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Beeman P3 vs P2 Review

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Author Bill Clarke

BEEMAN P-2 vs P-3 by Todd Cooper

Air pistol shooters occationally enquire about the differences between the Beeman P-2 and P-3 pistols. Both are single-stroke-pneumatics so what are the differences? I will attempt to briefly answer this question by comparing the P-series SSP pistols which I owned.

The Beeman P-2 pistol (aka HW75) is cocked by first pressing a small button located at the rear of the frame, next to the functional hammer. This button releases the upper frame and allows the cocking stroke to be completed. The P-3 (aka HW40) uses a mock hammer as a frame latch. This "hammer" is pulled back to release the upper frame and allow the 180 degree cocking motion. Both of these pistols have SSP power so the closing of the frame completes the air compression and also requires a small amount of effort.

The P-3 has an automatic safety switch on the left side of frame. The P-2 has no automatic safety switch but the real functional hammer must be cocked for each shot, which is somewhat of a safety device. The P-2 does have a manual safety switch.

The trigger on the P-3 has only one adjustment screw but it is still a sweet trigger pull. The pull on my pistol measured at a crisp 17 oz. The P-2 has multiple trigger adjustment screws and the trigger is extremely sweet. Trigger pulls of less than one pound are very possible.

The P-2 comes with either a standard grip, like a P-1, or the deluxe wood grip. I had the wood grip version and found it very comfortable. The wood grip requires a shorter metal grip shank than the standard 1911 grip model and aftermarket Colt style grips will not fit this version. The standard model grip shank will take most Colt 1911 aftermarket grips.

The P-3 has an integrated grip and the panels cannot be removed, but a Hogue slip-on grip works fine. I have also heard of owners using a short section of bicycle tubing slipped over the grip for a better feel. I use a couple of sections of wide gritty stair tape and it has worked fine for many years. Some shooters find the uncovered P-3 handle to be slippery when their hands get sweaty.

The P-3 frame is synthetic with metal inserts at all pivot points. This system may sound poor at first but it actually works very well.

My P-3 is over 4 years old and has over 15,000 pellets through it with no signs of wear. The pistol still hits the same velocity as when new.

The P-2 frame is an alloy metal, exactly like the P-1 springer pistol. There are no synthetic parts.

The basic design of the single-stroke-pneumatic systems are the same on these pistols. The SSP powerplant, along with a precision barrel, is an inherently accurate system. I would say the P-2 and P-3 are equally accurate and velocity is also quite close. Beeman rates accuracy with both pistols at .20 inch ctc for 3 shots at 10 meters (Beeman Catalogues 18th and 20th editions).

The power plant parts in the P-2 appear to be made with a more expensive process. The P-3 uses a few shortcuts to keep the price low, but the P-3 still functions perfectly and should enjoy a long life.

The rear sights are the same on both pistols. The P-1 also enjoys this same sight. The front sights on the P-2 and P-3 differ in shape but are the same width.

The sight radius on the P-2 was measured at 9.5" and the P-3 at 7.5".

Is the P-2 worth double the price of the P-3???
I think so. The better trigger, metal frame, grip, etc are worth the price difference, in my opinion.

Unfortunately Beeman no longer imports the P-2 air pistol. Used models can sometimes be found but not often. The Weihrauch version, called the HW75, is still available from HW dealers around the globe.

The P-3 is still available and enjoys high popularity as both a Beeman label and also as the Weihrauch HW40PCA.

Here are some average velocity numbers that I gathered on my P-2, P-3 and Webley Nemesis. I owned these pistols at different times and my pellet selection changed over the years but velocities can still be compared.

H&N Finale Match (7.7gr)-------------414fps
H&N Match Kugeln (8.1gr)-------------401fps
H&N Diablo Sport (8.1gr)-------------393fps
H&N Match #3011 (8.0gr)--------------401fps
RWS Meisterkugeln heavy (8.3gr)------390fps
Eley Wasp (7.3gr)--------------------420fps

H&N Finale Match (7.7gr) ------------394fps
RWS Meisterkugeln (8.3gr)------------374fps
RWS Geco (6.8gr) --------------------403fps
Crosman Premier Light (7.9gr) -------382fps
Crosman Supermatch (7.9gr) ----------384fps
RWS Superpoint (7.9gr) --------------384fps
JSB Exact (8.4gr) -------------------380fps
JSB Diabolo Match (7.3gr) -----------404fps
Beeman Crow Mag (8.8gr) -------------359fps
Ruko Mag II (8.3gr)------------------372fps
Eley Wasp (7.3gr) -------------------405fps
Diabolo Boxer (8.2gr)----------------386fps

H&N Finale Match (7.7gr)-------------400fps
H&N Field Target---------------------387fps
Crosman Premier Light(7.9gr)---------404fps
Ruko Match---------------------------424fps

471 Rating: 2.4/5 (183 votes cast)

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