Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

• Accuracy day…part 2
• Things that were done
• Sight-in
• Ten meters
• The hold
• 25 yards
• Velocity with Premiers
• Overall evaluation

Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2
Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2

Accuracy day…part 2
Today, we return to the Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 air rifle. I think I’ve solved all the mysteries and finally got the rifle to shoot the way it should. You be the judge.

Things that were done
Several things were done to make the rifle ready for today’s test. First, I cleaned the barrel with J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound on a bronze bore brush. To do that, I removed the barrel shroud and the baffles, so access to the barrel was easy. I cleaned from the breech. Since the NP2 has a gas spring, I could leave it cocked as long as I wanted without hurting the spring.

Next, I replaced the 3-9X32 CenterPoint scope that comes with the rifle for an older CenterPoint 3-12X40 scope that has an adjustable objective. Now, I was able to focus the scope on the target at 25 yards. CenterPoint no longer carries this scope that was made by Leapers, but it’s equivalent to this 3-12X40 UTG scope with AO, except that my scope doesn’t have an illuminated reticle.

I shimmed the replacement scope with one thin slice of plastic under the scope tube at the rear ring; because when I removed the factory scope, I noticed that it was adjusted toward the top of its range. I just wanted to make sure the reticle wasn’t floating in the replacement scope because the NP2 has a healthy jolt when it fires. No vibration, but there’s definite movement.

I tightened all the stock screws but found they were mostly tight already. That was when I noticed there’s no front triggerguard screw. The rear screw is the one that holds the action to the stock, and the front has no screw at all — yet there’s a hole in the guard for one. Some companies might be tempted to put a wood screw there to fool you, but that would just invite stripping the hole in the wood stock since the front screw is nearly always the one that gets tightened. Crosman made it foolproof.

06-25-14-02-Benjamin-Trail-Nitro-Piston-2-triggerguard
The front triggerguard screw doesn’t exist. The rear screw holds the action in the stock, and the front hole is blank.

Sight-in
I sighted-in at 12 feet and was on paper with the first shot. In all, I fired four shots to get where I wanted to be at 10 meters. I continue to shoot .22-caliber Crosman Premier pellets in this rifle for this whole test. Once I was sighted-in, I backed up to 10 meters and shot a 5-shot group.

Ten meters
I was still experimenting with holds at this point. I had already spent a whole day shooting the rifle with the factory scope and trying different holds (I didn’t tell you about that day or bother to report it), but a comment from a reader got me thinking. Reader Ben told me to hold the rifle more firmly and also to slide my off hand farther out under the forearm. He reminded me of what I knew but had temporarily forgotten — namely that gas spring guns need a different hold. So, I followed Ben’s suggestions, and they resulted in a 0.319-inch 5-shot group at 10 meters!

Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 10 meter group
Five Premiers at 10 meters went into 0.319 inches.

Okay, that’s just at 10 meters. I know a lot of you do shoot at that distance, and I also know that many people shoot 5-shot groups. This is what the NP2 can do at that distance with 5 Premier pellets.

But you really want to see what it can do at 25 yards. And you want to see 10-shot groups. I adjusted the scope reticle down for 25 yards and started shooting.

The hold
Before I continue, let me describe the hold I’m using today. It’s not an artillery hold. I’m grasping the pistol grip firmly, but not with a death grip. And my off hand is slid out far enough that it’s touching the sling swivel on the forearm. I don’t grasp the forearm tightly, but I do grasp it with my fingers. Having my hand out that far, the rifle doesn’t want to move left or right. So, when the off hand gets settled, the crosshairs stay on target as I relax.

Relaxation is very important with the NP2. Every time I became anxious about where the next shot was going, I threw it wide. But when I relaxed, the shot went to the aim point, as you’ll soon see.

25 yards
The first group of 10 went into 0.931 inches. It’s better than the best group fired in the last test, which tells me that something I did helped out. Cleaning the barrel, tightening the screws, changing the scope or changing the way the rifle is held seems to have made the difference. But I thought the rifle could do even better.

Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 25-yard group 1
The first group of 10 Premiers from 25 yards went into 0.931 inches. It’s better than the best group from the previous test!

The second group is larger than the first, but the 3 pellets that missed the main group were all from my tension. When I relaxed, all the pellets went into the central group. Ten shots went into 1.333 inches, but the central 7 are in 0.656 inches. I think they represent the true accuracy of the NP2. This is the importance of relaxing when shooting this particular air rifle.

Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 25-yard group 2
This group was the most revealing. When I shot totally relaxed, the pellets went to the central group. When I tensed up for any reason, they went wide. Ten shots in 1.333 inches and 7 in 0.656 inches. I believe the NP2 can shoot as well as the central group indicates.

But you’re skeptical, and I would be, too. The concentration needed for every shot (making certain I was relaxed) was tiring me, but this rifle deserved the best I could give, so I shot one more 10-shot group at 25 yards. This time, I relaxed for each shot — the way I would tell someone else to do. You know — do as I say! This time, 10 pellets went into 0.704 inches. This, I believe, represents the level of accuracy of which this particular Benjamin Trail NP2 is capable.

Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 25-yard group 3
This time, I concentrated on the hold and relaxed for every shot. Ten pellets went into 0.704 inches at 25 yards.

