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Ammo Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol: Part 2

Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

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

In Part 1, we received so many comments and questions about the Beeman P1 that it’s now certain that this report will have more than three parts. I’ve been asked to show you how to hold the handgun for best results, and while I’d hoped to get to that today, something has come up in today’s testing that caused me to postpone that until the next report. I want to spend some time explaining a spring-gun phenomenon that I’ve read about but, until this test, have never seen.

However, first things first. I promised the links to the older reviews of the P1/HW 45. The first link goes to a report I wrote back in 2007, which was supposed to be an update on this pistol: Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol.

That report was supposed to update the report I did back in 2005: Beeman P1/HW 45: A shoulder stock, red dot sight and more!

After reading both of the older reports, I see that a lot was left out. I hadn’t started using the current report format yet, so I wrote things pretty much as they came to me and as the readers asked for them. Today, I’ll try to hit all the important points in every report. The later report does explain how to fit the piston seal to the compression chamber by dry-firing the gun, though. That’s a factory procedure, so don’t worry about it.

Back to today’s report
Today, I’m going to report on the velocity I get from my P1, which is now 15 years old. As I mentioned in the first report of this series, I lubricated my gun when it was new, and that was the last time I was inside the powerplant. I also made a trigger modification, but that has no bearing on the powerplant.

What you see today is the performance of a Beeman P1 after 15 years of relatively light use. I estimate fewer than 5,000 shots have been fired in all that time. Many airgunners have speculated that since the wire used in the pistol’s mainspring is thin, it will degrade over time, causing the pistol to lose power. Let’s see how much truth there is to that. The spring wire has to be thin to fit inside the small compression/spring cylinder that’s hidden inside the top of the pistol. There’s only so much room for things inside the small package that I showed you in Part 1.

Cocking effort
I measured the cocking effort by placing the topstrap on a bathroom scale and pressing down to open the pistol and cock the spring. It took exactly 12 lbs. of force for this, though I would have estimated the number at 20 lbs. if the scale wasn’t available. I guess the closeness of the two levers (the topstrap and the rest of the gun) when cocking makes the effort seem greater.

This is how you test the cocking effort of the P1. Just keep pulling apart the action and bearing down on the scale as you do.

It seems to take no more effort to continue to cock the gun to the second sear stop, but you do have to apply the same force over a longer arc, so arguably it really does take more effort. However, practically speaking, once the lever is moving, it’s just as easy to go all the way as to stop halfway, which is why I never use the low-power setting.

The first pellet I tested was the venerable Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domed pellet in the brown cardboard box. I noticed that some of our newer readers don’t understand that when I link to a certain pellet in the Pyramyd AIR website, that’s the pellet I use. I don’t normally use any Premiers unless they come in the brown cardboard box. I’m telling you this because a couple of readers were speculating about whether to use the Premiers in the tin can or in the box. As a veteran who has used Premiers since they first hit the market, I find it difficult to think of anything that’s not in a box as a Premier. It’s an old habit that has a lot less significance now that die-lots mean so much less than they used to.

Premiers on low power
On low power, Crosman Premier lites averaged 416 f.p.s., with a spread from 407 to 424 f.p.s. That works out to a muzzle energy of 3.04 foot-pounds.

Premiers on high power
On high power, Premier lites went 98 f.p.s. faster, on average. At 514 f.p.s., they generated 4.64 foot-pounds. The spread on high power went from 508 f.p.s. to 517. So, on high power, the total spread was 9 f.p.s., while on low power it was 17 f.p.s.

RWS Hobbys on low power
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Hobby, which is one of the lightest pure lead pellets around. On low power, they averaged 445 f.p.s., for a muzzle energy of 3.08 foot-pounds. The spread went from 439 to 449 f.p.s., so only 10 f.p.s.

RWS Hobbys on high power
On high power, Hobbys averaged 553 f.p.s. That’s a muzzle energy of 4.75 foot-pounds. The spread was from 545 to 557 f.p.s., so a total of 12 f.p.s.

These pellets are extremely uniform in this P1, as evidenced by their tight velocity spread at both power levels. In Part 1 and also in one of the older reports, I told you that this pistol averaged 559 f.p.s. with Hobbys. So, the difference of just 6 f.p.s., between the old and current velocity readings is almost too small to have any impact. The gun is virtually shooting as it did four years ago and even as it did 15 years ago. That should answer the question of whether or not the mainspring breaks down over time. Clearly, it doesn’t.

