Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Before I begin today’s report, I have some good news. There will be an airgun show in Arkansas at the end of April. Seth Rowland has stepped up and started organizing the show, which will be held in Malvern, Arkansas, a town about 15 miles from the former location. Malvern is located about 1 mile off I-30, so it’s easy to get to. Here are the details.

Arkansas Airgun Extravaganza. April 30 & May 1. Open to the public Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Six-foot tables are $50 each. Admission is $5. Kids 12 and under get in free with an adult. Dealer setup Friday 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

See the show map here.

If you are interested in getting a table you had better contact Seth right away, because the number of tables available will be limited. Here’s his contact info.

For those who have been reading this blog and always wondered about what an airgun show is like, perhaps this is your chance to find out. Seth is going all-out to attract new dealers to this show, so there should be a greater variety of vintage airguns than has been seen at past shows. I’ll be there along with Dennis Quackenbush and Tom Strayhorn, a collector of fine Walther airguns. Were also trying to get new gun dealers to attend, so you may get the opportunity to see some of the guns that you’ve been wondering about online. Please try to attend this show and bring along some of those airguns you can stand to part with. That’s what makes a good show.

Okay, today we’ll finish the accuracy test for the Benjamin Trail NP XL1100. Remember, I’m letting you look over my shoulder on this one for the benefit of the newer readers who are not familiar with my way of doing things. Yesterday, we prepared the rifle for this test, so the first thing to do today is a rough sight-in at 10 feet. It took four pellets to get on target, then I was ready to move out to 25 yards. Although my 10-minute sight-in article says to move from 10 feet to 10 yards, I’ve gotten to the point that I can skip that step and move right to 20-25 yards after the 10-foot adjustment. You have to know the ballistics of the gun being tested and you need to have some confidence in the process, but it does work just that easily.

The artillery hold
The importance of the artillery hold was mentioned in yesterday’s report, but I’m repeating it today because it’s so important. There’s no rifle more difficult to shoot accurately than a breakbarrel springer. They’re twitchy and extremely sensitive to how they’re held. The worst are the super magnums (like this one) and those that have a long piston stroke–also like this one. I anticipate that hold will be critical.

JSB Exacts
I began with 15.8-grain JSB Exacts. They were among the pellets that I’d predicted would be good in the Trail XL. The first five went into a super group at 25 yards, giving me hope for this pellet.


Five shots with JSB Exacts at 25 yards made this great group, which measures 0.422″ between centers of the two widest shots.


This 10-shot group opened up a couple tenths at 25 yards. JSB Exacts at 15.8 grains are good!

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavies
The next pellet I tried was JSB Exact Jumbo Heavies, the new 18.1-grain pellet. They didn’t seem to group well at first, but then I learned a powerful truth about this rifle and this pellet.


This is the first 10-shot group I shot with 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavies. It doesn’t look too good until you notice the two tighter groups contained within. There are three pellets in the left hole and four in the right. This becomes significant in a moment.


Here’s the target that tells the story. It’s a 7-shot group. There are three outliers and four in a tight hole at the bottom center. Read on to see what I learned!

Normally, I would have moved on after seeing the first 10-shot group, but now that Kevin has sparked my interest with his suggestion that a barrel needs to become accustomed to the new pellet whenever there’s a change of ammunition, I’m shooting more shots per pellet. I didn’t see what was happening with this JSB pellet until the final 7-shot group. The hold was so critical that it made all the difference. The tight group at the bottom of the seven-shot group was made with a dead-soft hold. The outliers all were made with some tension in my body at the shot. I could sense the tension and seeing these results as this group happened, because the first 10-shot group had gone the same way. It was almost as though I could wish a pellet out of the group by thinking about being tense!

What this tells me is that the 18-grain JSB Exact is probably among the most accurate pellets in this rifle, but it needs a bucketload of holding technique to do well. Fortunately, for hunters, shooting offhand is exactly what this pellet requires. As long as your offhand hold is dead calm, this pellet should do very well for you.

H&N Baracuda Match
Next, I tried the H&N Baracudas, and yes, these were the match pellets.


Five H&N Baracuda Match pellets went into this 0.414″ group at 25 yards. This is performance with a great hunting pellet. Lots of holding technique was used.


I sort of lost it with this group. Holding was so critical, and here you see what can happen when you don’t hold dead calm. Ten H&N Baracuda Match at 25 yards. Eight pellets went into a group measuring 0.511″ between centers, but the other two outliers are from a loss of concentration.

Crosman Premiers
Crosman Premier pellets normally do very well in guns sold under the Crosman/Benjamin/Sheridan banner, but not this time. The Premiers fit the bore very loosely and were not capable of grouping within three inches at 25 yards. And, when I say Premiers I mean those in the cardboard box, but also those Premiers and Premier hollowpoints sold in tins as well as those sold under the Benjamin name. They all have the same shape and configuration. The cardboard box simply means they are all made on the same die.

The results I got with Premiers were not due to a loss of concentration, and that’s something that can take experience to spot. In this case, it wasn’t too difficult because of the wild spraying of pellets, but other times it can be closer and more difficult to differentiate.

What’s the final tally?
I think the Benjamin Trail XL 1100 is a great hunting spring gun. It packs a lot of value into a nice package with nothing more to buy or exchange. The power wasn’t all that was advertised, but any day you can get 24-25 foot-pounds from a breakbarrel springer is a good one. The scope is first-class and the sling is very nice. The sling swivels solve a common problem for hunters, and the Weaver scope base solves another difficult problem that every airgunner has faced.

The trigger leaves something to be desired. Hopefully, this will be an issue they can resolve, because the trigger that’s on the NPSS is such a delight to use once it’s been properly adjusted. The barrel seems to be first-rate. It’s accurate and well-rifled. I’m assuming it’s crowned well, because with the shroud in place it cannot be seen.

As far as quiet goes, the Trail XL is a quiet airgun. It’s not as quiet as the NPSS, but it’s still much quieter than a conventional spring gun. The only dieseling I could detect was a slight smell of burned oil when I shot the Premiers. There was no smoke noticeable during this test and never a detonation.

The bottom line is the Benjamin Trail XL 1100 is a fine new addition to spring-gun hunting. It’s too big and difficult to cock to think of general purpose shooting, but just about ideal for the airgun hunter.

140 thoughts on “Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 – Part 4

  1. Morning B.B.,

    I've got a question about the second group picture. The pellet holes in that picture have a much crisper edge that the one above it which were shot by the same JSB pellets, why?

    If I was looking for a hunting springer, this would be at the top of the list.

    Mr B.


  2. B.B.,

    The crown on the XL is good, but not great. It is very uniform, but on mine, there was some burring/debris in the bluing. I polished the crown up to a mirror finish and immediately realized better accuracy. I was still getting split groups afterward, as you mentioned (I obviously haven't worked out all the kinks in my hold yet), but the shot patterns shrank way down with almost all pellets I tested.

    FYI – getting the barrel jacket off on this gun is a breeze. Just a 1/4" allen wrench to remove the muzzle cap and it slides right off.

    I'm interested to know what hold technique you had the best success with (i.e. – back of fingers rest, open palm, etc., and also where on the forestock), or if you even tried switching it up? I'm also noticing that my trigger hand is as important as my support hand on this gun (I guess the TX200 has made me complacent). All things equal on the forestock side, I've had the best luck with only middle finger pressure (similar to a recommended pistol grip), thumb outstretched with top of thumbhole resting on it, and no part of my trigger finger touching anything but the trigger. No, it's not exactly comfortable, and yes, I'm aware that I'm trying to squeeze FT precision out of a springer. :) But it's feasible both benched and freehand if I take the time.

    - Orin


  3. B.B.,

    Thanks for the update on the show. Is there a website up with information?

    I have a P70 Junior that is in the "thinking about selling" basket. Would the show be a good place to try this? Do I need to get a table or are there folks walking around with things to sell?

    Thanks!

    JGC



  4. Orin,

    I started with the gun on the backs of my fingers, but switches to a flat open palm by group number three. That was the way I shot for the remainder of the session.

    The results were about the same, which is why I didn't mention it, but it was easier to hold the big rifle on the palm.

    Learn to hold your rifle absolutely dead. Pretend that you are limp rag or a Hollywood personality shaking hands. That's the secret to tight groups with the Trail XL.

    B.B.



  5. JGC,

    You can carry a gun or guns around the floor if you want. Find a table where you can store it when you get tired. That's what I would do if I only had a couple guns to sell/trade.

