Beeman Dual Caliber Pellet Air Rifle
Copyright © March 8, 2011 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
.22 Caliber and .177 Caliber
All Rights Reserved.
Let me begin by listing the advantages and the disadvantages of a pellet rifle.
First, the disadvantages of pellet rifles in general:
Now for the advantages of pellet rifles in general:
- A pellet rifle is a single-shot rifle. Unlike a bolt-action rifle, you must fold the barrel forward on the rifle, insert a pellet, and then return the barrel to its original position. This is a slow time-consuming process. It is much slower than a bolt-action rifle where you can usually load about five cartridges into the magazine and then eject and insert a new cartridge by simply operating the bolt.
- It requires a moderate degree of effort to fold the barrel forward to load a pellet (this is called breaking the barrel). Some women, and some teenagers, may not have the strength to do this. If you will grasp the end of the barrel as close as possible to the front sight then it will be easier to break the barrel to insert a pellet.
- A pellet rifle would be useless against predatory animals. Therefore I would never carry a pellet rifle into the woods as my only method of firearm protection.
- A pellet rifle would be almost useless as a self-defense weapon. A pellet could penetrate a thin shirt and the skin of a person and theoretically it could kill a person. However, if a person were wearing several layers of clothing then the pellet may not do anything more than make the person angry. On the other hand, a pellet shot to the neck, eye, or ear could be deadly so this is not a toy for a younger child.
- The range of a pellet rifle is significantly less than a 22-caliber rimfire long-rifle cartridge.
- A pellet rifle should never, never be dry fired. Always have a pellet in the chamber before pulling the trigger on a pellet rifle. (Note: You should also never dry fire any type of 22 rimfire firearm.)
- Pellets are single use items and each pellet may only be fired one time. The same pellet may not be fired a second time because it may damage the inside of the rifle barrel.
Now for the specific advantages of the Beeman Dual Caliber Pellet Air Rifle:
- Although a pellet rifle does have a serial number, it does not need to be registered as a firearm. However, each nation has its own laws so please check the laws where you live.
- A pellet rifle may be purchased in many states within the United States without any type of paperwork. Once again, each state and each county can have its own pellet gun laws so you will need to verify the laws in the area where you live.
- The ammunition for a pellet rifle is relatively inexpensive at approximately $2.00 per 250 pellets, or about $0.008 each. The Premium Hunting Hollow Point pellets cost about $6.97 for 500 pellets, or about $0.014 each.
- A pellet rifle makes a muffled "twang" sound when fired. In my opinion it sounds very similar to the "make-believe sound of a handgun with a silencer when fired in a movie." A real silencer does not muffle the sound the way the movies would lead you to believe.
- A pellet rifle may be a reasonable option for anyone who lives in an area where firearm laws prevent honest law-abiding citizens from owning firearms.
- Depending on the hunting laws in your area a pellet rifle could be a reasonable option for hunting small game, such as squirrels or rabbits. However, as I have mentioned in several of my other articles, I strongly recommend steel traps and snares for collecting wild game instead of any type of hunting rifle.
Now for some additional information.
- At the current time it can be purchased in the sporting goods section of many Walmart stores for about $98.
- The rifle comes with two interchangeable barrels: a 22 caliber barrel and a 177 caliber barrel. To swap the barrels you remove a single set screw on the underside of the barrel at the front of the wood forearm grip, slide the barrel out of the rifle, insert the other barrel into the rifle, and replace the set screw. This is all done with an allen wrench that is provided with the rifle. In addition, an additional spare set screw is included with the rifle. (Note: In the above picture on the Beeman box the entire length of the second barrel is not shown. Each rifle barrel extends down inside the wood stock so that it is directly below the rear end of the upper rear iron sight.)
- The rifle will fire a 177 caliber pellet at approximately 1,000 feet per second (fps) and it will fire a 22 caliber pellet at approximately 800 fps. (Note: An object needs to be traveling faster than approximately 1100 fps to break the sound barrier, or 1128 fps at sea level at 70ºF.)
- The rifle has iron sights and the rear iron sight is easily adjustable for both windage and elevation.
- A 4x32 scope and scope mounts are included with the rifle.
- The safety is automatically engaged each time you fold the rifle barrel and insert a new pellet. I like this. The safety is directly in front of the trigger and it is easily disengaged by pushing it forward with the end of your finger before pulling the trigger to the rear.
- It is equipped with a quality European hardwood stock that has a solid rubber butt piece at the end of the stock to cushion the rifle against your shoulder.
- Since the barrel can be completely removed, the pellet rifle may be stored in a space 32.5 inches long by 6.5 inches wide by 2.0 inches thick if the scope is removed.
The 22 caliber pellet is approximately 65% heavier than the 177 caliber pellet. This could make a significant difference when hunting wild game animals that are a little bigger than a rabbit, such as an opossum, or a groundhog, or a raccoon. However, before hunting any type of animal please verify and obey the hunting laws in your area.