And now for the special event
I wasn’t expecting what I am about to show you, but I’ve never shot super-lightweight pellets in my P1 before. I knew they would be faster. They would have to be, because they’re so much lighter. But they also did something that I didn’t expect.

Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic pellets on low power
When I began shooting Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic Pellets they registered 530, 524 and 541 f.p.s. on the Shooting Chrony Alpha model chronograph I was using. Imagine my surprise when shot four registered 597 f.p.s. Was it just a fluke? No, it wasn’t, because the next four shots after that all registered between 580 and 598 f.p.s.

I wondered if I had somehow “awakened” the gun with these lightweight pellets. But just as I was thinking that, shot nine registered 533 f.p.s, followed by shot ten at 532 f.p.s. The velocity had dropped back to exactly where it had been before the sharp increase. What was happening?

Cardew was right!
I thought for a bit and then remembered that one of the Cardews who wrote the book The Airgun, From Trigger to Target had written that all spring guns exist at one of four possible phases of function. They’re either a blowpipe, a popgun, a combustion gun or a detonation gun. Most of the time, the guns we deal with in this blog are in the combustion phase, in that they diesel with each and every shot. By diesel I mean that they burn some of the lubricant that makes its way into the compression chamber by igniting it through the heat of compression.

Most of the time, we deal with only a single phase in one gun. What I believe has happened in this test is that the P1 converted from being a popgun to a combustion gun for five shots in the shot string, then reverted back to being a popgun for the last two shots. When it was launching pellets at 530 f.p.s., it was doing so by the pressure of compressed air, alone. When it began to push them out at above 580 f.p.s., it was burning some of the fuel (oil droplets) that were in the compression chamber. Bear in mind that this gun was tuned with Beeman M-2-M moly (now sold as Air Venturi Moly Metal-to-Metal Paste), alone, and that was done 15 years ago. Even that small amount of “fuel” is apparently enough to raise the muzzle velocity significantly, as can be seen in this one test.

The “average” velocity for this test was 562 f.p.s., but no one pellet in the shots string went close to that speed. What we actually have here is a bimodal distribution in which the test samples are not all coming from the same source. Some are when the gun is functioning as a popgun and others when it’s functioning as a combustion gun. There are actually two separate distributions of velocities for this pellet when fired on low power, and the only explanation I can think of is the one I’ve given. At the “average” velocity, the muzzle energy is 2.81 foot-pounds.

As I said at the beginning of this report, I felt this was such an important event as to warrant some extra explanation. Let’s look at what happened when I shot the same pellet on high power.

Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic pellets on high power
The average velocity on high power was 677 f.p.s., but, again, no pellet within the shot string went close to that speed. I got another bimodal distribution, with the slower pellets down in the 653-666 f.p.s. region, while the faster pellets were all over 700 f.p.s. (up to the maximum of 704 f.p.s.). I didn’t expect that at all. I thought that at high power the pellets would come out at one consistent velocity, but that’s not what happened. By the way, at the average velocity, the muzzle energy was 4.07 foot-pounds.

Well, I never expected a physics lesson from testing this pistol. Still, it’s nice to know the old gal still has what it takes to get the job done. And, the cocking effort is so much less than I would have imagined!

Next time, I’ll show you how to hold the pistol for the best accuracy, plus I may have another tidbit for you.

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.

60 thoughts on “Beeman P1/HW 45 air pistol: Part 2”

  1. Hi B.B.. Can you tell us where the new Walther Lever Action balances exactly, with a full 88-gram cartridge installed? My dad’s .30-30 caliber Winchester 94, as well as my two Daisy model 1894 BB guns balanced just in front of the trigger guards, which was perfect for carrying, for me. Thanks!

  2. Pellet sorting by head size….

    I went through a tin of 4.50 FTT yesterday to sort for the larger pellets. This is because my R7 is a bit looser than the R9 and HW97k. The pellets fit good in both larger rifles, but are borderline in the R7.

    I found something that I should have known in the first place from my days of casting round balls.
    The pellets are not really round in circumference.

