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Education / Training The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 2

The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Cocking is strange!
  • Cocking effort
  • Crosman Premier lites
  • Dry fire
  • Bottom line
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • Trigger pull
  • What’s next?

Today is the day we test the velocity of my new/old Beeman P1 pistol. I have a lot to say today and it may be of interest to some of you who own the P1 or HW45 air pistol.

Cocking is strange!

I’ll get right to it. This pistol I’m testing cocks in a strange way that I have never seen before. I have shot perhaps 10 P1 and HW45 pistols over the years and never have I encountered what this one does. It cocks to low power smoothly and easily, then it stops and I have to yank it past low power to high power! If this was the first P1 I had seen, I probably would not even think it had another power level. Are any of you P1 owners experiencing this?

Cocking effort

I expected the scale to show that the cocking effort is very high, but it didn’t. This P1 takes 13 pounds of effort to go to low power and 15 pounds to go to high. It feels like twice that when I’m cocking the pistol because of the strange way it has to be held, but it’s really quite easy to cock. However, high power is still an effort.

I looked back at test of my other P1. It cocks with 12 pounds of force, though I made the exact same comment about it feeling like more. And that pistol has no hesitation between low power and high — like every other P1 or HW45 I have tested.

Crosman Premier lites

On low power Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets averaged 413 f.p.s. On my other P1 they average 416 f.p.s. The spread with this pistol ranges from 396 to 428 f.p.s. — a spread of 32 f.p.s.

On high power Premier lites average 522 f.p.s. My other P1 averages 514 f.p.s. The spread with the test gun went from 507 to 529 f.p.s. — a range of 22 f.p.s.

Dry fire

I felt the test gun might be shooting a little slow, because I didn’t look at the test results of the other gun — yet. I didn’t want to know. So I dry-fired the pistol on high power twice to fit the piston to the compression chamber. Then I tested the gun again on high power. This time 10 Premiers averaged 540 f.p.s, but only because the first shot was a detonation that went out at 759 f.p.s. The other 9 shots averaged 515 f.p.s. Those 9 ranged from 508 to 523 f.p.s. — a span of 15 f.p.s. If you check, after the dry-fire the test gun is 1 f.p.s. faster than my other P1.

Bottom line

The bottom line is — this pistol is performing almost identically to my other Beeman P1. Except for the harder cocking and that hesitation going to high power, the guns are very close.

RWS Hobby

The next pellet I tried was the RWS Hobby . Hobbys are lighter so we expect them to go faster — which they did. On low power they averaged 423 f.p.s. The spread went from 412 to 428 f.p.s. That’s 16 f.p.s. My other P1 shoots Hobbys at 445 f.p.s. on low power, so it’s a little faster.

On high power Hobbys averaged 541 f.p.s. The low was 527 and the high was 553 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 26 f.p.s. My other P1 shoots Hobbys at 553 f.p.s. on high power, so it’s a little faster than the test gun.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

Next I tried RWS R10 Match pistol pellets. On Low power they averaged 457 f.p.s. with a spread of 19 f.p.s. (446 to 465). On high power they averaged 578 f.p.s. with a 10 f.p.s. spread from 573 to 583 f.p.s. I never tested this pellet in my other P1.

Although this target pellet weighs the same as the Hobby, I will admit I was surprised to see how much faster they went. And that gave me an idea. Somebody is going to want to know how absolutely fast this pistol can shoot, and there is a target pellet that’s also lightweight.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets

I have never tested the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet in a P1, but given how accurate it is, perhaps I should. In the test pistol they averaged 478 f.p.s. on low power with a spread of 30 f.p.s. (465 to 495 f.p.s.) On high power they averaged 649 f.p.s. with a spread of just 9 f.p.s. (645 to 654 f.p.s.).

Trigger pull

The two-stage trigger breaks crisply at 3 lbs. 4 oz. It feels perfect to me as it is. There are two screws in the trigger to adjust the length of stage one and the release weight, but I don’t need to adjust anything. I modified my other P1 trigger and it now breaks at 11 oz., which is too light for me. I will leave this one alone.

What’s next?

I was given a replacement mainspring, piston seal and breech seal with this pistol when I traded for it, so I could tear it apart and tune it. But it’s shooting so well right now that I don’t think it’s necessary.

