Beeman R10: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Recap
  • The initial test
  • Today’s test — the firing cycle
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain
  • How I set up the Vortek kit
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • RWS Superdome
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

Today is the day we find out what the Vortek PG3 SHO tune has done for the Beeman R10 I’m testing.

Recap

I received the rifle from a reader who wanted a rifle that had a tune done by me. I will tell all of you now that I am not an airgun tuner. I tune some of my own guns from time to time, but I don’t do it as a service. And there is absolutely nothing special about any tune I have done. This report is more a testimony of what the Vortek kit can do than it has anything to do with me.

The reader and I both agreed that a smooth-shooting air rifle was preferable to the last f.p.s. in velocity. So smoothness was what I was after, and nothing more, as long as the rifle performed within reasonable parameters. read more


Beeman R10: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Start
  • Scope base off
  • Tip 1
  • Mainspring
  • Remove piston
  • Sleeved piston
  • Threaded spring tube
  • Breech seal
  • Cleaning
  • Piston seal
  • Tuning strategy
  • Trigger
  • Insert the piston with the new Vortek seal — tip 2
  • Last thing — the trigger box!
  • Final assembly
  • Summary

Today I disassemble the Beeman R10 and install the Vortek PG3 tuning kit. I installed one of these in the Air Arms PG3 SHO tuning kit in an Air Arms ProSport last year and the results were very positive. But this R10 is a different rifle in many ways, and I will cover that today as we go.

I am going to show you all the differences and nuances of the R10, but I can’t show everything about disassembly. If you want to see that read the 13-part series titled Spring gun tune. That was about a Beeman R1, but most of the steps are the same for the R10. I will address the ones that aren’t. read more


Beeman R10: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • This R10
  • History of the Beeman R9 and R10
  • Success!
  • Tap the cap
  • What about this R10?
  • The R10 came in both standard and deluxe versions
  • Thin spring tube
  • Trigger
  • Cocking shoe
  • Performance
  • Velocity with JSB 8.44-grain
  • Summary

I wrote a 6-part report about the Beeman R10 in 2017-18, but this one will be different. The rifle I reported on three years ago was actually a Weihrauch HW85 that was the basis of the Beeman R10, and I bought it because it had been super-tuned. Not only is it lubed to perfection, but some internal parts like the spring guide were made for it so there is no tolerance in the powerplant. If you read the series, especially Part 1, you will learn that this rifle was tuned by Bryan Enoch, reader David Enoch’s brother. When I shot it at the Malvern, Arkansas, airgun show I was impressed by how smooth it was. I made one of those, “If you ever decide to sell…” kind of offers and David (or Bryan — I really didn’t know whose rifle it was) took me up on it about a year later. read more


Daisy 22SG multi-pump pneumatic: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 22SG
Daisy 22SG.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Old 22SG
  • Warmup
  • First 10-pump shot string
  • Oh, oh! What happened?
  • Did it need more oil?
  • Variable pumps
  • Help!
  • Fixed
  • Second 10-pump shot string
  • Variable pumps again
  • Heavy pellet
  • Trigger pull
  • Pump effort
  • Summary
  • read more


    IZH 46M target pistol: Part 1

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    IZH 46M
    IZH 46M single stroke target pistol.

    A history of airguns

    This report covers:

    • New in the box
    • Comparisons
    • Single stroke pneumatic
    • The IZH advantage
    • Difference between the IZH 46 and 46M
    • Power
    • Accuracy
    • Trigger
    • Sights
    • Grips
    • Weight
    • Can it be scoped?
    • The tests
    • Value
    • Importation
    • Not weapons!
    • Scarcity creates demand!
    • Summary

    Today we begin a report on a target pistol that has become legendary — the IZH 46, and more specifically the IZH 46M that is the later magnum version. I picked this one up in a recent purchase that included the two IZH MP532 target rifles I’ve been writing about.

    New in the box

    This pistol was new in the box with everything that originally came from the factory. It had been used as a display gun at an NRA show, but I don’t think it was fired very much. According to its official certificate of acceptance, it was made in October of 2005, so although it is relatively recent it’s still been sitting around for a long time and will need some attention that I will document.

