by B.B. Pelletier
First, I must apologize for misrepresenting the scope on this rifle in the last report. Michael in Florida pointed out that his CenterPoint 4-16×40 adjusted for parallax on the objective lens, so I examined the test rifle (obviously for the first time) and it did, too! The knob on the left side of the scope turret is a rheostat to adjust the intensity of the red- and green-illuminated reticle. There are five levels of intensity, and the reticle is not etched on glass.
Next, I tested the barrel for a choke for Sumo. There is no choke.
Today, we’ll look at velocity for the .177-caliber Benjamin Super Streak, which as far as I know is the first objective evaluation of this model. I didn’t clean the barrel before testing because I did so back in October when I tested the rifle the first time. That was a test I didn’t report, but the data are gone, so this new test is warranted.
The Super Streak is a large rifle, and the barrel measures 22-7/16″ including the integral muzzlebrake/cocking aid. I have a 6′ armspan, but this rifle is a little too long for me to cock comfortably. All that means is that the 35 lbs. of cocking effort, which should be really easy, seems like more to me. Some of you might be inclined to grab the barrel lower down, but that only increases the effort you have to apply. This rifle will seem right to shooters of large stature.
The mainspring sounds dry and crunchy when cocked, so it could stand some lubrication. If this were my rifle, I would lube the mainspring with black tar – what Jim Maccari calls velocity tar. There is enough power on tap that you won’t miss the 20 f.p.s. loss that might entail.
The trigger is vintage Gamo from the 1990s – which is to say a long and creepy second-stage pull. I can’t say if an aftermarket trigger would fit this model; but if it would, it would be something to do. The anti-beartrap mechanism prevents decocking the rifle, but the safety is not automatic. I like that better than an automatic safety, but remember that every time you cock the rifle, you must fire it.
The firing behavior reflects the dry mainspring. It’s buzzy, but the light, pleasant kind and not painful in the least. Lubricating the spring as described would take care of that, too.
I began with Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets (remember, this test gun is a .177). They ranged from a low of 942 to a high of 1040, with an average velocity of 994 f.p.s. with all shots included in the string. This pellet was the only one with a large velocity spread, so I have no complaints. At the average velocity, the power output at the muzzle is 17.34 foot-pounds.
JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellets were next. They ranged from a low of 1006 to a high of 1021, a spread of only 15 f.p.s.! That is remarkable in any spring gun and especially in one with this much power on tap. The average velocity was 1014 f.p.s., which computes to an energy of 19.18 foot-pounds. That’s the kind of power I was expecting from this rifle.
The third pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier 10.5-grain “heavy.” It ranged from 921 to 929 – a spread of just 8 f.p.s. People pay good money for aftermarket tunes that can’t do that. The average velocity was 927 f.p.s. That’s a muzzle energy of 20.04 foot-pounds. This disproves the common belief that heavy pellets don’t work in spring-piston guns. The few other times I’ve seen a reversal like this (where a heavy pellet produced greater energy than a light pellet), the piston was on the heavy side. We’ll see how the 10.5-grain pellet does on the accuracy test.
The final pellet tested was the Gamo Raptor PBA pellet. I tested it just so we would all know how fast this gun can shoot, but this time the Raptors surprised me! They ranged from 1313 to 1323, a total range of 10 f.p.s. By now, you know how good that is, and it’s way beyond my expectations. Of course, there was a supersonic crack, compounded by the fact that the test was conducted indoors. The average velocity was 1319 f.p.s., for a muzzle energy of 19.32 – which is not bad for Raptors!
So what we have here is a 19-20 foot-pound airgun in .177 caliber, with every indication that in .22 it’s really going to excel. I think the RWS Diana 350 Magnum, which produces over 24 foot-pounds, may be challenged. The Gamo Hunter Extreme isn’t offered in .22 yet, so that leaves the field wide open for this rifle. Only the Webley Patriot has more power in a conventional spring rifle.