Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Don't be fooled - shop for those vintage airguns

by B.B. Pelletier

I watch the gun auction websites looking for an airgun bargain or two. Sometimes, I see the most ridiculous things, and I hope you're not being taken in by them.

Be wary of "Benjamin Franklins"
When a dealer lists a Benjamin airgun as a Benjamin Franklin, it's a sure bet he doesn't know what he has. The words "Benjamin Franklin" on the side of the receiver were just a play on the name and have no meaning at all. Usually, the same dealers will ask $250 for a common model 130 pistol that's lost all its finish and has had the brass metal shined up. They look nice but are worth about $50 to $70 in working condition.

Beware of RARE!
Many gun dealers list common airguns as rare because they have never seen one. I see all sorts of Daisys and Crosmans listed as rare, but I know they're very common. Currently, the big deal in rare airguns is the S&W 78G and 79G in like-new condition in the box. Folks, those guns are almost ALL in that condition! If you find one that isn't, it drops from a $175 gun to a $90 gun pretty quick.

Another currently "rare" air pistol is any Webley Senior, Mark I or Mark II. You see these being offered at $300+, but you can pick them up at airgun shows for half that. Gun dealers just don't know the airgun market that well, and anything that looks well-made is likely to get an inflated price tag.

Ignorance can work in your favor, too
The same gun shop that thinks their "Benjamin Franklin" front-pump rifle is rare and valuable may not give a second thought to the Daisy 1894 Texas Ranger Commemorative BB gun standing in the corner. While the all-brass Benjamin is worth about $70, the Daisy can be worth up to $600! And, there are many others like it.

A "Christmas Story" Daisy Red Ryder can bring up to $350 in the box. This is a model Daisy never made until author Jean Shepard mistakenly wrote it into his now-famous book that became a classic Christmas video. Shepard blended the classic lever-action Red Ryder with the compass-stocked Buck Jones pump gun in his novel, and Daisy built a few guns to honor the movie's success. Most were purchased by collectors. Once again, expect nothing less than new-in-the-box when it comes to these.

Be on the lookout for the strange and different
Not all airguns are known and documented. You might stumble across one that's never been seen by collectors. If so, you are probably sitting very pretty. There were hundreds of airgun makers in the 1920s and not all of their guns have been located, so there is a good chance of finding something unknown. At an airgun show, there are enough deep pockets in the aisles to reward the finder of a new type or model of airgun - especially if it is American.

So get out there and turn the rocks over. It can be very rewarding! Just remember that not everything you read on the internet is true!

88 Comments:

At August 02, 2005 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to attend an air gun show. Where, when and how often are the best ones?

 
At August 02, 2005 6:56 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

There are only a few left this year. This comes from Shotgun News, where they have a monthly airgun column. In June they ran a list of all the airgun shows this year.

The Daisy Get Together is in Michigan on August 28. Call Wes Powers at 517-423-4148 or email WTPO@peoplepc.com.

On November 4 & 5 the 15th Annual International Airgun Expo. will be held in Roanoke, VA. This is the oldest and largest airgun show in the world. Call Fred Liady at 540-344-1677 or email fred@airgunshow.com.

Hope to see you there!

B.B.

 
At August 02, 2005 11:25 PM, Blogger Bloo said...

B.B.

Thanks for your response yesterday on the RWS 94. Excellent information. Thanks

I have another question, specifically about the RWS 94, but a question that can apply to any air gun.

The advertised fps for my gun is 825 (.22). So far, I've shot 1000+ pellets through it. Using 14.3g CP's and Benjamin pellets (14.3g), I am getting an average fps of 680, with a low of 660 and 1 high of 697.

Is this typical to get approx 17.5% less fps than advertised? Based on data retrieved online, these numbers seem very low.

Would it be that this specific rifle is underpowered? Do springers need time to break in?

Your opinion would be appreciated.

Thanks

 
At August 03, 2005 4:48 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Bloo,

Yes, springers require a break in and 1,000 shots is about it. Your experience is not uncommon, but with lighter pellets your gun will shoot faster.

Some springewrs will shoot as rated, but my experience is that those made in Spain and China usually don't.

I will do a posting on springer and advertised velocities for you.

B.B.

 
At August 11, 2005 1:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 11, 2005 2:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 18, 2005 5:55 PM, Anonymous Evan Parent said...

