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Education / Training Beeman R1 – Part 2

Beeman R1 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Testing by Earl “Mac” McDonald

The first report on the Beeman R1 received a lot of reader comments. Apparently, I’m not alone in my admiration for Beeman’s big rifle.

Kevin asked me what kind of tune I like for the rifle, and I answered that the Venom Lazaglide tune was the best I’ve ever tested for those wanting power and smoothness. I have my own R1 tuned down to 14-16 foot-pounds because it’s so easy to cock. I like how it feels at this level (read: without vibration), so I may be shooting it like this for a while. Of course, the Lazaglide doesn’t vibrate either, but it’s twice as hard to cock.

Mac’s test rifle was shipped with Pyramyd Air’s 10-for-$10 test. That gave him a chrono ticket for the rifle, and it opened an interesting window into testing and expectations. The chrono ticket Pyramyd AIR sent with the rifle was for 10 .22 caliber RWS Superdomes. The velocity on that ticket ranged from 772 f.p.s. to 790 f.p.s. with an average of 779. The Superdome is a 14.5-grain pellet, so the average muzzle energy was 19.54 foot-pounds. Let’s keep that number in mind as Mac’s numbers are revealed.

Crosman Premiers
The 14.3-grain Crosman Premier pellet is pretty standard fare for the R1. Back in the day, which was the early 1990s, we used to speak of R1 tunes by referring to how fast the .22 Premiers were going. You could expect a new R1 to launch a .22 Premier at around 750 f.p.s.

Lo and behold, Mac’s R1 averaged 746 f.p.s. with the Premier dome! The spread was a super-tight 741 to 750 f.p.s., so only 9 f.p.s. separated the top from the bottom. That’s a well-behaved spring rifle. The average muzzle energy works out to 17.66 foot-pounds.

JSB Exact Jumbo 15.9-grain pellets
This is the pellet I would expect to challenge the Premier for accuracy in an R1. The JSB Exact Jumbo 15.9-grain pellet is the new world standard of the 21st century. It works in most air rifles of this power level.

In Mac’s R1, the pellet averaged 702 f.p.s. The spread went from 698 to 705, so again we see the evidence of a well-behaved springer. The average muzzle energy worked out to 17.38 foot-pounds. At this point, I began to suspect the Pyramyd AIR numbers, because they were two foot-pounds above the averages of these two very consistent pellets. More on that in a moment.

JSB Jumbo Express 14.3-grain pellets
The JSB Exact Jumbo Express 14.3-grain pellet fit the R1 bore loosely and had a velocity spread of 16 f.p.s., or about double the others. The average was 731 f.p.s. and the spread went from 723 to 739. The average muzzle energy was 16.98 foot pounds. They may not be as accurate in this rifle due to the loose fit. We’ll have to test for that.

H&N Sport wadcutters
The H&N Sport wadcutter is a lighter pellet, at 13.73 grains. In the R1, it averaged 763 f.p.s., with a spread from 757 to 769 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 17.73 foot pounds.

RWS Superdomes
Okay, four pellets tested and not one topped 17 foot-pounds and change. So, now that 19.54 foot-pound number from Pyramyd AIR is starting to sound suspicious. Mac decided to test the RWS Superdome on his chronograph and he got an average velocity of 727 f.p.s. The spread went from 720 to 731 f.p.s. That works out to a muzzle energy of 17.02 foot-pounds, or 2.5 foot-pounds less than Pyramyd AIR got. What’s the reason for the big difference?

Chronographs don’t always agree
Well, two chronographs were used. That’s the big difference. I don’t know how the lighting is at the site of both chronos, but lighting will affect the numbers significantly. I remember having to scrap a bunch of R1 test figures when I was writing my book because they were 150 f.p.s. too high due to a lighting error. That’s the lesson here. The numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

You can also chrono a gun and get different velocities than somebody else, just because of how you shoot through the skyscreens. By not shooting straight through the skyscreens so the pellet path is perpendicular to the sensors, the numbers can be off. Pyramyd AIR provided a chrono ticket, so it’s obvious they were sending the best information they had. But two chronographs will not always agree. That’s the lesson for today.

