Now that the .22 cal barrel is installed and the scope is basically on target, it’s time to find the right pellets. My previous tests during the scope sighting pretty much ruled out the Crosman Premier Hollow Points and the H&N Field target Trophies, so I picked out 4 pellets that I thought should do the trick. Then I picked out 4 more pellets because I was totally wrong about the first 4. Fortunately, the last 4 pellets all performed pretty well.
Time to get in some bench time.
Thinking they would be more consistent than their hollowpoint cousins, I started with the Crosman Premiers in the cardboard box. They are a favorite amongst field target competitors and competition shooters for their consistency and accuracy. They did fit in the breach the same way each time, unfortunately this rifle just did not like them very much. The 5 shot group from 10 yards measured a whopping .771″ CTC. Time to move to the next pellet.
The second group was shot with the RWS Superdomes. This is a pellet that’s proven accurate in other Beeman variants, but not this particular Beeman variant. The string just kept spreading out, ultimately putting in a 5 shot group measuring .988″ CTC from 10 yards.
By this time I was starting to get a bit discouraged, but things were about to improve. For the third group I pulled out the 14.3 Grain JSBs, which put in the first CTC group under half an inch, but just barely. My 5 shot group from 10 yards measured .496″ CTC.
The final group on this card was shot with the RWS Meisterkuglens. I was hoping for better from these match grade pellets, but it was just not happening. This group was back up over the half inch size, coming in at .54″ center to center.
SHOT GROUP DATA:
1. Crosman Premiers Cardboard Box – 14.3 grains – 735 FPS – .771″ CTC at 10 yards
2. RWS Superdome – 14.5 grains – 728 FPS – .988″ CTC at 10 yards
3. JSB Diabolo – 14.3 grains – 670 FPS – .496″ CTC at 10 yards
4. RWS Meisterkugeln – 14.0 grains – 745 FPS – .54″ CTC at 10 yards
Ok.. time to regroup.
As I looked over the last card, nothing seemed to make sense. When this happens, it’s time to take a step back and just look at the situation from a fresh perspective. Not wanting to give up, I grabbed some pellets with a little dust on them and a couple more old faithfuls.
First up were the 18.13 grain JSB heavies. I initially thought they might be a bit too heavy for this powerplant, but I was happily surprised with the shot results. This 5 shot group measured .406″ CTC, posting the best group yet.
Things kept getting better as I moved to the second group. I opted to give the RWS Superpoint Extras a try. Generally, pointed pellets are not very accurate. But, that’s not the case with the Beeman dual cal. The .22 cal barrel really loves these pellets, giving me a center to center group of .35″. I have to admit that I was finally starting to get excited about this airgun.
Similarly shaped, the RWS Super H Point pellets were next up in my tests. They have the same sharp head and skirt edge that gives minimal surface contact down the bore. You never know what’s going to be the key to accuracy, until you get in there and do some testing. These came in very close to the RWS Extra point pellets, measuring only .382″ center to center.
Last on the list are the Hatsan Vortex Supremes. These are custom manufactured for Hatsan to provide the best balance of accuracy and velocity in their airguns. I’ve found they work really well in other brands as well, which this next group will show. The Vortex Supremes put in the best group, measuring only .342″ center to center. Now that’s what I’ve been waiting for.
SHOT GROUP DATA:
1. JSB – 18.13 grains – 645 FPS – .406″ CTC at 10 yards
2. RWS Superpoint Extra – 14.5 grains – 731 FPS – .35″ CTC at 10 yards
3. RWS Super H Point – 14.5 grains – 735 FPS – .382″ CTC at 10 yards
4. Hatsan Vortex Supreme – 14.66 grains – 745 FPS – .54″ CTC at 10 yards
What to take away from this series…
There’s a couple of things that I found really interesting during my testing of the Beeman Dual Caliber. The first was, that with a little effort, both barrels were able to produce decent groups at 10 yards. The unfortunate part is that you are going to have to spend time resetting your optics each time you swap between them. The trigger, which started out rough and gritty, has smoothed out a little now with 500+ shots down range. I hope it will continue to improve with use. Now that I’m done with my “out of the box review,” I may open the rifle up and take a look to see if I can improve it. I’ll let you know if I do.
When you get a new airgun, it’s important that you take the time to do the things necessary to give you the best possible results, i.e. clean the barrel thoroughly, check stock screws, etc. And last, but not least, don’t give up. It will always take time to find the right mix of hold, pellet, and break in time. More often than not, you’ll be pretty happy when it all comes together.
If time and weather permits, I may take this out for a spin up at the range to see what I can get at further distances. Given what I’m getting now, I would expect sub 1″ groups out to 25 yards. Frankly that’s not bad for an entry level airgun with this kind of flexibility.