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Education / Training The Beeman C1 — Part 3 The rifle that created the artillery hold

The Beeman C1 — Part 3 The rifle that created the artillery hold

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
A history of airguns

This is an oldie from 2009 that I recycled because I was out of town, attending to my sister several weeks ago. Today we look at Part 3.

Despite the size of this photo, the C1 is a small rifle. The western look was unique in its day. The scope is a 2-7X32 BSA.

Today, I’ll test the Beeman C1 carbine for accuracy. You will remember that it was shooting on the slow side when I tested it in Part 2. That shouldn’t affect accuracy, though. You will also remember that the C1 has a single-stage trigger that many of you say you prefer. This one came from the factory rough and creepy but broke in to be smooth and sweet, if not exactly crisp.

My rifle is scoped with a BSA 2-7×32 scope. The C1 has no scope stop, so the rear ring is butted against the end of the 11mm dovetails, which end at the end cap. It’s not a good way to stop a scope, but it’s all this Webley had.

You may recall that when I got this rifle it had the scope mounted. I always wonder when I get one like that if the scope was just thrown on for looks or perhaps it lived on the rifle for many years and is sighted-in to a gnat’s eyelash. I’ve never found one of the latter, and this one certainly never knew this scope before I started shooting it. It was off by about a foot at 23 yards! What I’m saying is people don’t often sell sighted-in rifles.

I painstakingly adjusted the scope until it was hitting the point of aim–sort of. Actually, the story is much more interesting, so why don’t I tell you?

To make a long story short…
This is the first pellet rifle I have not been able to shoot well. It simply refused all my attempts to shoot a group no matter what I did. I tried a total of seven different pellets over a period of several hours and nothing worked. I tried holding it tight, loose and not at all. I shot it off the flat of my palm, the backs of my fingers and straight off the sandbag–nothing worked.


Best group of the session was this horrible showing. Notice, though, that three pellets are touching. While they aren’t even a great group for this close, they do show that the rifle has promise.


This is what the average group looked like.
I cleaned the barrel and encountered the tightest barrel I’ve ever seen. The brass brush was so bent after cleaning that I threw it away–the first time I’ve ever done that. But even after that cleaning, the rifle remained inaccurate.

I checked the screws and they were all as tight as they would go. I wiggled the scope and it was tight. While many shooters blame their scopes for inaccuracy, I have found that it’s seldom them that causes massive inaccuracy. This scope may still be bad, but I’ll not blame it yet.

Then I wiggled the muzzle. To my surprise it rocked from side to side a quarter of an inch! Then I cocked the rifle and positioned the barrel halfway up (closed). It would not remain in position on its own. The baseblock is loose in the forks. No way is that rifle going to be accurate until that’s fixed. I’ll examine some other things before testing the rifle again, too.

By this time, I’d spent the better part of a day on this rifle, so I decided to call it quits and make my report. There’s more work ahead before this problem is resolved, so we will have a part 4.

Editor’s note: There never was a Part 4. I was so discouraged by that rifle that I got rid of it. I know the story would beb better if I had persisted and finally won, but sometimes you just have to walk away.

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.

38 thoughts on “The Beeman C1 — Part 3 The rifle that created the artillery hold”

  1. BB—-AS I have said (more than once) I have a late model Ci, with the safety. Right now, the baseblock is tight in the forks. This rifle is still accurate. How did you plan to tighten the fit of the baseblock? I would like to know in case my C1 ever needs to have its baseblock re-fitted. Thanks——Ed

  2. BB,

    LOL! It reminds me of the Ruger Air Hawk I picked up at a yard sale a while back. That thing was horrible. It had the Chinese copy of the T05 trigger. I tried to adjust it to be usable, but that was a no go. One shot it would be nice and crisp and light and the next it would be long and creepy. It vibrated badly and I never did find a pellet that worked well in it, despite the previous owner saying it was very accurate.

    I sold it at the 2012 Roanoke show and used the money to help buy my 1906 BSA. That was a good investment.

  3. BB,

    The newer BSA sproingers use pivot pins also. That is what has kept me from having one of those. I guess I could have machined it and put in a “blot with num”, but there are too many nice air rifles out there that do not need fixing.

    Sorry for busting your chops about that, but it just tickled my funny bone this morning.

  4. A 1/4″ of movement. That’s rediculous loose.

    And I had to tighten​ mine up yesterday on the HW30s. The barrel was starting to move freely. And the stock attaching screws also loosened up.

