it less expensive initially, but you can buy different barrels to swap out. The Logan seems to be more powerful when they both have the short barrels, but the power on the Talon can be greatly increased by adding their 24 inch barrel. But then I have the noise problem again. Would you mind listing, in your eyes, what the pros and cons are of these two guns are.


  2. Nuglor,

    The S16 is a repeater, of course. But the SS allows you to not only change barrel length, it also allows caliber changes. The S16 is also much heavier.

    I will be testing the S16 soon, so you’ll be reading about it.

    I have to say, the Talon SS is the better buy. Not only because of the price and being made in America, but it offers so many features at that price.

    Usually it’s the repeating function that is the big issue.


  3. I second B.B.’s opinion. I have not tried the S16 but I do have the Talon SS and a 24″ barrel. The increase in sound level with the latter barrel is not really objectionable in my estimate and I have found the single shot limitation not all that much of a bother.

  4. I read Jim Chapmans’ review of the S-16 on Pyramids sales page and he seems to do a good comparison between the two. I can live with the single shot (grrrrr), but does the Talon SS have an onboard pressure gauge?

  5. Nuglor,

    I feel your pain! For months I have been wrestling with the same issue, the Talon is both the better buy and best all around rifle, but the multi shot issue is a bummer.

    I am waiting to see if Santa drops something off in these lines. If not I was going to buy a Evanix AR6 rifle. Only recently I have discovered that the Talon SS has far more options and a following of Customisers that out weigh the single shot limitness.

    I’m with BB and the Airgundoc on this, the Talon SS is the ticket.


  6. I was looking at pellets (.177) and noticed “Beeman Kodiak, Crosman Premier, Logun Penetrator, The 4th (free) tin: Gamo Magnum” (/product/beeman-kodiak-crosman-premier-gamo-tomahawk-the-4th-free-tin-gamo?p=504)
    for $37.45 (no discount)

    Now my question is about quality, I know the Gamo Magnum and Beeman Kodiaks are good quality, but I have never tried the Logun Penetrators or the Crosman Premiers (which come in bulk, so to me thats a sign of lower quality but thats a assumption and I see you have tried the Premiers so I would ask you first!)

    I know I can just pick what I want but the gamo and beeman are on my list but, it would be nice to test some others.

  7. Nuglor,

    I feel your pain!

    I too want it all.

    I recently cancelled my order for an AR6 ( found out Santa has been reading my comparison list!)

    After C’mas if I’m still PCPless I will go for the Talon SS. Many more options in the aftermarket world out weighs the multi shot choice.


  8. Dangit, Dangit, Dangit….This only makes my decision harder. I really was starting to lean towards the Logan but now I’m not so sure. I wonder if I can find a way to install a pressure guage on the Airforce Bottle?

  9. O.K…. I think I’m going to go ahead and get the Talon SS. I’m thinking about putting a LEAPERS 6-24×50 AO Varmint Scope on this rifle. I’ve read all the specs on it, but I can’t find out if it is 1″ diameter tube or a 30mm tube? Anyone know?


  10. Thanks for all your input B.B. Just curious if you had a better scope recomendation for this rifle. I know a lot of it comes down to personel preference, but I was just wondering your take on it.


  11. Nuglor,

    I was feeling the pain you are a few weeks ago. I was stuck between multiple pcp guns. I ended up getting the condor. I was going to go for the SS but I figured out how to quieten the condor and I liked the extra power. I think my condor is a great gun (It’s be a lot like the SS, just with more power) I think you will be more than happy going with the SS. I have a leapers 6-24×50 on my condor (I’m waiting for the 8-32 to come in 😀 ) You’ll like that scope, lots of magnification and it is cyrstal clear. Plus, with the SS, you can get it tuned and shooting even better than it comes stock. I was talking the dsw about this a little while ago. If you want to look at tunes and such got to:


    His name is anthony, he has some stuff that isn’t listed on the website, so email him and ask him what he thinks would be good for an SS.

    Also, go to talonownersgroup.com It’s a forum but everyone there is very knowledgable and willing to give you any advice you may need.

    Hope that helped. 😀

  12. BB,

    Thanks for the post. Could u maybe do one on skirt length/typed(ribbed or not) and maybe their performance. I know this would require a lot of testing, but it afterall, the skirt is one of the most stabilizing parts of the pellet.


  13. my diana springer does not benefit from seating; rather, it suffers! the groupings are not dramtically different (granted, i’m shooting so close even a springer will give me match results), but using those clear BiC pens i seated the pellet in to the end of the pen tip. it started to diesel again! these are with the CZ diabolo round head pellets. the heads are undersized, so the only resistence is in the skirt entering the bore. the gamo match pellets i have are more uniform, but still do not benefit from seating.
    btw, bb, are you still going to do the blog on hammer forging? i feel incomplete without the last segment.
    sigh, how i wish i still had my CZ. once again my piston is honking, only after barely 1k shots.
    i think a repeating airgun offers advantages, but unless its silenced with a Werbell, not too useful in hunting. a rabbit/critter is not going to take a “bang” for a “chirp chirp”.

