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The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 9

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Sorted pellets
  • Sorting RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Pre-test work
  • Another test?
  • Modifications?
  • Back to the test
  • 4.55 Premier
  • 4.56 Premier
  • The test changes
  • Deep seated again
  • Meisterkugeln with 4.54mm heads
  • Discussion

Today I will conduct the accuracy tests of the Beeman P1 that you readers requested. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin.

Sorted pellets

Based on the fliers I was getting in Part 6, you asked me to sort the pellets by head size. I chose the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet and the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellet for this test, because they both performed the best in the last accuracy test.

I used the PelletGage to sort pellets by head size. Premiers were first, and I discovered their heads ranged from 4.54mm to larger than 4.56mm, which is the largest hole on my gage. Most were either 4.55 or 4.56mm, with 4.56mm being the most common.

Beeman P1 sorted Premiers
The sorted Premier Lights range from heads of 4.54mm (one on the left) to heads that are larger than 4.56mm on the right.

Sorting RWS Meisterkugeln

The other pellet I used was the RWS Meisterkugeln wadcutter. These sorted into 2 distinct groups — some with 4.51mm heads and others with 4.54mm heads. There were none between those two sizes and none were larger or smaller. By the time I finished I decided that RWS had produced these pellets on dies of different sizes.

Pre-test work

I started the test with the pistol set on high power, but if you recall it shoots very low on high power. Let me show you what happened.

Beeman P1 pre test
Here are 2 groups of 4.55mm Premier lights. On low power they hit in the bull (6 o’clock hold for all). On high they landed low on the paper. Three shots hit the paper and the other two hit below the target paper and landed on the backer board, doubling the group size.

I adjusted the rear sight as high as it will go and played with several different holds, including resting the gun directly on the bag, since one reader said his P1 shoots 2 inches higher that way. Nothing worked to elevate those high-power groups, so although they are more accurate than the low power groups, I had to forego them.

Another test?

I could have put a larger sheet of paper behind the target to catch the low shots and I thought about it awhile, but I decided not to. I could never use the pistol that way, so what sense does it make? It does suggest that another test is needed though. I need to mount a lightweight dot sight on this pistol and see if I can zero it on high power. If I can, that may be the way I need to shoot this one.


Another possibility is to shim the barrel up in front to raise the strike of the round. That’s risky, though, because the barrel is locked up tight in the gun right now. Remember, this accuracy test is being done after I disassembled the pistol for a retune. I did not have to re-zero it. For now let’s let well enough alone.

Back to the test

I shot 6 targets, just getting to this point, so it was time to make a decision and move on. I went with low power for the rest of the test.

4.55 Premier

Five Premiers with a 4.55mm head, seated flush and fired on low power with the pistol hand-held made a 1.833-inch group at 10 meters.

Beeman P1 flush 4.55
Five 4.55mm Premiers seated flush went into 1.833-inches at 10 meters when hand held.

Unfortunately, I ran out of 4.55mm Premiers at this point. So I continued the test with 4.56mm Premiers, and it didn’t seem to make much difference.

4.56 Premier

I didn’t want to run out of pellets this time, so I started with the pistol rested against the sandbag. If it shot well I would proceed that way for the remainder of the test. The reader said his gun shot higher, but I didn’t notice that much difference. They did hit a little higher but only about one inch. Five pellets went into 1.394-inches at 10 meters.

Beeman P1 rest flush 4.56
Five 4.56mm Premiers made this 1.394-inch group at 10 meters. It looks like only 4, but there are two pellets in the hole by the 7. This is the best group of Premiers.

The pistol seemed to shoot okay when its butt was rested on the bag, so I continued testing it that way. Reader GunFun1 suggested that I seat the pellets deep in the breech, so that was next. This time five 4.56mm pellets went into 2.242-inches in a vertical group. Compared to the previous target, it seemed like deep seating doesn’t work well with the Premier Light.

Beeman P1 rest deep 4.56
Deep seating doesn’t seem to benefit Premier Lights. Five went into 2.242-inches at 10 meters.

The test changes

At this point I had exhausted the Premier pellets and turned to the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. I felt I knew something about how this P1 likes to be shot, so I started by shooting 5 pellets with 4.51mm heads seated flush with the breech. The butt of the pistol was rested directly on the bag. Five when into 0.974-inches at 10 meters. At last I was getting a result! And this was the best group of the test!

Beeman P1 rest flush 4.51
Five 4.51mm RWS Meisterkugeln pellets went into this 0.974-inch group at 10 meters.

