Benjamin Trail NP pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Benjamin Trail NP pistol
Benjamin’s new Trail NP breakbarrel pellet pistol with cocking aid removed.

Okay! The moment of truth has arrived. It’s velocity day for the Benjamin Trail NP pistol that claims to shoot 625 f.p.s.

I am still at my friend Mac’s home on Maryland’s eastern shore, so I brought the chronograph with me. I also brought some pellets I wanted to test, as well as all 3 types of lead-free pellets that Crosman sent with the pistol.

RWS Hobby
The first pellet I tried is the lightweight lead RWS Hobby. This pellet fits the bore very tight, so I may come back and test it seated after the accuracy test. Seated flush, they averaged 494 f.p.s. The range went from 477 to 509 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 32 f.p.s. Remember that Crosman said this pistol would have a wide velocity range for several hundred shots when it breaks in. At the average velocity, this 7-grain pellet generates 3.79 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

I can hear the naysayers warming up now. But hold onto your skirts, because this pistol is about to come alive.

Crosman SSP hollowpoint
The first pellet that Crosman sent me to test with the pistol was their lead-free SSP hollowpoint. This one weighs exactly 4 grains and looks like one of those new high-performance hollowpoints that performs well at lower speeds. In the NP, the average velocity was 632 f.p.s., so that substantiates the Crosman claim. The spread went from 531 to 697 f.p.s., but that first shot was way out-of-profile. The second slowest shot was 597 f.p.s., and the bulk of the shots ran between 630 and 660.

So — what’s the power of these lightweights? How about 3.55 foot-pounds? However, I don’t think this string is really representative of the pistol because of the other SSP pellet I tested later.

Crosman Powershot Penetrators
Next I tried Crosman Powershot Penetrator. They are a synthetic-bodied pellet with a metal nose. Crosman guarantees them to be 20 percent faster than lead pellets. They weigh 5.4 grains, and in the NP pistol they averaged 576 f.p.s. The spread went from 561 to 586 f.p.s., so it’s tightening up quite a bit. I do feel this is more of the break-in process, rather than the specific pellet, though I don’t want to take anything away from these Powershot Penetrators.

Like the SSPs, this pellet also fit the bore loosely. And the average energy was 3.98 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. I really can’t wait to see how accurate these are because they look like they might have a lot going for them.

Crosman SSP pointed pellet
The next pellet tested was theĀ Crosman SSP pointed pellet. Like the SSP hollowpoint, it also weighs 4 grains, yet this one went so much faster on average that I believe the pistol was breaking in right in front of my eyes. The average was 685 f.p.s., with a spread from 667 to, get ready for it — 704 f.p.s. Yes, the pistol broke the 700 f.p.s. level with lightweight pellets. Crosman has to advertise the highest velocity the pistol is capable of achieving, so setting the bar at 625 f.p.s. is conservative.

At the average velocity, this pellet generated 4.17 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Because it weighs the same as the hollowpoint SSP and fits the bore the same, I think the pistol is still breaking in.

JSB Exact RS
The last pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. I included it because of the accuracy potential. Although it’s light like the Hobby, it has a thinner skirt, so it was anyone’s guess how it would do in this pistol (because the gas piston is known for blowing pellet skirts out from the sudden pressure spike).

They averaged 487 f.p.s., but the range was tight — from 480 to 499 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this 7.3-grain pellet developed 3.85 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Trigger-pull
Next, I weighed the trigger-pull. It is two-stage, and stage one weighs about 3 lbs., while stage two breaks at 7 lbs., 3 oz. on the test gun. I have to observe that the design of the grip makes the trigger-pull seem a lot lower. I had guessed it to be 5 lbs. before putting the gauge on it.

Sound
I shot this test outdoors, so the sound was different than usual. But I must say the discharge is very quiet for a gun of this power.

Cocking assist
This pistol remains easy to cock. In fact, I shot it about 60 times in this test because there were a number of shots that didn’t register on the chrono. And I wasn’t tired at all at the end of the shooting. This is an all-day gun for sure.

But the cocking assist came off the muzzle a couple times as I was closing the barrel. It held tight when the barrel was cocked, but popped off several times when the barrel was closed. The trick is to not hold it out at the end, but, instead, under the muzzle when you close the barrel.

Cocking effort
The pistol cocks with exactly 25 lbs. of force. The effort ramps up to 25; and just when you think it will go even higher, it drops off. This is an all-day air pistol for any adult. I don’t know how they did it, but the Crosman engineers are to be commended.

Impressions so far
I’m still very impressed with this pistol. It cocks easier than I thought possible and shoots smoother than it should for the price. I can’t wait to see what it can do on targets!

