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Education / Training Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 3

Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 3

Beeman P1
Beeman P1.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Motivation
  • The good that came from this test
  • The problems
  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Second group of Hobbys
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Changed glasses
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Discussion
  • Summary

This will be a quickie. Today I report on the weakest, most broken tool in my shooting box — me! Today I shoot the Beeman P1 pistol offhand.

Motivation

I did today’s little test because I never shoot offhand anymore. I am more interested in what the airgun can do than I am in my own shooting. Unfortunately this has made me a lazy boy. I talk a good game, but how do I perform?

The good that came from this test

I experienced everything a shooter should not do in today’s test. I may write a good story, but when it comes to doing what I say — hey, look over there! Is that a 20-dollar bill on the ground? I tend to make every mistake in the book.

But I read all the stuff I’d written on how to stand and how to hold the pistol, and then I gave it my all.

The problems

One problem with a P1 is you have to take it out of your hand to cock and load it. So there goes all that “finding the right grip” stuff you read about. It has to be redone for every shot.

Another problem is BB Pelletier is old, fat and squishy. He isn’t the man he used to be. He’s about 1.5 times that man! And even though I walk every day, I don’t stand that still when I’m trying to shoot. I wobble.

But enough about me. You all have your own problems. Let’s get started

The test

Today I shot three 5-shot groups offhand from 10 meters. I actually shot four groups, but that’s a funny story that I’ll tell when we get there. I started out wearing my prescription glasses, which leads us to another funny story. And yes, I shot with a one-hand hold. That was the test.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

RWS Hobby

The .177-caliber P1 likes the RWS Hobby pellet. I sighted in with 4 shots, three of which hit high on the target paper. They told me the rear sight needed to go down, so down it went — many clicks.

Then I shot for the record. Five shots went into 1.59-inches at 10 meters. Yes, four of the pellets are in 0.777-inches, but that was mostly luck, given all the mistakes I was making.

P1 Hobby group
Shooting the P1 offhand at 10 meters I put five Hobby pellets into 1.59-inches.

This was better than I deserved, given how much I was moving around. I felt that I was sniping at the target rather than holding steady on it.

Second group of Hobbys

I was so shaky that I thought I would try to hold the gun with two hands — Lord forbid! But the front sight was too close to my eye and it was fuzzy. With two hands I put five pellets into more than 4-1/2-inches, and no, I’m not showing that target! That is the funny story I told you about in the beginning. BB ain’t no two-handed shooter!

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The next pellet I tried was the lightweight Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter. Five of them went into 2.496-inches at 10 meters. One shot was a beautiful 10 and another was a 3! I haven’t shot 3s in — I can’t remember when.

Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets from the Beeman P1 went into 2.496-inches at 10 meters when shot offhand.

Changed glasses

It was at this point that I exchanged my prescription glasses for the reading glasses I normally use to see the front sight. They made the front blade sharp and clear and the bullseye a little fuzzy, which is the way it should be.

Changing glasses affected my hold. Now that I could see the front sight clearly, I concentrated more on it. Let’s see what that does.

RWS Superdomes

The last pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome. Five went into 2.921-inches at 10 meters. Ah, yes, but four of those pellets are in 0.48-inches. I don’t think that one was luck, either. I think that was a little of the old BB Pelletier coming out. Because this time only I did many things right. And that was all because I could see the front sight. Note to self — wear those reading glasses when you shoot offhand!

P1 Superdome group
When shot offhand the Beeman P1 put five RWS Superdomes into 2.921-inches at 10 meters, with 4 in 0.48-inches.

Discussion

It’s obvious to me that I need to stand and shoot a lot more than I do. That gives me the impetus to start shooting my P44 again. A 10 meter target pistol is far easier to shoot (I think) because you don’t have to regrip it after cocking it every time. I guess I need to test that theory for myself.

The P1 is an accurate air pistol. It demands to be held like a 1911, which is practice for my firearms. And I need to start strengthening my arm to hold the pistol steady. I used to used free weights for that. I guess I will move over to resistance bands.

Summary

I want to do this again, but not for a while. I have some shape to be getting into.

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.

98 thoughts on “Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 3”

  1. BB,

    If you wanted to do one of those “teach someone to shoot” series for 10 meter target pistols I would be all for that!

    I’ve got my P8X (mostly) adjusted so it points where I’m looking and I’m starting to cobble together some sort of training plan for the winter indoor shooting season.

    Hope you get into a routine of shooting your P44. Maybe make some notes and write a couple of blogs to share as you get back up to speed!

    Hank

  2. BB

    Glad you are getting back into teaching 10 meter pistol. Regular readers know your 10 meter formal competition history and will give you all the slack you want.

