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Beeman R8: A classic from the past – Part 2

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.

95 thoughts on “Beeman R8: A classic from the past – Part 2”

  1. Anyone ever use those ballcaps that have leds in the visor to light your work area? They also work good for lighting the keyboard if you don’t want to disturb the significant other when your on the computer late at night. Or for anything else your doing that you don’t want to be flipping lights on and off for.


    • Not so good for camping, though. I thought mine would be perfect for late night hook baiting, but evidently, flying critters don’t really descriminate between incandescent lighting and LED’s.

      – Orin

        • C-S,

          I wish I was pike fishing! It’s a little hard to find them in the middle of the desert, though. 🙂 Usually it’s bass or catfish for me at the lake/river. Not nearly as fun to reel in as pike, but still good eating!

          – Orin

          • Orin bass -we call him “BANDAR” here is small fish 1kg max with good appetite for everything 🙂 here record catfish is 200 kg last year in Dalmatia in Vransko Jezero 😉

          • I used to really love pike fishing. Biggest one I ever caught was 3 feet long.

            I knew a Texan who learned the hard way not to ‘lip’ a pike the same way you would ‘lip’ a bass. ‘Lipping’ is grabbing the fish by the lower jaw with your thumb in their mouth to handle them. Nothing makes a mad pike more happy than to be offered some fresh meat.


          • C-S,
            My biggest Pike, which is hanging on my wall now, is 39 inches which would be about 16-17 pounds (7.5kg). These are mean and scary critters. I’ve caught bigger ones by a couple inches but released them because I already had this one.

            Those in the picture I sent are about 5-6 pounds (3kg). Winnipeg River slot limits won’t let me keep anything bigger than that except for one over 35.5 inches, approx 12-13 pounds. I didn’t get anything that big this trip.


    • rikib,

      I had the ideal use for one of these but they didn’t exist at the time. Where I fish we didn’t have indoor plumbing and had to use an outhouse.

      C-S, an outhouse (maybe you already know) is a little wooden house big enough for one person that sat over a deep hole in the ground.

      In the middle of the night, if one had to go to the bathroom, it was difficult holding a flashlight in one hand and doing business with the other. My dad bought me a device that looked like a pair of glasses with no lens but a little light on each ear piece. This worked good but rikib’s hat device would have been better and not quite so goofy looking.


  2. Hi BB:
    Life is full of what ifs.
    If I had been less ignorant as to the attributes of the brilliant Weihrauch air rifles I could have saved a lot of money over the years by buying that one lifetime Weihrauch.
    Most of the Air rifles and pistols I bought were based on 80% looks and 20% quality and performance.There lies the way of madness.
    Short term relationships result,not a marriage built on firm foundations.
    What put me off the break barrel HWs was the looks.
    To me the forestock looked too short and I didn’t like the pivot point being exposed.
    That was it.No ryme or reason.
    Follow your heart and your own boot in the butt won’t be far behind 🙂

    Me,’Wise’,tell that to my bank manager 🙂

    Wayne Burns:
    Unfortunatly I had to leave the gun club when I couldn’t afford the subs anymore.
    I was going to ask you about’Cowboy loads’and what they are but another fella cleared that up befor I got on.
    The old black powder cartridges would be brilliant.
    Lots of gunsmoke like in the western movies.Now we’re talking.
    I would love to get to one of your field shoots by the way,they look like real fun.

    • Ok maybe you are not money wise 😉 ,and CJr we have min size for fish that we can carry home but bigger fish is one that have better genetic material she is smarter simply becouse she survived to grow that big so her offsprings will most likely grow big too so there is a method in the madness 🙂

    • Dave,

      Well, then…

      Dave from UK!!! COME ON DOWN!!! your the next contestant on “Clean the Course”

      Stay tuned folks, we’ll watch Dave attempt the newer before done! right after a short message from our sponsor PA.

