How accurate is a Beeman R7?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from reader Bob who has been a daily reader since 2011. He read my remarks about the accuracy of a Beeman R7 in a recent report and decided to see if they were correct. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Take it away, Bob.

How accurate is a Beeman R7?
by Bob

This report covers:

  • BB’s challenge
  • Some research
  • I accept the challenge
  • My rifle
  • Result
  • BB responds

I am an enthusiastic shooter, and have been an enthusiastic reader of B.B.’s blog since 2011. Like many of us, I read (in no certain order) the morning news, email, and B.B.’s blog before my first cup of coffee. I’ve learned a lot from B.B. and readers’ comments.

BB’s challenge

B.B. recently reviewed the Diana 240 Classic rifle. He tested the rifle for accuracy, and after shooting ten Air Arms Falcon pellets into 0.865” at 25 yards he wrote, “I have shot several Beeman R7s over the years and I don’t think one of them ever shot better than this. If you are going to lecture me on the accuracy of an R7, please use 10-shot groups at 25 yards.”

Some research

I immediately re-read the four-part 2010 Beeman R7 report written by B.B. and his friend Mac. To put it mildly, accuracy was unimpressive in those reports, and B.B. suspected the scope was at fault. Testing ended after the fourth part, and was inconclusive.

I accept the challenge

While I have no desire to lecture, I saw an opportunity to contribute to the blog and its readers. How accurate is my R7, on a typical day, with me behind the trigger? Just a few hours after reading B.B.’s morning blog, I had my answer, and wrote this report to share with you.

Beeman R7
My Beeman R7 is a vintage one that came with open sights.

My rifle

My rifle is far from new. It is a Santa Rosa-marked Beeman R7, in .177 caliber. I found it for sale on a used gun rack. It was tired and neglected, with scratched wood, surface rust and pitting, but it was treasure to me. I brought it home, cleaned it up, installed a Vortek kit, and mounted a Bug Buster 3-9 in two-piece BKL rings. The breech seal is original. I learned a lot shooting and working on this rifle, all the while reading B.B.’s blog and shooting many tins of pellets. This little rifle was my very first truly great air rifle, and is one of my favorites.

I put my target at a laser-measured 25 yards from the muzzle. I held the rifle with a modified artillery hold, and shot from a steady shooting bench. The wind was blowing lightly from behind me, and the sky overcast. Not optimal conditions, but real-world conditions.

I loaded pellets directly from the tin without inspecting them, and seated them with an Air Venturi Pellet Pen (a convenient little gadget). I usually shoot only JSB/Air Arms domed pellets, having found them accurate in my rifles, so I resolved to shoot just two ten-shot groups for this report, the first with Air Arms Diabolo Heavy 10.3 grain pellets, and the second with Air Arms Diabolo Field 8.4 grain pellets.

I had previously sighted my rifle to hit dead-on at 14 yards, to deal with a pigeon problem in a horse barn, so my pellets hit low at 25 yards for this test. I fired a few pellets to awaken the rifle (and me, too!) before shooting for score. While I was a little wobbly, there were no called fliers. I was satisfied that I had shot my best.

Result

Ten Air Arms Diabolo Field Heavy 10.3 grain pellets went into 0.750 inches measured center-to-center, just slightly larger than a dime. The very first shot stood apart from the last nine. While not a called flier, I suspect it was the knucklehead behind the trigger that guided that first shot. The other nine pellets went into 0.660 inches.

Beeman R7 Air Arms domed heavy target
With Air Arms heavy domes my R7 put 10 into 0.75-inches at 25 yards.

I next tried Air Arms Diabolo Field 8.4 grain domed pellets. Ten pellets also went into 0.750 inches.

Beeman R7 Air Arms domed light target
With Air Arms light domes my R7 put 10 into 0.75-inches at 25 yards.

I am pleased with these results, as they accurately reflect the capability of my rifle and my shooting, from a steady rest, on an average day. Even more important, this test gives me opportunity to contribute to our blog, and to say thank you to B.B. and his readers.

BB responds

I thank Bob for accepting my challenge and showing us all what a vintage Beeman R7 can do. I stand corrected!

However, I would like to note that my dime is still way cooler than his!

78 thoughts on “How accurate is a Beeman R7?

  1. “a laser-measured 25 yards from the muzzle” You have set a new mark for precision that all future blog contributors must now adhere to 😉

    Good shooting and a good guest blog.