    Would not your comment about front sight focus also apply when the pistol is rested?

    Deck

    • Deck,

      Yes, well the situation is identical. You have to see the front sight clearly in order to hit the same place every time. The reading glasses help me do it.

      BB

      • BB,
        In 2007 you commented on using the 2 handed hold with the P1, – Don

        “B.B. Pelletier April 23, 2007 at 7:01 pm
        Are you holding the gun like you would hold a Colt M1911A1? The P1 is vewry sensitive to hold.

        With your middle finger pull the pistol back into the web of your hand. None of the other fingers apply any pressure – including the thumb. The trigger finger pulls straight back.

        The gun should bounce in your hand. When it does, the gun will group. Don’t try to shoot two-handed or anything else but the classic M1911A1 hold and see what happens.

        B.B.”

  3. BB,

    The only “modern” air pistol I have is my Izzy. Fortunately, I do not have to break my stance or grip to cock, load and fire. Unfortunately that means I have to come up with some other excuse.

    I also went to the “One Handed School of Pistol Shooting”. It feels awkward to me to shoot two handed also, but I can do it. Fortunately for me I wear progressive bifocals, so focusing on the front sight only requires a slight tilt of the head either up or down.

  4. You could do free weights B.B.; start slowly, 5 lbs or less. Squeezing a rubber ball should help with your grip.
    To shape-shift into better shape, dump the sweets and try intermittent fasting or similar methods. Look up Jason Fung’s fasting techniques.

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/intermittent-fasting/questions-and-answers

    FM ain’t saying it’s easy! The goal is to live longer healthier and keep on shootin’. Also so we can outlive and outvote “the usual suspects.”

    Your shooting is not bad – a helluva lot better than FM’s 2-hand targeting abilities.

    • Basil,

      I gave up free weights about 6 years ago. I did them for most of my adult life and they did very little

      I will be exercising, but with different equipment.

      BB

      • B.B.,

        You need to start with baseline measurements and then track your progress. The best way for a shooter to do that is grip strength.

        “Grip strength is a measure of muscular strength or the maximum force/tension generated by one’s forearm
        muscles. It can be used as a screening tool for measurement of upper body strength and overall strength. It is most useful when multiple measurements are taken over time to track performance.
        Research indicates that grip strength in midlife can predict physical disability in senior years. Improving your strength now may prevent injury and disability later. Be aware that some medical conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis, affect grip strength. Grip strength and overall strength can be improved by weight training—and also by changing some daily activities.”

        There are tables by age and gender for the range of grip strength and dynamometer sold at even Walmart for testing your grip strength in left and right hands.

        I hope your program gets it done for you…eat more Protein is also important if you get a workout routine going.

        I have used Power Putty for years: http://www.powerputty.com/
        When I fly somewhere my seat mates always ask what I’m doing and some have asked if is something that helps with Fear of Flying. I get to tell them that I am a retired Naval Aviator and that I learned how to get over my fear of flying after my first few night landings on the Boat. LOL!

        Seriously this Grip Strength stuff is not just for your shooting but for your quality of life!

        shootski

      • BB,

        “I gave up free weights about 6 years ago. I did them for most of my adult life and they did very little”.

        Read this book by your fellow Texan, Mark Rippetoe, then wipe the dust off those free weights! : https://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength-Basic-Barbell-Training/dp/0982522738

        You would like Rip; he is the B.B. Pelletier of the weight-training world.

        Here is what one reviewer had to say about the book:
        “This is an extraordinarily professional and well-written book, chock-full of practical, and logically presented data on strength training. I’ve also been to Rippetoe’s seminar in Wichita Falls, Tx. The depth of explanation is remarkable, including anatomical, biomechanical, and practical considerations. Rip has acquired and presents lots of relevant expertise from many fields, to make this a truly thorough book on the what, why, and hows of the basic powerlifting lifts for the interested novice and experienced veteran. I’ve never read a book in the weight-training domain that is as fundamentally compelling in its logic, and I’ve been training for 48 years. He should be very proud of this legacy book”.

  5. Morning BB,
    The P1 is a good looking pistol. I would love to read another “how to” series about pistol shooting technique.

    On another note, I am hoping you might offer me an opinion. If a brand new TX200HC buzzes and vibrates more than my old Gamo 220 (and way more than the other TX and Pro-Sport that I have), does this sound like “luck of the draw” (meaning some will be better than others and I must accept that not all TX200 will shoot smoothly as manufactured from the factory), or does this sound like something is wrong with the air rifle and I should contact the dealer? It seems to function normally, other than the severe buzz. I have only had it a week and put about 150 pellets through it.