Deep seated again

Now that I knew these pellets were good, how would they respond to being seated deep? Well — let’s see!

Five deep-seated 4.51mm Meisterkugeln pellets went into a group that measures 1.426-inches between centers at 10 meters. It’s really two groups, because at the top there are two pellets in one hole. I can tell that by looking at the back of the target paper.

Beeman P1 rest deep-seated 4.51
Five deep-seated Meisterkugeln pellets with 4.51mm heads made this 1.426-inch group. There are two pellets in the upper hole.

Given the size of this groups compared to the first one with flush-seated pellets, I think deep-seating is out. But there is one more target to show.

Meisterkugeln with 4.54mm heads

There were only enough Meisterkugeln with 4.54mm heads for a single group, so I shot it with the pellets seated flush. Five went into 1.471-inches at 10 meters. Given the tighter group of 4.51mm heads, I think this size head is not for the P1.

Beeman P1 rest flush 4.54
Five Meisterkugeln pellets with 4.54mm heads went into this 1.471-inch group at 10 meters.


I am not happy with the results of today’s test. I think my eyes may have played a part in the open groups, and also there were too many different things being tried. However, this was a good day for me because it taught me a lot about this P1.

First, it doesn’t like deep-seated pellets. That seems clear.

Next, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the butt is rested on the bag or not. Since the pistol holds steadier that way, that’s how I will shoot it from now on.

Finally, this P1 seems very stable with everything it shoots. Even though the groups are larger than I’d like, they don’t seem to move around a lot.

I’m going to look into mounting a dot sight on this pistol and see if I can get it to hit the aim point on high power. That’s where the accuracy is. Years ago I mounted a dot sight on my other P1 and I know the sight will try to move forward under recoil, so I want as small a sight as I can get, to minimize inertia. I may also take a break from this pistol until my eyes both get corrected in February. Then I’ll come back with a fresh new approach.

Don’t be discouraged by today’s test. It may not have produced stunning results, but it is a wealth of knowledge about what needs to be done!

89 thoughts on “The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 9”

  1. B.B.,

    I am happy that you decided to use the Pellet gauge on the pellets by Crosman. At least it shows a possible reason for the fliers you were experiencing before, due to the wide variance in the pellet sizes. When you said 4.56mm was the largest hole in the Pellet Gauge how many pellets in the batch were even larger than that? I am also curious if you noticed a change in the size due to the force required to insert into the breech?


  2. BB
    Was wondering how the deep seating would work out.

    I have it work on some guns and not on others.

    Mostly were it does work good for me is deep seating guns that use the round clips. Like the WildFire and the Colt Python. And some break barrel guns.

    • Another thought on the deep seating.

      Maybe how deep you seated from one pellet to the next wasn’t consistent.

      One thing I know that makes a difference on my HW30s is seating the pellet. But not deep seating. When the pellet gets flush in the barrel I use a little pressure with my thumb to make sure the pellet stays in the barrel when I close it. If I just put the pellet in and no extra push I don’t get as good of groups.

      So I have a question how did you seat the pellets in this pistol when you normally loaded and how when you deep seated?

        • I use a pellet sizer for all pellets for the P-1. I have shot only RWS Super Magnums sized for the bore. For the P-1, I set the pellet skit into the rifling with the ball end of my ancient Beeman Pellet Seat Tool. Essentially, I seat the pellet into the rifling, and the skirt Is almost, but not quite flush with the breach.

      • BB
        Might thought on the deep seat was like you mentioned about at the higher velocity the pellet might get out of the barrel faster. Was thinking that the pellet had a little less time to travel in the barrel when deep seated. Obviously not though.

        And I know you sorted head size with the pellet gauge. Maybe you can measure around the head with a caliper or mic and see if you find any out of round pellet heads. I know I have had accuracy problems in the past with that. But usually not with JSB pellets.

      • BB for what that pistol costs the accuracy is not good at all. I have a $75 ruger Mk 1 that shoots at least as good as the Beeman without sorting pellets but I will try that. this is why you are the best gun tester. most writers including when they test PB’s would have lied about those groups and shot from 3 yds to make them look better

  3. B.B.,

    I assure you I am not trying to nudge you into more testing than you already have planned for this pistol, but it seems to much prefer significantly smaller head sized pellets. I wonder how small-headed JSBs might do.

    This installment of the report reminds me of the factor of head size with individual air guns. I really ought to get myself a PelletGage in .177. I am also considering purchasing a BBGage, but our post Christmas budget is a bit tight this year as we had to make an unplanned new car purchase two weeks ago.