There’s one more big surprise coming in this test. Something Mac didn’t believe until he tried it and saw for himself. Stay tuned for Part 3.

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.

61 thoughts on “Beeman R1 – Part 2”

  1. Somehow I screwed up and posted this on an old blog, sorry! Here is is on the current blog. 🙂

    Just so everyone knows I’m still around here is a quote I came by. I think I need to read this one everyday.

    “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
    Johnny Cash


      • Not yet. Hoping within next two weeks. Had to spend money on “Charlie’s” vest, seatbelt and training. I can not complain though he is worth it. I’ll get the ‘bug buster” soon.


        • I got a bug buster, 3-9 scope. I didn’t read it close enough, it is a compact scope. I put it on my Walther Force 1000, a big gun. It is too short for the gun. I had it moved back as far as it would go and it was still too far away from my eye.

          • Gene, Thanks for the info. I was considering a Bug Buster for my Walther Force 1000. Is it the factory scope stop that gets in the way? Without it the scope could be mounted farther back but scope shift problems would probably arise. I think I will look at other options so I can keep the scope stop on it. There is no hole for a stop pin under the stop.

              • Hi Toby,

                I did take the scope stop off and it is still to far away from my eye. I can get close enough but it isn’t comfortable with the stock hitting me in the face. Yes no hole in the receiver for the scope stop, was kinda bummed about that. I have been using Super domes in my 2 Walthers. One has open sights.

                • Gene, Thanks for the response. Sounds like you covered all the bases trying to make that scope work. Last night I mounted a Centerpoint dot scope on mine. So far I like it. Eye relief isn’t an issue and with my old eyes is by far better than the open sights. (the geeze comment was directed at myself, I hope you took it that way)

  2. B.B.

    I can vouch for chrono setups being tricky. That’s aside from how close they are to being right in the first place.

    It’s easy to get a number that is 20-30fps low by being off by a very few degrees from perpendicular.
    Solid rests front and back will at least keep it fairly consistent. So will a solid front rest and aiming at a particular spot on the target or backstop for every shot.
    However if there is a lighting problem that remains consistent, then it should give a fairly consistent additional error. A lighting problem that is not consistent can get really wild. For an example…I really don’t believe that my Talondor climbed to over 3000fps with Kodiaks.

    I am fortunate that my old Prochrono does not seem to be as touchy about lighting as many others that I hear of.


  3. Why didn’t he (you) also shoot RWS Superdomes when verifying the chrono data? That would have made the test a little closer. Maybe in that particular gun SD shoot faster than one would expect.

  4. Morning B.B.,

    I’ve never given Chronys much of a thought as far as consistency goes except for shooting perpendicular to the screens from the same muzzle to screen distance. Are there a couple of tips you might have for us new to a Chrony folks or is this a topic for a blog?


  5. BB:
    Is there not a way of measuring these things by force of impact on a pressure plate type of affair at a set distance and angle?
    Like Milan,I use measure of penetration as a rough guide to compare air guns or an increase/decrease in performance.
    Not ballistic Gel in my case but a 2×4 length of wood reserved just for this purpose.
    What dont speak dont lie 🙂

    • Dave,

      The ballistic pendulum was used before skyscreens, but it isn’t nearly as accurate. Some of the energy gets dissipated by the deformation of the projectile and that energy doesn’t get measured.

      Skyscreens are reasonably accurate. But in this particular test we see that they are not 100 percent foolproof.


    • DaveUK,

      Did you know that you find out what fps (feet per second) your gun is shooting even though you don’t own a chronograph?

