Author Topic: BAM B40 .177 From Mike Melick  (Read 7075 times)

Offline BumbleShot

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BAM B40 .177 From Mike Melick
« on: August 02, 2009, 11:40:49 AM »
I've rated Mike in another review, and will relate some of the same information in this review of the B40 I received from him.

When I received the rifle there was some obvious damage to the carton.  As it turned out, the rifle indeed received a fair bit of damage.  The stock was cracked right by the the safety button.  Not a deep crack, but something heavy struck it there.

I called Mike about the issue and how the safety "wasn't quite right."  The safety wouldn't pop out when cocked.  Mike said shipping damage is the "Buggaboo" he faces most often.  The rifle was nicely packaged, but when someone drops an Ikea bookshelf on it, sh*t happens...

The short of the story is that Mike sent me a new Stock and a spring and seal kit and gave me instructions on the phone to try to unbend the safety pin myself.  I couldn't fix it , and Mike promptly sent me a whole trigger and breech-end assembly which I replaced.  Once that was done, the B40 .177 started to fly!  Thanks again Mike!  

An additional note:  The B40 is a VERY easy to work on rifle, that does not require a Spring Compressor.  Pre-load on the spring is maybe 10-15mm and about 30 pounds to push it in.  I simply leaned on the rifle against the work bench.  The trigger group comes off the breech end with 3 pins and is a dream to work on, what little I needed to do.  Replacing the spring, when needed, will take little effort and no special tools.

Now to the review:

I called Mike last May about ordering a tuned B40 .177, and asked him if the Maccari kit was worth it.  He said the B40s come with a good stock spring, and I wouldn't notice the Maccari spring kit and seal much if at all.  Mike did a basic lube and deburr, inspects and replaces the factory seal if needed, does a trigger adjustment and cut a custom top-hat and made Delrin spring washers to reduce spring canting and helical recoil a stock gun will show.

The B40 is an Air Arms TX200 clone, which most here know already.  I have seen and hefted a TX200 before in a store, but never shot one.  The B40 is very similar in weight and looks.  Unlike the TX200, the B40 has a smooth stock and does not have the same level finish in the metal work.  The B40's bluing is very nice and deep and even.  Finish differences in the metal, are most apparent on the sliding breech lock mechanism which is notched to engage the closing breech lever underlever rifles like these have.  The notches are not fully as bright at the deepest points and just not as clean and finished as the TX200.  Still, this is only cosmetic but something to point out.  If that is something that will bother you, spend the extra $350!  For half that, the B40 I received, is a class act rifle, that is worth the money.

The B40 with this basic tune is silky smooth cocking and has no vibrations or spring noise when firing.  Helical recoil is completely absent.  General recoil is fairly heavy, but s much less than my stock R9 (which is still bruising my collar bone and is much harsher than the tuned B40).  The B40 is very pleasant, quiet and smooth.  The trigger is near perfect.  The last stage of cocking a B40 or TX200 engages the trigger and safety group separately from the mainspring.  The last click of the trigger group cocking is nice and sure.  While not loud, the sound is noticeable and reassuring. You know you got the trigger cocked at the end of the stroke audibly. This action is different from break barrel guns.

The stock, while not truly ambidextrous, is usable by the occasional left-handed shooters.  Left handed folks can shoot the B40 stock without any major discomfort and no real inconvenience.

I decided on the .177 for this rifle since, at about 10lbs without a scope, it may not be the first rifle you grab for a day in the field!  I also think .177 is the right round for it.  If shot placement counts the most, the .177 will put them where you want them with a flatter trajectory and great power.  I don't intend to field the B40 much past from where I park, and for more serious small game hunts in the woods, the B26 .22 and R9 .20 are there for that, at 24 ounces lighter.  I wanted the B40 to be my flat shooting and accurate member of the stable.  Add a big scope and the B40 can weight close to 12 lbs (the B40 does not come with iron sights and requires a scope).  But what all that weight actually translates to is a very stable shooting platform.

I set about mounting a Leapers 3-9x32 scope on an Accushot one piece ring-set.  I sighted the rifle in and enjoyed it with various pellets at a lowly 15 yards.  

It did not like; Superdomes, FTS, or Exacts so much.  I was getting a little nervous after my "New-rifle Go-to" pellets failed.  I grabbed the CPLs, and WOW.  Clovers and one hole groups.  On a lark, I then tried Polymag Predators.  WOW again!  The rifle not only shot the Predators as well as the CPLs, but at this range, they hit the same exact POI!  Same-holes and clovers!  I couldn't believe it at first.  Not only did the rifle prefer a good cheap pellet, but the practice pellet hit the same spot as the Predators!

I have not adjusted the trigger but it is better than the stock R9's or my R7s triggers.  I can feel the first and second stages very smoothly.  I think the stock Beemans come with a generally heavier trigger for safety reasons.  The B40s trigger is just as smooth, and set-up much lighter for target shooting.  I do think Beeman ships their guns with a heavier and thus safer trigger set-up than a tuned rifle from MM.  MM I think adjusts the triggers quite a bit lighter.  Which saves me time and confusion trying to lighten them up just-so myself.  Also, the B40's trigger I like a lot better than the B26 trigger.  