    I hope I am not bothering you. I just wanted to check my expectations by seeing what my airgun Guru thought.

    Thank you for any feedback or advice.

    I also welcome comments or advice from BB’s Blog Brain Trust – if anybody else wants to weigh in.

    -Airman

    • Airman,

      TX 200s do not vibrate! If yours does, something is wrong. It sounds like a bent or canted mainspring. That is not usual, but I did hear about one other TX that vibrated.

      TX 200s are so easy to work on that you can do it yourself. I think I showed how to remove the trigger and piston here.

      /blog/2014/02/tx200-mark-iii-part-13/

      In looking at it I think a series on tuning the TX 200 Mark III is warranted.

      BB

      • BB,

        Thank you for getting back to me and letting me know. I would like to get into tuning springers, and would enjoy reading about you tuning the TX 200 Mark III. I am hesitant to tear into this one, as I am concerned this would void the warranty on a week old TX. Hmmm, I wonder if BB is looking for a buzzy TX200HC on which to demonstrate his tuning expertise…..

        Thanks again BB,
        Airman

        • Airman,

          Oh, it’s a hunting carbine. Well, they do fire more harshly than the standard TX. I didn’t catch that it was an HC before.

          How about this time you do the work and I walk you through it? It’s ever-so-slightly more complex than changing batteries in a flashlight.

          BB

          • BB,

            I will read with great enthusiasm any new series you do on tuning these fine rifles. To bolster my DIY abilities I will stop sending out my flashlights for battery changes.

            Thanks again for your help today.

            -Airman

        • What a quandary. You don’t know if it is unduly buzzy (more than the typical HC), and if so, whether it is from a bent spring or something else, because you can’t invalidate the warranty by taking it apart. I would actually read the warranty to make sure of what it says about maintenance and repairs, and if the warranty prevents you from investigating, contact the Seller and see if they will replace it. If the replacement is just as buzzy, then you’ll know that it just needs tuning. Recall B.B.’s Marksman Model 70, new (old) in box but with a bent spring.

  6. Good morning, B.B. and Blog-mates,
    I was messing around with sights last night. I got it in my head that a fiber optic front sight and a rear peep sight would be a good combination, especially for hunting. So I experimented with the Beeman R9 that I’m giving to my Father in Law. Forgive my photography, I was using the cell phone because it’s easier to upload pictures from it, but I can’t manually focus it. Here goes. Here’s the stock sight, which is a globe sight with several inserts. I picked a relatively square-ish one.

    • You can see that the Globe is fairly thick, because there is a piece that screws in to hold the inserts.

      Here is a picture of the HW Fiber optic sight they sell at Pyramyd Air:

    • Roamin Greco,

      That picture looks good enough to illustrate the sight picture Tom keeps describing. A clear front sight with blurred rear and slightly blurred target.

      Siraniko

      • Thanks Siraniko. It was hard to hold everything steady and snap the shot, but I persevered. I basically took off my glasses (I am horribly nearsighted) and used my camera as a handheld “peep” sight, cowitnessing the rear sight and kept moving around until the phone focused momentarily on the front sight and snapped it. It took many failed attempts. Most of the time, the camera wanted to focus either on the target or on the rear sight. So even smart phones have trouble keeping their focus on the front sight! Ha! Ha! :o)

  7. You can see the globe is much thinner. I had high hopes for this sight because I thought that thinner globe would cover less of your field of view when hunting, but I don’t like how big the dot is and how wide the post is that it sits in. Makes it hard to hmaim precisely at distance. Also, the fiber optic filament is just a straight piece about 3/4″ long (less than 2 cm), so it does not gather a lot of light except in bright conditions.

    OK, the last contestant is the TruGlo Airgun sight that I am told is not made anymore:

      • Yep, but the thickness is there because the long fiber optic filament is actually wrapped around the globe several times. I should have snapped a picture of that, and will try to do so tonight.

      • Siraniko
        Never seen it happen before with someone saying it looked right on thier end and not on mine.

        And remember Roamin did a screen shot from his phone it was right. My phone it’s upside down. I don’t use a lap top anymore so don’t know about that.