      There’s an online calculator that is in the link below that will determine your fps if you input the answers to 6 questions that are unique to your gun:

      1-Height of your scope from center of your bore (in inches, sorry)
      2-The BC (Ballistic Coefficeint) of the pellet you’re shooting (see links at top of the page to get this number)
      3-Distance of the closest target you’re shooting, like 10 yards (in yards, sorry)
      4-Distance of the far target you’re shooting, like 25 yards
      5-Average VERTICAL DIFFERENCE between your Point Of Aim (POA) and Point Of Impact (POI) for the closet target (near target) you’re shooting at
      6-Average VERTICAL DIFFERENCE between your POA and POI for the far target you’re shooting at

      If your POI is below your POA enter a minus sign (-) before the number if your POI is above your POA enter a plus sign (+) before your number. Remember, in inches. Hit the “CALCULATE” button and you’ll have your answer.



  6. Well what I had more in mind was a set of electronic scales set on the floor,with a pellet proof plate you shot at.
    The modern chrono is of course better than what has gone before and is more than adequate for the job,so no real need to mess around.
    A great article on ‘Splatology’ by the way.Thanks.

  7. From my earliest days in airgunning, I wonder if a reasonably accurate speed test cannot be derived from penetration measurements into a smooth pug of duct seal. From a fixed distance, comparing like types of pellets (pointed, domed, wadcutter) of similar weights to known values from a control pellets, this should be possible. Ultimately though, the hassle of re-smoothing or replacing the pug will prove more expensive than a Chrony, and who knows what the tolerances would be…

    • Alan,

      Duct seal was used back in the 1960s as a velocity estimating medium by Air Rifle Headquarters. Of course the nose shape of the pellet had to be taken into consideration and it was only a generalized test, but clean duct seal was used that way.


  8. I’ve been using the JSB 8.4 gr. for my B30 which gives me about 900 fps as chronographed by Rich Imhoff. This test makes it sound like I could go heavier. And I wonder if the 15.6 gr. would fit my bore tighter.

    DaveUK, a propos of your comment about future excavation the other day. When they excavate the tomb of Matt61 Tutankhamen 2,000 years from now, they will probably wonder at all the vintage guns but will never know that they were there because I don’t want to sell my guns. 🙂

    Prospectors, supposing that a team of ninjas were assembled to search the von Arnim property, I’m wondering about the best strategy to go about this. Of course one would start from the main compound which is easily the size of a high school. But what if that turned up nothing and you had to range further? My first idea was to borrow a trick from military trackers which is to work an expanding spiral out from a starting point. This is how you pick up a lost trail because you will sooner or later cut across it. However, that would be very time-consuming. Another strategy bears some attention. A study of sharks shows that when hunting (which is just about all the time), they mix up random cruising with exhaustive searches of small areas; in other words a sort of calculated randomness for maximum coverage. This is supported by some elements of game theory which claim that random behavior is sometimes optimal for certain strategies. Anyway, you would get to see a lot of the countryside.

    More confirmation of the virtues of dry-firing last night! By cutting my pellet consumption in half, I’m noticeably better. Maybe I was overdoing it before.

    If anyone wants a good demo of rapid shooting, have a look at Julie Golob, the captain of Team Smith and Wesson. I’d say that she can shoot a lick.


    • Matt61,

      A grid search works best for me when detecting a large area. Hand draw a map of the area, break your search area into smaller “boxes” using landmarks (distinctive tree, largest rock, etc.) and tackle them one at a time. I’m in my 3rd season of detecting an area that was used as an indian summer camp until approximately 1915.


    • Matt61

      When they excavate your tomb (under the immense pyramid that is built on top of it) they will gaze in wonder at the millions of little green army men with little holes torn through them. Touching any of the guns would certainly set off a myriad of booby traps.

      Count me in with the ninja team to search the von Arnim property. But I will not under any circumstances meet you at the airport. It would be the perfect storm.