Velocity with Premiers
One last thing to do. I told you that the cocking effort had dropped to 32 lbs. after the last accuracy report. With all the shooting I’ve done the rifle now has over 150 shots on the powerplant. I tested it again today, and it still cocks right at 32 lbs. The last velocity test had Premier pellets averaging 793 f.p.s. with a 40 f.p.s. spread. This time 10 Premiers averaged 745 f.p.s. and the spread was only 8 f.p.s.!

I know the gun shoots slower now; but given the wide variation before, I think it’s now settled into what it’s going to do. At 745 f.p.s., the Premier cranks out 17.63 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Overall evaluation
I think Crosman has made a nice new breakbarrel rifle with the NP2. It doesn’t vibrate, it cocks easier than other gas-spring guns in its power range, the trigger is crisp, the report is quiet and the rifle is accurate. For $250, this is about as nice a spring gun as you can find.

Yes, the power is not at the level Crosman advertises; and yes, the gun does kick — but it still gives you a lot of value for the money spent. The bad press at launch time is going to keep some shooters from giving the NP2 a try. That’s too bad because this is a rifle many of them would like.

I’ve tested this rifle openly and allowed you to see exactly what happened, as it happened. Crosman has sent another NP2 for me to test and I plan on testing that one for you as well. So, it ain’t over yet.

80 thoughts on “Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2: Part 4

  1. B.B.,

    I’ve read the reports on this rifle with a lot of interest, despite that as a plinker and paper-puncher it is not something for me personally.

    It seems that by replacing the scope the rifle comes with, adjusting the shroud and baffle unit, and adjusting the trigger to be smooth and crisp (but still heavy, as you reported in Part 3?), it is finally a good shooter, albeit well under 20 foot pounds.

    Is this the replacement for the Trail NP XL? That seems to be the most popular springer Crosman has ever made.

    While I do not have expertise shooting magnum springers, I do have some knowledge of marketing. I fear Crosman blew this one. A potentially good rifle now has a bad reputation among a lot of airgunners, and that is very, very tough to shake off, especially in the age of the internet. Perception IS reality in marketing. Good product, but a disastrous roll-out. Lots of pre-release hype followed by well-publicized consumer dissatisfaction.

    I’m really racking my brain on this as a business / marketing problem. When Microsoft botched the Vista roll-out,it proved to be insurmountable. In less than a year they pulled it and replaced it with essentially the previous product gussied up.

    The only thing I can think of is a year from now unveiling an NP3 with nicer wood, checkering, less plastic, an AO scope, and have each individual rifle go through a QC individual’s hands to make sure no plastic is cracked, that the muzzle and baffles are aligned, etc. But then Crosman’s margin will shrink to nothing.

    This is a tough one.

    Michael


    • I think this is becoming a huge problem because of the internet.
      Taking my experience in the photographic industry, it seems pretty common that a company will do about 80% of the R&D on a product, release it to the market and then use customer feedback to fine-tune the product.
      It has always been common knowledge (for example) to not buy the first year of a brand new automobile model…the second year always showed improvements.
      This worked fine before the ‘net.
      But now, if there are issues they aren’t just quietly rectified in the next model year.
      It goes viral and the next thing you know, no one wants to touch the thing with a 10 foot pole, whether it’s an improved Ver II or not.
      Case in point. A couple of years ago Nikon introduced a great new camera (D600). Only problem was that because of design defect it would throw oil onto the sensor, making for a lot of post production work.
      Nikon quickly offered a warranty fix on all affected cameras.
      But after it went viral they couldn’t sell the things for any amount of money.
      The only thing they could do was discontinue a one year old model and replace it with a new model (D610)…essentially the same camera without the defect.


    • There’s a B grade martial arts movie where the villain says, “Power perceived is power achieved.” The guy is a high school principal…

      Matt61



        • Edith,

          First, a disclaimer: the following tale is probably true. I understand it to be true. If, however, it is a business school legend, so be it, for the lesson it teaches is a good and true one.

          A certain famous scotch (not Johnny Walker, but still quite famous) was, in the early 20th century, a struggling mid-level (mid-level in market share, price point, and reputation) brand. The family that owned it decided that they would for the first time hire an outside CEO and give him a lot of control.

          The new CEO immediately doubled their wholesale price and redesigned the label and bottle. He then put the company into a bit of debt by purchasing full page color ads in Playboy, GQ, and Esquire magazines. Soon enough to keep the company from going under, sales rebounded to the earlier levels. Then sales doubled. Yes, they were making twice as much per case as before AND they were selling twice as many cases! For a couple years they put all of that extra profit into more and more full page ads in those three magazines and similar upscale men’s interest magazines elsewhere in the world.

          Within five or so years they became one of the most profitable and prestigious scotches in the world and still are today. Every adult reader of this blog knows this brand name.

          Michael


          • Michael,

            I believe the story. And here’s a story of my own that is 100% true, as I witnessed it in a company for which I used to write alternative medicine newsletters. The company also published alternative medicine books from doctors, therapists, etc.

            They knew how much they had to charge to make money, but they tested different prices before coming up with THE retail price. One time, they sent out 1 million offer letters for the book retailing at $39.95. Another million were sent out offering the book at $49.95. Another million sent out offering the book at $59.95. They got the most number of orders from the $59.95 offer letter. People perceived value based on price, not on content.

