Beeman Model 1358 PCP Air Rifle Review .22 Caliber
May 23, 2021
Supplied by S/R Industries Inc.
Good accuracy and power
Heavy, long trigger pull
Steep shot curve needs a regulator
Not the best gun for left-handers
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a Street Price of $350, the Beeman Model 1358 PCP air rifle is a new entry into the crowded field of $300 – $350 PCPs. Although it’s Beeman’s most expensive shipping PCP air rifle at the current time, it’s also the cheapest wood-stock bullpup PCP for sale right now.
Of course, bullpup PCPs are a hot area of the market right now, so this low cost model will have a big attraction for many. In addition, it’s supplied with a scope. This may be an attraction to some buyers, however the HAM Team is not so sure, as we’ll see below.
The Model 1358 is bundled with a comprehensive range of accessories. These include two magazines, two single shot trays and a degassing tool. So it’s well equipped. And many buyers still prefer a wood stock when available.
Sure, there’s no regulator, but overall, it’s tough not to conclude that this air rifle is great value for money!
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SPEED AND ACCURACY
The maximum Muzzle Velocity for the Beeman Model 1358 air rifle tested by HAM was 910.47 FPS with H&N Field Target Trophy Green pellets. The fastest-shooting lead pellets were – as always – the light 11.9 Grain RWS Hobby wadcutters. These achieved an average of 838.72 FPS.
More importantly, the Beeman Model 1358 displayed an ability to generate Muzzle Energies above 20 Ft/Lbs with all pellet weights above 14.3 Grains. Power topped-out at just over 25 Ft/Lbs, which is very good for a gun of this class with such compact dimensions.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||910.47 FPS||18.46 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Predator GTO 11.75 Grain||865.87 FPS||19.56 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||838.72 FPS||18.59 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||811.23 FPS||20.90 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best tested.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||806.97 FPS||20.75 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||810.80 FPS||21.40 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||731.13 FPS||25.09 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Monster 25.39 Grain||673.99 FPS||25.61 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
As can be seen from the table above, the Model 1358 tested by HAM gave good accuracy with many of the pellets in the HAM standard test suite.
Best accuracy in HAM testing was achieved using 14.3 Grain Crosman Premier Hollow Point pellets. This is a strong benefit for the Model 1358 as these Premiers are available everywhere and are likely to be the pellet chosen by many owners of this Beeman bullpup – if only because they’re so readily available at the local Walmart.
Below, using the single shot tray provides easy loading access and allows a better cheek weld for left-handed shooters.
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The trigger fitted to the Beeman Model 1358 tested by HAM had a pull weight averaging 6 Lbs 8.9 Oz. So this is a heavy trigger pull – much heavier than most owners would prefer.
There’s also a considerable amount of travel to take up in the trigger before it fires. This is not first stage take-up, it’s the product of slack in the long linkage inherent in bullpup airguns where the trigger (in the middle) is separated from the sear (at the rear). It’s described in more detail in this HAM post.
As can be seen from the 25 Yard test target above, HAM Publisher Stephen Archer struggled with horizontal stringing. This was because he found the long, heavy trigger pull caused him to swing involuntarily from side-to-side when shooting. He felt that the inherent accuracy of the gun was better than his test target shows, if somehow the trigger could be improved.
The safety is manual and of the push-forward type. It’s located inside the trigger guard just ahead of the trigger blade.
So this is a single stage trigger with a considerable amount of slack to take up, combined with a fairly high pull weight. HAM Tester Doug Rogers commented in his test notes: “Hated the trigger. But if it was better, they could sell a lot of these guns.” He also agreed that accuracy could be better if the trigger were to be improved.
HAM plans to investigate if it’s possible to make some improvements in the Model 1358’s trigger in a future post. However, for this test review, we shoot with the trigger in “as received” condition, as always.
In contrast, the underlever cocking system was smooth, light and easy to use.
It’s likely that – like the HAM Testers – you’ll be grasping for a non-existent sidelever when first making acquaintance with the Model 1358, but muscle memory soon takes over and the underlever action soon seems natural. It’s also completely ambidextrous, of course.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Unusually for a relatively low-end model, Beeman makes few claims for the Model 1358. The primary one is that the maximum Muzzle Velocity is 880 FPS.
As HAM usually finds with Beeman airguns, that figure is quite conservative. In HAM testing, we achieved a maximum of 838 FPS with lead pellets and 910 FPS with alloys. So the claim was handily exceed by the test sample.
Below. The 1358 has a 10-shot magazine with a transparent faceplate and numbered rotor. This makes it possible to see the number of shots remaining.
The Beeman Model 1358 is an unregulated PCP air rifle with a decidedly aggressive shot curve. The average Standard Deviation produced when shooting the HAM test pellet suits was 12.98 FPS. That’s much higher than we normally find.
This finding was confirmed by our shoot down test. As you can see from the graph below, Muzzle Velocity falls in a straight line (that’s consistency in it’s own way!) right from the first shot. Of course, dropping FPS means a dropping Point Of Impact on the target, too.
Using the standard HAM metric of regarding a shot difference of 40 FPS as the maximum; that makes the number of consistent shots per fill just 10. At least at any sort of reasonable range.
If you’re a hunter – needing very few shots per session – or a plinker who’s not in need of ultimate accuracy, this shot curve may be acceptable. However it’s very unsatisfactory compared to the performance of similarly-priced (although not bullpup) PCPs in the market today.
In HAM’s opinion, Beeman would have done better to not include the scope and rings with this gun, but to use the cost savings to invest in a regulator for the Model 1358. True, including a regulator would probably mean further cost and a (slightly?) increased price. However the results would be a much more useful shot count that would benefit all owners.
