Thursday, June 15, 2006

Benjamin EB17 & EB22 - heirloom pellet pistols

by B.B. Pelletier

Made as well today as its ancestor 65 years ago, Benjamin's EB17 and EB22 are heirloom airguns.

The Benjamin EB17 and EB22 are two American pellet pistols that are as close to the guns from the 1930s and 40s as you'll find. They're powered by CO2, which is as reliable as light bulbs due to great strides made in gas technology over the last 65 years,.

Benjamin missed the boat!
The EB-series pistols were first offered in 1992, but they were related to Benjamin's earliest CO2 pistols - the models 250, 252 and 257 (you decode the calibers from the model numbers) that were sold from 1952 until 1956.

Those early gas guns used the conventional 8-gram soda siphon cartridge that was so easy to find at the time. When Crosman brought out the 12-gram powerlet in 1954, it battled for market supremacy for just a few years before pushing the smaller 8-gram cartridge from dealers' shelves. Shooters wanted the extra shots those additional four grams provided.

Stubborn resistance
But Benjamin did not manufacture its own CO2 cartridge, nor did they convert to Crosman's standard 12-gram size, so their gas guns suffered in sales. Even though they were made at least as well as Crosman gas guns, Benjamin gas pistols took a back seat to better marketing. It wasn't until Benjamin bought the Sheridan company in the late 1970s that they began thinking about the popular 12-gram size. Sheridan also didn't make gas cartridges; but, when they brought out their first gas guns in the late 1970s, the choice to use 12-gram powerlets was obvious and unavoidable. I would love to know the conversations that must have taken place on this subject at Benjamin in the late 1950s and the '60s! You can almost smell the stubborn resistance to a standard created by their fiercest competitor!

Choice of caliber - both are good!
The EB-series guns look a lot like their ancestors, and they're made from the same brass and walnut materials. The finish is a more durable paint that will last longer than the fragile "black nickel" over silver nickel of the past. Both calibers offer power and accuracy, so your choice is between two solid models. Pick the caliber you want to shoot, because that's the only real difference between the two guns.

CO2 - the guns of summer!
By now you should know that CO2 performance is highly affected by temperature. The guns do not perform well below 50 degrees F, nor do they do well when fired many times in rapid succession. That's why there are no full-auto CO2 guns without burst limits. They freeze up! But, in warm weather, these guns really come into their own. As powerful as they are, these two can handle medium-weight pellets (up to 9 grains in .177 and up to 15 grains in .22). Don't forget to buy some Crosman Pellgunoil to keep them running right for a long time.

You can't call all pellet guns heirlooms, but these two pistols certainly qualify. Everyone who holds them immediately recognizes that fact. If you're in the market for a powerful, accurate pellet pistol at the right price, you've got to consider one of these!


At June 15, 2006 6:06 PM, Blogger davidandjemma said...

I've been considering the HB22 for a plinking/squirrel backup for my Legacy 1000. Would the HB22 with some Gamo master points be a good setup? My dad bought a 342 the year I was born, and it's still shooting strong today (after a rebuild from a 392 kit), so I kinda grew up on Benjamin pumps, which is why the HB22 is more appealing to me. Plus, I don't want to deal with carrying CO2 if I take it hiking or backpacking.

At June 15, 2006 7:51 PM, Anonymous ananymous said...

I really value your expertiese, and was wondering what you thought of my setup. I have a .177 Gamo CF-X (regular, not wood) with a BSA 2-7 x 32 scope, and I use the JWS Diana superdome pellets. It seems to be working out well, but then again I have nothing to compare it to. I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

At June 15, 2006 7:53 PM, Anonymous anonymous said...

sorry, i got that wrong, im the same guy as above, i shoot the RWS Diana superdome, not JWS sorry, i forgot to proof read. Thanks

At June 15, 2006 11:02 PM, Blogger sav300 said...

thanks for the info on how to tune up my TF99 Magnum. It is shooting in the high 800s now and is on an average of apx 880 FPS. It has some serious power and I can't wait to go hunting with it. Thanks again BB,


At June 16, 2006 12:08 AM, Blogger D.B. said...

