A brief history of Beeman and Air Rifle Headquarters – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I begin, just a heads up that the July podcast has been posted and there’s a new instructional video.

Part 1

Dr. Robert Beeman was a professor of marine biology at San Francisco State University when he and his wife, Toshiko, started their company out of their home in the early 1970s. He selected many of the same European model airguns that were sold by Air Rifle Headquarters, but his marketing was far more aggressive. He also published a catalog, and from the third edition on, the cover was in full color.


Both the first and second editions of the Beeman catalog had black and white covers. They are very rare and valued highly among collectors.

Beeman catalogs are very collectible, with the earliest editions, like the rare second edition, going for upwards of $500. This catalog has 84 pages. Later editions topped 100 pages.


The Beeman catalog was stuffed with useful, non-sales airgun information.

Like Law, Beeman wrote a lot about the sport without promoting specific models. He educated his customer on the advantages of spring guns over traditional pneumatic and gas guns. But he did write one publication that trumped everything Law had ever written. He wrote and edited the first edition of Air Gun Digest. That was how I discovered him. I was living in Germany at the time, in the town of Erlangen, home of the BSF airgun, though I didn’t know that at the time. I bought a copy of Air Gun Digest in our Stars & Stripes bookstore and began a relationship with Dr. Beeman that has lasted to the present day. That was in 1976, and I was due to rotate back to the States in late 1977, so I planned my activities around a visit to Beeman’s San Rafael store.


It was a wise move for Robert Beeman to write and edit the first edition of Air Gun Digest, because it got his name out to shooters everywhere.

When I arrived at the store, I purchased my first Feinwerkbau 124. For three years, that rifle was the fairest in the land, until the day the Beeman R1 was announced. It shot 940 f.p.s. in .177, something my 124 couldn’t hope to do in those days. That put a hole in my life that lasted for a decade, until Edith gifted me my first R1 for Christmas in the early 1990s.

All the while, though, I had been getting the Beeman catalogs and at least mentally keeping pace with Beemanology. I watched as some models came into favor and others left the stage. It was those catalogs that kept me interested in airguns. There always seemed to be something new to learn from them. One of those things was how to correctly hold a spring rifle for accuracy.


From the third edition on, all Beeman catalogs had color covers, where Robert Beeman displayed guns from his fine collection. This is the sixth edition. At the top of the cover is a civilian repeating PCP built on the Girandoni principle.


On the cover of the ninth edition of the catalog, Beeman showed a custom-stocked R1, with stock by Gary Goudy. The double-barrelled gun is a .44 double gun apparently made in Austria in the early 1800s.


The guns on the cover weren’t always vintage guns. This 14th edition shows off a gold-plated P1.

My Beeman C1 was the first gun I owned that bore the Beeman name. The 124 lacked the Beeman name, though I personally had picked it up at the San Rafael store. I was unable to get the C1 to group well. In reading the literature, it seemed that a firm hold was recommended for spring guns. One day I decided to hold the rifle very loosely to see just how poorly it grouped under those circumstances. I laid the forearm across my open palm, resting on a sandbag. In every way I held that rifle as loosely as I possibly could. Imagine my surprise when it printed a five-shot group at 10 meters that measured 0.13″ between the centers of the two widest shots! Incredulous, I tried it again with similar results. Presto — the artillery hold was born, though coming up with the name took longer.

I was so encouraged by this discovery that I wrote a report about it and mailed it to Dr. Beeman, but I never got a response. Maybe it got lost in the mail, or maybe it just wasn’t good enough to print. Beeman had a very short run of pamphlets called The Airgun Journal that were periodic, though I’m not sure they were monthly. He published reports of the noted airgun collectors of the day — men like Larry Hannusch and Wes Powers, men I am proud to include among my friends today. In 2000, Robert sent me four of these journals, autographed by him to both Edith and me. I am not sure how many more of these existed, so if anyone knows I’d like to find out.


The Airgun Journal was a periodic Beeman publication. I don’t know how long it lasted.

