by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

My R8 was customized inside and out.

Well, it’s Friday again and time for another good subject to chew on over the weekend. Today, we’ll examine the power of this Beeman R8. In factory trim, it was supposed to have a top velocity of 720 f.p.s., but of course this one’s been tuned. Let’s see what it does.

Before we start, I must correct what I said about the scope. It does, indeed, have AO, as the picture in Part 1 clearly shows. Sorry for that slip-up.

Cocking effort
While I was shooting through the chronograph, I noticed that the barrel was loose at the pivot point. A breakbarrel barrel should remain in whatever position you move it to after the rifle is cocked. That’s when there is proper tension on the pivot bolt.

I tightened the pivot bolt and gained another 35 f.p.s. But I may also have added some extra effort to the cocking stroke. It now measures 25 lbs. on my bathroom scale. That said, this is an easy breakbarrel to cock. The barrel and muzzlebrake combination give a lot of leverage and the cocking stroke is quite smooth.

The domed head of the R8 pivot bolt is accessed on the left side of the rifle. An identical nut on the right side locks the bolt in position.

Trigger pull
The Rekord trigger is set to break at 14 ounces. I normally like them to be adjusted a little heavier, but this one seems safe enough, so I’ll leave it as is. For an offhand rifle it is ideal, as long as the shooter leaves the safety on until ready to take the shot.

Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets
The Air Arms Diabolo Field pellet is made by JSB, so you know the quality is high. They weigh 8.4 grains, nominally, and are made from soft lead. In this R8, they averaged 668 f.p.s., with a spread from 661 to 678. The average muzzle energy is 8.33 foot-pounds.

RWS Hobbys
The RWS Hobby is a lightweight lead pellet. At 7 grains, it’s one of the lightest lead pellets on the market and often used for velocity testing as a result. In the R8, they averaged 721 f.p.s., with a spread from 707 to 747. The one shot that went 747 seemed like an anomaly, because the next-fastest shot was 20 f.p.s. slower. The average muzzle energy was 8.08 foot-pounds. And the factory spec of 720 f.p.s. has been met.

JSB Exact RS
A little bird told me that JSB Exact RS pellets are best in this rifle. The RS Exact is a light (7.33 grains) dome with thin walls. A rifle of this power might be exactly what a light pellet with thin walls needs. We shall see!

They averaged 718 f.p.s. with a spread from 712 to 721. That’s certainly the most consistent pellet I tested in the rifle. The average muzzle energy was 8.39 foot-pounds, the highest of this session.

Crosman Premier lite
The 7.9-grain Premiers seemed a logical choice for a rifle of this power. Plus, I like to use them as a standard candle, to give airgunners a sense of how the gun performs. They averaged 646 f.p.s. with a spread from 634 to 653. That’s an average muzzle energy of 7.32 foot-pounds, pretty far off the pace, as far as the other pellets are concerned.

Firing behavior
The Tyrolean R8 shoots like a tuned rifle — dead calm. There’s a pulse you can feel, but sometimes it feels like someone next to you shot their rifle instead of the one you are holding. Somebody did a very good job with the action. We’ll look at accuracy next, plus I’ll give you my thoughts on the scope.