  14. Really anxious to read the Part 2 of the MP513. I’m lookin’ to pick up a .22 with more sock than my old B19, and I seem to be down to the Mendoza RM600 or the MP513. Any opinions would be appreciated…

    One thing that’s really got me interested in the MP513 is it APPEARS that it has good parts availability through EAA.

  15. B.B. – regarding your recent work with the RWS 54. I have one, and I would like to scope it, but I don’t have a grand inheritance burning a hole in my pocket. Can you recommend some good “value-priced” scopes that will fit on the rifle without obstructing the loading port? Thanks for the help.

  16. Nuglor,

    On that talon tunes website I showed you, email him and ask about a shroud. I have one, not from him but same principle, and my condor is almost silent. Quieter than an SS. Like I said, ask him about a shroud, and he’ll answer any questions you have about it. Basically, it is like the extended frame on the SS, but it has baffles in it which lowers the air pressure even more, so it is quieter than an SS. (note: the lowering pressure is after the pellet has gone so your not loosing any velocity or accuracy) You won’t regret getting one, I shoot my condor in a small neighborhood and no one knows when I’m shooting. 😀

  17. Thanks Mr. Lama,

    You’ve definately given me something to chew on. As soon as I can unload this 2nd Drozd I have, (like new w/ full auto board and more), I will have the funds to get my PCP. I will have to give this some serious thought.


  18. IZH53M,

    As a Russian gun, the 53 should be very accurate. It also should be well-made. I haven’t tested this gun so I can’t tell you from personal experience, but the maker and country of origin tells me it’s probably a good gun.


  19. Accushot 3-12X44,

    Of course it will work, but no 3-12 is competitive in FT. And it’s not just 55 yards. It’s also 10 yards and everything in between.

    Most FT shooters want to rangefind with their scopes. To do that, they neet to be able to resolve a small object that they can focus on.

    A 3-12 will be good to 25 yards, but at 55 yards, you need at least 24 power and 32 is better.

    All that considered, plenty of deer hunters bag a whitetail with a lot less than 12 power.


  20. Nuglor,

    Glad I could help. I would definately reccomend an airforce gun. They are extremely modifiable even more than Airforce says they are. I know people who have converted them to .308 cal. They are good guns stock as well. Mine consistantly (and I’m not even a great shot) hits a 1 inch hole in a shed at 50 yards. I’m getting a bipod and a bigger scope soon.

    Also, if your still selling that drozd. There is someone on talonownersgroup.com that is looking to buy a modded one.


    Happy holidays. 😀

  21. Can’t wait to hear about the IZH513.

    Brian who wants to refinish would be well advised to strip the stock instead of getting out the sandpaper, but firs maybe get a look at some low end Marlins (Maine birch) or check out a book on woodworking to see how Birch looks… it’s a plain wood.

  22. One problem with that link. You have to be registered to even look at the article. Do you have it on any sites but that one? I’ll go ahead and post the link you gave me, but if you have other that would help as well.

  23. Well, by the time I got back and read this post, I’d received a PM on the board from someone offering to buy it. Goes by JimC. May be the same JimC I saw on the Talon board.


  24. Sounds like a plan. One piece of advice he offers is to shoot the gun a lot before you send it in so you can really see the benefits of a tune. I’m going to send mine in eventually, I also want a bottle cover (that’s the thing on the tank of the gun on the picture that’s on the homepage) and eventually a custom hand grip. So much to do, so little money. 😛

  25. B.B. I need some advice about the best adjustable mount to use on an RWS 34. I was thinking of the RWS C mount, but you panned it in 1/06. Is it still not a good adjustable? I also considered a Gamo with a thumbwheel elevation adjustment and the B Square (17101AA) Adjustable. Which do I choose? Also when sighting-in how should the stock be mounted or held? By hand or in a shooting rest? Thanks!

  26. gercourt,

    I use a one-piece mount that has a verticle stop pin. I hang the pin in front of the scope rail on the gun.

    With a 34 always rest the rifle on the flat of your open palm – never directly on a sandbag. And hold the rifle as loosely as possible.


  27. What is the best “fixture” to hold the domed pellets from moving while you re-form the pellet skirt with the Pell Tool? (Wad Cutters are easy because you can just lay the flat nose on a flat surface while you roll the ball end in the skirt.)

    Does any one sell a tool to lay the pellet in while you “true” up the skirt?

    Thanks B.B. and all,

    Jim Duda
    Austin, TX

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