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Education / Training Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 – Part 2

Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Well, the replacement Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 I now have is up to spec. And it doesn’t cock easily, like I said last week. It cocks with 47 lb.. of effort. Now, that’s on the low side of heavy, and if the power is anywhere near the claimed 30 foot-pounds, then this is still a great hunting rifle, but by no means should it be thought of as a plinker.

I want to warn you new airgunners about something. Some new shooters will read the specs only and pick the cheapest, most powerful air rifle they can find. Then they get it and are overwhelmed by the size and the effort required to cock the rifle. I see the same thing in the world of firearms, where someone buys an S&W .500 Magnum and then resells it after only 6 shots. They never imagined the tremendous recoil such a gun generates. New England Firearms (NEF) chambers their little Handi-Rifle for the S&W .500 magnum and that’s another one I see for sale all the time, along with a lot of Marlin Guide Guns in .45-70.

Folks, the Benjamin Trail XL 1100 is a large air rifle that takes a lot of effort to cock. Buy it for hunting–not as a general-purpose plinking rifle. I don’t know how much plainer I can make it.

Shooting behavior
The rifle lunges forward with the shot, just like any super magnum air rifle. Thankfully, it has a Weaver base, so scope mounting shouldn’t be a problem. The noise still seems very low, especially given the power.

And it dieseled with every shot during this test. Please understand the terminology I’m using. Dieseling is present in all powerful spring guns on every shot. It is NOT the loud explosion you hear with the shot. That is called a detonation. The Benjamin Trail did not detonate even once during this test. We expect a gun like this to diesel, and it does. It also exhausts a lot of smoke because it is new. That should diminish in a couple hundred shots.

The trigger-pull is long because I haven’t yet adjusted it. Once adjusted, it should be very short and crisp. I’ll adjust it and report the results to you.

Crosman Premiers
The standard test pellet for this rifle must be the .22-caliber Crosman Premier. At 14.3 grains, a Premier must travel at 972 f.p.s. to develop 30 foot-pounds. In the test rifle, Premiers averaged 882 f.p.s., which is a muzzle energy of 24.71 foot-pounds. The spread went from 864 f.p.s. to 901 f.p.s., so a total spread of 37 f.p.s. That may stabilize a little as the rifle breaks in.

RWS Hobbys
Spring-piston airguns usually perform best with lighter pellets, so I tested the 11.9-grain RWS Hobby pellet next. The average velocity was 940 f.p.s., which works out to a muzzle energy of 23.35 foot-pounds. The spread went from 928 f.p.s. to 948 f.p.s., so a tighter spread of just 20 f.p.s. This result was a surprise. I expected energy to rise with Hobbys, so perhaps the rifle likes heavier pellets.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys
Finally, I tried JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys. At 18.1 grains, they’re an ideal weight for long-range shooting and hunting. They averaged 783 f.p.s., with a spread from 777 to 792–at 15 f.p.s., it was the tightest of the session. The average muzzle energy worked out to 24.65 foot-pounds, or very close to the Premiers.

So, this test rifle develops nowhere near 30 foot-pounds of power, or even the 26 foot-pound lower limit I was offering as an acceptable margin of error. This is a 25 foot-pound airgun at best.

Setting the claim aside, 25 foot-pounds is respectable for a breakbarrel springer. Because this is a gas-spring gun, hunters should love it. And the price is extremely low for all that you get. Don’t take it off your list for missing the claim, just know what to expect so you won’t be disappointed.

Other Benjamin Trail XL 1100s may exhibit greater energy than this test rifle, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some hot ones making as much as 27 foot-pounds. And the test gun may speed up a bit as it breaks in. I will check it after the accuracy test to see if there’s any trend in that direction.

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.

116 thoughts on “Benjamin Trail NP XL1100 – Part 2”

  1. Mr. B.,

    There is no agreed-upon limit for any game. My Urban Hunters (for Airgun Illustated magazine) killed pigeons at over 50 yards with a 6 foot-pound R7. But others will tell you that 12 foot-pounds isn't enough to take game humanely.

    It all depends on the hunter. In my book, 25 foot-pounds in an accurate rifle should be good for rabbits and squirrels out to 50 yards at least. Woodchucks, raccoons and Opossum at closer ranges.

    It really depends on the shooter and his ability to place his shots.


  2. B.B.

    24+/- ft lbs still not bad for a gas piston (on par with a RWS 350). Plus you can carry cocked. I was somewhat disappointed to see the cocking effort at 47 pounds, but you can't get everything you want in any one gun. There are always trade-offs.


  3. Hi B.B.,
    Which do you think on average would be more accurate, and leave less lead residue in the barrel, between Crosman Premiers(.22) or JSB Exacts(.22)in the Benjamin Marauder.

  4. The Brits have been hunting successfully for years with a 12 ftlb limit. The power available to you should dictate your hunting style. A less powerful gun just means you need more stealth to get in closer and/or be more sure of your shot placement.

    As a comment on today's blog, it looks like the Trail XP1100 won't be on my list.

    Jim in PGH

  5. Jeff,

    The softer JSBs will leave less lead in any barrel. As for accuracy, that needs to be tested to determine. In a Crosman barrel ,the Premiers are often among the most accurate, but JSBs are accurate in many airguns.


  6. Good Morning B.B.

    I hope your able to get to the range soon.
    The "Boredom Battle" can only be won in the mind… but nothing like shooting to get me going.