      If I were to bury prized guns, I would bury them in a clearing amongst a large stand of dense trees, so that is where I would start looking. And I would spy on Edith, I hear she’s good with a metal detector.

      • Slinging Lead,

        I don’t use the metal detector. That’s Tom’s bailiwick. I do what comes naturally to all women…give orders to men:

        “I feel good about this space here” and “I think that spot over there looks promising.” Then, we go there & dig up treasure 🙂 Although, Tom is real good at identifying hot spots, too.

        We’ve always been in favor of division of labor. I wear the little apron that has the junk in one pocket and the keepers in the other. Tom works the detector and carries a LONG knife to dig (it also keeps annoying people from bothering us 🙂

        It’s been a while since we metal detected…maybe 10+ years. I miss it.


        • Count me in. I can find pop tops from old, aluminum cans with the best of them! Last thing I found was a grave. Someone had buried their precious pet parakeet in a glass jar with a metal cap. The skeleton was covered over with aluminum foil. Thought I had found Captain Kid’s treasure.

          Fred PRoNJ

        • Edith

          That sounds familiar, the women folk point, and the poor guy does all the detectin’ and all the digging. Lucky for you women folk, you’re cute, and us men folk are gullible.

          Mrs. Slinging Lead says the yard needs to be mowed. And I mow it. That sounds like a fair division of labor to me. Care to chime in, BB?

    • Kevin, I know the grid method is indispensable for archaeologists once they find something and have to sift carefully, but it is labor intensive. Maybe part of the joy is in the search, sort of like fishing which I’ve heard people talk about.

      Slinging Lead, ha ha, good idea about the airport. I’ll be the lightning rod for the airport people while the team slips by unnoticed with the gear. That’s a good point too about the army men although I’m very protective of them. Mine are 1/6 scale (12 inches) with very detailed gear. For awhile, I would put them out in hostile environments: the German soldier and the U.S. Marine both got placed outside in the -30 degree Minnesota winters. However, this tended to wear out their gear, so I took my logic to its inevitable conclusion and keep them in boxes so that they can be dug up in 2000 years. Their discovery might create whole new theories. Supposedly, our perceptions of Neanderthals as hunchbacked characters are based on one elderly and severely arthritic specimen. How will future archaeologists generalize about action figures and airguns….?

      The intuitive approach is as good as any for searching. If I were to bury valuable guns on the von Arnim property, I would also go with a dense stand of trees of which there were many. A sealed safe at the bottom of a lake would also be secure but kind of risky and hard to retrieve.


      • Matt61,

        Sorta like fishing that you’ve heard about? You’ve never been fishing??!! Tell me you’re joking.

        I’m more of a catching guy when it comes to fishing and a finding guy when it comes to metal detecting. I’m not very patient but the grid search is the most productive.


    • The road trip to Germany – might be worth getting a ground penetrating radar, although they don’t work nearly as well as you see on TV. We use them at work occasionally. When the soil type is right, they can find some stuff.

  9. Frank B

    Did I read correctly that you are looking to thin the herd? I need another airgun like I need a hemorrhoid flare up, but there is no harm in browsing is there?

    A USFT, several DAQs, and now a Whiscombe? How many holy grails does one guy need? My jealousy bears no malice, I toast your good fortune. They couldn’t have found a home with a nicer guy.

    • SlingingLead,it would be in poor taste for me to point out the Grails you failed to mention.That being said,I am working on the list of things that can go.I will separately list those that I haven’t paid premium prices for,so I can offer them to my friends here for similarly good deals.That is my plan anyway.The rate at which I am working I should finish by tax refund time!

      • Frank B., what’s the story on ceramic knives? My Dad just spent $20 to order one that is advertised as super sharp and never in need of resharpening. I know already that this must be bogus.


