By Kevin Reese
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.