    Every time I shoot the marlin 1894 "cowboy carbine" in .45 long colt, I have a very hard time stopping, even though the ammo is so darn expensive! (I keep telling myself that I'm making empties to reload)..

    Then for hours and days after, I keep remembering the experience… and want to go back and shoot more.

    I haven't tasted nearly as many firearms as you Tom, but I have found, what I feel is the perfect gun for fun to shoot and hunting under 100 yards.

    I went through 100 rounds in about 2 hours cutting down dead pine and oak trees. I was testing the penetration and hole size of the ammo. The recoil is probably about the same as that 24fpe Benjamin Trail XL 1100s air gun.. and I bet the marlin 1894 .45 lc is more accurate!

    A dead, half rotten six inch pine is about all it will go through at 25 yards… seven shots and I can push it over with one finger. 10 shots on a 4" dead oak and still the fibers hold her up.. tough buggers..

    Shots into an 8" dead trunk shake the tree with all them foot pounds!! .. and don't come out the other side..

    I'm not sore at all today.. just fond memories of the "hunt" and all the firewood cut:-)

    IMHO.. nothing could be more fun and better for short range defense or hunting than this marlin 1894 in .45LC… unless it's the same gun in .357 mag.. this week I'll find out.. It should be here today.

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  7. Hi B.B.
    Can I ask a follow up question. What brand of pellets, with what pellet weight, are most Marauder users finding the greatest success with.

  8. Jeff,

    The crosman premier heavies in the cardboard box seem to work best in most stock marauders whether they're .22 or .177 caliber.

    Greg Davis has become the master at tuning .22 caliber marauders and his tunes are specific for the jsb 18.1 gr pellet. He also has provided an option for the installation of a lothar walther barrel that many are raving about. The accuracy I see posted with post Greg Davis tunes on factory barrels makes me wonder if the LW barrel is necessary though.


  9. Mr. B,

    Dr. Beeman gave the following information in his last catalog:

    English sparrow, mouse: 2 ft lbs
    Squirrel, starling, pigeon: 3 ft lbs
    Rabbit,rat: 5 ft lbs
    Jackrabbit: 8 ft lbs

    These numbers were minimums at the target. In B.B.’s example of pigeons at 50 yards with an R-7, the energy is still at 4 ft lbs with the right pellet and that falls into the correct power level.

    The challenge however is in the fact that the pellet will drop a good bit at that range plus it would be influenced greatly by any wind. With a tiny ½ inch kill zone that is truly an impressive kill.

    On the other hand a flat shooting .177 R-1 or similar powered rifle would make that a fairly simple shot, which is why for most people a little extra power is a benefit. But just like in the powder burner world the power is sufficient for a kill long after the ability to make a shot is gone the more you move up in energy.


  10. Chuck: I hope I didn't spoil your homecoming from vacation, but I just noticed I finished third in the Feb. Air Arena e-match (a trifle ahead of you).

    What tickles me is that I somehow shot a 270 with my little 'ol stock Crosman 1377C with cheap RWS R-10 7gr pellets.

    All the gods must have been with me that day! Best I could do this month with my 953 was a 268.

    When I look at the cost of those German rifles ahead of us, it makes me chuckle that I bought mine for $50.

    Good luck this month.

  11. BB.

    I looked at the specs on this gun and am puzzled. PA lists 3 different versions with weights varying from gun to gun at a low of 6.65# (don't believe that figure) and a high of 9.15# and the other listed at 8.0#.

    Either PA is making some serious mistakes in their specs listings or what gives? Could you check with them please to verify the real weights for these guns?

    Also I have to agree fully with the comments of the Marlin 1894 "Cowboy" gun. Though I would prefer to have it chambered in .44 Mag. I have the dies and brass and cast bullets for .44 Mag. Even if you didn't .44 Mag should be cheaper to shoot. And it would make an excellent 100 yd deer gun! Although the .357 Mag should actually be the cheapest to shoot and loads of fun too!

    If you really want to have a blast, latch on to a Marlin 39 M "Mountie" in .22 lr. Very similar to the 1894 "Cowboy" in looks and handling and extremely inexpensive to shoot with no reloading required. As a bonus, scoped it makes a wonderful 75 yard squirrel gun! I also took out a few ground hogs at less than 75 yards with both guns.

    If I could have only 2 rifles in my closet, the 1894 .44 Mag and 39 M .22 lr would be the two and I could handle any game you can hunt with a rifle in my native state of Missouri.

    Add a semi-auto or pump 20 guage 22" bbl with interchangeable chokes to that and you are set for anything in this state.

  12. B.B.
    Crosman claims the 30 fpe with their non-lead pellets the Silver Eagles. I know they have to play the fps game to compete w/ Gamo but they should @ least be more honest then Gamo.

  13. B.B.

    Would be nice if the rifle matched its claims. Maybe it will come closer as it breaks in. Do gas piston guns need the same break-in time as a regular springer?

    AlanL, that's quite a trap; the steel plate is a nice touch.

    Wayne, how's that reloading coming along….:-) I'm envious of all that wood. The Ka-Bar is supposed to be good for throwing.


  14. Jeff,

    The Marauders we have been shooting in both .22 and .177 like the CHP in the box, like Kevin says, and the 18.1gr JSBs..either will do 5/8" 5 shot at 50 yards, about half the time. Some guns do have a preference… but not by that much… you have to test the two of them, and you might find the 18.1 JSB do better at a distance.

