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Education / Training Benjamin 347 multi-pump pneumatic: Part 1

Benjamin 347 multi-pump pneumatic: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin’s 347 multi-pump was sold between 1969 and 1992.

The Benjamin 347 is a single-shot, multi-pump pneumatic made by the Benjamin Air Rifle Company of St. Louis from 1969 through 1992. Most of what I will say about the 347 (the .177-caliber version of the gun) also applies to the .22-caliber model 342.

There are two variations of this gun. The model I’m testing for you today is the first variation. It is characterized by a checkered pistol grip and forearm and was made from 1969 until 1986. The second variation has a plain stock and went from ’86 to ’92.

This closeup shows the checkering on the 347 pistol grip. Not great, but what do you expect?

This is the model that took Benjamin out of the old days and into the modern era, where the successor models 397 and 392 took over and remain current today. The rifle just prior to this one was the model 317. It was also an underlever pump like the 347, but Benjamin had used the same model designation for an earlier front-pump, pushrod-type multi-pump that was made before World War II.

When I got back into airgunning seriously in the early 1990s, the presence of these two different Benjamin airguns with the same model number caused a lot of confusion; but now that Crosman has brought out the now-discontinued Benjamin Super Streak, a breakbarrel spring-piston rifle, most collectors have gotten used to the idea of model name reutilization.

The rifle
The 347 is generally the same as all underlever multi-pumps that went before and came after its time, but don’t think there are no differences. For years, I’ve told people that a 347 is just an older 397; but now that I have both of them to examine, I can see several differences. The first is the overall length of the gun. The 347 is just under 34-1/2 inches long, while the 397 that I have is 36-3/4 inches overall. All that difference appears in the stock, as the barreled actions are exactly the same length. That’s important, because the length of the barrel determines the maximum velocity the rifle can achieve.

While this is not a report on the 397, I’ll say that the first 397 rifles looked remarkably similar to the 347. Over time, though, certain features — such as where the safety is placed and how the rear sight works — have changed. Today, the 397 is quite a different rifle, though at its heart it’s still a multi-pump with the same capability as all other similar guns.

The pull on the 347 is just 13 inches, which is about 7/8 of an inch less than the 397 and about 3/4 of an inch more than the 397 carbine. I compared it to the specs Mac gave us for the 397C, and it turns out to be just a little longer over all and heavier (at 4 lbs., 12 ozs. compared to 4 lbs., 4 ozs. for the carbine). So, this is a smaller air rifle, yet still sized for an adult.

The safety is located at the rear of the receiver and is a push-pull type similar to many shotgun safeties. It’s entirely manual.

The bolt is just bent from a solid rod. The safety. located behind the receiver tube, is manual and slides in and out. It is convenient to the thumb.

The trigger is another interesting feature. While it’s quite simple in design and operation, it has an average 46-oz. pull-weight and is reasonably consistent (within 3 oz.). That’s under three pounds and quite a bit better than the lawyerly 5-7 lb. triggers we see on multi-pumps today. The blade is very wide and flat and feels good to me.

The rear sight is adjustable in both directions, though both adjustments are crude. To adjust windage, loosen the rear screw on the sight leaf and push the whole sight in the direction you want the pellet to go. For elevation, there’s a stepped elevator that sits under the rear leaf. I’ll find out how well they work when I test the rifle for accuracy.

The rear sight has crude adjustments for both windage and elevation.

The rear sight notch is very wide in comparison to the front blade. A little extra light on either side of the front blade is good, because it allows you to frame the front blade exactly in the center. But this seems to be too much; and once, again, I’ll find out when I shoot it for accuracy.

The 347 will accept the Williams peep sight, but the receiver isn’t pre-tapped for it. That was a marketing mistake on Benjamin’s part, and Crosman corrected the situation when they took over the company. Owners do not want to drill and tap holes in their receivers, and why should they? Even though the receivers on all Benjamin pneumatics are made of brass that’s easy to drill, it’s an extra step that most people just will not take; but if the holes are already there, quite a number will decide to try the peep sight.

As far as scoping the rifle goes — my advice is to forget it. The intermount that fits on the barrel of a rifle like this is so prone to break the barrel solder joint from flexing it with the extra weight of a scope that it isn’t worth the attempt. My advice is to just use open sights on these older multi-pumps. Of course, there have been receiver bases for the modern Benjamin rifles that change everything, but I don’t know if they’ll work on an older-profile receiver like the one found on a 347.

