A fresh look at the Beeman R9 – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier
Testing and photos by Earl McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

Beeman R9 Elite Series Combo is a good-looking spring rifle.

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of our test Beeman R9. Remember, Mac is testing this at his house on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He’s shooting from inside his garage out into the wood line at the side of his house. By doing it this way, he can chronograph the shot as well as shoot at the target at the same time.

This past Sunday, he was testing another rifle for us and stepped on an underground hornet’s nest. I don’t know if they were actual hornets, but they sure acted like it. The aggressive black and white wasps stung him a dozen times before he could get away.

Mac also wanted me to tell you that this new restyled R9 has a slimmer forearm. Instead of the bull-nosed R1 forearm, the new R9 forearm tapers up after the stock screws. You can see this in the detailed photos on this website. He says he likes the new style better than the old. It makes the rifle more svelte.

Accuracy testing was at 30 yards, with the forearm resting on his open palm at the balance point of the rifle. The scope was set at its maximum magnification of 12x. All groups were 10 shots.

Premier 10.5
Crosman Premier 10.5-grain pellets grouped okay but had a few fliers. That may have been due to irregular pellets, because Mac didn’t sort pellets for this test.

The heavy Premier looked as though it wanted to shoot, but there were some fliers. Perhaps sorting would eliminate these.

Premier 7.9
With the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet, the groups were tight and there were no fliers. The rifle was still burning oil that could be smelled, but there were no detonations during accuracy testing.

With Premier lites, the R9 grouped 10 in 0.67″. That’s not too shabby for 30 yards.

RWS Hobby
And the lightweight RWS Hobby pellets went all over the place. Not a good pellet for this R9!

The light Hobby was not accurate in the test rifle.

Beeman Kodiaks
The most accurate pellet in the test was the heavy Beeman Kodiak, by a slim margin over the Premier lites. This pellet also gave good performance in the velocity test, so it should always be considered for this rifle. Remember, H&N Baracudas are the same pellet by another name.

The heavyweight Kodiak pellet was the most accurate in this test, grouping as tight as 0.65″.

A fresh look at the Beeman R9 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier
Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1

Beeman R9 Elite Series Combo is a good-looking spring rifle.

Let’s continue our look at the Beeman R9 rifle. Today we’ll do velocity. And this will be interesting, because the rifle Mac was sent to test had a 10-for-$10 chronograph ticket included. So, we’ll compare Mac’s results with those from Pyramyd Air.

If you read the 10-for-$10 pop-up, you’ll see that Pyramyd warns you that the first 150 shots may be erratic. So, that has to be factored into this comparison. The ticket that came with this rifle measured H&N Baracudas at 697 to 741. Let’s see how that sits with Mac’s test.

H&N Baracuda
Mac shot Beeman Kodiaks instead of H&N Baracudas (it’s the same pellet). He noted that they fit the breech firmly and consistently. They averaged 732 f.p.s. with a 23 f.p.s. velocity spread. That closely corresponds with the Pyramyd results. The average muzzle energy was 12.31 foot pounds.

Crosman Premier heavies
The Crosman Premier 10.5-grain pellet fit the breech very tight and is not recommended for the R9 — at least not this one. It averaged 679 f.p.s. with a 17 f.p.s. total velocity spread. The average muzzle energy was 10.74 foot pounds.

Crosman Premier lites
The smaller 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet fit the breech very well and averaged 816 f.p.s. with a total spread of 39 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy worked out to 11.64 foot pounds.

RWS Hobby
The lightweight 7-grain RWS Hobby fit the breech quite well and averaged 885 f.p.s. The spread was 25 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 12.19 foot-pounds.

What we’ve learned
First, we learned that the R9 is not a 1,000 f.p.s. air rifle. Weihrauch never intended it to be because of the harshness they experienced with the R10. Second, we’ve seen that, for some reason, this rifle really likes Beeman Kodiaks/H&N Baracudas. In my experience, that’s unusual for a gun in the 12 foot-pound range, but it’s also the reason we test as many pellets as we can.

Mac measured the trigger-pull at a crisp 29 oz. There was practically no variation from shot to shot, which is exactly what we expect from a Rekord trigger. The cocking is smooth and quiet, and, as noted yesterday, the firing behavior is dead calm. Between shooting at paper targets, Mac plinked at a 12-oz. water bottle set out at 30 yards and reports that the R9 is delightful offhand. In his words, it’s a very easy gun to shoot.