    Hey, JerryC, would you consider a multiple purchase discount offer to celebrate the new year? ;^)


  4. B.B.,

    The most interesting part for me was the sorting. The RWS with the 2 heads so far apart was interesting. I usually find 80% ish 1 size and 20% up or down from that.

    Weights are another story. I have used (nearly) every hole in an egg carton by just weighing to the 1st place after the decimal.

    Bottom line? Do not trust what the can says for specs..

  5. On sorting, when I first got into airgunning, there was a video of a fellow putting pellets in a clear, very precise chamber and then blowing air past them. All sorts of hoses and gauges. I do not have the link, but at the time, I got the impression that it was not all that uncommon and there was various versions out there. It was most interesting at the very least.

    So for anyone pondering hard core sorting,.. there is at least 1 more test out there besides weight and head sorting.

    • Chris
      We use gauges similar to that at work to check if valves are seating correct.

      And you mention weight sorting. Which is important if your wanting to get the most out of your pellets.

      But also overall length is another one to sort.

      And here is a important thing to sort for also along with the pellet gauge. Once you sort the head sizes. Also take a micrometer or calipers and measure around the head diameter for out of round or what we call it at work a egg shaped diameter. I have seen that cause acurracy problems in the past when I use to sort.

      But what I have found is the JSB pellets are usually pretty consistent on those accounts.

      And here’s a twist for ya. What happens to steel if it’s in the cold. It contracts. From what I seen is lead don’t seem to change as quick from from temperature as say a steel barrel. My guns seem to get more accurate when I shoot when the barrel is hanging out the breezeway window when it’s cold out. The gun is room temperature when I start but the barrel gets cold from being out side. So in a sense a barrel that contracts in the cold maybe sizes the pellet better as it goes down the barrel.

      • GF1,

        I was thinking about what you said about the barrel contracting and decided to research it some. Unfortunately, according to this chart, https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/linear-expansion-coefficients-d_95.html, Lead contracts almost three times as much as steel as the temperature changes. If I understood the theory that you were presenting-that the barrel contracts and the pellet fits tighter because it shrinks less- this looks like it disproves that. On the other hand, maybe fitting looser is what makes the gun more accurate.

        • Halfstep
          I see what your saying.

          But your forgetting something. I said the barrel if the gun is out side in 25° temperatures.

          The pellets are at around 68° average.

          So the barrel shrinks the pellets stay the same temperature.

          Next part of what I’m talking about is the barrel started out at the 68°. Then as I shot it eventually would get close to 25°

          So yes the barrel in my case does shrink more than the pellet.

          Now let’s go one step farther. If lead does in fact change 3 times faster than steel.maybe we should be warming our pellets to a set temperature to get more consistent sizing from the pellet.

          Wow how about all of that. Thanks for bringing that up about lead. 🙂

          • GF1,

            I guess I read this, “From what I seen is lead don’t seem to change as quick from from temperature as say a steel barrel. ” and figured the pellets were getting cold too.

            • Halfstep
              Yep I see what you mean. My poor way of explaining what I meant.

              I know that most know I shoot from the breezeway but I forget to mention the temperature it is inside.

              But thinking more about the barrel shrinking more than the pellet in my case. I believe why I’m seeing better acurracy as the barrel gets colder/smaller is it’s acting like a (choked) barrel the colder it gets.

              Maybe that’s why sometimes in the summer accuracy falls off. Maybe the barrel is getting bigger from the heat and the pellets staying the same as my indoor temperature. The breezeway does have one vent and it does get some air conditioning effect. And when I bring the gun back in from out the window it is definitely hot to the touch than in the room.

              So maybe I should measure the outside diameter before and after I shoot just to see how much it does change. Over the weekend would I’m sure showed something. It was the high of 8°. I will have to do that from now on just to see how much the barrel diameter does change.

              • GF1,

                I just found this ,”The coefficient of thermal expansion for steel is 0.00000645in/in/deg F.” 64 millionths per degree per inch “, Which I think means that a 1” diameter barrel would increase or decrease 64 millionths of an inch for every degree F that it’s temperature changes. A .22 hole would change about 1/4 of that. That ain’t much if I’ve got this right . If I don’t have it right I’d like some help understanding from anyone that does understand.

                • Halfstep
                  Now multiply that by how many degrees that changed.

                  Basically a 43°change in my case of warm to cold which gave the better acurracy.

                  So either way how ever much it was it makes a difference.

                  If I remember a choked barrel for a pellet gun barrel might be .001″ smaller

                  Then think about head sizes on a pellet. A 4.54-4.51=.03mm which is basically .001″of a inch.

