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    Benjamin 397 reviews - page 1

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    The most helpful favorable reviewThe most helpful critical review
    2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

    Overall rating:5

    Value for money:5

    Accuracy:5

    By Geoff from USA on 2009-02-12 19:01:01

    Things I liked:How can you not love an American classic? After reading several reviews and online buzz you get a better understanding of just how attached people can and do get to this gun. When you first open the box, how can you not smile. The finish is fantastic. My wife thought it looked like a shotgun because of the air chamber I guess, underneath the barrel. The weight is perfect for any age, & will not fatigue if carrying for hunting for example. There simply is not another gun out there near this price range that can touch this quality of workmanship, accuracy, aesthetics, and fun factor. From the very 1st shot you take you are grinning from ear to ear. A little shocked at the crack it gives when discharging at first, but it makes you say "WOW" there is definitely plenty of power here. If backyard shooting, you definitely don't need to pump it the full 8 times. 4 or 5 is DEFINITELY enough. 5 pumps will go through metal cans & water bottles, even dispatch squirrels or small rodents. Once the sights are set & tightened to "your" personal liking, forget it for good! You almost can't miss your target!!! If you are in the market for a new gun, a first timer, or just wanting something different from what you have, don't even think for another second. Just buy it. I can almost guarantee whatever caliber you buy, you will want the other caliber immediately. I can guess with high confidence this gun does NOT get returned or exchanged, because your first impression should be way more than you'd expect for what you paid.
    Things I would have changed:A little bit better finish on the bluing. Mine had a bump on the top of the barrel, and the first time I touched it, the bump came off and exposed the finish underneath. Other than that, just the cocking effort. It can be a little tough after quite a few rounds are dispatched through it. You will definitely get a workout! Other than that, nothing.
    What others should know:If using just for close target shooting, i.e. 50FT. or less, don't bother with a scope. The open sights are tight and fantastic! If you Might be using it for small game hunting occasionally, buy a Leapers bug buster or something similar in size. Otherwise, this gem is go to go right out of the box! Enjoy.......
    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

    Overall rating:1

    Value for money:1

    Accuracy:1

    By Louis from USA on 2013-04-18 14:42:27

    Things I liked:The air gun looks nice, with a light and compact stock that mimics a fine rifle.
    Things I would have changed:Make the barrel 21 inches long, place the rear sight on the back the air gun not the middle. Put a proper Williams peep sight with a tapered tip, gold dot and full hoop at the end of the barrel as stock. The stock sights on this air gun currently are unacceptable. Greatly taper the end of the rifle so the current thick slab of metal at the end of the rifle as 'sights' do not block the target. I tried the Williams peep sight and it made the air gun a little more useful. The trigger pull is very heavy and throws off the aim. Reduce it to 5 pounds or less.
    What others should know:It is unable to hit a target at 50 meters on peep-sights with .25" groupings. This air gun fails in all regards in this price range. Too much cost cutting in production greatly hinders any precision and accuracy as an air rifle. The stock sighs are pathetic and will never hit .25 inch circle at 15 yards. With the Williams Peep sight accessory it can hit a half-inch target at 24 meters. That is until it breaks. Mine lost all it power without warning and misses with every shot. Pellet drop at 16 meters is about an inch at six pumps. The trigger pull is heavy, it has the side-effect of throwing off the aim as the light stock lacks the recoil of a spring piston. Why is the Williams peep sight not included with this air rifle as stock? The stock sights are useless.
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    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Peter from USA on 2014-04-08
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Excellent balance and accuracy! I also like the wood stock and the bolt cocking system. To me it feels much like an old military Springfield 30-06 rifle but smaller and lighter and easier to use. As a youngster I used to spend a lot of time at a Navy Radar station and the walls were lined with Springfield 30-06 rifles. I played with them every day for a year and a half. Perhaps that explains why I like the Benjamin 392 and 397 PA Air Rifles so much.
      Things I would have changed:I'm satisfied with my new Benjamin 397PA just the way it came out of the box. It's a lot like my Benjamin 392PA which I purchased new back in 1993 for around $129-$149.
      What others should know:I had a 397PA but I gave it to my son years ago. He still has it. Even though I really like my 392PA which looks and shoots like a new air rifle I missed the 397 so much after I gave it to my son I decided to purchase another one for myself. It took a while but I'm so glad I did. It's my most fun air rifle and it's as accurate as anything I have. All my other air rifles are Match Air Rifles such as Crosman Challenger 2000 and the newer Challenger 2009, Daisy 753 and also IZH MP-532. I even have a new HW30S purchased from Pryamid Air in February this year. The Benjamin 397PA is as accurate as everyone of these Match air rifles. But it's easier and more fun to shoot.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Peter from USA on 2014-04-01
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Beautiful hardwood finish. My 397 is finished darker than my 392 and that's what I was hoping for. I like the multiple pump because I use it mainly for target shooting and I only have to use 1 or 2 pumps at 10 Meters/33 feet. I see my 397 is accurate. I knew it would be.
      Things I would have changed:I can't think of anything. I oiled all the hinges and applied Crosman Pellgun oil to the rubber "O" ring in the breach. I also oiled the breach bolt. I used Murphy's Soap and rubbed down the stock, it's kind of like an oil and it makes wood shine and it protects wood from drying out. I also applied a thin film of oil on the barrel and compression tube. I noticed there already was a thin oil coating already. Anyway I like to go over a new air gun, that is if I really like it and I do really like the 397.
      What others should know:I purchased my Benjamin 397 from Pyramid Air and got it in just a few day's. I had to sight in my new 397 as it was off from out of the box. I think perhaps when it was shipped it was thrown around because the sights were off and the bolt handle made a hole in the Benjamin box. It was double boxed. So nothing really serious happened in shipping.
    • Overall rating:3 3.0

