The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 6
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test
- RWS Hobby
- Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
- Smoothing makes a difference
- RWS Superdome
- Experience so far
- Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
- RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
Today we are back with the Beeman P1 air pistol I disassembled and lubricated in Parts 4 and 5. I said at the end of that job that I felt the gun was behaving like it had just been tuned, so instead of doing the velocity test next I would shoot it for accuracy. That would give it a chance to break in a little before velocity testing. Today is the accuracy test.
I shot the pistol off a rest at 10 meters, using a 2-hand hold. My hands rested on the bag and the pistol did not touch it. I intentionally did not read the first accuracy test before shooting because I wanted to test this pistol without any bias. I also did something that I thought was very clever. Then I discovered that I had done it in the first accuracy test, as well. Oh, well, when you are old like me, everything is new each day!
I normally shoot 10-shot groups for accuracy. This time I shot 10 shots with each pellet, but the first 5 were on low power and the second 5 were on high. Then I photographed both groups together, so reader GunFun1 got his wish of me backing up to show more of the target. Let’s get started.
First up was the RWS Hobby pellet. The first 5 were on low power and landed in the center of the bull in a group measuring 1.172-inches between centers. It’s more vertical than I would like, but it’s in the right place.
Then I shot 5 more on high power. They landed 2.8-inches below the first group and measure 1.023-inches between centers. That’s pretty much the same accuracy for both.
There was no problem keeping the two groups separated. This test also shows the effect of recoil and shot time on pellet placement, which on the P1 is dramatic, as you can see.
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
Next I tried some Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. On low power 5 went into 0.912-inches at 10 meters. It’s a well-centered group.
On high power 5 pellets made a 1.038-inch group. It looks like 4 shots, but one of the holes has 2 pellets through it. This group hit the target 3.2 inches below the low-powered group. What a dramatic difference!
Smoothing makes a difference
The Sig pellet looked good in this test. When I looked at what the pistol did before, Sig pellets didn’t do so good. Quieting the powerplant seems to have made a difference!
The RWS Superdome pellet gave a surprising result. In fact, it is so surprising that I think it’s worth a second test, though I didn’t do it at this time. I refer to the low power test that gave two very tight and distinct groups that are nearly 1.5 inches apart. Look at the picture to see what I mean.
The low power group measures 1.467-inches between centers. There are three pellets in one group and two in the other and I can’t tell you which is which.
On high power five pellets landed in a 1.037-inch group at 10 meters. Measuring from the center of the two low power groups, this group is 2.6 inches lower.
Low power (top) produced 2 distinct groups 1.5-inches apart. The group measures 1.467-inches between centers. High power brought all the pellets together in a 1.037-inch group that is 2.6 inches lower.
Experience so far
So far the P1 is performing well. The shot cycle is smooth — much smoother than before I worked on it. Tune in a Tube (TIAT) grease gets the credit for that. I also like the factory trigger. It’s light and crisp, but not too light. My other P1 breaks too light and I have to handle it like a target pistol.
Cocking remains heavier than my other P1, but the hesitation after low power is gone. That was apparently the result of not enough lubrication.
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
If the RWS Superdomes gave a curious low power group, Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets were even curiouser. In both the low and high power group 4 pellets were tight together and the fifth pellet was significantly apart. On low power 4 Premier lites went into 0.478-inches with the fifth shot opening the group to 1.19-inches. That’s more than double the size! The two groups are about 2.4-inches apart.
On high power 4 pellets are in 0.448-inches and the fifth shot opens the group to 1.233-inches. That is actually a good guess, because less than half the fifth pellet landed on the paper.
Premier lites were tantalizing because 4 grouped very tight and the fifth one shot low and away. Low power produced 1.19-inches and high power made1.233-inches (my best guess) between centers at 10 meters.
Even stranger is the fact that both stray shots hit below the main group. I think it has to be a sighting error, but it’s a huge one, if the rest of the group is any indication. It could also be an error in my hold.
The strangest thing of all is when I first went down to get this target it only looked like 4 shots had been fired on high power. The cloverleaf on top was just 2 shots together at that point. I went back and shot another pellet and got the cloverleaf you see here. These pellets all want to go to the same place!
Premier lites have traditionally been wonderful pellets for Beeman P1s. The small 4-shot groups on both power levels testify to that. The wide shots tell me something is up and I don’t know what it is. This pellet needs to be tested a lot more.
RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
The last pellet I tested was the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellet. On low power 5 pellets landed in 0.98-inches at 10 meters.
On high power 5 pellets are in 0.801-inches at 10 meters. These two groups are 2.2-inches apart, the closest of all five pellets by a small margin.
This pistol is shooting well at this point. It really needed the lubrication I gave it, and it doesn’t look like I need to replace the spring or piston seal. Of course that will be verified in the velocity test that comes next.