Thanks for the info. Im trying to sell a Benjamin 317 .117 with a rifled barrel, and am having difficulty finding buyers. Can someone please help me out? Would someone be so kind as to tell me what exactly I DO have? It functions flawlessly and has all original parts. Here are the where the pics are located. www.netlynx.us/evanp/ebay/ they are the "benjamin.jpg" pics. Thanks again for your help.

 
At August 18, 2005 6:35 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Evan,

Your Benjamin 317 was made between 1940 and 1969 (from The Blue Book of Airguns, 5th Edition for sale on Pyramyd Air's website) and yours was probably made in the 1960s because it is painted rather than plated.

It's worth $40 to $60 if it holds air and shoots.

You should be able to sell it immediately on American Airguns' website (free classified ads).

http://www.airguns.net/classifieds/classifieds.html

B.B.

 
At October 09, 2005 10:02 PM, Blogger bayou said...

Just please send me any info. I am a female who had a grandchild that that I have not been allowed to see because of my son. The child is my sons son. i know that I know nothing about guns much less a BB Gun,Old School, not allowed to go huntng. I paid $500 for this BB Gun years ago for ths child. This is all I know Ben.Frank Modle 31-20 and it has T354628 on it. Please emal me at bayoulove@aol. Sick just would like to leave something for the my grandchild, reason I bought it. Thanks for your time, just learning bloggs, so send me emil and subject BB gun
wish you and yours well. Thank you for time spent.

 
At October 10, 2005 5:03 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

bayou,

According to the Blue Book of Airguns 5th edition, the Benjamin 3120 is a .22-caliber smoothbore that shoots .22-caliber lead balls. It is smoothbore (no rifling) and was made from 1959 to 1985. In 100 percent condition, it is worth $225. If you have the box with it, add 20 percent.

B.B.

 
At December 17, 2005 5:00 PM, Anonymous Rachael Leggans said...

I have an airgun that has "Benjamin Franklin" printed on theleft hand side of the barrel under the sfety. On the right hand side of the barrel, right under where you load the bb's it says CAL 22. What exactly do I have? It is a front pump rifle.

 
At February 21, 2006 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, i have a Benjamin Franklin air handgun CAL 177 Model# 137. can anyone tell me what price i can sell it for???? what's it worth?/
thank you for your time
kimi

jt419@sbcglobal.net

 
At February 21, 2006 7:53 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

kimi,

First, you own a Benjamin model 137, not a Benjamin Franklin. The name on the side of the gun is in quotes to indicate that it's just a play on the company name.

A Benjamin 137 can be worth $20 for a parts gun all the way up to perhaps $110 if the gun has all the black nickle over all the silver nickle plating and is in the box. If you have a painted gun rather than a plated one, subtract $20 from the high number.

If the gun is down to brass all over but still works, it's worth $40 or so.

To be worth the higher figure, the gun must be working.

B.B.

 
At March 03, 2006 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I have two air pistols I would like to sell. The Ist one is a Smith & Wesson model 79G .177 cal pellet gun in excellent condition.
Also a Crosman Mark II .177 cal Target in excellent condition. Can aynone tell me what price I should ask.




FPW

 
At March 04, 2006 9:12 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

If the S&W 79G is really excellent and in the box, it's worth $200. Without the box $150. The Mark II is worth $125-150 in the box.

B.B.

 
At September 05, 2006 2:04 PM, Anonymous connie said...

My husband has a "Benjamin Franklin." He can't even remember where it came from. It has what looks like "H335140" on it. There are letters and numbers on the other side, but I can't make them out. Would you give us a guess as to its vaule--in working condition but cruddy, with rust on the trigger. Thank you.
Connie

 
At September 05, 2006 2:21 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Connie,

It's a Benjamin. The words "Benjamin Franklin" are in quotes to show that they are a play on words.

I need to know whether you have a rifle or a pistol. Also, can you read any numbers or letters on the back of the action (the most rearward piece of metal you can see above the stock)?

B.B.

 
At September 24, 2006 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am doing research for an older gentleman who has a Benjamin Frankin 22 cal. Model #132 - serial # B141216 brass pellet gun with a white and black marble looking grip and wood pump. He has had this for over 20 years and would like to know it's approx. worth or if he should sell it or hold on to it and pass it on to the grandchildren. Any help would be very welcome.
MJW Iles

 
At September 25, 2006 12:18 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

MJW,

There is no airgun called Benjamin Franklin; that's just a play on the company name that they put on the left side of the gun. It's in quotes so people know to not take it seriously.

