Beeman P3 air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman P3 pistol
Beeman P3 air pistol.

Beeman P17 Part 1
Beeman P17 Part 2
Beeman P17 Part 3
Beeman P17 Part 4
Beeman P17 Part 5
Beeman P3 Part 1
Beeman P3 Part 2
Beeman P3 Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Group 2
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS Match Pistol
  • RWS Superdome
  • Eleven Meisterkugeln pellets
  • The Beeman P3 versus the Beeman P17
  • HOWEVER
  • Summary

Today I shoot the Beeman P3 single stroke pneumatic air pistol for accuracy for the first time since I acquired it. You will remember that when I tested it for velocity two reports back (Part 2 of the P3 report), I discovered it was a little slow, so in Part 3 of this report I rebuilt both it and the Beeman P17 pistol. I did film that rebuild, but after editing most of it I think it is too boring to publish, so that one is going away. Sorry about that.

I remounted the Millett red dot sight that came with the P3 and then proceeded to the sight-in range, which is 12 feet from the target. The first shot was a 10, so sight-in was done! The Millett sight had come back to where it was when I took it off the pistol, assuming it was sighted in then!

The test

For this test I shot from 10-meters off a sandbag rest. I decided to shoot 5-shot groups and then take the best pellet from them to shoot a final 10-shot group. Wait until you see what happened! I was also supposed to shoot groups with pellets seated flush and deep, but I forgot to seat deep, so all the groups in this test are with the pellet seated flush. However, I am not going to run another test. It’s too hard to deep-seat pellets anyway.

Meisterkugeln Rifle

The first pellet tested was the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle wadcutter. I expected the pellet to rise from the sight-in shot, but it didn’t. It hit the 9-ring to the right of the sight-in shot. Then I shot 4 more without looking through the spotting scope. Five shots went into 0.485-inches at 10 meters with the last 4 going in 0.185-inches!

P3 Meister group 1
The sight-in shot is to the left. The five Meisterkugeln that were shot from 10 meters are 0.485-inches between centers, with the last 4 being 0.185-inches!

Group 2

That target was so encouraging that I decided to shoot the same pellet again. I adjusted the dot sight one click down and one click to the left and then shot group two. This time five pellets went into 0.221-inches from 10 meters. This pistol can shoot!

P3 Meister group 2
At 10 meters the P3 put 5 Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets in 0.221-inches between centers.

Air Arms Falcons

I adjusted the dot sight two more clicks to the left before shooting again. Next up were Air Arms Falcon pellets. Sometimes they are surprisingly accurate — especially in weaker airguns. This time five of them went into 0.79-inches, so the P3 doesn’t seem to prefer Falcons.

P3 Falcon group
Five Falcon domes went into 0.79-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Hobby

I tried RWS Hobby pellets next, but I think I lost count and only shot 4 instead of 5. In the past I have had positive measures in place to know for certain that 5 pellets were shot, but this time I lost track and wasn’t sure. When I saw the target I could only see 4 distinct holes, so I’m calling this 4 shots. The group measures 0.42-inches between centers, so Hobbys are probably a good pellet in this pistol.

P3 Hobby group
Four RWS Hobby pellets went into 0.42-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Match Pistol

Then I tried RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets. They made a strange vertical group that measures 0.538-inches between centers. Given the accuracy of some other pellets, the R10 Match Pistol is probably not for the P3.

P3 R10 group
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets went into 0.538-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superdome

The final pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. Sometimes Superdomes surprise me and this was one of those times. Five Superdomes went into 0.351-inches at 10 meters. The group is nice and round like the Meisterkugeln group, so I guess the P3 really likes most RWS pellets.

P3 RWS Superdome group
Five RWS Superdome pellets went into 0.351-inches at 10 meters.

Eleven Meisterkugeln pellets

The RWS Meisterkugeln pellets were the best of the five I tested, so I decided to shoot a final 10-shot group of them. However, something strange happened during the test. The pistol pumped very easily for the fourth shot and I figured it would go low. I could have shot it away from the target, and was tempted to, but I also wanted to see where it would go if I sighted for a good shot. So I did. I shot with the same hold that was used for all the other pellets and as you can see, the pellet landed low on the target but in line with the center of the bull.