    B.B.



  6. B.B.,

    That was a thorough job with the NP XL 1100. My arm hurts just thinking about that shooting session. I'm impressed by several of those groups.

    Sounds like a good hunting gun.

    kevin


  7. Kevin,

    That was about my limit with a rifle that cocks so hard. Yes, I agree that it's a great hunting rifle, but not a plinker. The .25 should prove quite interesting!

    Thanks for the link to Seth's page. I guess he updated it.

    B.B.


  8. BB – Do you have any insight about whether or not there will be a show in Roanoke this year? I have an opening for a high-power springer and was thinking about getting one there. The trip to Arkansas would cut into my gun budget. Do you think that PA will go to either?

    Is it just a coincidence that the recent mass shootings – Columbine, Va Tech, Fort Hood – occurred in places where the shooter could expect that noone else would be armed?


  9. I think Crosman will do well in selling this gun. I think many buyers will be newbies jazzed by the marketing. The box this gun comes in is first class.

    "Benjamin Trail NP XL1100
    MAGNUM PERFORMANCE
    Fast and Powerful
    .22 CAL. 1100fps 30ft lbs"

    If the newbie remains interested in airguns I think the NP XL1100 will sell a lot of Bronco's (and R7's, diana 27's, R8's, etc.)

    kevin



  10. B.B.,

    I'm wondering, why is 'There no rifle more difficult to shoot accurately than a breakbarrel springer?' Do you mean compared to an under lever springer, or just to non-spring guns?

    Dino


  11. Randy,

    I'm pretty sure PA will not attend this year's Arkansas show.

    As for the Roanoke show, it is up in the air. Everyone is waiting for Fred Liady to recover to the point that he can be consulted about his show. There are volunteers in the wings to run it, but it all depends on what Fred wants.

    B.B.


  12. Dino,

    That's just my experience speaking. A breakbarrel springer is the absolute hardest rifle to shoot accurately. Underlevers and sidelevers are all easier and of course pneumatics and CO2 guns are the easiest of all.

    Not a lot more to say.

    B.B.


  13. B.B.
    When shooting off the back of your fingers..do you use any gloves or padding?
    I find that most guns are downright unpleasant to rest this way. The only rifle I have that could crush my fingers worse than my 48 would be my wesson rifle.

    twotalon


  14. Fred,

    I was thinking FWB124D, but I'm still open to something else. I really want something with open sights, and I'm trying to stick with .177. I'm not in a hurry because I need a couple of months to let my income catch up to my outgo.

    I had a Crosman G1 that crapped out. I guess that there is something to that "heavy pellets kill springers" theory. At least it was a cheap learning expreience.


  15. Randy,

    understand. I would love an FWB as well. My RWS is .22 and has a Leapers scope (4x16x40 I THINK) with the Leapers or UTG Picatinny rail mount. Of Course, the original sights come with it. I was thinking $300 delivered.

    Fred


  16. Twotalon,

    A Wesson rifle off the backs of finger would be downright painful. Especially if the underhammer caught a finger when it fell!

    I don't use a glove. But when shooting offhand I don't use the backs of the fingers. I use either the palm or the fingertips.

    B.B.


  17. B.B.
    My Wesson is a Richland Arms import from the 70's. It's a side lock, double set triggers, checkered two piece stock, case colored "reciever", and VERY long and large barrel. I put a full length brass scope on it also.

    What a heavy S.O.B.

    twotalon




  18. B.B.
    The only rifle I ever handled that was heavier was a rolling block buffalo gun. Remington I think.
    Straight western butt stock, no forearm…to be shot from a shooting stick.
    50×3 1/2 or 50-140. I could not hold the front of the gun up.

    Really BIG gun.
    I did not buy it, but would have liked to shoot it once.

    twotalon


  19. BB, Thanks for taking us to the range with you. It interest me how guys do things. I am sure there were a lot of guys who benefited from that.

    Have you tried using a gel pad under the forearm instead of your hand? I cut off a small section of a gel bicycle seat cushion and used that and also got a gel pad that Pyramid used to sell. I seem to get pretty good results with them.

    I have my table for Little Rock. I am excited that Seth was able to pull it together. I think we are going to be able to shoot in an adjacent building too. Now I need to sell some stuff so I have some play money.


  20. I shoot an RWS 350 off the palm of my hand from the kneeling position. I find this is the most comfortable and accurate position in the field.

    I have a shotgun recoil pad to help with the 'artillery hold effect'. I shoot open sight only as scopes just weren't accurate. With open sight my head position and check weld are near identical every time.

    I hold my gun snug, not light, and get great accuracy. Take from the above what you will :-)

    Shooting the 350 and other magnums takes skill. If you're wanting a challenge after shooting PCP this is most definitely it.

    G.




  21. David,

    I'm getting two tables for me and Earl McDonald. He'll be bringing in some fine airguns from Maryland.

    I plan to bring the boxed 124 so people can see it up close and the Belgian Hy Score 801 for you to see. I will probably also bring my Whiscombe for people who have never seen one before. If there is a place to shoot we can even shoot them.

    Pyramyd Air is donating a Bronco for Seth to give away and I may bring mine for people to see and shoot.

    I would love to pump some life back into this show. At one time it had 60 tables and attracted dealers from New York, California and elsewhere. It got a little stale in the past few years, so I'm hoping we can put some air back into it.

    B.B.




  22. B.B.
    How about a pair of .577 PH Enfields. I have the Artillery carbine, and the long 3 band. Almost bought the 2 band for a complete set. No bayonnets were available (darn it !!).
    Made in the 70's.
    They cost about $225 each back then.

    twotalon




  23. I didn't get a chance to weigh in yesterday on the ccw issue so I'd like to do it now. What I want to say is most likely not a revelation. I just want speak out.

    The mind set that wide spread CCW permits will create more criminal violence is faulty and demonstrates a basic deficiency in the human thought process. Anyone who wants to create mayhem with a gun is, most likely, already carrying that gun, permit or no permit. If anyone thinks a person with malicious intent is not carrying a gun because he/she doesn't have a permit they need their two heads examined.

    What really matters here is that those of us who do live within the law are totally vulnerable, our persons, out property and our legal rights, and are at the mercy (of which they don't have) of the criminal.

    I would like to know why anyone would think that it is reasonable that a law abiding citizen should be prevented from carrying a gun as if that gun will turn them into a crazed killer looking for people to shoot. There must be dead bodies lying all over the current CCW states to make two headed people think this way.

    -Chuck


  24. Slinging Lead,
    Not sure how this will go over, but:

    I support gun control… because without it you’d never be able to hit who you’re shooting at.

    Maybe I should write cards for Hallmark?

    Kevin,
    I might try another run today, for those that don’t stay up until the cows come home I posted Wednesdays results at the end of yesterdays comments in the wee hours.

    Bronco,
    If it is to have a chance in a retail setting, it needs a box like the new Crosman’s. I am all for investing more in the rifle than the box, but at the end of the day you sell the sizzle not the steak. Period.

    Volvo



  25. BB

    Again, thanks for the Artillery Hold training.

    New question for you on my Gamo CSI Whisper, Nitro Piston .22 cal.

    With Gamo Hunter 15.3 grain pellets, I am getting an average of 650 fps over the Chrony. This seems a long way from the 750 fps I expected with "heavier" pellets. I have about 800 rounds through her at this stage, if that matters. And, muzzle distance from Chrony is approx. 12" to 14".

    Any comments on the rifle performance?

    Brian in Idaho


  26. Has anyone ever tried using a roller (like a table saw outfeed roller) as a front bench rest? Maybe something wrapped in light padding or with a blanket draped over it? I know the vibration pattern would change, and it wouldn't exactly be field friendly, but from a consistency-between-shots-artillary-hold perspective, it seems like something worth trying.

    - Orin


  27. Derrick38,
    No answer at the shop again today, is it just the abnormally nice weather or something more? Hope everyone is well.

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the tip, now if you can tell me which is a better investment, black or red I will hit the casino today instead. : )

    Volvo


  28. Derrick38,

    No answer at the shop again today, is it just the abnormally nice weather or something more? Hope everyone is well.

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the tip, now if you can tell me which is a better investment, black or red I will hit the casino today instead. : )

    Volvo


  29. B.B.
    You really hit the nail on the head, or put the pellet in the same hole, for me in your analysis of the group patterns you were getting.