The Beeman Model 1358 tested by HAM had a very consistent trigger. The trigger pull weight varied by only about 1 Oz either side of the average value we recorded. This is excellent consistency. For all practical purposes, that’s a completely consistent trigger pull weight.
The Beeman Model 1358 has a shrouded barrel. However the HAM testers still found it to be a loud air rifle. It’s probably backyard-friendly – if you have an expansive back yard that it.
Incidentally, our photograph below shows the shrouded barrel, together with the exposed fill nozzle for the HPA tube.
That unusual-looking rod with a screw thread on one end is actually the de-gassing tool. It screws into the quick disconnect nozzle and depresses the one-way valve in the nozzle body, thus releasing pressure if required. Neat!
Note that the male fill nozzle is compatible with standard 1/8-inch NPT female quick disconnects. This is a far superior system in the HAM team’s opinion, compared to the common fill probe system found on many other PCPs.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
The Beeman Model 1358 is supplied complete with a 4×32 scope and rings. While this is laudable from the perspective of providing a “ready to shoot” airgun bundle – at least if you have PCP charging equipment available – the HAM Team recommends that the first thing any owner should do is to buy a better quality scope…
As with every bundled 4×32 scope that we have ever seen, the optical quality is average – at best. While this could be a suitable scope for a “bargain basement” $100 airgun, it’s completely unsuitable for a $350 PCP.
In order to give the Model 1358 to perform downrange, we mounted a Leapers UTG 3-12 x 44 SWAT riflescope, together with a stylish UTG ACCU-SYNC one piece mount.
Now we had a scope that would let us see the target properly downrange and enable the accuracy of this gun to be achieved!
The top Picatinny rail is long and well-positioned on this gun. It is part of a substantial “rail block” that’s fitted amidships and provides a suitably solid mounting point for the riflescope.
Bullpup rifles of any type are somewhat of an acquired taste. For example, HAM Publisher Stephen Archer likes them, but HAM PCP Reviewer Doug Rogers does not. He’s really NOT a fan of this configuration!
But even Doug had to comment in his test notes that the Beeman Model 1358 was “Easy to hold and shoot.” Doug also liked the light weight. Our gun weighed-in at 9 Lbs 8 Ozs, including the UTG scope and mount. (Without the scope, it was 7 Lbs 14 Oz).
The Model 1358 has a comfortable – and warm in Winter! – plastic cheekpiece fitted over the breech. This works well for right-handed shooters, although it’s not comfortable for left-handers like Doug. This is because of the protruding magazine.
So Doug preferred to forsake the convenience of magazine feed for the comfort of a single shot tray when shooting his test targets for this review.
The underlever cocking system did, however, have the disadvantage that the gun has to be moved after each shot to reload if shooting from a bench. But the HAM Team expects that benchrest shooting is not the intended mode of use for the Beeman Model 1358 and that few users will actually shoot it in this manner.
Overall, the Beeman Model 1358 PCP air rifle was comfortable and convenient to shoot. The short length, light weight and good balance makes it easy to shoot and would be convenient for the hunter shooting from a hide. But we’d prefer to see a rather more “grippy” rubber buttpad than the one fitted to this stock.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Overall, the HAM reviewers were pretty impressed with the finish of the Beeman Model 1358PCP air rifle. The overall level of finish on metal, plastic and wood parts was, as Doug Rogers wrote in his test notes: “Good, considering the price.”
Molding seams on the few plastic parts – primarily the “rail block” and cheek piece – were minimal. The wood stock looks to be made from beech and was also well finished, with no cracks or traces of filler to be found.
Given that there’s no checkering on the wood and that the thickness of wood forming (most) of the trigger guard is pretty substantial, it’s likely that some hobby woodworkers will find this stock interesting to customize with their own careful work.
Design-wise, the skeleton-style stock is similar to that seen in a number of other bullpup air rifles.
If you like bullpups, you’ll probably find the looks of the Beeman Model 1358 to be quite pleasant. And it certainly looks sleek due to the lack of sidelever or bolt cocking mechanisms.
BUYING AND OWNING
First off, HAM gives Beeman a TON of credit for fitting the pressure gauge on the Model 1358 on the side of the gun! Many low cost PCPs have the gauge at the end of the pressure tube. (Although Crosman has always been a notable exception to that unfortunate trend).
Yes, it’s more expensive to have a mid-mounted pressure gauge, however it’s MUCH safer in the HAM Team’s opinion as the shooter does not have to look down the barrel in order to check the pressure.
In another safety feature that you would think should be standard on all PCP air rifles, the Beeman Model 1358 is provided with a de-gassing capability. Like the cocking system, this is an unusual and innovative design. The degassing tool is inserted into the fill nozzle of the gun! That’s the first time we’ve seen this approach, but it worked well in HAM testing.
In addition, there’s a hammer spring adjuster at the rear of the action. This has the potential to increase the power of the Model 1358 and HAM will investigate this further in a separate post.
A comprehensive bundle of tools and accessories is included with the Model 1358, as we can see from the photograph below.
As mentioned above, connection to a HPA source for filling is made using standard 1/8-Inch NPT fittings. This is good and the relatively low – by emerging standards – fill pressure of 3,000 PSI means that it can be filled by a HPA hand pump if desired.
The Model 1358 is provided with a concise, practical user manual in English only. However, it is let down by a warranty that has a duration of only one year.
While this used to be the industry standard, most other manufacturers have moved to 3- or even 5-year warranties for many of their products. So the Beeman Model 1358 looks somewhat disadvantaged in this respect. But – of course – if nothing goes wrong with the gun, warranty coverage is not required…
Most owners of the Model 1358 will make their purchase online. However Beeman does have good distribution among some big box sporting goods stores, so you may see it for sale locally too.
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This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.