My initial impression of the Beeman QB78 Deluxe air rifle as I fired the first shots in my basement range was that it was under performing. Quiet is an understatement!
But then I took a second glance at Archer Airguns Gold Service chronograph printout, and satisfied myself that it was the total lack of recoil, coupled with the muffled report, which gave me a sense that velocity was not up to snuff.
If you live in a neighborhood where even air gun noise can be a problem, want to shoot in the basement and don’t want to disrupt folks on the main floor, or if you are sensitive to noise, the Beeman QB78 Deluxe might be the air rifle for you.
Hunting with the Beeman QB78 Deluxe.
Last time we talked briefly about hunting back yard pests with this gun, but didn’t get into details about velocity, trajectory and pellet energy.
For this test, I used a popular on-line ballistics calculator designed for airgun shooters and created a table which gives us the three pieces of critical data listed above specific to the Beeman QB78 Deluxe in 0.22 cal. employing the iron sights provided with the gun.
I set up my Oehler Model 33 Chronograph with a 2 Foot spacing, and recorded the velocity of the Crosman Premier HP pellets (from tins) 24 inches from the muzzle at 68 Degrees F.
From this, I discovered that the muzzle velocity for the CPHP pellets was within one standard deviation (3 fps) of the MV recorded by Archer with their JSB Exact pellets. The Ballistic Coefficients for both pellets are nearly identical, so the trajectory and down range energy are nearly identical as well.
The long and the short of it is that the gun shoots VERY flat out to 20 yards. It Zero’s at 5 yards, shoots about half an inch high at 13 yards, and then zero’s again at 20 yards. Pellet energy even at 20 yards is still about 6.5 Ft/Lbs.
Even if you are just a back yard plinker, you can be assured that the gun will group tight enough, and shoot flat enough to hit that soda can out to 25 yards.
Is the Beeman QB78 Deluxe powerful enough for hunting? I posed this question to Ron Keller, my Skeet shooting partner, who frequently dispatches rodents in his back woods with low velocity .22 caliber rimfire ammo.
After observing the thickness of hardwood the Beeman QB78 Deluxe was capable of penetrating at 21 yards, there was no doubt in his mind that the gun would be capable of one shot kills on sparrows, starling and chipmunks inside 20 yards.
I took a different approach to the problem and searched the Internet for clues from long time air gun hunters. The general consensus was that 5 Ft/Lbs of terminal energy is the MINIMUM requirement to assure a lethal outcome, assuming shot placement is appropriate. Naturally, more is better!
I also found a research study in one of my shotgun references which confirmed this baseline energy at impact for lethality on doves. Serious hunters clearly would not choose this gun to hunt squirrels and rabbits, but it will serve to keep the chipmunks from taking over your down spouts and digging up your flower beds.
Iron Sights or Scope?
I’m sure many of you question my logic of suggesting new shooters begin their orientation of this Beeman QB78 Deluxe with iron sights. Scopes just seem to improve the target definition. And that is true, as far as it goes…
But what scopes also do, for this new shooter, is magnify my wobble!
The human brain is a marvelous thing. When I am in full concentration on the target with a scope, and my brain senses miniscule movement of the cross hairs on the bull, it blocks the trigger finger from squeezing the trigger.
That may sound like a good thing, but I end up with a lot of aborted attempts to shoot.
I’ve had sessions when I had to make multiple attempts to shoot a pellet because my brain sensed a minute amount of cross-hair movement, and that blocked my ability to continue squeezing the trigger.
That same amount of fine tremor or movement is not nearly as perceptible when shooting sights that don’t magnify the process. At least some of you may find it is much easier to execute a smooth trigger let-off at 10 yards with iron sights.
That being said, if vision is a significant issue, then you still may be better off scoping your gun.
But for those with twenty-twenty vision, I suggest you shoot initially with the very nice iron sights that come standard with the Beeman QB78 Deluxe air rifle.