    Method used…
    Caliper preset to 4.51mm. A piece of wood with a shallow groove cut lengthwise to stack the pellets into, all with heads pointing to the right (I use the caliper with my right hand).
    Holding the caliper flat, I scooped up pellets one at a time to see which ones had the heads fall through (smaller ones). This is a go/no go test for size.

    I ended up with two piles. The larger pile had heads that were at least 4.51. I started resorting the larger pellets just to make sure, and a lot of them started failing. So I tried a different way…
    I picked up each pellet. If it passed, then I set it back down and slid the caliper along the wooden block a fraction of an inch. This caused the pellet to roll along with the caliper. Then I picked it back up to test again. In effect, the pellets were measured at three different points in their width.

    Half of the pellets did not make it when tested three times.

    After watching the pellets that did not fall through enough times, I could pretty much tell which ones would pass for sure, and which ones might fail with repeated tests.


    • twotalon

      Did you shoot the sorted pellets yet? It would be interesting to see the results of a test with pellets that ultimately passed all measuring, and those that are not completely round.

      • I shot a couple that measured larger and they fit better, but still not quite as tight as I would like.
        As far as some being more round than others, I think they are all out of round to some degree with some just being larger or smaller than others.

        I sorted these for the R7 which is choked. I would guess that the larger ones will shoot a little better, but will not make too much difference because the looser ones are still pretty close to bore size. Might make the most difference with an unchoked barrel. I would also suspect that the tighter ones will chrono tighter.

        Still fighting bad weather here. Cold, rain, wind. Testing in the basement is not too productive unless there is a really huge difference in accuracy. Just not enough room to work with.


      • Crono check….boy did I get fooled !

        Sorted FTT…
        Larger ones…Could not tell much difference in how they fit.
        es 21, sd 7

        smaller ones..
        es 9, sd4

        unsorted from a different s/n tin…all fit loose..
        es 13, sd 5

        cpl unsorted…tight fit…
        es 47, sd 14


    • twotalon,

      I’m also interested to hear if the sorted pellets did any better accuracy wise. I’ve had a few R7’s and although none have been very picky about pellets at short range, the crosman premier lights (7.9gr)and jsb exact express (blue tin, 4.52 head) shoot best at long range. You’ve probably already tried these but if not it might be worth a shot. Maybe two shots.

      You may find this interesting in your head sizing travels:



      • That diagram looks more like it would size on the skirt since skirts are larger than heads.

        I have found that the CPL that I have load pretty snug and shoot better than CPLHP. Takes some force to seat them. The CPLHP have fliers.
        I have tried the 8.4 exacts but they fit a little too loose and many want to fall back out of the breech.
        I think this rifle really wants a good 4.52-4.53 pellet.


        • twotalon,

          The gauge that Scot diagramed is for sizing heads not skirts. The proposed design has a trough (dado?) in the bottom of a bar stock that is consistent in width. The “gauge” itself would be made from flat stock, sit atop and alongside the trough and start wide but get progressively smaller to measure the head size. Scot lives about an hour and a half north of me, has an impressive shop, is very talented and I would be surprised if he doesn’t make one of these soon.

          The 8.4gr JSB Exacts (red tin) that you tried in your R7 never performed well in any of my R7’s. I’d even say poorly in some cases. The JSB Exact EXPRESS 7.9gr, 4.52 head are the ones I was referring to. They’re always neck and neck for the best pellet in my R7’s.

          The last R7 I chronied was a few weeks ago and sold it on the yellow shortly thereafter. The previous owner had It tuned by Russ Best (don’t know the details of what he did) and it was shooting an average of 605fps with the jsb exact EXPRESS pellets (7.9gr).


            • twotalon,

              Never hurts to try shimming the breech seal since you can always take the shim out.

              Your number of 600fps with cpl’s is right in line with Mac’s when he tested the new R7. Your spread is greater though. His chrony disagreed with PA’s too. He didn’t test the ftt/fts pellets. Another site shows beeman fts 8.9 gr. tested at the muzzle of an R7 604fps AT 500 FEET ELEVATION. What elevation are you shooting at?


              • Tried a shim but was too thick. I undrooped it with a dremel, and now it closes all the way up like it should. No diff in MV though. I think it is around 300 ft elevation here.