            In the 1980s, I started a desktop publishing business and learned an extremely valuable marketing lesson. I offered my writing and design services for newsletters and other corporate publications for the low price of $18 per page. I barely made any money and couldn’t get many businesses to buy my services. I told Tom I needed to charge a lot more because I spent way too much time for the pittance of $18. So, I jumped my price to $60/page if I did only the layout — and $80/per page if I had to do the writing, too.

            I went from a pathetic $300 a month to a whopping $3,000 a month. That was a change from one month to the next with absolutely no change in my marketing materials, advertising or whom I contacted. Perception of great value based on price.

            A few years later, we were visiting Tom’s mother for Xmas, and I told her I was going to offer my desktop publishing services to one of Tom’s sister, who was looking for a job & needed a new resume. His mom told me I shouldn’t do it for free. If it’s free, it’s not worth anything. She’ll never want it if it doesn’t cost her.

            Tom’s mother (everyone called her Billie) taught me a valuable lesson that day. And it was reinforced by the actions of my former employer when I saw that a higher price can increase purchases.

            Edith


            • Edith,

              I am going to show my wife what you’ve written above.

              My wife was a long-time corporate web designer who was laid off two years ago. As she is a woman in her 50s, that spells retirement from tech, such a youth and male dominated field. She is also a graphic designer and artist, both commercial and fine art.

              So she began making handmade jewelry, mostly necklaces and bracelets, with beads she makes one at a time completely by hand. (Her stuff is VERY good.) She has a few cases at a local shee-shee-foo-foo handmade jewelry boutique and also sometimes makes special items by customer’s commission. The store owner and I keep telling her she’s underpricing her pieces, and we force her to raise the prices, but it is a struggle every time she brings new stock in.

              Michael


  2. My hope is that one day Crosman will introduce a premium line of air rifles that are competitive with Diana, FWB, HW, etc. I am well aware they will cost more, but I am one of those who would rather have one or two nice air rifles and pistols than a closet full of ho hum.


    • RR
      You make a good point. But should the high end gun makers charge a premium price like they do for their guns?

      Most of the Weihrauch,Diana’s, Daystates, FX guns and so on are the high end guns. But they have their cheaper models also.

      Now look at all the different category of guns Crosman makes from their PCP guns down the line to the break barrel guns to the pump guns to the Co2 guns.

      Do you see what I mean. Different category’s, different builds. And you know what my .177 cal. synthetic Marauder will way out shoot my FX Monsoon in the accuracy department any day. And the Monsoon is one of the best .22 cal. guns that I have shot. And the .177 Mrod will even put out as good or better groups then the Hatsan BB’s testing. Then compare the .177 Mrod to the Talon SS in.177 cal. If I’m moving to different positions and shooting at different angles the Mrod in .177 shines again. But if I shoot straight and level then the Talon SS and the.177 Mrod shoot the same.

      What I’m trying to say is they all have their place. What I think is the NP2 is not trying to be one of the high end guns and it also ain’t asking the same price as those high end guns. But I bet when it gets out there and people start shooting the ugly duckling people will soon see it for what it really is.

      All I can say is Time Will Tell. But I predict people will by them because of the technology that was developed into the gun. And they will soon over look the material issues.


      • You are missing my point. Once they straighten out there issues with the NP2 manufacturing, I would like to see Crosman develop a trigger assembly for sproingers that is on par with Air Arms and Rekord, then build an air rifle with top shelf fit and finish and put it in a nice walnut stock. Yes, this air rifle will be more expensive, but I for one am willing to pay for such. Though the market for such is not as large as the Wally World market is, there is still a market there that they are not reaching but could.


        • RR,

          you don’t feel that the Maurauder’s trigger is the equal to Diana’s T05/T06 or even the Rekord? I think it’s a great trigger and would love to see Crosman make their rifles “backwards” compatible so for an extra $40 or so, you can retrofit your rifle with the Mrod’s trigger.

          Fred DPRoNJ


          • I have not had the pleasure of shooting a Marauder, but this goes toward what I am saying. For the most part Crosman is concentrating their market on the Wally World market. I would like to see them produce something for the market that I am in. It is a much smaller market, but it is there. I know that quite a few people that are into airguns will happily lay down the extra bucks to buy a sproinger that matches or exceeds the quality of the top end sproingers from Europe, most especially if the price is comparable or less.


            • Kinda like General Motors, they make Chevrolets and Cadillacs. We know what we are getting with each, and the price reflects it.


              • Buying a Cadillac over a Chevrolet usually buys more bells, whistles and features. It does not always mean buying better quality though.


                • There’s definitely no shortage of things to be fixed on a Caddy! I’ve probably made more money working on Cadillacs than any other brand. My favorite was the motor mounts on the northstar cars-with all that torque they are almost always either broken or close.It’s still just General Motors but some of their owners want them to be Bentleys.Once again, if you want a Bentley, Buy a Bentley!


            • RR
              I think you would be surprised how much quality there is in the old Marauders and the new ones. And once you shoot one you will know what I mean. And what I’m saying coming up is all in general. I just wanted to say to you I think you should at least shoot a Marauder that somebody owns. I bet you would like it.

              And the way I think all the time is everything out there today; they want to much for it verses quality.