After that low shot I fired another 7 pellets, because that shot didn’t count. The 10 good shots landed in a strange tight and round group of 8 that measures 0.284-inches between centers, with two flyers that open the 10 shots to 0.735-inches. Why those two shots landed where they did I don’t know, but I did see the pistol raise in recoil a couple times. I usually say these SSPs are recoilless, but the P3 definitely flipped up. Maybe that explains it. I have no other idea of what happened.

Last week I told you that during a 10-meter pistol match my pistol ran out of CO2 and a dropped a shot low. This is the same situation only it happened with a pneumatic.

P3 RWS Meisterkugeln 10-shot group
Ten Meisterkugeln landed in 0.735-inches at 10 meters, with 8 of them in 0.284-inches. The shot that landed low was the fourth shot that wasn’t pressurized all the way.

The Beeman P3 versus the Beeman P17

There is no doubt about it — the Beeman P17 is a best buy. It always has been and, now that reader 45Bravo has shown us how to overhaul it, there is no reason to forego buying one.

HOWEVER

The P3 has the better trigger, hands down. And its internal parts are finished better. And, from today’s test, we see that it is slightly more accurate — or at least of the two guns I’m testing the P3 is the more accurate. The best the P17 could do for me was five shots in 0.394-inches at 10 meters, versus today’s best of five in 0.221-inches. And both guns did their best with RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets.

The P17 is the better value and the P3 is the pistol with better quality overall. The decision is yours, as always.

Summary

This series of reports should last a very long time. In it we compared the two pistols side-by-side, we learned that the P17 was never a Weihrauch creation, we learned how to overhaul the guns with o-rings that are readily available and we learned that dot sights will bring out their best. I will be recommending the P17 as a best gift value this holiday season, and the P3 as a best heirloom value.

41 thoughts on “Beeman P3 air pistol: Part 4

  1. I’ve noticed that from time to time, my HW75 doesn’t seem to release all the air. The subsequent pump is a lot stiffer. Once in a long while, a shot goes off a little quieter than the others, and dry-firing immediately after will release the remaining gas.

    My HW75 does also exhibit the slightest touch of muzzle flip, so they’re clearly not completely recoilless, but that’s to be expected given Newton’s laws.

    I haven’t paid attention to what pellets I’m using when it occurs (it is infrequent), but my H&N Match Green alloy pellets will sometimes not fire out of my Diana 24C. There’s a hiss as the compressed air leaks around the pellet, but the pellet itself doesn’t fire. Re-cocking and firing does the trick.



  2. BB,

    Back when I had my FWB601 I mounted a scope on it for a bit and shot some “long range” with it. I rested it on my denim “sand” bags and after sighting I would only touch the rifle with my finger to pull the trigger. Even as heavy as that air rifle was, it would slide back about an inch with each shot.

    Like Chanman819 said, there is no getting around the “laws”.



  3. Got an old P1 and an even older Hurricane.Shot the crap out of them for a couple years each after I first got them. I haven’t shot either one for quite some time but this has me wanting to get them out and stretch their legs a bit. If I were in the market for another pistol the P17 would be at the top of my list. I’ve gotten frugal (tight/cheap) in my older age.


  4. Nice shooting B.B.!
    I have a new love now, its the Steyer Hunter 5 auto. looks like 30 ft/lbs of .22 bliss. Only $2K! Please test one. For mere mortals, it’s looking like an LGU in .177 for HFT, since I have hunting covered with my Marauders, and I have nothing to compare the R10 too. I will pass on an ASP 20 for now.
    Be well,
    R




        • 1stblue,

          The FWB C55P is the pistol you are thinking of. Five shots and semiautomatic.

          This one is a bolt action they are calling a semi because it uses a flipper biathlon bolt. I don’t think it’s a real semi. It’s just faster to reload.

          B.B.


          • Well, as I understand semi-automatic, the Hunter 5 auto is semiauto, just like the C55P. That pistol would make a nice article as well! Pull the match trigger as fast as you need to, the rifle fires each time. No bolt manipulation required.
            It does share the same biathlon bolt with the manual version of the rifle which is pretty slick
            on its own, as the user only need their trigger finger to cycle the magazine and charge the hammer. An object of desire, like a Rolex watch is.
            But not required to take a rabbit for the pot.
            Rob




        • 1stblue
          I would actually probably go with a .177 this time around since I already know how the .22 LGU shoots.

          And I’m sure the .177 would have a flatter trajectory than the .22 caliber. For sure .177 if I was doing field target.


