Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What's it worth?

By B.B. Pelletier

The most-asked question at Pyramyd Air is, "What is my airgun worth?" We all want to know what our stuff is worth, and for airguns, finding the answer is as easy as looking in a book!

Blue Book of Airguns, Fourth Edition

THE authority on the value of airguns!
You can't just look in ANY book, of course - it has to be the Blue Book of Airguns. It's THE ONLY authoritative price guide for new and used airguns available anywhere. Other price guides have been published over the years but they were either too narrow in scope or were created for the specific purpose of deceiving someone. Some of them valued guns extra-low so their publishers could continue to buy them at great prices, while at least one guide over-valued airguns so the author could sell his collection at a great price!

The American B.B Gun

The American B.B gun
The one book that did have reasonable prices when it was published was The American B.B Gun by Arni T. Dunathan. But it was only published one time, then republished decades later without attempts to update prices. As a result, nothing in that book has been reliable, price-wise, since the middle 1970s. Also, this book only covers BB guns, leaving pellet guns high and dry.

The Blue Book has been published annually since its inception, and each edition gets progressively better. The fifth edition is due out in a short time and will be the most comprehensive book published to date.

Don't trust internet prices!
Some gun dealers and internet sellers haven't got a clue what they're selling. I see "Benjamin Franklin" airguns for sale all the time (no such airgun ever existed!). Their owners don't know they have common Benjamin airguns, worth very little because all the black nickel and silver nickel underneath has been rubbed off. So they ask $250 for a "Benjamin Franklin" 130 whose brass has been shined up like a trumpet. Such a gun would be worth $50 if it held air - and most don't.

Beware of antique shops and gun shows!
These are the places where you find a Daisy Red Ryder from 1995 in beat-up condition selling for $90, when it is really worth $10. Or, you might find a "real Winchester" model 423 (Diana model 23) for $350, like I once did. Gun-show buyers are often not too savvy about airguns, and they've heard stories about Daisys worth $10,000, so a beat-up Number 25 pump with engraving (1936 model) that should sell for $40 becomes "rare" and valued at $325. It happens!

The last word
And just because a gun is "worth" such-and-such in the Blue Book doesn't make it so! If the seller has a price of $1,000 on a Quackenbush model 5 because he found that number in the Blue Book, it's your job to inform him that without the floating firing pin and in the 20-percent condition his gun is in, it's really just a $500 gun to you. Then, the two of you begin the famous tarantula dance of two guys in a hot deal, and both will survive to tell the world how they overcame the other guy!

The Blue Book of Airguns belongs in your library!


At August 01, 2005 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just baught a Benjamin and Franklin BB Gun and it it stamped right on it "Benjamin and Franklin" and it does hold air. Its a 22 calibre BB pistol with wood gripps.

At August 01, 2005 6:24 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Yes sir, it does have "Benjamin Franklin" stamped on the left side of the receiver tube, but that is just a play on the name of the company - the Benjamin Air Rifle Company, which you'l find stamped on the end cap behind the bolt.

There has never been a Benjamin Frankin model. Many older Benjamin guns have that name stamped on the side. The fact that the name is in quotes indicates that it's not meant seriously.


At August 31, 2005 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANyone know anything at all about a Crosman 380 Rocket-Sea Spear gun? I've had and used one for years and only know they were made from 59-61. I have no manual and can find little other info.

At August 31, 2005 6:52 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


I sold one at Roanoke a few year back. It went for $65.


At November 01, 2005 12:43 PM, Blogger michael edelman said...

This is a little misleading. The guns were indeed originally marketed as Benjamin Franklin air guns. Later, the company changed its name to Benjamin, and the guns were marketed as Benjamins. But yes, you do often see polished guns represented as antiques.

At November 01, 2005 1:32 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


The guns were never sold as Benjamin Franklin. That is just a play on the name Benjamin, an abbreviation of The Benjaimin Air Rifle Company, which was formed in St. Louis at the turn of the 20th century. The phrase "Benjamin Franklin" on the left side of the older guns is in quotation marks so people will know it is not real.


At December 18, 2005 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found a "Benjamin Franklin" air rifle in a storage unit. It is in excellent condition, and it holds air as well! Can you give me an idea of its worth?

Thank You, KW

At December 19, 2005 4:43 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


I need to know the nodel number. It's on the back of the receiver, behind the bolt.

What you have is a Benjamin. The words "Benjamin Franklin" are just a play on the company name. That's why they are in quotes.

Also, please describe the condition more specifically. To be excellent, all the original black nickle need to be present. The silver nickle should not be showing, nor should any of the brass base metal show.


At December 19, 2005 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi B.B.,

Yes I did read all of the posts above and I was very suprised. That is why I put the name in quotations like you said to above, "Benjamin Franklin". Ok it is a model 342 22 cal. It has NO stratches in the blue (black nickle), except for two places, one at the very end of the barrell near the trigger side and underneath where the air pump closes against the barrell. The rest of the barrell looks factory new! Not a scratch or worn spot. The stock has some very small scratches in it from normal wear, but they are not noticable and I think that they give the gun character and a collector would like them just like you would petina on an old collectible. other than those very small things the gun looks like it was new. I would rate it a B++ or mabye a low A rating. Thank You, KW

At December 19, 2005 6:46 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


Okay, I can work with that. The 342 was made from 1969 to 1992, so it's painted a dark phosphate gray, not nickeled black over silver. At least I think they were all painted. If yours is nickled, it is a very early one. Also, if it has the Tootsie Roll pump handle (round withj grooves) it's an old one.

I would rate the condition as 90 percent from what you say. It might be a little higher but probably no lower. Blue Book of Airguns says it's worth $115. Add 15 percent for the Tootsie Roll pump handle; 10 percent for the box with instructions; 10 percent for a Williams peep sight; 10 percent for a 4x scope; and 20 percent for a two-piece cocking bolt.

And remember, this price I give is just relative. The real price is whatever someone is willing to pay.

How did you make out?


At December 19, 2005 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Serial #T179452 Not a tootsie roll, but a two piece cocking bolt for sure. Also a Williams peep sight included, so I guess that it is worth about 147.00 to 150.00. Which is three times what I paid for the storage unit! so I say that I made out just fine!
Thank You so much for your help!
Have a great Christmas, KW

At December 19, 2005 12:38 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


I should have explained that a twp-piece bolt means the handle is separate fromt the bolt. On later guns Benjamin simply bent the bolt into a handle at the rear.

Sounds like you did okay! Merry Christmas,


At February 11, 2006 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i got a benjamin franklin .22 pellet gun it has the number on the tube below the bolt its number 312 it holds air no leaks at all and it has the benjamin franklin name on the left side of the bolt on the tube that holds the air what is it worth

At February 11, 2006 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

also the gun is identical to the one on the book at the bottom of the bluebook of airguns the blueing is worn off in some spots but the stock is in near to perfect condition please respond


At February 12, 2006 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As posted in the blog on Wed., Feb. 8, B.B. is out of town & won't be back til Tues., Feb. 14. He won't be able to answer your question til then.

At February 15, 2006 8:22 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Your rifle is a Benjamin model 312. The words "Benjamin Franklin" on the side are just a play on the company name.

A working 312 in the condition you describe should be worth $60-75. That's a little higher than the Blue Book allows, but I think they are low on this model.