This weekend, I was shooting the B40 and my just acquired barely used un-tuned R9 .20 at a Gamo FT Silo at 30 yards.  The MM B40 is much smoother than the stock R9 so far.  And seemingly as accurate or better.  We tore all the paint off the Silhouettes lever paddle again!  My wife really enjoys the B40.  At first she found it a little difficult to cock and really heavy, but once she got the groove, she nailed the silo 7 times out of 9 and won our little competition! She was lloading the rifle herself.  She a small woman of 5'3", and enjoyed the rifle immensely!  We shot from a forearm rest.

Oh, at this point I had already upgraded the rifle's scope from the Leapers 3-9x32mmAO to a Bushnell Banner 3-10x40mmAO.  Aside for needing to thin the Bushnells objective cover to fit between the scope and receiver on the same Accushot Medium mount, I think the B40 and Banner AO 40mm are a perfect match.  The Banner is noticeably a much nicer scope than the Leapers, but cost more than 3x the price.  The Leapers 32mm is now happily sitting on the R9 .20!

So the end result is that the MM B40 is a handsome and very accurate rifle, that while heavy, is super smooth, thanks to the Mike Melick tuning, and loves my fantasy pair of pellets, cheap CPLs and Predators, without the need to re-sight the scope when switching from target to field rounds for 20 yards or so.  A miracle!

I haven't run the rifle through a chrony, but I would guess the CPLs are leaving the muzzle at about 880-900 FPS.  Also, the B40 is MUCH quieter than the R9 .20 or B26 .22 rifles I also have.  It has a built-in gas reservoir inside the bore of the muzzle which really quiets it down.  My R7 is much quieter, but the B40 isn't too much louder.

To sum it up, I highly recommend the B40 and MM really smoothed her out, and gladly took great care to sort out the shipping damage.  His patience sorting the issue prevented me sending the whole rifle back and saved us both a lot of money doing a round trip in shipping costs.

Great shooting GTA.  I'm loving my B40.



R9 .20; R7 .177; B40 .177; B26 .177; Tempest .177; HB .20; IZH 46m; BlueStreak

Offline longislandhunter

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RE: BAM B40 .177 From Mike Melick
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 02:19:04 AM »
Enjoyed the review very much.  Sounds like you got yourself a winner there  >>  

Only bad thing about your review is that I now find myself wanting a B40  :)

I'll have to start saving my pennies......

Jeff
\"If it was easy it wouldn\'t be hunting, it would be shopping.\"

Offline lillysdad621

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Re: BAM B40 .177 From Mike Melick
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 02:13:25 AM »
Hey jeff, you can borrow mine any day...( .177, spitting cpl at 900 fps all day, blonde stock wearing a monster scope) but let me warn you, you will end up buying one. ) i used it to win the last rifle silhouette competition at Brookhaven Rifle range. I had a shoot off for 1st place against a theoben Rapid, and the little Bam that could showed everyone up.

Offline Jaymo

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Re: BAM B40 .177 From Mike Melick
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 09:45:46 AM »
I installed O-rings in the 2 grooves at the front of the cocking lever on mine. It is a good shooter.
15th Battalion, Mississippi Sharpshooters, CSA.

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Offline BumbleShot

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O-Rings? Mine had them already.
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2009, 11:14:42 AM »
That's strange as mine came with O-rings to prevent hard metal to metal contact.  Did MM install them for me as part of his tune?  He does a number of things he doesn't mention when he does a tune at times.  Like the custom top hat on mine.
R9 .20; R7 .177; B40 .177; B26 .177; Tempest .177; HB .20; IZH 46m; BlueStreak

Offline leadbottom

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RE: O-Rings? Mine had them already.
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 02:36:46 AM »
Quote
BumbleShot - 10/14/2009  7:14 PM

That's strange as mine came with O-rings to prevent hard metal to metal contact.  Did MM install them for me as part of his tune?  He does a number of things he doesn't mention when he does a tune at times.  Like the custom top hat on mine.

I would say Mike did do a lot for your gun :  )

The one I had from Pyramyd didn't shoot anything like yours.  It had a good trigger (not all B40s do), but not smooth cocking and plenty of twang.  Pretty sure it had no O rings on the cocking lever.  It did shoot where it was pointed though, too bad I wasn't too good at pointing it in the right direction LOL.

Funny thing is, I just got a like new TX200 and it seems to be stock when it came to me (saw the insides when I lube tuned it) and it was for sure a lot smoother shooting than the B40 I had, and with butter smooth cocking, but it was lot more hold sensitive than my twangy B40.  After I lube tuned the TX with JM lubes it's really smooth (used heat shrink tubing to shim the spring guide too as guide was .54x and spring ID was .556 give or take a few thou), and surprisingly about as hold sensitive as my AA410 it seems.  I could feel some roughness in it's 24 oz. trigger, but tweaked out almost all the roughness and lightened the pull to 8 oz. just by adjusting the screws--didn't have to touch the sears.  It's still safe because it seems to still have about the same amount of sear contact as before, and passed the bump and slap tests.  I think 8 oz. is just about the safe limit though, any lighter and it might not consistently return first stage contact when trigger is released without firing.