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The New Beeman Chief PCP Air Rifle

February 13 2017 at 9:00 PM
Steve888  (Login Steve888)
YF

We just received the actual Beeman Chief PCP air rifle that was exhibited at the 2017 SHOT Show last month.

[linked image]

Please note that this particular gun is a pre-production prototype, so it may differ in some specifics from regular Chiefs when they become available in April/May 2017.

At first sight, the Beeman Chief appears to be “just a PCP version of the QB78” air rifle. That’s what I thought, at least. However, close inspection indicates that there are actually many differences from the CO2-powered Beeman QB78, making the Chief quite a different gun.

Yes, there are some similarities between the two models. The trigger assembly and barrel of the Beeman Chief appear to be the same as those of the Beeman QB78. But - beyond that - almost everything else is different.

With an MSRP of $199, the Beeman Chief is positioned directly against the Benjamin Maximus. Both are single-load PCP air rifles with a maximum pressure of 2,000 PSI. Both have claimed muzzle velocities of 1,000 FPS in .177 caliber and 850 FPS in .22 cal. It’s going to be an interesting battle between these products in future!

Since I promised Beeman’s US importers that I would resist the supreme temptation to take the Chief apart for a good look, here’s some of the differences we can see from the outside.

Remarkably, the weight of the Chief we have here is just 1 Ounce heavier than that of a sample wood-stocked Beeman QB78 Deluxe air rifle loaded with two 12 Gram CO2 cartridges. That’s in spite of the much longer and heavier HPA tube of the Chief compared to the CO2 tube of the QB78.

Surprisingly, the Chief does not have the same single-shot breech as the QB78. It’s actually one inch shorter. And there’s a flat top to the breech, making it easier to mount some scope rings.

The stock has a lower comb with a thinner buttstock and a 3/8-inch shorter length of pull. Both these would save weight in the solid beech wood stock. But these changes would not be an improvement, particularly the lower comb which will make cheek weld problematic when using a scope - as most future owners of the Beeman Chief will, of course.

[linked image]

The Beeman Chief also has a cock-on-opening action. This is the first time that this has been featured on a QB78-type air rifle from the Shanghai factory.

And there’s a tempting-looking setscrew in the rear tube cap. A power adjuster maybe?

But small niggles like this aside - which may well be rectified before production gets under way - the Beeman Chief looks likely to be a worthy competitor in the burgeoning low end PCP air rifle market.

There's more photographs in the Hard Air Magazine report at
http://hardairmagazine.com/news/detailed-look-new-beeman-chief-pcp-air-rifle/

 
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AuthorReply

robny
(Login robnewyork)
YF

this is good news on 2 fronts

February 14 2017, 9:01 AM 

1 , its a really nice looking gun
2, guys with no experience will stop doing potentially dangerous conversions

 
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Ron Robinson
(Login compressive)
YC

If they can get this right from the get-go...

February 14 2017, 1:53 PM 

If the Chinese can get this right from the get-go, which would probably require your proactive help Steve, they can blow the Maximus right out of the water.

This rifle, a 160/167 PCP, is what I was suggesting Crosman do for decades. The 160/QB is such a good platform: better than the Discovery/Maximus in some very important regards.

The 160/QB platform has (and always had) a superior trigger, stronger breech and stiffer barrel than the Disco/Maximus. Not to mention the fact Crosman produced tens of thousands of 160/167's for sixteen years before PCP's became marketing reality. Why they decided to re-invent the (inferior) wheel while ignoring the marketing potentials of reviving the widely-acclaimed and beloved Crosman 160 when entering the PCP market must have been a corporate decision rooted in either obstinance, tunnel-vision or worse.

As you may already know, Steve, the low cheek-piece, shorter breech and length-of-pull on this prototype Chief are (curiously) counter-productive, and should be corrected on production guns. And the power-adjusting screw is a no-brianer that must be carried through on production guns.

Here's hoping this LONG OVERDUE model gets the logical tweeks it needs to fully capitalize on Crosman's short-sightedness. If done well, it has HUGE potentials.

 
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Steve888
(Login Steve888)
YF

Re: If they can get this right from the get-go...

February 14 2017, 6:41 PM 

Ron,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I've given the factory my observations about the length of pull and low cheek-piece.

We'll see!

But anyway, I do feel that the Chief represents a viable alternative to the Maximus if the Shanghai folk keep their act together. And, overall, they usually do...

Stephen Archer
Archer Airguns Inc/
http://www.archerairguns.com

 
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gubb33ps
(Login gubb33ps)
YF

HAd been hoping....

February 14 2017, 6:02 PM 

HAd been hoping someone would take another stab at a QB PCP.