      • Here’s a close up of the TruGlo front sight. You can see the fiber optic filament wrapped around the globe. Then it goes underneath and up and behind the post. There is quite a bit of length here compared to the HW sight, which makes the dot much brighter in my opinion

      • Here’s a picture of all three sights side by side. Hopefully, this is right-side-up, so Gunfun won’t have to turn his phone around to see it properly. ;o)

    • I think I have a winner! The TruGlo globe is pretty thick, but honestly, it doesn’t seem that bad when aiming. You focus on the dot or the post and forget about the globe. And it’s not much thicker than the stock sight, anyway. The front post is thinner than the stock sight, which allows for precise aiming. And the brightness is adjustable by turning a little plastic shade, or for maximum brightness, you can easily pop the shade off. It was brighter than the HW sight,, even in my basement range where there was an aging compact fluorescent bulb over my head. It has a long, fiberoptic filament that wraps around the globe about 7 to 10 times before winding its way up the back of the post and out the back of the post, so it gathers a lot of light. It seems to work well on targets, and I will take it outside, hopefully next weekend.

      Next is to try it with a peep sight, but as you know, I have had some difficulty with the single-clamp Air Venturi Peep sight walking back on the R9. So part 2 will have to wait. In the meantime, since I bought a couple of extras of this sight, I will put one on my R7 and try it with the peep sight.

  8. PS, you can hopefully see that my target is taped to a small box. That’s my own rubber mulch experiment. The small box is about 6″ on each side and filled with rubber mulch. I shot about 50 .22 pellets into it with the R9 last night, and it caught all the pellets except one. Most stopped just short of the back of the box. The FedEx box is behind it, which I described before, but it is another 6 or 7 inches thick and much taller and wider, and behind that is 3/4″ plywood, and behind THAT is a bunch of deep filing cabinets I got for free when my old office relocated and they switched to those lateral filing cabinets. What I learned is to pack the mulch down. It was initially too loose and one pellet got away from me, but was captures by FedEx. After shooting, pack the mulch down again for next time, and add a handful more if needed.

  9. Tom, the P1 / HW 45 is one of my faves and I’m enjoying this series!

    For what it’s worth, one of the forums recently had a good thread on shooting the P1 offhand. One great point made there, was that lighter / faster pellets have the advantage of getting out of the gun before the nutty recoil characteristics of a backwards-moving piston sitting well above your hand can have their full effect, LOL!

    I have found the Air Arms Falcon, and very similar JSB Exact 7.3, are the fastest and smoothest-shooting pellets in my P1 (even faster than the lighter Hobby, which has a tight-fitting skirt that, IMHO, slows its “take off” point). I can shoot those two much better offhand than anything else.

    • MDriskill and B.B., it might be interesting to try light weight wadcutters like HN Excite Econ II, or JSB Match Lightweight (with the Green Label), or even a non-lead pellet like the Predator GTO (same as the JSB Journey) at 5.5 gr.

    • MDriskill: In my decades-old P-1, I have found the most success with the RWS SuperMag in 9.5 gr., but it is now only available in a lighter 9.3 gr. It has to be sized to fit my bore or the breech seal blows out due to back pressure. The heavier weight pellets have always performed more consistently with the heavier pellets. I don’t think that the weight makes much difference in terms of clearing the very short barrel, but it does seem to stabilize the rounds.

      I have switched to Ultrashocks by JSB that are a tad heavier. They are hollow points which, of course do not expand given the modest velocity of the pistol, BUT they perform as a very consistent wad cutter and are very stable.

      In terms of grip, as a lefty I find that I keep my hand on the pistol in the same grip and work the over-lever with my right hand. Besides, my pistol grip is ever so slightly worn to my hand, particularly where my wedding rings hit the anodized aluminum frame. The grip “tells me” if I am locked up or off the points.

      The P-1 gets better with use as it polishes itself in. I just have to watch the trigger weight as it had gotten so light that I had to INCREASE the weight using the trigger adjustment screws.

  10. B.B.,
    the P1 is very interesting to me. Like a great hiking/fishing pistol. I find it strange or neat that PA lists the .20 cal as having the highest energy (ft. lbs), even over the 22 cal. Hmmm. B.B., stop spending my money. Christmas is coming and I need to save some money for that !

    Doc

  11. BB
    Don’t get me going. The regular TX 200 was one of the first guns I did the different spring cut tunning on back when you said the TX didn’t need tuned. They are good from the factory.

    Well they are. But they are even better when you tune them.

    And why do you say the carbine hunter is more powerful. PA lists both the regular TX and the hunter carbine at 930 fps in .177 caliber.

    Maybe the buzz is like you said from a canted spring.

    Another thing is I wonder if the true barrel of both guns are the same length. You would think one barrel would be faster than the other if the same spring is used and the barrels are different lengths.

    And another air gun mystery.

    • GF1,

      More powerful? I didn’t say that. I said the Hunter Carbines fire more harshly. I think it’s because their barrels are so short.

      They are also about 10 pounds heavier to cock because of the shoter lever.

      BB

      • BB
        So they do have a shorter barrel. If so I can see the shot cycle being harder then.