              I would like the Marauders to be cheaper along with the AirForce guns and others. But I believe that the AirForcve guns are a fair price. And in all honesty I think that the Marauder trigger way out performs the AirForce trigger and equals the trigger in the HW50 I just got. (Crosman close your ears right now) I really think that Crosman could ask more for the Marauders because they are quality guns. But I forgot we are suppose to be talking about the NP2.

              I think once they get the few little things straightened out that they will be a better gun then whats out there in its category right now. Look at the Gamo guns. I myself think even the hundred dollar and cheaper break barrel guns Crosman makes is better than the Gamo guns.

              And I should just shut up because I don’t like comparing and talking about the quality of one gun and the next. They all have issues even the highend guns. So all we can do now is wait and see what Crosman did to improve the new NP2 and not judge until the proof is in front of us when the new gun comes into action.


              • Gunfun 1,

                Well you caught me by surprise today. We tend to have similar taste and have basically agreed on everything to date. However, today I do not agree with your evaluation of the Marauder trigger. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with the trigger but it does not touch the triggers on my Weihrauchs, Air Arms, Daystates or FX’s. At least on my Marauder I have never been able to get a truly crisp break with it.

                I agree with everything else you say about the Marauder. Just not the trigger. Sorry.

                G&G


                • G&G
                  Its ok to disagree. That’s what you see with your guns. But I really still have to stick to what I said about the guns I got. The AirForce gun doesn’t compare. The trigger on the FX Monsoon is not as good. And the trigger on my HW50s will not adjust out as good as my Marauder triggers.

                  Don’t get me wrong. All the triggers are good in the guns I mentioned but the feel of the trigger after I adjusted it on my Marauders fits me way better than the other guns. And I don’t think you can adjust a trigger on the AirForce guns can you?


              • The problem with my shooting a Marauder is I do not know anyone around here that owns one. There are very, very few airgun enthusiasts around here. Most boys and quite a few girls have their own .22 rifle by time they are in their tweens and have center fires in their teens. Most of the airguns around here are Wally World specials (read junk).

                As far as the NP2 is concerned, I would not waste my money on it even if they fix all the little issues they are having because of the stock. Having said that, if they get it right and if they put a nice trigger assembly on it and if they finish the steel nicely and if they put it in a nice stock made of some nice walnut, I’ll buy it.

                By the end of this year I fully intend to sell two of my 10 meter rifles and buy one more air rifle. It will either be a TX200 MK3 with walnut stock or an HW35E. Either one of those should round out my collection nicely.


                • RR
                  I understand what you mean. Its just a gun your not interested in and that’s why it great that there is a variety of guns made.

                  And there is some real highend air guns out there I would like to have and probably wont just because they cost so much. So I try to find the gun that I want that has the most value for the money.

                  My next gun will probably be the HW30S. It costs more than the NP2 and its not a nitro piston gun but its got the features I want. But I think it has a beech stock also like my HW50S has. Which is by far the best beech stock I have seen in a long while. But yes I would like a Walnut stock option on the HW guns also but of course then the price would go up.

                  Any way will just have to see how this NP2 thing works out. And least we should be happy that we do have a lot of airguns to choose from now days. And that they are trying to develop new technology.


                • RidgeRunner,

                  I have been looking at the HW35. What do you know about them. Have you ever shot one. They seem like excellent rifles but I have no experience with them.

                  G&G


                  • Unlike most break barrels, the HW35E has a barrel lock. Also the HW35E comes with a walnut stock. It is not a magnum sproinger, maybe a tad more powerful than the HW50.


              • Shhh. Don’t tell Crosman to charge more for the Marauder! That’s one of it’s very attractive features.

                Matt61


          • I was thinking the same thing about Gamo and their CFR,Why wouldn’t they put their SAT trigger on their higher end guns? If they did they would have an even better gun.I’m sure it would take some engineering to put a PCP trigger on a springer. but not too much from one springer to another.Has anyone heard any news about the CFR?

            Reb


          • The T05? The T01 probably puts that to shame (once one realizes that the ambulance chasers resulted in the bloody thing be set for NO first stage and a long creepy second stage — rather than a long light first stage and high/crisp second stage).




        • I think of it this way: Benjamin is to Crosman as Lincoln-Mercury is to Ford, Buick-Cadillac is to GM, and Lexus is to Toyota.

          Daisy is Chrysler. Gamo is Mitsubishi. RWS is Audi. Umarex is Volkswagen and Fiat combined. Weihrauch is BMW. Air Arms is Lotus. Anschutz, Steyr, and Feinwerkbau are Maserati, Ferrari, and Lamborghini, respectively.

          Michael


          • Unless Daisy is selling models made with lots of Gamo parts, that simile falls apart — for about a decade, Chrysler and Mitsubishi shared development and design (the Plymouth Laser and Mitsubishi Eclipse differed in the design of air dams and spoilers, and were made in “Diamond-Star Motors” plant in Normal, Illinois — (three) Diamond -> Mitsubishi, Star -> Chrysler).


            • True, but my analogies and comparisons were also based on market position. Daisy is the Chrysler of air guns. Once revered. Storied past. Faded glory. Gamo is like Mitsubishi: huge and mass-market. (Mitsubishi is and has long been one of the, if not THE biggest manufacturer of durable goods in the world.)

