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Hunt with the Sheridan Blue Streak air rifle

by B.B. Pelletier

We recently received this question from a customer: Is the Sheridan Blue Streak considered a good gun for small game hunting? I know it puts out 14 ft.-lbs. but I do not know how that number sizes up for hunting.

The Sheridan Blue Streak is a great hunting air rifle if the distance to the target is reasonable. Rather than try to calculate energy at a given distance, think about it this way. If you can hit a 1.5″ target every time, you can bag cottontail rabbits. For some people that will be 20 yards and for others it will be 35 yards. The Blue Streak (or Silver Streak, for that matter) has enough energy to kill a rabbit at 35 yards. Either a heart shot or a head shot is good for cottontails.

If the game is squirrels, the target size shrinks to one inch. Squirrels are tougher and take more energy to put down. Try for a head shot because a squirrel hit in the body may run away.

The Sheridan’s .20 caliber is adequate for game like this and for birds up to crow size. Use a domed pellet like a Beeman Kodiak or Crosman Premier. Only use hollowpoints if the target is closer than 25 yards, because many hollowpoints become inaccurate at farther distances. At very close ranges, like 10 yards, wadcutter pellets are great for hunting.

Pump your rifle the full eight strokes for this kind of hunting. Use fewer pumps when the shots are very close or the game is smaller, like rats and ground squirrels. Don’t forget to oil the pump mechanism from time to time, as a thin film of Crosman Pellgunoil makes the pump more efficient. Read the owner’s manual about this.

The Sheridan Blue and Silver Streak air rifles have been around since the 1950s. They have earned a place in airgunner’s hearts for being some of the best values among adult airguns today. If you don’t have one in your inventory, maybe it’s time to see what you’re missing.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

43 thoughts on “Hunt with the Sheridan Blue Streak air rifle”

    • Hello all air rifle buffs! I was lucky to start hunting in a manor with my dad when I was 2 years old had a double barrel cork gun.. he had his 12 gauge. he always waited and pointed out the game and said at 3 we shoot.. I was weaned on daisy bb guns and graduated to Crossman 177 and then the Sheridan blue streak in the early 70s Hers what I will tell you My friends dad le him have a Stevens 22 single shot bolt action.. and he never out hunted me any day.. EVER! I killed coons, squirrels, rabbits, and ducks, even huge cock pheasants as a kid. I always brought home game.. I cant tell you how many fallow up shots were rushed at 4 pumps in order to finish a large fox squirrel coming down with a nice slug in him I shot way up at the top of the highest trees.. I had other boys when I was little tag along with me say MAN! do you ever miss? not often. and I didn’t. ground hogs I would set and wit about thirty yards out from a hole they just dove into as I walked along river banks and when they peeked out slam a 5 millimeter between there eyes and no joke it was over! Farrell cats, minks, possums, coons I shot always in the knoggen .. dead meat! I got very good with mine and later inlife turned out to be number one in rifles in all our States prison systems.. Now Im an older coot.. but let me tell ya IM not even started to finish pellet rifle hunting.. I trained beagles all mylife made some of the best in all the world.. a trick to make them get up and really get a hard driving chase on was to put a Crossman bb w the 177 in that rabbit mid section and the dogs would run and catch that rabbit hence making a really aggressive young pup. And a great beagle always drives them back to the jump area so its all up to you.. I’m good at doing well with the least cause I was not able to have everything I wanted.. but blessed to have enough.. Now I ordered the Hatsan 125th why? because I don’t want to have to pump so much it makes noise and noise is for boys… we now want game even more! So, I bought the 25 caliber for hard SMACK! and deadly shots in the exact places I want the bullet to go.. I will report on this gun.. and guys it will be awesome when I do report it.. But- I was a kid way back and I feel blessed I can ever now get a better pellet rifle that has even more power… ya don’t need to much when you put it where it counts.. but having a bit of led can help the punch…

  1. I have been shooting Benji/Sheridan Streak rifles and EB/HB pistols for over 25 years….all of which have been scoped with one optic or another! I think that I can help with mounting your scope so that is rock solid stable on any of these or the 392/397 rifles. Believe it or not there is method of mounting that makes the new four piece mounts even more stable than the old two piece mounts…and I have experience with scoping dozens of each many times over.