At February 26, 2006 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found my Benjamin Model 342 .22 cal pellet rifle while moving. It doesn't seem to be holding air and I was wondering if this is something that can be fixed or repaired or is it forever dead? Any help you can give me would be great...links to kits (if they are around), cost of repair, etc. Thank you in advance!

At February 26, 2006 11:59 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Benjamin 392,

First, there IS something you can try before going further. Get some Crosman Pellgunoil (or Gamo gun oil or Daisy gun oil) at Wal-Mart and drop a few drops on the pump head. To see that, open the swinging pump lever as far as it will go with the rifle laying upside down. Looking through the pump linkage slot, you will just barely see the dark pump head when the lever is all the way forward. Drop several drops of oil on that part and work the pump several times. Somethimes all the seals need is a little oil to reseal.

If you have to get the gun fixed, try George Pena in Austin Texas. The cost will be $30-40 plus shipping. Contact George at or 512-863-2951.

After your gun is fixed don't forget to leave one or two pumps in it at all times and you will never have to have it fixed again.



At March 11, 2006 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have come across a Benjamin Franklin Mod.340 Cal. BB in like new condition.

Am I limited to BB's in it, and if so , what size?
Thank you

At March 15, 2006 3:51 PM, Blogger gmwincw said...

BB I too have a B.F. 22cal pellet rifle. I got it in the early 70's from an old man in his 70's who had been bedridden since the mid 60's & it was old when he gave it to me. Not sure of the model but the ser # is H49862, be interested to know what it's worth, but it doesn't really matter I have no intention of selling it. Problem is it no longer pumps up.Any suggestions on getting it working? I used to plink around with it 30 yrs ago, now my son wants to but can't

At March 15, 2006 5:34 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


B.B. is out of town but will return later this week. He'll answer your questions at that time, if no one else has already done so.

B.B.'s assistant

At March 17, 2006 8:08 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


Your Benjamin air rifle can be resealed. The model number (or letter, if it is really old) is on the end cap at the rear of the action.

Because you call it a Ben Franklin gun, I think yours was made in the 1930s to 1950s. That's when Benjamin put that on the side of their guns as a joke (it's in quotes).

Contact George Pena about fixing your rifle.

George is at or 512-863-2951.


At March 17, 2006 8:45 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Benjamin 340,

Your Benjamin 340 was made from 1969 to 1986. It is a smoothbore, and was designed to shoot steel BBs, but you should also be able to shoot .177 lead pellets in it.

Regarding BB sizes, all steel BBs are supposed to be the same size. Either Crosman or Daisy BBs will work in your gun.


At April 01, 2006 6:21 PM, Anonymous Billiam said...

hi there,
i was searching around for info on a benjamin air gun that shoots darts. mine too says "Benjamin Franklin" on the left side but the previous posts have clear that up for me. i was wonder where i could find the model number on it. i found only one number so far, 122. it is on a circular metal plat at the rear of the gun below the bolt. around the number it says "Benjamin Air Rifle Co. St. Louis, U.S. i think it must be pretty old because my grandpa used it for target practice when my dad was a kid.
thanks for the help,


At April 02, 2006 7:42 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


You have a model 122, a front-pump pistol. The Benjamin 122 is a .22-caliber pellet-only pistol made from 1935 to 1941. I wasn't brought back after the war.

Because it has a rifled brass barrel, it was only meant to shoot lead pellets. Shooting brass or steel darts can ruin the soft rifling pretty quick.

Your pistol originally had a thin coat of what we call "black nickel" over a silver nickel surface, on top of brass. The black wore off pretty fast, but the silver was tough and had to be removed intentionally.

Your gun has a valve ranging from a low of $30 to a high of $155.


At April 12, 2006 11:00 PM, Blogger tony said...

so i got a benjamin mod 112 .22 cal and i was wondering what its worth in 60% condition? and im looking for parts anyone know of any place to look i need a trigger for it.

At April 13, 2006 7:38 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The Blue Book puts a 60 percent Benjamin 112 at $65. As far as parts, the pistols shared similar triggers, so you need to locate a parts gun. Repair centers are not selling their parts to vintage guns.


At April 14, 2006 3:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a 340 model benjamin franklin air rifle and i would like to gather all the info on it.
The year it was made and how much is it worth. and how much i can get for it. serial# is t312519. if yall have any info please let me know.

At May 27, 2006 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I boughtr a winchester model 422 pellet rifle about 10 years ago at a swap meet. near mint condition. I just noticed that they have been reintroduced into the market at a Bass Pro shop in Las Vegas. Mine says made in Germany and small numbers on the barrell 10 71. What can you tell me about this gun, Thanks

At May 28, 2006 8:05 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Winchester 422,

Your gun was made by Dianawerke and is their model 22. Winchester sold them between 1969 and 1975. Dianas were also sold under many other names, but the Winchester name carries the most demand.

In perfect condition a 422 is worth $65, according to the Blue Book of Airguns.


At May 30, 2006 11:28 AM, Anonymous Larry Gleasman said...

B.B.----Have an air pistol marked (R) Benjamin Franklin B208575 Made in U.S.A. on one side and CAL 22 MODEL 132 on the other. Tootise Roll pump handle and white & Gray mottled plistic grips marked marked Benjamin High Compression. In fairly good condition but has a broken trigger. Where can I find a new trigger..Thanks
Larry Gleasman
Grampa's Gun Shop
Madison, WI

At May 30, 2006 11:44 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


Your Benjamin (not Benjamin Franklin, that's just a play on the company name) now exists as parts guns, only. Yours is a relatively late model, but the triggers should all the the same and there were a LOT of 130s, 132s and 137s made from 1946 to 1985. Also, triggers from some of the other models should fit.

Check with John Groenewold, the leading supplier of vintage parts.

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At June 04, 2006 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

where can i send a benjamin 312 to git it fixed

At June 04, 2006 6:15 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

George Pena
George is at or 512-863-2951.


At June 11, 2006 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I acquired a "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN" pump pistol but all i've read above is about .22 cal. There is noway mine is that big. On the round plate in back it has 110in the middle & the St Louis Blurb around it. Its not in great shape (a little brass on the sides, loose and missing screws & what appears to be a bent rear sight). Anyone recognize this?

At June 12, 2006 7:11 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Your Benjamin 110 is a smoothbore BB gun. It was made to shoot BBs, but Benjamin made the bore large enough to also accept pellets and darts.

Your gun has a transition pump mechanism that is extremely weak. That could explain the missing screws. At this point it's a parts gun worth $30-40.


At June 28, 2006 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am working on restoring a model 122 and all has gone well except it wont hold air. What can I do to get it fixed? Do I have to ship it out, or is there something I can do at home?

Thanks, Steve

At June 30, 2006 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a modle 342 and i need to know if you can buy new seals for it thanks brent

At July 01, 2006 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is a benjamin franklin 22 cal model 132 pump air pistol in working condition worth

At July 01, 2006 9:08 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

In working condition with all brass (no finish) a Benjamin 132 is worth $50.


At July 01, 2006 9:16 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


I doubt you can buy seals for a 342, but Crosman is the only place to check. They make the seals for all Benjamin guns.

You might be able to adapt 392 seals and use off-the-shelf O-rings.


At July 01, 2006 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a Benjamin Air Rifle. It's a Benjamin 700, 26 shot repeater. It belonged to my husbands grandfather. Do you have any information on this gun? Year it was made.