In 1993, Robert and Toshiko Beeman sold their company and trademarks to SR Industries, who took over the daily operations of the company. They soon moved Beeman Precision Airguns to Huntington Beach to coexist with their other airgun brand, Marksman.

The inventory was revised in a large way when SR took over. Guns like the HW 55 went away and weren’t replaced by anything. The catalog got thinner and thinner and less and less instructive. The message turned to straight sales as models from Spain and other countries were introduced into the line. Finally, the catalogs stopped altogether and were replaced by smaller pamphlets of just the new products.


This is the last big Beeman catalog published. It came out four years after the SR Industries buyout. It has almost no instructional information, just sales copy about the guns. After this, the company started issuing update flyers of new products, only.

In 2009 the Beeman company was sold again to Industry Brand of Shanghai, China (also known as Shanghai Industrial Company). Already an airgun manufacturer of major proportions, they wanted the Beeman name to serve as a selling outlet for Chinese airguns in the U.S. They made arrangements with Pyramyd Air to continue to import, distribute, service and sell the high-end Beeman guns, including the R-series rifles and the P-series pistols.

R-series? P-series?
Well you must have figured it out by now. The “R” stands for rifle and the “P” for pistols. The R1 was the first R-series air rifle created. It’s that simple.

How many R-series guns are there? Here are the guns bearing the R-series markings:

  • R1 (1981 to present)
  • R5 (a .20 caliber version of the FWB 124, of which only four experimental guns were made) (1981)
  • R6 (1995-2001)
  • R7 (1983 to present)
  • R8 (1983-1997)
  • R9 (1995 to present)
  • R10 (1986-1995)
  • R11(1995 to present)
  • RX (includes RX1 and RX2) gas-spring guns (1990 to present — all models)

The numbers R2, R3 and R4 were never used.

Plenty more history
There is so much more I could tell you. For example, in 1994 Robert Beeman wrote a chapter on the development of the R1 for my book. The world learned that it was the first air rifle designed on a CAD system. I have met the engineer who did the design work to model the R1. He attends the Little Rock Airgun Expo every year, and we’ve talked about the R1 development several times.

What many folks don’t know is that Beeman wanted to turn the HW77 into a magnum rifle, but the gun Weihrauch developed wound up weighing over 11 pounds and was impractical. I gave you some insight into this problem in the two-part report titled Steel Dreams. From that report, you should be able to see how difficult it is to increase the power of a spring rifle. You don’t just add a stronger spring!

I’ll end it here. This has been a very cursory history of both the Beeman and Air Rifle Headquarters companies, as seen primarily through their catalogs.

91 thoughts on “A brief history of Beeman and Air Rifle Headquarters – Part 2

  1. Great blog lots of pretty pictures πŸ™‚ i will try to read it but my english is not that good i mean it is ,i will read this althou we dont have Beeman here is Beeman product of RWS or DIANA ???Come on guys i am kinda blond for that stuff :)that s why i am always smiling πŸ˜‰





  2. B.B.

    I figured out a way to pretty well tell how much springer noise is from the muzzle and how much from the mechanical junk.

    I shoved the muzzles of both my 48 and Titan into the center of an old rolled up sleeping bag and fired them (with pellets of course).
    Both are about equal in sound this way, but the Titan does not get much louder with the muzzle exposed, while the 48 makes a pretty good pop. I am inclinded to think that most of the 48 noise is from the muzzle.

    twotalon


  3. I have put a peep sight on my Benjamin 392. But the rear sight still blocks some of my view. I have taken most of the rear off. Just the piece that clamps on the barrel is left but I’m not sure how to take it off without damage to the barrel?

    Thanks Speakski


    • Speakski,

      The Benjamin rear sight is a spring clamp that’s going to scrape the paint off the barrel when you remove it. The only solution is to refinish the gun.

      B.B.


  4. So should I just take a screwdriver or something and pry it off? I wasn’t sure how tight it is on the barrel. the gun is only a year old.

    It is nice to hear you back on the podcast again. Not sure why but but my wife starts laughing when she hears “Today we are going to be talking about airguns” I love your blog and podcast both glad your getting back up to speed.

