Dual By Beeman. If You Thought the Crosman CHOPPA Was Wild, Try This!

Like many HAM readers, I loved the idea of the Crosman CHOPPA. In fact, it started me thinking back to another wild airgun, the Dual by Beeman.

But here’s the difference. Like all outstanding April Fool’s Day pranks, the Crosman CHOPPA had just enough realism to be believable – helped by some excellent graphics. Yet the Dual By Beeman was real…

Sadly, the CHOPPA is not a genuine product. If you had any doubts, check out the CO2 requirements. It’s 20, yes TWENTY, 12 Gram CO2 Powerlets per fill!

To quote from the Crosman website: “Forget your puny couple of CO2 cartridges, this bad boy runs on pure, unadulterated AWESOME! Just shove in 20 of those suckers like you’re feeding a bottomless pit of fizzy mayhem, and this copper-chomping champion will unleash a hailstorm of BBs that’ll make even the Terminator himself take cover behind a mailbox!”

The Dual By Beeman was patented in China and made it into some sort of production. Less made it into the distribution chain. Fewer still were sold and probably even less were fired in anger by real customers. 

Dual By Beeman

HAM actually has two of them, which likely makes me the custodian of the largest single source of these guns in one place – at least in the USA!

And note that the serial numbers of the two guns I have here end with 00015 and 00127. Although normally this would indicate very early production guns, in the case of the Dual By Beeman, it could equally indicate guns near the end of the (only?) production run.


But What Was The Dual By Beeman?

Put simply, it was a break barrel air rifle that had two barrels. As we’ll see, there were multiple models but the basic intention was that the gun would fire two pellets at once.

What?

Yes, this was an air rifle that could – and usually would – fire TWO pellets every time you pulled the trigger. Even if they were of different calibers…

Yes, there was a version that would fire a .177 caliber pellet and a .22 cal pellet at the same time and – in theory – at the same target!

Dual By Beeman


Dual By Beeman Development Logic

Although I do not – and never did – have any inside information about the development of this product, it’s possible to make a guess…

Remembering that the Dual By Beeman was introduced in 2016, we need to remember that – for many years before – around a Zillion dual-barrel Beeman airguns had been sold in the USA. Mainly by Walmart.

Yes, we’ve all seen them and many of us bought one. They’re still for sale today…

These dual-barrel models were sold in a bewildering variety of model names. But they were generally identified as “Sportsman Series” and often carried the “Model 1073” or “1074” designation. The price of around $100 – including a scope – was an added attraction.

Each dual-barrel Beeman airgun was sold with two interchangeable barrels. One was .177 caliber, the other .22 cal. Only one could be installed at any one time.

For what it’s worth, my guess is that over 90% of these guns have been fitted with one barrel for their whole life while the other disappeared into a shed or closet. It’s likely that few owners could be bothered to keep re-sighting the scope each time they changed caliber. But no-one in China ever knew that. 

What they knew was that the customer had a choice of caliber in one air rifle and that was a significant selling proposition. After all, they were making a ton of them.

Next, it’s important to remember that in China it was – and is – illegal for an ordinary citizen to own any sort of airgun, let alone a firearm. So they had no basis of understanding for airgun shooting outside of the company test range.

Given that Beeman was – and is – owned by the Shanghai Airgun Company, it’s possible to imagine management in China’s logic. “If we’re selling so many air rifles with two interchangeable barrels, wouldn’t it be even better if both barrels were fitted to the airgun at the same time?”

“And, if both barrels fired at once, wouldn’t that be better yet?”

Imagine the assembled development engineers nodding sagely as they trooped off to implement this concept at their CAD workstations. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time…


The Dual By Beeman Range

According to this contemporary Beeman catalog, there were four models in the range. As follows:

Model 2015S. Synthetic stock. Has two .177 caliber barrels. Shoots them both at one time. Open sights.

Model 2016S. Wood stock (huh?). Has two .177 caliber barrels. Shoots them both at one time. Open sights.

Model 2015W. Synthetic stock. Has one .177 caliber barrel and one .22 caliber barrel. Shoots them both at one time. Or can choose to fire only one barrel. Open sights plus 4 x 32 scope.

Model 2016W. Wood stock. Has one .177 caliber barrel and one .22 caliber barrel. Shoots them both at one time. Or can choose to fire only one barrel. Open sights plus 4 x 32 scope.

But, in the HAM vaults, we have a Model 2016S and a Model 2016DB. 

Both have wood stocks. The 2016DB was supplied with the 4×32 scope and can shoot either one or both barrels of different calibers at a time. But it’s not marked as a 2016W. Duhhh….

My opinion is that the wood stocked guns look surprisingly good. However the synthetic stock was an ungainly attempt at a “black gun” approach. Not to my taste.

Dual By Beeman

The included scope and sights showed that Shanghai Airguns was serious about this gun. The bundled 4 x 32 scope was a definite cut above the average 4 x 32 scope that’s bundled with so many Chinese air rifles. It had pretty good turrets for a start!

The open sight was of an unusual design that was actually quite good with two flip-up “leaves” click-adjustable windage and elevation. However – to my knowledge – it has not re-appeared on any other Shanghai air rifle. It should.

Dual By Beeman

The sample shown here on the two-caliber gun has one “leaf” for .177 caliber, the other for .22 cal. Both leaves have a solid cast metal frame and click-adjustable windage and elevation capabilities.


Changing Between Calibers In The Dual By Beeman

Paradoxically, it was much more complex to change between calibers in the Dual than it was in the 1073/4 models with separate barrels. There was the need for some disassembly and re-assembly, as this rare instruction manual shows.

Dual By Beeman

That cannot have inspired many owners to actually change either calibers, or the number of barrels fired at one time. Assuming the appropriate model, of course.


Dual By Beeman Performance

HAM Tester Paul Manktelow tried manfully to test the Model 2016S. That’s the one with two .177 caliber barrels that fire at the same time. 

As you can see in the published test results, it was by no means inevitable that both pellets impacted the target one above another – as we had expected. Sometimes the pellets hit side-by-side.

Whatever the downrange performance, at about 10 Lbs, the Dual was a heavy air rifle to shoot. Cocking was stout and – in spite of the weight – recoil was heavy, too.

The trigger was OK but we didn’t take HAM testing any further…

Dual By Beeman


Conclusion

The thirteenth edition of the Blue Book of Airguns records that the last MSRP for the Model 2016W (or 2016DB?) in 2017 was $210.

Allowing for inflation, that would mean over $260 today. 

If you have a Dual By Beeman air rifle, keep it. It’s a guaranteed investment in “airgun futures”. One day it will be a top collectable airgun, I’m convinced of that.

If you have the chance to shoot one, take it. It’s one of the rarest experiences in airgunning.

And – unlike the Crosman CHOPPA – it was not an “April Fools Day” product.