Know what’s the best part of doing this job? Writing a review that prevents people from buying something worthless. Nothing makes me angrier than seeing people be ripped off, so it’s with great pleasure that I can tell all of you that you should avoid, at all costs, the Beeman RS1 Dual-Caliber Air Rifle. The only thing that disappoints me more than the rifle itself is the excuses that people keep
making for it.
How Dual-Caliber Fails This Gun
I really like the idea of a dual caliber rifle. There are times when being able to easily switch out the barrel on your weapon depending on the type of shooting that you intend to do can come in really handy, so needless to say I was rooting for this weapon to work.
Unfortunately, the mechanism by which this is accomplished boils down to an allen bolt in the bottom that is holding the barrel on. This wouldn’t be a problem in and of itself, except that the damn thing keeps coming loose. Not from extreme actions or even moving around a whole lot, just from shooting it.
So what ends up happening is that you shoot a couple of times, the bolt start to loosen, and then when you fire the barrel wobbles and your shots go wild. And I mean really wild. At its worst, I was feet off of the target, and that’s something I shouldn’t have to worry about. I was able to get some better grouping with an artillery hold, but why on Earth should I be limited to just one hold in order to get the rifle to do what it’s supposed to?
The bolt isn’t the only part on this gun that becomes unreliable with repeated use. For example, you have to use these rubber O rings on the barrel in order to make sure they have a proper seal when you switch them out, but the things blow out every 15 to 20 shots. What good is a weapon like this if I have to stop and fix it every few shots? This is just one more part that, in order to make this dual caliber just doesn’t seem to handle actual use very well, and it’s incredibly disappointing.
One thing I will say is that this gun is really powerful for what you’re getting. With a single pump you’re getting speeds around 1000 fps and I can shoot through a number of different targets from pretty far away. Getting the right ammo is key to this, though, and again we see a failing with the gun in that if you’re not using the correct ammo, you’re not going to get the same results. What’s baffling about that is that it seems that the “right” ammo is different for nearly everyone I’ve seen, and while there’s a fairly universal “don’t use Crosman”, what you actually should use is all over the map. I found that Raptor ammo worked pretty well for me, but who knows if it’ll work for you for some reason that I couldn’t say.
It is a powerful rifle, and while the pump is pretty hard on this one, it makes sense considering the strength you’re getting behind it. I also still like the concept of it being dual caliber and the tradeoff between those isn’t too bad when it’s shooting correctly. It’s a loud gun, but not so much that I would consider it prohibitively so.
This gun feels almost like a novelty in that Beeman was trying to sell a gimmick, so they rushed it out the door without adequately testing it or making sure that their craftsmanship was of any quality. It goes wildly inaccurate very quickly and requires so much effort just to get it to work the way it’s supposed to.
I read one review that said, “After a dis-assembly, cleaning, honing of cylinder, de-burring of sharp edges, a little spring tar and some moly lube, I have one heck of rifle.” If you’ve got to do that much work just to get the damn thing to shoot straight, then it’s not “one heck of a rifle,” it’s a waste of your time and money.
The Bottom Line
Rarely have I been so disappointed in a rifle before in my life, and I’m not sure this review expresses that disappointment fully. What an incredible waste of a really great idea, and it’s all from a lack of care in production. Sure, you can spend a few hours working on it to correct the shoddy job Beeman did, or you can get a Marksman 1073 Grizzly X2 DC Air which has some of the same problems, but not nearly as many. Or just resign yourself, like I have, to getting the best .177 and .22 you can, separately, and forget about being able to switch barrels.