      “Is spring sprung”? “Is your Breakbarrel broken”? Does it droop when your want it straight and strong?.. Well Folks, have we got the answer for you!!!

      Let us ship you a brand new Marauder PCP. It has a ONE PIECE SHROUDED BARREL! It shoots pellets real good folks!

      Wacky Wayne,

      • Wayne Burns:
        LOL.Great stuff 🙂
        Could I suggest a new category/class for one of your tournaments?
        The over 40,BAM B-3,Englishman class.
        This would entail shooting at various targets from a reclined position situated close to the refreshment area 🙂

        • Dave,

          I’ll have to re-possess my “Wacky Wayne, wonderful, wazi-boy” recliner for you. My Father-in-law won’t mind, he watches too much sports anyway:-)

          Wacky Wayne

  3. B.B.,

    Exciting to hear you’re shooting again!

    Those velocity spreads are interesting. Did you use a tool to seat the pellets deeply or just insert them with a finger?

    Based solely on your velocity figures and what my R8 likes I’m going to guess and say that at ranges up to 20 yards your gun likes Meisterkugeln heavies (8.2 gr) best. I don’t have a good guess what the best pellet is at longer ranges based on the velocities and spreads. As I was saying to Wayne last week, I sure like the jsb rs pellets and am anxious to hear how they perform in that gun.

    14 ounces seems like a heavy trigger to me LOL!

    Happy Independence Day everyone! I’m on my way to the mountains.


  4. Thanks again to all who offered tips on ammo for an RWS 34P in .22 cal. Here are my current choices to experiment with for small pest control and accurate plinking:

    Crosman Premier, 14.3 grn
    JSB Diabolo Exact Jumbo, 15.9 grn
    RWS Hobby, 11.9 grn
    Beeman Kodiak Extra Heavy, 21.10 grn

    My question is about the Kodiaks, which are the 4th (free) tin — nice promo, btw! Am I crazy to try something that heavy in a gun rated at 800 fps??

    • Dean,

      the 34P is considered a “magnum” rifle. While the Kodiak is a pretty heavy pellet, you just don’t know how the rifle will handle them until you try them. Have you a chronometer to tell you how fast the pellet is going so you can calculate the energy?

      Fred PRoNJ

      • I don’t have a chrony. I was just asking some general rules of thumb because the 34P is actually a gun I’m going to order this weekend. I figure I may as well get a good variety of pellets to try all in the same order.

        Nobody has come out and said the Kodiak Extra Heavy 21.10 grn is a ridiculous choice for a 34P .22…yet. I thought I had read B.B. saying he favored heavier pellets in this rifle. Anyone know?

        • Dean,
          I just bought a 34 .22 myself. The pellets I ordered are Beeman Field Target Specials, Crosman Premiers, JSB Exact 14.3, and RWS Hobbys. I’ll try them and let’s compare notes. I don’t have a chrony either, so we’ll just compare accuracy results. I already have the rifle and the Crosman premiers, so far with about 250 shots through they are relatively accurate but no great shakes. Can’t yet tell if the rifle needs to break in more or if they are just not particularly accurate – I’m getting just under 1/2″ groups at 10 yards with open sights.

          Another quick note, I learned the lesson of the Diana scope rail very quickly. I tried to use the stop pin holes with a typical mount and took it off after about 200 shots with terrible accuracy. When I took it off, there was a 1/2″ long gouge on the rail where it ‘tried’ to stop the scope shift. So, I also ordered the UTG scope base and weaver rings. I’ll try again with them and let you know.

          • Fused 34 IS accurate ,TRY HOBBY i have 34 22 cal for two months now and you will be suprised, now this one is for all Diana or RWS 34 owners look at Paul Capello 10 min Airgun report about Panther, now listen to him good there is a way how to hold magnum powered gun and if i am not wrong(and i am not) B.B. tought him that 😉

        • Fused,

          Glad to hear we’re in the same boat! I’ll be looking forward to swapping notes about the different pellets, etc.

