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Education / Training β€Ί Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol: Part 1

Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Daisy is celebrating its 125th anniversary this June. They’re holding a special event at the Daisy Airgun Museum June 3-4. Make reservations to attend by calling 479-986-6873. Daisy will issue a special commemorative, limited-edition gun that will be available only to people who are registered for this event in advance (by May 13).

A large and impressive spring-piston air pistol, the Beeman P1 sits in the top tier of air pistols for power and quality.

I’ve written about the Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol several times in the past, but never in the current three-part format we use today. The last report we did was by a customer, way back in 2007. It’s definitely time for an update. This time I’ll do a thorough three-part report.

The gun I’m now testing for you has been in my possession since it was new in 1996. I tuned it once within the first year of ownership, and I modified the trigger for a report in The Airgun Letter. I also resized the Teflon piston seal by dry-firing the gun a couple times, which is the factory-recommended way to do it. So, the gun I am testing isn’t fresh from the box. It’s had many years of occasional service, though I bet fewer than 5,000 total shots have been fired from it. In my job, I shoot airguns all the time, and I just don’t get to my classics very often. This test will be enlightening for all of us. Also, you’ll get to see how the pistol stands up to the test of time.

Some of you may be upset that I’m not testing a brand-new pistol, but look at the opportunity testing this old one offers us. You get to see how one of these pistols holds up. The model goes all the way back to 1983, so it’s a veteran, just like the Beeman R1 rifle.

The Beeman P1 is also known as the Weihrauch HW 45. Pyramyd AIR still stocks the P1, however the HW 45 is no longer stocked. It’s a single-shot spring-piston gun that cocks via an overlever arrangement. Like a Webley Hurricane, the top of the P1 lifts up in the rear and pivots forward on a hinge located at the front of the gun. Unlike the Webley, there are two distinct stops for the sear and each produces different power. The first stop limits the piston stroke and gives low power. It’s just as hard to cock to this point as it is to go all the way to high power, but the shorter piston stroke guarantees slower muzzle velocities.

I always cock to high power because it’s no harder to do so. It has become a habit and I don’t find anything that low power does better than high.

On the first sear detent, the pistol produces low power.

Pull the topstrap further forward, and the gun goes to high power. It’s just as hard to cock to low power as it is to go all the way to high power.

High power comes at the second sear stop, when the topstrap is swung as far forward as possible. I will test both power levels for you in Part 2 so you won’t have to wonder about the velocity specs much longer.

An anti-beartrap device prevents early closure of the topstrap, but it also means that the pistol cannot be uncocked. If you cock it, you must shoot it.

The pistol is built on a frame that resembles a Colt 1911 pistol more than a little. Grip panels made for the 1911 fit the P1 just fine and vice-versa. The current pistol is sold with walnut grip panels in a classic diamond pattern, but you can install anything that fits on a 1911 or 1911A1.

While the grip frame resembles the 1911, the part that rises above the frame is considerably larger than the firearm. It has to be to contain the spring cylinder that powers the gun. There’s no denying the Desert Eagle size, though it comes without the weight of the magnum gun (I’m refering to the firearm, because the airgun is very light). In fact, at 40 oz., the P1 is not much heavier than an unloaded M1911A1 that it mimics — and loaded, the firearm is heavier.

Beeman P1 dwarfs the 1911 firearm below, though the grip frames of both guns are the same size. The Beeman has to be larger on top to hide the spring cylinder. Notice that my vintage P1 has grips with the old Beeman company logo in them. When loaded, the pistol on the bottom is the heavier gun.

Adjustable trigger
The trigger is adjustable for the length of the first stage and also for the pull weight. Before I modified my trigger, I had adjusted it to break glass-crisp at about 30 oz. After the modification, it breaks at 11 oz. and is just as crisp. In my opinion, the factory trigger will serve you fine with adjustment. All the trigger lacks that many firearm 1911s have is an overtravel adjustment.

