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Education / Training My new/old Beeman C1: Part 1

My new/old Beeman C1: Part 1

This is the last blog for this week, this month and this year. I am taking Friday off as my New Year’s holiday. That’s my fourth and last holiday for 2021. 

Today we have a very special guest blog from reader Pat Gray. He bought a Beeman C1 from me at the Arkansas airgun show and put it back into commission, so I asked him to write this guest blog about it. This is a great one because Pat pulls no punches in telling us his side of the story!

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at blogger@pyramydair.com.

Take it away, Pat.

My new/old Beeman C1

by Pat Gray

This report covers:

  • A find!
  • How good is it?
  • Time for a scope
  • Bent barrel
  • Discovery
  • Problem solved for the moment
  • Trigger that’s too light?
  • Buzzy powerplant
  • Rust speckles over all the steel
  • Wobbly pivot pin
  • BB talks

A find!

Once I was finished setting up my tables at the Arkansas airgun show I decided to take a stroll around to see what the other vendors had on their tables. I was surprised to see a Beeman C-1 in very good condition on Tom Gaylord’s table for the remarkably low price of just $30.

I walked back to my table thinking I’m not going to buy anything until something of mine sells. However, 40 minutes later I broke down and took the $30 to Tom. I then became the proud owner of my second Beeman C-1.

My first one was one I picked up locally at a pawn shop. I could never get past its powerful jolt when fired.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to invest in a kit from Vortek or Air rifle Headquarters on just pure speculation that it would be a good shooter. So I sold it.

But as time passed I regretted selling that first one, as I did like the way it looked and held. Have you ever done that?

How good is it?

After getting this new/old C 1 home it was time to see if I was willing to put in the time and effort to get it where I wanted it. First I needed to know where it was, in terms of power. So I shot it over the chronograph.

10 shots with Crosman Wadcutter 7.4 gr.

High 794 f.p.s.

Low 778 f.p.s.

Avg.  782.9

SD  4.508 f.p.s.

Spread 16 f.p.s.

ME 10.074 foot-pounds

There was still a very harsh shot cycle.

I then read Tom’s report and noted the issues that he found while testing.

  • Poor open sights
  • Bent barrel
  • Trigger too light (Tom wasn’t sure about that)
  • Buzzy powerplant
  • Rust speckles on all the steel
  • A wobbly pivot pin

Time for a scope

Some problems are an easy fix. Your rifle has bad sights? Scope it.

C1 scoped
Installing a scope on the C1 fixed the sight problem.

Bent barrel

This is where this overhaul gets interesting. My plan was to scope the rifle for testing and then to bend the barrel.

While getting set up for bending the barrel I decided to check everything with a straight edge. What I found was that it did not seem that the barrel was bent but that the whole base block was going too far down into the action forks when the barrel was closed. A straight edge on the base block would hit the compression tube about 5 inches from the end of the block.

C1 straightedge check
The base block is shown in above with the barrel closed. With a straight edge on top of it you can see the angle of the base block is pointing the barrel up. It was shooting 12″ high and 6″ to the right with the scope adjusted all the way down and all the way to the left.

Build a Custom Airgun


I thought the barrel was going too far down into the action forks because the pin that stopped the barrel needed to be shimmed. I discovered that if I placed a .020″ shim between the barrel and the barrel stop pin, the straight edge was level with the compression tube all the way down the tube. 

C1 straightedge level
With an 0.20-inch shim between the barrel and the pin that stopped it, the base block was parallel with the compression tube.

C1 stop pin shim
I went through several different ways of trying to shim that barrel stop pin. The final solution was a piece of 3/8-inch stainless steel tubing.

Finally I found that a piece of 3/8″ stainless steel tubing was almost perfect. It fits over the barrel stop pin keeping the barrel in line with the tube.

Problem solved for the moment

I read everything I could find on the internet about this rifle. That did not take very long as there is not a ton of information online, but I did find something on a site called “The Firing Line” by a poster named stangray03.  He said, “The rear barrel seal (the little white ring that the chamber seals against) flattens over time and allows the lock up to over rotate, causing the high shooting condition. It also allows leakage as evidenced by radial streaks. Replace the seal (easy to do if they’re available) and the gun will shoot lower. “

This may be an easier fix for the problem. I did not see it until I had taken another path.

I plan on ordering some breech seals and will test this theory. Pull out my shim and replace the breech seal to see if the barrel goes back into battery properly.

Trigger that’s too light?

Tom said he thought the trigger might be too light, though in Part 2 of his report he measured it at 3 lbs. 3 oz., which he said seemed fine. When I measured it the trigger broke at 2.5 lbs. That seems fine to me so far.

