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Education / Training Benjamin EB17 & EB22 – heirloom pellet pistols

Benjamin EB17 & EB22 – heirloom pellet pistols

by B.B. Pelletier

Made as well today as its ancestor 65 years ago, Benjamin’s EB17 and EB22 are heirloom airguns.

The Benjamin EB17 and EB22 are two American pellet pistols that are as close to the guns from the 1930s and 40s as you’ll find. They’re powered by CO2, which is as reliable as light bulbs due to great strides made in gas technology over the last 65 years,.

Benjamin missed the boat!
The EB-series pistols were first offered in 1992, but they were related to Benjamin’s earliest CO2 pistols – the models 250, 252 and 257 (you decode the calibers from the model numbers) that were sold from 1952 until 1956.

Those early gas guns used the conventional 8-gram soda siphon cartridge that was so easy to find at the time. When Crosman brought out the 12-gram powerlet in 1954, it battled for market supremacy for just a few years before pushing the smaller 8-gram cartridge from dealers’ shelves. Shooters wanted the extra shots those additional four grams provided.

Stubborn resistance
But Benjamin did not manufacture its own CO2 cartridge, nor did they convert to Crosman’s standard 12-gram size, so their gas guns suffered in sales. Even though they were made at least as well as Crosman gas guns, Benjamin gas pistols took a back seat to better marketing. It wasn’t until Benjamin bought the Sheridan company in the late 1970s that they began thinking about the popular 12-gram size. Sheridan also didn’t make gas cartridges; but, when they brought out their first gas guns in the late 1970s, the choice to use 12-gram powerlets was obvious and unavoidable. I would love to know the conversations that must have taken place on this subject at Benjamin in the late 1950s and the ’60s! You can almost smell the stubborn resistance to a standard created by their fiercest competitor!

Choice of caliber – both are good!
The EB-series guns look a lot like their ancestors, and they’re made from the same brass and walnut materials. The finish is a more durable paint that will last longer than the fragile “black nickel” over silver nickel of the past. Both calibers offer power and accuracy, so your choice is between two solid models. Pick the caliber you want to shoot, because that’s the only real difference between the two guns.

CO2 – the guns of summer!
By now you should know that CO2 performance is highly affected by temperature. The guns do not perform well below 50 degrees F, nor do they do well when fired many times in rapid succession. That’s why there are no full-auto CO2 guns without burst limits. They freeze up! But, in warm weather, these guns really come into their own. As powerful as they are, these two can handle medium-weight pellets (up to 9 grains in .177 and up to 15 grains in .22). Don’t forget to buy some Crosman Pellgunoil to keep them running right for a long time.

You can’t call all pellet guns heirlooms, but these two pistols certainly qualify. Everyone who holds them immediately recognizes that fact. If you’re in the market for a powerful, accurate pellet pistol at the right price, you’ve got to consider one of these!

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

55 thoughts on “Benjamin EB17 & EB22 – heirloom pellet pistols”

  1. I’ve been considering the HB22 for a plinking/squirrel backup for my Legacy 1000. Would the HB22 with some Gamo master points be a good setup? My dad bought a 342 the year I was born, and it’s still shooting strong today (after a rebuild from a 392 kit), so I kinda grew up on Benjamin pumps, which is why the HB22 is more appealing to me. Plus, I don’t want to deal with carrying CO2 if I take it hiking or backpacking.

  2. I really value your expertiese, and was wondering what you thought of my setup. I have a .177 Gamo CF-X (regular, not wood) with a BSA 2-7 x 32 scope, and I use the JWS Diana superdome pellets. It seems to be working out well, but then again I have nothing to compare it to. I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

  3. BB,
    thanks for the info on how to tune up my TF99 Magnum. It is shooting in the high 800s now and is on an average of apx 880 FPS. It has some serious power and I can’t wait to go hunting with it. Thanks again BB,


  4. I’ve noticed that all the rifles using a C02 powersource have roughly the same velocity rating despite any difference in the size of the C02 tank. Is that limitation because releaseing more gas per shot would cause the cartridges to cool faster and cause a decrease in pressure which would offset any benefit from increased gas per shot? Is there some other reason? My physics is a little rusty. Perhaps keeping the valve pen longer would be ineffective because the pellet would be out of the barrel before the gas could completely expand.

  5. Dave,

    CO2 is always at the same pressure at the same temperature. a CO2 powerlet has the same pressure at 70 degrees as a railroad tanker car full of CO2.

