Review: The B-40 Air Rifle
Jim Chapman
After several
months and
thousands of rounds
through this rifle, I
am feel comfortable
reviewing what I now
consider the best
Chinese Spring Piston
Airgun on the market.
While the subject of Chinese guns can polarize the shooting community, I must say that I
like some of the more recent guns coming out of Shanhai. These products are being
manufactured in their factories which had produced military arms, as they find new
opportunities in the post cold war world. One of the new guns I quite like is the BAM B40,
which I’ve been using for a few months now. During this period I have had a chance to
run the B40 through its paces on the bench and in the field! The B40 is a clone of the Air
Arms Tx200 and comes in both a .177 and .22 versions. I purchased  the .177 caliber, as I
like the smaller bore in most spring piston air rifles (not a hard fast rule, but more of a
leaning).  

As mentioned, the B40 is a clone of the AA Tx200 and is very similar, however it must be
stated up front that the fit and finish are not comparable. What you get with the B40 is a
much planner stock and a less refined finish. The B40s stock is formed from a nice Asian
hardwood blank, and given a light matte finish. The woodgrain is not highly figured, but still
a nice pice of wood, and (at least on my example) has no blemishes or imperfections. The
stock is well shaped without any roughly finished areas, even in the recessed forestock the
wood has been sanded and stained. The cheekpiece is setup to allow a good sight alignment
with the scope set up in low profile mounts; the pistol grip is deeply sculpted and offers a
very comfortable positioning of the trigger hand and finger. The ventilated recoil pad that
is standard on the B40, both looks good and is functional The overall package is moderately
heavy, yet the ergonomic design does result in a very shootable package!

The metal work on this gun has been manufactured to a high quality, there are no machine
marks to be seen anywhere, and the bluing on the metal work is a good quality that is as
good or better than I’ve seen on any other Chinese guns. As a matter of fact the quality
is in the same class as many more expensive European guns. For the most part the gun is all
metal and wood, the only plastic is the cover on the Anti-beartrap release, and the overall
impression is one of a no frills, quality product

The fixed barrel B40 uses an underlever cocking arm with an anti-beartrap mechanism. The
gun has one feature that I have never like a lot, which is an auto-safety. On a field gun
under high stress conditions, I like to be able cock it and shoot it quickly. The cocking
effort is not too difficult yet is none the less, substantial. The cocking motion has a
moderately large sweep, and initially was quite rough, but smoothed out after a few tins of
pellets were fed through. Holding the stock in your right hand with the butt resting on your
hip or leg, the left hand pulls down on the cocking arm until it clicks. A large loading
chamber opens, providing access to the receiver. A pellet held in the right hand is pushed
directly into the barrel. While the loading port is large and easy to access, the fit is very
tight and it can be difficult to seat the pellet. I took the advice of one of the Chinese
Airgun Forum members (Rich) and opened up the loading port a bit. This was accomplished
by using a small Dremel tool and a cone shaped reamer with a piece of tape around it to
serve as a guide so as not to open up the throat too deeply. The pellets drop in much easier
now and accuracy was not impacted.

Once the pellet has been fed, the anti beartrap is depressed while the cocking arm is
repositioned. A spring loaded ball bearing is mounted in the housing at the distal end of the
barrel, about a quarter inch from the muzzle, and retains the cocking lever once it is closed.

The trigger on this gun is the nicest of any Chinese gun I’ve ever shot, and is in fact one
the nicest triggers I’ve ever experienced on a mid priced product and even out
performs many of those on my more expensive guns! Out of the box the trigger was set at
just under 3lb pull, and there is zilch creep or over travel. It is about a perfect trigger on
a hunting gun … not too heavy not to light.

The gun shoots very well, it comes to the shoulder naturally, and for me any way it fits
perfectly. On firing the gun, you will experience a moderately strong recoil, that is
dampened by the straight back push which is a function of the stock configuration. I also
think that the heavy bull barrel on this gun helps to further dampen the recoil. The sound
from the B40 being shot are those of solid machinery at work, there is no “twanginessâ
€� at all. The report is not too loud, all in all a satisfying gun to shoot!

I shot a number of pellets with this gun, including RWS Superdomes, Predator Polymer
tips, CPs, and an assortment of Gamo pellets. The B40 is pretty load tolerant, and it
handled a variety of ammo well. The three which gave the best accuracy were the
Superdomes, the Gamo Hunters, and the Crosman Premiers. I could consistently get sub
half inch groups with all three of these.

This gun shot all three of my selected pellets at over 1000 fps. I will update this review
with hard data in the near future ( I am traveling as I write this and forgot to bring my
shooters notebook with me).

In the field the B40 was a nice hunting gun, though a bit on the heavy side to lug around all
day without a sling …. I haven’t quite figured out the best way to mount the sling
swivels on a gun with this type of cocking mechanism. I carried this gun with me in the
desert in pursuit of jackrabbits, and the Midwestern forest after tree squirrels, On both
of these quarry, the gun yielded good results out to 40 yards. I shot the B40 well,
standing, sitting, prone, kneeling and the multitude of transitional and off balance positions
one finds themselves in under field conditions. The power was more than adequate to
consistently deliver clean one shot kill.

So what do I think about the BAM B40? It is a well made field gun, and while the fit and
finish is not on a par with the original Tx200, it is much more than I’d expect for the
price. My gun has functioned flawlessly after a few thousand rounds have passed through it,
without a single malfunction. In fact, the velocities produced have dropped a little bit, but
the firing cycle has smoothed out nicely.  I think that if you are looking for a functional
hunting rifle to carry in the field, that is accurate and powerful, but won’t break your
heart to get a couple dings in you might want to take a look at the B40. I think it would also
make an excellent project gun, on which to experiment with checkering or reworking the
stock.
What the Distributor Has to Say
Practically identical in every respect to the English-made Air Arms TX 200 from which it
was copied but the B40 is made in China by BAM so now you can enjoy a high quality
underlever air rifle and still have some change in you pocket. The B40 features fully
engineered construction throughout and you will be amazed at the attention to details like
the dual wiper rings on the compression piston, coned breech seal, polished compression
chamber, machined (not stamped) cocking arm, spring rotation bearing surface, steel
(tightly fitted) spring guide plus you will thoroughly enjoy the two stage, three way
adjustable trigger. The stock is fashioned from walnut-stained hardwood and includes a
high, Monte-Carlo cheekpiece and rubber recoil pad. In .177 caliber this powerhouse is
capable of up to 1340 fps velocity depending on your pellet weight and type so this is one
rifle that’s made for outdoor field hunting.
The B40 is a substantial
handfull of gun as is the
original TX 200, but the
nicely shaped stock does
allow a comfortable grip.

The underlever cocking
action is smooth but a bit
heavy for small shooters,
and snaps solidly in place
after the gun is cocked.

The recoil generated by the
B40 is not too severe,
however it is a good idea to
use a scope stop to prevent
the optics creeping back on
you.

As demonstrated in the
pictures below, cocking the
gun causes the loading port
to open. Once a pellet is
inserted, the anti beartrap
lever (situated riight behind
the loading port) is pressed
and the cocking lever can be
returned, closing the port.