45 Responses to “Benjamin Trail NP pistol: Part 2”

  • t-bone Says:

    Is there a form of “artillery hold” that you’ll be using with a pistol?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      t-bone,

      Yes, there is. It comes to use from the 1911 pistol shooters and it works. It is described here:

      http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/2011/05/beeman-p1hw-45-air-pistol-part-3/

      B.B.

      • ajvenom Says:

        Every time I shoot a pistol, I think of that article. Sometimes I have patience, other times I use a scope.

        • Matt61 Says:

          Do you find that a scope throws off the balance of your pistol. My SW686 with a scope would be amazingly heavy. But a lighter pistol with a scope might feel even clunkier.

          Matt61

          • ajvenom Says:

            I generally use a scope for dispatching small vermin or birds when using an air pistol. It’s easier to maneuver a pistol in a barn etc..yet it is not as powerful as air rifles so shot placement is important. Punching paper or practicing with a holster I don’t use the scope. But when I shoot groups to see how a pellet performs, I use a scope.

          • ajvenom Says:

            I forgot to mention it seems like it doubles the weight of the pistol and two hands required. One handed it quickly gets very tiring to hold. Some have suggested red dot sights. I don’t have one, but the seem lighter and pretty accurate.

      • t-bone Says:

        Thanks, I’ll try it. Using my Colt CO2 1911 two-handed at 5m, you’d think I was using a shotgun.

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          t-bone,

          There is definitely a knack to doing it right. The guy who taught me was an Olympic-qualfied shooter and his groups were embarrassingly small. I’m still working on it myself.

          B.B.

  • shakes Says:

    How many pellets do you use per pellet model on these tests, I see at 10 pellets, I get a certain number but 20 is just a slighltly higher number. Where is the sort of “good enough” amount

    • RidgeRunner Says:

      Unless you just blow it yourself, 10 shots give you a pretty good idea how well that pellet and airgun combination is working. In searching for THE pellet for my CFX, I ended up trying about 12 different pellets. When I had 3 that grouped closely, I shot 3 10 shot groups of each (alternatively) to try to eliminate MY variables.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      shakes,

      I shoot 10 per string, but not all of them register. So this 50-shot report took over 60 shots.

      B.B.

  • Mark N Says:

    B.B.,

    Two questions if I may. Did you try to adjust the trigger on this pistol? I notice in the manual that it is adjustable for “pull off point”.

    Also, I have noticed that these Crosman recommends a few drops of RMCOIL every few hundred shots in the compression chamber according to the manual. I have never used any on my gas spring rifles. I don’t even know what it is. Is it silicone chamber oil and what are your thoughts about using it?

    Thanks,
    Mark N

    • G.Austin Says:

      RMCoil is a compression chamber oil. In this sized gun put no more than two drops every 500-1000 shots. Leave it cocked for 45 mins after adding the oil so it distributes in the gun. It may deisil afterwards so watch your hearing in an enclosed space.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      MarkN,

      I have not adjusted the trigger. The break point seems good to me and I saw no reason.

      I WILL NOT add oil to this pistol unless it needs it, which it will announce with greater noise while cocking. Oil in a spring piston gun is nothing but trouble these days, and I typically never oil them. I have other gas springs with thousands of shots and they have never been oiled.

      B.B.

  • twotalon Says:

    Off topic but possibly useful to someone….

    I went outdoors for a bit of pellet testing yesterday in spite of the wind. I wanted to see how things might work out between two different kinds of pellets at 25 yds. .

    Did a big boo-boo first. I had shot a dry CPH to see if there was a difference in sound. There was not.
    I started out with oiled RS, and got a serious shotgun group. I kept shooting until it finally got to tightening up. Not all that great, but considering the wind…..
    Then to the oiled FTT . Shotgun. After a bunch of shooting it finally tightend up, but there was the wind again.

    I went home and cleaned the barrel then shot a bunch of RS through it again. Watched it tighten up and the P.O.I. creep to the right. Need to run some more through it until it stops moving.

    twotalon

  • Nick Says:

    Okay. What is Twotalon talking about? What is a “dry CPH” and why is it a boo-boo? Why oil your RS and where is this thing you oiled? Is it near the FTT?
    I ask these as too often I see these short cut words and am reminded that many people have never guessed what SNAFU means. NTTIAWWT IMHO so LKIS okay? (Not that there is anything wrong with that in my humble opinion so lets keep it simple )

    • twotalon Says:

      Sorry Nick…

      Dry CPH…Crosman Premiere Heavies shot straight from the box without lube.
      RS.. JSB Exact RS with oil lube.
      FTT…H&N Field Target Trophy with oil lube.

      twotalon

    • twotalon Says:

      Nick..