    Speakski


  5. Hi BB:
    It is fascinating to read the history of air gunning in the USA.
    Just over a year ago I would never have thought there was such a thriving intrest in air guns in America till I started reading your blog.
    Like most Brits,I assumed that firearms were the only thing you guy’s liked to shoot and apart from the odd youth air rifle to learn the basics,everyone owned a cartridge gun.
    Not so.
    ‘Why’ I ask myself.
    Of course there are loads of good reasons why but this may be one answer that applies worldwide.
    Oppurtunity.
    For all the firearms a fella can own,without the right facilities or owning loads of land,the oppurtunity to shoot is going to be limited.
    A .22LR or a .45 bullet is no good in a back yard no matter what the gun is.
    A 22 pellet is cheap and is ok to shoot in the smallest yard if the gun is right.
    An air gun increases the oppurtunity to shoot for more people more of the time.
    Even in the USA.
    More power to your elbow BB for promoting this great sport πŸ™‚

    I read the ‘Steel Dreams’ link.
    You know,I have had motorbikes with smaller rear suspension springs than that air rifle.LOL
    Cheers,
    DaveUK


    • For me you are correct in that a firearm needs so much land to shoot. My garage is 50 feet long and a 10 second walk to get there. I also like the ability of a rifle that uses….. air. Its just so cool to me.

      Off topic. Dave, I live on a island off the coast of Georgia, me and a community of 15,000 other people, St Simons Island. This year we have had damage in our garden by deer. My wife saw 4 of them, she said they don’t look like normal white tail deer. I did some research and sure enough an island north of us imported your fallow deer in the 1920s for hunting. When I say “your” deer, maybe I mean Europe in general, do you have fallow deer in the UK? There is only a narrow river that separates our islands so it would have been an easy swim. They are real neat looking, from the internet pics I have seen.

      We have alot of British history here. Fort Frederica was a town that General Oglethorpe had founded to keep the Spanish from moving North. We also have large rock piles in our harbors that came form England. Your ships used your rocks for ballasts in the sailing ships. They dumped the rocks and took home our Live Oak timber for more ship building. And of course my state of Georgia is named after King George.

      cheers,

      Gene


      • Gene,

        I was lucky enough to be able to shoot from our back yard onto my friend’s grandfather’s land – a full 50 yards. As long as I kept it cut I could shoot there as much as I wanted. Since I did not have much money in high school airguns were a cheap way for me to shoot legally in town.

        I am not too far from you – just up in Liberty County, near Ft. Stewart. Been to Jekyl island many times but not St. Simons yet.

        Paul


      • Hi Gene:
        When it comes to native British wildlife I am a complete ignoramus.LOL
        I checked the Fallow Deer out online and it says that the species was wiped out in Europe in the last ice age to be reintroduced by the Romans after.
        In Britain it was the Normans who reintroduced them here after 1066.
        Only the King could hunt them and woe betide anyone else caught eating Venison Pie πŸ™‚
        The County of Lincolnshire where I now live has very close ties to the USA.
        We have Lincoln city and the Pilgrim fathers started out from Boston which is a half hour drive from me.
        Also the 8th USAF had lots of bases here during the war.
        In fact a mate of mine was an extra in the film ‘Memphis Belle’ which was filmed at an old airbase here.
        She was in the aircraft Hanger dance scene.
        General Oglethorpe is an unusual name.
        In Lincolnshire there are lots of towns and places whose name ends in’Thorpe’.
        I recently found the origins of the name ‘Thorpe’ was Viking.
        Maybe the General was from round these parts?
        I have been onto the Admiralty of the Royal Navy and they said it was OK for you to keep the ballast rocks.LOL
        Cheers,
        DaveUK


    • Dave,

      You got it right. The opportunity to shoot more often is the biggest reason why there are so many airgunners in the U.S. The UK wasn’t much different 20-30 years ago, when firearms were generally legal but regulated.

