Monday, May 17, 2010

Webley Patriot \ Beeman Kodiak - Part 1

Man sized and then some

When Dirty Harry proclaimed the .44 magnum as the most powerful handgun in the world, he may not have been 100% correct but it captured our attention. As a wide eyed 11 year old I too wanted to own something labeled as the most powerful in the world.
Side bar, the .44 magnum is but a pup compared to some of the big revolvers currently available.
Nice fit and finish
Never having been a big handgun fan my interest waned in the .44 by the time I was of age to own one. What did capture my attention though was the Beeman Kodiak. Billed as the most powerful spring rifle in the world when it was introduced it was to the airgun world what the 44 magnum had been to revolvers. Unfortunately, the retail price was $699.00 which was beyond what I was willing or able to pay.

I continued to settle for my trio of R1, R7 and Beeman HW97K and would just occasionally just pull out an old Beeman catalog and daydream about the rifle. I have to give kudos to Dr. Beeman on the marketing. With a warning on how powerful the gun was stamped on it along with the Kodiak name it inspired thoughts of hunting the huge bruin it was named after. Also he recommends .22 caliber for those not ready to move to the power of the .25. It was clear a man would want one in .25, and that caused shooters to need a whole 'nother pellet collection. Well played.

It showed up with a small ding above the trigger
With the advent of the Internet, airgun retailers seemed to pop up over night. Modems became quicker and on-line shopping was actually a viable option. Browsing the web I find a company called Pyramid Air and stumbled across the .25 caliber Webley Patriot for $415.00. I grab a Beeman catalog just to be sure, and it is a match. Like Beeman usually did, they had simply re-badged a European rifle.

The big rifle arrives about a week later, but is single boxed and has some slight damage to the package. Sure enough, I find a corresponding ding on the left side of the Patriot. Sigh. I don't return it but advise PA that I would gladly pay an extra $5.00 for double boxing to ensure safe delivery in the future. I am just too excited to send it back once it is in my hands.

UK made

First impressions, the bluing is as deep and rich as any firearm, fit and finish is very good and it actually includes an acceptable manual. And it is big. Seriously big. The only fault I can find other than the ding is that the cocking linkage has a little rattle to it like some pump shotguns.

Anxious to test it out I forgo mounting a scope at first and break out the Chrony. I also ordered a selection of .25 caliber pellets along with a single tin of prefect rounds that are copper coated. You can't help but notice that size and heft of the .25 cal ammo. They make .177 look downright puny, which makes sense since they are about 1/ 3 the weight of these monsters.

Next post we shoot it.

16 comments:

  1. Oh, Volvo, you are such a tease! Give me a little more to chew on. Come on, there's still time to update the blog. Did you learn this technique from Dr. Robert Beeman himself?

    :)

    - Orin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Volvo,

    Nick and I can commiserate with you on the lack of a blog sponsor. We're currently at 395 posts and counting and nobody's coming a-knockin'. Obviously, we--like you--have to acquire all the guns on our own dime, but have you priced 60 degree HSS dovetail cutters lately? (we like you, too!) Our blog is a train wreck as far as sponsorship since everything we do immediately voids the manufacturer's warranty. Then, there's our primary focus on vintage guns--since those are the ones that need repair. We were hoping Crosman would have some interest, but I think they look askance at the "modders" and we get lumped in with them.

    In case anyone has wondered why we don't repair guns for others, that's part of the reason right there. We'd have to assume the liability after voiding the warranty---and then it only takes one guy to have an accident or make a poor choice in judgment...

    This blog has a better shot at securing sponsorship than ours, but the biggest problem is the pockets in the airgun industry aren't that deep and there just isn't enough marketing money to pay someone and then give them free hand to write what is essentially non-sanctioned ad copy in the hopes that it sells guns and product. Given the choice, as an owner of an airgun company, do you use the cash (provided there even is any) to pay for a blog with unknown returns or buy more inventory? That seems to be where we all sit right now in the blog game.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Volvo,

    PA shows the Webley Patriot as 'discontinued' and only shows the .177 cal. How long ago did this buying adventure occur? I think PA double boxes these days.

    -AlanL

    ReplyDelete
  4. Derrick,

    That was a very interesting comment on modders. The warranty and liability issues had not crossed my mind. It's just so automatic to see you guys as naturally making a gun better that any thought about warranty just seems immaterial. As to liability for the idiocy of others when playing with a gun that you've touched, wouldn't a simple notarized "hold harmless" agreement take care of that? You can demand that this form be sent in together with any gun being sent in to you for fixing or modification. Make the generic form downloadable on your site.
    Come to think of it, doesn't much the same concern apply to your cycling work, if somebody takes their Derrick-modified mountain bike and rides off a cliff with it?