    These were with un-weighed pellets.. With a few flyers now and then opening up the groups to 1-1/4".. these are straight from the box guns.. five of them so far.

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  15. Wayne;

    You really need to start reloading to beat the high cost of shooting 45 Colt. Also, buy a Lee Mould and cast your own bullets too. You don't need a sizer, they can be shot as cast and lubed with Lee Alox liquid. If you can find used lead like wheel weights, you can get the cost down to a couple dollars per box. It is really worth it.


  16. Jeff–pellets for a .22 cal Marauder:
    Try the Beeman Kodiaks aka H&N Baracudas. Seem to shoot best in mine.

    you were kidding about throwing the K-bar–right?

    I think I've located a BSF 55 variant. Haven't decided whether or not I want to buy it. –But I can probably borrow it for a couple days. I think it's still NOS/unfired.

  17. Annon,

    I thought long and hard about the Marlin 1894 in 44 mag…. but I want to shoot the same ammo in my handgun too. And I ain't up to the .44 mag in a revolver! .. at least not with the accuracy and comfort of the .45 LC Judge or S&W 27 .357 mag…
    Them I can shoot for fun, and with accuracy.

    I've got a rebuilt old Ruger Blackhawk in .45LC to pick up when I get the other Marlin 1894 in .357 mag… so… as they say in Texas… "Don't mess" with this Oregon back country gold miner!!!

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range

  18. BB,
    You can't win them all — this one sounds like it is bound by the laws of physics, too:).

    You're going to hate the '94 in .357 — send it to me along with a disposal fee and I'll save you some disappointment. Also, if you tell me you got a great deal on it, I'm never going to speak to you again:)! The consensus is that .357 is almost perfect (mainstream modern) caliber for that rifle — most people prefer it to .44Mag, although Anon. seems to enjoy his.

    I like your description of shooting. It sounds like my regularly scheduled Monday morning Black Powder experience. The next week is spent analyzing the session and trying to tweak something or other so I can do better next time.

  19. Well, I received my 1100 this past Friday (2-26). I've been waiting for PA to get them in stock and placed my order on Feb 17. I was really excited based on the initial specifications – Nitro Piston, 38 lb cocking effort, an estimated muzzle velocity of 900+ fps with normal pellets and a nice heavy frame and stock. I was counting on a smooth shooter based on the weight and Nitro piston.

    It's good to see that PA has updated the cocking effort on the product description page. Out of the box, I knew it was nowhere near 38lbs. Mine weighs in near 50 lbs. I don't experience the forward lunge that BB does. Mine seems to twist more like a regular springer. I was shooting 16gr H&Ns and on the 8th shot, it twisted left and back hard enough to bruise my cheek.

    It does diesel on every shot and it pays to clean the soot out of the barrel every 25 or so shots.

    So, it's not quite what it seemed to be at first glance. I'm going to stick with it through 150-200 shots and see if it settles down. I really hope it does because there is still some nice features on this rifle.


  20. Mr. B……….
    A Lyman Devastator at 1500 ft/lb works pretty good for small game.
    My modified version with the hollow point at 2/3 the length of the bullet works even better.


  21. AlanL

    Nice work on the trap. But what I like even better is your meticulous documentation on the PDFs you have posted. For me, this is what the internet is all about, as in my world, the key to understanding a concept is visualizing it. I strongly encourage you to keep this up.

    I also give you credit for making absolutely no attempt at trying to hide the damage to the stucco, which I specifically warned you about. And don't try and blame it on your 'helper';^)

  22. Anonymous,

    The Benjamin NP rifle weights are all over the place. Crosman's 2010 catalog says this:

    Trail NP XL 1500: 9.15 lbs.
    Trail NP XL 1100: 8.80 lbs.
    Trail NP XL 725: 8.80 lbs.
    Trail NP Hardwood: 6.65 lbs.
    Trail NP All Weather: 8.00 lbs.

    I know their catalog has typos, and it's possible these weights are among them. Although these guns come with scopes, I suspect that the one weighing 6.65 lbs. doesn't include the scope and the one weighing 9.15 lbs. probably does. This is only a guess.

    I'll email Crosman & ask them for specific weights for just the guns, which is how I prefer to list the weights on Pyramyd AIR. People replace scopes, so I like to give the weight of just gun. Otherwise, guns like the TX200, which has no sights and must have a scope, will look very light compared to a gun that comes with a scope.


  23. Many of the rabbit hunters in the UK that use non FAC air rifles are set to to not exceed 12 ftlbs. Most will argue accuracy is the most important and some will argue .22 over .177. As for birds, the choice is up to you. Head shots are the norm.

    Now that I use scope, I've gone down to about 9 ftlbs in .177, but I recommend 12 ftlbs in .22. miniumum, head shots only and generally up to 30 yards for small vermin and crows and 50 yards for other birds. Knowing your range and hold over is key along with head shots.

    If you don't have a lot of power, don't worry. Stalking prey is a lot of fun. Most shots I take are 10 yards or less. Closer shots generally have less chance of error and mosty like more humane.

  24. Someone call 911. I must be hallucinating. I think I just saw 'TX200' and 'very light' in the same sentence;^)

    Something tells me Edith would beat me at arm-wrestling. Someone take that Nintendo Wii away from her, before it's too late!