      I have a second and third reason for liking airguns. Lower noise is one. When I was younger I had very sensitive ears. The army took care of that and age is finishing the job, but once the pattern is formed it’s hard to depart.

      Recoil is the other reason. I hate getting the stuffing kicked out of me by a centerfire rifle! That’s why I hunt (when I do) with a 6.5mm Swede Mauser shooting my own reduced loads. For some reason I don’t mind my .43 Spanish Rolling Block that kicks pretty hard, but I hate a bolt action .30-06. I do enjoy the .303 British round with a 150-grain bullet in a No. IV SMLE, though. But like the Rolling Block I think that’s because the Brit rifle has a properly proportioned butt plate, where a civilian sporter is narrow and drops too much.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        I’ve been hearing a lot of the 6.5×55 recently. I shoot a .243 for the same reasons you mentioned for your Swede. A friend of mine has a custom 6.5×55 built for him as a gift for being best man in wedding. He swears by it.

        I don’t reload, so I will stay with the popular stuff for economics, but this chambering has me curious.

        KA


        • KA,

          I load the 6.5 to 2,000 f.p.s. with a 120-grain spitzer. The recoil is about a third of what a .243 does with factory ammo. I also have a .243 Winchester 88 that I’m getting used to. With the Swede I get sub 2-inch groups at 100 yards with open sights, which is all I need.

          B.B.




            • KA,

              I don’t know what you mean by expected ballistics, unless you refer to drop. Since I wouldn’t engage a deer past 100 yards with open sights, I have never tested past that distance. I don’t even know whether the bullet is stable past that distance. At the muzzle it develops 1066 foot pounds, so out to 100 yards it should be good for whitetail-sized game. That’s all I want.

              The 6.5 Swede is in the same general category as a .257 Roberts, and offers just a bit more power with heavier bullets. It is a .264 caliber.

              B.B.


      • BB:
        The blogs about the history of Beeman and ARH were great. On Dave’s question on why shoot airguns when you can shoot fire arms, I have quite a lot of personal experience on that score. I am fortunate to have the land to shoot on. At my home here, I have few acres in the country. I even have a regulation Olympic 100 meter RF Biathalon target trap set up on my range. The problem with fire arms is noise and keeping peace with the neighbors, who in my case are not againist shooting, but are within ear shot of my range. If I were to shoot 100 rounds of RF every night, like I often do with my air guns, I’m sure there would be a complaint sooner or latter. I still shoot RF and centerfire here when sighting a gun in or to test handloads, but I don’t over do it. It’s not because I give a rap about being PC, just that I’m trying to be courteous. I have never understood the irony of the folks in Britian being allowed devices to quite their guns, while at the same time, having huge restrictions againist any type of projectile launchers. Yet here it is just the opposite for most of us.
        The other big one is cost. Even with handloading, I can shoot 1000 pellets for the same cost as just a thousand primers. That and being able to shoot indoors as was mentioned.
        Robert


        • Robert from Arcade:
          The noise issue of a firearm and neighbours is another consideration I hadn’t thought about.
          So it is not all beer and skittles for shooting folk with land either.
          On the subject of the availability of ‘Silencers’ in the UK my guess is that because there are so few firearms around to fit them to,they have slipped under the lawmakers radar.
          It would only take one Plastic Gangster to use a converted silencer in a shooting here and that would soon change I bet.
          DaveUK



          • DaveUK

            It is the same everywhere that the nanny state pervades. One person does something stupid in a new and unusual way, so THEY pass a law. Of course the idiot that inspired the whole law to begin with, and those of their ilk, usually don’t have the mental capacity to understand, or the moral compass to care about silly little laws and regulations. So they will persist in their lunacy.

            Meanwhile good, accordion-playing citizens are left frustrated with their rights restricted, only because they feel obliged to abide by the law, idiotic as it is.

            I’m starting to get worked up. Must be time for the medication.


            • Slinging Lead,

              You sound like you and I may suffer from the same illness. So far I have been treating myself with trying to make a differance one kid or parent at a time. It may be time for me to try some of the hard stuff. Can you write me the script?