                At first I thought the breech seal was too thick giving it droop and keeping it from locking tight. Then it looked like it was the cocking linkage. Nope.
                The breech locking pin was hitting the breech block and stopping it from closing all the way. Problem fixed. Had to remove the shim tape installed under the back end of the scope by PA.


            • Robert from Arcade,

              Scot hasn’t built one yet but the concept seems sound. Not familiar with the standard brand screw and wire gauge.

              Regarding cleaning and reconditioning stocks…..I’ve had good luck cleaning a stock and then using CCL Conditioning oil on true oil finished stocks (blo, tung oil etc.). For finishes infused with dryers even poly brownells stock rubbing compound followed by five f (also from brownells) works wonders.

              I recently was given a product to test that has greatly impressed me for blending finishes on old gunstocks. Step one is cleaning the stock with Klean & Brite followed by Arrow Wood Finish for blending and reconditioning. I’ve done 6 stocks with this stuff so far and really like it. Have you tried this stuff? Opinion?



              • Kevin : The screw gauge is just a 3″ SS flat piece with a tapered cut out in it, with sizes for screws on one side and wire sizes on the back. Slide the wire or screw down the taper to find the size. A .177cal pellet will fall between the 8 or 9 on the gauge ,depending on head size. Less than ten bucks at most hardware stores.
                No, I haven’t tried the product you mentioned. What i have done on the last couple of stocks that I just wanted to clean and freshen up, was to clean them with plain old Murphy’s oil soap and a grey scotch brite pad. I have also used plain old comet on a scotch brite pad in a very paste like mix with little water to polish off very heavy grime. Many old military stocks and others have straight up linseed oil finishes ,and they are often mouldy from storage. Especially if it is humid or damp where they are stored. Mould plays hell with finish if you go over it. Linseed oil without driers in it, and old grime is food for mould. The pumice in the cleanser polishes, and the soaps cleans the old molds and closet dirt from the piece. Avoid using a lot of water though . For finish I sometimes just rub the stock down with coats of thinned out Lin-speed . Poly and lacquer finishes get stripped with a citrus stripper and finished with whatever oil based stock/furniture finish I have on hand . This is after a finish sanding , grain filling and raising session. I make my living doing a lot of high end trim carpentry and remodeling work. I can’t get to enthused with finishing wood anymore to tell the truth. Thanks for the tip, I will look into that product.

                • Robert from Arcade,

                  Completely understand your lack of enthusiasm for finishing/refinishing wood. Hopefully Klean & Brite and Arrow wood finish will save both of us from having to do too many more.


        • twotalon,
          Based on very recent experience, I would expect that the CPLHP have fliers because they don’t fit consistently. These are pellets that, apparently, need to be sorted. If I blindly load these pellets, I get a predictable vertical spread that is corresponds to very loose, versus tight fitting pellets.

          • The tin I have been working from all fit tight. Feel just like the boxed CPL. Maybe the skirts are the problem.
            I have gotten tins of CPLHP that varied wildly in size.


            • Right. In one of my rifles, all pellets fit well (some just tighter than others, but all snug), but in a new rifle that I’m testing, the bore seems to be a little wider, so I can really tell the difference (some just fall right in, while most don’t). I believe that for this newer rifle, I need to use a pellet with a wider diameter-ed spec. In a nutshell, some guns really require very consistent diameters, while most are more forgiving. The wider the bore, the less forgiving, I think.

              • Some seem touchy about it while others don’t seem to much care. I don’t know if the bore size alone is what does it. It just works out the way it does with different rifles and different pellets.
                Looks like most like a snug fit. Nothing so tight that you have to mash them hard.
                Loose fit is usually bad.


      • I know it is not a group….

        I just shot on the piece of string hanging from my bird feeder (21yds). took three shots but I hit it with the third. The string flipped up and over the feeder. Just nicking it causes it to twitch sideways. A direct almost centered hit flips it.

        Took a shot at a small twig on the crabapple (about another yard farther) and nicked it.

        Considering a light breeze , rain , and my lack of a comfortable and steady rest I would say not too bad for 4 shots total taken.