At July 01, 2006 7:59 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Your Benjamin 700 was made in the 1930s and no later than 1939, according to the Blue Book of Airguns. It is a multi-pump pneumatic smoothbore that gets several shots per fill of air. It can shoot modern steel BBs.

The value range is from $100 for one in 20 percent condition and working up to $225 for one that's 100 percent. The finish was black nickel over silver nickel over brass.


At July 01, 2006 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What should you use to clean the barrel of this Benjamin 700? Would I just use regular gun oil?

At July 06, 2006 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an older model Benjamin Franklin (S/N T157821) model 340. It no longer fires, I think compression is shot. Can you suggest repairman in Dallas, TX area? Any idea of age of gun? I received it about 30 years ago.
Thanks for any/all help.

At July 06, 2006 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an air rifle that says"Benjamin Franklin" on the left side of the receiver followed by made in usa . The only other information is on the right side of the receiver under the safety it says cock hammer to release safety . There is no coloring left on the metal. It is all brass. My grandfather gave it to me in the early 60s. He used it as a boy and he was born in 1892. Is ther any value to this other than sentimental?

At July 07, 2006 6:53 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Look at today's blog and send your gun to George Pena in Austin.


At July 07, 2006 7:24 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

The book shown at the beginning of this posting has pictures of the early Benjamin guns. Because your gun has no model designation on the back of the receiver, it might very well be an early one.

Is there a piece of angled metal at the rear o0f the receiver that seems to be part of the trigger?


At July 07, 2006 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have in my hands a "Benjamin Franklin" -Model 347 4.5mm (177cal)
Serial #194378 made by Benjanin Air Rifle Co.and is in mint condition.
Anyone know if it is worth keeping?

At July 07, 2006 10:57 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A Benjamin 347 (there are NO Benjamin Franklins - that's just a play on words) in perfect condition is worth $145, according to the Blue Book.


At July 07, 2006 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can send pics of "Benjamin Franklin" on rifle.
Mine has a R with a circle around it and then "Benjamin Franklin" on one side and Benjanin Air Rifle Co. on the other.

At July 07, 2006 1:34 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


This is not a good place to sell your rifle. You should try the classified ads, they are free.


At July 07, 2006 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOps!!Didn't know I was interested in selling it.I was offering the pics as information that there is and are 347's out here with
"Benjamin Franklin" -Model 347 4.5mm (177cal)
on one side of the barrel.
Sorry to have given you that impression.
Enjoy your day best regards.

At July 07, 2006 4:50 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Yes, I know the gun says "Benjamin Franklin" in quotes on the left side of the receiver. The reason it's in quote is because it is a play on the company name, Benjamin. What I was saying before is that there are no Benjamin Franklin airguns, just as there are no cars named Chevy.


At July 07, 2006 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info.Guess mine isn't all that special after all.
Now I'll try to research my "Havia" model 620 made in Czechoslovakia.
Thanks again,

At July 14, 2006 12:43 PM, Blogger brenda said...

I have a Benjamin Franklin air gun On the barrel butte is states Benjamin Air Rifle Co. St Louis USA model 117. It belong to a lady who is about 60 and she said it belong to her gandfather. It is very old and complete and still has power. Is it worth anything. Oh has a walnut handle.

At July 14, 2006 12:43 PM, Blogger brenda said...

please let me know about this gun

At July 14, 2006 2:16 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


The Benjamin (not Benjamin Franklin - that's a joke played by the company) model 117 was made 1938 to 1941. It have a fr4agile pump mechanism that gets out of order easily.

In perfect condition (an all-black gun in a box) it's worth $175. In average condition (silver and brass showing, no box) it's worth 130. In poor condition (all brass but still shooting) it's worth $100.


At July 25, 2006 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read all the blogs , I too have 312 series 22 cal. pellet gun . all I have been able to find out is the 312 series started in 1932 , My gun serial number is H15835 , 35000 before any recorded number have been placed. could any one tell me more about this gun then I aready know. it has been in my familly for 47-48 years.It is good working condition .
thanks ,,,, saasman

At July 26, 2006 7:41 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


The Benjamin 312 was made from 1940 to 1969. There was a change that helps date the guns. The original finish was black nickle over silver nickle over brass.Some time in the late '50s or early '60s the finish changed to paint over brass.


At August 01, 2006 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin 100 air pistol with no compression. Where do I get parts to fix it? Is it worth fixing?

At August 02, 2006 9:28 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Ben. 100,

There are no parts. You can have your gun fixed by George Pena in Austin Texas. The cost will be $30-40 plus shipping. Contact George at or 512-863-2951.

Yes, it is worth it.

At August 03, 2006 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had aquired a crosman model 112 from a friend of the family about ten years ago, and was wondering on how I would go about getting a 10 ounce refillable tank or anything else that I might need for it.

At August 04, 2006 8:25 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Crosman 112,

You don't need a Crosman 10-ounce tank. You just need a paintball tank and an adaptor to adapt it to the threads in the fill port of your pistol. This site has the tanks you need, under ACCESSORIES> PAINTBALL ACCESSORIES

I don't have a source for these adaptors, but they are easy to make. Dennis Quackenbush makes the adaptor to connect a 20-pound (or any size) CO2 tank to a Crosman 10-ounce tank, so he MAY have an adaptor to connect a paintball tank to a gun. He's at

Don't forget to put LOTS of pellgun oil in the fill port before you fill the gun. Chances are 50-50 that the seals still hold, but Pellgunoil will help.


At August 05, 2006 9:37 AM, Blogger George said...

I have a Havia model 620 made in Czechoslovakia and I have no info on it. I can't find any onfo on teh web at all about it, and it was my dads when he was a kid. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

At August 05, 2006 10:17 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


I think you have a Slavia. It's a common Czech brand. They were imported in the 1950s and '60s. Pr5eceise Imports Corp. (PIC) was one importer.

They are breakbarrel spring guns and the old ones probably have leather seals, so they should be oiled frequently to maintain power. Drop three drops of regular household oil down the transfer port, which is the hole in the receiver that you see when the barrel is broken open. Let the gun stand on its butt for 30 minutes before shooting.

Your gun is probably worth around $50 if it's in good condition. If it is rifled only use lead pellets - never steel BBs or darts.


At August 05, 2006 12:55 PM, Blogger George said...

thanks so much on the info, the wrong spelling of the name is probably why I could not find info, it was in cursive.

At August 14, 2006 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took the recommendation of another poster and had my Benjamin Franklin Model 312 sent to George Pena in Texas. For a resonable price he completely repaired/replaced items on the gun and shipped it back to me in Indiana in short order. He far exceeded by expectations. Highly recommend him. George Pena in Georgetown, TX is the best. RJK

At August 19, 2006 3:03 AM, Blogger mac173rd said...

My Dad has a air gun, "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN" model 150. It has a blued steel look which is about 75% complete.
Could you give me a little idea of this guns age and maybe a value

At August 19, 2006 9:47 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Your father's pistol is called a Benjamin, not a Benjamin Franklin. That's just a joke using the company name. That's why it is in quotes.

Your father has a fairly valuable air pistol, as long as it still works and has some finish left. It was originally finished in black nickle over silver nickle over brass. If there is some black remaining and no brass showing, the gun is worth about $200. From your description, that sounds like what you have. If you still have the box and instruction sheet and the gun still works, it's worth $300 or a little more.