    Call it learning to "read" a group, maybe. I think you might have blogged that in the past, or had bits and pieces here and there. Anyway, very, very, helpful.

    Those patterns where you have 3 pellets in the same hole and then 4 more sprinkled around it are pretty typical for me. I get frustrated after a while and give up. The "tension" you talk about is something I can work on; thanks for pointing that out. This is supposed to be fun and relaxing, right? Nobody throws airguns like golfclubs, do they?

    Volvo- Your gun control had me going!

    Lloyd



  30. BB – pretty impressive shooting with the JSB Exact and H&N Baracuda. The groups look about the same as my my Quest 800. The good news is you didn't need a lube tune and a trigger mod to achieve those groups. Also, shooting those groups with more power is another good advantage.

    If the Benji trail (non XL) model shoots as well, then it would make an excellent starter air rifle and the XL model and excellent hunter.


  31. Fred,

    How come you're parting with your .22 RWS 350? Wish I'd known beforehand– you know I just bought a new one from Pyramyd. It's still in transit. Now I get to experience the "joys" of breaking it in. And with B.B.'s warnings about breakbarrel Magnum Springers being the hardest guns to shoot accurately still ringing in my ears, I'm not so sure anymore I'm looking forward to the prospect as much as I was when I ordered it. Thanks B.B.! (Glad I made my trap the size of a barn door. Wouldn't want to give Slinging Lead the satisfaction of commenting yet again on how I need new stucco and a paint job!)

    Fred, that book you recommended, "From Trigger to Target" by Cardew, is an EXCELLENT read. Great pictures, easy to absorb, and very very informative. At least, now I have the knowledge (and minimal experience) necessary to recognize dieseling and detonation, which happened twice with my new 54 before I knew how to recognize it. Now I wonder if I permanently compressed the spring in my 54. Yup, time for a chronometer…

    See? A little knowledge is dangerous: it makes you worried and discontented. But I'm working on the remedy. Once I finish that book I will probably never have to ask a question on this blog again, and can limit my posts to my usual off topic inanities.

    -AlanL



  32. BB,
    Nice accuracy. If I stick to my springer-only policy, I might have to try a .22 or .25, although I don't like the gas piston idea, just because I can't fix it myself:).

    Volvo,
    Nice recounting of the empty run.

    Fred,
    Regarding the Remington 541's, I think it should be fine. If you don't know about it http://www.rimfirecentral.com is a .22 forum that is fun to look at every once in a while.




  33. B.B.

    I like the "you are there" tone as we go through the test. :-) Nice shooting. I'd say this surpasses my B30 on my last outing.

    Thanks to all for the comments on concealed carry. I am obviously a fan of the Second Amendment with my arsenal, and I am by no means done yet. And a lot of the recent shootings in the news do make one long for means of protection. I was most amazed about the crazy biology professor in Alabama, not because she shot 6 people (3 fatally) but that she is reported as walking down the table where they were gathered, shooting them in the head. They just sat there! Professors…. Obviously, in the right time and place a gun can be one's salvation defensively.

    However, I also think about the problem as a complex system. What if you take a hugely complex society with all kinds of personalities and give everyone a gun? What will happen? I worry not so much about the career criminals but about the large proportion of people who are clueless or else not suited by temperament, education, circumstances, whatever for owning a gun. There is a huge responsibility that goes with possessing this kind of power, and it's my impression that a lot of people are just not up to this as a practical matter. As one example that comes to mind there is a book called The 16th Round about a boxer named Rubin "Hurricane" Carter who was wrongly imprisoned for decades; it was made into a big-ticket film a few years ago with Denzel Washington. Writing about a cellmate he says, "There was a wild man named Big Tom. Sober, he was fine, but drunk, he was a m———." After starting a prison riot, Big Tom is found by the corrections officers nursing a tomato moonshine hangover and helpless as an infant. These of the poor impulse control are the ones who worry me.

    With open access to guns, we might see a situation where a deterrent effect keeps everyone safer. Or we might see a cancellation effect where cases of justifiable self-defense are negated by irresponsible shootings to bring us back to where we are. Or maybe we will end up like Mogadishu where everyone has a gun or the Hatfields and McCoys who carried on a private war for years. I haven't seen anything convincing to show me how we will end up, and I'm not sure that it's possible to say.

    As a practical question for exploring the consequences of unlimited access, I'm curious about what a police force would look like in this society. A fully-armed SWAT team would hardly be enough in a society where everyone has a gun. Would we need to call out the National Guard for every 911 call?

    The underlying problem is trying to legislate a balance between the rights of being a citizen with the responsibilities that go with it (according to classical republicanism), a difficult question that has never been fully and permanently answered. I would also discourage a view that there was some kind of utopian period in history where everyone was safer prior to gun laws. In the 19th century it was not at all uncommon for people to go heeled with pistols, Bowie knives and blackjacks–even members of Congress–and the street violence was amazing.

    Matt61


  34. Knife sharpeners! I have reached a higher understanding of the samurai method! First, I think there may be something to the three-finger test. The method, again, is to slide the pads of the three middle fingers along the edge; exactly what you are not supposed to do. However, with the thumb on the back of the blade, it is possible to control the pressure so there is no real chance of cutting oneself. Ultimate sharpness is when the edge will catch on the finger pads with the slightest pressure, and your brain will stop you from moving your fingers any further. Even Frank B. would need to bring his A game to reach this level. The samurai sharpener himself says that on a scale of 10, he has achieved 9 a few times (8 will allow shaving one's face with a hunting knife). Short of a 10, it is possible for the three pads of the fingers to tell a fair amount of information about the relative sharpness of the blade–more than you would get by brushing the thumb laterally across the edge in the usual style.

    Also, the samurai method is oddly therapeutic. You hold the blade just so in relation to the stone and take these long strokes across the stone. I may go completely Japanese by plunking down for a set of waterstones. They can go as high as 16,000 grit or even a grit beyond measurement. I wouldn't get those but it's interesting to know.

    Matt61


  35. Matt61,

    For 3 years, I was the content manager for a company that sold ammo, and you might be surprised to hear that a significant number of men called the tech dept to get some help finding out what caliber ammo was meant for the handgun they just bought. Those are the people who concern me. If you didn't ask the guy at the gun store or the guy who sold you the gun or look at the receiver and notice that the caliber was written on it, then you have a person who will have no clue how to safely handle a gun, how to store a gun, how to unload it, reload it or shoot it. Even worse, they're too proud to ask a friend or take a course from a local NRA instructor. No, they had to ask a total stranger on the phone.

    Edith


  36. AlanL,

    I felt the same way when I learned about the Cardew's book (from this blog, by the way – thank you BB & T) and finished reading it. A great reference book and one to keep as a collectible. I was also fortunate enough to get BB to bring one of his last R1 books to the Roanoke show where, after giving me sticker shock, BB sold the book to me for a very fair price. I treasure it and his signature in it.

    As for my selling the 350, I have an RWS 52 and I don't think I need two magnum spring piston rifles. Plus, the money wil come in handy for the TWO (one for my best buddy in the whole world, my son) .22 Winny 541's. I'll give him one for his birthday.

    As for Twotalon's comment, I can only say "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain". Another great pun, TT. We will all get even, with or without Edith's help.

    Fred PRoNJ


  37. Matt,

    I see no "balance" problems with firearms in today's society. I see a huge training problem.

    The NRA offers its Eddie Eagle program free to all schools, yet they turn it down because of the source. If only they knew what they are missing!

    Eddie Eagle advises kids to leave the room whenever they see a gun! Yes, that's correct. LEAVE THE ROOM. Eddie Eagle teaches kids to report the presence of guns to adults.

    At the NRA Annual Meetings Eddie Eagle will not walk into the exhibit hall because there are guns on display. Just outside the civic center where the meetings take place there will be a feeble anti-gun protest, while inside people will meet the NRA's spokesperson for gun safety advising kids to avoid guns at all costs.

    That's why I am an Endowment member of the NRA. They walk the walk and talk the talk. No double-mindedness there!

    B./B.


  38. Brian,

    Vince can check me on this, but here is my take on why your Gamo Whisper is so slow in .22. The bore and stroke are wrong for any caliber over .177.

    Gamo doesn't know about .22-caliber spring rifles, and so they make the finest .177s (for the price) that cannot be efficient in .22 caliber. For a corollary, try the FWB 127. It was a weak .22 as well.

