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History Beeman R8: Part 3

Beeman R8: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Rail Lock Compressor R8

The Beeman R8 looks like a baby R1.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • RWS Hobby
  • Adjusted the sights
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Superdome
  • The big surprise!
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Beeman R8 that I acquired at the Findlay airgun show earlier this month. I’m shooting off a rest at 10 meters, using the open sights. I rested the rifle directly on the sandbag, because it is shooting so smooth.

RWS Hobby

I tried RWS Hobby pellets first. I felt they might do well, given the rifle’s power, though the velocity test revealed they are substandard in this rifle. I should have remembered that, because they didn’t group that well. Ten pellets went into 0.551-inches at 10 meters. I know that’s better than a lot of rifles I’ve tested recently, but I expect more from the R8.

Hobby target 1
Ten RWS Hobby pellets made this 0.551-inch group at 10 meters. It’s not bad, but this rifle can do better.

After I had shot all the other pellets and adjusted the sights to hit the center of the bull I felt that Hobbys deserved a second chance, so I shot another group. This time 10 pellets went into 0.724-inches, so the first group was representative of this pellets’s accuracy.

Hobby target 2
A second group of Hobbys is more centered on target but it’s also larger, at 0.724-inches. Not the pellet for this rifle!

Adjusted the sights

I decided to adjust the rear sight to get the pellets close to the center of the bull. Tomorrow I will tell you about my time filming American Airgunner, where I rediscovered what most people think about accuracy. I will explain it tomorrow. At any rate, I wanted to see the pellets in the center of the bull.

JSB Exact RS

Next up were JSB Exact RS pellets that performed so well in the velocity test. They also grouped well, with 10 going into 0.37-inches. That is what I expected from this R8.

JSB Exact RS target
Ten JSB Exact RS pellets went into 0.37-inches at 10 meters. This is what I expected from the rifle.

RWS Superdome

Next I tried some RWS Superdomes. Given the low power (at present) of this R8, this is a heavy pellet to try, but I find sometimes that heavier pellets do work well at lower velocities. This was one such time, as 10 Superdomes went into 0.456-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superdome target

Ten RWS Superdome pellets grouped in 0.456-inches at 10 meters.

The big surprise!

Last week I told you how I select pellets for tests. I told you that I never know for sure what a pellet will do, but I try to use the proven performers. The last pellet I shot in the R8 was the Crosman Premier lite. As with all the other pellets, I did not look at the target until the final pellet was fired. Actually, I waited until I had to retrieve the target. And that is when I saw it — 10 shots in 0.297-inches! Yes — this R8 can shoot!

Premier lite target
Ten Crosman Premier lite pellets went into 0.297-inches at 10 meters.


Well, now we know that the rifle can shoot. Next I think I will take it apart and we will all see what’s inside. That is another chance to see the Air Venturi Rail Lock spring compressor system in action. Then I will lubricate the powerplant with some special lube you will all want to learn about, and we will see what happens to the velocity.

I do plan on shooting this rifle with a scope, as well. I think that will happen after the lubrication. After that, we shall see if there is anything more to do.

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.

40 thoughts on “Beeman R8: Part 3”

  1. Nice shooting and looking forwards to getting a peak at the insides of the Ol’ Girl. Nice call on using a scope in the future as well. Looking forwards to “what most people think about accuracy” too,… nice “tease”! 😉

    Good day all,…. Chris

    • Chris,
      Regarding Daisy lever action BB gun cocking effort:

      Model 1938B Red Ryder <100 shots, no mods, 270 fps avg.- 11lb 14oz
      Model 499 using Red Ryder spring, no preload spacer, 421 fps avg.- 12lb 13oz
      Modified Red Ryder, using 0.625" preload spacer, larger air tube ID, 335 fps avg.- 14lb 1oz

      I cannot say for sure why the 499 effort is ~1lb more than the stock Red Ryder, but there might be variations in the springs, different amounts of lube, different fit of the pistons in the compression chambers, etc.