Never let a regular gunsmith look at this airgun, as one wrong move will destroy the value. Send it to a qualified repair shop.

If there is no black and some brass showing, $150. If it's all brass, it's still a $100 pistol because of the relative rarity.

Find it in the Blue Book of Airguns.


At September 29, 2006 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have A "Benjamin Franklin" Model 720 air rifle. Tootsie roll forearm and brass barrel. Serial # H195082. It appears 100% and holds air. What's the value and should I polish the brass? I am sure it would liiok sharp if I did.Thank you all, Marc

At September 29, 2006 2:27 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


You have a Benjamin, not a Benjamin Franklin. The company put quotes around that play on their name so people would know it was just a joke.

If you polish the brass you remove all collector value, unless there is zero finish now.


At October 20, 2006 4:17 PM, Blogger pirologists said...

Hello B.B.
I have seen you quote current values for various Benjamin Air guns. I currently have a model 132, with about 80 - 85 % of it's bluing left on the pistol, original box the three sheet instructions (including pellet ordering pamphlet). The sight looks good, and it has the tootsie roll pump handle. There are a few scratches on the trigger guard, and it is currently not holding air. I think the seal may be bad (I can hear air escaping when it is pumped)
First question is, Is there a place I can get new seals for this gun?
Secondly , is there some place in the Chicago Suburbs that you can recommend for repair if I am unable to accomplish the task on my own?
And lastly, what would be the value of this pellet pisol, both in it's current state and if and when I am able to get it to function properly?
Thank you for sharing your expertise. Pirologists

At October 20, 2006 4:51 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


I don't know any fixit styations in the Chicago area. There are only a few reliable ones in the nation, but there are plenty of hacks who'd love to learn by working on your airgun!

A working 132 with the box and papers in the condition of your is worth $150-175.


At October 21, 2006 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello B.B.

I have a "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN" Model 177. It has all it's finnish worn off but I think the brass barrel looks better. I have had this air gun since the late fifties and plan to keep it. Alas the gun needs work, the seal is shot and there are some screws missing. I want to thank you for taking the time to answer everyone's questions. I plan to ship my gun to Mr. Pena in Austin. Thanks again. Del Madsen

At November 21, 2006 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

heya B.B.

I dont know a thing about these guns, but found one in my gramps old things. Telling you everything I can just by looking at it, it says "Benjamin High Compression" with some sort of HC stamp on the handles. It says Benjamin Franklin on the side. ITs also says CAL 177 and Model 137. Its a little rusty, doesnt seem to be in to bad of shape. I dont think it holds air. Any idea how much it would be worth? Thanks.

At November 21, 2006 7:19 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

A 137 pistol in the condition you describe is worth $30-50. You can get it resealed if you want to shoot it again.

George Pena
George is at or 512-863-2951.


At November 28, 2006 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

found a benjamin 312. holds air but will not fire
says to cock bolt to release safety
bolt moves loosely
what am i missing here?

At November 29, 2006 6:08 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

If the bolt moves you probably don't have a hammer spring.


At December 03, 2006 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin model 342 tootsie roll. The buttstock is cracked. Can you tell me where I could get a price list? Thanks.

At December 04, 2006 6:09 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

John Groenewold sells replacement stocks

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At December 06, 2006 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have Benjamin model 347 .177 cal that was a Christmas gift about 13 or 14 years ago. The butt stock is cracked and I need another one. Does anyone know where I can get one?

At December 07, 2006 5:34 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Contact this man:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At December 08, 2006 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have what must be a model 177 Benjamin Franklin pistol. Silver in color except the grip band, which is a dull gray. Pump end cap has circular ridges, which must be what you are calling Tootsie Roll. Barrel is 7" from breech to muzzle. I remember my father using it in the 50's and I would shoot it on occasion. I have recently dragged it out of the attic. It no longer holds air. Even if I had some gun oil, I'm not sure where to put it. There is a tiny hole in the underside of the pump tube about 3/4" from the muzzle. Would like to get it working again. Suggestions? Estimated value range?


At December 08, 2006 5:49 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


In the condition you describe, your BBenjamin 117 is worth about $100-125.

Try this place for repairs

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At December 12, 2006 4:02 AM, Anonymous said...

I just found today a "benjamin franklin"137 st louis usa on the back pistol hidden in a 40,s + - house,that is being demolished,it has about 30% brass showing and it other numbers.has rifelings. b.o

At December 25, 2006 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an old Benjamin Franklin pellet gun rifle #312 - .22 cal. pump action. The stock has a crack in it & I was wondering where I might be able to find a replacement. Please contact with any info. Thank you

At December 26, 2006 6:13 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

For a stock for the Benjamin 312, contact this man:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At December 27, 2006 10:29 PM, Anonymous Ken Lunsford said...

I have an air pistol that says "Benjamin Franklin" on side but does not have any other markings that I can find. Probably shoots .177 BB or pellets. Is there repair kit I can buy for this gun? Seal is worn out.

At December 28, 2006 7:20 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You have a Benjamin air pistol. The words "Benjamin Franklin" are in quotes to connote a play on the company name.

On the back of the gun there is a flat round cap with the model number in large numerals. If you will tell me what those three numbers are, I'll tell you what ammunition it shoots. Not all Benjamin pistols are safe to shoot steel BBs!

Here is the name of a man who can repair your gun for you:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At January 05, 2007 9:15 AM, Blogger fxdx95 said...

I have a Ben Franklin .177 rifle that's been in the family about 50 years. It's in fine working order and very powerful at least compared to the BB guns of my youth.
There are no markings on this gun out side of the safety info near the safety and the Benjamin Franklin name in quotes.
It is a single shot, bolt action, pump that functions very well, still powerful, will go thru a pop can without hardly moving it.
It was passed down to me from my father which I guess dates it to the 40's - mid 50's, guessing.
Trying to figure out the value.

At January 05, 2007 1:02 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Are you sure there is no writing on the round cap at the rear of the action? That is where Benjamin marked all of its guns in the time frame you are talking about.

I'm going to guess you have a Benjamin 310 underlever pump gun. If it is worn down to brass, it;s worth about $50-75. If it has most of its silbver nickel, it's worth $100. If it has 50 percent of the original black nickel, it's worth $150-175.


At January 05, 2007 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right. At the rear center it says "317". Around the edge it says " Bejamin Air Rifle Co. St. Louis USA"
There is no nickel or silver , it apppears that it may have been brass all along, I don't even see a trace of the silver nickel. But, then I couldn't even find the model number.
Thanks for the reply

At January 05, 2007 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an underlever pump with the tootsie roll grip on the pump handle.

At January 05, 2007 3:23 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


It originally had black nickel over silver nickel. As those finishes wore off, someone decided to take it down to brass. That's real common with Benjamin guns. The 317 is the rifles version of the 300 series long guns.

Your rifle was made from 1940 to 1969, but with the toosie roll pump handle, you have one made in the 40s or 50s. The price I gavce you still holds.


At January 05, 2007 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time for the info. It not worth enough to move it and it sure looks good in the gun cabinet.


At January 12, 2007 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to know an estimated value of a winchester model 423 is?

At January 12, 2007 10:42 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

A 423 is worth $60-$100.