    One and possibly two exceptions to this are the SOCOM Extreme and the Hunter Extreme. They are so powerful they almost need to be in the larger caliber.

    But most of the current Gamo guns do best in .177 and only fair in .22.

    The same is not true for the RWS Diana rifles. They do well in both calibers. Of course they do cost more, but engineering is part of what you are paying for.

    That is just my opinion.

    B.B.


  39. There were two reported incidents in my neighborhood of windows being struck with a bb from an airgun. Because of this airguns will be illegal in all the continental United States. There, that ought to put an end to that.


  40. I know this is off topic, but would you guys recommend paying the 10 dollar service test fee over at PA? I understand they test your gun to make sure you don't get a bad one, so just curious if you guys pay the extra 10 bucks, or would recommend it. Thanks

    John


  41. Robert

    My response to you on yesterday's blog may have come off a bit… ahem, strong. I only meant to clear up a few misconceptions and then got carried away. Sorry if I seemed cross. Your name just happened to be at the top of the whole mess.

    I understand you were responding to something someone else said. That's why I wanted to make it clear the CCW law is not like regional motor vehicle laws. Its apples to oranges.

    Sometimes misinformation, once dispersed is impossible to reverse.

    I agree with you that the ambiguity part is unfortunate. It puts good people in the crosshairs of the law.

    I think that all states should have a must-issue CCW permit policy with BACKGROUND CHECK and I'll even give you the training class. This is a states' rights issue, however which I am very sensitive to. This gets back to the very founding of this country.

    I hope we didn't start off on the wrong foot. We're still cool right?;^)


  42. TwoTalon,

    Nice! I was thinking more of an older IWC Spitfire, with a black face!

    Matt61,

    I've heard the military has developed alloys that can be drawn into wires so thin you can't see them, yet strong enough they can be tensioned without breaking. Application: booby trap. You walk through a wire like this and your feet or your arm falls off and you never even felt it when it happened. This technology is considered so dangerous that it was decided not to deploy it.

    That begs a question: can a wire get so thin (ie: sharp, at the molecular level) that it'll cut right through your fingers but the cut is so thin that they stay together and heal instantly? Then you've gone too thin and defeated the purpose!

    -AlanL


  43. John

    If the gun was made in China, YES!!!
    Otherwise… it depends on your income. If you need some cheap insurance do so. If you need to save wherever you can, and it's not Chinese made, you are probably OK.

    Enjoy your purchase.


  44. John,

    You asked this one time before today. I saw it but I thought I would let the readers give you their thoughts.

    Since no one did until today, here is my two cents.

    Some guns like Air Arms, Weihrauch and RWS Diana probably don't need to be tested. And others are so inexpensive that testing just adds to the low cost. Pyramyd Aior still honors they return policy regardless of the 10 fo 10.

    For the middle-ground guns–the ones Slinging Lead called Chinese, but I will expand to Korean, Mexican, Turkish and those from other countries, the 10-for-10 might not be such a bad idea.

    B.B.


  45. AlanL,

    Your mystery wire is called Sinclair Molecule Chain and was invented by Sci-Fi author Larry Niven. It is indestructible. However, he also invented the General Products spaceship hull which cannot be breeched by anything.

    So the connumdrum is, can Sinclair Moleclue Chain cut a General Products hull?

    B.B.


  46. B.B.

    That's a great program. I have no doubt that if everyone could be forced to undergo education on gun safety and maintenance they would be the better for it and have an improved opinion of guns. Whether this program or any other is enough to get some of the very bizarre people out there up to a standard where one would feel comfortable with unrestricted access to guns, I do not know one way or the other. But short of extremes, it's certainly all to the good to promote education wherever possible.

    Matt61


  47. B.B.,

    O sh*…. is that where I heard it from? Oh well, it can't be too far off in the future! Matt61 is busy working on it even as we speak!

    -AlanL


  48. AlanL,

    With advances in nanotechnology, one speculates that a degree of thinness like you describe should be possible, but I don't know what other properties it would have.

    Maybe the samurai sharpener would know. Supposedly, there is a samurai movie where a samurai executes a cut so perfect that his opponent does not even know he's been beheaded until he turns around…. Haven't found that one yet.

    Otherwise, it appears that you have revealed B.B. as a sci-fi fan. My best information is similar to his although I don't remember the name of the author or the name of the product. In a trilogy of novels called "Ringworld," there's a retractable sword whose blade is a wire of near invisible thinness that can cut through anything. It is wielded by a gigantic, highly intelligent cat. The antidote to this fearsome weapon is a sort of computer chip inserted secretly into one's brain. When activated, it stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain so that the recipient feels such unimaginable delight that he or she loses all control of themselves. When the cat gets activated, he goes from a menacing position with the blade extended 10 feet out with the tip at eye level to throwing his head back and arms out so that the sword slices through a steel wall without slowing down.

    Well, I tried my best…. :-)

    Matt61


  49. Matt,

    Larry Niven is the author of the Ringworld trilogy.

    That sword you mention is a Sinclair Molecule Chain stiffened by a force field whose name escapes me.

    Lewis Wu was the 200 year-old "wirehead" you spoke of and Shmee is the 8-foot cat, whose formal name I also cannot remember. They moved around the Ringworld on flycycles, a sort of flying ATV that exceeded the sound barrier. They had to because the Ringworld was 250,000 miles wide and 93 million miles in circumference.

    B.B.


  50. I would like to clear up a couple things if I may.

    Not everyone should own a gun. Even fewer should have a CCW permit. Some people will never be equipped to handle the awesome responsibility of these things. People are different and that is OK. Having laws that enable good citizens with a clean background that really want a CCW to have one, does not influence or provoke non-gun owners to take up arms, and wear belts of ammuntion accross their chests, firing willy nilly, training be damned.

    There are gun people, and non gun people. Some people will never own, or fire, or even touch a gun, and that is totally cool with me. CCW holders like Tom and Edith will be saving their butts when someone with a street gun whom the government knew about, but ignored, goes bezerk. And that is a good thing.

    No one is 'given' a gun. There is no 'legislating a balance between rights and responsibility'. Our rights regarding arms were set in stone with the Bill Of Rights, or at least that is how it should be looked at. We will see how our current and future regimes warp this concept.

    Edith is right. Germans were disarmed. This was a central tenet of Hitler's scheme of total control.

    There should be no sliding scale for laws, especially in this regard. If those that use violence to reach their means are held accountable for their actions, we will be a better country for it. This works out for Republicans, Democrats, and everyone else.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I will step down from my well-worn soap box.


  51. Matt61

    We are forced to learn Algebra, why not gun safety? I haven't been able to apply my Algebra knowledge in quite some time.

    P.S. My cat is gigantic, but not all that intelligent.

    BB

    Gamo's website plainly states that their Sinclair Moleclue Chain, made out of PBA alloy, can cut a General Products spaceship hull as long as the force field is not down, due to computer chips embedded in peoples brains. Sometimes they exaggerate though.


  52. Thanks Tom for all the time and work you put into this sport. I live around your area and because of your blog, test, and just having fun. I have added many guns to my own collection. I will get my first PCP gun very soon. Thanks again for your hard work that I am sure is more fun than work..

    Jason


  53. Slinging Lead, B.B

    Thanks guys! Very helpful, I do plan to get the bronco, so I guess I should have it tested first.

    John


  54. Slinging Lead, B.B

    Thanks guys, my next buy will be the bronco so I guess I should have it tested first, Thanks again.

    John


  55. Slinging Lead,

    Photo made my day! Don’t over congratulate yourself however, as my days are made fairly easy right now. Monday morning all it took was eating blue berries Sunday evening and marveling at the result. : 0 )

    Bg Farmer,

    I know I’ve tried this before, but sales training doesn’t allow me to give up. The sales managers lovingly refer to this as “buy or die.” Anyhow, I ended up holding on to the Daisy 130B much longer than anticipated. The accuracy and power are on par with any R7 and one of the gold triggers made it very livable. I have removed my obligatory scope and it now has a Beeman peep on it.

    Best I can recall you have a son that may still be a tad young for it, but this would make a fine rifle for a boy. Light, easy to cock, and accurate I would really like to send it your way. The value of it on the yellow would be next to nothing, and this is just too sweet a shooter not to go to a good home. I would also include the factory trigger as the replacement is probably a little light for a new shooter. It does have an anti bear trap also.
    The only work it needs is the trigger guard. It is cracked where it attaches to the rifle, but should be an easy fix for a man of your many skills.

    Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day – accept the Daisy. Yes? E-mail me please; I can’t seem to find your new address.

    Volvo



  56. Slinginglead: There is no problem and I have no issue with you,or your response to me. I just got caught up in the debate. I agree with you that the right to keep and bear arms is a right, and if you meet the background checks and do the training then you should be allowed CCW carry anywhere in the USA. Take care,Robert


  57. SlingingLead,

    On yesterday's blog, you mentioned the rubber bumber on your TX fell off. Just wanted to let you know that a couple of o-rings around the end of the cocking lever works great as a replacement.

    - Orin


  58. Fred,

    It is always heartwarming to hear that your son is your best buddy. How old is he? Mine is still a ways away from being ready for a .22 rimfire. Man, I wish I could get myself one! But I don't think my neighbors would at all appreciate that, (nor the stucco behind my trap, Slinging Lead!) That's the great advantage of an air gun: Fun indoors or in the back yard. A Winchester 541 condemns me to a range (boring) or to the Everglades, among clouds of mosquitos, alligators and Burmese pythons, where the .22 would be the wrong gun anyway.

    -AlanL


  59. B.B. (or anyone who has an opinion),

    Are C.P.'s as effective at seasoning a barrel, or does the antimony clog it up too fast? In fact, what is actually occurring during the barrel seasoning process? Is it being polished by the lead, or just simply getting cleaned?

    Lastly, do air piston power plants have a break-in period?

    Thanks.

    - Orin


  60. Orin

    Me? have an opinion? Well…

    I think it depends on how fast the pellet will go. I have read that the pellet will lead the bore when shot at magnum velocities, not so much at plinker velocities.

    As for air spring power plants having a break in period, even if you take the gas ram out of the equation, other things in the gun that are new, and have never rubbed across each other will be wearing-in as well. I would think yes. I have never had one though.

    As for the o rings on the TX cocking lever, I already did it. Thanks for the tip anyway, I appreciate it. We TX owners are an impressive bunch, and need to stick together.

    WV: proned


  61. Orin,

    I think it has a lot to do with the smoothness of the barrel. Some will lead up fast and others are better.

    Gas springs require less of a break-in than metal pistons because their parts are finished so much better in the manufacturing process. But the piston seals need the same break-in that they do anywhere.

    So I guess the answer is gas springs need less of a break-in than steel springs.

    B.B.


  62. Hey B.B.:
    With all due respect you deserve. Will there be one time in history in which you will review an air rifle which Pyramyd Air sells and say: "This air rifle ain't worth it. but buy it for its price" or "This rifle should've never been created at all"………………… Just curious.

    Curios


  63. Volvo

    I tore the rotator cuffs in both of my shoulders patting myself on the back. Sadly, this means I am unable to press the button on my Life-Alert bracelet, but it was still worth it.

    You are correct that I have no mustache. I also don't have some crazy prejudice against those that do.

    I just like to inject the absurd into very serious discussions, because it catches people off-guard, lightens the mood, makes me giggle (on the inside), and on the rare occasion, makes people laugh, if only for the reason that they have absolutely no idea what in the hell I am talking about. That's good either way.

    J.J. Jameson wanted pictures of Spiderman– so he could ruin him! I am too smart for that. I am on to you Volvo. You can just forget it. You will never unmask Slinging Lead!

    WV: faint


  64. S.L. and B.B.,

    Funny, I hadn't really noticed anyone having an opinion around here… :)

    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    Curious,

    That would be a conflict of interest ;) but you can read between the lines. When B.B. gushes, he really gushes.

    - Orin



  65. Curios,

    And you never will read something like that from me, because that's not my style of writing. But you will always read exactly what happened to me and how it happened.

    Let's take today's blog (not this one but the one for Thursday, March 11) as an example. What is that blog about? It's about whether the Mendoza rear aperture sight will work on a Bronco.

    Will it? If you read the blog you know the answer. I even showed you what happened.

    That is how I write.

    So when you read me you have to read all the words and think about what I have said. It may take longer because I don't capitalize all the nouns or speak in slang, but how I feel is right there to read.

    B.B.


  66. AlanL

    Call PA and tell them you meant to say TX, not RWS. Then send it back. You can muddy the waters by faking a Cuban accent if you have to. I think you have a secret wish to punish yourself for getting the 'recoiless' 54.

    Remember who told you about the stucco. If you do this, one day you will want to thank me, perhaps in person!

    It would be cool to work out a gun exchange program. I could borrow your 54, you could borrow my 52. You could borrow my Marauder, I could live at your house in Miami during the winter;^)

    I joke around alot but I am dead serious about this. The less expensive beech-stocked TX will be more than $200 steeper than the 350. It is worth every penny. It will be a gun you want to shoot rather than a chore. Smooth, Accurate, Beautiful. You are already in very deep AlanL. Just do it.

    The Angel on your other shoulder will try to talk you out of this. Don't listen to him. He doesn't know how to have any fun.

    WV: ruddalan


  67. B.B.

    Yes, now it comes back to me. All, this is a readable science fiction series which creates a ringworld with all its physics in a credible way. The ringworld is an artificial planet made by constructing a strip of some unimaginably hard material around a sun. You get a lot more surface area for living than a spherical body like a planet. The ringworld also makes possible some unique gags. It is so gigantic, as B.B. says that if you are standing on the ringworld (inner surface), you can just make out the whole structure as this enormous arch over your sun. To have fun with someone, you tell them to find the base of the arch. One character had been walking for a million miles.

    Slinging Lead, have you seen what some students do to algebra? :-) I don't disagree with you about the right of responsible people to have access to guns without unreasonable hassle. But the tradition of republicanism seizes my interest. While the Founding Fathers were very innovative, they did not make up the original documents out of the blue. They were adapting ideas that go way back to the ancient Greek and Roman world whose symbols they adopted for government buildings and the dollar bill. For the ancient Greeks of Athens and Sparta, who I've been reading about intensively, citizenship was not a right for everyone. It was a privileged status. Along with the various rights went obligations, primarily that of getting out there in the phalanx with the other citizens to resist enemies. You were supposed to be willing to die for the country (e.g. the film "300" with the bulked up Spartans). This isn't all that remote in time either. The film Glory (1989) about the 54th Massachusetts records the history that blacks were expected to show that they could die for the Union in the Civil War to be accepted as equals. While it may not be explicit, this sense of duty seems to be infused somehow in the society that we inherited from the ancient world.

    Of course obligatory military service is not exactly the same thing as personal ownership of guns. But if we go back to the founding documents about citizen-soldiers, it's not entirely different. The idea is that the privilege of owning guns comes with the expectation to use them in a way that is useful to the community or at least not destructive. I guess this would correspond to at least passing some kind of basic qualification course for certain more advanced types of gun ownership and usage.

    Matt61


  68. Brian, what makes you think that you should be getting 750fps with a Gamo Hunter pellet? Generally the Gamo powerplant (and they're pretty much the same, at least the spring variants in the 1000fps guns) would deliver a little over 700fps with something lighter like a Gamo Match pellet.

    Heck, my TF89 in .22 only averaged 733 with the Hunter, my RWS 94 699, and the MP513 I had did 751. All three of those have a fair bit more powerplant energy than the Gamo. Gamo tested this pellet out of a similar gun and got 676 (it's on their website) and I generally find Gamo's figures are overestimated.

    I suspect your gun is doing fine.

    BTW – when I weighed a batch of .22 Gamo Hunters a while ago, I came out with about 15.9gr, not 15.3.

    If you want 750fps with lead pellets, try RWS Hobbies. They might get you there.


  69. Slinging Lead,

    It’s been awhile, but this worked for me before. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

    AlanL,
    If you are serious about shooting, you’ll get an HW97K in .177. Or if you want to try a break barrel an R-1 in .22 cal.

    Volvo


  70. BB

    If you by chance happen to get your hands on the Evanix Rainstorm I think a test might be in order. I know you get asked to test a lot of products, but just my two cents worth I think it looks to be a fine pcp at a reasonable price. I especially like the lines of it's stock and the shorter length and lighter weight. If not you maybe Paul Cappello might do a video blog on it. Thanks, and thank you for the fine work you do for us.

    David H.


  71. Volvo,
    You are tempting me again. I'll e-mail you later.

    Curios,
    BB's opinion doesn't seem to be dictated by PA. I would say it would be a less profitable venture if you couldn't believe a thing BB says, anyway.

