The Benjamin Sheridan Super Streak - Part 3
by B.B. Pelletier
Pyramyd Air now offers Air Arms pellets, and JSB makes them! They already have an excellent reputation in the UK, and I'm thinking they will do just as well over here. Check them out! I plan to.
Subsequent to activating the Whisper Gas Spring report report, I learned that the gas spring is filled with pure nitrogen. I had answered Vince that I thought it was filled with air, but it's not. However, there is no liquid nitrogen in it. That would take a NASA-grade unit that nobody could afford.
There's no provision for the customer to pressurize or depressurize the gas from this spring, just as Theoben removed that feature years ago from their units. It caused too much chance for over-pressurization, which quickly ruins the gun.
Today, I'll test for accuracy, though I knew from earlier testing that the Benjamin Super Streak can SHOOT! I used the factory-installed 4-16x40 CenterPoint scope that adjusts for parallax down to 5 yards. I checked the sight-in at 12 feet because I'd already sighted-in the rifle. It was still on, so I went back to the 21-yard line.
Using the new artillery hold
Remembering that the backs of my finders are more stable than my palm, that's the way I rested this rifle from the start. Initially, I rested the rifle just in front of the triggerguard, but this rifle is so front-heavy that it crushed my fingers. And, the groups weren't as good as I thought they should be.
I got two pellets in the same hole then two more in another hole a quarter-inch away and pellet No.5 went a quarter-inch below both those holes. That's indicative of a rifle that wants to shoot but something is wrong. At first I thought it might be the pellet, so I switched from JSB Exact 8.4-grain domes to Crosman Premier 10.5-grain "heavys". But they didn't give the same good indications of grouping tight.
Then, I tried Gamo Raptors, just because we saw how well they performed on the velocity test. But they were not accurate. Groups were about a half-inch, which is not bad for a cheap rifle but not what I expected from this big Benjamin.
By this time I had experimented with different resting spots for the forearm, including directly on the bag, which didn't work well. But, then, I discovered that the Super Streak wanted to be rested further forward, where my fingers were under the cocking slot in the forearm. And that's when the rifle started shooting.
The right stuff
Instead of being rested at a spot where it's front-heavy, the Super Streak wants to be balanced on your fingers - or at least my rifle did. The results spoke loudly. Pellet after pellet passed through the same hole. Group sizes with JSB Exacts were less than 0.20" at 21 yards. That's the exotic territory inhabited by TX 200s and finer spring rifles such as the Beeman HW 97 Mark III - not screaming 20-foot-pound .177s!
The best group measured 0.169" c-t-c for five shots. I won't say that it's easy to shoot that well, but I will say that if you follow the technique and relax before every shot, the rifle does the rest. You'll notice that my group is at 9 o'clock on the bull. The scope was adjusted all the way to the right and the erector tube was floating, so I had to crank in some left windage to get tension on the return spring. I would remount the scope in a B-Square adjustable mount. But don't buy one until you try your rifle first. Each rifle will be different in that respect.
Neither the 10.5 Premiers nor the Raptors improved that much with the new rest, so I'm not reporting groups from them. Doubtless, there are other pellets out there that group well in this rifle, but I would get some JSBs, if they have them when I ordered the gun. Perhaps order some Air Arms pellets if the JSBs aren't in.
The trigger is still loooong and creeeepy, just like an old Gamo trigger. If I had a second GRT III, I would install it and fix that right away. In all other respects, the Benjamin Super Streak in .177 is a heck of good air rifle. I can't wait to try the .22!