  25. BG_Farmer,

    Wow, you saved me just in time… Clyde said the 1894 is in, but the Ruger Blackhawk hasn't arrived yet!

    Now I don't have to even look at it.. I'll just send it off to your FFL.. I only paid $150 buck new.. so no biggy:-)
    Thanks again my friend for looking after this newbie:-)

    Wacky Wayne

  26. pcsashooter,
    I got home yesterday around noon. I didn't even unpack. Around 5pm I noticed it was still February. HEY!! I still have time to shoot the eMatch! So after a month of not even being able to touch my beloved air rifles I took them out of their bat cave, unwrapped them and began shooting.

    I first shot a few just to make sure they were still sighted in, then began in earnest. I shot the Talon SS first. Being away for a month showed up pretty quick. I had more 8's than a motel franchise. Then I shot the 953. I thought for sure I could out shoot the Talon with it since I was warmed up more, but lagged by one point. I never got a 10 with the Talon but managed to get one ten with the 953, and that was on the second to the last shot.

    I have developed the ability to just barely touch the 8 ring. As a matter of fact I'm thinking of starting a new competition called Aces and Eights. Only a clean 10 ring and the eight ring will count. But then I'd just have to invent another game called Dressed to the Nines, where only the nine ring counts.

    Now, March is a really crappy month here in Central Illinois so I should have plenty of time to practice for this month's match.


  27. Vince

    If Gamo will come out with a Hunter Extreme, with a bas-relief Tyrolean stock, either a hog or boar depicted, and with "1900fps!" engraved above the hog and the word "EXTREME" engraved below the hog, with at least three exclamation marks, and made out of molded black composite, I will buy one, no matter what the cost.

  28. twotalon,

    Next time you're modifying those Lyman Devastator hollow points, try super gluing a small pistol primer in there. Might give you more bang for the buck. LOL


    Thanks for the figures–much appreciated.

    Jim in PDH,

    I am in agreement with you and stealthy hunting which I find alot more fun than sitting in a tree or a camo tent.


    Will you also be shooting .38's in your .357 '94? Shouldn't that work as long as the .38's are the correct over all length so they'll feed properly? Perhaps BG_Farmer would test them out for you.

    Mr B.

  29. Jeff,
    I shoot Crosman Premiers 14.2 in my .22 Marauder. I have tried Beemen H&N Match 13.75 but they're not as accurate. I have not tried JSB's because I am(was) so satisfied with the Premiers. Now you're causing me doubts. I guess I'll just have to bite the pellet and try them, but I just don't see how they could be more accurate than the Premees.


  30. Derrick38,

    By any chance is it on Warrensville Center Road?
    Don’t worry about it for my sake as I have so few air rifles left on my “bucket list” I don’t know what I would do with myself if I finish too soon.
    (Also I may have the model number wrong; the rifle I am picturing was a Wischo center fold in an ARH catalog in the early ‘70’s. I spent hours starring at that thing.)
    But thanks for thinking of me.


    I think a Marlin rifle in .357/38 and a matching Ruger single action would be a blast for actual shooting vs. collecting. I have held both at the local gun shops and been very impressed, although the Marlin seems much heavier than a Winchester 94. I am sure in .45LC they are just as nice too.


  31. Chuck, Jeff

    In my .22 Marauder, neither weight of JSB I have is as accurate as the premiers. I have 15.8 gr and 18.1 gr weight JSB domed Diabolo exacts. The premiers are best, followed by the 18.1s followed by the 15.8s.

  32. What pellets do you find to e best in the Discovery? I've tried RWS Superdomes, Crosman Premiers (the ones in the steel tin) H&N Crow Magnums, Benjamin Discoverys, and the best I can do at 50 yds. is 1.5 in. Is the accuracy worth the cost in the boxed Premiers over the ones in the tin? Maybe I'll try the JSBs. Which one of the JSBs is the best in your opinion?

    So many questions, but I guess questions come with being new to the world of accurate guns. Before the Disco when I only had a junk springer, I thought inch groups at 25 yds. was good!

    Thanks in advance for your advise.

  33. Chuck:

    I figured you just got home and shot those entries fast when I saw the dates.

    I was darned lucky to not have the 1377C throw off several flyers in the course of 25 targets.

    Go to it in March.

  34. Mr B…..
    No need to spike the Devastators with primers. I know that the bullet design, alloy, and MV are about right already. The splatter radius of hair, meat, and guts (and/or contents thereof) is adequate to qualify as "suitable" by Guns & Ammo magazine.


  35. Derrick38,Did I read correct,you have found a BSF 55 that is NOS??Please consider me if you decline this purchase.I will make it worth your while!!!man are you lucky.

  36. blowgunner62

    I second BBs recommendation.

    At shorter distances, the cheapy pointed Crosman hunter pellets in the milk carton do remarkably well in my Disco. One hole groups at 10 yards.

  37. I had the same results with the cheap pointed pellets at short range. My Disco is in .22. I might try the Premiers, but, man alive, they are expensive!

  38. The Crosman "points" can't be beat for plinking. Even at long ranges, they are fun, if you can accept a wild one every now and them. I think they may have the highest BC (or close, according to Chairgun) of any pellet made — the "point" is actually sort of a dome shape.

