The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 9
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Beeman P1 air pistol.
This report covers:
- Sorted pellets
- Sorting RWS Meisterkugeln
- Pre-test work
- Another test?
- Back to the test
- 4.55 Premier
- 4.56 Premier
- The test changes
- Deep seated again
- Meisterkugeln with 4.54mm heads
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!