A Benjamin 132 late model (which yours is) is worth $125 in perfect condition with the box or $50 if it is just a shooter. If it doesn't hold air, it's worth $35 for parts.

B.B.

 
At September 25, 2006 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your time. I have printed the information and will pass it along.
MJW Iles

 
At October 10, 2006 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found a BENJAMIN FRANKLIN air rifle Model 342 22. cal serial#T103819 in the attic of my old house. I checked the nubers through crossman and apparently it was made in '68. It is in awesome shape and shoots like a dream. all i have done to it is wipe the dust off. Do you think it has much value?

 
At October 12, 2006 5:02 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The Benjamin 342 was manufatured between 1969 and 1992. In excellent condition, an unboxed rifle is worth $125-150. The Tootsie Roll pump handle adds to the value, bringing it to the higher end.

Always store the gun with one or two pumps of air.

B.B.

 
At October 13, 2006 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I have an air rifle made from the benjamin air rifle co. and am curious to see how much its worth, and any other info you can tell me about it. It is a model 317 and does not have a serial code so i know it is older than 1957. it currently does not work and depending on what infor you tell me about it, and how much its worth. I will most likely try and fix it myself. Please E mail me back at honor2him@hotmail.com

 
At October 14, 2006 9:01 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

honor2him,

There are 2 Benjamin rifles bearing the 317 number. The oldest is what we call a front-pumper. It has a rod sticking out the front of the gun that is pumped. The second is an underlever pumper with the Tootsie Roll pump handle.

The first style was made 1934-1940. A gun with no finish left (down to brass) is worth about $100 if it works.

The second version was made 1940-1969, though probably few were made during the war years. With no finish remaining it is worth $75 in working condition.

The original finish for both guns was black nickle over bright nickle over brass.

Parts don't exist for these guns so unless you have a lathe to make some of the valve parts, you are better off sending it to a qualified repairman.

Here are two good ones:

Pyramyd Air
Boris
888-262-4867
www.pyramydair.com

George Pena
George is at heligun1@msn.com or 512-863-2951.

B.B.

 
At October 14, 2006 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Benjamin 342 was manufatured between 1969 and 1992. In excellent condition, an unboxed rifle is worth $125-150. The Tootsie Roll pump handle adds to the value, bringing it to the higher end.

Always store the gun with one or two pumps of air.

B.B.



Why should you store a gun with one or two pumps of air? I always thought that you shouldn't store them with any air in them. Or is it just that one particular type of gun?

 
At October 14, 2006 2:54 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

All pneumatic and CO2 airguns are stored with air or gas in them, if possible. It keeps the valves sealed against contaminents in the air.

A few guns have been designed to prevent this practice, but you do it if at all possible. It is written in many of the older manuals, but taken out of the newer ones for liability reasons i.e., a loaded gun.

A gun stored under pressure lasts for decades. One that's left empty starts leaking within years.

B.B.

 
At October 15, 2006 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: 10/10-3:39pm Thanks for the info.. You're good guy for helpin' everyone out like ya do !!

 
At November 03, 2006 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I recently aquired some vintage airguns. One is an American Luger pellet pistol. Could you possibly direct me to where I could find an exploded view/parts list for this gun? Also, somewhere I might find available replacement parts, ammo, and short CO2 cylinders for this gun? Thanks....Phil

 
At November 03, 2006 8:14 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Phil,

You have a very valuable air pistol! You might contact Dean Fletcher for a schematic. These guns weren't made too long and the factory support is sparse, so it may be a treasure hunt.

Google Fk
letcher's name for his contact info.

B.B.

 
At November 06, 2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi B.B.: Thanks for your response. I did contact D.T. Fletcher. He informed me that there are no schematics or parts for this gun. He advised to sell it on an internet auction. I appreciate your help. Thanks again.
Phil

 
At December 05, 2006 9:21 PM, Anonymous Jjongeldad@ aol.com said...

Dear Sir:

I have a "Benjamin Franklin" air rifle, model 310, serial # H174538 and a"Benjamin Franklin" pistol, 177Cal., model 137, serial # B105746. Both in excellent condition. I would like to sell these since I am moving to a retirement home and would like to know how much to ask for them. Thank you kindly.

Joe Jongebloed

 
At December 06, 2006 5:48 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Joe,

To be considered excellent, both guns need to have at least 95 percent of the original black nickle over silver nickle with no brass showing and they do have to work.

