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Education / Training The Pump-Assist Benjamin 392 – Part 1

The Pump-Assist Benjamin 392 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I begin, there are a couple of announcements. First, the Pyramyd AIR Holiday Gift Guide is now up on the website. The Gift Guide is for those of you who are either seeking an airgun gift to buy for someone or perhaps looking for ideas for someone to buy for you. It’s arranged by price category and the items in each category are selected on the basis of popularity and being stocked in quantities that they believe can meet the demand. A Daisy Red Ryder, for example, is a timeless holiday classic gift, so Pyramyd has built up their stocks of that gun to very high levels. Don’t expect the pricier guns like the Air Arms S400 MPR to be stocked in the same quantities!

Last year many airgunners emailed the links to gift guide gifts to those who needed gift ideas. Of course, you can do the same thing for any product on the Pyramyd website, but it is so large that the gift guide makes a wonderful starting point. Be sure to visit it today. One last thing to remember. As products sell out, they will be replaced with other items of a similar price. But the first product may return to the guide in a short time. Pyramyd gets shipments every day, so don’t give up if a product disappears from the guide.

The second thing I want to clear up is a misconception that’s started a big rumor. The rumor on several of the forums is that Crosman has brought out a multi-pump pneumatic rifle capable of 1,200 f.p.s. That is simply not true. The new gun is a Benjamin breakbarrel called the Super Streak. The choice of names has lead airgunners to assume that it’s going to be a multi-pump, because the Sheridan Blue and Silver Streaks are multi-pumps. Plus, Mac-1’s Steroid Streak is an upgraded Blue or Silver Streak, so that name has a very definite connotation among airgunners. But that’s not what the new gun is.

The new rifle is a breakbarrel spring-piston rifle. Despite the Streak name, this gun is from Benjamin. I have examined an early sample, and it looks very promising, but only if you don’t have any preconceived ideas about what it is supposed to be. If you look at it as a powerful breakbarrel, then everything will be fine. As soon as I get the green light, I will report on it.

Today’s report is also on a Benjamin airgun, but one that’s been modified. It’s a Benjamin 392. I reported on this modification back on August 10. Several of you said you were interested in a multi-pump that takes only 12 lbs. of effort for all pump strokes, rather than one that builds to a max effort of 33 lbs. at the end.

Inventor Bob Moss had the first 10 production rifles for sale at the Roanoke airgun show and I bought one. He had made a final change from the prototype I saw back in June, but it doesn’t affect the pumping effort. So sit back and enjoy my report.

What is it?
This modification reduces the effort required to pump a multi-pump pneumatic air rifle. That type of rifle accepts a variable number of pumps for each shot – 3 to 8 in the case of the Benjamin 392/397. The first 3 pumps are easy, but resistance starts to build with the fourth pump stroke. After that, each pump stroke is progressively harder until, at 8 pumps, the resistance is 33 lbs. Imagine that you had to cock your breakbarrel three or four times per shot, and you’ll get an idea of what is involved.

This modification reduces the effort of all pump strokes to an identical 12 lbs. Resistance on the first stroke begins when the pump handle is nearly closed, and it starts progressively farther out with every stroke. The effort is always 12 lbs., but the length of time you are applying it becomes longer and longer. That’s how the modification works.

Starting with a classic!
Bob started with the .22 caliber Benjamin 392 and the .177 caliber 397 (same gun, different calibers) multi-pump pneumatic rifle because of its status as an American classic. So many airgunners own one of these rifles that he knew it was the right place to begin.

How does he do it?
He does it with adjustable leverage. The modification is an adjustable leverage mechanism attached under the forearm. When you pump, the fulcrum changes position as the force increases. When it does, the effort required to move the lever decreases as the lever gets closer to the stored or fully closed position. In fact, there is so much mechanical advantage that the pump lever springs open of its own accord when you start to pump! On a factory Benjamin, that can be caused by the pump head being out of adjustment, but on this gun it’s normal.


The pump linkage on this vintage Sheridan Blue Streak is simple. The fulcrum remains constant, so the effort to pump increases as the backpressure increases. Though this isn’t an exact duplicate of a current 392 mechanism, it’s pretty similar.


The modification is seen in this photo. As the forearm closes, the fulcrum moves to reduce the effort.

It feels strangely different
I’m searching for a way to describe the feeling of this modification in use. At first, it feels very strange – almost as though there is more work, rather than less. Then you realize that the effort isn’t increasing as the pump strokes advance. It also dawns on you that this would be an easy rifle to over-pump if you’re not careful. By the time you’ve fired 20 shots, you’re accustomed to the gun and it seems normal. After that, it’s the standard gun that will feel wrong to you.


A patch to anchor the end of the new pump mechanism is silver-soldered to the pump tube. The finish where the modification was made is even and well-matched to the rest of the gun.


The 392 forearm has to be inlet to provide clearance for the extra pump linkage parts. This is a neat job that doesn’t detract from the look of the rifle.

In the next report, I’ll chronograph the rifle for you.

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.