    Comparisons

    I normally don’t make comparisons between airguns, but this time I will make an exception. I’m going to compare the IZH 46M with my IZH 46 that was resealed by Pyramyd Air a couple years ago. I’m also going to show you how to get the best performance from a single stroke pneumatic. And I will address reader Lain’s question of whether an SSP whose piston is sealed with o-rings, like the Beeman P17 or the new Sig Super Target, reacts similarly to one with a pump cup like this IZH.

    IZH 46M and 46
    IZH 46M (top) and IZH 46. They look very similar. The 46M has a pump tube that’s about one-inch longer than the 46.

    Single stroke pneumatic

    The 46M is a single stroke pneumatic (SSP). Some dealers call it a one-pump airgun, because if the lever is opened for a second time, all the air that’s inside the gun is exhausted. Whatever power it develops from the one pump is all the power that’s available. While that does limit the power these airguns can produce, it also simplifies their mechanisms, making them ideal for use as target guns and short-range plinkers.

    The IZH advantage

    The pump handle of this pistol has a rounded rod that acts as a bearing that slides up a separate lever of a second linkage. This changes the location of the fulcrum as the pump handle is closed, magnifying the force you put into each pump stroke. Where it becomes the hardest to pump is also the point at which you have the best leverage, so it feels like less effort. For the power it develops the 46M is relatively easy to pump.

    IZH 46M pump linkage
    The rounded end of the pump link slides up the second bar as the pump handle is closed, changing the location of the fulcrum and magnifying the energy put into pumping. This is the IZH 46M

    Difference between the IZH 46 and 46M

    There is really only one significant difference between the standard IZH 46 and the more powerful 46M and that is the length of the pump mechanism. The 46M pump tube is almost an inch longer than that of the standard 46, resulting in a longer piston stroke that compresses more air. The result is a muzzle velocity of about 500 f.p.s. over 425 f.p.s. for the standard model. Other than that, the two airguns are identical.

    Power

    The thing that sets the 46M apart from other single strokes is its power. It develops a true 500 f.p.s., with lightweight lead pellets. That’s 75 to 100 f.p.s. faster than other single strokes. The manufacturer claims 410 f.p.s. for the 46 and 460 f.p.s. for the 46M, but I have done extensive testing over 20 years and have found my numbers to be more representative.

    Accuracy

    You have already seen the stunning accuracy of the MP532 air rifle. The IZH 46 pistol also has a hammer-forged barrel that gives similar accuracy. It rivals the accuracy of vintage target airguns like the FWB 65.

    Trigger

    The trigger is adjustable for the position of the blade, the length of the first and second stage pulls and the pull weight. It also has a trigger stop. If you compete, the trigger pull must be at least 500 grams (17.64 oz.) and that will be tested before every match by picking up a 500-gram weight with the trigger of your cocked air pistol.

    The trigger on my 46 is set to 513 grams, which is 18.1 ozs. Most airgunners find that too light at first and have to develop sensitivity in their trigger finger before they can use it effectively. Pyramyd air has the IZH 46 owner’s manual online, providing an excellent resource for trigger and sight adjustment.

    Sights

    The sights are full-on target sights with a rear sight that’s completely adjustable in both directions. The gun came with one different rear sight blade that had two different notches, top and bottom, giving a total of four different notch widths to choose from. Other 10-meter pistol designers like Feinwerkbau simply make the width of the rear notch universally adjustable within the limits of the range.

    The front post is also interchangeable with two other inserts that come with each new gun. The combination of possibilities, front and rear, makes for a wide range of selections.

    Grips

    If the pistol has a shortcoming, it is the grips. While they are fully target-style grips that meet international standards for competition (the gun must fit entirely inside a 50mm deep box), they are also smooth wood and they cannot be tightened enough to prevent them from moving when you grasp them. Most owners work their grips over, stippling them for greater roughness and finding better ways to anchor them to the frame so they don’t move as much.

    Weight

    When the 46 came out it was on the heavy side of normal for a 10-meter target pistol. But shooters have gone towards lighter pistols over the past 25 years and today the 1158 grams/40.8 oz. of the 46M (and 1107 grams/39 oz. for the 46) is 150-200 grams too heavy. I will say this — when you have practiced for several months with 350 dry-fire shots per day followed by 60 shots for record, you won’t notice the weight.