  39. Volvo,
    It's a bit more complicated than that as it belongs to the owner and he's in the hospital…

    Frank B,
    You're second in line behind me if it does become available for purchase.

  40. blowgunner62

    I know what you mean about the Premiers, they are a bargain in .177 but one of the pricier options in .22. Then again, I have never missed my target with a cheaper pellet and been happy with the bargain I got on the price.

    Hope you checked out the two links I posted on the diy Disco trigger Mods. Cheap easy and effective. If you want to throw some business to TKO (Mike T) buy one of his 6.5" stage V muzzle breaks. They are highly reviewed and quiet the muzzle report quite a bit, if that matters to you. I am waiting for him to offer the half-shroud separately.

  41. Wayne;

    I wouldn't recommend the Winchester 94 in .45 Colt or .357. The 94 was designed for longer ammo like the 30-30. It doesn't work well with the shorter shells. It's not very smooth. I have seen a number of them used in Cowboy Action Shooting. They don't win, too slow, and people get rid of them.

    If you can find one, the Winchester 92 in .45 Colt is much, much better.
    Now the Marlin Cowboy in .45 Colt is fine.

    Good Shooting


  42. derrick38,your contributions to airgunning make me proud.Your one in a million.This was my opinion long before you put me second in line.I hope your friend gets out of the hospital quickly!Thank You–Frank

  43. In round head pellets the Crosman Premier 177s are great, and I've even shot a tin in my match guns to prove it. I bet Crosman could make a terrific wadcutter Premier .177; why don't they?

    -pete z

  44. Pete,

    The don't for the same reason that Corvette doesn't make a 150 mph tractor. The Premier pellet is designed from the ground up to be an aerodynamic wonder. Clipping off its nose would ruin that work and make a poor target pellet.

    The design of these things seems simple but it really isn't. Sometimes designers luck out and things work as predicted, but it would be just as difficult for H&N to make a world-class domed pellet from their Finale Match pellets.


  45. BB,
    That 150mph tractor cracks me up.

    The SuperDome is an interesting example. My understanding is that it was the first advance towards a Field Target specific pellet. As such, it is almost unfailingly accurate in any rifle. On the other hand, I was using it to shoot at longer ranges one day and noticed that it was penetrating about the same as a wadcutter, which didn't make sense until I looked up the BC in Chairgun — surprise — it has a BC only marginally better (.013?) than a Wadcutter (.011?), although I know its accuracy is much better at ranges beyond 20 yards. Superficially and generally, it has all the characteristics of an Exact or similar, but tiny details make all the difference. I almost wonder if the design is "ultra"-stabilized with purposefully excessive drag. I bet you know more about the Superdome story.

  46. BG_Farmer,

    No question the bc of superdomes is low. I also think they have a hardner (antimony?) since they've fouled the barrels in several of my guns.

    I bought a pair of b26's from mike melick as gifts for twin boys. Mike Melick insisted that we try superdomes in these guns. With minor pellet testing they were the most accurate. In short order one of the guns started shooting all over the place. After much trouble shooting (pun intended) I did B.B.'s barrel cleaning with jb bore paste. Small fragments of superdomes came out in the cleaning. The accuracy magically returned.

    Since then the boys have only shot the air arms pellets and for over a year, and lots of pellets, they haven't had a problem.

    I still have several tins of superdomes but haven't shot them in any guns since.


  47. Kevin and BG_Farmer,

    I have been equally intrigued by the Superdomes. I find them to be pretty close to the Beeman FTS in accuracy in my tuned Quest 800 (the best pellet I have found for it). My chrony tests have confirmed the low BC (0.012 in my case vs. 0.024 for the FTS). Muzzle velocity is almost identical, but by some wierd twist in ballistics fate, I get the same POI between the two at the 20 yard limit of my indoor range. Given the low cost, I use them for all my offhand target practice – the small hit in accuracy is overwhelmed by the impact of my poor skills.

    I have tried to figure out how this can be the case (same POI with the same MV and half the BC), but I have given up and just exploit it for easy low cost practice, and I save the Beemans for bench work and vermin elimination, all without having to re-zero the scope.

    I too have noticed that I have to clean the barrel every now and then with Superdomes, but I find wet patches (followed by dry) work fine in my case.

    While the FTS is the most accurate for me, the Superdome wins the title of best accuracy per dollar.

    Alan in MI

  48. Kevin,

    I agree. Even better are the H&N Field & Target Trophy – this is the pellet that Beeman sells as their FTS. The head size of the pellet is large, ranging from 5.53 to 5.55mm in 22 caliber.

    I say that because the H&N's are available in specific head sizes (5.53, 5.54, and 5.55mm), so you can get the one specific size that works the best in your gun.

    I find that while all the Beeman FTS tins work well, some tins seem to work better than others – I think this is from head size differences that Beeman may not specify or label.

    Of all the pellets that I dig out of my trap, the FTS and H&N's have the most consistent barrel rifling marks all the way around the head. Most of the others only have marks on one part or half of the head. I think this is a key factor in the accuracy.

    Interestingly, I have not found the FTS Double Gold's to work as well as the cheaper plain pellets.

    Alan in MI

  49. couple questions. are the so called cleaning pellets really worth it, do they clean? Separate subject any thoughts on a IZH Baikal MP-514K or a Ruger Blackhawk? Both seem to have good reviews for their price. Thanks for any info

  50. adding to last post. Not ready to make big investment yet. I know there are better guns out there but very expensive on my budget. for a hobby, I don't shot animals only targets and cans.