The 310 is worth $95-125 and the 137 is worth $100-125.

B.B.

 
At December 11, 2006 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a air rifle' xionghad b-6z question'' who makes it

 
At December 11, 2006 12:12 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Some company in China, for sure. I don't know which one.

B.B.

 
At December 20, 2006 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the Benjamin 317 .177 cal sn H330060 bought new years ago....Is there a source for new seals on the ram?.. It won't pump up now...Do you know what year this gun was made?....Thanks ....Glenn

 
At December 20, 2006 1:05 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Glenn,

Benjamin assigned the number 317 to two different rifles. The front-pumper was made 1934-1940. The underlever pumper was made 1940-1969. With the later gun you can tell how old it is by the finish. Black nickel over silver nickel over brass is older than the painted brass version. Check with this guy for repairs:

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

B.B.

 
At December 20, 2006 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks B. B. for the reply, I'll contact John......Glenn

 
At January 06, 2007 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After looking at the crosman web site I noticed that the difference between the model 107 and the model 177 is that the 177 is rifled and the 107 is not.

ALWILDMN@HOTMAIL.COM

 
At January 20, 2007 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually the benjamin cenntenial model 87 .22 cal, came all brass and is very rare and worth some money unlike the "polished fakes" i know because i used to haev one before my house was robbed...:(

 
At July 18, 2007 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw youre post about the webley mark II target model. Just purchased one for $350 Did I make a fool of myself???

 
At July 19, 2007 4:53 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A Mark II Target pistol should sell for $350 if is has a lot of blue remaining. If it doesn't just wait ten years and the value will catch up with the price.

B.B.

 
At July 25, 2007 12:39 PM, Anonymous Traci said...

I just reciveved a Benjamin 132 High Compression Pellet Gun. This model has the Plastic model handle and the wooden handle pump. I shot this gun this past weekend, and it holds air wonderfully. It has a brass shaft with a decent amount of wear and the serial? is B 20078.

Two questions.

What is the approximate value of this gun? There is no box and prior to this past weekend, it was not shot in about 40 years.

And,

Does this gun need to be cleaned? and is there a way to clean it??


Thanks,
A girl that is very new to this all..

 
At July 25, 2007 2:05 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Traci,

Since your gun still shoots, you can help it by storing the gun with two pumps of air in the gun when it is stored. That is an uncocked gun with two pumps of air in it to seal the valves against airborn dust and dirt.

I usually recommend just one pump, but your pistol has been dormant so long that the seals are probably hardened. We want to put some flex back into them, and this is the way to do it.

Also, flip the pistol upside down and open the pump handle all the way. At the end of the pup slot closest to the grip, drop in three or four drops of household oil (3-in-! - yes WD-40 NO!). Then pump the gun and shoot it 10 times. Do that about every month or each time you take it out to shoot, if not that often. That oil helps the pump cup seal more air when it pumps.

Your gun was made in 1956, according to the serial number. You can look that up on the Crosman website (they own Benjamin).

No cleaning is ever necessary, except for wiping the outside down. The barrel never needs it. A gun in the condition you describe is worth $50-80.

B.B.

 
At March 01, 2008 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought a Benjamin 137 with wood grips and tootsie roll pump. It seems to have black over nickel finish on metal parts. A little of the black is worn off. 1. can the black be restored or can it be blued? 2. do you recommend 3in1 oil and can I use pellgun oil in it?

 
At March 02, 2008 8:55 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The black finish is fragile and cannot be restored successfully, to my knowledge. It isn't bluing, and a brass gun cannot be blued. Preserve the gun as it is and don't wipe it with anything other than a soft dry cloth.

Pellgunoil is fine for your rifle, and so is Three-in-One.

B.B.

 
At March 07, 2008 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just received my benjamin model 340 from my childhood. Having several brothers much younger than I, I am thankful only the bolt is missing. As I remember it was held in by a long "no head" screw on the side of the bolt that also acted as the cam to seal and lock the bolt in the down position. This is going on 40 years of memory so it could be foggy. I don't remember any other parts that could have fallen out with the bolt missing. If I am incorrect please inform and can I find the bolt anywhere?
Thanks,
Steven

 
At March 07, 2008 6:47 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Steven,

You are right. Try this man for the bolt:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
http://www.jgairguns.biz

B.B.