    What’s funny is I did not have a change in accuracy. Which I have had on other guns when both things happened to them. But I did notice the sound of the firing cycle changed. It was a little louder when the shot went off plus it kind of vibrated my cheek on the comb of the stock. It was not doing that when everything was tight. But that’s what alerted me to the change. It was not accuracy change that alerted me.

    After tightening everything it was all back to a buttery smooth shot cycle again. See them darn HW30s even shoot good when they are not suppose to. 🙂

  5. BB,
    You mentioned that a bolt and nut can be used instead of a pin but it would entail a bit of machining. Would that be just recessing the holes in the fork so that the bolt head and nut would fit into?
    Second, can you publish the serial # of that rifle because I may be in the market for one and won’want to get that one lol.

  6. The last line of a depressing (to me) Tennessee Williams play the main character says, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” I feel that is true for me as I’m learning the foibles of spring guns. So very many variables! Worse than working on software. In that arena I could better choose what and when to introduce and deal with. In my Gamo Hunter it’s all happening all the time, both with the gun and with my lack of experience and the ever-present learning curve. Sometimes frustrating and sometimes fun, always challenging.

    Airgun shooting, apart from the hobby/sport, has to be the cheapest of shooting sports. I have learned that the pursuit of the “just right” airgun can take the cost for the gun into the stratosphere. But, airgun shooting, cheap or expensive gun aside, has to be the lowest cost per round of anything in my experience. I recall B.B. saying that 5000 shots would cost about $125 depending on pellet choice. That won’t buy 100 rounds of 9mm.

    B.B. was so correct, I just want a tool. In the short term, to safely and humanely eliminate pests. Secondarily, to introduce Grandchildren to shooting. Beyond those, to amuse myself with target shooting and plinking in an economical format.

    I have finally decided to take the advice and counsel of forum posters and to go to a PCP or CO2 powered gun.

    CO2 powered guns have the advantage of lower than PCP startup costs, though a slightly higher “operating” cost. As well, there are inherent limitations with CO2 as regards, ambient temperature sensitivity and losing velocity with rapid fire. PCP has a significantly higher (for my budget) startup cost. So far I have not found any extraordinary ongoing operating costs above the cost of pellets.

    In PCP I’m looking at entry level guns, the Wildfire and the Discovery. Both come in at about the $380 mark with rifle and hand pump. Both are 2000 cc air chamber, one is a repeater, the other a single-shot. As for safety and young users, a single shot gun is safer. The Discovery muzzle velocity is rated slightly higher but, according to specs, is louder. One glaring difference is the number of shots per fill. Specifications show the Discovery at 25 shots per fill, while the Wildfire is at 60. Would 200 fps make that much difference?

    In CO2, the Crosman 1077 is almost pocket change.

    One more question, what is the inherent accuracy of each of these? The 1077 and the Wildfire should be equal since the Wildfire is based on the 1077. Is the Discovery a more accurate gun than the 1077/Wildfire? I think that there would be nothing more frustrating than to chase an accuracy level that is beyond the inherent ability of the platform. Like trying run the 24 hours of LeMans in a Chevy Vega.

    I am going to continue to work on the Hunter and to shoot, shoot, shoot. If I decide to sell the Hunter I want to be able to pass on a “debugged” gun and pellet selection that will give the new owner an encouraging introduction to air gunning. Until then, I’m going to work on refining my skill level and the Hunter rifle.

    • GrandpaDan
      Here check this gun out. It is basically a Benjamin Discovery that is made to use the 12 gram Co2 cartridge.

      I think it would be a better choice than the 1077 and Wild fire. They are both good shooting guns. But more for fast action plinking. Maybe some target shooting and starlings out to around 35 yards.

      And if you was to get the​ 2260 I just gave the link to. You can convert it to a PCP a couple different ways if you decided​ to get into pcp’s later on. One way is a hi-pac conversion. I did that to a couple 2240’s I had. Also you could buy the air tube and valve and fill fitting from Crosman for a Benjamin Discovery. The 2260 hammer/striker and end cap and barrel and breech will bolt right onto the Discovery parts I just mentioned. And Crosman is pretty reasonable on prices. Bet you could get the parts I mentioned under $50.

      Just figured I would throw that out there at you.