    • Sean,

      I have a “calibrated” 25′ Kobalt tape that I use at work in QC. No joke. They bought a Starret brand and it’s only purpose is to compare whatever tape anyone in QC is using. It has a sticker on it with initials, cal. date, re-cal. due date and everything! 😉

      You are right though,… Bob did just “up the bar” on distance reporting.


      • I can understand calibrated tape measures. My uncle was tidying up his shed and as we were talking I decided to test his levels against each other. They didn’t all match. No wonder his house looks wonky. 🙂

        I hope people take the calibration measure to the hardware store to buy new tapes.


        • Sean,

          “Wonky”,… I like that. 😉 If you want to sell something in the U.S.,… advertisers seem to lean towards a spokesperson with a British or Australian accent. I like to learn odd words that I do not hear often/at all.


          • His house is wonky, due to his shoddy tools, sold to him by a shonky hardware store.

            There are some Australianisms for you. I am not saying everyone uses them, but every Australian knows what they mean.

            I haven’t heard any Australian accents when I watch the Super Bowl commercials. I did love Pierce Brosnan from a couple of years ago though. The Super Bowl commercials were disappointing this year, 🙁 I will have to be satisfied with the mighty Pats winning from 28-3 down. 🙂


        • Sean
          The best way to calibrate a level is to level something, then reverse the level. If the bubble is not centered then the level needs to be adjusted…or replaced. This was the method we used at work to calibrate machine levels.


      • Chris,
        Aren’t some of those ISO requirements pure foolishness? I remember having to calibrate take measures also and thinking, this is pure stupidity. Unless the hook was damaged, never found a bad one .


        • Geo,

          Yes. It depends on what is being measured,… but the cost to send stuff out, plus the cost of a periodic ISO audit does add up. Opinions can vary,.. but I liken it to government overreach in some regards. Still, in industry,.. it is a promotional sales point. =$



  2. Bob,

    Thanks for sharing and GREAT shooting! However, if you are going to get anal about accuracy you have to compare your nice R7 against FWB 300’s, Walther 55’s, Diana 75’s, and a host of SSP’s. I wish I had those guns or I might take up the challenge.
    Well done,

    Yogi


  3. Bob,

    Nice report and nice pictures. Thank you for sharing. I always like it when people share what they are getting at home with whatever they have. BB shows us what the best may look like, but home reports give the rest us something to compare with too.

    I can relate to the morning routine. Coffee in the micro, TV on to the news, laptop directly to BB’s blog. All within the first 60 seconds.


  4. Bob,

    Nice rifle! I really like the looks and of course the performance of your R7. It appears to have a much longer barrel than what is out there now. I also like the sights on it.

    Should you ever go insane and decide to get rid of it remember RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Air Rifles. 😉



  5. Bob
    Way to go Bob, I would have believed BB wrote this blog himself, except for one glaring difference ….the dime Bob !
    You have to use a 1962 dime. But I guess we can overlook it … this time ! Unless of course you have a 1692 Roosevelt dime BB has been known to use also, he even did a blog on that one.
    Enjoy your coffee . Usually bed time for me on the left coast 😉
    Bob M


  6. Somehow I knew that the modern dime would get a few coments. BB’s dime is higher on the cool factor but I submit that a dime from your birth year would be a close second. Also those are two very nice groups.


  7. I’ve been reading this blog for years, but I rarely post a comment. My typical Monday through Friday morning routine is as follows:

    1. Wake up and do the bathroom business (if required)
    2. Feed the cat
    3. Make coffee
    4. Visit NASA’s APOD website (Astronomy Picture of the Day)
    5. Visit this blog


    • Dan Wesson Fan

      We have identical routines except for NASA APOD which I just downloaded to my IPAD. Beautiful reminder of God’s creation.

      Do you have a Dan Wesson in CO2?

      Nice shooting Bob and good report. You have me wondering if you could beat your R7 using my HW30s.

      Decksniper


      • Decksniper,

        Actually, I do not have a Dan Wesson in CO2. I do have two DWA powder burners, however; a model 15 .357 Magnum and it’s big brother, a .44 Magnum. Wonderfully accurate revolvers.

        When the original Dan Wesson CO2 pistols were first introduced, I was turned off due to the location of the cylinder latch. Now that the manufacturer has placed the cylinder latch in the proper location, I will probably acquire the pistol as it truly resembles the firearm. It’s on a rather long wish list.


  8. Bob,

    Great blog! Nice to have a chance to show off a favorite rifle eh?

    Good shooting – sure that the pigeons are in for a rough time with groups like that 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Hank


  9. Bob,

    Congratulations on an excellent guest report!