              Caveman


      • BB:
        I agree with you about the comparison in noise and recoil.
        Although not a firearm owner I was a member of a local gun club.
        22lR and 38s fine but them bigger rounds?
        Once,I bought a box of 20, .44 Magnums to shoot from the Club Winchester rifle and S&W pistol.
        After a couple of shots I couldn’t even give them away.
        How ‘Dirty Harry’ lost count of shots I do not know.Each one of those 20 rounds is seared in my memory.
        The only full bore rifles I have fired were the MKIII and the MKIV SMLE.303 and the NATO 7.62 versions.
        The MK IV is well thought out and dare I say it,a ‘soldier proof’ design if you know what I mean.
        It didn’t take long for a novice shooter like me to get used to the recoil and start focusing on targets,unlike the 44 where I couldn’t see much for the tears in my eyes πŸ™‚
        DaveUK


        • Dave,

          Next time at your club, try a .45 long colt, with a “cowboy” load. My Ruger Blackhawk shoots em about 730fps or so. A real pussy cat to shoot, in a gun with some meat to it.

          I really like that round, even when it’s beefed up for more foot pounds for my Marlin 1894 lever action carbine. To me it’s the most like an “air gun”, in that, it has lots of foot pounds up close, to me, where it counts, without much worry about what’s on the other side of the wall. All the energy of the bullet ends up on the target, not on something on the other side of it. Why shoot a 30-06 and have the bullet goes right thru the deer/elk, and the animal ends up running off. With a .45lc the animal will most likely be knocked off it’s feet. Of course this is at 75 yards or less. I’ll grab my 30-06 if I’m off to the open lands where long shots are more possible.

          Wacky Wayne,
          Match Director,
          Ashland Air Rifle Range


    • Dave we here can t hunt with airguns and that s alright πŸ™ (if you shoot a pheasant you have to spit 20 lead instead one pellet)like yes ,but i think that best hunting airgun would be PCP becouse they have same energy and they don t have that metal fetigue that spring gun have even thou i love spring guns


  6. B.B.

    I’m so much enjoying the history lesson. And I find it so cool that the history is connected to the present, not just old info about folks I know nothing about. Very exciting stuff, thanks bunches and bunches!

    My guess is that the new Chinese owners will use the R-2, R-3, and R-4 numbers now. They will grab every chance to use the Beeman name.

    One can’t blame Dr. Beeman for selling out, but it would have been nice to someone in the United States. Although, in today’s world, competing with the Chinese, is pretty tough. They would most likely end up with the company if they really wanted it, and it was for sale.

    I’m glad that PA has the distribution labor & profits anyway.

    Interesting that Dr. Beeman made the extra effort to inform his customers of the sport, and that was dropped with new owners. Those business decisions are made for short term profits, but will usually cost the company in the long run. In this case, it built the company, in the face of stiff competition.

    Very interesting, and supportive of my plan for our garden bed company and new information based website.

    Thanks again,

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


    • Wayne,

      If your new website is really information-based it will propel you through the next several levels of success. When you try to help people without a thought of what’s in it for you, the reward is always forthcoming.

      And you need not fear the competition. They will be calculating all their moves with a cost-benefit outlook that closes their eyes to real success. Look at Feeman Dyson. He’s kicking butt because he believes in his products. He really wants to improve the world in his way. While Hoover has a Board of Directors, no doubt.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        Thanks for your vote of confidence. I agree with you totally. (of course):-) And more importantly, my son Jason, who designs and builds or websites, agrees as well. It’s been HIS IDEA to base our new website on gardening information, and the products are just there to help fill a need, very low key offerings. Google will like this too. We will get out first taste in the next 30 days or so, when it’s released.

        I really think the internet has changed the way people shop. The change is in process is now, and some businesses don’t see the floor falling out from under them. Others see where it’s going and get stronger.