      • What kind of numbers do you generally get from your R7s? The test sheet from PA showed reasonable numbers, but I am getting less. Today was my first chrono session with it, and I no longer smell smoke from the shots.
        I am getting 560-570 with ftt and 600 with cpl.


  3. Off topic…hoping for bit of direction from you powder burners.
    The boys 96 year old great grandmother (on their moms side) passed a while ago and this past weekend they held an auction of all the contents of the old farm not covered in the will.
    My wife and the boys went to Saskatchewan for the auction on the weekend while I stayed home. They came back with, amongst other things what I have researched to be a Winchester 1902 .22 bolt action.
    Probably hasn’t seen the light of day since their great grandfather passed in the early 80’s.
    So…a bit of rust, and the stock has two minor cracks.
    I’d like to try a bit of restoration myself. It probably isn’t worth sinking a lot cash into, but if I could get it shooting and looking half decent it will make a keepsake the boys can keep.
    So…can anyone direct me to a good website, or book that gives basic how to info on restoring something like this.

    • That is the one with the knob on the back of the bolt you use to cock the piece,right? For starters clean the gun with Ballistol and a rag. You can clean stubborn rust spots off with a soft brass brush or old tooth brushes.(I use an old soft brass shoe shine brush) Stay away from steel wool products. The grime on the stock could be cleaned off with a wood cleaner like used for furniture. The cracks in the stock can be glued with thinned out accra-glass. If the barrel is totally shot it can be re-lined . Look on the Brownells site for these products to clean and repair your gun. The thing to do is not to try to make the gun like new. Leave the patina and enjoy it. There are books by Traister, and Jim Carmichel on home gunsmithing that will help you. Search on Amazon for these authors and their book titles on home gunsmithing projects. I would recommend that you also avoid high speed .22 cal ammo . Use target grade sub-sonic ammo only, and only if sound. If in doubt ,have a good gunsmithy check it out.

    • I don’t have a web site for you but here’s a suggestion. Get some Ballistol, Break Free or a similar oil. Then, get some 3 “0” or 4 “0” steel wool, oil the metal, and rub lightly. This will remove any light rust but not the finish. Unless the cracks are bad, leave them alone. If needed clean the wood with soap and water. After it is dry, you can use the Ballistol on the wood. That’s it. The gun is worth a lot more with just a clean up then trying to restore it.


        • One of the techniques on rimfire central for refinishing a gunstock is spraying the stock with armor all followed by tru oil. I tried this on one stock and it was a disaster. Maybe I applied too thick a coat of armor all but not only didn’t it dry quickly it crazed when it finally dried (24 hours later). I sanded this thin top coat with 600 wet dry to remove the crazing and tried a thinner coat of armor all then tru oil. The guy says he can rub it dry in 5-10 minutes. Didn’t happen for me. The coat was still tacky after 20 minutes of rubbing.

          I’ll stick with waterlox.


          • I believe Armor-all has silicone type additive in it. Who ever put up that tip couldn’t have ever got the oil to dry. One of the things that will drive me crazy is when someone will use a clear silicone caulk near a wood to metal or ceramic edge . Then they wipe it with their thumb and the silicone is in the wood and the finish lifts at that spot. It’s nearly impossible to remove without using a lacquer thinner on the wood. If you want to clean a stock quick, use a rag wet with charcoal lighter fluid to wipe it down. Do this outside! Then dry with a rag , let it set, preferably overnite, then do the tru-oil. Then wax the dry tru-oil.

    • CSD,

      Are you in luck! As it turns out, I also came into one of these 1902 Winchesters recently and have had it out to the range already. I also have a book on Winchester Single Shot Boy’s Rifles that describes this rifle perfectly.

      You can’t take the bolt out of the action until you remove the action from the stock. The sear has to be held down for the bolt to be removed from the action.

      I found the rifle just too small for me to shoot comfortably. It definitely is a kids’ gun.

      I don’t have any data on accuracy yet, but we could find out together over the coming months.


      • Thanks for all the replies guys…this is the best damned place on the planet in my opinion.
        B.B….yup, it sure is small…but it fits the boys to a tee. So I’m hoping to get a good little shooter that also gives them a sense of their family history.

