by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Gamo acquires Daisy
- Beeman Double Barrel air rifle
- Double barrel?
- Initial impressions
- The rifle
- Metal finish and plastic
- The manual
- The trigger
- Upcoming tests and challenges
- Impression so far
Gamo acquires Daisy
First the news. Yesterday, July 5th, Gamo Outdoor SL announced the acquisition of Daisy Outdoor Products. “This is the beginning of a new chapter in Daisy’s history”, said Joe Murfin, Vice President of Public Relations. Indeed, it is. It will be interesting to watch this new association as it grows into a new entity.
Now, let’s look at an air rifle that’s unusual.
Beeman Double Barrel air rifle
Today I begin my review of the Beeman Double Barrel air rifle. Let me start by mentioning that’s not its real name. The Chinese owners of the Beeman company actually named this unique air rifle the Dual by Beeman. However, in light of the fact that there have been several rifles called the Beeman Dual Caliber air rifle over the past several years, the stage was set for mass confusion.
Those other rifles all feature interchangeable barrels that the owners can swap at their pleasure. But they all hold just one barrel at a time. In that respect they are very conventional. The Double Barrel rifle has two barrels that are permanently mounted to the rifle. When this breakbarrel spring-piston rifle is cocked, both barrels pivot downward, being held rigid at their breech by the base block and at the front by a dual barrel band. Pyramyd AIR wisely calls this a double barrel rifle, which it is. That avoids the confusion with the dual caliber air rifles that are now known so well. I will therefore continue to use Pyramyd Air’s title for this airgun.
My advice to the manufacturers is to pay attention to what Pyramyd AIR has done. They have to sell your rifles and they know they will have problems if customers are confused.
The Double Barrel is a spring-piston breakbarrel. It has a single piston. Both barrels fire every time the trigger is pulled. There is no switching between the barrels — both fire every time! And the gun I am testing is in .177 caliber — meaning both barrels are that caliber. I have seen a version of this airgun at the SHOT Show that had a .22 barrel and a .177 barrel, but that version is not listed at Pyramyd AIR. Given the different velocities of those two calibers that would result in different trajectories, I think that would be very unusual. Not that the one we are looking at today isn’t a bit outside the box! And speaking of the box, let’s begin there.
My first impression was the box. It’s very well done and explains the gun inside to some extent. For starters it gives the name of the airgun. But following close afterward is the velocity. The box tells you right up front that this rifle achieves up to 700 f.p.s. with alloy pellets. Where other airguns just give a number at best, this box tells you the pellets to use! That is impressive.
Then the box is opened and I see an air rifle presented in the best possible way! A styrofoam insert holds everything in tight suspension, waiting for the new owner’s first grasp. This box is a study in how to present an airgun.
I pulled the rifle from its tight resting place and learned that is is heavy and stout. Mine weighs 9 pounds, even. The stock dimensions are wide and fill the hand. This is a large air rifle. Overall length is 44-3/4-inches, with a long 14-15/16-inch length of pull (length from the trigger to the end of the butt pad).
The barrels are 18-3/16-inches long. And no — they most definitely are not “soda straw” barrels! They are thinner than their outside diameter suggests, with the outside being what I think are aluminum sheaths (because they don’t attract a magnet — though the steel barrels inside do). The view of the breech is a sight to behold!
The stock is made from what the box says is European hardwood. I looked at every square millimeter of it with a tactical flashlight and found no wood filler. What a difference from Chinese stocks that were made a few years ago! The wood is smooth and reasonably well-finished, though the profiles look melted or softly rounded on most edges.
The wood finish is a muddy brown finish that is coming off on the few sharp edges around the top, where the barreled action is inlet. It appear that it may wear off, though nothing has happened in the brief tome I have handled it so far. On the whole I have to say it is a good stock — just not heirloom quality. For the price of the rifle, it is among the best stocks I’ve seen.
Metal finish and plastic
The metal is finished matte black all over. The lettering is laser engraved, which turns the black to silver, making a nice contrast.
There are a couple plastic parts on the rifle, like the triggerguard and the barrel bands. They are unobtrusive and I don’t think most shooters will take offense.
Well — if the rifle can be considered curious, the rear sight is a downright oddity! The best description I can give is to call it a crossbow sight. It isn’t, of course. In fact it’s like no other rear sight I have ever seen. It’s a conventional notch sight with green (I am guessing) fiberoptic dots on either side of the notch. The front sight is a red fiberoptic bead that shooters with normal color vision may find easy to see.
I have mounted the sight on the rifle and I see a problem — not just for me but for everybody. The rear notch is far too large for the front bead, because it is too close to the sighting eye. I have tried it with both eyes, but there is no precision. I will have more to say about it after I shoot the rifle for accuracy, but right now the front bead gets lost in the huge space afforded by the rear sight. I have positioned it as far forward as possible on the dovetails and it’s still too large.
A pair of 11mm dovetails is cut directly into the spring tube. So a scope can be mounted. And there is a scope stop already attached at the rear of the tube, though it can be removed if you like. For some reason I am thinking that a good dot sight might be the best for this rifle.
The owner’s manual has zero information about this air rifle. It comes with a single addendum sheet that is the only place I see the rifle mentioned specifically. That sheet exists to explain the rear sight , plus the fact that 2 pellets must be fired every time. The manual is a loose collection of safety items, advertising literature and watered-down shooting guidelines. I bet it made it through the corporate legal approval process just fine, but an owner’s manual it isn’t.
The trigger is 2-stage and adjustable — though how I will have to discover. The safety is automatic and the lever inside the triggerguard comes back toward the trigger when the rifle is cocked. It is light and easy to take off with the trigger finger.
Upcoming tests and challenges
Think accuracy is my problem? It will be, but what about chronographing? What will the chronograph think when it sees not one but two pellets zooming past the skyscreens. I won’t worry about that until I get there, but it’s coming.
Oh, and all you half-mad readers will undoubtedly dream up weird experiments for me to try — like putting a heavy pellet in the top barrel and a lightweight in the bottom and seeing at what distance they converge — if ever. This rifle could become a spark inside a flour mill!
Impression so far
I see something in this strange rifle that I don’t see in most Chinese airguns. I see innovation. Is it good? Who knows? That’s why I’m evaluating it for you. But at least they didn’t copy anybody. This one is totally theirs.
In a million years this is not a product I would ever have thought of, but now I get to experience someone else’s creativity. For the past 2 years I have made jokes about this rifle. The joking time is over and the testing time has begun.