      Value for money:3 3.0

      Accuracy:3 3.0

        By Byron from USA on 2014-01-25
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      11 rating
       
      Things I liked:Rifle is short and light.
      Things I would have changed:The rear sight is a joke and the trigger very bad. Finish is mediocre as well as the fit. Needs more instructions on lubing.
      What others should know:This rifle screams to be used with iron sights but the stock is poorly designed for them. The cheek piece of the stock is too high so the first thing you need to do when mounting the rifle is scrunch your face down to find the sights. Not good. Accuracy was only mediocre and most of that was probably because of the poor trigger and ill fitting stock.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By raymond from USA on 2013-09-05
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Made in the good ol U.S.A.Quality wood stock,metal construction.This very fine piece of Americana has been made for many decades.I truly enjoy shooting this rifle.
      Things I would have changed:Every body complains about the bennys trigger with its 5.5 lbs of pull but its really not bad at all.Like any thing else,it takes some practice to get comfortable with the trigger pull but there is nothing wrong with it.IT is not match quality but neither is the price.
      What others should know:I added a scope and it for sure amped up the accuracy,but this little pumper really shines by adding a Williams peep sight.Quarter size groups at 40 yards is no problem using this combo.Truly a fine rifle.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Len from USA on 2013-06-29
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:This is made well..Ive bought a lot of stuff off Pyramyd and i got both 22 and 1.77 cause the weight and feel.Powerful and shoot strait..seems to be no plastic on them to..Even the trigger is ok.
      Things I would have changed:Nothing
      What others should know:The one comes with the pistol scope is a bit pricey..I bought the gun itself and the mounts and pistol scope somewhere else and turned into a great deal..
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By michael lester from USA on 2013-05-06
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:i like everything about this rifle, it may be old school but it's still one of the best airguns ever made.
      Things I would have changed:this airgun is one of the best. there is nothing i would ever want to change.
      What others should know:get one the price is good you get alot of gun for the money. this gun is great for target shooting. as far pest around my place, they've disappeared. and it's also a great smallgame taker too. the groups this gun shoots with open sights is very tight.
    • Overall rating:1 1.0

      Value for money:1 1.0

      Accuracy:1 1.0

        By Louis from USA on 2013-04-18
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      11 rating
       