Back when, just before Compasseco was bought out by PA, they offered a QB PCP and actually delivered a few. Might have been 2006 or 2007....anyway, the economy was in the dumpster and lots of small machine shops were looking for some way to keep open. As I remember it, the tube was outsourced to some machine shop in Tenn. rather than overseas (but I could remember that wrong).


Total turd. Tube seemed a good one, but all they did to the QB was jackass the mainspring to higher tension (by adding 1/3th of another mainspring) and and add valve retention screws into the valve. Used a standard QB co2 valve (still with the piercing stem and fiber washer, which disintigrated under 3K air pretty quickly), standard squish transfer port (which didn't much care for 3K air either).

Lets see if I can find some old pictures.

Pretty much out-the-box back in 2007-2008:

photo DSCF0001-8_zpsc216c246.jpg

OK...here is the sping-and-a-third. two seperate springs, just a standard spring with 1/3 of another standard spring added on. Only words to describe this are "chicken-ship-cheap"..seriously...how much could a real spring have cost?

photo DSCF0010-3_zpsc7a2f217.jpg

Fate of the fiber filter in a standard co2 valve when 3K air blows though:

photo DSCF0001-10_zps828303c9.jpg


Eventally, with a good bit of work, ended up making a good (if long) .25 out of the mess. New barrel, new (lighter) striker, one-piece mainspring, heavily revised/simple valve, cleaner air passages/trasnfer port,etc....been a work horse for the last 8 years.


So basically, back then, it was a make-shift effort from folks that obviously hadn't a clue how PCP's really worked.

THE ONE YOU SHOW...even though you didn't go inside, is likely a GOOD RIFLE. IF they went to the trouble to make a new sized breech...add a gauge...go to cock on opeing....it's likey that the folks who designed/built that actually understand something about how PCP's work.

So lets stop for a moment in time (2/14/17) and count.

How many Sub $200 (new) PCP choices will there be shortly?


    
This message has been edited by gubb33ps on Feb 14, 2017 7:17 PM


 
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Steve888
(Login Steve888)
YF

Re: HAd been hoping....

February 14 2017, 6:44 PM 

Robert,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree with you. The Chief is likely to be a good gun. I hope that we will be selling it soon!

Stephen Archer
Archer Airguns Inc.
http://www.archerairguns.com

 
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B3ntong
(Login Oragon2)
YF

Wish

February 14 2017, 9:00 PM 

PCP tube can be bought by itself.

 
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gubb33ps
(Login gubb33ps)
YF

Considering the changes shown...

February 14 2017, 9:52 PM 

..it likely wouldn't be a direct replacement....which may also be one of the reasons for the changes.

 
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Mark
(Login mobilemail)
YF12

Two things would make it a disco/maximus killer

February 16 2017, 8:54 AM 

1. Better trigger out of the box

2. Better tune out of the box so it actually shoots something resembling a flat shot string.

Because those are the first two things the disco buyer has to contend with. And it appears the Beeman and the disco are on even ground as it applies to noise.

 
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Jason
(Login nervoustrigger)
YF12

Good chance

February 16 2017, 12:20 PM 

The QB trigger is a much better design. It's fully adjustable for pull weight, sear engagement, and overtravel. I've never seen one come out of the box adjusted the way I'd want to use it but it's easy enough to adjust. And if you're willing to touch up the contact surfaces, it can be very light and crisp.

Regarding the shot string, I doubt seriously it will come out of the box with a good bell curve. I just don't think there's enough profit margin at this price point to allow for any tuning. But the fact it's cock-on-open and there's a screw in the tube cap, it looks like the hammer spring is externally adjustable so it could be much easier to tune than a Disco or Maximus.


 
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VAF
(Login VAFarmer)
YC

If they REALLY want to make it a Disco Killer, or the elephant in the room Varmint killer,

February 20 2017, 4:01 PM 

They need to add repeater option.

they all 3 likely have respectable triggers that need a little work or easy tuning.

they all 3 weigh the same roughly

they all 3 will likely top out around 30 40 shots (maxed out)

they all 3 come in around 220 shipped

they all 3 seem to have good accuracy at the price point

they all 3 could use a little work here and there out of the box.

HOWEVER, so far only one offers repeater action at the price point.......

Make it a repeater for the same price point, combined with good parts availability, and it will take the cake.

God bless,

Farmer

 
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Jason
(Login nervoustrigger)
YF12

A repeater would be nice

February 21 2017, 12:41 PM 

But I don't see that happening because it would require a totally different receiver plus a magazine so it would likely increase the price point quite a bit.

I think Mark was on point with his observations above. The trigger and RVA are significant advantages over the Disco and Maximus.

 
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Robny
(Login robnewyork)
YF

dead zone for this gun

March 12 2017, 3:11 AM 

by the time this takes any traction , the gauntlet will have flooded the market for 99 dollars more, regged, shroud, repeater, high shot count, etc

 
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