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Springer test: Beeman Dual

PUBLISHED: 17:07 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:08 07 September 2017

I shot the groups from a bench for best accuracy.

I shot the groups from a bench for best accuracy.

Archant

Phill Price looks at a unique solution for close-range pest control

I’d like to start this review with a story that you may choose to believe...or not. For all my adult life I’ve experimented with airguns, always imagining that I’d find or invent the next big thing. I’m not a competition shooter, but a hunter, pure and simple. I also read the shooting press generally about all kinds of hunting in the hope that something I learn can be applied to our air-powered world. Double rifles, i.e. rifles that have two barrels were extremely popular for dangerous-game hunters because a fast second shot might literally save your life. They’re also popular with European boar hunters who also need a second barrel quickly.

This set me thinking about a double-barrelled air rifle that would deliver a second shot at the pull of the trigger without needing to recock the action. That then led me along the train of thought about what delivering two pellets at the same time would do Imagine two pellets striking our quarry simultaneously, and delivering twice the impact force. Would that also help if we were just slightly off the perfect shot placement?

How about that for a novel rear sight? It's fully adjustable and has fibre optic inserts.How about that for a novel rear sight? It's fully adjustable and has fibre optic inserts.

Surprise

Imagine my surprise then to open the box containing the Beeman Dual. It looked just like an early Weihrauch HW77 until I realised that it’s a break-barrel, not an under-lever. This was my chance to research the idea in reality without needing to have a prototype built. Of course, the most important factor in any hunting shot is accuracy, and it would be interesting to see what this rifle could deliver, and if the pellets would converge at my chosen zero point.

Unsurprisingly, this is a big, heavy gun at 8.7lbs, but that’s not a bad thing in a spring-piston rifle because it makes them somewhat easier to shoot. The stock is made from European hardwood and shows no chequering at all. It does have a nicely shaped rubber butt pad, though, that gripped my shoulder well. Cocking was surprisingly smooth and not nearly as hard as I had expected. I noted that it’s important to seat the pellets fully into the barrel because if you do not, the skirt of the lower one gets bent as the rifle is closed.

To accommodate the double barrels, the breech block is huge and appears very sturdy, something that’s vital to maintaining accuracy in the long term, for any break-barrel.

The breech block is bulky and sturdy.The breech block is bulky and sturdy.

Top optics

To maximise the accuracy potential, I fitted an expensive scope in a top-quality mount to ensure that no problems could be attributed to the recoil shifting the optic. This particular scope has parallax adjustment right down to 10 yards, where my testing would be done.

Beeman includes a highly unusual rear sight to work with the combat-style front sight. It clamps onto the scope rail and is kind of a hybrid of a peep sight and a conventional open sight. The picture explains it best. Like the front sight, it has fibre-optic enhancement and offers a very clear sight picture.

The two-stage adjustable trigger was set heavy with a long second stage, which worked against getting the best from the accuracy. It would certainly be worth getting a skilled gunsmith to set it up for your own preferences to get the best from the rifle.

The moulded fore sight looks straight off an assault rifle.The moulded fore sight looks straight off an assault rifle.

Superdome

Next I gathered up a selection of high-quality pellets that have proven successful in the past, and set about my accuracy test. I’ve often found that rifles with barrels made in China, as this one is, seem to prefer older pellet designs, and the superb RWS Superdome is just that. It gave by far the best groups, the two pellets landing ½ to ¾” apart. Some of the other pellets didn’t suit the rifle at all, but there’s nothing unusual about that.

To chronograph this rifle presented some difficulties because the machine cannot read two pellets at once, so I placed the lower barrel inside the lip of a sturdy, steel pellet catcher and directed the top barrel through the chronograph. The box states that this rifle is limited to 600fps for UK sale, but those figures are usually taken with a very light pellet. I tested with the Remington Thunder FTT Power (14.6 grains) and got just over 500fps, which is plenty of power for close-range pest control work.

This is about as single-purpose as a rifle could possibly be, because I see it as a specialist, close-range, pest control tool. Delivering two .22 pellets into a rat’s chest is surely going to anchor it to the spot, so for that work in and around buildings, this rifle has no equal, but it’s not as versatile as a single-shot rifle for more general hunting. I was really happy to try out this novel rifle because it happily reminds me that there’s always something new in the wonderful world of airguns.

This 1/2This 1/2" pair was made with my old favourite, the Superdome.

Specification

Manufacturer: Beeman

Importer: SMK

Web: www.sportsmk.co.uk

Tel: 01206 795333

Model: Dual

Type: Spring-piston

Action: Break-barrel

Calibre: .22 and .22

Trigger: Two-stage adjustable

Long: 45” (114cm)

Weight: 8.75lbs (3.95kg)

RRP: £269.95

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