At January 22, 2007 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got an older air pistol, A Benjamin 132 pump. It doesn't hold air anymore, and I am trying to locate a place to get it repaired, or at least a place that I can find parts. Please advise. THX

At January 22, 2007 1:28 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

George Pena
George is at or 512-863-2951.


At January 24, 2007 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi B.B.,

I have a "Benjamin Franklin" air rifle, Model 312 .22 cal. Benjamin Air Rifle Co St. Louis Mo on the back end of barrel. It also has a tootsie roll style pump handle. There is a brass tinge showing through the black on the metal. Was wondering value and approx age. Thank you. DR

At January 24, 2007 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry BB, I forgot to add that the model 312 does hold air and still shoot. Serial # is H355039 Thanks again DR

At January 24, 2007 1:48 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


The 312 was made from 1940 to 1969. If yours has silver nickel under the black it's a old one worth $100-150. If it's a painted one, a dark charcoal to dark green, it's worth $80-100 in functioning cindition.

At a gun show you might get 25 percent more for it because they buyers aren't as awaqre of the prices as airgunners are.

At January 28, 2007 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a real Benjamin Franklin air rifle. Yes, there is a real gun called the Benjamin Franklin. Mine says so on the barrel. Model number 347, and if you like I will provide pictures that prove this. I am sorry, but your comment that "no such airgun ever existed" is simply false.

Landon Norman
Augusta, Ga

At January 29, 2007 6:27 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Your gun is NOT a "Benjamin Franklin" That is a JOKE that the Benjamin Air Rifle Company used to put on the left side of their guns. They put it inside quotes, so people would know it was just a play on the company name.

Whenever quotes are set around a phrase or word that is not actually being spoken, it refers to a play on words or an imprecise naming of the thing.

All Benjamins made between certain dates say "Benjamin Franklin" on the left side of the receiver and it is understood to be a play on words. You can read more about it in the Blue Book of Airguns.


At February 19, 2007 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have my dad's Benjamin Air Rifle Model G. The chamber does not retain the pressure. I would like to get it fixed and have seen two references for that--John Groenewold and George Pena. I live in WI. Would either of these gentlemen be able to repair my rifle?

At February 19, 2007 3:05 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Go with Groenewold. The G is a very old design that John will know best.


At February 19, 2007 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear BB
Thanks for the info.

At February 21, 2007 10:23 PM, Blogger daniel said...

I have a Benjamin model 710 BB gun it was my Fathers gun he purchased the gun new around 1945 it needs allot of work I'm looking to get it restored!!
Ant suggestions.

At February 22, 2007 10:19 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


The right man for the job is

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At February 22, 2007 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I also have a model 317 S/N H333366 I Purchased in the early 80's from a roadside Hotel/Tavern for $75.00. The gun was still in the original box that I kept. It appears that this gun goes back to 1967 is that correct? I see no nickel but it has the black finish some brass showing on the edges. I haven't had a lick of trouble with it every so often I put a drop or two of 3&1 oil and keep firing. My Son and I get allot of joy out of this gun. What is this gun worth?

At February 22, 2007 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry B.B the last post was from DS

At February 22, 2007 12:41 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


The finish you describe was probably a dark gray paint in 1967. The earlier guns had the nickel finishes.

The box is probably blue and yellow? I think those were the colors in 1967.

If it's in excellent condition it's worth $125-150 with the box. Alone it's worth $90-110.


At February 22, 2007 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the smoth brass finish. Am I totally destorying the value if I do that?

At February 22, 2007 1:43 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...




At February 27, 2007 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandfather recently died, and my family found a diana model .23 in his home. It says its made in germany, and there is a small engraving of what I think might be athena ar artimis or diana on the air chamber right above the trigger. Any of the history of this gun would be much obliged. I don't know where he got it or what it is. I don't even know how to use it, the pump seems stuck in a closed position. I think you reference this gun earlier in you "beware of antique shops and gun shows" section of your post, but i don't quite get your meaning. Anything would be helpful.

At February 28, 2007 5:42 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Diana 23,

Let's begin with you reading this posting:

If you want to get your gun overhauled and put back to shooting condition, call this man:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365

If you want to know more about Dianas, buy the Blue Book of Airguns, Vol. 5. It's available on this website:


At April 10, 2007 5:01 PM, Anonymous dtarter said...

i have a benjamin franklin model 340 serial # T319819 it has just recently stopped holding air ,actually it does not seem to be compressing any air when pumped wondering what my options are for repairs and what it's worth

At April 11, 2007 10:14 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Your Benjamin (not Benjamin Franklin, that is a company joke) can be repaierd by this man:

George Pena
George is at or 512-863-2951.

A working 340 is worth $75-100.


At April 11, 2007 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a benjamin franklin model 132 serial # is B267966 what year is it and how much is it worth?

At April 12, 2007 8:03 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The 132 was made for a long time. I'll need a compete physical description.

This is the most common Benjamin pistol. A good working 132 goes for $50, and an excellent early one in a box will bring $150-175.


At May 03, 2007 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a friend of mine just purchased a benjamin model 112 for 100.00. He says that it's in very good conditions it has the round tootsie roll handle and the walnut grips, he says it hold air and shoots I was wondering if he got a good deal? What would it be worth if it is more or less. Thanks Ike

At May 03, 2007 2:19 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


To be in very good condition your friend's gun must have at least 50 percent black nickel over silver nickel with little or no brass showing. It must hold air and fire.

Don't pump this gun without pushing in on the front of the pump linkage. The pump mechanism is poorly designed and fragile and will break if you try to pump with the small wooden handle. alone.

In very good condition, your friend's gun is worth $110-140.


At May 16, 2007 9:02 PM, Anonymous Ike said...

I've recently been looking for somewhere to rebuild and repair my Benjamin Model 347 (177 cal). Could anyone recommend a good place in or around Texas to have this done? There are many problems with the gun, missing parts, old seals, and maybe more. Thanks

At May 16, 2007 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh and this is not the same Ike as above...we just happen to have the same names.

thanks again

At May 17, 2007 5:34 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Here's your man:

George Pena
George is at or 512-863-2951.

He's near Austin.


At May 24, 2007 6:01 PM, Blogger Hunter said...

Hello , I have acquired a benjamin 300 I believe. It has the number 300 on the back of the pump. I think. Well It doesnt work very well but perhaps I could get it repaired could you tell me more about this gun? Thanks alot -Hunter

At May 25, 2007 8:25 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


The 300 is a BB gun (smoothbore). The hollow bolt tip is where the BB goes. If you shoot a .177 pellet, load it directly into the breech.

The 300 was made from 1934 to 1940. It originanly had a black nickel finish over silver nickel over brass. A gun with all the black still remaining is w0rth $250-300. A gun with most of the silver remaining is worth $150-200. A gun that is mostly brass is worth $100-125.

At May 30, 2007 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi B.B.
I have a Benjamin air pistol model 132 that I would like to know what is worth. It has all the black nickel, no scratches. I have it in its original box, which is also in like-new condition. I also have many papers that came with the gun: the part price list, the instruction sheet with the diagram and the description of parts and price list on the back. The list of authorized repair stations. The full 90-day warranty and another booklet with information on other Benjamin products attached to a blank order form.
The pistol works perfect, it has a plastic brown grip that says Benjamin High Compression on it and a Tootsie Roll pump handle. It does not have any signs of wear so I assume it's been in that box for years,I have only shot around 15 pellets through it, as I'm afraid to scratch it or something. All the pins and screws are untouched except the one by the trigger which has a little mark in the edges of the groove.
This is my only pistol and I bough it as I saw its incredible conditions the serial is B272822
Thanks for your help.