Though the parts are no longer generally available for an older model like the 347, there are plenty of service stations that are making and modifying parts for these guns. So, they can be repaired and rebuilt. The pump piston rod in the rifle is adjustable for wear. As the power drops off, the pump rod can be turned out (made a little longer) to make the piston head go closer to the inlet valve, thereby pushing more compressed air into the valve/reservoir when the rifle is pumped. It’s not a means to hot-rod the gun, but to tweak it back to original performance when it gets a little tired.

Naturally, the best maintenance for any airgun like this is to keep the pump head moist with Crosman Pellgunoil, which helps it maintain a seal against the walls of the compression tube when it moves. For long-term care, leave a pump of air in the gun when it’s stored. That seals the valve against airborne dirt that can quickly destroy the seals. A rifle thus stored can be expected to function for many decades.

My pet peeve
The rifle says “Benjamin Franklin” on the left side of the receiver tube. I knew that was a play on the company name when I was nine years old and inherited my father’s model 107 pistol. For some reason that I cannot fathom, adults in their 60s still don’t get it and think the rifle is called a Benjamin Franklin. Nothing sets me off quicker that when someone makes this mistake. Sorry, but you’ve been warned.

The presence of quotation marks around the name, Benjamin Franklin, indicates that it’s not real. It is, in fact, just a play on words. Since the company name is Benjamin, they wrote Benjamin Franklin on all their guns during certain years. There was never a Benjamin Franklin airgun model, nor is there any other connection to the name.

Another factoid
All Benjamins are made of solid brass. It’s amusing to see one all polished like a trumpet and the owner thinks he has the greatest thing in the world. In fact, they’re all solid brass under the finish. At gun shows, it tickles me to hear dealers talking with pride about their “all-brass Benjamin Franklin” when the guns are still made of the same materials today.

Putting things into perspective
A look at a 347 is a look back into history. This rifle was made when the old Sheridan Blue Streak with the classic rocker safety was made and should be equivalent to it in most ways except power. As a .177, this rifle will always come out on the short side of a power test because pneumatics like to push heavy pellets for greater power. However, velocity will be greater for the smaller-caliber guns. So there’s a balance.

This should be a fun gun to test.

Last weekend, I heard a funny line in the new movie Contagion. One of the main characters was a blogger portrayed by Jude Law. A doctor, played by actor Elliott Gould, told him that a blog is just graffiti with punctuation.

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.

87 thoughts on “Benjamin 347 multi-pump pneumatic: Part 1”

  1. Some fool on Craig’s List right now wants $800 for one of these right now!

    OK on the Beeman 2004/P17, been reading a lot on it, looks like it’s a fun gun while working, but they do not, from the sound of it, use the finest Chinese O-rings when they build these, instead they use the 2nd finest. So….. like as not I’ll get practice putting new O-rings into it at some point. Oh well for less than $50, I guess it’s all good.

    What I *really* “need”, if I find I really love this little gun, is its inspiration, a Weirauch HW75, from Pyramyd of course. Or, simply, that Crosman 2300S I’m always talking about.

    Now on the Benjamin, I had a later one with the rocker safety pass through my hands. I got it for $50, found it *very* underpowered, and since I didn’t have the bux to send it off to one of the gurus for a rebuild, I sold it for a quick $100.

    Frankly I don’t want to pump more than once! Blame it on lots of 10m shooting and pumping PTSD brought on by a childhood spent with a Crosman 760.

    • Flobert,I hope for you that your experience with the P17/Marksman 2004/Marksman 2006/P3…..mirrors mine.I have two and NEITHER has given me a bit of trouble.After reviewing Derrick’s work on AnotherAirgunBlog……I’m not a bit concerned if I do have a problem!
      I bought the first one at Wallyworld after the “salesman” assured me I didn’t want the only one they had.He said it was returned and broken…..got it for $7.Nothing was wrong with it,and 6 years later
      it still works great and is quite accurate even in my hands.

      • It looks like a lot of people have these guns and have figured out how to work on them. Also, “they” may have put better O-rings in them in the last year or two.

        It’s a neat gun. For under $50 it’s a REALLY neat gun.

        • flobert

          I have had my P17 for several months now, and have put about a tin of pellets through it, with no signs of impending failure. When it was new I wiped off all the cheap chinese grease from the internals and lubed it with pellgunoil.

          The accuracy from this bargain gun is astonishing.

          • I’ve also had a P17 for a few years and without doing anything to it, have had great performance from it. I got it with the little red dot sight included, tried that thing out once and took it back off. Safety position on it stinks, but everything else is great!