    Can it be scoped?

    Asking this of a target shooter like me is like asking if a Lamborghini sports car will accept a three-point hitch so you can occasionally plow your garden! However, not everyone shoots at targets and the answer is yes. There are several aftermarket scope mount possibilities for those who want to shoot air pistol silhouette or field target. I think the pistol is too light for hunting beyond eradicating the occasional water beetle or field mouse in your house.

    The tests

    I will shoot both pistols for velocity, then I will show you my special means of boosting their power. I will show how the trigger is adjusted and I will show the cocking effort. And of course I will show accuracy with both pistols.

    Value

    When they first came out there were only a few small private dealers selling them. As I recall the first one I saw for sale was asking over $300. Then the price wars started because small private dealers usually don’t care that much about profit. The price dipped below $200 for a while. Then EAA (European American Armory) took over importation and distribution and the price went back to over $300. As the years passed, it increased with time. The last retail price I saw was over $500

    Importation

    By executive order in 2014 President Obama banned the importation of all Kalashnikov rifles and other “weapons” made by Ishmash. In 2017 President Trump extended and expanded that ban.

    Not weapons!

    Now, airguns are NOT weapons! Yes, the Europeans call them weapons because their outlook on airguns and firearms is much different than ours. And yes, airguns have been misused in illegal circumstances, but that misuse doesn’t make them weapons. However, Kalashnikov was supposedly advising its distributors to falsify their documentation to get around the presidential ban, and that means they were thumbing their nose at the United States. As much as I regret the loss of the IZH 46M and the ISH 60/61 rifles, I support our nation taking a firm stand. So, for the present, the IZH 46M and the IZH 60 and 61 air rifles cannot be imported into this country.

    Scarcity creates demand! read more


    IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 5

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    IZH MP532
    IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle.

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    A history of airguns

    This report covers:

    • Got it!
    • Adjusted the butt
    • Fixed the rear sight
    • Windage adjustment
    • Sight adjustment
    • The test
    • Discussion 1
    • Discussion2
    • Discussion 3
    • Summary

    Got it!

    Sometimes BB gets it right, and today is one of those times. Got a lot to tell you so let’s get started.

    Adjusted the butt

    I’m shooting the newer (made in 2007) IZH MP532 today and the butt had been adjusted for maximum length of pull in an earlier report. This time I put it back to where it started, with the butt pad flush against the wood on the stock.

    Fixed the rear sight

    Part 4 covers the design and quirks of the rear sight in great detail, so read that to see what I discovered and what I did to fix it. I will show you one more thing today.

    Windage adjustment

    Reader Halfstep noticed in Part 4 that, like the elevation, the windage on the rear sight also adjusts both grossly and with precision. Two screws are loosened to slide it into the range where the precision adjustments can be made.

    532 windage adjustment
    Loosen those screws and slide the rear sight in the direction you need to adjust the strike of the round. This is the gross adjustment. The knob on the left side makes the precision adjustments.

    Sight adjustment

    I discovered while fixing the elevation that the precision adjustments don’t move the strike of the pellet very much — maybe two pellet diameters at 10 yards. So that gross adjustment that I showed in Part 4 is critical. And you want to get it into the range where you can adjust in both directions.

    I found that a little of the gross adjustment moved the pellet a lot. It took three shots to get into the right range. When I did get it right the pellets were hitting slightly left, so I used the precision windage adjustments to correct.

    The test

    I shot five-shot groups with 7 different pellets from the MP532 off a sandbag rest at 10 meters for today’s test. Instead of talking you through each of them I’m going to show all 7 and then discuss them.

    Remember, this rifle has an older pump cup, so I warmed it by pumping the rifle halfway about 20 times before shooting the first shot. Then I would pump it halfway and then all the way for every shot in the test.

    I sighted-in with RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. Five of them went into 0.179-inches at 10 meters.

    532 Meisterkugeln Rifle group
    Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets made this 0.179-inch group at 10 meters. How about that — a trime on the first group!