    The difference between the R7 and the Diana Classic 240 probably reveals itself at 25 yards. The small extra velocity (perhaps — you do have a vintage piston seal there) of the R7 and its Rekord trigger provide small difference at 10 meters, but that difference is amplified the farther the pellet travels to its target. The Diana 240 might fare a bit better against a Weihrauch HW30 “non-S” (without the Rekord) than its sibling R7. That, too, is a lesson your report teaches.

    Again, well done!

    Michael


  10. Bob
    Nice report on the Beeman R7. You stated that you use a “modified” artillery hold. What exactly is that? Sure wish I could shoot groups that well with my RWS 34P. Maybe when B.B. finishes the Vortec tune, I’ll stand some kind of a chance. Still, you shot a couple of excellent groups 😉


    • Geo
      I should be making this reply over on the blog BB is doing about your gun but figured I would post here.

      You know what has not been brought up.

      How you repeat your line of sight scoped. Well unscoped even. Do you rest your cheek on the comb of the stock the same every shot.

      I haven’t really tested that much open sights which now I know I need to just so I know. But I do know that as people call it the parrellax when you look through the scope can shift the reticle around. In otherwards you can see the reticle move on the target if you move your eye off center.

      The ideal sight picture keeps your reticle on target when you move your eye off center.

      Probably didn’t explain that very clear. Maybe someone else can jump in and explain.


      • GF1
        Yeah, I know what you mean. I don’t know if I rest my cheek on the same exact point each time. I do know about parallax though. I’m still not quite sure how to eliminate parallax by adjusting the ocular lens. I always assumed the ocular lens was adjusted to make the crosshairs sharp and the objective lens was adjusted to make the sight picture sharp. Maybe B.B. can make this more clear when he demonstrates how to mount the scope and adjust it. I have done the “head bop” thing by moving my head side to side and the crosshairs seem to stay pretty centered on the target. So much to learn and know, it’s exhausting.


        • Geo
          I know what you mean about the learning part. Just amazing how many thing to take into account. And all we are doing is holding a gun and shooting it who would of thought.

          And yes. Hopefully BB will tell more. I know he talked about it in the past as well as other people. I just knew I wasn’t seeing it in my scope when I shot. My reticle was always on target no matter how far off center I had my eye.

          Well hopefully we will see more.


        • Geo,

          Yes, the ocular for the cross hairs and the objective for a clear sight picture. The objective setting can vary from what the scale says from scope to scope (and) the setting can vary depending on the air temperature, on the same scope. Just move it until it is clear. You got that and you got 99.9% of it.

          I should add to do the ocular indoors looking at a plain wall or even a piece of paper 10′ away. The cross hairs are the (only) thing you are looking at when you do that.


          • Chris U
            Yes but still you want to make sure the reticle stays on target when you move your head to different locations while looking through the scope.

            You don’t want your reticle to shift with the movement of your head. If I remember right you have to have your AO focused right. You know the side wheel or front objective lens focus.

            Kind of tricky. Some red dots are that way too.

            Maybe BB can explain it better.



            • Halfstep,

              I can not say for sure. I try to have neither when shooting. 25 is pretty close and not sure what either would look like/do. At 30-40, it might show up better. The big question/test is to do a purposeful test each way and see what happens. The next thing is to be able to insure that the results are a result of the test and not any fault of shooting.

              ((How about give it a go and get back with us??)). BB did a cant test on a rifle (I believe) at extremes. If I remember correctly, it did show a difference when canted.


              • Chris USA and others

                Would you have any idea what that blog was titled (or what search terms might find it) and do any of you other folks find that when someone else shoulders your guns they complain that the crosshairs are canted? I used a plumb bob to plumb a piece of tape on my basement wall and when I mount a scope on a gun I just aim at that tape and tweek the scope until the vertical part of the reticle lines up with it when I shoulder the gun. Is there a better way than this?


                • Halfstep,

                  Try this:
                  /blog/2011/10/why-do-you-need-a-scope-level/

                  Also type in (scope canting) in the search box, minus the (). There is another article that will pop up with the one I linked.

                  I use the same method unless I am feeling confident of not doing it.

                  I hope that some of that helps to answer your questions.



                    • GF1

                      That makes more sense. I figured there was a typo in there but couldn’t figure it out. By the way, do you try to mount your scopes so they look level to you when you bring the gun to your shoulder or do you have some way to mount them “square” to the gun? I do the first way just because it seems like it would give me the best chance of having it level (leveler anyway) naturally, but my friends say I have them mounted crooked.