The safety is located on the grip frame behind the trigger and it’s ambidextrous. Thankfully, it’s not automatic. In fact, the P1 is completely ambidextrous because the latch to unlock the topstrap is disguised as the hammer. Pull down and back and the topstrap pops up. Just this action cocks the trigger, so if you want to practice dry-firing you can do so without cocking the pistol. Just release the topstrap each time to reset the trigger and you’ll be good to go.

Beeman always advertised 600 f.p.s. for the .177 caliber on high power. My pistol got close to that speed when brand new, but an early lube tune took away 40 f.p.s. The last time I tested it, it averaged 559 f.p.s for Hobbys. Curiously, Weihrauch claims the HW 45 does 560 f.p.s. in .177, so my pistol is close to their specification, as of the last test I did. For our velocity tests, we’ll try some alloy pellets and see what the P1’s full potential for speed really is.

A Beeman P1 is not an easy air pistol to cock. It takes a technique, and you have to learn how to position your hands to cock the gun. It isn’t what I would describe as a plinking gun by any definition. And even stopping at low power uses almost the same amount of energy. After 50 shots, you will be feeling it. I’ll try to measure the cocking effort for you during the velocity testing.

A look behind the curtain at the spring cylinder. Here, the twin cocking links have dragged the piston to full mainspring compression. This powerplant works backwards of a spring rifle. The piston travels to the rear when the trigger is pulled.

The barrel is opposite the spring cylinder and held within the topstrap. When the gun’s cocked like this, the breech is accessible for loading.

As you would expect, the rear sight is fully adjustable in this pistol. In fact, it’s controlled by precision detents, so you know exactly what you’re doing when adjusting it. It’s very similar to the adjustable sights found on Smith & Wesson revolvers, so you’ll need a small flat-bladed screwdriver to adjust it.

The pistol is made in .177, .20 and .22 calibers. Both the .177 and .20 caliber models have the dual power levels, but the .22 has just high power to avoid sticking a pellet in the barrel. The .177 is by far the most popular caliber and the one you most often find for sale used. Speaking of that, I noticed at the recent Malvern, Arkansas, airgun show that a nice used P1 will be priced at something over $300. They definitely hold their value.

Perfect for training
One aspect of the P1 that’s unique to the pistol is its value as a trainer for all 1911-type firearms. You have to employ the same hold as with the firearm to get the airgun to shoot. At 33 feet it should be easy for a good shooter to hold all shots inside an inch, and the pistol is capable of much better. When you’re really hot, the P1 can hold all its shots inside the 9-ring of a 10-meter target, which is about the size of Roosevelt’s head on a dime.

Is it worth the price?
Normally, I would try to answer this question after the final report, but years of experience as a P1 owner have already provided the answer. If you’re infatuated with accurate air pistols and if you value build quality above all, then yes, the P1 is well worth the asking price. If a new one seems beyond your reach, consider buying one used. They’re rugged enough to pass on to generations unborn, so think of it as a long-term investment.

Stay tuned for the power report that’s next.

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 Airgunsβ„’ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

87 thoughts on “Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol: Part 1”

  1. I have stayed up just to read this one!When it came out,and to this day I consider this one of the top 5 Beeman offerings in my own personal favorites.I lucked into mine at a gun shop in Louisiana.I asked when I walked in the place if they had any airguns.”Nope”….was the reply.I found it with the help of a fellow who manned the upstairs display counter,which was pretty large.I know it sat long enough
    for them to sell it at or below cost! This was before the internet,….so very little was known and by very few.Everyone who has ever shot mine has really liked it.After teaching them the right hold,like turns to love quickly.Without BB’s tutoring I never would have truly figured out maximum accuracy.
    If you muscle a P1 you will spray pellets,but let it do it’s thing and concentrate on hold symmetry
    and the P1 becomes a precision plinker you never tire of shooting.

      • He gets a sweet vintage 10 meter gun from a seller who is honest AND fair at an excellent price.
        The way I see it HE owes me! I’m just glad to facillitate.In a perfect world I would have the whole list
        for myself.