        And the cocking effort doesn’t matter with how the shot cycle is. But yep that was talked about before in the past that the carbine would be harder to cock because of the shorter cocking arm.

        I will have to look later and see if the regular TX might have a different part number spring than the carbine. If so that could be the harsher shot cycle from the carbine. They might of put a heavier spring in the carbine to make the velocity the same as the regular TX because of the shorter carbine barrel.

  12. Well, since we are talking pistols today…

    Hey Umarex, Crosman, Sig, etc.! When are you guys going to offer us some syfy based airguns?! It is replica this, replica that, yadayadayada! I will not have a replica, period! If you want me to buy your CO2 stuff, it needs to look like something other than something a law enforcement officer will shoot you over! Besides, syfy would be cool! You can go wild with them! Just look at the Nerf guns!

    • RR,

      How about an airgun looks like an airgun? Making an airgun look like a firearn is just childish IMHO. Syfy looks would be childish too, but it might sell; we all are big children at the end of the day anyway!?

      Airguns have their own appeal. 2240, Chaser, 1377, Av46, TalonP, Sortie, and such all look so good that firearms should look like them, not the other way around. A 22LR should be a replica of 2240. I mean, TalonP and Sortie already have syfy looks.

      • Fish,

        Fish I understand where your moccasins traveled to get that idea. I ask you to walk a few miles in somebody’s duty boots to gain another perspective.

        “Making an airgun look like a firearn(sic) is just childish IMHO.”

        You are certainly free to have that opinion; but for those that use the various airgun flavors as training devices for their firearms it isn’t childish! It is typically far cheaper, safer, and opens the ability to effectively train actual force on force without a bunch of people ending up injured or dead.

        I vote to keep the most realistic airguns possible for those endeavors.

        shootski

          • RidgeRunner,

            I Vote for a Bat’Leth (The bat’leth is a double-sided scimitar/hook sword/lujiaodao hybrid-edged weapon with a curved blade, four points, and three handholds on the back) if given a choice. However I normally carry the Cut & Thrust Sword of the US Naval Officer. I need some more practice to use a Bat’ Leth!

            Disruptors and Disruptor rifles are so bloodless!

            The bat’leth, known as the “sword of honour”, has become a favourite among fans of the sci-fi franchise since it was first seen being used by the Klingon character Lieutenant Commander Worf in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series.

            shootski

        • Not realistic whatsoever, but childish? Yes, very much so. I also have a soft spot for 1911 and colt 45 replica pellet pistols, and my reasons of liking them is all childish too. You know why? Because the whole idea is pretty much childish. I know it. “Look I have an airgun, and it looks like a real gun!” Something a boy would say. And the answer for that would be, “Wow! Awesome!”

          🙂

      • Star Wars guns are largely based on real guns with bits attached. IMFDB has more details.

        Star Trek guns… it would be neat, but also terrible. No sighting systems, often atrocious ergonomics…

        One thing I can’t un-see though is the GAMO P-900 break barrel pistols have a very similar layout (and even some similar details) to the old NES Zapper light gun that came with the original 80’s Nintendo system (and Duck Hunt).

        I fully admit to have been tempted to purchase one to paint up accordingly. I’ve only been stopped by reports of a mediocre trigger and high cocking force (aka, it’s unlikely I will shoot it instead of my other air pistols), but if this pandemic drags on much longer and Dianas and Weihrauchs remain out of stock, I may cave in…

  13. BB,

    I checked out the bottom test on R9 / 95 today.
    The chrony numbers are about the same as 50S…??
    Would you consider adding a new .177 R9 / 95 to your collection and giving us a report on it during the holidays?
    Such a report, would make a great present for us, the readers. 😉

    /blog/2010/06/a-fresh-look-at-the-beeman-r9-part-2/

    Fish.

  14. BB,

    The P1 always looked wrong to me with the skinny 1911 grips, just too top heavy and unwieldy looking.

    Have you ever tried the Silver Star or Black Star variants? The grips on those seem much more ergonomic and imo improve the aesthetics to boot.

  15. RR,

    Yes, Luke’s rifle would be very hold sensitive as a springer. The lock time would be something fierce hehe! It would be much better as a PCP.

    I’m a big fan of the 1911A1 also. Have you seen Walther’s new .22lr Colt 1911 Gold Cup? I’ve been hearing good things about it.

  16. Greesmonkey, I like to find the last blog in a series, say for example it’s Part 3, then I tap the link to Part 2; then in Part 2, I immediately tap the link to Part 1. When I finish reading Part 1, I just hit the “back” button and go back to Part 2, and when I’m done reading Part 2, I go back to Part 3.

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