      • Cobalt327,

        How is the accuracy with the souped-up 499? At what distance does its accuracy dramatically decrease? For example, is it still quite accurate at 25 feet? 10 yards?


        • Michael,
          I’ve only shot one target w/the modified 499, it was at 10m. The 5 shot group was statistically equal to the best groups I got with the unmodified 499: 0.85″ vs. 0.9″. I have zero doubt the gun is capable of better groups- both modded and unmodded. The problem is me, as I just don’t shoot off a rest as well as others do, nor am I proficient w/the 5899 peep sight. Only the front of the gun was supported.

          • Forgot to add- the majority of my backyard targets are hanging plastic water bottles, tuna cans, etc. They’re at 20 to 30 yards and as the 499 now sits, it has no problem hitting w/authority at those distances.

            • Cobalt327,

              I have a 499 and I can shoot ragged one-hole groups at 5 meters with the BB gun rested. I plink at 2.5 or so times that distance however. If I could shoot off-hand at 40 feet and usually hit what I’m shooting at, it would be great. My Red Ryder is about 60 percent at such distances. 80 percent would be much more gratifying.


              • My experience was similar- fine at up to 10m but the further out I went, the more elevation I needed. At somewhere past 20m I ran out of elevation adjustment altogether.

            • Cobalt327,

              Thank you for the added info. I am looking forward to doing the modification. I do not get home until around 5:30 PM so I will be ordering it Friday as I am currently working four 10’s. 20 and 30 yards is good. The most I have tried was indoors at 41′ and there was a pretty good drop at that distance. A couple of inches if I remember correctly. I love the peeps and surprised that you have an issue with them,… then again I can’t shoot worth a crap with open sights either, while others can. Scopes and peepers for me.

  2. B.B. Pelletier,

    Mild surprise that the wadcutters were outperformed by a domed pellet. Then again we know that barrels follow their own rules when it comes to the pellet that will give the most accuracy.

    Special lube? With Molybdenum grease for moving metal parts and Silicone oil for piston seals what could it possibly be?

    You have previously stated you preferred that the bullseye remain intact as an aiming point. Why did you want to see the pellets in the center of the bull? What did you rediscover about accuracy?

    I know. All these and more will be answered in the next installment of your blog. Patience youngling!


    • Siraniko,

      My desire to see the pellets inside the bull was prompted by the reactions others had while filming “American Airgunner.” I will explain tomorrow.

      The special lube is something I( think you know about already. 😉


      • B.B.,

        I am with you on doing it normal. The sights can ((always)) be adjusted. I like a clean bull too and am only looking for group size. Now, with the Maximus being my small critter gun,.. I have the scope adjusted to hit the bull,… after shooting the other way first.


  3. BB,

    Speaking of lubricants, I know that the “black tar” you frequently use is an open gear grease. Have you ever had experience with food grade open gear grease? It would be “white tar”. I have a small quantity, probably enough for over a dozen sproingers, and was thinking of trying some on my Tomahawk when I do a tear down.

  4. B.B.
    Nice shootin’ on your part!
    I have been thinking about getting an R7 to replace the one that I [quite foolishly] let go as part of my “upgrade” to an HW77. I really miss the R7, but now you have me thinking that what I should really get is an R8 (or HW50s).
    I’ll be interested to see the tear down and re-build of this cool ol’ gal. =)
    take care & God bless,

  5. BB

    After reading your recommendations over and over on this blog I finally bought 4 boxes (buy 4 pay for 3, right) of Premier Lites. Am I ever glad I did. This weekend I got to shoot them from my Model 52 (which I recently dug out after reading your 2005 blog about it’s merits) and got .319″ ctc ,10 shot group at 12 yards. Also got .300″ with Ultra Magnums( Heavies ?) and both of those out performed Crosman’s Copper Domed at .405″ .After your reporting and my own experience I’m beginning to think the 20% Better Accuracy claim is all hype. I’m even getting good results from their pointed pellets in the milk carton at .450″ .