  51. I just finished some penetration testing for my next video. The video I'll have to redo, but the results suprised me. Shooting out of my Disco, the Superdomes penetrated 3 3/4 inches into homemade ballistics gel. The Crosman Premiers and Crosman Pointed pellets had no trouble passing completely through the 4 1/4" block of gel that I was using.

  52. Kevin & AlanMi,
    Interesting observations. My impression has always been that Superdomes are almost pure, soft lead, but I've been wrong before, and I don't doubt your experiences with leading. Whatever their composition is, it seems to combine with their largish size and inexplicable aerodynamics to make a sort of universally adequate pellet:). I think it even makes a decent hole in target paper, although I haven't used one that way in a while.

    Finally, this may be a complete hallucination or false memory on my part, but I seem to recall reading that Tim at Mac1 had a large part in the development and introduction of the superdome. An interesting bit of trivia to me — if its true:)!

  53. BG_Farmer,

    I don't think my Superdome cleaning issue is from leading in the classic sense. My gun only shoots them at 700 fps, so at least in my case it probably is not antimony leading.

    As Kevin said, they have lots of lead flakes in the tins. I think in my case it comes from flakes that get left behind in the barrel, and then get "ran over" in later shots. I just know that by the end of a tin, I find the accuracy seems to go down a bit and it is brought back by running swabs down the barrel.

    I don't have the same problem with the FTS pellets. But at half the cost, I can swab the barrel every now and then.

    Alan in MI

  54. Frank B.

    Your welcome… and thank you.. selling you some of the old air guns helped me get into these octagon barrel marlin 1894 cowboy carbines..

    OOOppps sorry BG_Farmer..

    Some how I found myself in front of Clyde filling out the forms to pick up the other Marlin 1894 cowboy in .357 mag.

    This new one is very stiff out of the box. A little cleaning, oiling and 100 rounds of .38 special, 25 rounds of .357 mag. and she smoothed out to 1/4 as smooth as the used one in .45LC I got at the pawnshop last month… Me thinks someone worked on that sweet thing!

    But I like the ready available and wide choice in ammo and the large open sights. The larger Wings on the older .45LC are nicer than the new ones on the .357 mag and a little more fuzzy for my old eyes.

    So far, quick response, I still like the .45 lc best.. Especially when I get reloading pistol and rifle loads… some far away day in the future 🙂 Darn guys.. why didn't someone tell me I should get into reloading:-)

    Wacky Wayne

  55. Bg farmer,

    I’ve been playing with the .20 cal R-7 a good bit, and think it may not have been all advertising hype as I long suspected. I still believe that in a higher power Springer .22 caliber makes the most sense, but this little guy is not bad with these middle weight pellets.
    I had my heart set on trying .20 caliber Ramjets but it seems they have been discontinued. The .177 Ramjets were the absolute best in my R-1 back in the day, and supposedly the best in .20 cal. Kodiaks shot all over the place in that R-1 and are not the greatest in the R-7 either.

    The accuracy challenge it still needs to pass is to score a hit on all 3’s on a Gamo target and also one in the center at 15 yards. (amazingly my little DaisyGamo did this once I replaced the trigger)

    Watching Pawn Stars right now, and man I would like to own a working flame thrower.


  56. Volvo & Mike,

    I haven't found a Winchester I liked at the shops, I tried one and hated the ejecting shells out the top in my face! I guess it's a duh… hold the gun to the side when cocking… but that's slower..

    .. and I'm use to the Marlin side ejection, so never do it when shooting a Winchester… gets me every time:-)

    I also like how easy it is to mount a scope on the Marlin 336 or 1894 (same inexpensive adapter) I scoped one of my marlin 336c in 30/30 and thinking I might do the same on this new 1894 in .357 mag.

    BUT NOT THE .45 LONG COLT!! I can do good with them there open sights MA! 2"- 6 shots 35 yards!!

    Wacky Wayne

  57. Alan in MI,
    What do you use to wet your patches? The accuracy goes down after only 1 tin?

    Would cleaning pellets work for bringing the accuracy back up? I haven't shot through a tin of them yet, but I might not shoot any more if they are that detrimental to accuracy. How much accuracy loss do you notice?

  58. Derrick38,
    If you happen across any of these, I’ll take them:

    • Arkansas Civil War loot
    • Blackbeard's silver
    • Butch Cassidy's loot
    • Castle Gate stolen payroll
    • Holy Grail
    • Jesse James' treasure
    Noah's Ark
    Rommel's lost treasure
    • Tumacacori lost gold
    • William Pogue fortune

    Thanks, Volvo 🙂

  59. blowgunner62,

    Please don't use cleaning pellets in a springer. You'll ruin the gun.

    Search using the search box on the right hand side to learn the correct way to clean your gun.


  60. I was thinking about using them in my Disco. I don't want to risk hurting accuracy by using a rod, but I also don't want to hurt the accuracy by leading the bore.

  61. Kevin,I am right behind you on the number…..made,they had to get past three before someone decided they cost too much to produce.Don't most Beeman guns from then involve prototypes????Seems to me that the decision couldn't have been that[3] obvious,unless all three were prototypes?Musta been a helluva airgun… Frank B

  62. Blowgunner62,

    You could use a bore snake or flexible rod from the muzzle end of your Disco. The cleaning pellets tend to blow apart in a PCP or Co2 rifle with a small probe. I would not clean the barrel unless you notice an accuracy issue.