    -AlanL

    ReplyDelete
  5. Volvo,

    Like the .44M, that is the big kahuna, at least in the popular mind. I'm glad to see you are going to practice what you preach and put that CHRONY to work:). I'm predicting it is more powerful than the Red Ryder.

    Looking forward to your further descriptions.

    ReplyDelete
  6. AlanL,

    "Hold harmless" and "guns" don't go together to the general public these days. There's also an abject lack of personal responsibility these days. Besides, while you can have people sign waivers all day long, they still get to sue you, forcing you to hire an attorney at $200 an hour. Remember, it only takes one idiot to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit. And, this is something I want to do for fun.

    As far as the bicycle thing? Well, I don't own the company, but we do pay a substantial amount of money to insurance companies every year for business and liability insurance. The cost isn't horrific though as the accident/lawsuit/payout claims in our industry claims are relatively minimal. If I started working on other people's airguns, it would be another matter entirely to attempt to obtain liability coverage. I can't even imagine what a paltry million bucks worth of coverage would cost me each year. I'll be bold enough to venture that many airgun tuners likely do not have a liability policy in place.

    Should I mention that sometimes not even bad people will sue you when it's not your fault? Sometimes, people get forced into a corner financially and have no other way to meet their medical and household bills. Can you imagine if you lightened the trigger on an airgun for a neurosurgeon and he put his hand over the muzzle and pulled the "dangerously unsafe hair trigger"? Well, you never specifically told him to not do that, and there's no sticker or any printed instructions to not do that, and now he no longer has the dexterity to operate and his boat payment is coming due. He does, however have a lawyer friend that he's been golfing with for 20 years...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Derrick,

    Man, that sure is the most pessimistic view you could take! If you DID have that signed and notarized 'hold harmless' paper, he can sue you all he wants and your $350/hr lawyer can make it all go away with a simple motion to dismiss, AND recover your costs. I take the optimistic view!
    :-D
    AlanL

    ReplyDelete
  8. AlanL,

    Of course it's ridiculously pessimistic, but it's related to the gun industry. I like that optimistic view, too, but since I don't need to make money from airguns, I don't have to take the chance. Yet. :-b

    Anyway, Volvo has a great blog going here. I wish he'd win the lottery and write it as a daily.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Volvo/Derrick,

    I don't profess to know anything about blogs, other than how to read and comment on them, but your discussion/comments just taught me a lot. Does the number of comments you receive somehow dictate your stature, as far as sponsors are concerned? I would have thought they'd be more concerned with hits than typed responses. Let me know, because I certainly don't mind doing my part and babbling a little more on both of your blogs. :)

    - Orin

    ReplyDelete
  10. Derrick38,
    I have no delusions of grandeur but had hoped to get somewhere in the glamorous range of $10.00 per post, but my best has been $1.18 so far. Not sure if you noticed, but I did put a link to your blog.

    AlanL,
    Yes, the UK Webley’s have not been made for a couple years and mine was purchased around 2002 or 2003. You would not want any of the last runs. At first Turkey used up the UK made parts, but those are long gone.

    Bg Farmer,
    I have used my Chrony on cleaning pellets, so yes it sees a good bit of action. It is actually worthy of a blog of its own as it has taken about 100 hits and still works.

    Orin,
    Without being paid by a retailer to post the blog, about the only way to earn income is by readers visiting the advertisements. The challenge in that is getting enough visitors which in turn is difficult without being linked to site.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All,

    Forgot, worked a long day today - didn't get home until after 10:00PM - was happy to see the all comments.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Volvo,

    Just got home myself. Have you considered a letter directly to Josh Ungier? Can't hurt. The worst he can say is "no" and then you're no worse off than before. It would seem to me (as a businessman) that any blog that doesn't directly compete with me by selling the products that I sell can only help me. If it promotes this hobby, it's good for me. If it promotes my company and my products it's even better for me. If the response you get is negative, there are always others like Airguns of Arizona, whom I've not bought from yet but who've always been responsive when I've asked a question. But you cannot sit back and wait to be noticed. You have a nice blog-- actively promote it. Squeaky wheel and so forth.

    -AlanL

    ReplyDelete
  13. AlanL,
    I agree that it could increases site traffic and sales, and I did ask PA directly, they are not interested at this time.
    AOA is a nice too work with but they already have a blogger also, but once I get a few more posts up I will check with them and others. It ain’t over yet.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have taken this platform to 35 ft lbs and its as easy to shoot or better than stock. Actually in stock forum they are quite harsh compared to a tune! I Specialize in the platform. I build from the ground up. Re barrel and restock if need be. I use custom internals and my own designs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. C.A.P

    Feel free to post a link if you have a site for your services.

    ReplyDelete
  16. www.capairgunresearch.com/

    Here you go my Patty friends ENJOY !

    ReplyDelete