 
At March 10, 2008 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a xionghao b-6z air rifle. I found it in my garge and i was woundering on the back ground of this gun like the ammo it uses and how much its worth. if anyone could help me that would be great. Thank you.

 
At March 10, 2008 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you B.B.
I'll give John a try.
(hehe not much of a collector piece on this one... its shiny as a new penny... yes, I read the entire post.. you know your stuff)
thanks again,
Steven
Lubbock Tx.

 
At March 12, 2008 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I have a knock off since it is stamped "Benjamin Frankliin:. It stamped Benjamin Air Rifle Company - St Louis. Where can I find disassembly and assembly instructions?

 
At March 13, 2008 5:51 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

You do have something strange. I've never heard of a misspelling of the word Franklin on any of these guns before. That is a roll stamp, so I would have thought they would have checked it closely before stamping an actual gun. Maybe the fix was the remove the extra i by engraving and I should look for a small space in the word between the one i that is supposed to be there and the n.

Contact Dean Fletcher for one of his books that has reprints of Benjamin airguns assembly instructions. Doug Law also sells Fletcher books.

http://members.aol.com/vintairgun/home.htm

http://www.bigspringguns.net/books.htm

B.B.

 
At April 04, 2008 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would really like to find out what my gun is worth and how I should sell it.

These are the facts:

I have an instruction sheet with repair part description and price list.
5 Benjamin targets.
2 tins of pellet.
Question and car sheet.
The Benjamin target pistol.
The box which seems to be original has 132 on the side.
Pistol has "Benjamin Franklin" on the left side back of the gun and has 132 with Benjamin air rifle St. Louis USA on the back of the gun.

Please advise.
Thank you,
Allen

 
At April 05, 2008 7:44 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Allen,

You have a nice outfit, which makes it worth more than the gun, alone. The 132 is the most common gun Benjamin made and condition plus age will determine what your gun is worth.

First let's look at age. The oldest guns had all wood grips and pump handle and were black nickel over silver nickel over brass. A gun is near-perfect condition like that is probably worth $175-200. If half of the black is missing but not too much brass shows, it's worth $125-150. If a lot of brass and a little silver shows, it's worth $75-100.

Later versions had painted finishes and the last versions had plastic grips. Either of those in perfect condition is worth $125. In brassy condition they are worth $75.

Next let's talk about boxes. The oldest box is medium brown color. The next oldest is green and the newest box is blue and yellow.

The 132 was made 1946-1985.

B.B.

 
At April 15, 2008 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do all Benjamin Model 130 Air Pistols have serial numbers?

 
At April 15, 2008 5:56 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Benjamin 130s were made from 1946 to 1985. Crosman has a list of serial numbers by year going back to 1957. There were numbers a few years before 1957, but apparently not all the way back.

B.B.

 
At April 15, 2008 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, B.B.
We found my father-in-law's Benjamin Model 130 last week, but can't figure out how old it is. He passed away 15 years ago, so he's been long gone and we won't be able to question him about it. We were hoping the absence of a serial number would give a clue as to when it was manufactured.

Got another question, if you don't mind. I've always been taught to check the chamber/barrel of my pistols (.357 magnum and .44 colt) whenever I pick up the weapon to ensure the pistol is cleared. Is there a similar procedure you recommend for the Benjamin Air Pistols?

Thanks.

 
At April 16, 2008 6:14 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

130,

There are clues beyond the serial numbers to determine age. For example, your gun is an older one (no serial number) so it had a black nickel over silver nickel over brass finish. The black wore off fast, but the silver lasted pretty well. Also, the pump handle on the older 130s was more slender than the later ones. The grips were flat wood panels - plastic grips and painted finishes came much later. Your gun was made between 1946 and about 1954.

Unfortunately, the bolt pushes the pellet past the point where it can be seen, so once a pistol like this is loaded, it's impossible to tell with a safe visual inspection. One way to know is the pass a slender rod like a straightened coat hanger down the muzzle. It it exits the open breech, the gun isn't loaded.

Always store your pistol with a pump or two of air in it (and uncocked). It will hold air for decades if you do.

B.B.

 
At April 17, 2008 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, B.B.

Didn't think the 130 Pistol was that old! But you described it to a tee...black nickel over silver nickel (can't see brass finish yet), and flat wood panel grips. The pump handle, however, is wooden and tootsie roll-shaped.