Next, we’ll look at accuracy and the Bushnell scope that comes with this package.

A fresh look at the Beeman R9 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier
Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Beeman R9 Elite Series Combo is a good-looking spring rifle.

For those who have enjoyed the fine work done by Mac while I was in the hospital, there’s good news. He’ll continue to test some of the guns for us for a while. Right now, he’s testing a group of springers for me, and today we’ll begin with a look at the Beeman R9 Elite Series.

The R9 is an evolutionary spring rifle that descended from the Beeman R10. The R10 was billed as the “Son of the R1” by Dr. Beeman and was a breakbarrel that reproduced the factory power of the R1 while being significantly lighter and therefore handier. The R1 is a huge rifle, and many people welcomed the loss of a couple pounds of weight in a 1,000 f.p.s. breakbarrel.

Of course, I’m talking about the time (1986-1995) when 1,000 f.p.s. was new and novel and not available in every new design that hit the market. The main difference between the R1 and R10, besides the size, was the fact that the R10 came to you pretty hot. Tuning couldn’t draw much more from it, where the R1 was the building block for much more powerful air rifles.

But the R10 was expensive to produce. The tubing diameter was thinner than the R1’s tube, making machining more critical. So, Weihrauch sought to simplify the design to make it easier to produce. Also, many R10s were very buzzy and ragged because the gun was so close to its maximum. In the rifle that followed, some performance was sacrificed for smoothness. Enter the R9.

The R9 has thin-wall tubing and doesn’t use the same threaded end cap of the other R-series rifles. Instead, the end cap slides inside the tube and is held by four special tabbed pins. It makes powerplant disassembly quite different from the R1.

This end view shows the thin R9 mainspring tube.

Don’t crush the tube
The thin tube causes shooters to take one precaution that isn’t required on other R-series rifles. If you tighten the scope bases too tight, you’ll temporarily squeeze the tube into an oval. (BKL scope mounts aren’t recommended). This becomes apparent when you cock the rifle and can feel the mainspring bumping past the oval section as each coil slides by. I’ve done this in the past, and Mac experienced it during this test. This isn’t permanent, though. Loosen the clamps, and the tube springs back to round. But there are three vertical holes on top of the spring tube for a positive scope stop, so this should never be a problem.

The evaluation
Mac tested the Beeman R9 Elite Series Combo, which is the rifle that comes mounted with a Bushnell Banner 4-12x40AO wide-angle scope in Sportsmatch rings. He got one that had the 10 for $10 testing. When I do the velocity report, we’ll compare Pyramyd Air’s numbers to Mac’s. He noticed that the Sportsmatch rings on the gun he’s testing are different than the rings pictured on the PA website. Those look like Leapers rings. We’ve asked Pyramyd Air to look into it and update their images if the mounts are different for the guns they currently have in stock.

The rifle with scope weighs around 9 lbs. or about what an R1 weighs without sights. And speaking of sights, the R9 doesn’t come with them any more so the scope is needed. There’s no easy way to mount open sights on this gun. The muzzlebrake would have to be removed, and you’d have to find a way to attach the front sight to the barrel. Not an easy proposition! There are no provisions for a rear sight, so don’t buy the rifle if open sights are important to you.

The overall length of the rifle is 42.75 inches with a barrel of 16.50 inches. That includes the length of the muzzlebrake. The pull is a manly 14.50 inches.

The stock is evenly finished, allowing the beech grain to show. The checkering is now pressed instead of cut. The metal is deeply blued with no flaws.

The shape of the stock makes the rifle fully ambidextrous. There’s no cheekpiece on either side.

No cheekpiece makes the R9 completely ambidextrous.

Firing behavior is dead calm. Mac says it feels like a tuned action. No twang or buzz, just a solid stop. The Rekord trigger breaks as crisply as ever, which is to say like a glass rod.

Beeman plated both the aluminum trigger blade and the adjustment screw behind it with gold. That contrasts well with the rest of the finish.

Overall, Mac likes the new R9. The main changes from the past are the lack of open sights and the pressed checkering instead of cut. Next, we’ll report velocity.