      Also the boo-boo.
      I knew it was going to happen when I did it..
      The dry CPH completely changed the bore condition. This left me with an unstable bore that needed to adapt to a different kind of pellet/lube. Cost me a lot of pellets and air.

      twotalon

  • Nick Says:

    Cool. Now I thought the oiling of pellets was a no no. I am new to this. I just bought a lovely Norica Tribal Basic from Pyramid and it averaged 957 from their testing before shipment with a 7.1 pellet. I have found that the JSB 10.3 and RWS in the 8-8.3 grain shoot wonderfully accurate at both 30 and 60 yards. I’ve put 600 plus through the gun and the gun is getting better and better (or I am lol). Would it be good to oil these??
    ps/ sidenote//
    No one is carrying the Norica brand in the USA anymore. I think the gun is great. Anyone have any input on this gun?

  • Nathan Says:

    Will either of the 2 aftermarket trigger upgrades for Crosman guns fit this pistol? A 7+ lb second stage seems kinda high. How long is the travel. Stock triggers on many Crosman/Benjamin break barrels seem to pull for days before actually firing.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Nathan,

      No idea about aftermarket triggers yet. I tend to think they won’t fit without modification, but we’ll hjave to wait and see.

      The trigger pull isn’t that hard when you consider the power. It feels like 5 pounds, which is a standard military trigger pull.

      B.B.

      • Victor Says:

        B.B.,

        This pistol is also heavy. Do you think that its weight help with the heavy trigger? I would think so.

        Victor

    • ajvenom Says:

      That’s an awesome question!!!! It would be sweet if they do work.

  • J-F Says:

    Well, well, well… this pistol broke our Canadian 500fps barrier but NOT the 4.2 ft/lbs (or 5.7 joules) energy barrier so it would be legal to own without license here!!!
    No store is going to take a risk with a gun so close to the limit but if Crosman had taken the care of saying with what pellet they did their testing they would be legal to import. What a shame.

    Now all is left to figure out is how could I get one in myself? If it’s accurate of course!

    J-F

    • ajvenom Says:

      Too bad Canada doesn’t use the UK limit of 6 ftlbs for pistols and 12 for air rifles. Better yet, no limit. Is it hard or expensive to obtain a firearm license? Just wondering.

      • Titus Groan Says:

        Hello ajvenom. No, it isn’t hard to get a firearms licence in Canada. You either take a coarse for a fee, and then pass a written and practical test, or if you are knowledgeable about firearms, you can challenge the exam without taking the coarse. You have to pass with 85-90% though. If you live out of the big cities, you may have to wait up to a year to take the coarse as not everyone is qualified to present it. You could also travel to one of the big cities, and spend the weekend taking the coarse and exam. If you have no one to stay with, then motel bills add up too. Then you wait 3-4 months while the RCMP does their back ground check on you. If any of your neighbours are anti-gun people, things could take longer. About $200.00, if all goes well. Mostly, it is just a pain in the butt!
        Caio Titus

      • cowboystar dad Says:

        ajvenon…it’s not that it’s hard or expensive…it’s that in Canada any airgun over 500fps second is classed as a firearm, and as a pistol it is classed as a restricted firearm.
        Meaning you can only shoot it at a legally registered shooting range (that you are a member of) and can only transport it to and from said range.
        Because of all this hoopla, most airgun dealers don’t bother to stock any pistols that are going to fall into the restricted category.

      • J-F Says:

        It’s not a energy limit, you have to be over BOTH the 500fps and the 4.2fpe to be considered a firearm. You can have a 145 grains 9mm 495fps/78.91fpe rifle or handgun and not considered a firearm.
        But if it’s shooting over both limit = firearm

        It’s not that it’s hard or expensive but it’s a pain the butt.
        There is the Possession Aquisition License (PAL) for all unregulated firearms (mostly single shot and semi-auto rifles and shotguns).
        Then there’s the Restricted PAL (RPAL) for ALL handguns.

        These are just course/exams you have to pass and fill a lot of papers and hoops to jump thru and then you wait (and wait, and wait) to get BUT there’s a catch for the RPAL!
        You have to have to be a collector (more hoops and red tape) or be a member of a range which can be long and far between and you can only shoot your handguns there, no bringing your handgun to your buddys farm or to your cabin and plinkin cans! You can ONLY drive from your house to the range with the handgun and you can ONLY shoot it there and you HAVE to shoot it there at least once a year.
        But there’s more! If the barrel is too short it’s just prohibited! No PPK’s or Makarovs here except for those who have prohibited license (crazy huh, you can own “some” of the prohibited stuff after all) but those aren’t given anymore and are mainly for those who had guns that were reclassified as prohibited a few years ago. So if you do have a PPK or Derringer or any of the compact handguns you can’t give it to your kids when you pass away but you can sell it to someone else who has a prohibited license.