    The reason Kevin suggests not using one in a high power Springer is that the weight is so little it is similar to dry firing the gun. This can be overcome by pushing multiple felt pellets in the barrel with a pell seat but hardly worth the effort. On a really high power Springer you can even follow the felts with a pellet to be safe. You will know by the sound if you don’t have enough weight.
    But at the end of the day a rod or bore snake is best.


  63. Alan in MI,
    Your explanation about lead flakes makes sense. I usually switch pellets around quite a bit depending on what I think I'm doing, so maybe some of the others sweep the bore:).

    Sounds like it just needs some shootin'. I would be willing to bet there are some Cowboy Action Shooting "Tuners" who could smooth it out, but time and a little work should do what you want. I've yet to find anything that polishing and/or M2M (Beeman Moly Paste) can't improve:).

    I can't help you with the flame thrower (at least not online), but I'm glad the .20 R7 is proving enjoyable. You're probably right about the .20 being better in light- to mid-powered springers; maybe its a compromise that works, and we were being too cynical about the motivations. However, pragmatist that I am, .177 still seems best for pellet availability and .22 for pure hunting.

    I think .25 is going to become more and more viable and interesting in PCP's, though. Seems like at some point in the not terribly distant future, a .25 PCP shooting a properly formed projectile could provide an excellent basis for short range (100-200 yard) benchmark competitions.

  64. Volvo,
    Dang, I was SURE I had Ram Jets in .20 cal. I had a list at one point so I'd just buy what I was low on. It showed about a tin and a half. I'll check in a couple rifle cases. A tin will turn up.

    Wait until that R5 shows up COD.

    Frank B.
    I'll get pics Weds.

  65. Derrick38,

    No rush, here is my trade if you fish. I have a Dam Quick 331N reel made in West Germany on a Heddon rod -“Mark special purpose #7545 6’3” medium heavy action 3/8 to 1 oz lure. 8# to 20# lb” line that has not been used in ages. It is all yours if you want it.

    I will settle for 151 and a Zippo Lighter. 🙂

    BG Farmer,
    I think you are right, with PCP’s .25 caliber will soon be viable option instead of a novelty.


  66. Blowgunner,

    I just soak one patch with some GooGone, and pull the rest through dry. Works well, but as a springer there are no o-rings to mess up.

    I noticed my groups opening up before the end of each of the first two tins of Superdomes. I'm on the third one now, but I tried to get as many of the flakes out by tumbling them and hitting them with compressed air. It did get rid of a lot, so we'll see how it goes with this one. I'm about half way through this one so far.

    Alan in MI

  67. rikib,

    The IZH 514 performed so bad when I tested it that I refused to blog it. I would avoid that gun.

    The Ruger Blackhawk is not a gun I've tested, but Ruger has been putting their name on good Chinese springers, so it's probably okay.

    What are you looking for?

    An Air Venturi Bronco is accurate, has a great trigger and feels wonderful to shoot. But are you concerned with power, or do you just want to hit what you shoot at?


  68. The Last review you did one this Gun…you stated it was producing 28fpe. And now you changed guns…why? and this one is only shooting 24fpe. what happened?

  69. B.B.

    I have two air rifles I am looking at and only want to buy one. The guns are: the Crosman 2260 and a remanufactured Mendoza RM-2003 dual caliber for $110. Which would you recommend for someone in living in the south (usually mild winter: some snow), and to do some small game hunting. Also is 38 pounds of cocking force a lot and hard to achieve for a medium strength guy?

    Thanks B.B.

  70. Well, a 2260 is definitely out for hunting in cold weather. Otherwise, I like it nest.

    I'd stay away from the 2-barreled sets. They often have accuracy problems with one of the barrels.

    38 pounds of cocking effort is not too hard for a hunting airgun, but for something you want to shoot a lot, it is. You would be happier with something down in the 30-pound range.

    I would rather see you get a used rifle of better quality that spend your money on something you may not like. If hunting is not a big deal, then get the 2260. It was the basis for the Benjamin Discovery, so it is quite accurate.

    Too bad you can't get a Discovery. It has no problem with the cold.


  71. Now I'm left to decide why I should spend $70 more for the trail NP "XL" .22, as opposed to just getting the less expensive Trail NP .22, (the shorter and lighter gun).

    The "XL" might deliver 100-150 more ft/sec, (realistic and conservative 100 more ft/sec). And the "XL" might give me 1 additional ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

    I think it will just be more fun, more educational, and probably better than T.V. to wait for B.B. Pelltier to post Part 3!

    I would like to see more accuracy testing done on the gun and the following questions addressed.

    1. Is the Nitro Piston in the "XL" model longer and more powerful and does that really matter?

    2. Is the scope the same scope included with the two different models?

    3. Is the trigger the same in the two different models.

    And again, is the "XL" worth the extra money?

    I also want to see how the second rifle, (piston failure on the first), holds up to testing.

    Thanks B.B., I wouldn't even be considering buying either of these if it were not for your dedicated and wise reviewing of these guns.


  72. Pat,

    You've listed some excellent questions that really have got me thinking and if I may, I'd like to add one to your list. Is the "Nitro piston" in the XL filled to a higher operating pressure than the one in the Trail NP?