    532 Sig Match Pb group
    Five Sig Match Pb pellets made this 0.193-inch group at 10 meters.

    532 Hobby group
    Five RWS Hobby pellets made this 0.446-inch group at 10 meters.

    532 Qiang Yuan Training group
    Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went intro 0.247-inches at 10 meters.

    532 H&N Match Green group
    Five H&N Match Green pellets went into 0.148-inches at 10 meters. read more


    Beeman C1: Part 1

    by Tom Gaylord
    Writing as B.B. Pelletier

    Beeman C1
    My new Beeman C1 is a .177.

    A history of airguns

    This report covers:

    • Take this gun
    • History
    • Artillery hold
    • A compromise
    • Smoother with use
    • Use a mainspring compressor!
    • The test rifle
    • Description
    • The breech
    • Barrel pivot
    • This C1 has
    • The plan
    • Goal

    Sometimes you buy airguns because you long for them. Other times you buy them on the recommendation of others. And every so often a good deal just pops up and you feel you really need to take it. Such is the case with this .177-caliber Beeman C1 that I bought at the 2019 Texas Airgun Show.

    Take this gun

    A man walked up to my table holding a Beeman C1 that was scoped with a Beeman SS1 scope. The price he asked was so reasonable that I didn’t hesitate buying it, and, before long, reader David Enoch walked over and asked to buy the scope. I sold it to him, and I was left with just the rifle for a very reasonable price.

    History

    The C1 is a Webley rifle that was also sold by Beeman. It was made from 1981 to 1996. In the .177 caliber I am testing it was said to shoot pellets up to 830 f.p.s. with a cocking effort of 35 lbs. I will test all of that for you, of course.

    The production of the U.S. rifles (apparently Webly sold the C1 in the UK, as well) began with serial number 800,000, according to the Blue Book. My test rifle is serial 801,309, which makes it a very early gun. Webley added a safety to the rifle in 1983 and my test rifle doesn’t have one, so it was made before then — probably in the first year of production. The first C1 that I purchased new back in the late 1980s had a safety, so it was a gun made after 1983.

    Beeman C1 baseblock printing
    My Beeman C1 is an early one.

    Artillery hold

    The C1 is the rifle on which I developed the artillery hold. One of my airgun catalogs, probably from Air Rifle Headquarters, said to hold a spring gun tight to cancel the recoil. I tried that for a long time and could never get the C1 to group very well. It could maybe put 5 shots into one inch at 10 meters.

    One day I decided to see how really inaccurate it would be if it wasn’t held tight at all. So I laid it on the open palm of my off hand and didn’t bring the butt into my shoulder hard. The rifle was free to flop around as much as it wanted. And, to my utter surprise, the rifle put 5 pellets into 0.3-inches at 10 meters!

    Naturally I tried this over and over to see if it really worked, and it did. I was so thrilled that I wrote Dr. Beeman a letter, telling him of my discovery. I thought I might write it up for his catalog. He never answered me, so the idea almost died, except 10 years later when The Airgun Letter started I wrote about it there. I also gave it it’s name while writing the 9 articles that became the basis for the Beeman R1 book. I don’t think I ever wrote a specific article for the newsletter about the artillery hold, but I do think I explained several times how it worked and my readers caught on. And it all came from shooting that first C1.

    A compromise

    My first C1 was a compromise — something I know many of you can relate to. I really wanted an R1, but at the time we didn’t have the money to stretch that far, so I bought the C1 as the closest I could get. The difference was $189 for the C1 and $249 for the R1, as I recall. That little difference made my decision for me.

    When it was new, my first C1 was quite stiff and hard to cock. The trigger was also very stiff. To say I was disappointed by the shooting performance was an understatement! After hearing all the good things about precision adult air rifles and having already owned an FWB 124, this C1 was a boat anchor in comparison. But it was all I had, so I stuck with it.

    Smoother with use

    After about 2,000 rounds had passed through the rifle, I began noticing that the cocking was getting smoother. At first I thought it was my imagination, but then I started noticing that the firing behavior was smoother, as well. After 3,000 rounds the trigger started getting very light and, if not exactly crisp, at least predictable. It seemed the more I shot the nicer the rifle’s action and trigger became.