        So in short, hard? Not really. Complicated? You bet! As complicated as they can make it.

        I’m no lawyer so they are some exceptions and stuff I forgot or didn’t mention but I think it paints a pretty decent picture of how things work up here. I guess it’s too cold during the winter and lawmakers have nothing to do so they think up new ways to make mathers more complicated for everyone and I think it’s the whole point behind all of this, to make it as hard to understand and complicated as possible so people just give-up their guns.

        Don’t you guys ever let it happen because the slope gets very slippery, very quickly and once you start to slide there’s no regaining your grip.

        J-F

        • ajvenom Says:

          Thanks to all of you for explaining the firearm permit process in Canada.
          In the US, in the state I live, we can shoot outside the city limits as long as we have permission, own land or at a shooting range.
          In my state, you can obtain a Permit To Carry a Pistol (concealed or non concealed)/purchase permit (no waiting period for hand guns), you have to take a class that includes passing a test and qualifying at a shooting range. Also, you have to go to your local sheriff’s office and apply for the permit. They do a background check and verify all the information needed. I had to wait a couple of weeks to receive my permit and I spent $200 all togather. Unfortunately, the permit is only good for 5 years. From what I’ve heard, retesting and reapplying may be less expensive the next time around.

  • Matt61 Says:

    Will be interested to see how this pistol compares with the Beeman P1 which still seems to be the standard. If shooting a springer is supposed to be the acme of shooting skill, then shooting spring pistol which I have yet to do would really be the tip of the spear.

    Victor, as you know I’m a believer. And I’m getting great mileage dry firing all my military rifles and other firearms.

    Jim, your example is close enough for me–discharge of a round in proximity to other rounds in a magazine. Right now, I never have any guns loaded unless I’m ready to shoot. But if there were some situation where I was carrying a loaded gun, I could see loading the magazine, closing the bolt on the empty chamber and activating the safety. That’s about as close to fail-safe as you could get.

    Matt61

  • duskwight Says:

    Hate to start it this way, but… My deep condolences to everyone in Texas.

    This Saturday I’m planning to test DWR after a bit of rework. It makes 1-hole group @10m but it proves nothing yet.

    duskwight

  • SP4449 Says:

    The next test should be interesting. On NP pistol I could not get the sights to adjust in. With maximum adjustment it was 5 inches low at 7 yards. Replacing the sight with a red dot solved the problem. It seems as if the front sight is too high.

  • Mark N Says:

    B.B.,

    I have one of these pistols en route and have a question about the break in period. I have read that heavier pellets help to break in a new or newly tuned springer faster. I don’t know that I have ever read you say so one way or the other. So my question is do you think it is helpful or faster to use heavier pellets during the break in period?

    Also somewhat related I am wondering if you have had any more time with the Titan Gp (lower power) rifle in .177 that looked like such a winner but suffered from barrel droop and scope issues? I have not been able to make mine group. I have a lower power .22 Titan GP that I would not trade for many more expensive things because it is such a pleasant handling tack driver so it is disappointing that I cannot make the .177 handle even modestly.

    Thanks for your time and the best to you and Mac,
    Mark N

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Mark N,

      I never heard of heavy pellets being any better for breaking-in a springer than light ones. I think the mechanism just has to work a certain number of times to smooth out the parts, and I can’t see why one pellet would be any better than another. In fact, when I have a gun that needs a 1,000-shot break-in, I purposely use junk pellets, because I’m just wasting them anyway.

      B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Mark,

    I forgot the last part of the question. I think the lower-powered Benjamin was never quite as good in .177-caliber as in .22. And, no, the barrel alignment situation did not change. I sent that rifle back, but Crosman gave me the .22 rifle (a Benjamin Legend) because they were proud of how it turned out. So I still have that rifle and it still shoots fine.

    B.B.

  • Markus Says:

    Nice to see that the NP pistol finally exists! Hope it will hit the German market also.
    Comparing it with the Diana LP8 is not really correct in my opinion. My LP8 (totally stock) puts out around 5 ft/lbs with any current pellet in the 7 – 8 grain class, with JSBs around 5.2. Lightweight pellets reach up to 5.8 ft/lbs. The HW45/Beeman P1 seems to be a better comparison, as this pistol (and i had several of them) is nearly always overrated in power, at least if shot with no dieseling and/or producing uncontrollable spreads in velocity.

  • wd feese Says:

    My pistol arrived Friday, makes for a great weekend. I found it to be same as B.B. has reported. The barrel was very dirty and after a clean up the shooting began. The trigger is a bit like shooting a double action revolver. I shoot better if I role threw the shot, rather than trying to stage it. Took about 100 shots to settle down. A good introduction into spring pistols.

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