                  So still saying. Whatever amount it shrunk from what it was warm to what it was cold made a difference in performance.

                  You like testing. That would be a good one for you to try out and make a chart on group sizes. Warm barrel verses cold barrel.

                  And as I always say real world shooting is what counts.

                    • Halfstep
                      To some maybe so. 😉

                      And how you been getting your 50 yard group sizes you just posted below?

                      You taking a trip to Florida or something then shooting and coming back with results? 🙂

                    • Halfstep
                      Perfect time to do the test then.

                      Take the best shooting pellet and the worst that you gave group sizes to.

                      Leave your pellets inside. Take your gun out side and leave it set till the barrel gets to around the outside temperature. Then shoot the pellets and see if you get better groups than your 60° groups from Christmas.

                      Hopefully it’s around 40° colder now then it was then. Then your test will be similar to mine.

                      I’m interested in seeing what happens. I do hope you do it so we can see the results.

  6. BB,

    It is quite interesting that this pistol shoots so low on high power compared to low power. Perhaps that is why you were able to get it at a very reasonable price. There should be a way to correct the problem, but not having examined one, I would not have any idea what would be involved.

    Should you have one, you might want to use a scope stop with this pistol.

      • BB,

        Looking at Alongship’s comment, do you think a difference in grip strength or wrist mechanics may be giving him different results. I’m also curious about whether you are currently holding or have given any thought to holding this gun as you would a 1911? The pressure on the grip with palm and middle finger only that you have advocated for that firearm in the past.

    • I have two Beeman P1’s, and I get good on target hi-power shooting at 7-10 yards. Maybe the pellet will drop more over the last 3-4 yards (for 10 meters total) but I can’t imagine that it would drop 2 inches. By my rough calculations, the difference between 7 yards and 10 meters should only be 0.6 inches. So I believe a P1 should be able to print on target at 10M on high power.

    • RR
      I was shooting my Savage 93 over the new years weekend.

      This is all at 50 yards.
      950 fps Aguilla 60 grain bullets shot 4 inches higher than the 1070fps 40 grain and 1150fps 40 grain bullets. And the both higher velocity 40 grain bullets shot to the right about 2 inches.

      So yep velocity does that.

  7. BB,
    I use red dot sights on several guns. I prefer small dots. Currently I’m using a Truglo with 2.5min dot and a Millet with a three. My next red dot will be the Bushnell trs25. I believe it only has a 2 min dot and is, I believe, the lightest of the dot sights.
    What sight do you intend to use?

    Tom K.

  8. Most red dots I’ve owned have Picatinny bases, demanding an adapter to the 14 mm rail. Also, adapter must spread over the rail, not slide on from one end. I had good luck with Sightmark Minidot and UTG #DTP adapter. YMMV. Back to open sights now.


  9. B.B., on an only somewhat related note, I just wanted to let you know that all your “preachin’ ’bout chronographs” (as we would say here in Georgia =>) has not fallen on deaf ears. After 40 years of shooting airguns without one, I just got on the PyramydAir site and bought one…now I can see how my 40-year-old Sheridan shoots with the old Sheridan pellets versus JSBs. I bought the Competion Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph (https://www.pyramydair.com/product/competition-electronics-prochrono-digital-chronograph?a=4015). The first reviewer said, “this chronograph is extremely easy to use. nothing to figure out about it just plug in a nine volt batterry and start shooting over it, it does everything its supposed to do.” Extremely easy…just what I need; it also averaged 5 stars in 42 reviews. Cool. Can’t wait to get it. =D

  10. BB

    You know this already but for many readers dot sights and lazers flare too much over the target if you have astigmatism. Can usually be easily overcome by looking through a peep hole attached to glasses. Eyepal, Farrsight and others make stick on or clamp on peeps. Your competition shooting glasses are even better.


    • Decksniper
      I have astigmatism. And what’s funny is some dot sights bother me. The Tasco red dot I have doesn’t.

      And on rifles anyway I find that I can try dot sights at different locations on the dovetail and get that somewhat better.

      But like I say my Tasco doesn’t give me that problem for some reason.

      • Gunfun1

        Yep, I too have a red dot/green dot sight that does not flare. I don’t know why some flare over the target making precision sighting difficult while others flare less so or not at all. Some folk’s eyes detect no flare while a few get little help from peeps. I got this tip from a video (Utube?) a while back.

        Happy New Year,

        • Decksniper
          Some time back when Buldawg was commenting he got a red dot. And I won’t mention where or what brand.

