Beeman R9 with Vortek center-latching air piston: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Important discovery!
  • Analysis
  • Setup
  • JSB Exact
  • Evaluation
  • Test restructure
  • Predator Polymag
  • H&N Field Target Trophy
  • H&N Baracuda
  • Crosman Premier
  • Benjamin Cylindrical
  • Velocity comparison
  • Retest of JSB Exacts
  • Cocking effort
  • Discussion
  • Going forward
  • Testing new designs

Today I will test the Vortek Center-Latching Air Piston in the Beeman R9, with the pressure set at 50 bar, which is 725.19 psi. This is the highest pressure to which I have set the unit, so today’s velocities should be the fastest we will see.

Important discovery!

Before we begin today’s test, a remark made by reader GunFun1 to the last report triggered some unplanned testing that revealed some surprising results. He was concerned by my remark that some spring-piston guns (and that is EXACTLY what this center latching unit is) need a “wake up” shot when they are first fired. I have seen this with perhaps half of the springers I have tested over the years. Here is what he asked me. read more


Beeman R9 with Vortek center-latching air piston: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Adjust the pressure
  • Filling
  • R9 disassembly and assembly
  • JSB Exact
  • Predator Polymag
  • H&N Field Target Trophy
  • H&N Baracuda
  • Crosman Premier
  • Benjamin Cylindrical
  • Discussion
  • Trigger
  • Cocking effort
  • Evaluation

Today we look at adjusting the Vortek Center Latching Air Piston, which I refer to as the center-latching unit (CLU). It went faster and easier than I imagined.

Adjust the pressure

To adjust the air pressure in the unit I had to disassemble the Beeman R9, to get the unit out. That procedure is described in Part 1. Once the unit is out, the piston seal has to be removed to reveal the air port.

Beeman R9 CLU port
Looking down into the fill port of the CLU we can see the ball valve.

To adjust the pressure in the CLU, first release all the air. That way you start from zero. The unit fills very fast from a hand pump and this is the best way to ensure accuracy. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Remove the stock
  • Anti-beartrap
  • The piston and sliding compression chamber
  • Removing the mainspring
  • Removing the anti-beartrap device
  • Compression chamber and piston out
  • Cleaning
  • Assembly
  • The trigger
  • Lubrication
  • Does it work?
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I take the Chinese B3 underlever rifle apart and we see inside. This will be a good one.

Remove the stock

The first step is to remove the stock. That’s two forearm screws and one in the triggerguard. Once out, I could see this rifle is very rusty. It’s so rusty that it will take many hours to clean. I don’t have that kind of time so I’m going to clean only what needs to be cleaned.

B3 action
With the action out of the stock you can see rust everywhere! Notice the flat bar in front of the trigger housing. That’s the anti-beartrap. read more


Beeman R9 with Vortek center-latching air piston: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Today’s fill
  • JSB Exact
  • Predator Polymag
  • H&N Field Target Trophy
  • H&N Baracuda
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Benjamin Cylindricals
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Firing behavior
  • Summary

Today is velocity day for the Beeman R9 with the Vortek center-latching gas piston that I’m calling the center latching unit (CLU). Bear in mind as you read today’s test, that this unit allows the owner to adjust the pressure inside the gas piston — raising or lowering the velocity and cocking effort. So, this is the first of several tests of the unit.

Today’s fill

I filled the CLU to 675 psi when I installed it. So that’s how it’s set up today. I will test it with 6 different .20 caliber pellets — one more than Pyramyd Air carries, if you don’t count the felt Beeman cleaning pellets. Let’s get started. read more


Beeman R9 with Vortek center-latching air piston: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The Vortek unit
  • Filling the unit
  • How it works
  • Spring guide
  • Installation
  • Disassembly
  • Piston
  • Barrel goes back
  • End cap in
  • Compressor
  • How long and how difficult?
  • Summary

I try to stay away from products that are not available, but today I’m starting a look at a new gas piston unit for the Beeman R9/Weihrauch HW95 breakbarrel rifle. This report will be unique in several ways. First, it is the first look at a new Vortek gas spring unit that may either be available from Pyramyd Air or from Vortek directly. Second — the R9 I’m using for this test is in .20 caliber. I know there are many shooters who favor .20 caliber, but many more who don’t. I will address that as the report unfolds, but let me state for the record that, except for testing a Sheridan Blue Streak or Supergrade, I haven’t tested another .20 caliber air rifle in many years! read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Firing behavior
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Trigger
  • Summary

This is accuracy day! Today we will learn how accurate my new/old Chinese B3 underlever spring-piston air rifle is. This is the rifle with the replaced breech seal that we learned in Part 3 is such an easy fix. Today we see whether it matters.

The test

I shot at 10 meters off a sandbag rest. I used the classic artillery hold with the off hand next to the front of the triggerguard and rested on the sandbag.

I resolved to shoot just 5 shots, unless the pellet looked like it might group. If it did I would go to 10 shots.

RWS Superdomes

First up was the RWS Superdome. The first shot hit the target at the lower edge of the bull, but shot two hit above the 10-ring. I shot the next three shots and then looked at the group and decided this is not the right pellet for this rifle. The 5-shot group later measured 1.37-inches between centers. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

  • The washers
  • Installing the washer
  • Velocity
  • RWS Hobby
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation
  • Next

Today we find out how the makeshift faucet washer fix does fixing the B3 breech seal. Before I get on with the test, here’s a word about the piston seal.

The older B3s often have leather piston seals, but as the years passed the Chinese started putting synthetic piston seals in them. From what I have learned, you have to look at yours to be sure, because owners can replace the leather with synthetic.

Given a choice, I would choose leather, just because in a rifle of this power leather should last a long time, and as we know, the Chinese synthetics are not that reliable. I can’t see any advantage for power with either material. Now let’s test the gun and see what happened. read more