The Beeman QB78 Deluxe – Best of All Worlds. Part One.
Today I’m writing about the Beeman QB78 Deluxe air rifle. You may have read my childhood experiences with Daisy’s Red Ryder and No. 25 pump. BB guns were my gateway to a lifetime in the shooting sports.
In our heading photo, above. My friend Ron Keller opted to mount a red dot sight on the Beeman QB78 Deluxe. It performed admirably using either sighting system.
At the end of that period, I owned a Crosman.177 cal, Model 111 CO2 handgun. That gun was an absolute joy to shoot. Refilled from a rechargeable cylinder, it propelled Crosman pellets with more accuracy and velocity than either of my Daisys.
Below. The author’s first CO2 pellet gun, purchased by his parents as a gift circa 1952. At the time, the accuracy, energy, constant readiness and simplicity of operation made it a truly fun gun.
But then there was high school, sports, girls… and you know how that goes! Airguns were relegated to the closet.
Quite recently, well after retirement from the profession of Pharmacy, I became re-acquainted with airguns.
My first venture was a Crosman 2100 pump and that positive experience soon transitioned to my first springer. By now, you’ve probably stumbled on my exasperating introduction to the world of break barrel springers and the eventual taming of my Remington Express. It was a steep learning curve, but I mastered most of the challenges that gun presented, and came away much the wiser.
So now, a year later, it was time to review the positive and negative aspects of my multi-pump and springer experiences and establish some priorities for my next air rifle experience.
I put together a list of qualities which would be important in selecting my next airgun:
– 1) Easy to shoot accurately
– 2) Good trigger pull properties
– 3) Acceptable gun weight for field use
– 4) Minimal cocking effort
– 5) Good sights
– 6) Quiet
– 7) Appropriate for pest control and light hunting
– 8) .22 caliber
– 9) Readiness
– 10) Moderate price
I won’t keep you in suspense. After reading reviews of all of the air rifle propulsion systems currently being promoted, I found myself attracted to the CO2 system which I found so enjoyable in the early ’50s.
I was aware of the significant shortcomings associated with CO2, but found the many positive aspects outweighing the temperature dependence and velocity limitations. Some would add the fact that CO2 is now considered a Greenhouse Gas, but the miniscule quantity recycled by air gun shooters will have zero impact on the Earth’s Carbon Cycle.
As it turns out, choosing a .22 caliber gun for hunting, along with my preference for moderate price, severely limited my choice of CO2 guns.
The Beeman QB78 Deluxe came up frequently during my searches, and one source for the gun was Archer Airguns. I read Archer’s analysis of the gun, compared it to my criteria, and was delighted to learn that their Beeman QB78 Deluxe model would meet nearly all of my selection criteria.
The gun was available in .22 caliber, was light in weight, had adjustable fiber optic open sights, was quiet and required NO pumping to ready it for action. Archer Airguns would certify accuracy and trigger with their Gold Service.
They didn’t say the gun was appropriate for hunting but, I had already decided that the gun in 0.22 cal. would be effective at short range.
At a price of just over $100.00, I couldn’t resist!
The gun arrived in two days, and the joy of evaluating another new gun began. I’m a wood guy, so the first thing I look for is quality inletting, a functional shape, and an attractive finish.
No pressed checkering, just clean, functional lines. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
The wood is utility grade, but the fit to metal was executed to near perfection – except for a slight gap ahead of the trigger guard. The stock contour was both functional and attractive. The warm brown stain had been applied uniformly, and the finish gave the appearance of an English, hand rubbed oil.
I’d give the in-letting, shaping and finish of the wood a B+.
Below. The finish on the Beeman QB78 Deluxe is most likely synthetic and not compatible with boiled linseed oil, but the finish compares favorably to the satin, hand rubbed linseed oil finish I applied to this Caesar Guerini shotgun.
The metal finish wasn’t quite as well done, but it certainly does not detract from the overall appearance and functionality of the gun. The barrel, CO2 cartridge tube and receiver were all nicely polished and blued, but the barrel band and knurled magazine cap were not quite as nicely finished.
I give the front sight ramp, glow-sight, gold accent bolt and trigger high marks. But the adjustable rear sight, utilitarian recoil pad and the overall appearance of the trigger guard scored a B minus.
If I had to rate the overall cosmetic quality of the Beeman QB78 Deluxe, I’d score it 70%. And, as you’ll soon learn, a solid 85% rating on performance.
But what really mattered to me was how it was going to perform. I already had a hint of that when I found the Archer Airguns Gold Service target packed inside. Archer Airguns had mounted a scope, and shot a 10 yard, 10 shot target that grouped 0.25 inch with JSB Exact 14.3 grain pellets.
WHOW ! That’s a one hole group !
They compiled the velocity measurements of each shot, and the 510 FPS average only varied 3 FPS from shot-to-shot. Add to that a trigger pull measurement of less than 3 Lbs, and you have the makings of one outstanding pellet rifle for the price.
So off to Wal-Mart I went to get 15 CO2 Cartridges and a tin of Crosman Premier Hollow Points. That set me back $13.98, or about three cents a shot. Sounded pretty cheap to me, since I’m used to a round of Sporting Clays at the gun club with my shotgun setting me back $25.00!
The Sporting Clays entertainment will be done in just over an hour. But the Beeman gun and Crosman ammo will offer half an hour of daily entertainment for two to three weeks.
I had some misgivings about the accuracy potential of the gun in my aging hands, given the open iron sights and cheap ammo. But after the first 5 shot group on my 10 yard indoor range, I know this was going to be fun.
The quality of the trigger pull was better than any rifle, handgun or shotgun I had ever shot and the first group was close to half an inch. That’s already better than any group I had shot with the Remington Springer during the first 1,000 shots with the gun.
And it only got better!
I eventually shot a 5 shot, 0.35-inch CTC group, but the average for most groups is probably closer to half an inch. The gun is so easy to shoot, I’d have to give it my personal RateAGun rating of SWEET ! I’m tempted to mount a scope, buy a package of JSB Exacts, and see if I could duplicate the one hole group produced by the Archer tester.
But there are reasons why I haven’t done that…
I love to shoot paper targets, but not quite as much as I love to walk through the woods in quest of game. After nearly exhausting the CO2 cartridges in the QB78 (50 shots), I attempted to get some measure of retained pellet energy by shooting shots 51-60 at my Gamo Rocker target.
The pellets retained sufficient energy at 10 yards to flatten like a pancake when they struck the Gamo swinging steel paddles. That seemed like more than enough energy to harvest a rodent or a sparrow.
Accuracy and energy seemed sufficient, but how would the Beeman QB78 Deluxe handle in the field? Comparing this 6.5 lbs Beeman with open sights to my 8.5 lb. scoped Remington Express .177 is like comparing a svelte, lithe 28 gauge grouse gun to a bulky, stodgy 12 gauge Trap gun.
Each has its own intended purpose.
The Beeman carries light and lively, and the open sights make it ready for close range action in a split second. Adding a pound of carry weight with a scope, thus limiting the utility of the gun for close range targets, just seems counter-productive.
Looks like the Beeman QB78 Deluxe is well suited for paper and fun targets out to 25 yards, along with short range pest control in moderate temperatures.
Next time we’ll take a closer look at the performance characteristics of the Beeman QB78 Deluxe. Click here to read Part Two of this review.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Beeman QB78 Deluxe CO2 Air Rifle
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Beeman QB78 Deluxe Air Rifle
Full disclosure. Archer Airguns owns Hard Air Magazine, but had no influence on the opinions expressed by Ron Jones.