          Thanks for the tip about scope mounting. Eventually I’ll do that, but I’m going to start out old-school with the open, factory sights just like when I first learned to shoot. Research is done, time to place the order!


          • Dean

            You are a shrewd man. Break your rifle in with the open sights.

            Once she is settled in, your variance will be minimal. This is the time to mount a scope and find out what she can really do. Figure out all the variables…rifle hold, pellets brands, weights etc. Once you know exactly how to make this gun happy, remove the scope or leave it on, doesn’t really matter. I like shooting with open sights sometimes, but I always scope every rifle eventually, at least long enough to find the magic pellet. Then again, I am blind as a deaf bat with cataracts, so take my advice for what it is worth.

            Enjoy your fine German air rifle, and keep us updated.

            • It’s been a long time coming, Mr. Slinging Lead. Back in the day, my buddy and I would wander the nearby wooded areas with our trusty BB guns and spend the entire summer shooting at whatever targets we could rig together and generally having a blast.

              Then there was the time I was visiting another friend on his family’s farm. We were target shooting when we discovered about 8 old eggs in the back of the machine shed. We’re taking turns shooting at them, not thinking anything about it, when he finally hit one and…it exploded. Whoa, best targets, ever! So we’re firing away and eggs are exploding everywhere until something happened that altered the situation dramatically. The wind changed direction.

              Out of the machine shed! It took a while to get the funk of those rotten eggs out of our noses. It also took his dad about 2 weeks before he could go back into that shed. Man, was he mad!!

              Ahhh, memories.

    • Dean gun is “rated” 800 fps but it is more like 720-if it is 220 m/s more or less (dont kill me guys i dont have a crony) max 🙂 it is not against the law or something to use 21 gr ,try and see 😉

  5. In the Coast Guard Auxiliary, we use those L.E.D.-equipped headbands with red lights in them. They are handy at night for reading maps without spoiling your night vision. Very handy in a dark charthouse.


  6. B.B.

    Interesting the Air Arms Falcon 7.33 did well in your R-8. Like I said last week, they have been doing well for me at 4.5 fpe in the AA Alpa pistol, and at 840fps for 11.75fpe in my USFT. They don’t seem to be any worse in the wind than the 8.4 JSB/Air Arm. And by the looks of the paper I’m shooting, (at 1 yard increments, from 10-50 yards, to get my holdover markings), the BC must be close to 26 or 27 when I lube them with coconut oil.

    I compared my actual holdover against the trajectory chart, changing the BC on the chart, until the numbers matched up with my numbers… at least, that’s my backward way of doing it on the trajectory chart. I’d love to see someone setup with two cronies get an actual BC on weighed, lubed Air Arms 7.33

    I’m impressed with their performance in the USFT #44 for 10 to 50 yards field target, I think they really help flatten out a 12fpe trajectory, with out loss of accuracy to wind doping.

    The close spread of fps you got with them in the R-8 also shows their pretty close tolerance on weights too, like my weighing has shown. Their soft, thin skirts seal well when the compressed air hits them.

    Worth a try folks!

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

      • rikib,

        Because coconut oil has a high flash point, is all natural, (it’s good for you to eat), I like getting it on my hands, it increases fps, decreases spread of fps, it seems to wash off the lead dust and leave the pellets clean and my fingers clean.

        Wacky Wayne

        • I was wondering the same thing, rikib!

          Wayne, how do you keep the gun, etc. from getting all greasy? More importantly, do you crave pina coladas after shooting?

          P.S. Have been reading and enjoying your posts for about 2 years!

          • Dean,

            Coconut oil isn’t greasy, there is no build up, but it’s oily, a very lite oil that becomes solid when it gets below 70 degrees. I rub it into the stock, action, and barrel. I like it on my hands, face and body, cause they are usually so dry. It’s very popular for massage. Better than Butter on toast, potatoes, corn on the cob… all that stuff.