    Furthermore, if CO2 gas is compressed, the pressure does not increase. It simply turns from gas to liguid, with the remaining gas keeping the same constant pressure.

    Thertefore, barrel length is primarily what determines CO2 gun velocity. The valve has a little to do with it, but barrel length is at least 80 percent of the velocity equation.


  6. Quite loud ! Enough to annoy neighbours.
    I shoot in a 100 foot long garden 40 feet wideand use a 6″ Parker Hal silencer (V quiet)and a 2.5″
    Bisley silencer (muffles loud crack).
    Adapter by AGS of England (Importers of Simmons Goods)

  7. Tonight, my FIL pulled out his old Benjamin 250. (We had been shooting my late father’s S&W 78G that I recently returned to working order.) Can you direct me to more info on the 250? What caliber is that? Is it worth trying to return to working order? Thanks for any insight.

  8. Todd,

    The 250 is a smoothbore BB-firing version of a pistol Benjamin also made in .177 (257) and .22 (252).

    The 250 shoots regular steel BBs. Place one in the hollow tip of the bolt and close it to shoot.

    Yes, your gun is worth fixing.


  9. I have an old Healthways Plansman that uses the 8 gram CO2. Does anyone know if the ones from gas-depot will work with it? I read that the cartridges had to have a flat top.


  10. Need help!

    Which one’s better:
    – Benjamin EB17/EB22 or
    – Crosman 2240

    for fun, accurate shooting and overall satisfaction 😉 Which one shoots better and which one looks better?

    Please help!

  11. i have a benji 262 rocket real nice gun can hit a flagpole from 90 feet!will the 8 gram cartridge fit in this gun?and is gas depot any good for money orders? dont own a credit card….

  12. same guy as the post above you:
    you sure i need a spacer on a vintage benji 262 rocket? and also what ammo would you recommend for the benji 262 rocket? -thank you

  13. Rocket,

    You asked whether an 8-gram CO2 cartridge would fit your gun. Since you are shooting it, I assumed you knew what size cartridges it takes, and the only other size is 12-gram. To use an 8-gram cartridge in a 12-gram gun you need an adaptor.

    However, older Benjamins all used 8-gram cartridges – including the 262, as I have just discovered. Why would you ask if one would fit, if you were already shooting the gun (“…can hit a flagpole from 90 feet”)?

    I would try Benjamin diabolo round-nosed pellets – otherwise known as Crosman Premiers in .22 caliber.


  14. hey guys, i have been thinking of buying the Eb22 or the crosman 2240. as far as price, the 2240 has it really good, and also has aftermarket stuff for add-ons. but does the eb22 perform better than the 2240? as far as accuracy and fps? but as for both guns, the co2 can be left for a long time, right? ok, thanks.

  15. Anonymous,

    I looked at both the Crosman and Benjamin pistols too. I decided to buy the Crosman because of the information and parts available for modifying it AND because I wasn’t worried about collector value. I personally think the Crosman looks better (with aftermarket wood grips) than the Benjamin.

    You might also look at the Crosman Custom CO2 pistol on their web site (https://www.crosman.com/custom_store/). It is similar to the 2240 but allows you to pick options for barrel length, grips, etc.

    Join us at /blog// for the current posts every weekday and let us know what you choose.

    .22 multi-shot

  16. hey man, I’m glad you mentioned those links!! and also advice on the 2240…i bought it a week ago, and got it yesterday, and man, i went through the 25 co2 box like crazy! also the after market stuff would really help, like the 18 in barrel! lol, and the wodden grips you typed and after market links, thanks man, and also, i tried those good huntin’ jsb predators, and, i thought i just shot a real bullet cuz it went through a squirrel like nothing! i feel bad for that mate, hehe. thanks again man..peace.

  17. There has been a lot of negative feedback about EB22’s concerning trigger pulls that were creepy and in excess of 10 lbs. A cheap fix for this is to glue a small square tab ( I used a peice cut from old credit card ) between the top of the trigger and the frame. You can try it before gluing to see if you have the right thickness. Jim Williams.

  18. Recently purchased a Benjamin EB22. Manuel says don’t store the gun with CO2 cart installed. Does that mean that you must shoot til empty every time you put in a new cartridge? Can you leave one in for a few days or week or two without damage?