At May 31, 2007 7:51 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Your pistol is very late, based on the plastic grip panels. It must have a blue and yellow box.

Having 100 percent of the black nickel is a real plus. Although the 132 is a common Benjamin gun, the condition of yours in the box drives the price as high as it will go, which I would say is $175 today. The Blue Book puts it at about $190.

Ten years ago, I owned the same gun in the same condition and I paid only $100 for it, so the gun is appreciating.


At May 31, 2007 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks BB.
Yes the box is yellow and blue. I'm happy to hear that I got a good deal on it. I found this pistol in an antique mall and I paid 85.00 plus tax for it.
Thanks again for the information.

At June 20, 2007 3:53 PM, Anonymous daniel said...

I have a Benjamin 130 with some of the brass showing and most of the black in good shape. It has a holster that looks like it may have been an"original" It still shoots good. I could ge5t my moms pet squirrel to varify that if he hadn't recently died from a case of acute lead poisoning. Also have an old screw on lid can of Benjamin bbs. green with black lettering any Idea of value?

At June 20, 2007 6:16 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


A Benjamin 130 down to brass with most of the black is worth $75-90. The holster is worth $25-40, if it is original. The pellet tin is worth $5.


At June 20, 2007 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello B.B., I have a benjamin air pistol model 177, you'll notice I did not say "franklin". I found this air pistol in my grandparents house and it seems to be in fairly good condition for it's age and does seem to hold air and shoot. It does'nt have any brass showing but the barrel area is worn to silver in areas, also the screws are all intact but have been obviously fiddled with. Could you please give me some info on this model, age, ammo, value? Thank-you in advance, Pat

At June 21, 2007 5:59 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Good for you! (for not saying Franklin)

I'm on the road and don't have my Blue Book with me, but from memory of what I see at the gun shows, a 177 in the condition you describe should be worth about $125-175.

The age and other info has to wait for the Blue Book.


At June 21, 2007 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B., just wanted to thank-you for the quick response! Any further information will be appreciated when your able, Pat

At June 22, 2007 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bengiman mod 132 with faux ivory grips and tootsie handle, works great. do you know date of mfg?

At June 23, 2007 5:24 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The white plastic grips place your Benjamin in the 1960s. It came in a blue and yellow box.


At June 26, 2007 8:02 PM, Anonymous johnny said...

I have a Benjiman Franklin Air Rifle.
It is model.347 and .177 cal. It has brass barrel and scope. It is pretty rare I think. I know some are more rare than others . The serial no. is 1204906. I think the most rare start with the letter H etc. Any info. would help. I need to sell kids around anymoe :)
Thanks Johnny

At June 27, 2007 6:15 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


If your Benjamin 347 is down to brass, it has lost all its original finish. This model was made from 1969 to 1992. As long as the rifle still holds air and shoots, it's worth about $50-70.


At July 03, 2007 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin model 342 cal 22 serial T250891 and i would like to know how much its worth

At July 04, 2007 5:12 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

In average shooting condition a 342 is worth $60-80.


At July 11, 2007 5:28 PM, Anonymous Bob Wagner said...

I have an old Benjamin 130. The only thing in black is the trigger group and the bolt. Everything else is brass. I'm wondering if there is a serial number someplace on the pistol.The only number on that plate in the back is 130. Thanks

At July 12, 2007 5:44 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


The Benjamin 130 was made from 1946 to 1985. The wooden grip version ended sometime in the 1960s, when plastic grips took over.

Serial numbers are a very late feature on Benjamins, and your gun may not have one.


At July 14, 2007 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have acquired a Benjamin air rifle with the serial number H247069.
I cannot locate a model number anywhere.

Is this an early one?

The black is gone off the brass but it does have a soft sheen to it.

It is not holding air at the moment.

It has the tootsie roll pump handle.

Any advise you can give on value in this condition is appreciated. Thanks. D.W.

At July 15, 2007 11:16 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Any Benjamin with a serial number is a very late gun. They only started the practice in the 1970s or later.

With no model number and a Tootsie Roll pump handle, I'd guess you have a late painted 342 or 347. In the condition you describe, it's worth $35-50.


At July 20, 2007 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for an appraisal of a Benjamin 177 cal model 347 I think the serial number is 1247641. The finish is chipped but the barrel is all black with very few worn areas, only at the round end caps. It still shoots well. Is refinishing/ refurbishing the thing to do?

Thanks for the help.

At July 21, 2007 8:19 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A late model Benjamin 347 in shooting condition is worth $80-100. Refinishing shouldn't hurt the value of this model for 25 more years. After that it will be too vintage to touch.


At August 04, 2007 11:51 AM, Anonymous Sam said...

Hi everyone, i was wondering if you guys can help me ... i have break barrel rifle made in china, and theres no serial # .. theres only this word "Pioneer", and i need a washer for it .. so what materials can i use to make a good one, cos theres no suitable whashers here .. thank you

At August 05, 2007 9:07 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


The Pioneer air rifle was never carried by a large dealer in the U.S., to my knowledge. So it will be difficult to find parts. But all the Pioneers I know have leather seals that can be made from an old belt.

First determine whether your rifle has leather seals, and then we can proceed.


At August 08, 2007 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just found a Benjamin rifle in some piles of old rubish.

It's not in working condition and pretty far from being worth anything at all. So the value is of less interest to me.

Since I'm a pretty handy guy though, and I like to fix things that are broken it would be quite intereting to know if it's possible to find spare parts and fix it up. Maybe get it to fire a pellet or two.

The rifle looks like the rifle on the cover of the blue book 4th edition. It has a brass tube and barrel. It has the number H750399 stamped on the right hand side of the tube. I can't see any model number. It also has "Benjamin Franklin" stamped over the serial number.

I suppose it might be hard to find spares for it so maybe if there exists such a thing as a "blue print" of the gun and specifications, then it might be possible to make your own parts. It seems on this particular rifle that the front seal of the piston is missing.

Maybe ther is some old timers out there who can tell me about how it performed when it was new?

As I said, I found it in some trash in a house on Haiti. I wish I could find out the history of how it got here. How old is it?

If any one is interested in helping me I can send a picture of the gun!

Best regards,

Andreas Holmgren

At August 11, 2007 12:50 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I have a "Benjamin Franklin" air rifle, Model 312 .22 cal. Benjamin Air Rifle Co St. Louis USA on the back end cap of the barrel. It also has the tootsie roll style pump handle. There is some brass showing through the black on the metal, especially where the handle contacts the tube and silver(nickle?) showing around the cocking lever. I haven't found a serial number marking - where would it be? The rifle does not hold air - tried several oils - who would be best to repair it? It is also missing the rear sight. Thanks for any info you can provide. Jim

At August 11, 2007 4:31 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


This guy can rewseal your gun and may have that sight.

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365

Your rifle was made before Benjamin put serial numbers on their guns.


At August 13, 2007 4:05 PM, Anonymous Sam said...

