Manufacturer/Importer: H. Weihrauch/Beeman
Powerplant: Coil spring
Calibers available: .177 .20
Caliber tested: .177
Velocity: 650fps (advertised) 550-575 (under test)
Retail price range: $260-330
The Beeman R7 is, like most Beeman guns, a ‘customized’ version of another gun, in this case the Weihrauch HW30. The Beeman version differs from the standard HW30 in that it has a different stock- styled more to North American, rather than German, tastes- and it can be obtained in .22, .20 and .177 calibers.
Like other HW guns, the R7 is a very finely made piece, with a well-machined and polished metal surfaces, superb metal-to-metal fit and smooth action. The trigger is the simpler version of the well-regarded HW ‘Rekord’ trigger unit, an adjustable 2-stage trigger with no discernable creep and a very smooth let-off. The factory test target (typical with HW guns) supplied with my unit suggested a very high degree of accuracy, the 5-shot group making one ragged hole.
While the stock R7 is a bit underpowered for hunting, it it powerful enough for close-range dispatching of crows, mice and other small vermin. It’s also very accurate and well deserving of a good scope or aperture sight. My first custom addition to this gun, shortly after I bought it, was a Williams aperture sight designed for .22 rifles. I used this for a number of years before I decided to mount a scope instead as a concession to longer distances and aging eyes 😉
As is typical of spring air guns, the unusual two-way recoil demands a scope designed for air rifle use rather than a cheap .22 scope. It’s a good idea to add a ‘recoil block’ to the scope grooves as well. Even though this is a rather low-powered rifle, the combination of the spring recoil and the gun’s light weight will result in most scope mounts shifting quite a bit. I’ve used a few different scopes on this gun, my favorite being the no-longer-made Beeman SS-1 (actually made by Hakko, a Japanese optics maker), a very compact and high-quality 2.5×15 rubbered armored unit with built-in mounts.
Beeman offers the R7 is .20 caliber in addition to the standard HW offerings of .177 and .22. I personally don’t see any advantage to the larger caliber versions; this is really more of a marketing decision by Beeman than a real advantage. Beeman’s volume purchasing allows them to contract for exclusive version of guns in .20 caliber, which allows them to offer unique models. The R7 is best purchased in .177 caliber, which gives the shooter a wide range of pellet choices at the lowest cost. I would recommend lighter pellets in the 7 grain range for the R7, and I have had good luck with HW and RWS match pellets, as well as with the Beeman Silver Bear pellets.
I’ve owned my R7 since about 1982- it was my first ‘quality’ air rifle, though I had a few Crosman and Daisy guns before it. After a good many years of pretty regular use, the gun is more or less like new, save for a few scratches and nicks. The only major repair done in that time has been a mainspring replacement, not an unusual thing for a gun that has had this much use. Spring replacement is fairly easy, and can be done in about 30 minutes with two screwdrivers, a pin punch and some sort of fixture for compressing the mainspring. I use a pipe clamp and a couple blocks of wood or aluminum, a system that seems to work well for guns up through medium power.
Overall, the R7 gets very high marks from me. It’s small and light enough to carry all day for an afternoon of plinking, and its light weight and size also make it ideal for small adults or young teens. Although I’ve bought and sold a great many air guns since buying the R7, I’ve never contemplated selling mine.