        Wacky Wayne,
        Match Director,
        Ashland Air Rifle Range

        Co-Founder
        Naturalyards LLC
        naturalyards.com




            • C-S,
              I use a mole repellent. It comes in a bottle that hooks to my garden hose and sprays a substance mixed with water that the moles find, well, repelling. They stay away for about 4 or 5 months before a repeat spray is needed. It doesn’t kill them. You have to use it before they get too far into your yard so the spring is the best time from my experience.
              -CJr


              • CJr-i have tryed so far to “nuke” them with smoke from burning plastic ,petroleum ;),sound-vibration garden thingy and they seems to enjoy my suffeing and they multiply-so thank you again i ll try



      • Don’t know if I would praise Dyson! I own a Dyson, a Oreck, a Garry Vac, and a Hoover. Garry Vac great for about 4 months then motor crapped out. Dyson no better than a Hoover other than costing more. Oreck has been tugging along for almost 7 years now, nothing fancy but it works.

        rikib



  7. B.B.,

    In my opinion there are four major historical figures that should receive the major credit for the current popularity of airgunning and the variety of airguns we have to choose from. Dr. & Mrs. Beeman and Mr. & Mrs. Tom Gaylord. I hope in future installments you’ll overcome your modesty and confess your contribution with the Airgun Letter, The Beeman R1 book, blog, etc.

    Last fall the sale of Beeman seems significant in their history and airgunning history. I’ve heard that there were/are 3 pieces to Beeman all owned by someone (S & R Industries) back east in the USA. One piece of Beeman is well known for building the brand name on quality Weihrauch imports, the second piece started importing chinese guns and the third piece was built around marksman/spanish guns.

    I’m told that Industry Brand (China) bought two pieces of Beeman (chinese guns and marksman/spanish guns) last fall. S & R still has an import agreement with weihrauch so they needed to find a new Beeman distributor/warranty station and PA now has that role?

    Is any of this correct or just speculation/fabrication?

    kevin



    • Kevin,

      I don’t know all the ins and outs of the business arrangement, but I believe you are right. SR still owns the Beeman trademarks (I believe) and still has a finger in the pie.

      As for Edith and me making a contribution to airgunning, that may be true. I’d like to think that it is, but if we take our eyes off the ball (advancing airgunning) and start basking in our own glory we’ll turn rancid pretty quick. So we cannot think about things like that. That will be up to others after we are gone. And I know you understand what I’m saying more than most will.

      B.B.


      • I second everything Kevin said.

        As far as being gone, you will never be, your contributions will see to that.

        It is absurdity to think you could take your eyes off the ball, as you are a self-proclaimed zealot. Edith related your apparent transformation when you got down to the subject of airguns while convalescing. That brought a smile to my face.

        No need to worry too much about basking in your own glory either. Between you, Kevin, Derrick, Nick and Vince this blog has so much stinking modesty, if it weren’t so endearing it would be infuriating.

        One of your best blogs yet. I may be wet behind the ears, but I am eager to learn!


  8. B.B.

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. I had all those catalogs when they were first issued. The feeling between ARH and Beeman was certainly different. ARH’s focus was more hunting pictures with kills unlike Dr. Beeman’s upscale feel of why buy a Ford when you can own a Mercedes approach. Too bad he didn’t use Volvo for the bench mark.

    The other huge difference was the ads for the catalogs. Beeman used the Silver Jet Pellets which for a single box were affordable and like a magnet. How could they not catch your eye in the back of your favorite outdoor magazine? I ordered a box for my Daisy 881 but they were way too heavy, however the catalog that came with them captured my attention for a lifetime.

    In the end, the good Dr. was certainly the better salesman.

    Coincidentally, I had the pleasure of meeting the service man for the original ARH just this year. He owns an airgun shop in OH, (ARH was located in WV). In his 80’s now, he has a wealth of knowledge about airguns and while a little gruff, is a pleasure to visit with once you get past the exterior.


    • Volvo

      “..he has a wealth of knowledge about airguns and while a little gruff, is a pleasure to visit with once you get past the exterior.”

      Birds of a feather flock together.


      • Slinging,

        TouchΓ©, I’ll admit I can be a tad rough or harsh, but deep down I’m the same. I mean a real sweetie. FYI, I finally got around to another post yesterday. Give me your best shot, you know you want to.