Hello B.B.
Well, I found out that my rifle has no leather seals, its kinda polymer or something like that,after maintenance and lubricating the rifle and after several shots the washer break into pieces, I think that was because of the freezing weather. I think its necessary to let you know that the washer holded for long time "over 2300 shots" I don't know is it good or not? you tell me!!.....I appreciate your help ... by the way how often the rifle should be oiled along the year?
thank you

At August 13, 2007 5:09 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


If the piston seal broke into pieces it's no longer good. You need a new one.

Chinese piston seals for the Piuoneer rifle are not made of good material. You need to get some better seals. Try John Groenewold for that.

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365

You asked how often to oil - about one drop of silicone oil every 3000 to 5000 shots, or one drop per year. That is for a good piston seal.


At August 15, 2007 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question. Sorry to ask a question that perhaps has been asked many times before and admittedly, I didn't read all of the posts above.

I was wondering if the this pistol is worth restoring or if it it is merely "wurfless?"

On the left side of the barrel chamber it reads "Benjamin Franklin" and serial number B 27202. On the right side it reads CAL 177.

On the back it reads "137 Benjamin Air Rifle Company, St. Louis, Missouri."

The pellet pistol is complete and in good condition with only minor lose of blueing on the very top of the barrel. The pistol still works but perhaps not at 100% efficiency.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

At August 15, 2007 8:54 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A Benjamin 137 is always worth SOMETHING. Yours has a serial number, so it was made late in the range (1946-1985). I'm guessing that it's not black nickle over silver, but a painted gun. The color would be a dark to medium gray.

In working condition a 137 should fetch $75-90. The range is to cover cosmetics.


At August 18, 2007 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin Franklin air rifle model 312 but the model number is not stamped on the back it is stamped on the right side under the slide bolt still holds air and in good working order how much could mine be worth oh ya serial 257068

At August 19, 2007 7:03 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A working Benjamin 312 sould bring $75-90, depending on condition.


At August 19, 2007 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Outstanding Blog. My father passed on a a Benjamin Model 132 # B95551 with the 'tootsie roll' pump (good discription) to me when he passed.

It is a treasured piece in excellent shape, we used it to take a lot of grouse and quail, but I would like to rebuild it. It holds air but the leathers/seals are shot.

Do you have a source for replacement parts/kits? Or will I have to manufacture my own?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

At August 20, 2007 7:02 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

You can try this man:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At August 20, 2007 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your help is greatly appreciated.
Wishing you continued success and prosperity!


At August 21, 2007 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do I find out the year a model 312 was made if I can not find a serial # on it ??



At August 21, 2007 3:32 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You can never know the exact year of a Benjamin 312. They were made from 1940-1969 and changed only a little in all that time. If your rifle has a one-piece bolt, it was probably made after 1956, unless the bolt has been relpaced.

An expert can look at things like the thickness of the stock wood and make a judgement about approximately when the rifle was made, but that's about it.

If you are interested in the lineage of Benjamins, might I suggest the books b y Dean Fletcher?


At August 27, 2007 3:52 PM, Blogger deekae99 said...

I have a Benjamin Model 317, S/N H120462, tootsie roll pump and brass barrel. There's also 3 grooves carved in the stock. Does this indicate a custom stock, or do you think a previous owner carved them? Any idea when this was made and what it is worth?

Thanks for the help!

At August 27, 2007 4:10 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


If the three grooves are parallel and on the sides of the frearm the stock could be factory. At any rate, you have a late model 317 made in 1959.

In working condition it's worth $80. More if there is some finish and you have the box and literature.


At September 03, 2007 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Model 342 made by Benjamin Rifle company Racine Wis. where can i get parts for it? It does not hold air. Also, are there any schematics?


At September 03, 2007 12:55 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


There aren't any schematics that I know of, but Dean Fletcher has some reprints of Benjamin manuals that show some detaoils. But them from Doug Law (he's on the internet).

Repair stations have to make their parts, as there aren't any new ones. Some of the 392 parts will interchange.


At September 07, 2007 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the o-ring seal replacemnt suggestion.
I have a Benjamin Model 137 crica 1965. I was able to use standard plumbing o-rings, one 13 (inner seal) and a 14 (outer seal). I believe the number is the nominal diameter in millimeters (mm). Both seals were about 1.5mm thick.
The o-rings were 48 cents a piece.
The disassembly was quite an experience (I didn't have the tool). When I had the brass retaining nut in hand, I was able to make a tool from copper wire to reassemble; though next time, I think I will try a piece of hollow metal stock from a hobby store.

Royal Oak, MI

At September 07, 2007 9:40 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You are a resourceful guy! Congrats on fixing your gun.


At September 19, 2007 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a benjamin 422 semi-Automatic cal,22 pistol white plastic ivory handle good condition still works dont leak can you tell me the value and age thank you

At September 20, 2007 6:22 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A working Benjamin 422 in good condition is worth $100. They were made from 1969-1973.

What killed the 422 was the fact that it uses a 8-gram cartridge instead of a 12-gram. Because the gas is used to work the action, the number of shots is low, though owners have told me it will equal a Crosman 600. Also, because it shoots round balls instead of pellets, not as many shooters want it. It is a good collectible, though.


At September 20, 2007 6:22 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A working Benjamin 422 in good condition is worth $100. They were made from 1969-1973.

What killed the 422 was the fact that it uses a 8-gram cartridge instead of a 12-gram. Because the gas is used to work the action, the number of shots is low, though owners have told me it will equal a Crosman 600. Also, because it shoots round balls instead of pellets, not as many shooters want it. It is a good collectible, though.


At September 21, 2007 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin 347 which I bought new about 30 years ago. I had mounted a 3x-7x scope on it and it is deadly to varmints. Used it for about two years then put it in the back of the closet. No more Squirels in my neighborhood. Now the squirels have returned, because a nearby woods has been cleared for a subdivision. I am using Gamo Rocket pellets now and the 347 is still deadly. It is in very good condition and I would like to keep it that way. Any pointers or tips? Are manuals still available for this model?

At September 21, 2007 9:28 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Always store your gun with one pump of air in it. That keeps the valve shut against contamination.

Oil the pump piston head with Crosman Pellgunoil (3-4 drops).


At October 09, 2007 1:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin 342 which I bought brand new about 22 years ago. I had mounted a 4x-32 Scope on it and it is deadly and still powerful just as new. I have changed the air hole seal a couple of times before due to losing air. But now a days most parts in stores are for the newer model airguns. Any tips on how to get original parts for Benjamin 342.
Thank you very much for your support.

Asail, Palau

At October 09, 2007 6:29 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Airgun repair stations make their own parfts for these. A 392 repair kit would be a good place to start, but you may need a different valve seal, and that has to be turned on a lathe.


At October 13, 2007 2:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a "Benjamin Franklin" mod. 100 air pistol. When was it made? and approx. what is it worth?

At October 13, 2007 5:46 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The Benjamin model 199 was made from 1935 to 1941. It is a BB gun and has a smoothbore barrel. You can also shoot lead pellets and darts.

Condition is everything withy Benjamins. If your gun is in excellent condition with most of the black nickel over silver nickel and you have the original green box, it could be worth $200. If it is down to brass (many pelple shined them in the past, removing all finish) the value for a working gun is about $75.