            I never have to clean my barrels, and I’ve shot a lot of pellets (must be well over 40,000 by now) through many guns.

            Leading of the barrel just doesn’t happen for me, even with CPH in USFT #6. I have to think it’s the coconut oil.

            Wacky Wayne,
            Match Director,
            Ashland Air Rifle Range

            • Back to mundania. Seems the fishing industry in Canada (and probably USA as well) has taken a severe hit. Very little traffic north of Duluth, Minn. The resort had the two of us and 7 guys from Chicago area. We virtually had the lake area (20 miles long, 5 miles wide) to ourselves. International Falls motels all had vacancies and there was no line crossing the border. Very unusual. Normally the line is about 5 blocks long at 8am.

              C-S, Pike in Canada like artificial lures that are shiney.

              I bought some coconut oil a while back and intend to use it for my pellets. Can you re-iterate the pellet coating process for me?


                • C-S,
                  This year I used Storm lures which are rubber life replicas of real baby Walleye. I had two colors: green and grey. The grey worked very well the green no so. How fish respond to color mystifies me. Johnson Silver Minnows (with a medium white twister tail) work good as well as blue Ratling Raps. I caught my 39″ Northeren on a blue Ratling Rap. Now, explain to me how anything blue could resemble natural food to a fish. But, I don’t argure with them, I just eat them.

                  • CJr-pike dont allways consider bait as a food sometimes it is just a reaction on “some strange fish in my territory” you know she defends her space. Green is bad couse water grass is green ,most of the time she will attack shiny red,blue even orange bait from pure aggression

                    • C-S,
                      You are correct. Pike are territorial as are the Small Mouth Bass I catch. The bass like yellow and red #4 Mepps with a silver spinner and brown buck tail. There, I’ve given you all my secrets. Eat well!

  7. Edith,

    Disappointed you never posted the “Before & After” pictures of Tom. By now you must’ve fattened him up at least 10 pounds… no fair.


    • AlanL,

      No fattening up going on at our house! Tom’s weight has stabilized because he’s not eating. He’s still being fed via IV 24/7. That IV food determines how many calories he’s getting. Even though he’s not eating, he gets around okay. He drives his pickup truck (I’m with him), we run errands together, etc. He tires somewhat easily, but we’re working on building up his muscles (muscle mass wasted away during his 2 mons. in the hospital) and endurance.

      This weekend, our family is celebrating Xmas in July, so we’ll have our family here over the weekend. Our guests will have to learn to not help Tom. I make Tom do things for himself because he needs whatever exercise and movement he can get. It sounds cruel, but it’s in his best interests.


  8. thanks, sounds like with practise it could shoot 1 inch groups at 50 yards with little issue. also should give me some good longe range can plinking abbilty as well. any recomandation for scopes i was looking at the leapers 3x9x40AO or 4x16x50. it well be a all around plinking and small game hunting gun basically a feild gun. Thanks this blog saves me lots of money an trial and error.

    • Jason,

      Shooting one-inch groups at 50 yards with a springer is like shooting a 10 under par round of golf. Yes it’s possible, but not everyone can do it and it takes a lot of technique. Nothing is harder to shoot accurately than a breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle.

      Then there is group size. It is a heck of a lot easier to get a three-shot one-inch group than to get five shots that tight. And ten shots is the real Holy Grail of shooting. Many shooters shoot one-shot groups and call it a day. They make up for it in the chat forums. ; )


  9. I just got my marauder 22 and really loving all the features and power it has. I wanted to know if there is a table of tuning data for shooting the crosman premiers HP to the JSB extra heavy exacts for accurate, powerful shooting with all the adjustments it comes with?