    • 1stblue,

      I will second on the LGU. I bought GF1’s in 22 and loved it. It would do as well and sometimes better than the TX 200 in .22. Then,… I got into the darker side of air guns. The LGU is nice!

      Chris



        • 1stblue,

          I honestly can not remember what I had on it. I am a fan of the UTG drooper mount just to keep the elevation lower and also a fan of P/W rings. UTG has dimensions on their stuff if you go to the site. I like to keep the scope as low as possible.

          I actually bought the rifle (TX200) I think first,.. then researched scope and ring dimensions. Then,… made a full scale drawing of all key points and then ordered the scope and rings. The front bell came within 1/8″ of the action on first set up. Perfect!

          You will love it. The only thing I can say is that I wished the stock had some nice(er) wood work like the TX200. It is very nicely styled though.

          Chris


        • Also,

          A side wheel is super nice too for adjusting the A.O. side knob. Once you use one,.. you will always want one. Not too big,.. just enough to get a better/easier hold. The side A.O.’s can be a bit stiff on some scopes. Plus,… you can add custom tapes to better nail things down on some. Maybe a good thing in FT.

          Chris


  5. BB

    But for those pesky fliers! I have been having lots of fun trying to overcome fliers with my Beeman AR2078A I got from PA recently. I’ve tried lots of pellet types, scopes and apertures, both 1 and 2 CO2 powerlets. Two vertical fliers out of ten almost everytime is cause to believe velocity is not consistent. I turned the rifle 90 degrees on my rest and started shooting to prove my hunch was right. Nope, the fliers are now horizontal. Next I removed the weighted barrel sleeve and sights and then mounted a scope. This made no difference. I even tried deep seating pellets using an Allen wrench without success. I then polished the crown using polishing compounds. No luck with that either. Guess the barrel bore is the problem. Accuracy is okay for plinking putting 10 shots into 1 to 1 1/2″ at 25 yards. But groups are around 3/4″ discounting the fliers. This rifle is a joy to shoot in every respect except for fliers.

    Enjoyed your report and consider my P17 a best buy for the price for adults.

    Deck


    • Deck
      Try 3 or 4 drops of oil down the barrel from the breech end and shoot your best grouping pellet and see what happens. And it really don’t matter what kind of light oil you use. Silicone oil, Pellgun oil or even 3 and 1 oil. I have had good luck with all 3.

      And by the way I like the gun you have.


      • Gunfun1

        Thinking if a little is good a lot must be great I put many drops silicone chamber oil down the breach. Using JSB 8.44 grain pellets my rifle prefers, the first 20 shots were larger but less vertical. Wanting the oil to settle down in lands and grooves I waited 30 minutes. One bad low flier at 25 yards resulted in a 1.34″ group but 8 pellets scored .30″ in an impressive cloverleaf. What a teaser!

        Thanks for the tip and we shall see how this goes.

        Deck


        • Deck,

          You are getting into the realm of lubing pellets now. If you find that this works,… then I would go the more conventional route. Done in a consistent manner,… I can not see where it can hurt.

          I do believe that GF1 uses this method (in place) of cleaning the barrel. More of an “occasional maintenance” if you will,………. I would not look for any improvements to last with the way you did it,… nor would I expect the results to be consistent. Flyers can simply be an “off” pellet.

          Chris


          • Chris

            I don’t clean my airgun barrels either unless accuracy worsens. I have never cleaned my Weihrauchs or many Lothar Walther barrel guns.

            No doubt I cause many fliers but with this rifle they are so consistent or have been and otherwise the group sizes are promising. Have not tried pellet lubing and thought that to be for elite competitive shooters who can’t afford a flier. I have measured weights and head diameters to eliminate pellet outliers to no avail with this rifle. Again, I get 2 plus or minus one flier in 10 shot groups with my AR2078A. This rifle has the best bolt action cocking and loading design of any I own. Aesthetics and handling are hard to believe for the price. Just wishing to solve the flier issue.

            Thanks for your comment.

            Deck


          • Chris
            Yep like I just mentioned to Decksniper. I only oil the barrel if I see accuracy fading. I have never cleaned a air gun barrel yet and my guns are pretty darn accurate.

            I’m curious to see how it goes for Decksniper.


        • Deck
          Keep us updated.

          And like Chris mentioned. I oil the barrel if I see accuracy starting to get worse on a gun. I myself never clean my air gun barrels. Now firearms are a different story. I only oil if things start changing with my air guns, firearms I clean if accuracy starts fading.




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