At October 13, 2007 7:55 PM, Blogger chuck said...

dear sir i have just aquired a franklin 312 air gun model number 25086 with riffle barrling that shoots really straight the nikel and black finish has wore off. my question is after three pumps i can put another pellet in and shoot it again without pumping it. is there somthing wrong with my trigger and its a toostie roll pump. by the way the wooden roll pin was replaced with a secure pin by robert tapp. its a 22 calivor my kids have a ball with it! and i was hoping that you could help me with some imformation

At October 14, 2007 10:50 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


What you have is a BENJAMIN 312 air rifle. The words "Benjamin Franklin" are in quotes - meant as a play on the company name. There are no Benjamin Franklin airguns.

Your gun need to be overhauled. Apparently it has been overpumped in the past (more than 10 pump strokes) or the seals have simply worn out. The mainspring can no longer exhaust all the air in thereservoir with one shot, which is why there is air remaining. Some guns are designed this way, but the Benjamin 312 wasn't.

Overpumping destroys seals, weakens springs and makes pumping linkages sloppy, so after it is repaierd never pump more than 10 times per shot.

Always leave one pump of air in the gun when it is stored, to keep the seals closed against dust.


At October 18, 2007 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there great site anyways I just aquired an old pellet gun, and on top it says PIONEER G6432, some chinese and then 'made in china'. Any idea on what year it was made, or how much it would be worth? It works pretty well and its a break barrel. Thanks

At October 19, 2007 6:26 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

There is not a lot of history in this country about the Pioneer brand airguns. I remember them from the 1970s, and I think that's when they first came to this country. It was about the same time that the IJ-27 Soviet breakbarrels were selling.

I think when Compasseco opened the Chinese market in the early 1980s, Pioneer went away and guns came in with their factory name, instead. That's when Shanghai first became known to me.

I'm sorry I can't tell you more, but keep looking. Eventually you will find out most of the story if you are persistent.

Guns like your sell for $25-50 at airgun shows.


At October 20, 2007 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Upon more research, i've found that they were imported and sold by very few american dealers in the middle-late 70's. Anyway, thank you for your help, and let me know if you find out more of the company.

At October 20, 2007 5:27 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Thank you for sharing what you found out!


At October 22, 2007 12:11 PM, Anonymous jnfether said...

I have read with much interest the posts regarding Benjamin air rifles - we have a Benjamin 342 that "came with the house" when we moved in. Holds air great, the brass shined up real pretty, and the stock is good condition.

It has the following info:
Left side of barrel

Right side of barrel
CAL .22 MODEL 342

Butt-end of stock:

According to the serial number, it was made in 1973. But I have some questions. The description I have found says that "Model 342 Pneumatic, .22 cal. pellet, single shot w/ under lever pump & checkered stock & fore end (1st var.) Rifle 1968-1986."

The second variation (1986-1991) was made w/o checkered stock & fore end. However, mine has what looks like a smooth stock & fore end (stock & fore end are the wooden parts, right?) They're just smooth wood, no engraving, checkering, etc. Perhaps you could clarify that for me?

By the by, in hunting for information about my rifle, I discovered a couple of sites that may be of interest to your readers:

A great BLOG re: restoring (plus lots of good links):

For Parts:

For Model #/Serial #/Age info:

Thank you for the wealth of information in all previous posts,

At October 22, 2007 12:27 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Your rifle does seem to be an anomaly. Deep inside the checkered years, it comes out with a plain stock.

Two possibilities:

1. The book is wrong about the dates.

2. Both wooden pieces were replaced.

I favor number 2, but I also know that configuration control is nonexistent in an airgun factory. Anything can come out at any time.


At November 22, 2007 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a 317. just got it last year from an relative. how many pumps would be maximum power without damage.

At November 23, 2007 6:44 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You didn't mention whether you had the front-pumper version of the 317 or the underlever sissors version. You may not know there are two versions of the 317.

Don't pump the font-pumper more than 5 strokes and the underlever version more than 8.

For both keep the pump head lubricated with 20-weight non-detergent motor oil (Crosman Pellgunoil) and always store the gun with a pump of air in it (but not cocked).


At December 10, 2007 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that a few other people have posted about the Benjamin 422. I have one I bought, it was never sold in the store. It has the pistol in the box and styrofoam container. It also has 1 unused CO2 cartrage, 1 unused tin of .22 Cal. Pellets 250 count,1 unused extra CO2 cap (part #4224)used to contain the CO2 cartrage and punch the hole in the CO2 cartrage when tightened down. It also has 1 flyer containing advertisements for the pistol and other Benjamin firearms, 1 instruction sheet with schematic, 1 flyer called the Benjamin Beacon, a Reference about cautions and tweaks.
The box is yellow with blue printing on it. As far as I know the gun has never been fired. Not by me at least. The yellow box has seen better days but is still mostly intact.
The sale flyer says it sold for $24.00.
Except for the box and paperwork the rest should be considered mint condition. Any idea on the price?

At December 11, 2007 6:41 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The Blue Book says your pistol is worth around $145, but I think it's worth more because of the extremely fine condition. I think it might fetch $175-200 at an airgun show.

The 422 had a short run from 1969 to 1973.


At December 15, 2007 10:52 PM, OpenID av8healey said...

B.B. I have a Benjamin Model 317 with #H48497. Can you please tell me when was it made? It doesn't hold air. Are the seals replaceable by a "handyman" (me)? If not, do you know what it costs to have it done? Thanks for your help.

At December 16, 2007 2:06 PM, Anonymous newbie said...

i have a benjamin 340 s/n T37756 missing the bolt to load bb need a phone number for parts? also price next i have a crosman 600 pistol in the box s/n 83987 6 or b ? cant tell year and price ? next i think is a slavia model # 622 made in czchoslovakia cal.22 year and price thanks for any help you can give

At December 19, 2007 7:22 PM, Blogger JV29967 said...

i have a benjiman mod 132 fully blued pearl handle tootsie roll pump serial b 74609 hold air w/papers and box can anyone tell me how old and is it collectable thanx

At December 20, 2007 9:32 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Your 132 was made in 1965. In the condition you describe it is collectable and worth $100-125.


At December 20, 2007 10:01 PM, Blogger drewdreckman said...

my dad has a benjiman air rifle not sure on modle either 312 or 317 .22 in great shape but it needs new seals i think i would like to get it in good working order for him but dont know where to start or where to find parts it has the old tootsie roll pump i would say built in late '60s your held would be great!

At December 21, 2007 10:44 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


If it's a .22 it's a 312. Here's where to send your rifle:

Rick Willnecker Contact him at or call 717-382-1481.

or John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365


At January 07, 2008 9:27 PM, Anonymous goldbeachoutlw said...

i have a bemjamin model 132 serial number b24784, which i thimk is from the 40's. wondering what it's worth. it still fires and looks good. however someone polished it down to the brass. thanx bob

At January 08, 2008 6:50 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Your 132 was made in 1956. Polished down to brass and working it's worth $50.


At January 15, 2008 10:42 PM, Blogger barnone1st said...

I have a Benjamin model 317 rifle with the nickle-black finish described in other posts. It's mostly black with maybe 30% wear showing. There is no ser. no. or cal. markings. My guess is that it's .177 cal. (Too small for a .22)It has the tootsie roll pump lever handle that seems to work smoothly and does build pressure with additional pumps even though I doubt anyone has used it in the last 25 years. What can you tell me about it and where can I get it serviced or obtain instructions/materials to service it myself?


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