Thanks for the safety tip. Regarding your comment about a straightened coat hanger...that explains the straightened wire hanger I found in the cardboard box my father-in-law's pistol came in.

 
At April 17, 2008 6:29 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

130,

You have a box for the gun? That will help with the dating!

The first box (1946-1956) had a green cover. The second was blue and yellow and lasted to the end.

I'm guessing on those dates, as they have never been established, as far as I know. But the sequence is correct.

B.B.

 
At April 18, 2008 2:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.:

The box is neither green nor blue/yellow. It's cardboard brown! The top half of the box cover reads "Benjamin Target Pistol" in 1-inch letters. Centered on the bottom half of the box cover is a drawing of a man aiming a pistol at a target in his home. To the left of the drawing is a 2-inch circle with "500 pellets HC Benjamin" and some text printed in the circle; to the right of the drawing is another circle with the words "One Pound Highest Quality Steel Air Rifle Shot" and more text printed in that circle. Printed on the side of the box is the text "Benjamin Air Pistol", while another side has the the numbers 130 stamped in 1-inch high letters.

 
At April 18, 2008 6:05 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

I didn't think the brown box was made that late, but for certain you have the very earliest 130 possible. My guess is 1946-1948.

B.B.

 
At April 18, 2008 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, B.B., for that info. This sort of pieces together the mystery of the air pistol!

If you give me your e-mail address, I'll send you a few photos I took today of the gun and its box.

Thanks again for the info.

130.

 
At April 19, 2008 11:50 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

130,

Thanks, but we don't have that facility. However, I am pleased that you now know what you have.

B.B.

 
At April 19, 2008 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.:

Thanks again.

130 out.

 
At July 08, 2008 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea air guns were so popular! THANKS I have a "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN" model 312
22 cal. w/rifling serial #H122330
was my fathers, his fathers and I believe his fathers. I believe it to be all original BUT, the writing (placement of the writing
is not the same as I saw on one being auctioned ? ? ? Whats up?
How do I verify and/or were there
differances in production.
Please Help!
Thanks

 
At July 08, 2008 10:47 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

That serial number places the manufacture of your rifle in 1959. Crosman has a serial number /tear chart on their website under Customer Service.

Sm,all changes such as the location and content of print on the the guns is in constant flux, so there is nothing to be concerned about.

As far as subtle production differences, you need to contact a real serious Benjamin collector.

Go to this website and ask your detailed questions:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/405945/

Oh, and by the way, your gun is not a Benjamin Franklin. Those words are in quotes because they are a play on the company name. It was a joke that has been lost due to changes in entymology and the use of English over the decades.

B.B.

 
At July 22, 2008 8:20 AM, Anonymous Richard Reed said...

I have a "Benjamin Franklin"
air gun front pumping. There
are no numbers of any kind on
the gun. My Uncle told me , back
in the 40's that it was 177.
Can you give me any info on this?
Thank you Dick Reed

 
At July 22, 2008 9:19 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Dick,

You either have a model 100 or model 107. The model number would be on the back of the gun, on the flay behind the bolt.

It can be repaired (I assume it no longer works) by this man:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
http://www.jgairguns.biz

If it still has all the silver nickel it's worth about $100. If it's down to brass, it's worth about $60.

B.B.

 
At December 08, 2008 6:17 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

My neighbor has a 1975 Benjamin air rifle model 342 serial no 243460. It is wood and black metal. It works and looks good. Where is the best place to put an ad to sell this for him? Also, how much is it worth? (Approx.)

Thanks for any help you can give.
P.Lyle

 
At December 09, 2008 9:20 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

P.Lyle,

The best place to advertise this airgun is here:

http://www.airguns.net/classifieds/classifieds.php

It should be worth $80-125.

B.B.

 
At December 14, 2008 2:47 PM, Blogger Ritz-Carlton Jupiter Blog admin said...

I have a "Benjamin Franklin", model 132 22 cal air pistol that i've had for many many years. Just took it out and the trigger (seems like the only cast piece) broke off. I disassembled it and would like to buy the trigger. I'm sure all gun stores stock that trigger ;) anyhow I'd either like to get the trigger or sell the parts. Anyone have ideas or offer? Thanks, --Norman

 
At December 14, 2008 3:02 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Norman,

This man can serve both your needs:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
http://www.jgairguns.biz

He'll either fix it or buy the parts.

B.B.