  4. BB,
    This newly discovered fps anomaly has left me wondering. How often has this occurred undetected to me while I’m shooting? But it’s odd that it didn’t show up until you switched to the Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic pellets. Perhaps I will never experience it since I do not shoot high velocity pellets.

    While you offered a plausible explanation as to why the higher velocity occurs it doesn’t appear to me to answer why it is so random. I would think if it was dieseling it keep doing so until the excess oil was burned out. I suppose it’s because the pistol is slowly “leaking” oil or something like that?

    BTW, is this a Chinese made pistol or perhaps the pellets are made in China? I was wondering since it’s producing foo-pounds of energy rather than foot-pounds?

  5. That is some great detective work with the chrono numbers and the Cardew source. Is it true that the mainspring of an uncocked spring gun is slowly degrading even with the mild tension that it’s under?

    When are we getting a test of the Anschutz AiR-15 air rifle for $1800 that I just saw advertised? 🙂

    Chuck, I like the “dreaded resolve.” Where did that come from?

    Victor, I saw books in the Champion’s Choice catalog by Lenny Basheer(?) that you mentioned. What was his claim to fame again?

    Slinging Lead, you’re at your own risk against the sword-canes and the retired Golden Gloves fighters. Yes, Rosa is hot–quite a tall woman too–she would have made a fine tennis player. And like Lyudmila, her shooting skills were actually overshadowed by her super gung-ho attitude. Apparently, with most of her unit wiped out, she clamored for a combat assignment right until the end of the war when she was killed. And, as I saw from another video, the women not only faced the threat of death. Gruesome mutilation and rape was another danger from the very PO’d Nazis who got hold of them. I’d say Rosa was quite the anti-war poster child too. It is the height of insanity for any guy to be in the position of wanting to kill her instead of asking her out on a date.

    Duskwight, thanks for the ID of the song. Now, I’m wondering what the women snipers and their male comrades ate? What was in those sacks that they were carrying on their backs? When visiting the Russian martial artists in Toronto, I tried to get them to recommend a Russian food place–they have quite a large Russian community in that city–but there was no time. Were the Russian soldiers eating pirogies? I ate U.S. C rations during an ROTC trip and didn’t think they were half bad. A little on the salty and preserved side but that has never bothered me–at least in small doses, and I was surprised at the effort made to recreate traditional dishes right down to the dessert. I understand that the MREs are even better and certainly well-suited to my cooking habits, but they are a tad expensive.

    I’ve been wondering about a poll here. Can everyone name their favorite shot of all time? For me, the final candidates would include the time I hit a shotgun shell at 50 yards with my B30 and made it jump. I did offhand too but I think I just impacted nearby, not right on the shell. Or there are any of the four shots that went into my .15 CTC group with my Savage 10FP at 50 yards. I definitely had the dreaded resolve there and could do no wrong. But probably the winner is when I was checking my zero at 100 yards with the Savage 10FP by aiming on the corner of an asphalt block that was buried in the berm. I laid the crosshairs right on the tip and saw it erupt in a geyser of fragments. Incredible. I felt like a naval 16 inch gun all by myself. You have to love the reactive targets. For B.B., I’m guessing those seated shots with the pistol at 80 and 300 yards or maybe the one where he pulverized a bee flying across a target at 100 yards. For Duskwight, perhaps any one of the shots for his outrageous offhand 25 yard groups (unless he does that routinely). For Slinging Lead, his shots at the cockroaches. For Victor…well, I can’t imagine. Qualifications are not just for marksmanship but for something particularly memorable about the shot for whatever reason (spectacle, diabolical satisfaction, whatever). Fill me in.


    • Matt,
      I made up the “Dreaded Resolve” when I quit smoking many, many years ago. I still use it frequently when there is a situation that requires me to make up my mind to do it and stick to it no matter what. It’s a mind-over-matter frame of mind. Kinda like the US going after Osama. That’s Dreaded Resolve.

    • Matt61,
      For a quick summary of Lanny Basham, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanny_Bassham.

      I tried out for the 1976 Olympics that Lanny Basham won Gold in, so I knew first hand how significant his performance was. At that time, it was clear that no one could touch him. He truly was in a league all by himself at that time. It wasn’t about his win record but his record breaking scores. They were phenomenal.

      I think you’ll like the short biography in the wiki page.