              You are correct, I was mixing my figurative principles, but I stand by the appropriateness of each one individually.

              Michael



  3. I was thinking about the right way or place to start my reply. And there is no right way so here it goes.

    What things are wrong with the gun. Cracked plastic piece, baffles on BB’s gun, and the scope mount falling off.

    What things are right with the gun. Very first is new technology. The NP2. If I still had my .25 cal. XL I think I would be finding a way to put the NP2 in it.

    Next it does shoot well enough. And it sounds like its got a learning curve like any other gun I shot. I think somebody here with a Garand knows that. Or the person with the first Marauder or Air Force gun with out a PSI gage. You know the old days before the spin lock tanks.

    And I really need to say something about the baffles. And I need a few things to compare to and what else could that be then some products that are out there.

    Take a look at the Sound Lock baffle kits for the AirForce guns that use them. I bought them for my AirForce gun in .177 cal. and they were so oversize on the diameter that the pellet passes through that it ain’t even funny. The baffles no way are effective in the job that they are supposed to do. That diameter is so big that the. 177 cal. kit should be used for a .22 caliber gun. And the .22/.25 cal. is almost good for a .25 cal. pellet but no way good for a .22 cal. pellet. The hole is to big and the baffles just don’t do the job they are suppose to. If I remember right the sound ratings of the Condor SS had to be raised on the PA site.

    So if the baffles are made the way they are suppose to be to effectively muffle the gun there is a chance of clipping the baffle with the pellet. You have to rotate the muffler to get the baffles not to clip.

    So is there something else that I missed that’s wrong with the new NP2 ?

    And I obviously cant speak for Crosman but ain’t they making things right ? Well and Pyramyd Air also.

    And I think I talked about cracks before. Some times cracks are not visible at assembly. So how or why would inspection know to catch a crack if there ain’t one there. I will bet they dont have a machine checking it.

    I will have to say that from the things I have been involved with in machining and the different round table discussions that I have been in quality control is a joke. The people making the parts and assembling the parts will usually find the quality problem. Inspection usually has a procedure and a check list basically of dimensions. Probably some surface finishes and general visual inspection of the part or assembly or finished product. If its not visible and there is no verbal or written alert that the inspector should follow then they basically don’t know that a problem exists. They just see what is in front of them.

    And like car manufacturers. Most of the time recalls are made its after the vehicle has been out in the field in service. Most of the time. Notice I said most of the time. But the manufacturer of that car wont even know there was a problem until time took its toll.

    And I have kind of been layed back about this ribbon cutting of the NP2 but I have to say that really the only two problems I see is the cracked plastic and the scope mount. The cracked plastic piece is probably contributing to the baffle alignment.

    So all Crosman has to do in my eyes is fix the plastic piece and the baffle alignment will be fixed. Then just drill and tap a few holes in the main tube like most of their guns and mount the scope rail that way. There is nothing back there that has to do with a air seal.

    And how soon did you say you would get the new one to test BB ? I myself don’t think it will be long because those are simple fixes. Well in our eyes. Im sure they will have to chang some procedures and types of materials.

    Will see. But I think it wont be long before somebody really does show what the NP2 can do. They got to get the guns out there and people using them before any more can be said.

    And BB thanks for the honesty of your report as usual.


    • GF1,

      My new NP2 has already been shipped by Pyramyd Air, so it should be here soon. I will start reporting on it as soon as I get it, of course. Since I have already looked at the basic gun, this report will probably focus on those things I see that are changed.

      I will pay particular attention to the cocking effort, velocity and accuracy. I expect the gun I’m being sent is the absolute best Crosman can produce, because it was picked especially for me. That’s why I wanted to test the gun I have, so there would be a baseline.

      B.B.


      • RR
        You make a good point. But should the high end gun makers charge a premium price like they do for their guns?

        Most of the Weihrauch,Diana’s, Daystates, FX guns and so on are the high end guns. But they have their cheaper models also.

        Now look at all the different category of guns Crosman makes from their PCP guns down the line to the break barrel guns to the pump guns to the Co2 guns.

        Do you see what I mean. Different category’s, different builds. And you know what my .177 cal. synthetic Marauder will way out shoot my FX Monsoon in the accuracy department any day. And the Monsoon is one of the best .22 cal. guns that I have shot. And the .177 Mrod will even put out as good or better groups then the Hatsan BB’s testing. Then compare the .177 Mrod to the Talon SS in.177 cal. If I’m moving to different positions and shooting at different angles the Mrod in .177 shines again. But if I shoot straight and level then the Talon SS and the.177 Mrod shoot the same.

        What I’m trying to say is they all have their place. What I think is the NP2 is not trying to be one of the high end guns and it also ain’t asking the same price as those high end guns. But I bet when it gets out there and people start shooting the ugly duckling people will soon see it for what it really is.

        All I can say is Time Will Tell. But I predict people will by them because of the technology that was developed into the gun. And they will soon over look the material issues.


        • I have no idea why this response to RR just posted again.

          I was leaving a response to you BB. And the response I wrote did not post but this one did. Again!

          I don’t like this time warp stuff.

          Anyway BB normal stuff you did to this gun that anybody would do to get one to group better.

          And please tell if you will what they did different to the one that Crosman is sending you to test OK.