  19. Michael,

    You will never damage the gun by storing it with CO2. The reason they want it to be stored empty is for safety. A CO2 gun is loaded all the time when it is charged. It will shoot anything in the barrel–it doesn’t need to be a pellet.


  20. Michael,

    It’s healthy for your pistol to keep a CO2 cartridge in place like B.B. has advised. It’s also important to put a drop of PELLGUNOIL on the tip of each new CO2 cartridge you install to keep your seals healthy. Here’s a great article B.B. wrote with pictures of the process I’m talking about. You will need to copy and paste this link:


    Did you know that there is an active discussion taking place right now among airgunners like yourself? We’re all trading ideas and experiences, asking and answering questions. Here’s a link that will take you to the most current article (a new article is written by B.B. every day, Monday-Friday) and at the bottom of this new article click on “comments” and you are now a part of the active discussion:


    Look forward to seeing you there!


  21. Michael,

    My pleasure. You have acquired a fine air pistol. Very accurate. You obviously have good taste. Makes sense to take care of it. Please keep us posted on your experiences with the gun.


  22. So well pleased with the Benjamin EB22, that I can hardly contain myself. I have had for maybe 10 years, two (2) other Benjamin pistols (H9 Series .22 and .177). Wish I had known what I have learned from reading this blog concerning care and maintenance then, when I first acquired them. I have had to send them off and have the seals replaced and I’m not sure how good that service was. I know it was real expensive. I also have a Benjamin pump Model 347 that I’ve had more than 35 years. Amazingly it still performs well. Does Pyramyd do repair work on Benjamins, if they were not purchased from them? Obviously my older Benjamins were purchased before there was a Pyramyd.

  23. I am 64 years old. When in my early teens, I had a single shot 22 cal CO2 Benjamin. I don't remember the model number. I just found the long tool that I used to remove a compression ring at the bottom of the CO2 chamber to replace the seal. I would like it to have a good home. It is approximately 7 1/4" with a needle nose. Please contact me at alandkathy@tx.rr.com. Thanks.

  24. I have a Benjamin model 257 pistol that I have been firing off and on since I was a kid–but not for 15 years. (Dad finally and reluctantly handed it over on his 90th a few years back.) It appears to be in fine shape except for the O-ring (part 2521, I have the original literature) which is hard and cracked. Although I can't verify that it won't leak elsewhere, it definitely leaks past the O-ring. Is there a way to get a replacement ring?

  25. Just picked up–attic clean-out a Benjamin 22 Rocket 282. When was this pistol made, and what typed pellet or BB will it shoot? Is is a single shot or repeater?

    Thanks for your help!


  26. Mark,

    According to the Blue Book, your Rocket 262 was made from 1956-1973. It's a single-shot .22 caliber pellet-shooter. Crosman Premier pellets should be the best in it but any good .22-caliber lead pellet will work.


  27. Speaking of Hierloom guns, I have a Webley Scott "Senior" air pistol in .177 cal. This gun is in the box with extra "leather seals" etc. It has the most amazing blueing job that I have seen, comparable to the "Colt's" or "Smiths" in center fire. It is in perfect condition and would like to know it's value.

  28. Hello…I have a Benjamin model 250 that is a brass finish on the cylinder and barrel, I seems to be in excellent shape and all functions seem to be intact. Can I assume it was mfg. in the mid 50's? Any idea of it's value, provided it funtions flawlessly? Thanks, Brian.

  29. Brian,

    That's not a brass finish. The gun is solid brass.

    The Benjamin 250 was made 1952-1956, so yes, your gun was made in the '50s.

    In working condition and lacking the black nickel over silver nickel over brass finish it is worth $80-125.


  30. Hi, thanks for the post.

    I just bought a Benjamin EB22, and I am having the problem where the bolt flies open with every shot. I found a post on a forum that indicated that you could adjust the cam plate by loosening the screws on the cam cover, but no point of adjustment seemed to work for me. The bolt still flies open with each shot.

    Does anyone have a fix for this problem?

    I was really excited to finally get a benji after admiring them so much as a kid, but the current crop seems to be kind of cheaply assembled, despite the nice materials.

    any help would be appreciated. I don't mind tinkering to solve the problem.

  31. Steve,

    I may not be able to completely fix this for you, but perhaps we can reduce it a bit.

    Oil the small o-ring on the bolt with Crosman Pellgunoil or 20-weight motor oil. Or if you have it, you can also use silicone grease, like diver's silicone. That should lessen the amount or rotational torque the bolt exhibits.

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