      • Kevin,

        Sorry if you already made mention and I just missed it, but what is your eye currently set on? I’m astonished to see your 10m rifles hitting the classifieds, especially the LG55 Tyro. I thought that thing was a staple. Whatever it is you’re funding, I’m already envious!

        – Orin

  2. This sure fits with the 1911 discussion. The cocking is also the same on the new Webley Alecto. The only technique I’ve learned is keep your skin out of the way when you close it.

    The vintage .45 cal ammo box is a nice touch.

    Since the resale value remains high on the P1/HW45 it seems that the respect for the 1911 model even spills over into airguns.


  3. my dad had a 80’s (i think) p1. its great, i dont understand why every one cant build good triggers like this. i have found though, that while you can dry fire, it has to be unlatched and latched again before cocking, or it will go off upon closing. i dont know if tgis happens with new guns. it caught me by surprise and confounded me until i figurrd it out

    • Bajema,judging by your description alone,your trigger needs to be adjusted for safety’s sake.It is currently set so there is way too little sear engagement.A P1 should never fire when closing….ever.
      Having to open,then close,then open and cock and load it just isn’t right.I would be VERY concerned
      about shooting it that way……it would probably fail the bump test.(in other words,it may fire when bumped) and a slight adjustment will correct that but still give you a very nice trigger.

      • thanks, it is safe though. my understanding of it was wrong. i had it unsafe at one point and that made me makesurethe sear was set after dry firing, and i continued doing it after i changed it.

        • As long as you’re safe,we’re happy! The P1 really does have an exemplary trigger.I ,too,wonder why
          it isn’t more copied than it is.Mine has been with me a long time too.I like that you can set the trigger so easily to practice.

  4. I wanted a P1 since they first came out but I did not have the money in college. Finally picked up a used one last year and it is a wonderful gun. Like an R1, it feels like it will last a lifetime.

    Two more reasons to not use the low power setting – it shoots higher at low power (several inches difference at 10 meters) and the scope will creep forward if the mounts are not super tight. At full power a scope will move back like a rifle and be stopped by the rear end of the grooves.


  5. BB:
    Great photo of the P1 up against the1911.
    Blimey,it is like ‘Marvel comic’ proportions in comparison.

    Commiserations on getting those Pointed ‘Spitfires’
    SMK (Sports marketing)brand by any chance?
    ‘Precision pellets for air rifles & pistols .22 calibre’
    Or maybe .20,possibly .177 anyway there are 500 of them…we think.

    • UK Dave (sounds better than Dave UK to my ears and eyes)

      I am making another attempt to get English Pete ): to find the receipt and tell me where he bought those Spitfires. Should be interesting if he ordered them from this store, SMK. They have a poor reputation, I take it?

      Fred PRoNJ

      • Dave,

        the store is Ronnie Sunshines in Berkhamsted. I’m starting to lean towards they made a simple error by accident as the price for the Spitfires versus the Eley Wasps is only a pound so he didn’t make much money on this plus he’s still advertising the Spitfires on the website. However, they do appear rather “tired”.

        Fred PRoNJ

        • FredPRoNJ:
          I been trying to alter my name around with no joy I’m afraid.

          ‘SMK’ is the cheap end of air gunning in Britain.
          A marketing company which imports Chinese Air guns and accessories.I don’t think they manufacture anything.
          Not a particularly good reputation.

  6. It will be nice to see the cocking effort.
    Could you please explain exactly how you do it? I’d like to measure the cocking effort on my Webley Alecto and F.A.S. pistol.


    • J-F,the latch,which is in the place of a hammer,is pulled back to pop the top.the top opens without resistance just enough to grab it.You then pull it against resistance towards the muzzle.Once it reaches the low power or high power notch in the piston…..it stays there allowing access to the
      breech for loading,and then closes with zero resistance.It latches with the hammer holding it closed
      just like the Tempest and Hurricane.The nice thing is this is done without changing your shooting hand grip.

      • Frank B

        I think what J-F was asking was how to measure the cocking effort, not how to cock it.