  4. BB,

    Can you clean the barrel with a bore snake without having to remove the shroud and baffles? if using a snake, would you pull it from the breech end or the muzzle?

    Jim


    • Jim,

      You can’t clean a barrel like I described with a bore snake. Bore snakes are best for firearms, where solvents can be used. In airgun barrels we use mechanical action to get rid of lead deposits, because some of those firearms solvents can harm seals.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        VERY good to know! I have been using a bore snake (with simple Ballistol, not paste) with some results, every couple hundred shots, but I knew the actual rifling was probably not getting a deep clean.

        Michael


  5. The gun has promise. This series of tests shows why it is often a good idea to wait until a new product has the “Bugs” out of it.

    Mike


  6. BB wrote ” For $250, this is about as nice a spring gun as you can find.” You forgot to
    add the cost of the replacement scope. The rifle pkg is no longer $250 but much more.
    Replacing the scope IMHO takes away the integrity of the test. You’re no longer testing
    the original pkg that Crossman is offering but your own creation.

    I remember a while back as you were blasting the owners of the Airforce rifles when
    they would replace the original equipment that came with the rifles (ie.hammers) etc


    • Jeff,

      Yes, the scope I used does add cost to the price of this airgun. And I do feel that some scope other than what is shipped with the rifle will be needed. But that is hardly a deal-breaker. A TX 200 that costs over $600 still needs a scope and we don’t complain about that.

      Regarding my “blasting” of those who replace their strikers in AirForce airguns — I still do that. I used to have to fix the guns those heavy strikers ruined — when it was possible. But I don’t see how modifying the powerplant of a gun (the new striker) has any bearing on replacing a scope, which is something that is done every day.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        I suspect people do not complain about the TX200 not coming with a scope because when they buy it, they are not paying an extra $40-$50 for a scope that will go directly into a drawer.

        I think Beeman has got it right when they market rifles either with a scope or without a scope, and let the buyer decide.

        Michael


      • B.B., Crosman could fix the scope problem with just offering the gun with open sights (Wink Wink). Yes I had to complain one more time (now that I know Crosman reads this blog!). Bradly


        • Bradly,
          Wouldn’t it be nice if they would apply the logic of K.I.S.S.?! Scopes? we don’t need no stinkin’ scopes

          Reb


  7. I think this rifle is a winner. When I had my Crosman Trail XL that that silver tongued devil
    Gene sold me at Roanoke, it ended up being my favorite rifle to shoot even though I ended up re-crowning the barrel and experimenting with glass bedding. I’m sorry I sold it. I own other rifles that could outshoot it, were more powerful and more expensive but yet there was something about that gas spring power plant that I really liked.

    How many of us on this list still go by the old axiom that you don’t buy a first year car? It seemed Detroit used to use it’s customer base as beta testers but then the Japanese came and quality finally became an important issue. I still resist buying a first year car and a first issue product of anytime, preferring those that must have the newest and greatest as soon as possible. Once the bugs are worked out or known, then I’ll put my order in.

    Later this summer, PA, you’ll get my order but first, I need to get and shoot my M1 Garand and now that it’s fixed, the Bushmaster (yep BB, it was the buffer tube in the stock that had loosened up and backed out allowing the retaining pin to escape it’s hole).

    Fred DPRoNJ


  8. I think I’ll look deeper at the Umarex Fusion and like Fred says”Dont go for first year items
    Its too bad,I waited for this one.


    • Speaking of the Fusion, I don’t see why Umarex wouldn’t “fix” these guns to be more user friendly. Reading the reviews on several sites and blogs, it’s the same old thing, the darn end cap. It’s a shame as it’s a very nice looking gun. And if memory serves me, B.B. got it to shoot pretty tight groups. I have found a retailer offering a new end cap for sale that solves the problems. If they did it, why can’t Umarex?


      • After B.B. finished reporting on the Fusion, it seemed to be an almost perfect backyard plinking rifle (provided one read and followed the instructions — it’s NOT a caveman gun) except for the fragile O-rings.

        Does anyone know if Umarex has fixed the O-ring issue with the Fusion? If they did, I’ll buy one in a heartbeat.

        Michael


        • Michael, not as far as I can tell. You can buy a new end cap for $20 that solves the known problems. It works on the Fusion and the Xisico XS60C. The replacement cap is simple, the O ring is harder, doesn’t swell as much, crack or blister like the standard O ring. The only downside is there is no “degasser” on it….you just have to “shoot” the gas out if you want it empty. I’m sending Umarex the info to see if they’ll be offering this or something like it soon. Bradly


  9. I am confident all of these specific problems will be ironed out. Perhaps they already have been in the rifles that are currently in the shipping pipeline. But from a business standpoint, the damage has already been done.

    My . . . I don’t know what to call it, because I don’t worry about the business health of Crosman, but I do want them to succeed. My “concern” is that in marketing perception IS reality. No matter how good this rifle is with its issues addressed, it might always be psychologically associated with this horrible roll-out.

    Is this supposed to replace Crosman’s most successful spring air rifle? Seriously, I do not know. If not, then maybe this isn’t the big deal I feel it is. If it is, then the NP2 might end up being the New Coke of airguns.

    Michael


    • Ah, I see this is intended to replace the Trail NP, not the Trail NP XL. Not such a big deal, then, is it? (Just as long as the XL model doesn’t get a similar makeover, LOL!)