    Matt,
    Ringworld was an interesting book (series, I think? It was about 30 years ago when I read it:)). I think the Dyson sphere and its implications would interest you as well. Also, Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke comes to mind as a better read (at least for me) about an alien megastructure, but on a smaller scale; even more unrelated is Fountains of Paradise, perhaps because it contains an idea that still gets kicked around. You surely knew BB was a sci-fi fan — as familiar as he is with the Star Trek variants.

    Slinging Lead,
    Say what you want, mustaches are cool. You probably just can't grow one:).



  72. S.L.,

    Oh Lordy, and here I thought I was done… only the S-410 on the distant horizon. But yes, the TX-200 has been prickling my desires for a while now. My problem with a TX-200 is that B.B. said he preferred this rifle in .177 caliber over .22. And I have some unexplainable (and without a doubt unjustifiable) bias against .177. I just want to hit things hard and accurately if possible. I want to pack a punch. Hence all the Magnums in .22. The day there is a .25 caliber that'll throw a 25 gr. pellet 1000 fps you'll see me first in line. I just have a thing for major foot-pounds. I must admit I like the little Bronco though… I can forgive its being just a .177!

    Volvo,

    An HW97K, huh? Hmmm… hadn't considered it. It doesn't have sights and it doesn't seem to pack much of a punch. So you must've recommended it for its quality and accuracy. Yes?

    Why does Pyramyd carry the HW97K as a Beeman branded rifle rather than Weihrauch? Is there any difference at all between the original German HW97K and the Beeman?

    -AlanL


  73. As to gun ownership, here in the UP of Michigan, I would say that over 80% of the households own fireamrs. Of course, not everyone has a CPL but there are a lot of them since Michigan is a "Shall Issue" state. Gun crimes are almost "0". Home invasions are also almost unheard of. It would be a very hard way to make any money and still live. It's well knowen that UP'ers have guns so most of the bad eggs don't try

    Mike


  74. AlanL,

    in answer to your question, my son, Neal is 21 and will be a Sr. at Northeastern U (Boston). Early on, he was diagnosed with ADD. Symptoms are dramatically short attention span, forgetfulness, short temper, severe social shortcomings and extreme intelligence. Surprisingly, he's outgrown this or at least, has learned to live with it without taking anymore drugs.

    He had no friends growing up and I promised myself I would always be there for him and do things with him. While I didn't do Tai Kwon Do, Neal made it to 3rd degree black belt and teaches in his spare time. I encouraged him to take up a musical instrument and he is a very proficient sax player, playing in the College Jazz band, Pep Band and Wind Ensemble. I got him involved in all these extra curricular activities because he lacked friends in the normal social circle and the TKD and musicians accept you for your interests and talents, forgiving a lot of the social traits that can make one so unpopular. I also got him into bikes, well, that came naturally and he rides with me whenever he's home. Two years ago, we went to the dirt track races at mid-Ohio, Lexington and then Hagerstown, MD. Anyway, he's turned out light years better than I ever imagined.

    Enough – time to go back to air rifles. That 350 I mentioned is not a .22. It's a .177. I'll probably bring it with me to the Roanoke show and see if I can sell it.


  75. SlingingLead,

    I'm not sure what you would be using the TX200 for, but I can tell you that due to it's accuracy, I can take much longer shots than I would have thought possible. I have dropped pigeons on the spot at 80 yards. Shot placement has allowed me to use it as a very effective .177 small game hunter.

    - Orin


  76. To Everyone
    I'm posting this again as I mistakingly posted it on yesterday's blog.

    I'd really like to quell this conversation about gun laws. I'm sorry I caused such an uproar. Criminals will get weapons whenever and were ever they want, I understand that. Permits are a good idea but background checks are not all inclusive, don't know what would be. For example, I am a retired vet., I am on 100% disability (for psych reasons) for over 15yrs. I applied for and received a gun permit. Although I'm continuously turned down for jury duty. I do not own a gun other than an airgun as I understand my problems and respect firearms. Not everyone does and some will slip through the cracks of a background check, I don't know the answer. I also love my knives but they are kept under lock with my wife having the only key. I have to ask her so she can check my mood before I go out to throw them. Like I said at the beginning of this sorry for causing the uproar, hope we can all calm down.


  77. Now that the goods are out (unless there is to be a part 5… B.B.?), I wanted to post some of my perspectives on the XL-1100. I already put some of this on Rick's blog, which I would encourage anyone to read who is considering this purchase because his review is very thorough and informative. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing the link, but he already posted it a few days ago… http://michanimata.blogspot.com/2010/02/review-benjamin-trail-np-xl-1100-part-1.html

    I agree with B.B. that this will make a very competitive hunting rifle (as soon as I can get those benched holds down… I'm an urban pigeon/grackle hunter, so lots of what I do is from a rest), but choosing to use it as a plinker will likely give you lopsided arm muscles. This thing is a beast to cock – not the first or tenth time, but you really start feeling it after an hour or so.

    My <250-rounds-through-the-gun averages were as follows, slowest to fastest: H&N Baracuda = 713.4, H&N Crow Mag = 768.3, JSB Jumbo Heavy = 770.4, JSB Jumbo = 804.4, JSB Jumbo RS = 837.1, C.P. = 859.8, Beeman FTS = 869.0, C.P. Hollow Point = 886.4 (weird, huh?). Most accurate in the first round of tests (gun in factory condition aside from a barrel clean with patches and nylon brush) were 15.8g JSB Jumbos, followed loosely by C.P.'s. Not that “most accurate” was really saying much, since most groups weren't really groups at all, but a smattering of loose holes combined with separate, smaller groups. Baracudas were worst, literally a 2.5" 10-shot group at 10 yards. All that said, the grouping behaviors have done nothing but change since. I've performed a few tweaks on my gun, refined my hold (still working on that one), and now Baracuda's are almost as good as the 15.8 JSB's. C.P.s are still holding their own, but I’m still getting split groups. The best extreme spreads were from the JSB Jumbo Heavies (7.18 FPS) and JSB Jumbos (8.48 FPS). That is insane for 10-shot groups on an out-of-the-box springer! You can tell this gun wants to really perform.


  78. So far I’ve made the following modifications to this rifle:
    + Tuned the trigger by polishing the contacts, lubing with high quality lithium grease, and replacing/tweaking the springs to achieve a lighter pull. I’ve actually achieved a very crisp second stage and my pull is incredibly just over 1 lb, right where I like it. It still passes the butt-slam test with flying colors.
    + Wrapped the entire barrel shroud in high voltage tape (a kind of self-amalgamating rubber tape) to protect it from scratches, cut the glare, and provide a positive grip for cocking. It looks a little odd, but I really like the effect.
    + Re-crowned the barrel. As I said earlier on this blog, there was some roughness that I wanted to polish up.
    + Slightly crowned the breech port. Mine had a dimple on one side that I thought might be preventing a good pellet/port seal. This change didn’t seem to affect velocities, thankfully.
    + Removed, cleaned, and re-oiled the breach seal. Mine was very dirty for some reason.
    + Sanded and sprayed with silicon lubricant the groove (inner forestock) that the cocking linkage roller rides in. It was very rough with overspray from the stain/varnish. This, alone, actually lowered my cocking weight by 3 lbs!

    I know I should have tested between each modification, but I didn’t have the patience for that. While I can’t say which mod affected which particular element of the overall experience, I can say that collectively, velocities have remain unchanged and my accuracy has increased by probably 300%. Maybe it’s all in my head and I’m just shooting better, but I’ll take it.

    I bought this more as a formidable hunting weapon and less to showcase it. This is not a $600 European rifle, and I can’t expect it to look like one. There are a couple of nicks in the bluing and the wood has a matte finish that I wish was more glossy. There are tooling marks here and there, like inside the receiver and along the scope rail welds. Most annoyingly are the big mortised areas on the upper forestock, directly in front of the compression chamber, that serve absolutely no purpose except to allow me to peer into the unfinished interior of the wood. But those might only be on my gun (let’s hope so), and I already vented enough about it on Rick’s blog, so I don’t need to do it again here. All this aside, though it probably sounds like I’m griping a lot, fit and finish are at or above my expectations for the price.