        I have a P1 of my very own. I LOVE it. I bought it used on the Yellow, and based on the prices at the Malvern show, I got a great deal. Mine is older too, with a San Rafael address on it. I prefer the older ones actually, as they don’t have any paint in the engraving.

        The trigger is magnificent. And the backward action of the spring results in a nice, manageable amount of recoil for the all important realism. In fact, everytime Mrs. Slinging Lead sees it, she thinks it’s a real firearm.

        • The way I read his post….it seemed he was thinking it worked the same as his single and multi pump pneumatics.That is why I was trying to clarify the difference.I didn’t reply to the cocking effort question…..because I didn’t know an exact figure.(or the best method to measure it)

    • J-F,

      I will show you how to measure the cocking force of this pistol in Part 2, but you can see the method right now. We have a video that explains how it is done:


      I hope that helps. Digital scales don’t work very well for this procedure.


      • I’ve already seen the vid but it explains how to measure the cocking effort on rifles which cock on the closing rather than opening stroke like rifles do.
        So do I put the top part on the scale and push down on the grips or do I put the grips on the scale and push down on the top part as if it was in my hand? The second option would seem harder to do as the grips are often rounded at the bottom.


        • Sorry I mixed some words again. I should really stop using my phone to answer and wait to be in front of the computer to post…
          I meant rifles cock on an opening stroke but pistols cock on a closing stroke. Sorry again for the mix up.


        • J-F,

          You ARE confused. The P1 is a spring-piston pistol that cocks on the OPENING stroke, just like an underlever rifle that is shown at the end of the video.

          The pistols that cock on the closing stroke are all single stroke pneumatics.


          • My bad I had my pistols (Alecto, FAS 604 and Beeman P17) in mind wich are all pneumatics and seing the P1 fully cocked tough it was a pneumatics too, I should be paying more attention, sorry.
            So how would I measure the cocking effort on the pneumatic pistols ???


      • BB,
        Thanks for that vid on cocking effort. Very well done. I even got a certificate at the end but before I could hang it on my wall it disappeared off the screen.

          • OK, OK, I revisited the video to get the certificate but then, when I nailed my monitor to the wall everything went black. When I came to there were sparks and flames everywhere. What did I do wrong?

              • Dear Mr. BB,
                Please forward all future correspondence for Chuck to the St. Francis Medical Center burn ward. He is currently in intensive care recovering from electrocution trauma and being treated for fourth degree burns. We believe he was the victim of lightening while he was using his computer as evidenced by his monitor being fused to the wall. It appears the lightening also melted a bucket near the incident.
                Thank You,
                Dr. Shotsalot MD

  7. BB

    I have two questions. First, is that your WWI 1911 in the photo above? Second, what is that little hole at the bottom of the grip for? Am I supposed to put a lanyard through it and hang it around my neck?

    • RE: Hole in Beeman P1 grip


      With my shaky hands I can’t hit a barn door with a pistol. So when I take the Beeman P1 squirrel hunting, I put a grenade pin in the hole. When I see a squirrel, I pull the pin, yell “Grenade!,” grasp the P1 by the barrel, and throw it like a boomerang. The squirrel starts to LOL, looses his grip on the branch, and falls to the ground. As they are falling I catch them with a big butterfly net. A little unorthodox, but the technique works well for me.

        • Herb

          You had me rolling. I am still chuckling about your comment. The trick will be not to think about it when I’m out in public later, or I will start giggling like a schoolgirl and the guys with the white coats will have to catch ME with a butterfly net. You are hilarious.

      • Herb,
        What an interesting way to conserve pellet consumption. And you don’t have to worry about biting down on a pellet and breaking a tooth while dining.

      • You’d have had no trouble with the little residential grey I encountered today… My nose was within two feet of it as it was sitting on a low branch… Closer caused it to scurry, but I’d bet I could have backed off and substituted a pistol for my nose…

        Puny things we have here (Sunnyvale CA)… The entire grey was no bigger than the /tail/ of some of the reds near my parents’ place in MI.