I will test the accuracy next, just like I normally do. But it won’t end there.

I would like to get to the bottom of that hard cocking, so a teardown is in this pistol’s future. Back in the 1990s when I tuned my other P1 I saw that it was fairly complex, so I made sure to write detailed disassembly instructions, in case I even had to do it again. Good on me!

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.

65 thoughts on “The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 2”

  1. B.B.,

    I’m here!

    I just checked my HW45 to make sure, and it does not have the second stage of cocking that you describe above. Perhaps this one has a burr somewhere?

    I was reminded that I need to adjust the trigger on mine to a slightly harder pull. Every now and then I am reminded why it’s important to always point the muzzle in a safe direction! My HW45 shot about a quarter second before I expected it to. Too light for my finger, so when I get back from work tonight, I’ll adjust it a bit.


    • Michael,

      Is your pistol in .177 or .20 caliber? Did you buy it new?

      The too-light trigger is a problem I have not seen nor heard of before now. BSF airguns have that problem (triggers get smoother over time until they are too light), but they are the only ones I was aware of before now.


      • B.B.,

        Sorry for the relatively late reply.

        My HW45 pistol DOES have a light trigger, no question. However, It might have been so from the moment it arrived at my door around five years ago. Mine is a .177 bought by me used from a seller who claimed (and I have no reason to doubt him — he offered the info without my asking) who was the first owner. It is labeled Weihrauch, not Beeman, and I do not have it in hand at the moment to provide the serial number, although if it would be helpful to you, I would gladly run down to my underground range (OK, just my basement) and provide it. The trigger is too light for me now because of my current state of aging. It should be a half pound to one pound heavier for the sake of safety, in my estimation.

        You once had an unrestrained air rifle spring ruin a piece of family furniture, so I know that you will understand. I have an issue as I have aged of my hands and fingers being a bit tremulous. As a result, I have adjusted the lightest second stages of some of my highest end air guns (FWB target rifles in particular) to be slightly stiffer. I put a hole in a plastic storage tub with my FWB 601 a year ago, and the ruined family, well, “keepsake” . . . That was my wake-up call.

        I do consider my HW 45 to be typical.


      • BB:

        I think I mentioned this in an earlier post, but my P-1 trigger became too light this year. I had to re-read the manual and adjust more resistance into the break point. I suspect that the trigger “polished” with more than a couple decades of use (closer to three?) and it was becoming too light for safety’s sake.

        Now, I can once again feel the ramp up to the let off point. It is still light, but it is no longer “surprising” or dangerous.


  2. B.B.,

    Perhaps the early birds just needed to get off to work, and will be checking in later to see what is up.
    The P-1 is of some interest to me, as it appears to be a gun that performs well and will stand up to heavy use.

    I am still expanding my inventory, and my wife now wants a repeating PCP that weighs under six pounds without accessories. There aren’t too many of those! In fact, the only one I can find is the Diana Stormrider, so that is likely the next purchase.

    We are also starting to see more airgun products in local gun stores. Last weekend I was surprised to find some
    air rifles in the racks next to the firearm long guns at “Jimmy’s”, the oldest and best known gun dealer in the area.
    Thank you for all you do!


  3. BB
    Good for you and us for making those notes years ago.

    No matter how much we think we remember we find we forget something when we look at notes.

    And in our case shooting. Like our targets we keep notes on. I’m finding myself doing that again lately. It does help to go back and reference them.

    • BB & Gunfun1

      Talk about forgetting something. This morning an old sticky pad note appeared from under stuff.
      1- Lothar Walther barrel accuracy tends to improve after 500-1000 shots.
      2- In 2010 BB found accuracy may improve by cleaning after every 50 shots with Hoppes # Nine.

      Any validity to either? Firearms only? Just me dreaming?


  4. B.B.,

    I’m thinking that you are going to find some dried grease or rust lurking inside causing the stiffness in the cocking effort. What are the chances the previous owner just shot it at low power only?

    I just chalk it up to age regarding the blog showing up late. Time is confusing especially with your shift out of Daylight Savings time. Why do you guys bother to do that? In my part of the world your blog previously showed up during my lunch break. Now I have to hastily scan the article before going back to work and think on it awhile.