    So thanks for all your help and advice and for the archives that hold that advice for posterity. I may never have shot that 52 again, had I not read that archived blog as I had shelved it as inaccurate (turns out I needed you ,in yet another blog, to teach me the correct hold for shooting it.)

  6. I had given the idea of “what is accurate” some thought lately, trying to get it down to numbers. Based on the guns I own, and some comparison to those seen in field targee competition, my own definition is based on shooting out to 30 yards, and holding 2 MOA as “good”, with 1 MOA being what I would really like to have. This link is a good calculator:


    So, my best PCP rifle (a Bracaglia tuned Marauder) can hold that 1 MOA (0.314) inches off a rest with JSB 10.3 grain pellets. My best springer is a CZ634 (Gene Curtis tuned) , and it can do 0.628 inch groups on a good day with JSB Exact 8.4 grain. Don’t ask me for photos, but I’m pretty certain of this ;-).

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but the 0.297 inch group at 10M for BB’s R8 rifle (today’s post) yields a 2.6 MOA result, putting it in what I might call pretty good.

    The top competitors in the 10M rifle competition are shooting at 0.5 mm bulls, and score a hit with a pattern spread of 5.0 mm (the pellet and bull diameters added). That is a 1.7 MOA 60 shot group – and they are free standing shots! Since the best shooters in the world are getting close every shot hitting the bull, we can infer that those Anschutz rifles will hold much better than 1 MOA 5 shot groups at 10M off a rest. We can perhaps agree, this is the ideal for an airgun.

    I do like that R8 rifle!


    p.s. hope to see some of you at Malvern this week.

    • I, too, have applied the MOA standards of firearms to airguns, and the conclusion is inescapable. Airguns, broadly speaking, just do not keep up with firearms. It is not uncommon to have rifle firearms that shoot MOA, but only very fine airguns will do this. As the blog suggested long ago, the only point where airguns are equal or superior is for elite airguns at 10 meters. But even the .6 MOA quoted for Feinwerkbau rifles, while very good, can be achieved by firearms of lesser quality. Out from 10 meters and lower in price, the airgun accuracy drops off. I attribute this to the looping ballistics of airgun pellets compared to the flatter shooting firearms.

      This is no discredit to the airguns. I think they just serve a different purpose. I can get as much satisfaction out of my IZH 61 as my more accurate firearms, and the techniques transfer perfectly. You can strive to achieve high accuracy with pcps at greater distances, but I think that is a case of trying to turn airguns into firearms.


      • Hello, Matt,
        I concur with you. Common or “not uncommon” are hard to quantify. In my own firearm experience, my Ruger 10/22 “deluxe” (bedded, w/improved trigger) has never given me MOA at 30 yards, even with match ammo. Of course, it’s not really a “target” rifle. My CZ527 (7.62×39) won’t, either – but that’s based on shooting maybe 100 rounds of Russian ammo. My brother has a CZ452 (bolt action 22LR) that WILL hold 1 MOA using special ammo. I think a lot of us in the USA have shot the 22 LR guns since childhood, and generally, the ammo we use has too much variability for MOA. On several instances, shooting my Marauder on a public rifle range at 50 yds, I’ve outshot my friends with their .22’s. This mostly agrees with your comments.

  7. Hi,

    Are the Weihrauch HW80 and the Beeman R1 essentially the same gun? They look very different, and the R1 is a bit more expensive. Do you consider one better than the other?

    Thank you,

    • Doug,

      The Beeman R1 and the HW 80 are the same gun in different stocks. At times, one may have different features (sights, etc.) than the other, but the barreled actions are the same.

      HW80s are made for other markets under lower power outputs, so not all of them have the4 same power as the R1.


      • BB,

        Do you think the HW80 sold at Pyramyd AIR would have the same power as the R1 sold at Pyramyd Air?

        Would you personally pick the R1 over the HW80, or is it too close to call?


        • Doug,

          Yes, I think those two rifles are equivalent in power. I was referring to HW80s made for the UK.

          Years ago R1 had a more westernized stock profile. It was more like what Americans expect in a stock. Today they look the same. It’s too close to call.


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