    • Matt,

      Pirogi is a feast dish, not everyday meal in our days 🙂

      If field kitchens were fast enough and supply lines ok they had bread, 2 hot meals and tea.
      Soup was borstch or stchi or potato soup, or fish soup, second dish was wheat porridge, buckwheat porridge with meat, or potato with meat, or spaghetti with meat etc. Army cuisine was and is quite similar to common cuisine, simple and nourishing. Good deal of bread – black bread mostly, in winter – salted lard as a high-energy food, some vodka or cognac to get warmer or cheer up.

      However when supply lines were not ok (and it happened quite often) and logistics were down, soldiers ate whatever they had or took from the enemy. A clever soldier always had something in store (and most clever soldiers had first and second priority stashes). Lard, hard chuck, hard sausage, salted meat, canned meat and so on.
      Grandpa loved German sardines – they were tasty and their oil was useful when there was no special firearms oil around with some kerosene added. Captured Belgian chocolate or French and German wine was ok too, but German synthetic margarine and so-called “honey” were disgusting as well as their cigs.

      Emergency dishes were based on “eat anything you can” maxima. Freshly killed artillery horse was always welcomed, as well as fish killed by blast waves, summer brought berries, fruits, sorrel and nettle (do not laugh, it makes for a great soup) and mushrooms (in case there was time to gather and cook). Exotic meals included snakes (Grandpa killed an adder while they were making dugout and he and his sergeant made a bet if Grandpa could eat this. He lost – it was skinned and roasted, tasting like a chicken with a fish texture) and frog legs (very tasty stuff, baked on fire).

      Grandpa told me that they systematically raided German trenches and positions to keep pressure on Germans and occcasionally get some trophy chow. It was a sort of recon bravado – to get there silently, knife some watchmen or machinegunners, place explosive surprises and steal some “dainties” like rounds (recons preferred German or Finnish weapons for their sound signature and easier ammo supply), canned food, sausages, sweets and booze.

      As for my most most remembered shot… Maybe that would be an interesting story: I was shooting @ 50 m (zeroed on 25) from soft rest, testing my rifle’s work and my handling of it after some renovations.
      I saw some AK empty brass on the floor – somebody was training with his Saiga before us. They were like tiny shining dots at c. 38-40 meters, laying mostly bottoms towards me.
      I shot one of them and there was a ring and a rattle. I aimed at another and I was lucky again. And again. And again. Pure fun! After a fourth “ring” I realized to my own surprise that I’m not taking time to calculate drop. It all became automatic. So most precious for me was that joy, the feeling of understanding the pellet’s path.


  6. B.B.,

    Thanks for writing again on the P1; I have long been looking forward to an update to your 2005 report.

    I have two questions for you concerning the P1: First, is it sufficiently quiet for indoor shooting (assuming, of course, that I have the proper backstop)? Second, for the purpose of target practice, would you recommend .177 or .22 caliber?

    On a different note, I am having a bit of trouble with rattlesnakes. However, it is not always possible for me to have an air rifle handy should I need to dispense with one. Are there any air pistols powerful enough for such a job at a distance of about 12 to 15 feet?


    • Lee,

      I think the P1 is quiet enough for indoors, but everyone will have a different opinion. It’s quieter than the clap of hands.

      Shooting rattlesnakes! As a young First Lieutenant with the Cav I always carried a .22 revolver into the field while at Ft. Bliss. One day a rattler reared up in the middle of the track and challenged our jeep. So I had the driver stop and I leveled that cheap revolver at him. I held on the poor snake for about five seconds then shot him between the eyes! I thought I was hot!

      About 20 snakes later and I have learned what is happening. If you keep the barrel of a gun trained on a snake’s head for long enough, he will align with the threat so your pellet or bullet cannot miss. I demonstrated this to Edith on at least two occasions. The snake does all the work but the shooter looks good.

      A Beeman R1 in .22 will take out a rattler, but I’d want a really potent air pistol.


  7. Lee,

    Consider these two, /product/benjamin-marauder-pcp-air-pistol?m=2367 or
    While I don’t have any experience with rattlesnakes these pistols do pack a punch.
    Anyone else have any suggestions to hunting rattlesnakes with an air pistol?