        • Wulfraed,

          So you live in Sunnyvale? I used to work at National Can in Sunnyvale when I was in college, back in the 1960s. I lived in San Jose and during the summer I worked at the can plant for a couple years before working for Frontier Village.


          • Aye… 30 years (less a 6 month lay-off) at Lockheed. I should own the 1br apartment I’ve occupied all that time.

            I suspect back in the 60s there were still enough orchards to get away with air-guns in town… I’m still hoping to make it to the Los Altos range up on Skyline this week-end so I can at least zero the scopes on all the new toys, if not run pressure curve tests on the Condor (I do not look forward to pumping that beast back up while at the range, but lacking built-in gauge I’ll have to try to hear the air flow [at a gun range?] from the pump to judge matched pressures)[Not that the Marauder is that much friendly, though over a near 1000PSI range the difference between 15-strokes per 100PSI and 10 strokes per 100PSI does add up; especially when the last half of the range requires me to use my lower belly to depress the handle, not just stiff armed squating]

    • SL,

      Yes, that is my World War I 1911.

      The 1911 has a U-shaped stud for attaching a lanyard. There is no hole. The lanyard attaches to your Sam Brown pistol belt and prevents the loss of the pistol when you run. The flap holster is designed to do the same thing.

      Cavalrymen had a heck of a time keeping their firearms with them while galloping so lanyards were invented and they quickly became popular throughout all the armies of the world.

      Is the “hole” you refer to on the P1? If so, I never noticed it before. It appears to be cosmetic, or it could be a fixturing hole used to align the frame of the airgun in a jig for machining.


    • The hole in the bottom of the grip frame on my P1 allows access to the set screw that sets trigger pull weight, tho its easier to just remove grips. The two set screws in the trigger itself control length of slack (top) and sear engagement (bottom). I found this out myself when my bought-used P1 had such a terrible trigger I thought something was broken. Trigger had 1/4″ creep and no staging, just let go somewhere along its travel without warning. Turns out both trigger sets were tightened all the way to the stop and trigger spring was totally slack. Probably why the original owner sold it cheap, even with Beeman 2x scope and extra target grips. All is well now.

  8. WOW…she be big!!
    Anyway, I’ve been bitten by the 1911 bug. I bought the Umarex 1911 on the advice of B.B. and a friend of mine who uses one for backyard IPSC practice.
    So now I’m looking at ‘the real deal’. Not a lot of spare cash due to tax time, so it’s down to the Norinco (new), or a used 80’s series Colt, which I’ve not heard great things about (but is in my price range).
    So…the question to those who know…new Norinco, used 80’s series or patiently wait and save for a good used 70’s series.
    Thanks guys

    • Slinging lead,
      Thank you!
      It feels good to finally be able to let some of this out. It’ been a long time coming and I think only B.B. and my wife know what its really taken over these past several years. Without B.B., this probably wouldn’t have happened…..his support has meant so much when the roller coaster was in the bottom of those dips. I’m going to stop before I get all sappy.

          • Lloyd,I really hope you continue to let the naysayers words roll off your back.Alot of what I have seen posted on blogs is just flatulence,pure and simple.Regardless of consensus,the earth did turn out to be round!My enthusiasm and admiration for your invention will continue unmitigated. Frank B

      • Lloyd

        Thank me? You sacrificed almost 4 years of your life, and the patience of your wife to bring this to fruition. There is no price that can be put on that.

        This rifle is a game changer. Remember 35mm film cameras? Yes, they are still around but digital SLRs are now the norm for those in the know. The repercussions of your designs have the potential to lead the industry for the foreseeable future. I have no use for a big bore (yet) but I will be first in line among those clamoring for this technology in a small bore caliber.

        The potential is limitless. Online firmware upgrades to change firing characteristics? It is a certainty. Thank YOU Lloyd for what you have wrought. The airgun community will forever be in your debt. Your name will be among the pantheon of airgun greats!

        PS: I hope you make an absurd fortune off of this.