      Things I liked:The air gun looks nice, with a light and compact stock that mimics a fine rifle.
      Things I would have changed:Make the barrel 21 inches long, place the rear sight on the back the air gun not the middle. Put a proper Williams peep sight with a tapered tip, gold dot and full hoop at the end of the barrel as stock. The stock sights on this air gun currently are unacceptable. Greatly taper the end of the rifle so the current thick slab of metal at the end of the rifle as 'sights' do not block the target. I tried the Williams peep sight and it made the air gun a little more useful. The trigger pull is very heavy and throws off the aim. Reduce it to 5 pounds or less.
      What others should know:It is unable to hit a target at 50 meters on peep-sights with .25" groupings. This air gun fails in all regards in this price range. Too much cost cutting in production greatly hinders any precision and accuracy as an air rifle. The stock sighs are pathetic and will never hit .25 inch circle at 15 yards. With the Williams Peep sight accessory it can hit a half-inch target at 24 meters. That is until it breaks. Mine lost all it power without warning and misses with every shot. Pellet drop at 16 meters is about an inch at six pumps. The trigger pull is heavy, it has the side-effect of throwing off the aim as the light stock lacks the recoil of a spring piston. Why is the Williams peep sight not included with this air rifle as stock? The stock sights are useless.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:4 4.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Paul from USA on 2013-04-13
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Oh my! Amazing rifle. Wasn't expecting much from an old school design. But add the Williams sight and this thing gives my marauder a run in accuracy at 25 yds. It seems to like the crosman brown box 10.5 domed the best.
      Things I would have changed:Toss the blade rear sight. Seriously? How could you sell a gun this nice with no windage adjustment? Trigger needs a little work, but can be easily made tolerable. A little on the loud side. Should have bought the .22, wasn't expecting this to be so much fun to shoot. Almost zero room for modification. Pumping takes some effort.
      What others should know:Think of it as analog vs. digital. Very mechanical feel as opposed to the on/off feel of a Pcp. There's a little finesse needed in getting this thing to shoot well. But when you get it, the planets align. Get the peep sight, seriously just order the sight along with the gun. Otherwise you'll just have to wait another week to shoot well.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Mark from USA on 2013-03-17
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:When I was allowed to start carrying a gun hunting this was the one my Step-Dad handed me. It is very accurate, and what I killed killed my first squirrel with. Now, it is what I have fun on the weekend with my children.
      Things I would have changed:The only thing I would change is the sights. They are really easy to get bumped off. I would make the rear peep sight standard on all pump models.
      What others should know:If yo want to see the excitement in your child's face when they plink their first target full of holes their first time out, well, this is the air riffle for the job. So, load up and have some fun, and please be safe.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By David from USA on 2012-09-13
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Nice, solid feel. Build quality is excellent, but I've come to expect that from Benjamin. Very accurate with open sights. Powerful little pumper!
      Things I would have changed:It's a bit loud, and pumping it is a workout. I guess if you want power out of a pumper, you have to put up with those things, though.
      What others should know:Mine seems to work best with JSB Exact Express 7.87 gr. Your mileage may vary.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By David from USA on 2012-08-21
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:- Good hunting power - Great accuracy - Well built - American made
      Things I would have changed:Nothing
      What others should know:This gun flat-out gets it done on house sparrows to 30 yards with Crosman premier ultra mags (10.5 gr). In a world of "plastics" it is wonderful to have a gun that is made metal and wood. Just feels nice and is built like a tank. I have a Gamo springer and I must say that I reach for the 397 when I need to get it done. No special hold (recoil) and has the accuracy of a PCP air rifle yet is completely self contained. Doesn't get any better than that for a hunter. You will love this gun!
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:4 4.0

        By Jeff from USA on 2012-08-02
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Well built workhorse of a gun. Solid all wood and metal construction. Carbine size is great for maneuverability and keeps weight down so it's easy to shoot accurately from a standing freehand position. My springers are very particular about what they shoot well, but not this gun. This gun will shoot any pellet you put in it with decent accuracy. You can feed garbage through it and not be far off center. Trigger is not perfect, but a little above average for a gun in this price range. Just a fun all around daily shooter.
      Things I would have changed:The sights are solid but not very good compared with other guns in this price range. It just has a fixed black blade and a notch with elevation adjustment but no windage adjustment. The major negative about this gun is the pumping effort. You only need 4 pumps to get about 75% of the max velocity which is plenty for target shooting. But, 4 is quite a workout and gets exponentially more difficult on pumps 5-8. My 14 yr old son has trouble pumping it 4 times after firing more than a dozen shots.
      What others should know:I got the Williams peep sight, and it's well made and easy to install. However, at its lowest adjustment it still shoots high at 50ft. A little mental adjustment on my part and accuracy is much better than with the open sights. But, not sure why a sight made specifically for this gun doesn't work properly with it.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By donald from USA on 2012-06-26
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      51 rating
       
      Things I liked:the variable power, with crosman premier pellets it will shoot quarter inch groups at 25 yards with 4 pumps. i can ring a 3 and a half inch plate at 40 yards pretty consistantly. and thats good for me, cause im a lil shakey ;)
      Things I would have changed:nuthing
      What others should know:if you like the idea of variable power and low prive this gun is great. i got the reciever site for mine, very good add on.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Duane from USA on 2012-06-15
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      51 rating
       
      Things I liked:This is a light rifle and easy to handle. For the money it is extremely accurate. Plenty of power with just 5 pumps to shoot out to 30 yards consistently.
      Things I would have changed:Drill and tap the receiver so that a 3 inch weaver mount could be installed easily for mounting a mini red dot. Better sights with more adjustment.
      What others should know:The first unit I received was a used rifle. Pyramyd Air sent me a return label and a new rifle asap. The new rifle was bad in that the barrel was bent. I returned it to Benjamin as it wasn't PA's fault. The new replacement rifle arrived in two weeks. Fortunately it was an excellent example that is more accurate than I could have hoped for originally. It also has a reasonably good trigger. Very satisfied.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Bill from USA on 2012-05-02
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      51 rating
       