 
At January 17, 2009 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin air rifle model 312 (serial H 35602) that is not holding the air. Any advice on how to repair it, where to buy the parts and where could I find find assembly instructions ? I do not live in the US so it is hard for me to send it for repair however I believe I can repair it myself if I have the proper instructions and parts.
Thanks
Ozzie

 
At January 17, 2009 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ozzie,

B.B. is still out of town, but I got this answer from him by phone:

Someone who would probably have this is Dean Fletcher (FletcherOR@aol.com). I see that the Crosman site does not have the model 312 manual in the list of vintage Benjamin gun manuals, so you'll have to get from a secondary source.

Edith (Mrs. B.B.)

 
At January 21, 2009 5:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Edith (and B.B) I will contact him

 
At February 28, 2009 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB I have a model 310 Benjamin Franklin that belonged to my father-in-law. I have had it in a closet for several years. I recall it did work in the past, but now it pumps up tight but when I pull the trigger nothing happens. I haven't been able to find a manuel or any info. except your blog. I'm in Northern CA. (Tracy, CA) Any info. you can give me?

 
At March 01, 2009 7:29 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

I used to drive through Tracy on my way to and from Ft. Louis, WA. I lived in San Jose. You live in some beautiful country.

And you are a near neighbor of the man who reprints the material you need to disassemble your rifle. Dean Fletcher lives in Oregon, not too far north of you.

He used to have a website, but it shut down last October. However his books (which are mainly replrints of vintage literature) are available from this man:

http://www.bigspringguns.net/

If you just want to get the gun fixed, contact this man:

Rick Willnecker in PA. Contact him at http://www.airgunshop.net/ or call 717-382-1481.

B.B.

 
At March 01, 2009 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks B.B. for the referals. I'll try to contact them.

Terry from Tracy

 
At March 14, 2009 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin Model 130, Serial Number B102329. Is it possible to date the gun by serial number? Thanks. -Mike

 
At March 14, 2009 7:23 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Mike,

Here is a link to the site that will help you date your gun using the serial number:

http://www.crosman.com/airguns/service/benjamin

kevin

 
At March 17, 2009 2:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kevin! I appreciate your help!
-Mike

 
At March 19, 2009 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, I found a restored Benji 122 front pump, the blueing looks to bee fully restored and the gun looks pretty nice is the price of 125$ good? Take a look for yourself
http://airgrips.com/ he says it's pre WWII

 
At March 19, 2009 2:09 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Anonymous that found the Benjamin Model 122,

The "blacking" of the barrel has hurt the collector value of this pistol. Condition is key to gun value (airguns and firearms) and the owner says, "amber colored tiny freckles on it's side, and two places on the trigger guard where there is corrosion", read "rust".

Let's be generous and say the condition is 80%. The current blue book of airgun values says it's worth $90.00.

Hopefully B.B. will chime in later with his opinion. B.B.'s opinion is more accurate than mine since he's been an airgun collector for a long time and regularly attends shows where vintage airguns are bought and sold.

kevin

 
At March 19, 2009 3:16 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Here is B.B., chiming in,

The 122 is a front-pump Benjamin that's very early. It was made from 1935-1941. There is no way to restore the finish correctly, so far as I know, and what Kevin says about it destroying the value is correct.

But the entire field of Benjamins is advancing, and the front-pump guns will be at the front of that. I would say that a working 122 should be worth $100-125 in this condition. Just don't think of it as original, which is worth $250-300.

B.B.

 
At April 21, 2009 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if anyones interested,I'm selling my front pump benjamin #122 on ebay.

 
At April 21, 2009 6:58 PM, Blogger kevin said...

Anonymous with the Benjamin model 122/102,

Good luck. Ebay usually removes ads for pellet/bb guns within 24 hours of being posted.

Although you will have to state a price that you will accept (unlike an auction site) this is a great site to sell/buy airguns on:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/79574/


If you prefer and auction site, gunbroker.com is primarily a firearm site but does have a catagory for airguns.

kevin

 
At November 17, 2009 5:38 PM, Blogger sam said...

hi, i have recently Acquired a benjamin 3120 air rifle. i noticed that when i pumped it up five times, there is a slight air leak near the start of the pump handle. what is the best was to deal with this?
-sam

 
At November 17, 2009 5:50 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Sam,

Your rifle needs to be resealed. Here is a good place to send it:

Rick Willnecker in PA. Contact him at http://www.airgunshop.net/ or call 717-382-1481.

B.B.

 

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