    About that time I disassembled the rifle to see what I could do to improve it. What I was thinking, I’ll never know, because I hadn’t a clue how to tune a spring gun. The Beeman R1 book was still many years in the future. Black tar hadn’t been discovered by airgunners yet. It existed as open gear lubricant, but it was not known to the airgun community, so we used Beeman’s Mainspring Dampening Compound instead. It did pretty much the same thing, though it wasn’t as viscous, and you had to use a lot more of it.

    Fortunately, I also didn’t own a chronograph yet, either, so I had no idea how fast my rifle was shooting. I trusted the Beeman catalog implicitly.

    Use a mainspring compressor!

    While either disassembling or assembling my C1 a curious thing happened and I got the first photo to go into the R1 book. The rifle’s heavy solid steel end cap got away from me, sailed across the room and broke a desk drawer divider in two! Had my arm been there instead, I’m thinking it might have been broken — bruised for certain. I instantly understood the need for a mainspring compressor!

    Beeman C1 broken divider
    The C1 end cap hit this desk divider to the right of the crack (see the dent in the wood) and busted it in two.

    The test rifle

    The test rifle is a .177 caliber, as mentioned. It does have open sights, but the rear sight has been broken and poorly glued together with epoxy.

    Beeman C1 rear sight
    The rear sight has a central screw for elevation and I can see nothing for windage. You can see that the excess epoxy makes it unclear if there even is any windage adjustment. You certainly are’t going to do any!

    The front sight is bent to the left, probably from a fall. That makes the open sights useless on this rifle. Yes, they can be fixed, but since I don’t plan to use them, I’m not going to bother!

    Beeman C1 front sight
    The front sight is a single unit held on by a screw. This one is bent to the left from a fall.

    After the front sight was off I test-fired the rifle at a backstop on my desk three feet away. I was surprised to see the pellet striking the backstop three inches above the natural hold. The barrel is severely bent upward right at the baseblock! This air rifle was fired with the barrel open! There is no anti-beartrap, so it’s possible to fire with the barrel broken open.

    That would present a problem for many shooters, but you may recall that a few years ago I showed how to straighten a bent barrel. I am probably the right guy to work on this rifle.

    Description

    The rifle under test is a tad less than 38 inches long, and the barrel accounts for 13-3/8-inches of that. This rifle weighs 6 lbs. 10 oz.

    The western-style stock is hardwood that’s probably beech. The pull is 13-1/2-inches. The buttpad is a soft grippy rubber pad. There is no checkering and the stock is very full. The stock on this rifle was the inspiration for the Air Venturi Bronco stock.

    Beeman C1 Bronco
    The C1 stock was the inspiration for the Bronco stock.

    The single-stage trigger is light. I think it’s a bit too light for this rifle. Someone may have been inside, though I do remember that C1 triggers get very light over time. And the rifle cocks easier than 35 lbs. So it may have just been shot a lot.

    The spring is quite buzzy, so the rifle needs to be taken apart and overhauled. The piston seal is PTFE, which is a generic name for Teflon. I’ll show it to you when I can. Tune in a Tube will perform miracles on this rifle! At some point either Webley or Beeman realized how buzzy the powerplant was and later on in the production run they installed a spring guide that was also a mainspring dampener. But I think I can quiet the action much more than that with just TIAT.

    The steel is deeply blued all over with speckles of rust in many places. I think this may be someone’s first spring gun. They may have tried working on it and didn’t quite get it right or it may have just been neglected. I’ll know more when I get inside. Fortunately, like an older Harley Davidson, the C1 has a lot of extra material to work with, and I think I can turn this sow’s ear into a very nice purse.

    The breech

    The breech on a C1 is different enough that it’s worth examining. The outside of the barrel has a large deep groove that rests against a crosspin in the action forks. A spring-loaded chisel detent pushes the barrel down against this pin. Theoretically this would have been a way to prevent barrel droop in a similar way to the ASP20’s keystone breech.

    Beeman C1 breech
    Looking down on the C1 breech we see the grooved breech that rests against the steel crosspin. read more