          But he said he was having that flared out of focus dot too. Well I had ordered one too cause they was a good price. Got mine and sure enough the same thing. So a good price really wasn’t at all.

          But yep I don’t know why some do that and some don’t.

          And Happy New Year to you also.

          • GF1,

            I’ve got some of the cheapest dot sights out of China and one of them had a flare because there was one of those plastic protective films on it that I didn’t notice right away. Another one had a flare because of a smudge on my glasses. You do wear corrective lenses to fix your astigmatism I assume. And another had a smudge on it out of the box.

            Here’s some 50 yard results from my Urban. I had a 8-10 mph wind quartering from my rear right. I had 4 sticks with thin strips of trash bag tied to them as wind socks at different spots downrange and I had to deal with pretty regular small gusts. I think I’ll get better results on a calm day. Gonna try anyway. I didn’t list the pellets that shot over 2″ and some of the pellets gave a good showing for 8 shots then would have a couple fliers open things up.( sometimes I felt like it was wind and sometimes I didn’t have a clue) Those Field Target trophy pellets were ones that I ran through my PelletGage and measured 5.57 mm. Because they shot well and I had plenty of them, I shot some more groups just before dark when the wind had nearly disappeared. The best groups with them were shot at that time,so that’s why I think I can do better on a different day. Over all I’m well satisfied so far. Way better results than the stormrider!!

            • Halfstep
              If it was my gun I would have to say the feild targets would be my choice pellet. And I’m sure from what you described about the evening shots compared to the other shots earlier in the day that wind was some sort of issue for sure.

              And yes I do wear corrective glasses. But most definitely clean my glasses and lens of the scope or dot sight before I shoot. Learned that lesson long ago. That’s why I wear a hat when I shoot too to keep the glare out of eyes.

              But now that protective film makes me wonder. I wish I still had that red dot that had the dot that was not sharp. Never even thought of that.

  11. B.B.,

    Why not try a heavier pellet such as a RWS 9.3 grain SUPERMAG and see if the POI rises a significant amount when shooting on high power? What have you got to lose except a drop in velocity?


      • Gunfun 1,

        To the best of my knowledge, no one else on the blog had suggested this so I did. It would be an easy test to find out. Since the P1 recoils more closely to a firearm (to the rear) the heavier, slower pellet will be in the barrel a few milliseconds longer as the muzzle is rising which should cause a higher POI on target.


        • Bugbuster
          I think that too. I mentioned that in one of the other parts of this blog about velocity. But I don’t think I related it to pellet weight at the time.

          I thought that lower velocity would be better in this pistol because of that. Then add in a heavier weight pellet more so yet. Then also the heavier pellet takes more to move so that should dampen recoil when the piston slams forward.

  12. Have wondered for a while how airguns would perform in a ransom rest. This could eliminate the “shooter” part of the testing. Not so sure how arms that need the artillery hold would perform though.

    Silver Eagle

    • Silver Eagle,

      “ransom test” ? From your description, I assume that the gun is held or “viced” in some manner? I have never heard that term,… at least not in that context.

      • Chris USA

        I’ve never shot from a Ranson Rest but it is pricey and yet has still withstood the test of time. I’m speculating it holds a gun very precisely. I have no idea what a “springer” would do but I’m wondering.

        BB, how about a test? Use a powerful sporter springer of known good quality. You choose the distance. Compare the artillery hold vs a hold in a Ransom Rest using the same pellets. I understand there is little or no human variation error in one corner of this fight. Since I have familial tremor I have to customize my holds for best accuracy for each of my airguns. The reults of this test if you think others are interested could answer lots of questions.


        • Decksniper,

          The Ransom rest has been around for many decades and does well with certain handguns. But with a P1 I’m afraid it would be too cumbersome to cock and load each time. And the rest has to be custom fit to each handgun though the grip. I think it would fit a P1 and other 1911-type airguns, but that’s about all.


      • Chris USA,

        It is a special device that is used with firearms testing. You remove the grip panels from the gun and install special inserts for that gun that lets you clamp it in the rest. The rest has a pivot point were the wrist would be if the gun was in you hand, that allows the muzzle to flip up and back in recoil. There are tensioners that adjust how much force has to be overcome to flip up. The gun is fired by pulling a string that is attached to a lever that bears against the trigger. It is supposed to be a very repeatable way to fire a gun. I should add that the whole arrangement is attached to something that has enough mass to resist moving under recoil. Don’t know how it would work with the double recoil of a spring gun, though.

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