28 thoughts on “The Pump-Assist Benjamin 392 – Part 1”

  1. Hi BB, 909 question please…

    A recent forum post said the newer two-tube 909 has more power than the single-tube 909s due to a new valve. Are there differences between older and newer versions of the two-tube 909? If so, what are they, and how can you tell the versions apart?



  2. Tedd,

    I have heard of this, but I don’t know how much truth there is. Whoever is posting this information is doing it in such a way as to make it seem like they are starting a whisper campaign. They are saying the new gun gets 8 shots instead of 4 and they it is more powerful. You can have one of those, but not both, unless the design has been radically altered. A larger reservoir doesn’t give you that much more capability with a big bore. It’s like saying a certain car has a two-gallon larger gas tank than the older model and is therefore both faster and also goes twice as far.

    This buzz happens to coincide with a large purchase of the “new” gun by a person who hasn’t been selling many of them up to now, so I wonder if it isn’t just some rollout hype, trying to divert sales.

    Time will tell.


  3. I, along with others who saw this modified 392 got to pump and compare to a factory 392. The pump effort is nice over the factory model. As discussed, others who had tried it talked about sore shoulders they had from accidents, and the inability to pump the 392 as a result. Those of us with bad backs can relate to that. I liked the modification, just didn’t have enough money with me to buy one…

  4. What kind of accuracy can one get out of a Benjamin 397? Aren’t multi-pumps generally less accurate than other powerplants? I seem to remember reading that somewhere. Thanks.


  5. Beefy,

    That’s a good question. Since Bob Moss doesn’t make the rifle, we’ll have to look to Crosman or to someother airgun manufacturer to build a bigger caliber. Five years ago I would have said, “No way!” but these days who knows?


  6. Matt,

    The multi-pump powerplant is as inherently accurate as a PCP. The fact that the rifles are built to a price is what keeps their accuracy lower than its potential.

    A 397 should be able to hold groups to one inch or better at 30 yards.


  7. Thanks, B.B. I’m also curious about the noise and lower-end power level of the 397. The plan would be to use this as sort of a poor man’s Air Force Talon capable of shooting both indoors and out. What power level would you get with a pump or two and would it decrease the noise? The Pyramid noise rating of 4 sounds like the gun would be quite loud.


  8. BB,
    Could you please review some of the modified Condors and Talons that Talon Tunes is producing? The site says that the tune can provide much more power as well as very quiet action through use of a barrel shroud. If it’s true that we can get 45 foot pounds as well as quiet, that sounds like a winning combination.

  9. Matt,
    I can speak from experience and say this gun is very loud, especially indoors. You mention only using a couple pumps and yes the noise does go down significantly. I doubt this gun will ever be as accurate as a Talon. However Air Venturi has come out with a new intermount for a scope. It looks promising but i havent tried it yet. Im sure it would help increace your accuracy alot.


    Nate in Mass

  10. Matt,
    For the money this is a great gun. My favorite thing to do is to shoot ice cubes at 100 feet with open sights. So yes you could say its quite accurate.

    Nate in Mass

  11. good to hear the update on this…responce was mixxed when you asked for feedback awhile back.

    ….so is this gonna be good enough to be your new “Goto gun”


  12. And speaking of Condors and Talon Tunes…. The modified Condor I have from Talon Tunes shoots a 42g Eun Jin at an average of 945fps. That translates to 83+ fpe. And it’s quieter than a stock TalonSS. People may say…”yeah, with that kind of power, how accurate is it”? All I can say is last week at the range, on a calm day, I could knock the tack out holding the target at 50yrds. Consistently. Talk about a true tackdriver!


  13. Nuglor,

    I don’t know why it matters, but he certainly does shoot airguns. Perhaps not as much as some, because he is busy running his company, but when he gets away to his farm he shoots both airguns and firearms all the time. He also shoots in his basement in town.


  14. I’m not trying to cause waves, It’s just something I was told by an individual who supplies custom products directly to Pyramyd. It didn’t make to much sense, but stranger things have been true.


  15. Nuglor,
    If your “Talon Tuned” Condor is that quiet, I definitely want to get one in .25 caliber. I have a Webley .25 and it’s quiet but it doesn’t hit hard enough for the kind of hunting I’m doing, wild roosters. They’ll walk away from a hit with a Kodiak at 30 yards, so 26 fpe is insufficient. What kind of price can I expect to pay for a rifle set up like yours? Can I have Anthony furnish the whole package, or do I have to get a Condor and ship it to him? Tom

  16. Tom,

    Including the custom wood from Steve Cocoran, I’ve got right around $2000 invested. That includes bipod, laser, tri-rail, scope and mounts. The custom shoud alone is $200 but worth every penny. You can buy the whole setup directly from Talon Tunes, or send your own Talon or Condor to him and he will work his magic with it.


  17. Blogger is having some problems, so I’m witing this here instead of in today’s post.

    Blogger comments are not going through for many people. Blogger users have been reporting this for 4 days, but Blogger isn’t responding to them.

    I corrected the incorrect velocity posted in today’s blog, but the wrong version of the posting was reposted (after an hour!).

    I trust Blogger, which is owned by Google, is working to correct the situation.

    B.B. Pelletier

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