    • Siraniko
      Day light savings time is rediculous. And what’s more rediculous is most states in the country follow it and some don’t.

      I don’t like it. In the fall season the clocks get set back and the spring it gets set forward. I remember it by this saying I was taught as a kid. “Spring forward, Fall back”.

      But I don’t like when it gets set back in fall. You loose day light. It will get dark around 5:30 pm. But in the summer it will get dark as late as 8:30 pm.

      I would like if they would just drop it and stay at the spring forward setting.

  5. Off subject.

    Figured I would post this picture for the heck of it. First off it was nice and calm outside. And second probably didn’t mention it. But finally back on second shift. Started this week. And just in time since the day light savings time is in effect. So now I can shoot in the morning before I go to work.

    Anyway back to the picture. This is two full fills on my internal regulated .22 Maximus. This is 130 shots at the tin can at 100 yards. And that’s with a 3000 psi fill till when it fell off the regulator at 900 psi. Not to bad of results I guess.

    And yep it’s punching through both sides of the can. I had the can tied between two corn stalks that was about 8 inches apart and resting on the ground. So it was fairly solid. But would still jump somewhat when I hit. Well at first it was but as I shot more I started shooting out a hole. Oh yeah had the scope set on 4 magnification and I was aiming center mass like you do with a red dot sight.

        • Doc
          Not all shots hit. Think I missed about 10 shots. I could see the trees blowing a little out on the other side of the feild. So I think I was getting some wind out there.

          But yep that was one of the most ferocious feral tin cans I have seen in a while. 🙂

          • GF1,

            Pretty nice. 92.5% hit rate. I am a bit surprised that they penetrated both sides at 100. 755 fps, 100 yards, 15.89’s. I can not say that I have tried the Maximus at 100,.. at least not seriously. A square hit does make a difference between a glancing hit and a penetrating one. Plus, you had it anchored a bit. Nice shooting.

            • Chris
              I should of mentioned also. They harvested the corn about 3 weeks ago. So now the feild has short cut off corn stalks about a foot and a half high and chucked corn cobs laying everywhere. So now I finally got my 60 yards and out shooting opened up again. When they plant and the corn starts growing I loose my long range shooting out there.

              But yep it knocks the can pretty hard. I also got a 2 liter soda bottle tied to a corn stalk with about a foot long peice of yarn by the neck of the bottle out at the 100 yard mark. The Maximus will knock the bottle up in the air and tight on the yarn. That’s why I tie the bottle off. Otherwise I would be knocking the bottle all over the place. But yep it hits hard.

        • Matt61
          I remember back when I started reading not to many people even shot out to 50 yards. And that was back when .25 caliber pcp’s were not even popular yet let alone the new big bore pcp’s.

          Definitely distance shooting has taken off in the last few years. And I don’t think it’s going to slow down. I think there is more in store on that front.

        • Coduece,

          I am not so sure. I can not say as I have not tried it with a .22 Maximus, which I have, but it does seem a stretch. A new can with minimal shots, showing enter and (exit) marks would do it for me. With the .25 M-rod, a clean straight hit will do it. Even a side hit, sometimes. 9.7 at 100 seems a bit weak. A solid or near solid anchored target, can help a bunch too. If it can do it, than it can do it. Minimal shots, clear exit wounds.

          • Chris
            Read my response to Coduece. He did his math wrong.

            It’s 19.85 fpe. Not 9.7 for.

            That’s a big difference.

            Come on you guys. You should of known better than that. Your slip’n.

              • Coduece

                It sounds right. I do not mess with fpe at target too much so I can not speak with experience. I thought that Chairgun could do it. It does take a bit to punch both sides of a steel can at 100 yards. I am just not sure what exactly that # would be though.

                  • Coduece

                    Yes it is. I like it for new shooter’s to show what is possible. Concepts become clear very quickly. It showed me a lot. As I have said before.. I find it to be at least 90-95% accurate and I would suppose that would include (fpe at target) too.

                  • Coduece
                    And don’t be too dependant on Chairgun. It’s just for estimating.

                    I myself have recommended Chairgun to many people over time. I use it too. But it’s not real world if you know what I mean.

