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A Modified Beeman C1

Here’s another gun from the back of the cabinet that hasn’t been out in the field in a long time. It’s an original Beeman C1 carbine in .177 that I bought used in the late 1980s from a fellow airgunner who’d done some tuning on it- I think he relubed it and did a little trigger tuning. It also had a pellet reservoir mortised into the stock- a handy feature for hunters:

But the most unusual modification on this gun is one that was done after I acquired it. I was writing for US Airguns magazine around 1988-89, and I was contacted by gunsmith Kevin Knight of High Performance Gunsmithing, in Hamilton, Montana, who’d read some of my articles. He was in the business of making custom muzzle brakes for firearms, and wondered if there’d be interest in the airgun community for these brakes. Was I interested in having a gun modified for test?

Well, sure. I mailed him the barrel from my C1, and when he returned it, the end of the barrel had been turned down and threaded, and a matching muzzle brake had been fabricated that looked like an extension of the barrel:

Subsequent testing showed that the brake did, in fact, result in a small but statistically significant improvement in the accuracy of the C1- though at $200, it was a lot more expensive than any of the functional muzzle brakes available from Vortek and others at the time. I wrote¬† up the article, US Airgun ran it, and whether anyone else had their airgun done, I don’t know.

Regardless, it’s a neat custom touch to the gun, and I think a lot sharper looking that the typical Beeman non-functional “muzzle brake” often found on these guns. And since it hadn’t been fired much in the last decade, I decided it was time to sell it, and buy another interesting gun to write about, so off it went. Maybe I’ll around get to restoring the other C1 that’s sitting in the back of the safe.

9 Comments

  1. Dave Sawyer wrote:

    Dear Michael
    About a year ago, I purchased a C1 from a fire arms store that sold few air rifles. The gun was mint shape. In fact it was basically brand new. The store owner said it was new, and it had been sitting in the warehouse for years. Well the funny thing is, that the gun was the end of the barrel had been turned down and threaded,just like the one in your pic. It did not have a Brake and the original site was placed on it. Can you tell me more about this?

    Thanks
    Dave Sawyer

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  2. mje wrote:

    Dave- curious indeed! As far as I know, no C1 ever had anything like that done by the Webley factory, and I don’t think the gunsmith who did mine did another. Maybe it was an early experiment done by Beeman that was sold- it has Beeman stamps on it and not Webley, right? Maybe another reader knows something about this.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink
  3. Dave Sawyer wrote:

    Michael,first of all thank you for the quick reply. Tomorrow I would like to post your pic on the Yellow forum and maybe the Vintage forum along with a link to your website and see if anyone knows a answer about this.I’m thinking it was done by Webley. By the way, it is the newer version with the safety.(I also have a older model without safety and without the threaded barrel). Of course, I am asking your permission to post.
    Thank you for your help and enjoy your website.
    Dave

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink
  4. mje wrote:

    Dave- go right ahead.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Permalink
  5. Paul Smith wrote:

    I was wondering if you know of the type or brand name of the muzzle brake that Kevin Knight used on your c1 also would you happen to know if Kevin is still in business and how I could contact him if he is?

    Thank you for you time.
    Paul Smith

    Monday, September 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
  6. mje wrote:

    There’s no brand- Kevin machined it from bar stock. A google search turns up:
    High Performance Gunsmithing
    1967 N 1st St Ste D
    Hamilton, MT 59840
    406-363-0583

    Monday, September 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
  7. Gaz portz wrote:

    Have aC1 .177 in great shape.is 10.5g too heavy.had it over 30yrs.same spring.still shoots hard.started using them on squirrels.max range 30yds.i read its a good way to break a spring using a heavy pellet in a 13fpe gun.
    ATB
    GAZ

    Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  8. mje wrote:

    Back when I was shooting air gun field target I used 7.5gr pellets, but I noticed that the British spring gun shooters generally used the heavier pellets. They were willing to trade a more pronounced trajectory for better wind bucking.

    While a light pellet can result in damage to the seal and spring due to insufficient cushioning of the piston, I doubt too heavy a pellet can cause problems. The only references I found dealing with that issue stated that too heavy a pellet could increase the likelihood of “detonation”- actually, combustion of the lube in the cylinder. (Detonation has a very specific meaning.) But modern spring guns don’t use hydrocarbon lubricants, and hence there’s no combustion.

    Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink
  9. Thomas A. Juliano wrote:

    I have had my bee man C1 since 1983. The gun has worked great every time I use it. Oil & Fire 177 cal pellet

    Friday, May 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

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