Ron Keller, one of my shooting companions, mounted a red dot handgun scope on the Beeman, and the combination performed well in his hand. What I did note is that inserting pellets into the action is a little trickier with the scope in place. This suggests that those who prefer a scope on their gun may want to consider upgrading to a QB78 Repeater, which uses a 10-shot clip.
Ron carried out a unique test. He positioned targets at 31, 54 and 63 feet behind his home, then went inside and shot from a second story window. He shot one shot at each target before repeating the sequence by shooting a second shot at each target.
Ron was impressed at the accuracy of the Beeman QB78 Deluxe! He shot two additional shots on his indoor range at 40 feet and the consistent half-inch grouping was confirmed.
CO2 is a refrigerant. Shots spaced too close together will chill your CO2 cartridges and can reduce pellet velocity and accuracy. This, of course, applies to all CO2-powered airguns, not just the Beeman QB78 Deluxe.
The Archer Airguns Gold Service target which accompanied my Beeman QB78 Deluxe (see Part One of this report) states that the 10 shot series, which produced a 0.25 inch group at 10 yards, was performed with a 3 minute delay between shots for minimum velocity variation and maximum accuracy. I found, in shooting indoor groups, that groups opened up somewhat when shots were attempted closer than one minute apart.
So, stable gun temperature is important in maintaining good accuracy. Those who intend to shoot outdoors in the northern climes must be mindful that shooting in temperatures much below 60 degrees (50 degrees F. being the absolute minimum) will significantly effect gun performance.
QB78 Deluxe Workshop Manual.
I received an Archer Airguns QB78 Family Workshop Manual with my gun. The manual, available at an additional charge, is a treasure trove of information for anyone owning any QB78-type air rifle.
In addition to detailed schematics and instructions on disassembling, reassembling or re-configuring the guns, it has a chapter on performance characteristics which you’ll find very useful.
Archer Airguns carried out exhaustive tests on a great many of these guns, and logged their performance characteristics.
Just to highlight a few examples of the valuable information provided, the Center-to-Center (C-T-C) group size, 10 shots at 10 yards, ranged from 0.4 to 0.75 inches for the 0.22 cal guns tested. These tests were performed with Crosman pellets and open sights. The factory standard is 0.5 inches.
The Archer team shot a 0.25 inch group with my particular gun using JSB Exact pellets and a scope. The velocity range for all guns tested was 485 to 530 FPS at around 65 degrees F, and the average MV for my gun over ten shots was 510 FPS. The Standard Deviation was just over 3 fps. Amazing!
Archer studies have concluded that the muzzle velocity will vary about 2 FPS/degree F. over a temperature range of 61 to 90 degrees. A companion calculation has determined that this amounts to 0.3 foot pounds of energy for each 5 degree F shift in temperature over the same range.
If you are using a ballistics calculator to chart your trajectory, it is easy to use this information to factor in the effects of temperature. Again, these are calculations for the 0.22 cal version of the gun, but 0.177 cal guns show similar predictable variations.
The Archer Airguns QB78 Family Workshop Manual says the gun will maintain target accuracy for about 50 shots. But if you are plinking, you’ll be able to shoot beyond this point. I easily shot over 60 pellets with acceptable accuracy.
My verdict on the Beeman QB78 Deluxe.
There is a lot to like with the Beeman QB78 Deluxe air rifle. Light weight, carbine length, heavy fixed barrel, drop in loading and solid bolt lockup. The bolt cocks gun on closing, it has a convenient safety and adjustable fiber optic sights. It’s quiet, recoil-less and has an attractive and functional wood stock. It has outstanding trigger pull characteristics, above average accuracy and – best of all – it’s easy to shoot.
And did I mention that you can have all of this for less than $110 bucks?
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Beeman QB78 Deluxe CO2 Air Rifle
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Beeman QB78 Deluxe Air Rifle
Full disclosure. Archer Airguns owns Hard Air Magazine, but had no influence on the opinions expressed by Ron Jones.