    The process is this;

    Step One – Buy a one piece ring mount kit in the diameter and height you require for your optic, See attached link (/product/leapers-accushot-1-pc-mount-w-1-rings-3-8-dovetail?a=805)

    Step Two – Next buy the Benjamin four piece mounts, See attached link (/product/crosman-b272-4-pc-intermount-3-8-dovetail?a=191)

    Step Three – When installing the four piece mounts spread them apart on the barrel so that they are the same width as your One Piece ring mount. Before you install them on the barrel, purchase a thick two-sided tape…cut a small tab form the tape that is the same width as the four piece mount and long enough to wrap around the barrel. Install the four piece mount over the tape and snug the screw down but do NOT over tighten!

    Step Four – Next place your one piece ring mount onto the Four Piece mounts, making sure that they are the same width apart…This next step is vital!!! When you snug the screws on your one piece mount (there are three or four depending on which brand you choose)…lightly snug down the end screws over the four piece mounts…then torque the center screws down firmly…then finally go back and tighten down the end screws over the four piece mounts. (Be sure to follow this order!)

    Step Five – Place and center your optic using firm but not ultra tight tension on the set screws. Sight in and enjoy at your leisure.

    I can guarantee if you use this method…your scope will never move…barring an “ACT OF GOD”…and it will be more solid than the original two piece mounts could have provided…and it also looks better!!

    Hope this helps…enjoy your shooting. As for hunting…that is why we shoot…we have taken hundreds of grouse and hare in Northern Ontario…they all are proficient harvesters. Greg.

  2. I bought my Sheridan in the early 60’s. Have shot all types of small game with it. The longest was Lazer range 47 yards a very dead crow. The first pump rubber lasted 30+ years. the replacement lasted 3years. Love it!!
    Bob from MN.

  3. Hi BB,

    I bought a 392 last summer for $109 at Adacemy’s sporting goods. It was a beautiful rifle. I took it out to shoot it at an outdoor shooting range, and found that pumping it totally wore me out. Granted, the fact that it was a 98 degree high humidity Mississippi day no doubt didn’t help. Nevertheless, I returned it because I didn’t want a workout when trying to shoot. It was a shame as it was a gorgeous gun that had a great feel, so I hated to return it.

    With that in mind, is the Blue Streak as hard to pump up as the 392? Especially at 8 full pumps?



  4. Carl,

    The Blue Streak will be exactly as difficult as the Benjamin 392. In performance, they are virtually identical.

    Have you looked at the Pump-Assist Benjamin? It removes 2/3 of the effort to pump. It is costly because of the work to modify, but I own one and it does work.



  5. Ah yes, the first post in a very long list of blog entries…anyway, which Benjamin series gun do you find the most visually pleasing? 392/397, Blue Streak, Silver Streak?

    14 in Fla

  6. Hi B.B.
    I want to buy a benjamin/sheridan rifle Im between the 392 and the silver streak. I want it for plinking and hunting. Which one would you recomend? and what would be the advantage from one to the other?
    The Jimster

  7. Thank you very much for the quick answer. I ve found this blog very informative and I trust your recomendation, so i ll take the 392

    Once again thanks for everything (you rock!)

    The Jimster

  8. Hey B.B.

    Just out of curiosity why is the sheridan blue streak $10 more expensive than the 392/397? They seem pretty much the same to me except for the caliber.


  9. BB,
    I have a question for you: I have owned and hunted with my grandfathers old blue streak for years, however I am looking to upgrade. What is the best hunting rifle you could suggest that costs under $200?