    • Lee

      I have a P1, and I think it could definitely take out a rattlesnake while you stay out of its striking range.

      I have taken out squirrels with a 1377c modified to .22 cal, so I think that would easily do the job as well.

      The Browning 800 mag is the most powerful non PCP pistol I am aware of. It has an anti-recoil feature. Never shot one though.

  8. Had a P1 for years, .20 cal, first year of issue, bought it off the Beeman showroom floor in Santa Rosa. For the life of me, I could just never master that gun. There was nothing wrong with it, the trigger was great, the hold was comfortable, but I could never get it to hit where I wanted it to. Granted I’m a poor pistol shooter to begin with, but I could always do better with my Webley Hurricane, which has a similar rearward recoil, but a much worse trigger. And I could do MUCH better with my Diana 5 with the nylon grip. THAT pistol fit me perfectly, and shot wonderfully.

    I tried for years to love the P1, but she never returned the favor.

    Having said all that, I have friends that have P1s who can pick grasshoppers off a milkweed, freehand. Alas, I guess it’s just me.

  9. Slinging Lead,

    When you have the time I’ve got a couple of questions about your 1377 converted to a .22: what length barrel did you use, what fps are you getting at your most accurate power level shooting what pellet, did you modify the valve in any way, what are you using for sights, and are you using a shoulder stock? Thank you!


    PS spell checker on Google Chrome isn’t working–I’m in trouble

  10. Just unboxed a HW45 Black Star .22cal
    Shot almost a tin of FTTP 15.1g @ -20 Celsius.
    First few shots dieseled fast with a nice puff of acrid blue smoke swirling from the breech…….
    Then the temperature began its vile decent on POI…shot after shot, the impact had begun dead cemter out of the box @30ft and then dropped by about 10inches after shot 100+, the cold had gripped the piston tight and caused a dramatic
    pause between the shot being fired and the
    impact 30ft away to lengthen considerable and the pellet was now visible in flight.
    During my zeroing I experienced an few shots that would diesel and cause the POI to raise considerably with a corresponding increase in velocity.
    I have read many important bits of information that are extremely helpful but the question of why the HW45 loses so much velocity in the cold I have yet to find an answer with a solid fix.
    The manufacturer states that the function of the pistol is to slightly combust for every shot maintaining claimed velocitys…maybe the cold prevents the diesel of the internal factory lubrication.
    How often do you add a couple of drops of spring and cylinder lube to keep the HW45 shooting the way it was designed to function?
    I have to either heavily chisel out a proper grip for my size 12+ hands ,because there is material to play with, especially with the over all fit and finish of the grips or purchase a replacement ambidextrous set of grips that are milled to specs.
    Is the HW factory pistol scope of quality and function?….what about the Millet RedDot and split rings?
    I purchased the HW45 Black Star to last a lifetime but already there is an issue out of the box…..

    • Adam,

      Welcome to the blog.

      I don’t think a lack of oil is causing the velocity loss. The HW45 piston seal is made from PTFE. It flexes to seal the gun when shot. By when it’s cold it loses some elasticity. I think warmer weather will speed it up again.

      Are you cocking ti to the first stop or the second? That will make a difference in velocity. See Part 1, pictures 2 and 3.

      The oil goes into the transfer port, which is located where the breech seals. On this pistol, that is back by the hand instead of forward. When you open the top of the gun, look at where the barrels was raised.


      • Thank you for your reply.
        It does stand to reason the seals are not functioning properly in winter cold yet that limits the design capabilities by plummeting velocities.
        What oil would be the best option to use in the winter to maintain a positive seal?
        I don’t mind practicing in the cold.

          • B.B. Pelletier,
            Thank you for the advice…I ordered some spring and chamber oils…RWS
            I just was very surprised by the significant decrease in velocity during winter weather which was the reason I accquired a Springer so that this problem would be minimized.
            Is there a replacement seal that performs better in the cold than the stock PTFE?

            • Adam,

              The PTFE (Teflon) seal works the best in your gun. The compression chamber is very small and the pistol is getting all the performance possible from it.

              PTFE is the best because it squashes out to fit the chamber. Other synthetic materials retain their shape and would not be as efficient.

              Sorry, but the HW45 is doing the best that can be done with the seal that’s in it now.


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