    Mr B.

  73. Pat,
    You've listed some good questions and I think you're wise to wait til BB does Part 3. I believe your questions all boil down to accuracy. $70 is not too much to pay for more accuracy. The durability issue is still out there, though, but we don't know if that was an anomaly or if there is really a problem. It would take a longer time to answer that question.

    NPs have been around for a while and I haven't heard of any other failures like that on this blog. I have heard of regular springs breaking on new guns also and no one gets overly upset about that (except the guy with the broken spring). Anybody else want to address this because I might have missed something.

    Bottom line – it's always wise to let BB take his course and have his fun. You don't get no better testing than that!!!


  74. BB I took your advice and bought the Makarov BB pistol and sure like it so far, have only shot about 2 mags thru it and must say it is very accurate even for a poor shot like me. At present I am shooting out my back door at about 15', hope to set up for a little farther shooting when the rain and cold give me a break. I also bought a Crosman 357 and have shot just 1 mag thru it and it too looks like a fairly accurate shooter. Neither trigger seems too good in DA so have been using SA and it is a little stiff also, hoping use will help. Any easy tips with out taking the gun apart as I'm not very mechanical and have never worked on an airgun of any kind? Thanks for putting me on the Makarov, just wish it was blowback but at least its DA & SA. Steve

  75. hello airgunners i recently bought a whiscombe or something like that.. jw85 from a auction for $162 i have never heard of whiscombe. i thought it was cool cause it came with a .177, .20, .22and a .25 caliber barrel with it. the previous owner of this rifle never shot it, he said he kept it around the house but never got around to using it. please let me know if this was worth $162 thank you

  76. Gabriel

    A reader named Rick recently posted a link to his own blog where he discussed the GRT trigger vs. the Crosman factory trigger in his new Benjamin Trail. He writes:

    "I also noticed that the factory trigger has nearly identical geometry to the GRT III except the trip arm of the GRT III is set at a slightly different angle with respect to the center line of the pivot pin bore. I laid one on top of the other, aligned the two pin bores and they appeared to be almost clones. I did not try it but my guess is you could remove the slack spring from the stock trigger and, if you have enough adjustment in the second stage screw, achieve similar performance to the GRT III."

    Also you have posted your question on an older blog. Far fewer people read the older blogs than the current one. To get the fastest answers from a larger brain-pool I suggest that if you have questions in the future to post them on the current days blog which will always be found here:


    Don't worry if your question is off topic from the day's article.

  77. Brandon,

    Whoooooeeee, you done good!

    Whiscombe air rifles are highly sought after works of art that are no longer being made. If what you bought is truly a JW85 in good working order, then you have found a true bargain. On the yellow classified site, Roz Sumpter sold a JW75 with only two barrels last September for $4000. It took less than 12 hours from offered to sold.

    I would recommend that you not attempt to fire the rifle as they are a bit unusual in the cocking and firing routine. Dry firing will damage them beyond repair. B.B. wrote a 5 part series on this blog back in 2007 that should give you some good background.

    Lastly, you posted this to an older blog that few people will read. Please post your find to today's blog. It should get many more responses there.

  78. bobby nations,
    yes it is a whiscombe jw 85 in perfect condition. if you give me your email address i will send a picture of it to you. i didnt know that they cost that much. but i know it is a beautiful rifle, i got a local airgun repair/tuning guy to check and see if anything is internally damaged but he said that it was perfectly fine he said that it dont look like it been fired before. barrel had no leading or anything and no wear on spring. i shot it through my chrony to see if it got its claimed velocity and it shoots 20 fps faster than the clamied velocity. they have air rifle at that auction all the time i have bought a tx200 and a diana 350 mad both for less than 200 dollars. i dont know how to get to todays blog so please get back with me on how to post it on todays blog thank you.

  79. Brandon,

    to get to the current blog, just enter:


    in the address window. If you see you're not at the current blog, chances are you need to purge your internet temporary cache. It's not hard to do if you aren't familiar with it and Bobby or I will talk you through it.

    One word of caution. If you don't want to have competition in these auctions, better not tell us where it is. We'll all be there quick as the pellet moving through your JW85!

    Fred PRoNJ

  80. I just purchased a Ben Trail NP XL abd had to return it for a broken cocking lever. I love the gun and had extreem accuracy – 10 in a dime at 35 yds- In the field the barrel continually broke open with every hard step or jar. Now the cocking rod breaks?? Has Crosman beefed up all the other parts to handle the extreem cocking pressure and the extra barrel weight? I had only fired 200 rounds beefor the problems occured. Pyramydair is sending another unit this week but will the problems continue??

  81. I just received my new "replacement" Ben Trail amd what a difference. Earlier I wrote about the origional with a broken cocking rod and bad spring in the barrel retention lug. Crosman had that one returned to their engineeers for evaluation. The new one is the cats meow. I installed a GRT111 trigger. adjusted the scope and with the H&N Baracuda Match 21.1 gr. started punching 5 in a dime at 30 yds. Now I think I really got my money;s worth with this gun – Squirls Beware!

  82. Hi! ,, I just purchased this riffle as my first air-rifle.
    Waiting for it to arrive. I should of did more research before the purchase.
    Anyway, Do you feel it would be best to keep use it, mod it etc.
    OR return it as soon as i get it?

    Thanks in advance.

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