Buzzy powerplant

After shooting it the first time I disassembled the rifle. It was in great condition inside. The spring was straight, the piston was clean, and the piston seal was in good shape. I put some moly on the piston and some red and tacky grease [Ed. perhaps Tune in a Tube?] on the spring and reassembled the rifle. It was smoother, but not where I wanted it to be.

Then I found a used spring from a Beeman R-10 that was canted in its last 3-inches. I cut it down and installed in the C1. The shot cycle is now much better. But where is the power?

10 shots with Daisy Wadcutter 7.5 gr.

High 707 f.p.s.

Low 683 f.p.s.

Avg.  692.6

SD  9.131 f.p.s.

Spread 24 f.p.s.

ME 7.884 foot-pounds

Rust speckles over all the steel

I’m sure Tom had already gone over the rifle with Ballistol [Ed. Yes, I did] and bronze wool but I gave it a go also and it seems to be stable.

Wobbly pivot pin

I installed a .010-inch shim on one side of the pivot pin and a .018 shim on the other side. That did tighten up the wobble. There is almost no side-to-side movement, even when pulling on it pretty hard.

I have seen several posts about people wanting to bend the barrels on their C-1 air rifles but perhaps it is an issue with the breech seal or pivot lock up? It probably would not be an issue if using the open sights, since they are mounted on the barrel and they stay aligned. 

I have a follow up report with chronograph data and accuracy.

Pat Gray

BB talks

This is BB, inserting some remarks to explain things. First, why did I sell this C1 so cheap? I explained that in Part 1 of the report on the Arkansas airgun show. Here is what I said.

BB runs a test

I knew Malvern would be a slow show, because it always is. So this year I decided to run a little test to see what would happen if I shook it up. If someone takes an airgun to a show and prices it by the Blue Book of Airguns, they take it home again, unless that one-in-a-thousand person who wants one happens to attend. When the gate at most larger shows is between 300 and 400 people, that doesn’t happen at every show. And that is large airgun shows. Malvern doesn’t see nearly that many folks.

If they price their treasure for 20 percent less, they usually take it home. Sometimes they break down in negotiations and get rid of the gun, but not at the price they had on it.

So I broke the rules. I priced my airguns at half of their true value — not necessarily what the Blue Book said but what people really pay, which can be more or less — and I waited to see what might happen. I also had a table with $50 airguns that included a couple Crosman Mark IIs, an S&W 79G and a Daisy 790. Each one was priced at 50 bucks and no parts were missing. Did they leak? Of course they did, but my price was half what leakers sell for and for a few bucks on eBay you can buy all the parts to fix them. By the end of the show that table was entirely bare.”

The C1 in today’s report was on that table and, because of the problems it had, I priced it at $30. I was just waiting for someone to come along and offer me $25, but Pat saw it and knew it was a bargain. The rest is the story you just read. The first part anyway. Hey — I never wrote a Part 3 of my C1 report, because there were just too many things that needed fixing for me to get a daily blog out of it. These things take time and time is in short supply in my office. Thankfully Pat stepped in and gave us more of the story.

73 thoughts on “My new/old Beeman C1: Part 1”

  1. Pat,

    Thanks for letting us look over your shoulder as you go about preparing this bargain for your user. I’m not to clear though as to what and where is the barrel stop pin. I’m also trying to visualize how the piece of 3/8″ stainless steel tubing is fit over the stop pin.


    • Yogi,
      Benjamin 392, 342
      Crosman 101
      Beeman R 11
      Diana 45, 430L
      Umarex Origin
      And probably 4 other rifles.
      I wasn’t giving them away but I thought they were priced to sell. You could have still flipped them on ebay. People would hardly look at them. At the end of the day I did make some good grades so it all worked out.

  2. Everyone,

    Here is a photo looking down into the barrel and breech. The back of the barrel is grooved to come to a rest against the stop,pin that runs crosswise.


  3. Thanks for the write-up Pat!

    “Fixer-uppers” are fun eh? Thirty bucks is cheap entertainment as well LOL!

    To me it’s a win – win thing! At worst case you end up with a bunch of spare parts, then there is the satisfaction of salvaging the rifle and restoring it to working condition.

    I was given one of those abused springers, looking forward to rebuilding it this winter!


    • Hank, I picked up a Winchester 1100ss on clearance at the big box store and got a couple weeks worth of ‘entertainment’ calming the shot cycle down. The trigger was particularly troublesome as the lower sear fell into the tube during disassembly. After a couple of evenings trying to determine how it went back my wife asked me why I didn’t just throw it away as it was so cheap. I told her that this is a great chance to learn about triggers. This is the advanced class and I’m getting almost for free.
      Good luck with your winter project.
      Hopefully no advanced lessons for you.