    P.S. I love the blog, please keep it up

  10. Kyle,

    I agree with you…I love this blog. So many airgunners like you and me trading information…secrets and experiences. You have to join in on the current/active discussion. You don’t know what you’re missing. Join the discussion here:

    Look forward to seeing you there.


  11. Thank you for answering so quickly. I forgot to write that does it have a metal trigger guard like they used to? Iv'e got one in 72' but its the blue streak so im wondering if it has any other changes from then?

  12. Going from a Blue Streak to an RWS Diana 34 isn't really a step up as far as hunting goes. Especially for clearing varmints out of a barn or anyplace you don't want to damage the structure. The variable power capability is a feature you don't want to discount in a pest cleaning airgun. The accuracy of the Benjamin/Sheridan rifles increases with better quality ammunition. Spend your money there. And maybe fit a scope. A PCP is a step up in hunting efficiency, but not for $200.

  13. No, some plastic has crept into the design of the Sheridans. The triggerguard is now plastic, as is the trigger. If you look, the Sheridans and Benjamin multi-pumps have morphed into pretty much the same guns, except for caliber.


  14. I miss it when Sheridan was its own company. Actually, seems that they were better off when Benjamin owned them over Crosman. Im trying to find a silver streak from the 70's that still works fine. Im not worried about them not working anymore because time told us they last.

  15. Looking for a quality pellet rifle with accuracy and decent power for up to $200, perhaps $250. Narrowed my search to three guns; RWS 34, Ruger Air Hawk, or a Sheridan (Benjamin/Crosman).
    will use the gun primarily for target shooting and for small pest control. The Sheridan gets great reviews, but is hard to pump. Which gun would you recommend? Your thougts will be appreciated.

  16. BB,
    My Grandfather recently passed away unfortunately, and while going through his things I found his sheridan blue streak. I remembered him showing it to me once when I was a kid and I know he often used it to scare off pests from his yard. Not being a gun person myself, when I found it I pumped it a few times as I remembered him showing me and fired it without a pellet in it. It worked, shooting out air. unfortunately however, that was the only time it worked. Now it seems to pump correctly and pressure seems to build but when i pull the trigger, nothing happens. I'd like to get it working again as it has a lot of sentimental value to me. I'd also like to find out just how old it is. I searched the crossman website which has older manuals and tried to find it's serial number but i've been unsuccessful. the only writing on the gun says "blue streak" 5m/m CAL. on one side and on the other: Sheridan products inc racine WIS -Made in USA. There is a small imprint near where you load the pellets that says "5691G". Any advice on how to fix the gun and how to find out the date of manufacture?

  17. Pete,

    The older Sheridans do not have serial numbers. They only started putting them on in 1972, and your gun may be older than that.

    The earliest rifles have a safety button in the shape of a half moon that must be held down to fire. It is located on the wrist of the rifle, just behind the receiver.

    Are you aware that you must cock the rifle before it will fire? The bolt has to be pulled back until the sear catches the striker and holds it. You will hear a click when this happens. Then you hold down the spring-loaded safety as you squeeze the trigger.

    If you have a later model, it may have a safety switch with two buttons–one on either side of the receiver. The one on the left says S for Safe and the one on the right says F for Fire. Cock the bolt and push down the F button, then the rifle will fire.

    Get back to me after you try this and I'll tell you more.


  18. I got my Sheridan Blue Streak in 1962. Biggest game taken was a full grown skunk. Had a blueberry field and my dad got me the gun to patrol the rows and keep the birds out. I was lethal with the Blue Streak. Shot at a hummingbird on a limb at 50 feet, not thinking I could hit it, I did…not cool.

  19. Has Crossman discontinued the .20 cal Blue Streak? I notice Pyramid only lists the .177 and .22 caliber verisions on their site now, and a quick web search for other sources did not turn up anyone else with the .20 cal version in stock.

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