      Granted, people might be drawn to the Diana 34P with nitro piston instead of the NP2, (about the same power, same price, same cocking effort, excellent trigger, etc.), but these are not real magnums like the Benjamin Trail NP XL.

      Michael


    • What are the horrible things that are wrong with the NP2 gun anyway? Is there a list out there floating around that I haven’t seen. I’m not being sarcastic either. I’m serious.

      Seriously I would like to know exactly what things are wrong with the NP2 gun. Exactly what they have found.

      All I have heard was the scope mount and that cracked plastic piece. And then BB with the baffle issue which I don’t recall hearing anywhere else. Maybe I better go see on the other sights and see if there is a list out there of things wrong. This could be interesting.


      • Gunfun1,

        First, I think a big factor in the negative consumer response is in direct proportion to the high degree of expectations created by the Crosman PR department. If this had been released with typically moderate hype rather than over-the-top hype, I suspect the backlash would have been more subdued.

        Second, some rifles came out of the box with cracked plastic pieces.

        Third, perhaps the baffle issue B.B. discovered and corrected above, along with this rifle’s need to be held differently made many early buyers consider it outright inaccurate. Well, if held as B.B. did here in Pt. 4, and if the user verifies that the entire muzzle is clear of the baffles, it should be accurate.

        Fourth, it is supposed to cock at 28 pounds, but out of the box it’s more like 38 pounds. After B.B. shot it a bit, it dropped to 32 pounds. Maybe after 1500 shots, it’ll drop to 28 pounds, who knows?

        Fifth, it was advertised as having checkering. Nope, no checkering.

        Finally, it is supposed to be a 26 ft. lb. gun in .22, but as B.B.’s report shows, it is a LOT less than that.

        So, out of numerical order:

        #1 is a marketing tactics error, in my opinion.
        #4 is par for the course (a break-in period).
        #5 seems to be from an honest miscommunication.
        #3 Springers require hold experimentation, but the baffle-muzzle misalignment, along with #2, are QC mistakes by Crosman.
        #6 is a significant issue, in my opinion. Claiming 26 ft. lbs. for a 16-19 ft. lb. rifle is “Gamo-esque.”

        Everybody seeems to agree it’s nice and quiet.

        Michael


  10. B.B.,

    Jim’s question about bore cleaning has me wondering, I have a Hakim and a Diana Model 50, both taploaders, of course. I shoot them infrequently and confess I have not cleaned them other than to run a nylon brush with Ballistol followed by a mop with Ballistol VERY carefully up through the muzzle.

    Is there any other thing I can or should do?

    Michael


  11. BB,

    Thanks for your very thorough and very objective testing of this gun. I will never own one but not because of a couple of problems with the first shipment. I do my best to refrain from knee jerk reactions to issues. No, the primary reason I will not buy one is because it’s just not accurate enough. I tend to draw the line at 1/2″ groups at 25 yards.

    Now that you have tested a new lower priced springer there is a new high end springer that I am excited about and really anxious to see tested. The new FWB Sport Rifle. I am guessing the accuracy with that rifle will be outstanding. Please test it for us.

    G&G


  12. All of the experimentation with holds makes me realize that I am in kindergarten with respect to hold technique. I use the artillery hold scrupulously with more or less standard hand placement and that’s about it. Anyway, it sounds like the gas spring technology has not really eliminated the hold sensitivity that springers are known for.

    The question of hold brings up a couple of things that really bug me. You see a lot of people shooting ARs and AKs with their left (lead) arm extended to full-length on the fore-end. Why would anyone do this? It looks awful to me. All I can think is that with the lighter weight of these rifles, you don’t need your hand closer to your body for support. And maybe extending the lead arm has the effect of pointing and directing the shooter onto the target. Still, it looks like an affectation to me.

    The other point is this habit of keeping hold of an AK with the right hand and using the left hand to work the charging handle on the right side of the gun. With the hand twisting under or over the rifle, it looks equally awful. Why not simply move the right hand to the charging handle then replace the hand on the pistol grip? The AK charging handle was obviously inspired by the M1 Garand, and John Garand definitely meant for it to be operated with the right hand. The only thing different in the AK’s configuration is the pistol grip. But the way it sticks out, it seems even easier to grab quickly than the “wrist” section of the M1. This seems to me like another affectation with no purpose, sort of like the habit of holding handguns rotated sideways that has come and gone. But if anyone has an explanation, I would be interested.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      On airgun holds: I always try different techniques until I find what that particular gun likes the most. Them I use it exclusively. Now… since I have several different airguns, each requiring different holds, and I can’t remember exactly the “sweet spots” for each one, I end up repeating the whole process, specially when I haven’t shot that gun for while.

      On the AK manipulation: who says you can’t take your hand off the grip? The AK was not designed for gun magazine readers, therefore, I think Gal. Kalashnikov (from his position in heaven) will allow you to take your right hand off to pull that bolt back.


  13. Just a quick drive by here.After the bugs are worked out,this will be a fairly good Wally World air gun for the money.As for me,I would wait until six months or so and read every review here and other sites to see how planet earth receives this gun and did they get the quirks worked out.And repeating again,leave the scope off and let the customer get there own.Time will tell you everything about the airgun. And yesterdays review was very exciting! Kinda reminded me of those days when boxing was Americas”s favorite past time and and when the heavy weights would fight and the world stand still for a few hours to watch. Mrod now seems to have a Challenger in the price ring and accurate corner and well trained in stealth and power.Gone be fun to see what comes off it.