      • Pat,

        LOL! Most of my classes have been learn as you go with a few “advanced” classes thrown in.

        I have a “new” sproinger I am wanting to go inside of and tune down some and a 101 I am rebuilding. It has provided me with an “advanced” class.

      • Pat, seem we have a similar perspective 🙂

        I’m always curious as how mechanical things work and have a need (compulsion?) to improve the design. I’ve been known to “fix” things before the are broken… not always with the best results 😉

        My curiosity has gotten me in trouble ever since (as a 5 year old) I got a hold of a screwdriver and started a “screw collection”. Took my father days to find/replace all the screws in all the things that suddenly fell apart. LOL!

        Don’t you love it when there is a “ping” followed by tick, tick, tick as the spring and part get launched? I strongly suspect that those flying parts travel through the fourth dimension to be found by someone, somewhere, who is also looking for a wayward part. 🙂


        • You have to listen closely so you know what part of the floor to crawl around on to find the part. I spent 10 to 15 minutes searching for a tiny safety catch ball only to find it had dropped into my seat.lol

          • Pat
            I have listened close and could swear I know where the part landed. Only to be surprised I had to look at it a million times then all of a sudden there it is.

            I really do hate when that happens.

  4. Thanks Pat! I really enjoy “hearing” about others who have a great time “restoring” some of the old gals.

    This Beeman C1 seems to be the perfect example of not all antique airguns are worth much. What I have discovered though over the years is that many of the old gals are way underpriced. Many of the high priced “classics” you see advertised and at airguns shows are newer, such as this C1. By the way, this was a steal.

    I enjoy so much finding airguns like this and “restoring” them to working order. Most of the time I never worry about the finish. If you do more than clean and oil it a little bit, the collectors will scream “Blasphemy!” and chastise you sorely. Oh well. I am not the kind of guy who will pay way more for a beat up Beeman R7 than what a new one will cost because it says Santa Rosa on the side. As far as I know that dude probably still has it ten years on.

    • Rr, I try to preserve an older air gun when it makes sense. If it’s covered with rust and the stock looks like they were driving railroad spikes with it then give t the full treatment. Reblue, refinish, modify. Collectors weren’t after that one anyway. One exception would be something in that condition that was very rare. I found a Upton model 10 on gunbroker in rough shape that I just went over the metal with Ballistol and bronze wool and the wood with steel wool and beeswax.
      As far as I know the pictures I posted are still the only ones on the internet.

      • Pat,

        I have been giving my 101 the full treatment. I took it totally apart and took the parts to work and blasted them. I blued and Aluma-hyded all the metal parts and put it back together. Unfortunately, I did not get the bad seal fixed, so now I have a seal kit to fix it up. Now where did I put that round tuit?

  5. Pat,

    With the shim in place have you done a tissue paper test over the breech? I would suggest retaining the shim after replacing the barrel seal. If it shoots too low that is the time I would remove the shim. My reasoning is that without the shim the barrel seal might fail faster due to compensating for the distance between the seal and the breech. Just a thought. At least it lets you shoot it sooner for testing.


    • Deck, That was the challenge, finding a shim that would stay in place while shooting. The C 1 comes back into battery fairly hard so finding a material hard enough to stand up to the abuse was key.
      Yes. the tubing slips over the stop pin in between the forks of the piston tube. Basically just sitting over the pin.
      What was tedious was making a tool out of a bolt to chuck up in my hand drill to run a file over the shim to get it down to 0.02″ from 0.065″

  6. Pat, Wow. This one got out of the orphanage without even a threaded pivot bolt, that may be a bridge too far for this gun. Bolt heads sticking out the sides of the action forks would be alright by me. Yes on the shim, I think letting the breech seal do all the work means you need allot of seals. True barrel lock up cost xtra? They really make ya count your blessings somtimes, but still a great deal.
    BB knows how to call them in…

    • Rob, I think this rifle was meant for open sights which went it was being produced would have been easy to aquire. Now it would be fairly expensive, if you could find a pair to buy.
      It is puzzling about the pivot pin being just that, a pin. Had to be a significant costs savings. It maybe that the pin or the holes in the forks are worn which allows the forks to spread open. My thinking in adding the shims was it would force the forks to lock in the pin to reduce the play in the barrel. I don’t know if I’m making myself clear about my theory. Anyway it seems very tight with the whims in place.