    • Grandpa Dan,

      cheapest and quickest is the CO2 rifle or pistol. Since you live in Pennsy, order direct from PA. They carry only quality. But keep in mind, this is a rifle low on power and not meant for hunting squirrels or chipmunks. However, for plinking, punching holes in paper and teaching your grandkids, I think it’s an excellent choice. Cartridges are way cheaper than a high pressure pump, no hearing protection required (eyes are recommended however) and you can even get look-alikes. Here is the PA page – /air-guns/pp_1

      Personally, I would stick with pellets and not BB’s. Less chance of ricochetting.

      Fred in GA

    • Grandpa Dan,

      If it was the Discovery,.. I would go with the Maximus, same platform, better barrel. The Wildfire I can’t speak to, but GF1 gave you the low down on that. One is multi-shot and no pumping. The other is pumping and single shot. For squirrels though,… the Maximus in .22 would be the (only) choice. Is that what not started all of this in the first place?,…. the squirrels?

    • GrandpaDan,

      As others have pointed out, the 1077 and Wildfire would be great for killing feral soda cans at close range, but pretty much useless against squirrels. The Discovery or Maximus would be an excellent choice for both feral soda cans and squirrels. They would also be light and easy to handle for the younger shooters. The effort to pump up one is not that great really.

      Do keep up with the Hunter. Eventually you will get the feel of it and with the suggested upgrades (trigger, etc.), you will likely find that you enjoy shooting it more and more.

    • GrandpaDan
      And like what Chris said about the Maximus. It will be able to dispatch birds and even sqerrials out to 50 yards. The 2260 I suggested probably won’t do that effectively. Maybe the 2260 would have enough power at 50 yards. But probably 35 I yards and in. And sqerrials are probably out of the question for the Wild fire or 1077 past 35 yards.

      The Maximus is accurate, makes good power and is a reasonable price. But be warned it is a little noisy when it shoots. Otherwise to me. The Maximus would be the choice over the other guns mentioned.

    • GrandpaDan
      You and I are in the very same boat. I have an RWS34P .22 caliber. I bought this spring powered magnum break-barrel rifle in 2013. I have been experimenting with various holds, several different pellet, and other suggestions here on the forum. Some of your words could describing your needs match my thoughts exactly.

      My main purpose for the airgun is to dispatch pesky house sparrows from my bluebird nesting boxes which are 25 yards from my back door. It’s been a hit and many more misses. I’m so frustrated with this rifle but nothing I have tried has helped improve my groups. My realistic goal is to shoot 1″ or less groups at 25 yards and do it consistently. And there’s the rub…consistently. I can do it occasionally but not consistently.

      So here we are…with a modest amount of money invested in these break-barrel rifles that are basically useless for our need to dispatch pests. I never realized how difficult these springers are to shoot and how hold sensitive they are. We don’t have the option of a setting up on a nice shooting bench and making sure were are holding the rifle just so and exactly the same each time when we grab the gun and need to shoot that pest out in the backyard. Oh, and we need to practice the artillery hold…a lot to be accurate. You know if we practiced shooting maybe 10,000 shots we might get a little better at hitting our target!

      Some of the more experienced airgun posters have hinted that a PCP would better suit our needs. I am more, and more, starting to consider that they are right. The PCP rifles are not hold sensitive by nature and appear to be inherently more accurate at longer distances and are not as pellet picky.

      Gunfun1 and ChrisUSA both own a Benjamin Maximus and state that it is a very accurate airgun. I paid $300 for my RWS34P and the Maximus costs $229 and another $150 for a hand pump. This is considered to be an entry level PCP airgun which would suit our needs for pesting.

      I’m still working with my RWS34 also, and have not given up on it yet. But I don’t know how much longer I can continue on this path to find the right combination of all the elements required to shoot it accurately.

      • Geo,

        I do not have a hand pump, but from reading here for 3 years, there is some in’s and out’s on those too. Care seems to be the biggest factor. As for any quality aspects,.. I do not know. I am sure there is something. All I am saying is do your homework and ask lots of questions on hand pumps too.

        Luckily the selection of hands pumps is very limited in comparison to air guns,.. so opinions ought to be much easier to sort through. Plus,… I do not think that I have ever heard of a “hold sensitive” hand pump. 🙂

      • Geo731,

        I have a proposal. Send me your .22 caliber Diana 34P and I will test it for you and for every reader, here in the blog.

        I will give it a standard test, like every airgun I write about. I’ll put it on a fast track, so I can get it back to you as soon as possible.

