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Education / Training Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 2

Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 2

Beeman P1
Beeman P1.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • R10 Match Pistol
  • R10 Match Pistol High 
  • R10 Match Pistol Low
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy High
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy Low
  • Crosman Premier Light High
  • Crosman Premier Light Low
  • Dry-fire capability
  • Trigger-pull
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

I wanted to test the RAW Chassis System HM-1000X rifle a second time at 25 yards today, but something happened. Reader Kevin mentioned that The RAW should do its best with JSB Exact Monster Redesigned pellets at 100 yards. Then John McCaslin, who makes the RAW, told me the same thing. He said the rifle was tuned at the factory for that pellet. Well, I looked for them and they are sold out everywhere — of course. But I have a connection and was able to secure a small supply of that pellet for testing. It won’t be here until later this week, so I had to set the RAW test aside for today.

Today I test the Beeman P1 pistol’s velocity. And I realized that in the last 12-part report I tested the pistol that I overhauled. Instead of retesting that pistol so soon, I have decided to test the P1 that I got back in 1995 for The Airgun Letter. Here we go.

R10 Match Pistol

I will test the pistol with three pellets. Since I have tested Beeman P1s a lot, I know which pellets they like the best. We will start with the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet.

R10 Match Pistol High 

On high power the R10 pistol pellet averaged 571 f.p.s. The low was 564 and the high was 581, a difference of 17 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 5.07 foot-pounds of energy.

R10 Match Pistol Low

On low power the R10 Match Pistol pellet averaged 462 f.p.s. The low was 460 and the high was 465 — a difference of 5 f.p.s. At the average velocity the energy was 3.32 foot-pounds.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy High

These pellets didn’t exist when the P1 was new. But past testing has shown them to be very accurate. On high power they averaged 612 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 599 to a high of 618 — a difference of 19 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 4.37 foot-pounds of energy.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy Low

On low power the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet averaged 477 f.p.s. The low was 475 and the high was 481- a difference of 6 f.p.s. At the average velocity the energy generated was 2.65 foot-pounds.

Crosman Premier Light High

The 7.9-grain Crosman Premier Light pellet that Crosman no longer makes averaged 499 f.p.s. on high power, The low was 495 and the high was 504 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 9 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generated 4.37 foot-pounds of energy.

Crosman Premier Light Low

On low power the Premier Light averaged 401 f.p.s. The low was 396 and the high was 408 f.p.s. — a difference of 12 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generated 2.82 foot-pounds of energy.

Dry-fire capability

I should mention that the P1 does have a dry-fire capability without cocking the gun. The top strap is released and pulled up as high as it goes without effort, then pulled up a few more inches until a faint click is heard. It happens before the low power cocking notch is reached. Close it again and the trigger is set but the pistol is not cocked.

Beeman P1 top strap released
When you pull the hammer back the top strap is released. It rises this high without effort. Pull it up about this same amount again and the trigger is cocked without cocking the pistol. That allows for a dry fire.

Well, shut my mouth! Reader Stephan from Germany commented that all he had to do was just pop the top strap up and the trigger was cocked. I just tried it and he is right! Forget what I said about lifting the top strap a little more. Just pop the top!


This is the pistol whose trigger I modified back in 1996. It now has a two-stage pull with stage one taking 12.6 ounces of effort and stage two breaking cleanly at 1 lb. 13 oz. It’s better than it was after the trigger modification, but still just a bit too light for me. It would be fine if this was a rifle or even a 10-meter pistol, but not a 1911A1 frame that requires me to hold the weight of the gun while I pull the trigger. Because it has a 1911A1 frame I would like the trigger to break at 3 lbs., but it is now adjusted as heavy as it will go with the trigger mod I did in 1996.

Cocking effort

The P1 isn’t that hard to cock, but it does require a technique. You invert the hand that pulls the top strap up and forward. That sounds odd but once you have done it a few times you’ll see how easy it is. If you don’t do it that way, and I have seen many people who refuse to, then the P1 is a bear to cock! I think it feels three times harder than it is, if it isn’t cocked correctly.

To test the cocking effort I broke the pistol open and rested the inside of the top strap on my analog bathroom scale as I pressed down to extend the top strap. Guess what? My P1 is even easier to cock than I had thought! Cocking to low power takes just 11 lbs. of effort. You can horse it higher by going too fast, but 11 lbs. is the max if you do it right.

