I have been meaning to write this review since October of 2007. That’s when I bought my first Beeman RS2 Dual Caliber Spring Airgun. In fact I bought it at the Roanoke Airgun Show where I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Gaylord for the first time. I’ve had that airgun around since then and while I had planned to review it several times, I just never actually got it into the schedule. Last year I acquired an airgun collection and in it was a brand new Beeman Dual Caliber RS2 that had been purchased from AirgunDepot. So I’m finally going take a look at this unique airgun.
A Very typical, yet atypical airgun…
The Beeman RS2 Dual Caliber is just like every other RS2 airgun with the added advantage of being able to swap barrels between .177 and .22 caliber. But before I get to that part, I want to go over the rest of the basics.
The Rifle is made from steel and wood and comes in an ambidextrous stock. The rifle feels very solid and rugged. It has a good weight and pulls to the shoulder very comfortably. I’ve done a little bench shooting as well as free hand, and it feels equally comfortable.
It ships with front and rear fiber optic sights as well as a 4×32 scope. The scope’s parallax cannot be manually adjusted like some other entry level scopes, so anything inside 15 to 20 yards is pretty fuzzy. It’s usable, but it will need replacing down the line to get the most out of the airgun, if there’s more that it has to offer. I’ll find out when it comes to the accuracy part of this review.
The trigger is the RS2 variant which is better than some others at this price point. There’s an adjustment for pull weight and two screws that adjust aspects of the 1st and 2nd stages. While you can adjust the trigger’s various attributes, the pull is pretty rough and you can feel “hitches” in the components as you slowly squeeze through the shot. This shouldn’t be an issue when in the field, but it’s very noticeable when shooting from the bench.
Now to the good stuff…
What set’s this rifle apart is the fact that it ships with 2 barrels; one in .177 and one in .22. There’s a set screw at the bottom of the breach block that centers and holds the barrel in place. So far it has held tight and seems to do the job of keeping the barrels centered very well. The spring power plant is a 1000 FPS class system that should send .177 lead pellets down range at the advertised 1000 FPS. Modern convention stats that this should put the .22 caliber pellets downrange at up to 800 FPS. A more realistic number should be about 790 FPS. Now rather than make you wait until Part 2 for the numbers, I’m going to go ahead and share where we are out of the box.
I use the RWS Hobby pellets for my basic velocity testing with lead pellets. They are 7.0 grains and 11.9 grains in .177 and .22 respectively. They are high quality and relatively light, making them widely accepted as the standard for basic velocity tests.
The .177, 7.0 grain Hobby pellets shot the following: High – 1001, Low – 986.6, Average – 996.6, Extreme Spread – 14.4, Standard Deviation – 5.2, Average Energy – 15.13 FPE.
The .22, 11.9 grain Hobby pellets shot the following: High – 792, Low – 780.8, Average – 787.1, Extreme Spread – 11.2, Standard Deviation – 4.2, Average Energy – 16.37 FPE.
The results are very interesting. This rifle is shooting almost right on spec with an average of 996.6 in .177 and 787.1 in .22. Now, take a look at the difference in the energy generated between the two calibers. Even though the .22 caliber pellet is moving more slowly, the additional weight generates more energy. This, along with the added mass and impact surface area, means that the .22 will impart much more energy onto the target. This is what makes the .22 a much better option for pest control and airgun hunting.
What’s coming up next?
I expect this series to take up a fair amount of blog space, so I’ll probably break things up a bit along the way. As I was looking at the construction of the Beeman, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at an important distinction between how it (and some other airguns) are built vs say the traditional Gamo and Crosman spring airguns as related to the springs themselves. I hope that it will be a very interesting and maybe even a little controversial, so please be ready to jump in!