        If this interests you, contact me at blogger@pyramydair.com


        • B.B.
          Gee! What a generous proposal you have made me. I don’t think I’ve seen you do this before 🙂
          The “Godfather of airguns” evaluating my rifle…what an honor and a privilege.
          This is an interesting idea you have proposed and I am giving it serious consideration.

          I would not need the rifle back right away because I do have the Crosman Nitro Venom to fall back on and I don’t shoot everyday, or even every week like many on the forum. So you could take your time with it and not think you need to rush it back to me either.

          I have responded to your email…and THANKS a bunch.

            • B.B.,

              Thank you. In the 3 years I have been here, I do not think I have seen that many people/posters trying to get Geo and Grandpa “on track” again. I think that every piece of advice that could be offered,.. was. It will be nice for you to have a go at it. With all of the interest, your review will be highly anticipated.


          • Geo
            You would be foolish right now to not send BB your gun.

            First off you and your gun are infamous here on the blog. Second BB getting to shoot it. Right now even if that gun gets a 3″group at 25 yards it will be worth a million words if you got BB to autograph it before he sends it back to you.

            Right now that breakbarrel could go down in history as the most talked about break barrel gun in the history of the blog. Hey wait a minute. What am I saying. We did alot of talking about you and that gun. Just think when BB gets a hold of it. 😉

            • I am very excited to be have this opportunity! Now I have to go shopping for a hard case for the rifle so I can ship it to B.B. That ‘s how he recommended I ship it to him to protect it. I am beyond anxious to have Mr. Gaylord evaluate my RWS34 P and put this issue to bed. If the expert can shoot this rifle accurately and prove that it is not defective, I will bow out and stop whining about it’s accuracy. I can’t believe he offered to do this for me.

              • Geo
                Oh but now guess what I’m going to say.

                What you gonna do if he gets good groups.?

                I sure would try to make sure I did learn to shoot that gun good. That brings back memories of my dad shooting and teaching me. Seriously. Brings back good memories.

  7. BB,
    An off topic question.
    I have noticed that Pyramyd AIR advertises .22 caliber PCPs (e.g. Beeman Chief) as getting less shots per fill that .177 for the same rifle. If you go the BSA website you see quite the opposite for their PCPs. Can you explain this? Maybe a blog on the subject where you compare the two calibers may generate some interest?

  8. BB—-From what I have read, in Great Britain, an air rifle rated at more than 12 fp requires a firearms license . !2 or less are not required to be licensed ( YET ). I hope that our friend, the wing commander will bring us up to date re the situation in G.B.——–ED

  9. Grandpa Dan—I have a Sheridan 2260MB and I agree with Gunfun 1. The Sheridan is very accurate and quiet. It,s trigger is much better than the 1077,s ( I have 2 of them ). No time lost loading magazines and no magazine jams or stoppages. ———Ed

  10. B.B.
    You know what? Your report on this rifle’s accuracy sounds a lot like my accuracy problems with the rws34p.
    I shot some groups with open sights today as per your suggestion. I bought some RWS Superdomes 14.5gr and shot about 50 through the bore to re-season it following JB Bore paste cleaning again. Then I made some new targets with a 1″ bull on a 1/2″ grid. I set up my target at 15 yards and shot two (10) shot groups. The first group was 1″ and the second group measured 1.5″ with (8) of (10) within 1″. Open sights are just not going to get the job done for me. When viewing through the open sights the front bead is about the same width as the 1″ bull at 15 yards. At 25 yards the bead is at 3x the width of the bull. I think open sights are good for shotguns, which are what my groups look like when using them .

    The RWS Superdome pellets do fit slightly tighter in the bore than the JSB 15.89gr pellets. Still there is very little resistance when I insert the RWS Superdomes into the breech. At least they don’t fall back out when I de-cock the rifle. In your estimation, how many dry-fire shots would it take to damage the piston or seal? I could tell by the sound, that my rifle had dry-fired a few times due the JSB pellets having fallen out of the breech unnoticed, or simply from little to no resistance in the bore when shot.

  11. I’m glad somebody else concurs with me that the Webley Vulcan platform is a pile of manure, even Hatsan, when rehashing it into their model 55 and 60 (and you can the lineage with many of their break barrels) had the sense to put a breech screw in, still inaccurate, harsh and with a poor trigger though.
    Funnily enough without the webleys of this era Bee man wouldn’t even be known here in the UK he marketed a trigger shoe for Webleys that airgunners of a certain vintage would recall

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