I've noticed that all the rifles using a C02 powersource have roughly the same velocity rating despite any difference in the size of the C02 tank. Is that limitation because releaseing more gas per shot would cause the cartridges to cool faster and cause a decrease in pressure which would offset any benefit from increased gas per shot? Is there some other reason? My physics is a little rusty. Perhaps keeping the valve pen longer would be ineffective because the pellet would be out of the barrel before the gas could completely expand.

At June 16, 2006 12:08 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


The HB22 would be a fine pistol for your purpose.


At June 16, 2006 12:17 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

CF-X owner,

I'd say it it works for you it's fine. I shot an FWB 124 for many years with a Lasco riflescope that wasn't made for an airgun and I did okay. Whatever works is what you want.


At June 16, 2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...


CO2 is always at the same pressure at the same temperature. a CO2 powerlet has the same pressure at 70 degrees as a railroad tanker car full of CO2.

Furthermore, if CO2 gas is compressed, the pressure does not increase. It simply turns from gas to liguid, with the remaining gas keeping the same constant pressure.

Thertefore, barrel length is primarily what determines CO2 gun velocity. The valve has a little to do with it, but barrel length is at least 80 percent of the velocity equation.


At June 17, 2006 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi how loud is this pistol? I shoot in a small apartment with thin walls, and noise is important to me.

At August 01, 2006 12:18 PM, Anonymous Thirdman said...

Quite loud ! Enough to annoy neighbours.
I shoot in a 100 foot long garden 40 feet wideand use a 6" Parker Hal silencer (V quiet)and a 2.5"
Bisley silencer (muffles loud crack).
Adapter by AGS of England (Importers of Simmons Goods)

At August 03, 2006 9:22 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Pick up a Daisey 717 or 722 for quiet!

At January 25, 2007 10:33 AM, Blogger gary1945 said...

I have a Benjamin CO2 gas pistol model 252 in the original box.Any idea as to it's value? Thank you,

At January 25, 2007 11:13 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


It all comes down to the amount of black nickle remaining on the gun and whether it works. According to the Blue Book the range for a gun like your in the box is $75-200.


At April 21, 2007 11:23 PM, Anonymous Todd said...

Tonight, my FIL pulled out his old Benjamin 250. (We had been shooting my late father's S&W 78G that I recently returned to working order.) Can you direct me to more info on the 250? What caliber is that? Is it worth trying to return to working order? Thanks for any insight.

At April 22, 2007 10:08 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


The 250 is a smoothbore BB-firing version of a pistol Benjamin also made in .177 (257) and .22 (252).

The 250 shoots regular steel BBs. Place one in the hollow tip of the bolt and close it to shoot.

Yes, your gun is worth fixing.


At January 20, 2008 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Benjamin 250 pistol that worked the last time I had a cylinder to power it. Do you know of a source of the smaller cylinders it takes?

At January 20, 2008 12:19 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

You need 8-gram cartridges. Look for them is stores selling seltzer bottles.


At January 31, 2008 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an old Healthways Plansman that uses the 8 gram CO2. Does anyone know if the ones from gas-depot will work with it? I read that the cartridges had to have a flat top.


At January 31, 2008 10:57 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


All 8-gram cartridges should be the same. I have used the modern ones in vintage guns.


At May 07, 2008 12:53 AM, Blogger Michal said...

Need help!

Which one's better:
- Benjamin EB17/EB22 or
- Crosman 2240

for fun, accurate shooting and overall satisfaction ;) Which one shoots better and which one looks better?

Please help!

At May 07, 2008 8:23 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Both shoot identically well. Get the Benjamin for pride of ownership. Get the Crosman to save money.


At May 07, 2008 11:29 AM, Blogger Michal said...

Many thanks for your quick response! I'll go for Benjamin .22 pistol!

Which in your opinion scope and a scope mount fits that pistol best?


At May 07, 2008 12:05 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


I detest scope on pistols. But you'll have to use a Crosman intermount and a pistol scope. Pyramyd carries the BSA scope which is as cheap as they come, I think.