      Things I liked:the Benjamin 397 is a very nice pellet rifle. great sites, plenty of power, it feels perfectly balanced while your shooting. I cant stop shooting it.
    • Overall rating:4 4.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By john from USA on 2012-02-27
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:I don't know what more can be said about these great air guns. I have an old handed down family air loom .20 cal Sheridan. It's about 40 to 50 years old. It still shoots great, with many other spring and nitro piston guns I wanted another one of these to use and hand down to my boys. After about 50 shots the accuracy came in the rifle hits the target every time. It's great. I added the scope mount for an extra scope I had on the shef.its perfect.
      Things I would have changed:I don't want the price to go up so I'll say for the money it's perfect. But the trigger could be a little better.
      What others should know:You wouldnt want this to be your only gun if you were going shooting all day. Its hard to pump if your shooting 25 yards you might want to go 6-7 pumps per shot. So I love it cause I have other guns as well. This is a fun addition to my collection.i know it will last for a looooong time too.
    • Overall rating:5 5.0

      Value for money:5 5.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Cuban B from USA on 2011-12-10
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Solid materials, accurate, trigger needs no work
      Things I would have changed: Maybe a bit better construction for the rear sight
      What others should know: First off, I'm not sure why hunting isn't listed on both the box and on here. Within 30 yards this could easily drop a squirrel, and rabbits a bit further than that. It's not all that hard to pump to 8, might start to get tough for older kids but early teens shouldn't have much trouble. The trigger is just fine, breaks consistently and isn't creepy. The first 1/4" of the muzzle end of the barrel looks pretty rough like it's pitted or something, the crown isn't bad but could be a bit better. But accuracy is what accuracy does and if I can get pellets going in the same hole at ten yards with the open sights then it sure isn't negatively affecting anything
    • Overall rating:4 4.0

      Value for money:4 4.0

      Accuracy:4 4.0

        By Joe from USA on 2011-11-11
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Just the right weight and size. My Beeman RS2 is too big and heavy. My pumpmaster is too light.
      Things I would have changed:Pump linkage looks fragile. I would prefer cast or machined to the stamped linkage. The roll pin construction also looks cheap. Compared to my Ruger 10/22, it looks like a toy, even though it cost the same. The rear site is bad. The front site needs paint. The Williams peep site is dead simple to install. I scratched the paint already. How about a special edition in natural brass?
      What others should know:Mine was very hard to pump until I lubed it. It took a lot of oil to get the pump smooth. I'm glad I bought it. Parts look cheap, but it isn't falling apart like the Beeman did.
    • Overall rating:4 4.0

      Value for money:3 3.0

      Accuracy:4 4.0

        By Kjetil from Norway on 2011-06-24
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Solid build quality of metal and wood. Variable power. Very nice size, weight and balance. Very simple maintenance. Not hold sensitive like a springer.
      Things I would have changed:Better sights with room for more adjustements. Even with rear sight a lowest it shoots a bit too high. With the aperture sight fitted, it overshoots even higher, so that i will have to tweak my front sight to compensate. A better trigger, mine is horrible.
      What others should know:be sure to check your sights. My front sight was not mounted straight, i had to carefully adjust it a bit to the right. Although i find the trigger very bad, this gun is not hold senstive like a springer. So the bad trigger doesn`t have any tremendous effect on accuracy.
    • Overall rating:4 4.0

      Value for money:4 4.0

      Accuracy:5 5.0

        By Robert from USA on 2011-06-05
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      00 ratings
       
      Things I liked:Compact size compared to spring guns, it's accuracy, the fact you can vary the power of your shot based on your circumstances (indoor/outdoor, target/hunting, etc.)
      Things I would have changed:I would have it come standard with either a peep sight or optics mounting rail
      What others should know:I have not shot airguns since I was a teenager and your options on what you could buy were limited. At the time my choice was the Benjamin. I'm now 54 , and with the cost of rifle ammo getting so high I figured an airgun was a way to keep my skills up without too much expense. I went to the local store and bought a spring gun and scope package in .177. I'm no novice when it comes to scopes and sighting in, so I went to my local range with my spotting scope and new airgun. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get more than 3 shots out of 10 in an area the size of a dinner plate at 25 yds.. After another scope and another shooter couldn't do any better, I tossed the spring gun in the back of the closet and ordered a new Benjamin 397 along with a Crosman 64 peep sight. In ten minutes with still air I was placing 8 out of 10 rnds in an area the size of a coffee cup at 25 yds. I will never buy another spring gun, ever.
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