  9. Well, I wanted some good news and decided to make my own. Now I can share it with you bloggers. I’ve just ordered my Marauder in .177 and a single pellet tray holder (in case I want to go after Wacky Wayne’s Oregon Championship trophy :). That 10% off PA coupon pushed me over!!!

    Fred PRoNJ




  10. BB,
    I’m an ARH fan — just for the articles, of course:). From my limited exposure, Beeman rubs me the wrong way, kind of like a creepy teacher or a crooked antique dealer.

    Powder puff Swede loads? Last time I checked out a hunting forum online (I try to avoid them), the .30-06 was considered marginal on whitetails past 100 yards:). The ’06 is really on the mild end of the recoil spectrum for me, except one time when I managed to line up wrong on the bench and took all the recoil in one spot. The sharp crack is really more of a problem than the actual recoil.

    Wayne,
    I know what you are talking about with the cowboy pistol. I put 25 gr. of black powder in my Kentucky pistol and it shoots like a rimfire, but that .50 cal. ball tears stuff up. I took the time-honored redneck silhouette target (tin can filled with water) up a notch and used a 2 lb. coffee can. When hit, it is really spectacular. My neighbor came over to play, and had a good time, too — it just never gets old:)! I was never much of a pistol shooter, but I’m liking the big-bore, single shot pistol. Since I don’t have any ego tied up in the target or the range with a pistol, I’m not embarassed just to plink. Maybe I need one of those New Army Revolvers:).


  11. The history of Beeman and the growth of airgunning in the USA is very interesting. His analysis of airgun ballistics and the merits of the .177 caliber certainly raises eyebrows and is open to challenge. Single handedly he rubbishes the .22 caliber, most of his arguments being fallacious at best. This mindset also being reflected in the lack of .22 weapons available for his customers despite being available overseas plus his ardent desire to push the .20 caliber.

    Fortunately the matter is addressed these days by Weihrauch’s being available on the open market by Pyramyd and other vendors thus giving the customer the choice, not what Dr. Beeman thought he should have.


  12. B.B:
    I’ve also been collecting and shooting airguns for quite a while now, having gotten into it at about the same time as you. My first real airgun was a FWB 124 Deluxe, which I still have, and just refitted with Maccari seals and spring this winter.

    After reading this blog entry, I realized that I have a second edition Beeman catalog and a 1978 ARH catalog, with price list. Time has taken its toll on the ARH catalog’s cheap paper, and it is a little dog-eared. The Beeman catalog, however, is in practically new condition, having spent all of the last 30+ years in the back of the safe, sandwiched between old Gun Digests. How would I go about finding someone who might be interested in buying or trading for these catalogs?

    Joe B.


  13. I’m wondering if there are a few technical errors in the first catalog shown above:

    1) .177 is more accurate than .22 (BB already addressed that).

    2) The higher velocity of the .177 is at least partially due to wind resistance, and he implies that the .22 pellet slows down faster. The problem with that is that while the .22 has about 55% more surface area to the wind, it has about twice the mass. Couple that with its slower initial velocity (air resistance is proportional to the velocity squared) and you have a rate of deceleration that’s lower in the .22 than in the .177.

    3) .177 is far superior to hunting. Again, I believe that BB has addressed this. Perhaps this might be true at the relatively low power levels he’s talking about?


  14. Off topic:
    I have seen the American Airgunner TV show and they had segments on field target shooting and I was wondering if you could do a blog on the sport and its current equipment… rifles and scopes. I know you have done some segments on scopes on your podcasts, but could you cover an introduction to the sport in a blog? Thanks!


  15. Tim,

    I did a 6-part blog on the details of field target several years ago. It was requested by Wacky Wayne, who now is a great competitor. I was going to teach a course in starting a club, but Wayne found my series instruction enough.

    Look here:

    /blog/2008/10/starting-your-own-field-target-club-scoring/

    I also did a three-part report on just the scopes. Look here:

    /blog/2009/2/scopes-for-field-target-part-3/

    B.B.


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