    • Hey. New guy. Bought a Benjamin 347 yesterday for $5 at a garage sale. Lady was selling “stuff” stored in a storage shed. I got the gun because I remembered one from my youth. This one is plain sided, no pressed checkering, so I assume from the article it was made from 1986 to 1992. The lady said her husband used it to get rid of tree rats and it had worked fine the last time shot. I didn’t ask her when that was because I didn’t want to bring up memories. I pumped it up four times and it was equally hard all four times. Put a pellet in and tried to shoot it, but it doesn’t fire. I took the stock off and looked at the trigger. I have absolutely no idea of how that works. I have to push the safety hard to get it off.
      I can’t seem to find anybody in the Birmingham area that can repair it. Any suggestions? By-the-way, it looks new!

      • Ridge Rider,

        Here is the man who can overhaul your gun:

        You probably won’t find anyone local, as hundreds of service stations have closed their doors over th years. The man I sent you to has had all the vintage seals made and everyone buys them from him.


        • I’ve got an email in to Rick, and I’m not inclined to try too much with this 347. Mainly because working with various .22s to improve their trigger I found out that lots of those little springs and such are quite agile and can get away fast. However, how do you oil the pump head? I found a nice-looking little hole that should do great . . . except for the stamped statement, “air hole do not oil.”
          I don’t see any other way to get oil on it other than to take it apart. Wade

            • Thanks, B.B.
              I read the blog. Oiled it. Pumps much easier. Now seems to work just fine. I think the reason it wasn’t shooting is that I wasn’t pulling the bolt back far enough to cock it. Thanks for all your help and direction. Wade

                • Over the years, I have learned not to force anything. That’s why I didn’t really pull back hard on the bolt. I took it out and put Sunday’s Birmingham News over the chain-link fence and shot it from the front deck. Went through the paper and out into the front yard. I’m about 150 yards from the deck, so it hit somewhere out there. I will check for accuracy later, but it hit exactly where I wanted it to, after five strokes. Thanks again. Wade

            • BB,
              I followed your link in this reply to “how to oil…” and found references in there to other how to oil topics you were going to do in the future. Since that article was in 2008 I consider today to be the future so I assume all those other articles on “how to oil” exist somewhere.

              I know I’m not the greatest searcher but I could not find the other articles. You have an area on the blog page called “Categories” and I expected to see a category on oiling with all those “future” articles there but there is no such category.

              Do you plan to add an oiling category sometime? Could you?


                • BB,
                  I appreciate your willingness to do this but I don’t want to get in your way of sustaining this fantastic blog. This is one of those things you and Edith do to make this blog so successful and enjoyable. While I am interested in the oil articles, I am more interested in seeing a Category on oiling added to the existing site – I can wait for that if you’re inclined to do it. I think it might be more productive to work on that and make it available to everyone rather than on just adding links to one unrelated blog article. Please don’t get my tone wrong. I am so impressed that you’d compile links for me, but I think your time would be better spent serving your massive audience as a whole rather than whoever happens to catch this one reply with the links.

            • Hydraulic jack oil is 10 wt non detergent oil. Add a bit of Liquid Wrench spray silicone oil or a few drops of Tri-Flo teflon lube [liquid or spray] or some Marvel Mystery Oil (smells good) for an inexpensive – large supply of airgun oil. Jack oil [about $4 per 32 ounces] Tri- Flo about $5 per 6 ounces, Mystery Oil about $6 323 ounces.

      • Great! I had one I sold, got it for $50 sold it for $100, probably should have kept it, I dunno.

        I got a Honda generator for $20 two days ago, though. I think it just needs fresh gas and the tank’s not even rusty inside.

        • Five dollars trumps your fifty, flobert. Seems to work well after I pulled the bolt all the way to the rear. Lots of nifty posts on this blog. You guys are doing a great job. Wade

  2. Hope to see lots more reports on older American airguns. To me there a lot more interesting than generic Chinese guns. How about reports on the old Crosman 100’s or 101’s and others. People don’t realize how accurate they were right out of the box. No need for tune up’s, trigger work, new seals and springs. And if taken care of they will last a life time and can then be pasted on.

    • Bob,

      From the archives, here are a couple reports on older Crosman guns:





    • There’s are *so* many airguns on the market (and keep in mind Pyramyd sells new ones) and only one B.B. Pelletier!

      But I kinda second this sentiment, I wonder how many excellent older airguns are in closets out there, that are really good shooters? There may be 2 or 3 for every old generic .22lr bolt rifle, and we all know there are a lot of those.