    Overall impression: This rifle is a good bargain at $300, and that it will hopefully become a great addition to my collection once it’s properly seasoned and I’m properly attuned to it. I don't have any buyer's remorse, other than that the power is not quite as high as I had anticipated (I was really hoping for velocities in the mid-900's using C.P.’s and mid-800's using heavier pellets), but in this day and age of overstated velocities, I can't say that I'm surprised. I live in Las Vegas and can easily plink with it in my back yard without annoying the neighbors, so I am very happy with how quiet it is.

    - Orin


  79. Fred,

    Congratulations on what sounds like a fine young man. I can only hope my son (and my girls) turn out as good. They seem to be on track, but with me for a Dad it'll be an uphill battle for sure!

    When you said 'extremely short temper' I cringed and thought, uh-oh, that doesn't mix with firearms… but when you said Neal reached a 3rd degree black belt, I relaxed. That achievement bespeaks great discipline and inner strength. And a good musician too! You put a lot of yourself into raising that boy, and it has paid off. Hats off to you.

    -AlanL


  80. B.B.,

    The 52 arrived today! Now for the moment to sneak it into the closet…

    This weekend I will at last have my recoil experience, and let us hope I do not recoil from the experience!

    I will give you a full report as promised. Hopefully the 350 will come tomorrow…

    -AlanL



  81. has anyone shot rws hyper velocity lead free .22 pellets? I just got mine tonight. Hoping to shoot tomorrow already loaded pellet holder, as I shot single shot 2240. Don't have indoor range and supposed to be raining tomorrow, hope not. Thought about going out tonight but thought again not a good idea shooting in the dark even with plently of land. Guess I need to get a scope with light for these occasions. Anyway what are thoughts on hyper velocities?


  82. Rikib,

    I've personally never had any luck with any of them that I've tried at any velocity in any gun of any caliber. I really had high hopes for RWS HyperMAX in either my 1077 or 357W, but they grouped worse than any lead pellet I tried. Same with Crossman and Gamo alloy ammo. Maybe something about the light weight is less forgiving or something. That's just my experiences.

    - Orin


  83. Orin,
    Thanks for your feedback hopefully I'll have better luck with my 2240, if not oh well it was a learning experience.

    To Everyone,
    Sorry if I revealed too much about myself in my 7:06pm post but wanted to kinda let you know where I was coming from.


  84. Vince

    "what makes you think you will get 750 fps…?"

    re Gamo .22 cal 750fps etc…

    Only due to the quoted "750 fps with lead pellets" as noted on the PA site http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Gamo_Whisper_with_Nitro_Piston/1509

    I realize that Gamo overstates their fps claims with their alloy lightweight pellets however… they claim 900fps with those "rockets" or whatever they call them, so that claim, de-tuned with the "lead pellet" statement by the PA folks and, the fact that the Hunter pellet is a mid-heavy weight at 15.9 grains, intuitively tells me that 750-ish ought to be do-able from this rifle. Even 700 fps consistently would be acceptable in .22cal based on the claims.

    Problem is we have A and C factors and no way of arriving at "B", with "B" being the "lead pellet" weight stated on the PA site. Lead pellet could be anything from 9 to 12 grains to achieve 750 fps, I suppose?

    Verrry twicky those marketing folks…

    Brian in Idaho


  85. BB and Vince

    Co-worker and I were talking today about his springer air rifle, he's a casual shooter and mostly toys with his .177 Cabella's rifle. I told him about the Artillery Hold and his mouth about dropped floor level!

    "man, I been wondering what was wrong with my pellet gun" he said. Needless to say, I sent him the link to BB's article and told him to get with the program on how he holds, aims and manages the recoil on his springer.

    I expect some glowing reports on improved accuracy from him next week and will let you know.

    Brian in Idaho


  86. RikiB,

    first off, no need to apologize for starting what is a controversial topic – gun control. It's always good to get a thread going where everyone can vent and get things off one's chest. When I was on a motorcycle blog, we started a thread on the best motor oil. You should see gear heads get passionate about that!

    Hyper velocities – the pellets we use, the shape is called diablo, don't perform real well, read accuracy, at high velocities. They weren't designed for that. Accepted velocity to extract the most in accuracy is between 700 and 950 fps. When you exceed 1,000 fps, you start to flirt with the sound barrier. As I understand, the shockwave that the pellet passes through, first exceeding and then slowing back down below the barrier, apparently will introduce an instability in the pellet's flight which it can't recover from. At least, that's what I came away with after listening to our resident rocket scientist on this blog, Jane. Bottom line, accuracy is what we're after. If you need more power, go with a heavier pellet or a more powerful rifle.

    By the way, I collect knives, too. I look for folders with unique lock back mechanisms, preferably pocket size.

    Fred PRoNJ


  87. rikib,

    I've never gotten the hyper velocity lead free pellets to group well in my guns. I've tried them in .177 and .22 cal. Really wanted them to work.

    As for the healthy discussion about ccw and gun rights I don't think you deserve all the credit. About every 4-6 months that gasket blows. The only difference this time around is that I couldn't find my pulpit. Oh well, maybe next time.

    You're a passionate airgunner, lucid contributor and a welcome part of this strange but wonderful family. Might as well get used to it.

    kevin


  88. Somebody help me!

    I collect Disney memorabilia. Usually buy on ebay.

    In my haste and mild alcoholic stupor I put in a bid for a "Unique, one of a kind Mickey Mouse Outfit". Now it seems I'm only 12 minutes away from owning Obama and his cabinet.

    Does anyone know how to cancel an ebay bid? HELP!!

    kevin


  89. Aw jeez, Kevin, wish I'd seen this earlier. I've been buying on eBay for years. See here:

    http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/bid-retract.html

    Don't feel too bad though, you couldn't have retracted your bid anyway, if it was within 12 hours of the closing time and more than one hour after you placed the bid.

    So… are you now the proud owner of a Mickey outfit? If it'll make Danielle happy no price is too high, so don't fret!

    -AlanL


  90. Thanks Fred & Vince for your comments.

    I'm looking forward to trying these hyper-velocities tomorrow also got some crosman premier pointed in same order so trying them also. Looking forward to a good shooting day weather permitting. I may just have to move target closer to house and shoot from under carport if raining. Ya know a few days back I posted that I had no pellets so I ran to walmart and all they had in .22 was daisy wadcutters. They really were not bad, took the top off a 2ltr bottle of water at just over 20ft with a 2240 and I'm an amateur.

    Fred PRoNJ
    Glad you like knives as well, there are almost as many laws about them as about guns. As I had to inform my son about who lives in R.I. and was carrying a concealed knife. I prefer throwing knives but that comes from training, and like I said in my post wife keeps them under lock and key, haha. Glad I have a lot of land and four dogs no one comes near without me knowing (even UPS drops package and runs).


  91. Brian, the lightest lead .22 I know of is the Hobby at 11.9gr. On the other end you can get a Eunjin at over 32gr.

    A quick way of calculating the general difference in velocity between pellets of different weights in the same caliber is to figure that velocity is inversely proportional to the square root of the pellet weight. This a a gross oversimplification, and assumes that the gun will be producing the same power with pellets of a different weight (and fit). But it will tend to roughly get you in the ballpark.

    When I get a chance I'll run some Hunters through my fairly healthy 440 and see what they do.


  92. Kevin,
    Sorry if I stole your pulpit didn't mean to. Just needed to vent I guess, I'll leave it to you next time. Unless I get frustrated, haha.

    Fred,
    About the hypers, I'm shooting a 2240 rated at 460fps so maybe I'll have better luck than a higher powered rifle, you think I hope so. Anyway I only bought one lot.


  93. Matt61

    You are a very good debater, you throw so much stuff at me, I don't know where to turn. You always make for an interesting read though. I never even conceived of a compact, evenly weighted shovel, sharpened like a bowie knife and capable of deflecting bullets!

    Hope my post didn't come across too hot. Sometimes I get worked up. You seem to have taken my comments in the spirit they were meant, however. I like the cut of your jib.

    Don't get too hung up on this republicanism thing. I myself am a classical conservative first and foremost. It is true, I have voted for republicans. But my main purpose at the voting booth is to vote out people whom I feel have betrayed the public trust. Sometimes this means trading the devil I know for the devil I don't know. Sometimes the effort seems futile, but that's how they want us to feel.

    I could be wrong, but it seems as though you may have a sharp philosophical difference with republicans. That is cool with me. Many people do. Again, let me urge you or anyone else, not to get hung up on this type of thing. The two-party system was designed as a diversion to keep the populace bickering amongst ourselves, and not focused on the problems at hand. It is a shell game. They pit each side against each other, always pretending to be bitterly fighting for our respective sides. Meanwhile, we ALL are sold down the river. Is it a coincidence that those on BOTH sides of the aisle feel outraged?