To go to high power the effort spiked to 12 lbs. in one place in the cocking arc (just after low power is achieved) and then dropped back to 8 lbs. for the rest of the stroke. In other words, Yogi, the effort I had to apply in the longer cocking stroke was mostly less than the effort for the shorter one. I wanted to say that last week when you made your comment about short and long cocking strokes with breakbarrels, but this P1 proved it today.

I am only reporting the results I see. Now, the length of time you are applying the force has to be longer if the stroke is longer, so maybe that’s what you meant?


That’s the power of the pistol I will be testing for you. From my experience with this airgun, this one is right where it should be.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

30 thoughts on “Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 2”

  1. BB,

    do you really need to lift up the top part of the pistol to cock the trigger?

    On my HW45 from 2013 or so, all I need to to is pop the top open by pulling the hammer and then close it again. That cocks the trigger for dry-firing. It even works with the additional weight from the dot sight on the top strap.

    I’m looking forward to your accuracy results.
    I’m not surprised it likes the R10s. Mine works very well with RWS Club, but H&N Excite Econ II and Sport seem to be pretty good as well.


    • Stephan,

      On both my P1s, plus several others I have handled the top strap does need to be lifted a small amount before the trigger sets. The ones I have tested were all made long before yours.

      I have never tried the Clubs in a P1. I’ll see if I have any in my cabinet.


      • Stephan,

        You’re right! Now why did I think I had to do that with all those pistols? I think I was listening as I pulled up the top strap and heard the click.

        You just made life a lot easier for this old boy! 🙂

        I’m going to add a message in the report!


      • My venerable P-1 always loved an original RWS Super Magnum, but they had to be formed through my pellet sizer or their diameter caused the breech seal to blow out. The new Super Magnums are 0.2 grains lighter and the pellets likely slightly smaller? I have switched to the Ultrashocks and they are a perfect replacement. Note – given the low velocity, they do NOT expand their hollow point but act like an highly accurate wad cutter (which is my intent and need).

        The trigger needed adjustment after more than 25 years to INCREASE the pull weight. After tens of thousands of rounds, the trigger had use-polished itself into a very dangerously light pull. All is now well and it remains my absolute definition of what a fine air arm trigger should be.

        My only modification of the pistol was the placement of an UTG Leapers Red/Green Dot Sight on it as a compensation for post-cataract with progressive lenses vision. Pistols are notoriously hard to get a proper sight picture given the short sight radius, and when added to the variables of the eye wear, it was simply time to go to dots. That added weight to the pistol and made it a bit front heavy, but not over much.

        My P-1 has always set the trigger with a release of the top “slide.” I usually press down on the “slide” and then pull the “hammer” back to release it. That prevents a snapping of the “slide” upwards in an uncontrolled manner and minimizes the wear on the “hammer” catch.

  2. Good morning Hank and all. I cleaned out my experimental rubber mulch pellet trap last night. I posted the whole procedure here:

    Hope that was helpful.

    Have a great day everyone!

  3. If an HW45/P1 was to show up here at the door of RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns it would be made to feel welcome by all the gals and they would be happy to make room for it, but the gals around here really would like to see a Webley Junior move in. As for me, I would greatly enjoy taking either of them out on the back porch to kill some feral soda cans, but a Junior sure would go nice with that Senior.

  4. B.B.,

    Glad you are waiting for the jsb monster redesigned pellets before taking the RAW to the range. If you have any of those older jsb 18.1 gr pellets left that I gave you take those to the range too (the ones in the tin with a gray label) and try them in the RAW.

  5. BB, I noted you commented in the blog today that the 7.9 grain premier pellet is no longer in production. I was looking for pellets a couple days ago and noticed that the original Crosman Premiers are listed as “legacy” pellets on the Optics Planet website. I’m hoping the Premier line isn’t being supplanted by the Essential pellet line.

  6. I just received P.A.’s Ammo Almanac in today’s mail. So many pellets…so little time (and money). But I am wondering why go to the expense to mail this out when it is all on the website and there is not much additional info?

    There is a $15 coupon for a $100 or more order, but it probably can’t be combined with the free shipping promo for orders of $150 or more, can it?

  7. WOW!!! I just got this “Ammo Almanac” from Pyramyd today in the mail. What a great thing! It lays out all the pellets from .177, .20, .22, .25, all the way up to .50 caliber and then it covers slugs. Name, grains, head size (if appropriate), shape, price. Cool! It’s even printed on heavy stock so you can keep it around for a while. THIS is a keeper. Great idea, y’all!

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