  7. “I have a follow up report with chronograph data and accuracy.”
    Great report; very interesting; and I am looking forward to your follow-up report on velocity and accuracy. Thank you! 🙂
    Take care,

  8. B.B.,
    This news report is disconcerting in more than one way. Firstly, because of the apparently random violence. Secondly, the paragraph regarding the possibly a high powered pellet gun was used. A woman has a “bullet” lodged in her hand and is having it removed by surgery.
    This shooting spree is said to have lasted for hours during the night.
    It seems numerous rounds were shot at multiple sites in this very small town.
    I hope to know more about the gun or guns used, among other things. This is the kind of story that gets dropped from news coverage after the first reporting, unless something equally dramatic happens.



    • Ken
      I guess nobody has read this yet.

      First just absolutely ridiculous. Alot of words I can say but I need to keep this this diplomatic and family oriented.

      Second just no words for why someone would even think about doing what they did. Totally irresponsible. I want to say it’s kids that did it but now days you never know.

      This is exactly what gives any gun a bad name. Again not the guns, its who is operating it.

      I said this as nice as I could. And regret hearing what happened to the people in that town. Hopefully they will understand that us air gunners are NOT like whoever done that. We try to enjoy how we use the guns we shoot.

  9. Thanks for the kind words everyone. This rifle is definitely a labor of love. Don’t know what the appeal is with this rifle. I like the look of it, the feel of it and how it handles.
    You get tunnel vision doing a project like this. The multiple questions about the way this action works surprised me, I have handled this rifle so much that it never occurred to me everyone wouldn’t already know. I should have thought of that and provided pictures. Thankfully Tom was at the ready with a picture.
    When the rifle is out of the stock and the action is broken open the ‘stop’ pin will just fall out of the tube. With the pin out it is easy to slip the shim tube between the forks and then put the pin back in place.

    • Pat,

      Every time I look at a C1 I see an old Ruger No#3 chambered in 30-40 KRAG looking back at me. It keeps saying come on Bob, lets take a little walk up the hollow and see what we can find. And we do!

      Hope everyone has a happy and safe 2022!


  10. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to share my experience with everyone here as I have gained so much knowledge and fellowship reading Tom’s blogs and all of the great folks comments from this community. I do not comment very often because I’m usually a day or two behind.
    I’m doubly glad to have invested the time in this so Tom could get on with doing what he does best, giving us useful insights into all things air guns.

  11. Just an early start to wish all of you a Happy and HEALTHY New Year. Good Lord, it’s got to be better than the last two. RidgeRunner, if I see that Coopers’ Hawk tomorrow, I’ll have a word with him (or her) about flying down to NC.

    Fred formerly of the Peeples Demokratik Republik of NJ now happily in water logged Georgia (USA – not Eastern Europe).

    • Glad you are in Georgia USA and not just Putin us on… 😉 Apologize for that; FM’s hair-trigger brain can’t help but generate pun(ishment) for his fellow humans whenever the opportunity arises. A blessed and health-filled year to all of you!

  12. Pat,

    Wow, this is excellent. Well done!

    I can relate to your comment about the C1 being good looking and nice to hold. I have one and haven’t shot it much because it shoots so harshly. But it is one of the most attractive air rifles I’ve ever seen. The C1 has an elegant yet strong profile, with its western grip and striking proportions.

    Regarding its firing behavior, my recollection is that a C1 inspired B.B. to first try/develop the artillery hold.


  13. Alright folks, it looks like the secret is out. If you have a modicum of mechanical skills, you too can work on your own airguns. There is a very good chance that you have most of the tools you will need already.

    One thing you are going to need is a good spring compressor if you are going inside sproingers. I have one of those big, long tube type things like you occasionally see with BB. PA also has a small one. That one will work OK if the airgun has scope mount grooves, but most of mine do not.

    Buy some old, cheap beater and get at it. You might be surprised by what is hiding under all those dings, scratches and rust.

  14. To All,

    Happy New Year! This past year has been full of challenges, and I pray that the coming year brings more certain times for you and your family. Sending all my love and good wishes for better days ahead.


    • FM,

      It seems strange that there have been no posts after yours. I have followed this blog for the past eight years and do not recall a time when the blog went blank for more than a day but it seems that it has today.

      Hope you got that dot sight on Max and it is working for you.


      • Maybe people fear being seen as strange posting after FM’s strange posts.

        Did get that dot sight on, that was January 1st – weather just right for backyard sighting-in and plinking. Things went well, aided by some good advice from GF1. The sight helps FM’s tired eyes quite a bit and makes the shooting experience more enjoyable.

        The next day mounted a Truglo front globe sight on the .22 HW95 but results were disappointing. However, not ready to give up on it yet – just means FM has to do more shooting and sight adjusting. That’s a good thing and a story for another day. Sighting-in for both air rifles was at 25 yards which is the maximum distance doable in our suburban backyard.

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