  10. The Top Ten Reasons Men Prefer Guns Over

    #10. You can trade an old 45 for a new 22.
    #9. You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you’re on the road.
    #8. If you admire a friend’s gun and tell him so, he’ll probably let you try it out a few times.
    #7. Your primary gun doesn’t mind if you keep another gun for a backup.
    #6. Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo!
    #5. A gun doesn’t take up a lot of closet space.
    #4. Guns function normally every day of the month.
    #3. A gun doesn’t ask , ‘Do these new grips make me look fat?’
    #2. A gun doesn’t mind if you go to sleep after you use it.
    And the number one reason a gun is favored over a woman….

    Happy 4th….

      • Top 10 reasons women prefer guns over men:

        #10: Guns don’t tell you they’ll do the job at hand and then NOT do them.
        #9: When guns expel gas, it’s not used as punctuation, to recite the alphabet or as a joke.
        #8: Guns don’t stop to have a beer and then never finish the job at hand.
        #7: Guns don’t snore.
        #8: Guns don’t buy more guns.
        #6: Guns don’t ask “Do I have to do it NOW?” when you need them to do the task at hand.
        #5: Guns don’t care if you trade them for another gun.
        #4: Guns actually do what they’re expected to do.
        #3: Guns aren’t shallow.
        #2: Guns don’t care what you look like.
        #1: Guns don’t spend money on useless crap that sits in the garage.


  11. I guess most people have a more adventurous Saturday night life than old fuddy duddy like me. Just setting around cooking some fried green tomatoes and steak, watching Old British Comedies on PBS. But hey it’s good for me.



    • Rikib,

      Wake up, it’s 6pm your time! Have a great Independence day! I shot me mocking bird today and wife and I are enjoying some peace for a change! This little bird has been dodging me for three days. Screaming his heart out on the other side of an elm tree purposely staying hidden, soon as I’m in direct sight he flew away. Couldn’t get a shot until 30 mins ago. I guess he didn’t see me creeping around the shed, hanging over block wall while gripping a bush with my feet so not to fall over! chest shot.. kathwump!

      Oh how I love a quiet afternoon!


      • KA,
        Been awake, a lot of yard work to do today. Sad to hear you intentionally killed a mockingbird. One of my dogs has been killing the baby mockingbirds here, and we scold her everytime. We have even tried putting protective fencing around their nesting areas. My wife and I are very protective of most all wildlife, we share our pecan trees, peach trees, fig trees, etc. with them unfortunately sometimes our dogs or cats disrupt things. To bad you didn’t fall over. 😉


        • rikib

          I am an animal lover like you. As much of a pest the squirrels make of themselves, I can’t yet bring myself to hunt them. I have shot one, and felt horrible. But I did nail him from about 50 yards, which isn’t too shabby.

          I like mockingbirds because they are so aggressive. I watched one mockingbird torture my former tabby cat (who was a born predator) by swooping down just out of reach and then perching right above on a low hanging branch. This went on for at least an hour and my cat was wailing like a banshee and beside herself with frustration. So close, yet so far. That bird had a smile on his beak.

        • Rikib,

          Don’t get me wrong, I like the wild life around my house. But it is MY HOUSE and if things are getting out of balance I just make the adjustment. This sucker was over the top. He started in about 1:00 am and wouldn’t stop. There are more and many other birds here that I enjoy and will leave alone. But I can feel the quiet right now! It is good. (And my wife is happy!)

          I didn’t mean to pick on you or anything, just making sure you’re still there! 🙂


        • I’m with Rikib on this one and I’m happy to see I’m not the only non-hunter, I’m not saying it’s wrong or anything but it’s really not my thing. Paper targets, cans and paintballs are good enough for me.

          • No problems guys. I don’t run around shooting all the birds near my house or anything. Just that one, as he was a thorny weed in my garden of tranquility.


    • And yes they have same power …..i cant see the difference, it is a same gun only in Europe 34 Panther(or 34p ) is Diana 31, and Diana 31 with a wooden stock is 34…

  12. It has been awhile since I posted a quote, but I came across this one. I guess we are all getting our exercise! 😉

    A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.

    Thomas Jefferson

    If there were blogs back then imagine what his would have been.


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