        • Gents,
          Well I certainly do appreciate the sentiment.We’ll see how it goes. It has been a lot of work, but an awful lot of fun, and lot of good people sprinkled around too.

          • Lloyd,

            Thanks for the details on your baby. The more I read the more interesting this gun sounds. With the ongoing tweaking it should be a winner when it hits the market. You should be very proud since this is quite revolutionary. Congratulations Dad!


  9. My only frustration with my SW1911 (CowBoyStar Dad reconsider!) is that I can’t shoot it more often, so a substitute airgun would be the very thing, and it seems like the P1 is ideal for its recoil, even more so than the Umarex 1911 which duplicates the look and feel. Even though the recoil feels a little different, I’m sure it is close enough to the 1911’s to be useful. At the moment, I’m particularly enjoying the feel of my spring guns, especially my B30 which I am using while Mike Melick works over my IZH 61. Victor, how did springers change or extend your firearms shooting technique? I’m guessing with follow-through primarily. Small-bore does not require the firm grip of high-power, so I don’t expect that the artillery hold felt that alien.

    By the way, B.B., did you invent the artillery hold? There is nothing about it in the Beeman literature. And I seem to recall you reporting on your discovery; you figured it out by yourself without reading any sources. Even if someone else did invent it, I think that you can claim independent invention, and of course, no one surpasses you in educating people about it.

    I was afraid that the Winchester 94 had that side-mounted scope. That has never appealed to me, and I’ve never had a desire to scope a Garand that way.

    Duskwight, I believe one could make a vigorous argument that Stalin was even worse than Hitler if such a thing were possible. Stalin actually killed his own people instead of another people and I believe in greater numbers. My documentary says that towards the end of the war, Stalin became obsessed with taking credit for victory and erasing the record of his terrible incompetence at the beginning of the war that nearly lost it. His attention focused on General Gregory Zhukov who, I believe, directed the defense of Stalingrad and many other pivotal victories in the war against Germany. When he saw the acclaim given to Zhukov, riding a white horse, at the final victory parade in Red Square, that pushed Stalin over the edge, and he charged Zhukov with treason for taking too much credit and exiled him to some insignificant army command. Similar things happened to the heads of all the major services with the head of the air force being jailed and tortured. Given the terrible purging of the Red Army before the war, and this sort of treatment afterwards to its top commanders, I would think an army officer would be very careful about excelling….

    As to whether Germany could win the war, I think that is an interesting question. Hindsight would suggest not, and apparently Russia’s war with Germany lasted four years and two days which is not that much when you think of all that transpired. The case of German victory that I’ve heard, goes like this. First, the British would have to be finished off at Dunkirk and not allowed to regroup or provide a staging area for D-Day. That would have placed U.S. intervention in a very difficult position and perhaps postponed it fatally. In the East, the theory goes that if Germany had captured the key Russian cities of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad, it would have dealt a massive logistical and psychological blow to Russia that may have been decisive. My sense of Russian geography is not good, but I have the impression that what we think of as the state of Russia is actually concentrated in the western part without a great deal in the middle or eastern areas–sort of like the way much of Canada is settled near the northern border of the U.S. without much in the vast area to the north. And then there is the master Axis strategy of German units in southern Russia linking up with a victorious Rommel in North Africa and pushing on to to meet the Japanese in Asia to lock up the Eurasian breadbasket of the world. None of the elements of this scheme were impossible, and collectively they raise the geopolitical question: if you conquer a certain territory, does your nation effectively become that large?

    In any case, I think that the war was lost to Germany because of its insane leadership. Civil War historian, Shelby Foote, has said that George Pickett’s suicidal charge at Gettysburg was the price the South had to pay for the genius and daring of Robert E. Lee. Similarly, I would say that the crazy brutality of the Nazis that created such a backlash of hatred and Hitler’s irrational refusal to retreat were the price that Germany had to pay for the incredible audacity that won them victories early on. To imagine a marriage of sensible strategy to manage the early gains with the insane recklessness of Hitler that won them is really a fantasy and the Third Reich was doomed from the start. I believe that later in the war, the British stopped considering any plans to assassinate Hitler from the belief that he was winning the war for them faster than anything else.

