Those of you following my airgun trials and tribulations know that I have been looking towards my next purchase for a long time. The Crosman Sierra Pro was a decent gun, but it was not really my cup of tea. While I love my Beeman R7, I need something with some extra oomph for those pesky, hard to kill squirrels.
Over the last few months I narrowed down my selection to three airguns – Beeman R1, Beeman R9 or Benjamin Sheridan Discovery. They each seem to have advantages. The R1 is considered a classic, and packs a great punch. The R9 is comparable to the R1, almost packs the same punch, is lighter, costs considerably less, and is great for tuning. The Discovery looks to be the best way to get into PCP.
It was hard enough to decide on a gun, but what about caliber? .177 shoots flatter, is widely availably, plentiful selection of pellets, and is fairly inexpensive. .20 is a Beeman favorite, contains more energy for taking out pests, but on the downside, the selection for .20 is fairly sparse. Finally, .22 shoots harder, but at distance, pellets are not very flat, and are fairly expensive.
I actually decided on the caliber before I decided on the gun. My R7 is .177, and is perfect for plinking; decent for pest control with a well placed shot. My next gun had to help compensate for my failure to place the perfect shot, which turned my attention towards .20 and .22. In the end, I decided to go with .22 because of the extra power, and I would get a better selection of pellets over the .20.
Back to the guns. I turned my attention squarely on the 2008 version of the Beeman R1 Double Gold in .22. I placed a preorder from the fine folks at Straight Shooters, and now I await my new shiny. Here’s to hoping it comes sooner rather than later.
At some point in time, I think I will still look towards a Beeman R9, probably in .20, to complete my Beeman R series collection. I will also keep an eye on the Discovery, but how many guns can I reasonably own and actually have time to shoot?