              • Coduece
                Ok I got you now. I missed where you said at 100 yards your Chairgun says 9.7 fpe.

                Well then if I take—
                It equals 9.7 fpe.

                So yes I know if I hold the muzzle of my .22 multi-pump that is shooting a 15.89 pellet at 525 fps up to the tin can laying on the ground. It will definitely poke through both sides of the can.

                That would be the same thing as the pellet hitting the can at 525 fps at 100 yards. So yes that is enough energy still to poke through both sides of the can at 100 yards.

                  • Coduece,

                    You are welcome, but if you really want to melt your mind look into gravtity coefficients, the math boggles my simple mind.

                    The number BB and Gunfun1 used was 450240 but BB indirectly linked to 450436 I find that anywhere in the 450000 range seems to be close, check the following calculations.


                    A difference of only about .044 foot pounds. Seems that anywhere between 450,000 and 450,999 is very close.

                    The largest changes come from feet per second and grain weight.


          • GF1,

            That,.. I could reason with. I will anchor a can solid to a piece of 2X and give it a go. Spring? Weather is going to crap here but there is always a few decent ones every month.

              • Chris
                Reread the posts again. I just made some comments to Coduece. I don’t feel like repeating myself.

                But yes I missed where Coduece said 9.7 fpe at 100 yards.

                And that comes out to about 525 fps when the pellet hits the can. Oh heck. Here I’ll copy and paste my reply again here for you.

                “Ok I got you now. I missed where you said at 100 yards your Chairgun says 9.7 fpe.

                Well then if I take—
                It equals 9.7 fpe.

                So yes I know if I hold the muzzle of my .22 multi-pump that is shooting a 15.89 pellet at 525 fps up to the tin can laying on the ground. It will definitely poke through both sides of the can.

                That would be the same thing as the pellet hitting the can at 525 fps at 100 yards. So yes that is enough energy still to poke through both sides of the can at 100 yards.”

                • GF1,

                  Ok. Got it. I will have to give it a go with a fresh can next time out. I have shot the Maximus at 100 at cans very casually, but they were already shredded from the .25 M-rod.

  6. Off subject, I got my new PA catalog the other day and was flipping though it when I noticed the Beeman R9 and R7 now come with open sights again!! WOW. Maybe I have missed it all along, but the last catalog and I believe PA site showed only open sights. Funny they are standard on the R7 but a $20 option on the R9. On yesterday wish list blog I asked for the option of open sights, even if it cost more. BOOM. Wish granted, at least on these 🙂


  7. I am looking forward to the read down when you do it. My P1 is a 25 anaversy model. Silver with a special grip and case. One of my prize possessions. But I have never taken it apart or cleaned and maintained it. I looked at doing it but could not figure out how just by looking g at it. So I was waiting for some help .

    • Racer X,

      I never rode one. I owned a 305 Superhawk that you would think would have cured me of that desire, but for some reason I liked the suspension and pressed steel frame of the Dream. Also the saddle looked so comfortable! And oddly, the Dream was almost as fast as the Hawk, though it probably took longer to get up to speed.


  8. My feeling is the frame was the long term problem. I don’t know for sure . But I suspect rust would be an issue.
    My bike of choice is the 250 Kawasaki ninja. I have the fastest one on earth at 123 mph

  9. Haha
    That is my race bike. I needed a seat that could hide a battery and the nitrous computer. I went to air tech streamlining and looked for a seat pan that was 17 inches long and seven inches high. The Harly Davidson 250RR seat pan was perfict. So I put it on. Then I decided to try the front fairing and see if it would work. After a stupid amount of work I built a replica of the 250 Harly Davidson RR. The original was built by Aermacchi. It won the Moro GP championship in 1974 . Since it is really a 250 Kawasaki with the Aermacci bodywork someone called it a kawmeracchi. The name stuck.

    • RacerX
      I had never heard of Walter Villa before tonight, and he’s already at the top of my list of respected racers, I mean if If he had Enzo’s respect what more can you say. A thinking mans racer, I’m sure he probably would have been an excellent air gunner or whatever he chose to pursue, kinda like you. Good luck with your future F.T. Endeavors.

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