  14. HELLO BB I’M GLAD THAT CLEANING THE BARREL HELPED OUT. QUESTION WHEN YOU TOOK OUT THE SHROUD WAS THE BAFFLES ALL SEPARATE PIECES OR ONE CONTINUOUS PIECE AND DOES IT HAVE TO GO BACK IN THE SAME ORDER IF IT IS SEPARATE PIECES. PA JUST MOVED THE EST. DELIVERY DATE BACK TO 7/6/14 SO I’M JUST GETTING ALL OF THIS WONDERFUL INFO. I GOT THE TEN FOR TEN AFTER ALL THE NEG. FEED BACK AND PURCHASED A 4X16X40 UTG SCOPE I LIKE THE PUSH BUTTON SWITCHES VS. 4X16X40 CP THE KNOB STYLE HARD TO TURN ON / OFF GOT THAT SCOPE ON MY NP XL 1100. CROSMAN SHOULD GET THERE TRIGGERS FROM CHARLIE THE TUNA GOT ONE ON MY 1100 AND JUST SENT FOR A TRIGGER FOR MY NPS LIMITED. KEEP UP WITH ALL THE INFO THATS ALL I CAN DO WHILE I AM WAITING FOR GUN.


    • PLEASE TURN OFF THE CAPS LOCK!

      Internet convention is that all CAPS is the equivalent of shouting. Even ignoring that, it is difficult to read all CAPS… All lower case is easier if handling a shift key is too much of a problem.

      Also consider if you may have the potential for multiple paragraphs. For example, the change from “… cleaning the barrel…” to “Question…” is really a change of subject — and would be easier to parse if it starts on a new line (preferably with some blank space above it).

      And yes, I’m probably being a bit harsh in my phrasing — but there may be those who will just ignore your post as “noise” given the all cap, all run-on sentences, presentation.

      Now… for the trigger comment… How much did you pay for the Charlie da Tuna trigger? Now consider how much more Crossman would have to charge for the gun if they installed that as a standard feature… Then consider how many guns they would sell at that price point (requiring a possibly higher price to make up the price vs volume equation — dig up a copy of the “Wheels” mini-series from the late 70s wherein a $2 reinforcement brace to reduce vibration — on a car selling for [in that period, probably] $5000 was a SIGNIFICANT factor to the higher ups). In the case of the airgun, take into account that most buyers probably wouldn’t know the difference (whereas a car that buzzes badly at highway speeds would be a Federal matter).



  15. I just had a thought that I want to put out here first because your all so knowledgeable and skilled in airgun tuning. I own a Chinese gas ram . 22 cal that I have talked about here before and my question is could it be possible for the crown of my rifle to be to tight and choking the pellets to much? I ask because I recover a lot of pellets and they seem more “rifled” than some of my other guns. It just seems to be a rough crown mark to me but I’m still new in the game. I’m going to Google some info tonight and see what I can find but value all your options and thoughts first. BB, this mule is killing my Center point 4×16 40 AO scope slowly, started having trouble a couple of days ago with poi being low after 50 or more pellets , then I took it out this evening went to shoot and heard a light rattle on my 5 shot. I was just about to dial in my scope any way and took the elevation cap off to have the 2 screw’s that hold the adjustment knob and the knob come off as well! Check the windage knob and both screw’s were loose but not as bad as the elevation screws. Looks like this rifle is going back to open sights which was the original plan until I remembered how bad my vision is when I shoot open sites. If anybody has used this scope you understand it’s a tank and meant to take a beating but the jack hammer recoil of the rifle is moving even a bkl one piece mount and extra scope tape. Still love to shoot it…



    • Have you tried pushing a pellet all the way through from the breech? That will tell you if you have a bur or peening at the muzzle.



      • Thanks BB, Rev funny you suggest peep sights because I was just checking them out the other night for that rifle and another rifle. For Vince and everyone I should clarify the word choke, I know a little about barrel choking, I should have used another word. In particular I was wondering if a crown can be to tight and lower velocity or accuracy, not that I see any real issue, I just noticed the difference in rifling from one gun to the next. I did some Google searches and found some good pics and info and the pellets rifling looks similar enough. Thanks peeps.


  16. I agree with SteveInMN about that absent trigger screw! With all their quality issues I wonder if it is a deliberate omission? After all I think there is a hole in the trigger guard for a front screw. I wonder how long that plastic part will last on the rifle anyway. You may receive a sound part but after a few hundred rounds will it crack? All that be as it may, I really like the looks of the NP2 and the fit and balance of its predecessors and would like it to turn out to be a solid, reliable and accurate shooter – so I could get one!


    • Ton,

      You & SteveInMN are right. We got the replacement NP2 yesterday. The trigger screw is just one more area that QC overlooked on the first batch. Hope they got it right on all the guns the second time around.

      Edith


  17. To everyone who was offended by having my cap lock on I’m sorry for doing that. To Wulfraed thank you for letting me know that it wasn’t a nice way to blog. I’m new to this and didn’t think nothing of it,so I just want to say sorry and thanks again for letting me know.


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