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Switching barrels in with the Beeman Dual Cal

It's not as quick and easy as you might think...

The weather outside is hot and windy. When I say hot, I’m talking 108 to 110 degrees. If I could figure out a way to test and shoot airguns from my new swimming pool, I’d be golden. But since I can’t, I’m going to step away from Part 3 of the BSA GRT Lightning and get back to the Beeman Dual cal, this time, setup in .22 caliber.

Beeman Dual Cal - Barrel Change

Beeman Dual Cal – .22 cal barrel ready to change out

It’s simple right?

Changing barrels is actually very simple. You simply loosen the screw thats securing the barrel, slide out the old barrel, slide in the new barrel, paying close attention to the alignment, and finally retighten the screw, securing the new barrel. That part is easy. But, Im far from done getting this ready to shoot in .22 caliber.

Beeman Dual Cal - Barrel Change

Beeman Dual Cal – Barrel Change

Beeman Dual Cal - Barrel Change - line up the alignment marks

Beeman Dual Cal – Barrel Change – line up the alignment marks

Beeman Dual Cal - Barrel Change - Tighten down the barrel locking screw

Beeman Dual Cal – Barrel Change – Tighten down the barrel locking screw

Let’s take a few shots

Now I’ve been down this road before and know exactly what’s ahead of me. But, for the sake of the article, I’m going to pretend this is my first time. In a perfect world, I would be able to setup at the bench and be grouping at least close to where I was previously with the .177. Here’s what I got when I tried just that. This was my initial 5 shot group, shot with Crosman Premier Hollow Points, and as you can see, it is way high and basically all over the map. This was shot from 10 yards, having not adjusted the scope since shooting with the .177 barrel.

Beeman Dual Cal - Barrel Change - First shots with the new barrel installed

Beeman Dual Cal – Barrel Change – First shots with the new barrel installed

So now you know. Each time you swap barrels, be prepared to rezero your scope. The bundled scope has very inconsistent adjustments, so there is a lot of: “adjust, shoot, repeat,” before you start getting consistent groupings.

Let’s check the barrel first

I expected the group to be off when switching the barrels, but I was hoping that it would at least be a reasonable sized group. Since it was not, I opted to take a look at the bore and push a couple of dry patches through. As you can see, things were pretty dirty. A dirty barrel will kill your accuracy. So before going any further, I took the time to clean the barrel. Rather than take up time on that here, I’m going to do an article or two on that shortly. The short version is that I ran the dry patches down the bore and then followed up with a nylon brush soaked in Beeman MP-5 oil, followed by several patches. Below is a small sample of what I got out of the gun. The two rectangle patches were the original dry patches that I pushed through.

Beeman Dual Cal - Barrel Change - That's what I call a DIRTY barrel.

Beeman Dual Cal – Barrel Change – That’s what I call a DIRTY barrel.

Moving on…

Now that the bore is basically clean, I setup to sight in the scope. I’ve switched from the Crosman Premier Hollow Points because they were fitting very irregularly in the bore. Some were tight, some were loose. This is a common manufacturing inconsistency with these pellets. Some tins are worse than others. When you find things happening, don’t expect great consistency. I moved to the H&N Field Target Trophy pellets because they are generally very good and very consistent.

Eventually, I started to get things near center. In the end, it took about 2 full revolutions of the top turret lowering the point of impact, and about 1 full revolution of the side turret moving the point of impact to the right. The target below is a sample of where I’m sitting at this point in the review.

The center target was the first shot group after I gave the scope a “best guess” adjustment from the first attempt with the .22 caliber barrel. The bottom left is the next group and I made fine adjustments as I shot. The bottom right group, I continued to make adjustments after each couple of shots. The top right group I thought I was getting closer, and the top left group was my final group after my last adjustments.

Beeman Dual Cal - Barrel Change - Getting on target with the .22 cal barrel

Beeman Dual Cal – Barrel Change – Getting on target with the .22 cal barrel

SHOT GROUP ORDER:
1. Center
2. Bottom Left
3. Bottom Right
4. Top Right
5. Top Left

Where to next?

I’m basically on target with the .22 caliber at this point. Now, it will be up to me to find the best pellet for this particular barrel. I’ll probably run a few more patches down the bore just to be safe and then grab my selection of pellets that I’ll be using.

If this rifle is something that peeks your interest, then just know that moving between calibers will require resighting your optics or open sights each time. It may be that with a better quality scope, one that has very consistent adjustments, you could catalog exactly how many clicks worth of adjustment you needed when changing barrels. But, that would only work if the barrels lined up in the breach exactly the same way each time.

In our final segment, I’ll take a look at what the rifle can do in .22 caliber and draw some final conclusions on the Beeman Dual Cal Combo..

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