                • Halfstep
                  Thanks s why I had my bipod on my air guns I shot at long distance.

                  I had Chris U check his gun when he put a bipod on his Marauder. He had a mount that you could rotate the legs on. I told him to put one leg forward instead of straight across from the other leg.

                  The gun will roll to one side and tilt down. So even with a bipod. You need one that does not allow the gun or bipod to move. Chris u ended up locking his bipod up so the legs couldn’t rotate.

                  But yes cant is a big deal.


                • Halfstep
                  Definitely I make the scope level when I shoulder it.

                  After I have that set right I shoulder the gun with my eyes closed. Then I open my eyes and see if the sight picture pops right in. If not I move the scope forward or backwards so that happens naturally also. I keep repeating shouldering the gun like that till it just falls right in.


                  • GF1

                    So I’m doing it right? When I shoulder my guns the cross hairs are level(if you checked it with a level it might be off a little but ,you know, close as you’d expect without a level) I tried what you said about closing my eyes and the scope is level according to the plumb line on my basement wall. And making elevation adjustments won’t cause the horizontal shift Bugbuster refers to? Just curious. When you lend your guns out do your friends ever say your scope seems “crooked”.

                    If your responding with a phone my hat’s off to you. Hunting and pecking on a full keyboard is enough to kill me if I have to do it much! 🙂


                    • Halfstep
                      Yes you are doing it right. The gun has to fit you naturally when you hold it. It basically needs to be in place when you shoulder it. And I’m talking bench resting off a bag . The gun has to sit relaxed in place on the bag. You u just got to point the gun to the target and keep it there till after you pull the trigger.

                      And no my friends can not shoot my guns. But I can shoot theirs even if they don’t fit me the way they have them setup. 😉

                      And as far as that elevation thing goes. You really need to shoot to see the drop. But I gaurentee you that it’s the ballistics showing. Not the scope set up. Now on windage that’s a different story. We always see that we need some sort of hold over or under at different distances with elevation. But when it comes to windage you should not see a shift to one side or the other if your shooting in a calm environment at different distances. Now if it’s windy out then you will see a shift to one side. But not back to the other side of zero unless obviously the wind changes what direction it’s comming from.

                      So yes all in all. Make the gun fit you. Set up your scope how you hold. And repeat that hold the best you can when you shoot.

                      Oh and a good indication of the scope not mounted parallel to the barrel in side to side is you have to crank alot of left or right into the turret. That is a bad thing in many ways. Sighting distance side to side shift and reticle float if you have to adjust your sight to the right a lot.

                      I know alot of stuff to think about. But once you know what to look for and make your scope mounting correct you will end up shooting your gun better.


                • Halfstep,

                  Ideally, the vertical crosshair of the scope should be in perfect alignment (perpendicular) to the axis of the bore, otherwise any adjustment in elevation will give a horizontal shift to the POI. In my opinion, and experience, very few people have the ability to shoulder a rifle consistantly without some degree of cant, some more, some less.

                  If shooting at relatively short, constant distances, it is not a big issue, but when it becomes several hundred to a thousand yards the horizontal displacement really shows up.

                  Bugbuster


                  • Bugbuster,

                    When I’ve mounted a scope as you described I find that when I bring the gun to my shoulder the crosshairs are very obviously unlevel. I have to reposition the gun each time I shoulder it to even get “eyeball” level. It’s as if the pocket formed by the ball of my shoulder and my chest cants the top of the butt stock over to my right. It makes a repeatable (and reflexive) spot to nestle the gun but the scope is canted. Forcing it level never feels as natural, so I always spin the scope in the rings, when mounting it, until the crosshairs look level with the more natural hold. I realize that this causes the centerline of the scope to be right of the centerline of the barrel, but does that really cause the horizontal shift in POI that you mentioned? Aren’t there mounting systems that hang the scope off to the side of the boreline on purpose?

                    I don’t want to leave the impression that this makes my gun PERFECTLY level,just gets me close enough that if I had a scope level it would only take a small repositioning to get the gun level. When most other people shoot my guns they feel like they’re having to really torque the gun to get a good sight picture. I just wondered if this ever comes up with any of the air gunners here.


                    • Halfstep,

                      From your description, I believe that you are obviously canting your rifle a serious amount due to how the butt of the stock fits your shoulder. In my opinion, to get the best of both worlds, mount the scope perpendicular to the centerline of the bore as it should be and install an adjustable recoil pad to compensate how the buttstock fits your shoulder to eliminate the cant.

                      The only other option would be to have a special stock made for it to fit only you and that would be quite expensive.