        • Matt61,while I share your sentiments that your dad got taken….don’t be so sure that the ceramic knife is the reason!
          The knife or knives he will recieve just aren’t real high quality for that price.Harbor Freight sells them much cheaper at that quality level.While the sales hype is just that…..ceramic blades,made from zirconium are being used by lots of professional chefs.They just don’t get theirs at Harbor freight.Zirconium oxide ceramic blades are very hard,allowing them to retain an edge under normal use for the better part of a year.Their hardness exceeds that of most sharpening stones….the blade needs to be cryogenically treated in order to sharpen!Of course only the very expensive ones ever see such expensive maintenence.Please make sure Dad knows that ceramic blades break easier so be careful!!!

  10. B.B.

    Took less than a day, but I built a spring compressor today.
    Only need to enlarge a couple of holes and smooth off the places where I cut off the threaded rod that I used.


      • I do have some Beeman moly left, but need to get some tar.
        The 48 will be first…at least for polishing and moly. May not use tar on it just yet. Only has a bit of buzz with some pellets. The metallic ping is gone. Seems to like the 16 gr exact best so far…like the way they fit too.

        Will do 2 or three others later. Have to get a replacement trigger for one and try it before I do anything else with it. There are 3 that I am not going to waste the time on.


  11. I use the Campbell soup can test. Knock a hole in the bottom of an empty can at 10M….you are good to go at 10M hunting. Of course good groups and head shots are must. I’ve only had a chance to get out only a few times this month. Mainly, possum patrol. I must have dispatched over 100 possums this year. Is it true you can grab a possum by the tail and scare it stiff? I have spooked a couple and nearly tripped over them until they see their hole and take off.

    • I’ve retired my “2X4 Penetrometer”. I now use bottle caps. The Marauder on CO2 will put a decent dent in them. The FWB 124 and the RWS 45 will put a clean hole in them (as long as you don’t hit them near the edge). Plus, the size approximates the size of a tree rat’s head.

      • A test for game loads for muzzle loading shotgun loads, was to shoot a campbell’s soup can, using the load. If it penetrated one side and dented the other, it was OK. According to Smith’s book “Gas,Air,and Spring Airguns”, German airgun makers used to shoot at a steel plate at 10 meters to test the health of a gun. If it splattered the pellet ,it was good to go.
        I shoot bars of soap to test pellet expansion and penetration. I’ve also used actual small animal skulls to test terminal performance of pellets, green (fresh) ones are best.I do have a older Pact crony with a ballistic calculator, for velocity testing an air guns health, but I try not to become a slave to it. Years ago, when I’d butcher my own hogs , I’d set up the skulls and large bones behind brush and in patches of dense cover like orchard grass and golden rod. This was to test bullet deflection of my handloads with cast bullets.Learned a little about what worked and what didn’t,Robert.

    • tdung,

      No one else has answered you so you’re stuck with me.

      The main difference between the older version R9 and newer versions of the R9 are mostly cosmetic. The new version stock forearm is longer and has pressed checkering. Open sights are rare on new guns.

      I’ve owned two R9’s and they were both stock in .177 caliber. A lot of power in a lightweight gun and that’s not a good combination in my opinion. Sold both of them. Having said that, I bought another R9 last week in .20 caliber that was smooth tuned by Jim Maccari. I think .20 caliber is ideal for a smooth tuned R9 but we’ll see.

      Here’s the new R9:


      Here’s pictures of the 1999 R9 I just bought for $370 (including shipping) with the older style stock, supposedly a good tune by a reputable tuner and a Paul Watts muzzle brake installed:


      Tough to say what your R9 is worth without pictures, knowing about its’ tuning history and what chrony numbers it’s shooting now. Hopefully my recent purchase with the details and pictures will help you decide what you’ve found.

      Good luck.


  12. I dont envy having to test and report on an hw rifle. I’ve owned 5 different r9’s and three different r1’s. Not one of them felt the same. The velocity range on the r9 was over 75 fps from the fastest to the slowest. They all improved with tunes, good springs and guides, but some never did come around.

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