Walmart is currently selling the 22 caliber and the 177 caliber hollow point hunting pellets for the same exact price. Therefore, I suggest you invest in the 22 caliber pellets if you can find then available.
I tested the penetration power of the 177 caliber pointed pellet on some old scrap pieces of plywood that I had. The results are as follows:
|1/8 Inch Thick Plywood||5/8 Inch Thick Plywood|
1/8 inch thick plywood: A 177 caliber pointed pellet completely penetrated and exited the rear of the plywood at 25 feet, 50 feet, 75 feet, and 100 feet.
5/8 inch thick plywood: A 177 caliber pointed pellet completely penetrated and exited the rear of the plywood at 25 feet, 50 feet, 75 feet, and 100 feet.
The reason I conducted the above simple tests was to determine for myself if the pellet rifle could be used to kill small game animals. I know that small game animals have fur and skin and that their hides are not made of wood. However, I also know that skin and fur is not as hard as wood and if a pointed pellet will go completely through a small piece of plywood, then that pellet has a good chance of penetrating the hide of a small wild game animal and killing that animal.
If I were using a pellet rifle to hunt small game then I would get close enough to shoot the animal in the brain.
I did not conduct tests out further than 100 feet because when you are in the woods you normally won't see a small game animal until you are relatively close to it. In addition, there are shrubs, and bushes, and other types of vegetation in the woods that will prevent a clear shot at a long distance. Finally, a small game animal is a relatively small target and you will need to be within the repeatability accuracy of your pellet rifle.
The above shooting tests were conducted with the iron sights on the rifle from a standing position without any type of additional support below the front rifle barrel. I was not aiming at a specific spot on the plywood. I was just aiming at the plywood in order to determine if the pellet would penetrate the plywood. Therefore the grouping of the four shots on each piece of plywood is nothing more than random chance. (Note: I drew black circles around each of the small pellet holes and I labeled each hole with the distance to the target.)
The next day I exchanged the 177 caliber barrel for the 22 caliber barrel. I did not bother to test the 22 caliber barrel on the 1/8 inch thick plywood. Instead I simply tested it on the 5/8 inch thick plywood at a distance of 100 feet. The 22 caliber hollow point pellets easily penetrated the 5/8 inch thick plywood at 100 feet. However, since I had exchanged barrels the average point of pellet impact was about six inches to the left and about three inches higher than the grouping with the 177 pellets. I did not expect the rear iron sights to provide the same average point of pellet impact because of the difference in the size and weight of the two pellets (177 caliber and 22 caliber) and the fact that a reasonable wind was blowing from the right to the left on the second day of the test.
The reason I purchased this particular pellet rifle was because it was priced at $98, it came with a scope, it had two interchangeable barrels, and one of those barrels was for 22 caliber pellets.
The reason I am posting this information on my web site is because items that are currently being made in China may not be as affordable a few months from now as they are today. In other words, the value of the United Sates Dollar could decline significantly and this would raise the price of all Chinese imports. If you believe this might happen, then it would probably be a good idea to carefully consider the things that you will really need in the not-too-distant future, and then buy some of those things today, such as a few extra pair of jeans, shirts, socks, gloves, shoes, and boots. If you still have some money left over then you could consider investing in one of these pellet rifles.
22 Caliber Hollow Points and 177 Caliber Hollow Points and 177 Caliber Pointed Pellets
If you invest in a pellet rifle then I also strongly recommend that you invest in at least 5,000 pellets. If possible, buy the 22 caliber pellets. If the 22 caliber pellets are not available, then the 177 caliber pointed pellets are about 1/2 the price of the premium 177 caliber hollow point pellets and therefore you could acquire a lot more of them for the same amount of money. I do not recommend the flat nose target pellets for anything so please don't buy them if anything else is available for sale.
Even though a pellet rifle will not accumulate any gunpowder deposits on the inside of the barrel it will still gradually accumulate lead deposits on the inside of the barrel from the lead pellets. Therefore at the end of each shooting session you will still need to swab the inside of the barrel using a cleaning rod and a cleaning patch and a tiny bit of lubricant.
(Note: If I did not already own a 22 caliber long-rifle "LR" rimfire semi-automatic rifle then I would invest in a rimfire rifle instead of a pellet rifle. Walmart has the "Savage Arms, Inc. 64F 22LR" semi-automatic rifle with a 10-round detachable magazine for approximately $137. Walmart has the "Marlin Model 60 22LR" semi-automatic rifle with a tubular magazine for about $148. If money is not an issue, then you should consider the "Ruger Model 10/22" semi-automatic rifle with a 10-round detachable magazine. If you can find the Ruger Model 10/22 semi-automatic Stainless Steel rifle then this would be even better. In my opinion you should have a semi-automatic rifle and not a "bolt-action" rifle or a "lever-action" rifle.)
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