Airgun purchase cannot be a casual affair. At least not for me. Quality adult airguns are expensive, and by the time you add on the expense of a quality scope and scope mount, you have some serious cash invested in a purchase. My inventory (probably better stated as my collection) is currently fairly simple – Beeman R7 .177, Beeman R1 .22, and Beeman R1 .20 Carbine.
Beeman is doing something a little unusual (at least to me) with their 2009 options. Option 1 is a Double Gold, which includes a mounted scope and muzzle brake, but does include open sights or drill-outs for open sights. Option 2 includes a scope mount and muzzle brake, but once again no open sights or the option to mount sights at a future date. In other words, the first two options are for airgunners that are always going to use scopes – with these two options it is not possible to add on open sights at a later date. Option 2 is the HW equivalent of the Beeman gun (i.e. a Beeman R1 is a HW80).
I have been looking at several different guns for my next purchase, but my top two are just not available. I would like an R7 in .20 caliber, but I want it with open sights for the flexibility of going scope or sights. 99% of my shooting will always be with scopes, so I probably just need to get over myself, but I am a picky SOB. As I said, adult airguns are expensive, so prudence with purchases is in order. Unfortunately it does not look like the HW30S (R7 = HW30S) is offered by Beeman in the .20 caliber.
The other airgun that I have my eyes on is an R1 .177 Carbine, but much like the HW30S, Beeman does not offer the HW80 .177 as a Carbine, which is really a damn shame because I love the size of a Carbine.
So where does that leave me? I am currently looking at several different options for my next airgun purchase.
Option 1: HW50S .22
I have had my eye on an HW50S for a long time, and a .22 would bridge the gap nicely between my R7 and R1s. A .22 version of the HW50S may not be the best power plant for the HW50S, but I like the larger calibers. I think this would be a great addition for backyard plinking and pest control.
Option 2: HW80 .177
I may go this route and pursue a Carbine barrel directly from Beeman or as an aftermarket add on (i.e. second-hand; used; yellow forum classifieds).
Option 3: Chrony and Scope Upgrade for the R1 .20 Carbine
If I cannot get what I really want, I may just go in a completely different direction and hold off on a purchase. I do not have a Chrony, a quality shooting bench and bags, and then some. I could also use a better scope on my R1 .20 Carbine
Instead of buying a new airgun, I could just invest that money in some quality items that would help me further enjoy my current collection.
Option 4: HW97 or HW77
I think either gun would be a good way to get into field target, plus both would be great for paper punching. I have three problems with this option. First, which airgun would I get; they both seem so similar. Second, how do I decide between a .20 HW97 and .177 HW97? Finally, I do not shoot field target, so this is probably just an overly optimistic purchase.
Option 5: Go PCP
I am not going to go into a lot of detail here. I just do not think I am ready to take the PCP plunge (what some airgunners call going to the “dark side”). It is in the back of my mind, and I keep reading reviews, and am strongly considering a .22 Benjamin Sheridan Marauder, which would be the perfect way for me to enjoy backyard shooting without disturbing the neighbors.
So there you have it. Five different options, but none are convincing enough to make me move one way or the other. It is always therapeutic getting this on “paper” but I just cannot make up my mind. More to come later.