2015 SHOT Show’s Epic Failure: The Dual by Beeman

By Kevin Reese

The Beeman Dual Air Rifle
The Beeman Dual Air Rifle

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- While I canvas as much of 650,000 square feet of SHOT Show floor as possible looking for the coolest, most mind-blowing products in the outdoor industry, I also make mental notes of polar opposites – those products that leave me shaking my head and wondering, “What were they thinking?” A number of products made the short list but Beeman’s Dual Precision Air Gun top the list for me this past week.

I hunted high and low and the gimmicks never net me down. I wouldn’t say head-scratchers abounded on every aisle but there was certainly no shortage. From gimmick ammunition to poor holster designs and even a few I might even consider an accident waiting to happen, the choices were many but on the last day I found myself once again circling the Beeman booth. It wasn’t the quality, although it certainly did not appear on par with other rifles I’ve tested such as Crosman, especially the Benjamin line where quality has been worked skillfully down to the nitty-gritty details. It wasn’t even that it could shoot both .177- and .22-caliber pellets. The reason I circle back was simply that I find the Dual utterly pointless.

The Beeman Dual features .177- and .22-caliber barrels
The Beeman Dual features .177- and .22-caliber barrels

At first glance, it’s a cool concept. Imagine being able to shoot a .177- and a .22-caliber pellet from the same rifle without changing barrels. I did imagine it and really could not see the point. Is it because a .22-caliber pellet is so much louder than a .177 or that the recoil from one might just be more comfortable than the other? I don’t have an answer other than perhaps the Dual’s ability to shoot both calibers somehow satisfies the itch of someone with an aversion to decision-making. But here’s the kicker…

The Beeman Dual's selector wheel
The Beeman Dual's selector wheel

While the Dual allows shooting of two calibers without a barrel changeover, it also had a selector “wheel” that allows you to switch from .177 to .22 to… well, both at the same time.

Yes, you read correctly, the Beeman Dual allows you to shoot both calibers simultaneously… not one after the other, mind you – at the same time!

Why? What on Earth? Back in the Marine Corps we had a saying, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” While I don’t actively use the term anymore, it certainly crept back to the forefront of my brain housing group as I stood over the dual and examined the Dual’s double breech and selector wheel.

Even now, days later writing this article, I still cannot fathom any scenario where I thought, “Man, if only I could shoot two calibers simultaneously!” For what? For what purpose? If you’re scratching your head, welcome to my world. I just don’t get it. I’m not even sure the sales rep in the Beeman booth got it; he seemed a bit flustered; perhaps I wasn’t first to serve him with a line of questions that started with my “Seriously?” look.

The Benjamin Bulldog .357 Air Rifle by Crosman
The Benjamin Bulldog .357 Air Rifle by Crosman

That said, let me be serious for a moment. I like Beeman just fine. They certainly serve a niche target of low to mid-range air gunners but at the end of the day, I am drawn back to the Crosman booth like a moth to flame. Maybe it’s the pretty lights… or just maybe it’s the practical functionality and premium attention to detail I appreciate with the Benjamin lineup like the new Bulldog .357 or Armada .22-caliber – both guns will be receiving Valentine’s Day cards from me; I’m smitten.

Maybe I was bit biased after shooting the Bulldog and Armada on Industry Day at the Range… nope, that’s not it. Even after my cool-down period, the Dual seems pointless.

The Benjamin Armada .22 Air Rifle by Crosman
The Benjamin Armada .22 Air Rifle by Crosman

Certainly, there are other issues I could point out but I don’t want to hog the spotlight. What issues can you think of that might make the Dual a headache?

What do you think? Maybe you DO have a reason to chase after air rifles capable of shooting multiple calibers but do you need one that shoots both simultaneously?

 

About Kevin Reese
Kevin is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, speaker, host of Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips and a Marine Corps veteran. He owns and administers www.mainbeammedia.com and Main Beam Blog at blog.mainbeammedia.com. The Main Beam Blog offers great articles, press releases, outdoor industry news and reviews.

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    Graham MatthewKevin ReesejimmycrackcornRMOKevin / HuntingLife Recent comment authors
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    Graham Matthew
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    Graham Matthew

    its for vermin hunting, two shots into one rat double the chances of death if the shot wasn’t fully on target. simple really. Apparently this was a thing back in the day for the hunters chasing deadly prey.

    Kevin Reese
    Guest
    Kevin Reese

    Thanks for the great replies! RMO, thanks for the compliment. I try to share as much information as possible… let you know what I know. Honestly, I wasn’t looking for the “worst dressed” at SHOT, I just happened upon it. There was a lot of head scratching between my visit to the booth and approaching my keyboard. In the end, it was worth talking about. Perhaps they’ll take another look at product development and go a different direction. I’ll let you know after SHOT 2016!

    Thanks for reading!

    -Kev

    jimmycrackcorn
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    jimmycrackcorn

    looks like they are trying to cash in on the end of the world scenario market. imagine this……..there has been an apocalypse and you need to take out a sentry with your air rifle to get to some food stores. You scrounge around and come up with all sorts of different pellet gun ammo. Bingo! You have the perfect rifle on hand

    Kevin / HuntingLife
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    Kevin / HuntingLife

    Yes, I agree…Just plain dumb!!

    RICK
    Guest
    RICK

    if the price of lead rises like everything else,then maybe the .177 pellets would be a cheaper shot than the .22 and you would not have to buy another rifle. Shoot .22 till you have to switch to .177.

    Jim
    Guest
    Jim

    I think a belt feed 600 RPM dual caliber gun would be nice.

    Roger V. Tranfaglia
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    Roger V. Tranfaglia

    WHOA!!!….
    A .357 air rifle! Tell me more!!!

    Cea
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    Cea

    I remember when the name “Beeman” meant quality air guns and rifles. Now, all they have is junk from China.
    What happened? Who imports the quality European airguns that Beeman once did?
    What a shame, to let themselves dwindle to their current level.

    RMO
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    RMO

    Cea: Beeman still imports and sells a few high quality guns like they used to. They are made by Weihrauch and Branded Beeman as were most of the good guns they imported before being taken over by Marksman back in the 90’s. Weihrauch, Feinwerkbau, Anschutz and Diana (RWS) have importers that sell the guns under their own names in the U.S. and Canada now. Air Arms also make fine quality airguns and there are a few high end Walther spring air rifles on the market again. As for the Dual – well thanks for the article as this is the… Read more »

    RJH
    Guest
    RJH

    I know, I know! A recent movie held that you could bend the path of a bullet by swinging the barrel really really fast. Maybe you could do it with this so that you could have both pellets meet the target from the sides as it faces you head on. Yeah, that’s what I’m always thinking I needed my gun to do. Think of the complete surprise of the squirrel. “Stupid human. Swung his barrel! He’ll never hit me with . . wait a minute, what’s that? What the” . . (Doink!)

    Dr. Strangelove
    Guest
    Dr. Strangelove

    Gimmick ammo? RIP must have had a booth.