The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 7
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The test
- RWS Hobby
- RWS R10 Match Pistol
- Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
- Crosman Premier light pellets
- What comes next?
Today we look at the velocity of the new/old Beeman P1 pistol I tuned for you. If you recall, I wanted to get a few shots on the powerplant first because the pistol acted like it had just been tuned. I got 40+ shots in the accuracy test in Part 6, and, while that isn’t a real break-in, it’s at least a start. Let’s get right to it because I have other things to talk about.
I decided to test the pistol with the same three pellets I used in the first velocity test. That was reported in Part 2. That will give us a direct before/after comparison. I also added the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets that showed so much potential in the last accuracy test. They weren’t in the first velocity test. I’m not testing RWS Superdomes, but you should get a sense of where they fit in when you see what the other pellets did. This is a test of the tuned powerplant — not a test of each and every pellet.
First to be tested was the RWS Hobby . Let me show you what I got before and after the lube tune.
The spread on high power was 24 f.p.s. — from 420 to 444 f.p.s. On low power the spread was 38 f.p.s — from 310 to 348 f.p.s. The gun lost about 100 f.p.s. with Hobby pellets. If that continues, and I bet it will, I will have a lot to say.
RWS R10 Match Pistol
Next up were the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets. These were the speed demons of all the lead pellets in the first velocity test. Let’s see how they compare before and after the lube tune.
The high velocity spread was 7 f.p.s. — from 470 to 477 f.p.s. On low power the spread was 14 f.p.s. — from 374 to 388 f.p.s. We see pretty much the same results with this pellet. The P1 has lost a lot of power!
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
The Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet was the absolute fastest pellet in the before test. At 5.2 grains you would expect it to be. Let’s see where it is now.
How about that? The fastest, lightest pellet also lost the most velocity from the lube tune. The spread on high power was 25 f.p.s. — from 455 to 480 f.p.s. On low power the spread was 86 f.p.s. — from 279 to 365 f.p.s. I think that large spread indicates something special may be happening with this pellet on low power. Perhaps its skirt isn’t getting blown into the bore enough to seal the barrel and air is blowing past?
Crosman Premier light pellets
The final pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet that was so potentially accurate. I don’t have numbers for before the tune — just after. Let’s see how it did.
The spread on high power was 16 f.p.s. — from 384 to 400 f.p.s. On low power it was 23 f.p.s. — from 283 to 306 f.p.s.
These results are unacceptable to me. Too much power has been lost. Two things stand out to me from these results. The first is the Beeman P1 pistol powerplant is extremely sensitive to the use of Tune in a Tube (TIAT) grease. And the second is the fact that I used too much of the grease when I tuned the pistol. I treated it like a spring piston air rifle
I mentioned that my other Beeman P1 is not that harsh when it fires. This one wasn’t, either, but I wanted to try the TIAT to find out how well it works. I found out a lot more than I expected to.
Here is what I think I have learned. Tune in a Tube grease can be used on the mainsprings of rifles and they won’t lose very much power/velocity. But a high-performance spring pistol like the P1 is doing so much with a very small mainspring! I think TIAT can be used, but just sparingly. It isn’t required for vibration damping — just for lubrication.
What comes next?
Well, I was all set to tell you about a special accuracy test I was going to conduct next, where I sort pellets with the PelletGage and do some other things you readers have suggested. I think that has to wait until I retune the pistol. I love the way it shoots right now but I’m unwilling to give up that much power when I know it’s there.
I don’t know yet what I’m going to do in this next tune, but I may change all the parts — mainspring, piston seal and breech seal — for the new ones I have. Then I will lubricate the pistol again, and go light on the TIAT. That will be followed by another of these velocity tests.
You readers have a big influence on me, so please talk amongst yourselves. I will observe.