    Read up a little bit on Simo Haya, the Finnish ultimate sniper… I had heard that he used his M28 Mosin with iron sights, but had supposed that his shots were at close quarters in winter forests. Turns out, according to one interview, that most of them were at over 400 yards from a sitting position! Goodness, I would think that a white winter environment would make iron sights even harder to use. I also got a close up of how Haya’s face was permanently disfigured by the shot of his last victim. Yikes. However, otherwise, he apparently lived a happy and successful life to the ripe old age of 98. I’d say that once you get into the history of a weapon, you’re a goner as far as resisting to buy.

    More news, I read that the standard accuracy test of the Lee-Enfields was at least within 3MOA at 200 yards. This is interesting in that our classification of accuracy assigns MOA to some number of best groups while the British standard evaluates worst groups. How to compare the two? Since everything has to fall within the 3 MOA area, this seems to me to correspond to the outside boundaries of our 30 shot limit with most of the shots falling within and even being clustered near the center according to the normal distribution. Adding in the factor of service ammo, I would guess that your Lee Enfield (in factory condition) with handloads would be well within 2 MOA as we measure it. Not bad.

    Reloaders, when lubing a case, do you smear lubricant on the entire outside surface? One YouTube person says not to lube the shoulder which seems kind of strange to me.


    • Matt,

      I didn’t invent the hold, but I did give it that name. I did so, so I could talk about it and people would understand what I meant.

      I originally wrote a piece for the Beeman catalog, but it was never published, so when I stated The Airgun Letter a couple years later, it seemed like a good piece to write about.


    • Matt

      Don’t forget that the evacuation at Dunkirk happened by the skin of their teeth. If Hitler was not a complete psycho, deluded by easy successes and the effects of syphilis he would have taken over everything he set his diseased mind to. If he were to have allowed his military brass to make decisions, and not devote vast resources to imprisoning and killing millions of people instead of utilizing them, it is quite conceivable he could have had a larger empire than Caesar or Hannibal. He definitely made a mistake by betraying Stalin. However Stalin’s war effort was also apparently hampered by the fact that he had sentenced millions of his citizens to the slave labor/death camp/ gulags. Hitler and Stalin were two peas in a pod if you ask me. Perhaps they both have been sentenced to jabbing each other with pitch forks for all eternity.

    • Matt,

      Stalin and Hitler were a same pair of boots – one left, one right πŸ™‚
      Actual scope of repressions in Stalin’s time is sometimes wildly exaggerated by Anti-stalinists, as well as terribly lowered by Stalinists.

      Story with Marshall Georgy (not Gregory πŸ˜‰ ) Zhukov’s fall is a bit more complicated. First of all, Stalin was a bit more complex than jealous housewife πŸ™‚ and Zhukov was a little bit more complicated than simple honest soldier. He was Marshall – and that means he was used to spilling that red liquid. He was ambitious – and Stalin did have grounds to feel him measuring Bonaparte’s hat. An accusation of treason – well, that was automatic “blam”, so trust me there was no such word as treason.

      Zhukov was not a knight in shining armor – he brought enormous trophies for himself from Germany and there’s info that he had some talks with other generals concerning “who’s the man”. There’s the root of Marshall of Air Force Novikov’s case – he was simply the least cautious.
      And after that – what? Zhukov was not shot, he was not jailed only moved to command Odessa military district. A usual post-war career step for any high-ranking officer. But he was talked to and said “you know that I know”.

      Incompetence? Everybody had this mark in the beginning of the war. Even Zhukov (read if you’re interested about “Mars” disastrous and costy operation). Stalin was a clever guy – he stepped back and gave power to Marshalls – as he knew, he was not quite skilled to fight war and he turned Staff into brilliant troubleshooting mechanism.
      But Marshalls forgot that if you were given something, you must give it back πŸ˜‰
      You know a sword can have only one tip. That’s how it’s done here. And the reason for displacing generals and marshalls was purely practical and utilitarian – Stalin was not jealous, he was just preventing a military coup and preserving his own power. I think if you were in his place – you’d do the same.
      So don’t think of him as being inherently evil. He wasn’t mad or jealous in his deeds. He obeyed the rules of the game by which he was shaped and which he sometimes shaped himself.