                      The bottom line is that it is your gun, and if you are happy with the way it shoots for you with the scope canted, leave as is.

                      Bugbuster


                    • Halfstep
                      Here’s the deal with the shouldering and canting.

                      You shoot the gun and your buddy’s don’t. Shoulder it how it feels comfortable and can be naturally I have repeated. Then sight the gun.

                      Now if you shoulder the gun that way. Your gun (Will) shoot to aim point. But now they canting the scope reticle unlevel. Now the can’t will show up bc when you shoot.

                      It’s all about how the gun is sighted and how you repeat that hold.

                      The gun will shoot accurately at different distances if you mount the scope like you and I talked about.


                    • Halfstep
                      And my phone is a pain. I even re-read that comment and the phone changes it when I hit send.

                      But plain and simple. The gun will still shoot accurately if you set the scope up with the gun shoulders and reticle level.

                      As long as you consistently keep the scope level when shouldered.

                      Promise ya it will work that way.


                    • Halfstep
                      It’s when the scope is not mounted parallel to the barrel on the side to side windage adjustment.

                      That will make the gun shoot to the left of aim point at one distance. On target at another distance and to the right at another distance.

                      Can’t is all about keeping the gun at that position that it’s sighted at when you shoot.


        • Geo791,

          Along with what ChrisUSA says, remember to just look at the crosshairs for a few seconds at a time while you adjust the ocular. If you stare too long your eyes will adapt and make it look focused before it actually is.


  11. Good work, Bob! Your nice old Beeman is working very well. In numbers, you shot 2.9 MOA (see http://www.indecorous.com/bullseye/moacalc.html). In my experience, at 25 yds, you are doing great with those challenging ten shot groups. In my experience, springers seem limited to about 2 MOA, and the “flyers” that you did not have are much more likely.

    And I’m sure most of you readers know about laser range finders. Nice accessory for a shooter, you can quickly get a read accurate to about a yard on any target, without leaving your shooting position. Worth having, some of them are priced low $100 range today.

    Silver coins seem so much nicer. Recently found a stash of pre-1965 US coins I had swapped out of a cash register where I worked in high school, and stuck in a little box about 50 years ago, and forgot them for a few decades. They are now worth 12X just for the metal value!

    Rule of thumb, at 34 yds, a dime sized group is 2 MOA. You’ll need less than half inch groups at 55 yds to hold one MOA. My best groups with a tuned Marauder are just a little better than yours.


    • JerryC

      Thanks for that 2 MOA and Dime comparison. That will give me a reference I can utilize better than 1″ at 100 yards, since I don’t really ever shoot anywhere close to that distance.



  12. Thank you all, to B.B. and all the blog readers. This was a first for me, and a lot of fun.

    The dime! Well of course, I simply pulled one out of my pocket and used it in the photos. Yes, B.B.’s dime is way cooler, but mine just became special to me, too.

    I finally bought a laser rangefinder a year ago, and find it very useful for setting out targets and hunting. Like a chronograph, it’s the difference between estimating and knowing with certainty.

    I have experimented with different holds, but invariably hold break-barrel spring-piston rifles loosely, with the forend resting in the open palm of my off-hand under the cocking slot and my thumb lightly touching the head of the pivot-bolt (to ensure the placement of my hand is consistent). I lightly grip the pistol grip with just enough tension to pull the rifle ever so lightly into my shoulder. I know from reading B.B.’s blog and readers’ comments that other holds might be more accurate, but this hold is easy, quick, repeatable, and works reasonably well for me in the field and off the bench.

    Thanks again,

    Bob


  13. Always figured a laser was something only long distance shooters used but these new powerful airguns may benefit from their use as well.
    I wondered how I could use one help to clear the property of those hole digging engine compartment wire chomping critters. They don’t stand still for more than a second or two.
    Then it hit me, I could use it to map out my property by measuring the distance to certain objects looking out each window, and from positions outside I use and post a small chart near until I memorize it. Assuming that’s possible at my age.
    Better yet, post it on the rifle stock and eliminate the memory part altogether !
    I can’t make an accurate range guess to save my life. Growing up everything was measured in city blocks.



  14. Bob,

    Great blog! I might like to do a guest blog sometime but right now all I know how to do is get to the “I want to do a guess blog” email sight. (and that’s only because BB puts a link to it when someone does a blog. LOL) I thought the hold you described WAS an artillery hold. If yours is a modification, I guess I don’t understand the hold as well as I thought I did. (Hope that’s why I’m not a better shot. I’m always looking for new reasons)


Leave a Reply