At June 22, 2008 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a benji 262 rocket real nice gun can hit a flagpole from 90 feet!will the 8 gram cartridge fit in this gun?and is gas depot any good for money orders? dont own a credit card....

At June 22, 2008 3:14 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

You'd need a spacer to use a smaller cas cartridge.

And I didn't understand the rest of the question. Is Gas Depot a business? If so I won't know because this is Pyramyd Air.


At June 23, 2008 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

same guy as the post above you:
you sure i need a spacer on a vintage benji 262 rocket? and also what ammo would you recommend for the benji 262 rocket? -thank you

At June 23, 2008 1:58 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You asked whether an 8-gram CO2 cartridge would fit your gun. Since you are shooting it, I assumed you knew what size cartridges it takes, and the only other size is 12-gram. To use an 8-gram cartridge in a 12-gram gun you need an adaptor.

However, older Benjamins all used 8-gram cartridges - including the 262, as I have just discovered. Why would you ask if one would fit, if you were already shooting the gun ("...can hit a flagpole from 90 feet")?

I would try Benjamin diabolo round-nosed pellets - otherwise known as Crosman Premiers in .22 caliber.


At June 23, 2008 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had a few cartridges laying around and didn't know what they were. Thank you!

At January 18, 2009 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey guys, i have been thinking of buying the Eb22 or the crosman 2240. as far as price, the 2240 has it really good, and also has aftermarket stuff for add-ons. but does the eb22 perform better than the 2240? as far as accuracy and fps? but as for both guns, the co2 can be left for a long time, right? ok, thanks.

At January 18, 2009 7:39 PM, Anonymous .22 multi-shot said...


I looked at both the Crosman and Benjamin pistols too. I decided to buy the Crosman because of the information and parts available for modifying it AND because I wasn't worried about collector value. I personally think the Crosman looks better (with aftermarket wood grips) than the Benjamin.

You might also look at the Crosman Custom CO2 pistol on their web site ( It is similar to the 2240 but allows you to pick options for barrel length, grips, etc.

Join us at for the current posts every weekday and let us know what you choose.

.22 multi-shot

At January 22, 2009 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey man, I'm glad you mentioned those links!! and also advice on the 2240...i bought it a week ago, and got it yesterday, and man, i went through the 25 co2 box like crazy! also the after market stuff would really help, like the 18 in barrel! lol, and the wodden grips you typed and after market links, thanks man, and also, i tried those good huntin' jsb predators, and, i thought i just shot a real bullet cuz it went through a squirrel like nothing! i feel bad for that mate, hehe. thanks again man..peace.

At January 26, 2009 12:21 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

There has been a lot of negative feedback about EB22's concerning trigger pulls that were creepy and in excess of 10 lbs. A cheap fix for this is to glue a small square tab ( I used a peice cut from old credit card ) between the top of the trigger and the frame. You can try it before gluing to see if you have the right thickness. Jim Williams.

At February 10, 2009 7:44 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Recently purchased a Benjamin EB22. Manuel says don't store the gun with CO2 cart installed. Does that mean that you must shoot til empty every time you put in a new cartridge? Can you leave one in for a few days or week or two without damage?

At February 10, 2009 8:28 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


You will never damage the gun by storing it with CO2. The reason they want it to be stored empty is for safety. A CO2 gun is loaded all the time when it is charged. It will shoot anything in the barrel--it doesn't need to be a pellet.


At February 10, 2009 9:42 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Thanks for a prompt response to my question regarding storage of CO2 gun with cartridge installed.

At February 10, 2009 10:04 AM, Blogger kevin said...


It's healthy for your pistol to keep a CO2 cartridge in place like B.B. has advised. It's also important to put a drop of PELLGUNOIL on the tip of each new CO2 cartridge you install to keep your seals healthy. Here's a great article B.B. wrote with pictures of the process I'm talking about. You will need to copy and paste this link:

Did you know that there is an active discussion taking place right now among airgunners like yourself? We're all trading ideas and experiences, asking and answering questions. Here's a link that will take you to the most current article (a new article is written by B.B. every day, Monday-Friday) and at the bottom of this new article click on "comments" and you are now a part of the active discussion:

Look forward to seeing you there!


