Beeman Double Barrel air rifle: Part 3
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test
- The first pellet — Crosman Premier lites
- Oh, my!
- The best — Hobbys
- Let’s consider this
- Air Arms Falcons
- I was wrong — sort of
Hold on, kids, because today’s report will be the most exciting one you have read in a long time! Today I start looking at the accuracy of the Beeman Double Barrel air rifle. If you are sharp you caught the fact that I said I am starting testing accuracy today. That means there will be more tests to come! Let’s see how this rifle does!
I shot the rifle off a rest at 10 meters. The first shot, however, was from just 12 feet, because I wanted to know whether both those pellets were really going to hit inside the pellet trap from 10 meters. I don’t need any more pellets in the garage drywall!
I started with Crosman Premier lites, because they did so well in the velocity test. The first thing I want to tell you is that crossbow rear sight really works. It’s hard to see both sights plus the target with my injured right eye, but when the target is lit brightly I can see it fine with my left eye. The first shot grouped two pellets so close together that I took a picture for you.
The first pellet — Crosman Premier lites
I tried to shoot from my right side, but I found that I could not see both the sights and the bullseye with my injured right eye. So today I would have to learn to shoot left-handed with the artillery hold.
The sights are very sharp and clear! They are target sights, though — not that good for hunting, I think. But they aren’t just a gimmick — they really do work very well!
The first shot from 10 meters put two pellets on paper about even with the bull and off to the left. They are no farther apart than they are from 12 feet, which really surprised me. Maybe we have something here.
I shot 5 times, which is 10 shots. Then I went downrange to change targets. When I got to the target I could only see 8 holes. There was a cluster of 4 pellets in a single hole at the lower right of the group, but it looked like just two pellet holes. No one would ever believe me that group wasn’t just 8 shots. Heck — I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t just shot it. So I went back and shot two more pellets. This is where it gets really interesting!
Back downrange to the target and guess what? That hole at the lower right of the group was now slightly bigger. One pellet from the 6th shot went into that hole and the other landed very close. There are a total of 5 pellets in that hole!
Here are 12 Crosman Premiers from 10 meters with open sights and me shooting left-handed. It measures 1.961-inches between centers for 12 shots. There are a total of 5 pellets in that little hole the arrow is pointing at, and that group measures 0.257-inches between centers!
Well, what do you think about that? I was shocked to see that target. Can this rifle actually shoot? Just wait — the best is yet to come.
The best — Hobbys
Next I thought I would try some RWS Hobbys. These do surprisingly well in some air rifles. With the first shot I saw what I had expected to see from this rifle. The two pellets were separated by more than 2.5-inches. But as I continued to shoot I could see both holes growing slightly larger — especially the bottom one. In the end there were 10 Hobbys in 2.975-inches between centers, with the larger group of 5 measuring 0.951-inches between centers and the smaller group of 5 measuring 0.267-inches between centers.
Ten RWS Hobby pellets made two distinct groups that measure a total of 2.975-inches between centers. The larger group of 5 measures 0.951-inches between centers and the smaller group measures 0.267-inches.
Let’s consider this
The Premier group is vague because the pellets shot to the same place sometimes and not at other times. But this Hobby pellet gives us two distinct groups to evaluate. And, the smaller of the two is just 0.267-inches between centers. That isn’t just good; it’s phenomenal! Especially when you consider that I am shooting left-handed with the artillery hold I have never tried the artillery hold on my left side before today.
Is the Double Barrel rifle accurate? I think this group proves that it wants to be. However, there are two separate groups — we can’t lose sight of that. And I am only shooting at 10 meters.
I was going to stop at this point, but with these results I wanted to see what one more pellet could do. After all, ten pellet holes is only 5 shots with this airgun. I’m not tired yet.
Air Arms Falcons
Falcon pellets from Air Arms often do well, so I picked them for the final test. Once again there were two separate groups, but this time the separation wasn’t as great. the total group measures 2.287-inches between centers. As with the Hobbys, the higher group is bigger than the lower one. The larger group of 5 measures 1.245-inches between centers, while the smaller measures 0.619-inches between centers.
Ten Falcon pellets made two distinct groups that measure a total of 2.287-inches between centers. The larger group of 5 measures 1.245-inches between centers and the smaller group measures 0.619-inches.
There are several things to consider. Do we want to find a pellet for this rifle that groups both barrels together, like the Premier lites sort of did? Or are we more interested in the pellets that group the best from one barrel — which would be the Hobbys in this test? I think there is an answer to this puzzle.
This test demonstrates that whatever Chinese factory is making this unusual air rifle (is it Village number two, as my buddy Mac used to say?) can make a good barrel. That means it would be real nice if we could turn off each barrel separately and just shoot one at a time. If we could do that and get results like these, this rifle would wind up being a best buy! And that is despite the horrible heavy trigger with its long creepy pull.
I was wrong — sort of
I thought today’s test was going to be a bust. I would laugh at the results and advise you to stay away from a novelty airgun like this. But I was wrong — sort of. And we know that there are models of this rifle that allow just a single pellet from either barrel to be fired.
Yes, the rifle does shoot to two different places. Yes, there probably are some pellets that will group together, but their groups will be very large. I will continue to look at that, but I don’t think that is what anyone really wants.
Here is what is good about today’s test. We learned that this company can make an accurate spring air rifle. If we can get that down to just a single pellet per shot, the rifle has good power and nice shooting characteristics. And the open sights, while admittedly unique, do work very well.
I plan to mount an optical sight for the next test. I’m thinking a good dot sight, rather than a scope.
I will also try some different pellets, though I think I’ll try these three again, as well. I think this test is getting interesting.