by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Parts 1 & 2
Testing the BSF S20 and the Webley Hurricane
Beeman P1 is a powerful, accurate spring pistol.
This report covers:
• Where does the P1 fit?
• Which is best — Scorpion or P1?
• The accuracy test
• Crosman Premier pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• RWS Superdome pellets
• Something to remember
• Blog navigation: One more change…and we want your feedback
Today, I’ll finish the test of spring pistol accuracy at 10 meters. I’m using the same pellets and holds that have been used throughout this test, so it’s apples to apples. This time, I’m testing the Beeman P1. I’d also said I would test the Beeman P17; but since it’s not a spring gun, that’s mixing things up too much.
Where does the P1 fit?
We’ve now looked at the accuracy of 3 powerful vintage spring pistols — the BSA Scorpion, the BSF S20 Target and the Webley Hurricane. Today’s question is how does the P1 compare to these handguns?
First and foremost, the P1 is as powerful or, perhaps, slightly more powerful than the BSA Scorpion that was the clear power champ among the vintage guns. Mine puts out 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellets at an average 508 f.p.s., compared to the Scorpion’s 497 f.p.s. average. So, they’re very close. Hobbys go out of the P1 at an average 553 f.p.s., and from the Scorpion they exit at 545 f.p.s. So, the power of the 2 airguns is pretty much equivalent.
The P1 cocks with less effort than the Scorpion, and no cocking aid is required. Once cocked, the P1 is harder to load, because the space at the breech is tight and also located inside the upper half of the receiver. The P1 trigger has it all over the Scorpion trigger. Not only is it adjustable, it’s as crisp as you could ever want.
The sights on the P1 are finely adjustable, just like the sights on the Scorpion. I would call it a wash between the two guns.
The P1 holds like a 1911 firearm, while the Scorpion has an ergonomic pistol grip that sits below the barrel. When the Scorpion fires, the gun bounces in your hand. When the P1 fires, the sensation is more solid.
Which is best — Scorpion or P1?
It probably sounds like I favor the P1, and that’s true. I like the Scorpion, also, but I favor the P1 over it. That said, the 2 guns are pretty much equivalent in everything but size. The P1 is even smaller than the Webley Hurricane, and the Scorpion is the largest air pistol in this test. So, I can’t pick a winner. In some categories, one gun beats the other, but in other categories the reverse is true.
Accuracy is a big part of why we shoot. The outcome of today’s test will suggest which gun is the winner, or at least which gun seems to dominate the others. At this point, the Scorpion is leading, with the Webley Hurricane running a close second.
The accuracy test
I decided to shoot the P1 under the same conditions as the other 3 pistols. While the 3 pellets used in the previous tests may not be the most accurate in any of the guns, all had to shoot them and should give a general indication of accuracy. All are accurate pellets that I also use in many other tests, so nothing strange is being done.
Crosman Premier pellets
The first pellet I tried was the Crosman Premier lite (7.9-grain) dome. Shooting from a rested 2-hand hold, I put 10 pellets into a 1.454-inch group at 10 meters. That’s not very good! The Scorpion put 10 of the same pellets into a 0.699-inch group. That’s less than half the size!.
Premier lite pellets did not do well in the P1. Ten went into 1.454 inches.
RWS Hobby pellets
Next up were 10 RWS Hobby pellets. They did better, going into a group that measures 0.996 inches between centers. Nine of those pellets went into 0.653 inches. In the Scorpion, Hobbys made a group that measures 1.016 inches.
RWS Hobbys did much better. Ten went into 0.996 inches, with 9 in 0.653 inches.
RWS Superdome pellets
The final pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome. Ten pellets made a group measuring 1.257 inches, with no clumping of pellets within the group. In sharp contrast, the Scorpion put 10 Superdomes into 0.877 inches, with 9 of them in 0.592 inches.
Ten RWS Superdomes made this 1.257-inch group. Also not very impressive.
From these test results, I have to say the BSA Scorpion was the clear winner among all 4 spring-piston air pistols tested. I also have to say that I was not expecting such a result. As large and powerful as the Scorpion is, I expected it to throw its pellets all over the place, instead of stacking one on top of the other.
But before we condemn the P1, remember, that I’ve tested it before. Look at what it did at the same 10 meters with 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets 3 years ago.
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets at 10 yards went into 0.375 inches at 10 meters.