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.

Modifications?

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.

Discussion

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!