      • One of the best case lubs I have found is Imperial Sizing Die Wax. You don’t need to lub the entire case. Put a little on your finger and put three “lines” around the case, shoulder to base. Don’t lub the shoulder as noted. You will also want to put just a little inside the case mouth to ease the passage of the expander/decapper unit.


  10. B.B.,

    Thanks for this report. I’ve always been fascinated by the P1, both because of the looks and the price.

    Is there any chance you can add the links to your previous reports to this one, or maybe even stick them in part 2? It would be nice to go back and read everything all at once. Yes, I know I could use the search function, and yes, I’m just being lazy.

    Also, is there any difference in the power plant or barrel length between the P1 and P11? Cocking efforts and .177 velocities are both listed as the same, but the P11 lists a .22 velocity that is 100 FPS lower than the P1.


    – Orin

  11. B.B.,

    Thanks so much for this series. I’m relatively new to airguns having bought my HW70A a year ago.
    I recently traded that in and bought an HW45 in .22 caliber. I found the HW45 just terrific right
    from the get go. It fit my hand well, had a reasonable heft and a satisfying recoil. I shoot at
    10 meters indoors. I’m no great shot but one handed I can keep it all in the black. The pistol
    is better than I am. I hope you do give some details about the best way to grip the pistol
    in subsequent articles.

    Thanks again,


  12. Thanks for the series on the Beeman P1. I have the Weihrauch HW45 Silver Star in .177 cal. It was tough deciding on the regular HW45 or the Silver Star, however, the handle on the Silver Star feels so good. And it is ambidextrous. I am right handed, however, I shoot pistols with my left. I do this because my right eye is not as “clear” as my left. I have scopes on my rifles so there is no problem. I do miss shooting iron sights though. Just have to teach myself to be ambidextrous with my long guns too I guess
    Titus Groan

    • I am also right handed but my left eye is dominant. Funny because I like to shoot rifles left handed but prefer shooting pistols right handed. Good to know I’m not the only weird shooter. Or is there more of us? Or even better am I the only weird one here? ha.

      • Kit Carson,

        Step aside. I’M the original weirdo on this blog πŸ™‚

        I write and shoot with my right hand but am left-eye dominant. My left hand & arm are much stronger than my right. I do any heavy lifting or heavy work with my left hand. When I was 12, my brother gave me his bow, and we had to rewrap it so I could shoot it lefthanded. I can also write lefthanded, but not as good as I used to. My father could write with both hands simultaneously. Obviously, genetic codes have produced a serious of freaks in my family!


  13. The following statement: “but the .22 has just high power” is incorrect. All the .22 HW45 produced after 2007 have the dual power levels. I have 2008 model and with the Daisy Precision Max wadcutter 14.3gr it shoots on average around 430fps using the high power level. Using the low power level it shoots around 330fps. The HW45/Beeman P1 is a life keeper. I would never sell it.

  14. Ok, another question for the P1 owners…

    Is there an anti-beartrap mechanism or trigger lock-out on this gun? I realize it would be quite difficult to hold open while loading like your standard springer rifle. I also realize the breech would be moving away from the loading fingers if it slammed shut. But I still am curious what would happen if the trigger was pulled while loading.


    – Orin

  15. I think I have bought and sold at least 4 Beeman P1s. I am a decent pistol shot with most springer pistols but I never got the knack of the P1. I like to shoot my Tempest, Hurricane, and old BSA Scorpion pistols better than the P1. That is a shame because as you and others have said, it is a very well built and accurate pistol. I am sure I will buy and sell more of them as I have opportunity. Maybe, I will spend enough time with one (like I did the Tempest) to learn to shoot it and hang onto a P1 someday.

    David Enoch

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