At February 10, 2009 2:31 PM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

Hi Michael,
Let me add my two cents worth and second Kevin's invite. Hope to see you also participating in this blog with us! Mr B.

At February 10, 2009 9:32 PM, Blogger Michael said...


Thanks for the link to article by B.B. regarding oiling and taking care of seals in airguns. Answers a lot of questions for me. I really appreciate that.

At February 10, 2009 9:40 PM, Blogger kevin said...


My pleasure. You have acquired a fine air pistol. Very accurate. You obviously have good taste. Makes sense to take care of it. Please keep us posted on your experiences with the gun.


At February 12, 2009 4:08 PM, Blogger Michael said...

So well pleased with the Benjamin EB22, that I can hardly contain myself. I have had for maybe 10 years, two (2) other Benjamin pistols (H9 Series .22 and .177). Wish I had known what I have learned from reading this blog concerning care and maintenance then, when I first acquired them. I have had to send them off and have the seals replaced and I'm not sure how good that service was. I know it was real expensive. I also have a Benjamin pump Model 347 that I've had more than 35 years. Amazingly it still performs well. Does Pyramyd do repair work on Benjamins, if they were not purchased from them? Obviously my older Benjamins were purchased before there was a Pyramyd.

At February 12, 2009 4:23 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Pyramyd Air used to work on any airgun, but they were overwhelmed. So now they only work on current models and only a few vintage guns like yours.

The best person to work on your 347 is this guy:

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


At June 10, 2009 4:56 PM, Anonymous hirsca said...

I am 64 years old. When in my early teens, I had a single shot 22 cal CO2 Benjamin. I don't remember the model number. I just found the long tool that I used to remove a compression ring at the bottom of the CO2 chamber to replace the seal. I would like it to have a good home. It is approximately 7 1/4" with a needle nose. Please contact me at Thanks.

At July 08, 2009 11:47 PM, Blogger John said...

I have a Benjamin model 257 pistol that I have been firing off and on since I was a kid--but not for 15 years. (Dad finally and reluctantly handed it over on his 90th a few years back.) It appears to be in fine shape except for the O-ring (part 2521, I have the original literature) which is hard and cracked. Although I can't verify that it won't leak elsewhere, it definitely leaks past the O-ring. Is there a way to get a replacement ring?

At July 09, 2009 7:56 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


Here is a place to buy that o-ring.

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

In the future, always leave the gun charged with CO2 and always put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each new cartridge as you install it.


At July 19, 2009 10:12 PM, Blogger Markruiser said...

Just picked up--attic clean-out a Benjamin 22 Rocket 282. When was this pistol made, and what typed pellet or BB will it shoot? Is is a single shot or repeater?

Thanks for your help!


At July 20, 2009 5:57 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


According to the Blue Book, your Rocket 262 was made from 1956-1973. It's a single-shot .22 caliber pellet-shooter. Crosman Premier pellets should be the best in it but any good .22-caliber lead pellet will work.


At July 27, 2009 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Hierloom guns, I have a Webley Scott "Senior" air pistol in .177 cal. This gun is in the box with extra "leather seals" etc. It has the most amazing blueing job that I have seen, comparable to the "Colt's" or "Smiths" in center fire. It is in perfect condition and would like to know it's value.

At July 27, 2009 2:40 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Does it have a straight grip[ or a slant grip? What color is the box. I'm trying to determine when it was made.


At August 06, 2009 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello...I have a Benjamin model 250 that is a brass finish on the cylinder and barrel, I seems to be in excellent shape and all functions seem to be intact. Can I assume it was mfg. in the mid 50's? Any idea of it's value, provided it funtions flawlessly? Thanks, Brian.

At August 06, 2009 8:45 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


That's not a brass finish. The gun is solid brass.

The Benjamin 250 was made 1952-1956, so yes, your gun was made in the '50s.

In working condition and lacking the black nickel over silver nickel over brass finish it is worth $80-125.



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