    George Washington warned us of this, but we don't listen. He was pressured into taking the position of President by the way, and did so reluctantly. His view was that anyone who sought that office was unfit. My, how times have changed.

    As for the Founding Fathers pulling the documents out of the blue, you are quite right again. The constitution is based almost entirely on the Magna Carta. Ironic isn't it? People risked everything they had to escape the repression of European countries like England to come to America, a country that our Founders deemed 'destined by province' and wrote our very governing document as a virtual carbon copy of the "Charter of Freedoms" of the country their forebearers were escaping from in the first place?

    Isn't the design of the Garand based on the Mauser?

    Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel. (The Constitution) You just have to actually use the wheel as it was designed, to roll. Pushing it end-over-end perpendicular to its axis is stupid, wasteful, and potentially destructive. Sadly, that is where we are in this country in many respects.

    You also brought up the movie Glory. It is excellent, and I could talk, or write about what that movie means to me for HOURS. I will wait until tomorrow to bore you with that. I've gone on so long I'm starting to look like that wacky Matt61 guy!;^)

    My comments are not meant to be inflammatory. I merely have very passionate views about what this country was founded for, vs. what we have become. Even so, this is the best country in the world, in my opinion. I'm with Edith. I am very reluctant to leave this country. I have already done so, on many occasions. Every single time, no matter how the trip went, getting back to my home, the country "destined by province" makes me feel whole again. Maybe its worth it to leave, just so I can appreciate it all the more. I have always wanted to experience the Highlands of Scotland.

    God Bless America


  94. B.B.,

    I've enjoyed your series of blogs reviewing the Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 more than any recent reading. You are a very fine writer.

    So it seems the only thing that might be lacking in this airgun is the quality of the trigger. The piece is only $299 bucks though, so I'm just going to totally discount all of that. Perhaps there is another trigger that will fit in the rifle.

    Your groups look really good and with the heavy pellets I'd say it's a very good airgun hunter and might even qualify in my book as a survivalist type of gun. Shooting lead balls hand cast makes it a good choice for hard times and that's what I've been looking for.

    I'd say that with a better trigger the rifle would become even more accurate. Again, for being fairly unfamiliar with the gun you shot some really good groups.

    The rifle in .25 caliber will be another treat for you to review I'm sure as well as a treat for us to read about!

    Rather than the mysteries being unveiled the excitement simply builds towards the reviewing of the .25 caliber model.

    Thank you for taking this one so seriously as it is a gun that many of us readers are taking seriously.

    Price point and quality make this rifle a very, very good value in my opinion.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick, (Louisiana)


  95. David H.,

    I will probably get a Rainstorm soon, because Pyramyd Air distributes them. I agree that the Evanix rifles have gotten incrementally better with each passing phase that is released. They are now pretty close to a nice European rifle in quality.

    B.B.


  96. AlanL,

    So don't listen to me! If you really want a TX 200 in .22 caliber, get it. Nobody made me the Full Ruler and Controller of the universe.

    I still do like the .177 TX over the .22, but that's just an opinion. You are entitled to your own opinions, as well as me. Getr what you really want.

    B.B.




  97. Kevin,

    Dennis Quackenbush told me yesterday the Olympic Committee has stripped the recent mens downhill racer of his gold medal. They claim Obama is going downhill faster than anyone. : )

    Do you really collect Disney?

    B.B.


  98. Patrick,

    I think Orin answered the trigger question. And you have understood that this is not a general-purpose rifle but a dedicated hunter.

    For the price I don't see how it can be beat.

    B.B.


  99. B.B.,

    You may not be Master Of The Universe (though I have no doubt you'd make a good one!) Of course I am entitled to my own opinions, and generally act on them, but only a fool seeks advice from a pro and then ignores it. You know what you know from over 30 years of diligent involvement in this sport. I'd be an ass to go against your recommendations. TX-200 in .177 it is, if I ever get a round tuit!

    -AlanL


  100. Slinging Lead, "Isn't the design of the Garand based on the Mauser?"

    For what it's worth, the Springfield 1903 is based on the Mauser, not the Grand which is a semi-auto. The Mauser and 03 are bolt actions.

    Mike


  101. B.B.,

    LOL! Now that's the way to start the day.

    No, I don't collect disney. My infamous, feeble attempt at humor.

    Seemed the blog needed it.

    There's usually one or two that get it but the rest are left staring at me with that deer in the headlights look.

    kevin


  102. Kevin,

    Nice. You sure got me. Though I couldn't quite picture you in a Disney tu-tu. So I blamed Danielle.

    Now then, what the heck were you bidding for, that put your bowels all in an uproar with buyer's remorse?

    -AlanL




  103. B.B.

    Hello New to the blog:

    I wonder why crosman has not came out with a .177 version of the Trail NP ? I've been in the shadows reading all of your articles and following your reviews for the past year. I recently became an enthusiest with the Gamo Big Cat being my first rifle. Now looking at the Benjamin trail NP XL 1500. Thnx


  104. Patrick,

    If you don't want to tune your trigger in the XL, Rick mentioned that the GRT-III trigger dropped in just fine. So if you feel like spending some money or you want something that LOOKS custom, that's an option. Personally, I would rather take something apart, modify it to suit my needs, and gain some valuable experience in the process.

    - Orin


  105. B.B.,

    No – no mentions of a joint review. I just wanted to wait to post my opinions and findings until you had finalized your own review. I didn't want to step on your toes…

    - Orin


  106. Tolton,

    Welcome to the blog. I don't know why Crosman hasn't made the Trails in .177 except for the power potential. They resulting rifles might be too fast for good accuracy. But that's just my guess.

    B.B.


  107. B.B. Wouldn't that be the same principle for the 1500 XL? With a heavy pellet that would be the ultimate machine for small hunting I would imagine and a quiet package not to mention. My thoughts would be to get the XL 1500 below the sound barrier. Hence improving projectile stability and accuracy with the correct power plant. I'm thinking dependable machine. Furthermore, I have a Big Cat and have experienced the same results as you reported in your review. I replaced the scope with a Centerpoint 4x16x40 and managed to get sub .26 inch groups at 25 yards but there was the fliers and creep to the right. I discovered the creep was due to my thumb being across the stock instead of parallel to the action,(As in your Bronco article). The gun has a Original GRT III trigger blade, that is set to a crisp action. Shooting in the prone positions using sandbags in perfect conditions. I love this rifle but feel that the Trail NP 1500 would have the potential to be a better rifle.


  108. Orin,

    You aren't stepping on my toes. I just thought I might have overlooked a promise.

    I'm going to do additional reports on the Bronco, so please feel free to add your experiences.

    I have located a NEW and previously unknown peep sight that may solve our problems not just for the Bronco but for many spring guns. And I will mount it on my Bronco and test it for you.

    B.B.


  109. Tolton,

    I really wasn't aware of the XL 1500 until you mentioned it. Yes, it's too powerful for any but the heaviest pellets, but what the heck? If that's what interests you, I'd say go for it.

    Just remember to tell us what you find.

    B.B.



  110. BB, In your 3/9 column, you mentioned "dieseling", the smell of burnt oil and smoke. This caught me by surprise…as I have not experiened any of these while shooting my air rifle and if I did I would suspect a major malfunction. Are these normal attribues of an air gun, or indications of abnormal operation?

    Jack
    New to airguns in Kansas City


  111. Jack,

    all spring piston air rifles diesel to some extent and is quite normal. What isn't normal is detonation – pretty much the same conditions but the firing is accompanied by a very loud " crack" or what you would expect if you were shooting a .22 rimfire. This can damage the air gun/rifle.

    Fred PRoNJ


  112. Jack,

    They are typical of a powerful spring-piston airgun. Anything that shoots over 800 f.p.s. will do it. Some are worse than others, though. The older cheap Chinese guns always remind me of frying bacon, because they smell and have so much smoke. But a better rifle such as a TX 200 will never do it unless they are in need of repair.

    B.B.



    • AHMSA,

      There have been several rifles designated Benjamin Trail NP XL. I may have tested one of them already.

      I am about to test the NP2.

      I don’t make comparisons between airguns very often. I just write up each gun on its own merits and faults.

      Welcome to the blog!

      B.B.


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