    • i have had the benjamin 347 model for over 20 yrs i got it as a present then. it was so accurate and powereful i thought there was no way itd last. well i went to test it and damn its better then ever even after 20 yrs. im sorry but a chinese made one isnt going to do that. if wanted to get rid of it for a good worth where would i go?

  3. I have, or I should say, my wife has the same model without the checkering. It releases a little puff of air from the breech and bolt when fired so I guess I need to get it repaired at some point. Very solid made gun though.

    • Sounds like you could use a new breech seal.it’s pretty easy to do if you’ve had one apart before. But if it’s your first time you need to find a good video.
      I’d try searching for breech seal replacement 397, which should be the same procedure in that the bolt has to be removed, more for getting the new one properly installed than removal of the old one.
      Good luck and we’re here for ya!


  4. Maybe most have gotten used to “model name reutilization” but I haven’t. Don’t think I ever will. Pet peeve. Really wish manufacturers would stop this.

    A cheap chinese spring rifle being called a “Benjamin” Super Streak is heresy. Ain’t nothin’ Benjamin about a real Streak.

    In the same vein, I’d like to slap the person at weihrauch that recently decided to call the HW99 a HW50 since the old HW50/R8 was such a beloved and sought after gun. The “new” HW50 is a young, violent, distant cousin of the old HW50 and giving them the same name is wrong.

    OK, I feel a little better.


      • Kevin

        I agree with you completely…almost.

        Using the same name on two distinctly different models is anathema to proper product nomenclature as far as consumers are concerned and it should be more so for manufacturers.

        Nearly as bad as naming two different models the same thing, is using two different names for the exact same model. In the Crosman 1377 you have both sins being committed at once.

        The venerable Crosman American Classic model 1377 has been an airgun staple for decades. It is cheap, accurate, and power is adjustable by pumping it more or less. Crosman has recently saw fit to change the name on at least some models (even though the build of the pistol remains the same), and to change the name to a model name they are already using for another airgun icon, the pumpmaster 760. I am not sure about the guns PA sells but the 1377s for sale at Wally World are now called pumpmaster classics. What the heck?!

        I also agree about the HW99. The name should have never been changed to HW50, a model that had previously been retired. This creates confusion.

        Where our opinions diverge is the characterization of the current HW50. It is a completely different rifle from the much loved older version, but it is not without it’s charms. I think that if you shot a well-tuned HW50S for a little while, or one that was well broken in, you might release a little of your grudge. 😉 Its not the rifle’s fault Weihrauch named it wrong!

        • SL,

          I haven’t shot a “well tuned” newer HW50s but I have shot one that is broken in. My shooting buddy Erik has one that’s about a year old and has at least 1,000 shots through it. I adjusted the trigger and did some work on his stock. I don’t mind shooting the gun but it is hold sensitive. Slapping the barrel gets old and the cocking effort vs. velocity is out of whack in my opinion.


            • Volvo,

              Bingo. I had a .20 cal R9 carbine tuned by macarri doing 15 fpe that shot circles around Eriks new HW50S with a fraction of the cocking effort and no hold sensitivity. The fwb124 fills this gap otherwise I would soft tune an R9 before investing in the new HW50.


              • Power isn’t everything, as the R7 can attest to. Size and balance are important as well. The HW50S is the perfect example of the rare mid powered/sized rifle. Though stiff at first, mine now shoots very smoothly, and I would say it fires with about the same shot cycle as my HW35. Perhaps my superhuman strength allows me to crack the barrel open with little effort.

                I have some airguns on the chopping block, my HW50S and my HW57 are not among them.

                • I just got my HW57 out of the back of the safe again the other day. How the heck did it get back there?!?! Sweet gun! 9-9.5 ft/lbs, accurate and easy to shoot! Another great “used” gun purchased from PA’s list.


    • Hans Weihrauch (son of the founder who has also passed away) was known to disappear from time to time at the factory. When they found him, he would invariably be shooting an HW50. Perhaps that original model that was his father’s first effort gave him comfort and possibly insight as to what the company focus should be. Then maybe he just liked to shoot the model 50 the most.

      I have to admit, as a youngster and even all the way up to the time of my first PCP I had very little interest in modest powered springers. But since the only constant is change, my desires continued to evolve. Turns out those silly looking thumb grooved stocks and smoothing shooting 50 actions are pretty darn nice.

      I dropped a JM kit in HW50 #2 a few days ago and it took all of about 12 minutes with that nice threaded end cap. The simple truth is they are no longer cost effective and the replacement is a cheap alternative, snap up all the old ones you can while you can.

  5. One of my favorite airguns which I could never quite rationalize into my arsenal, but some people on the blog almost pushed me over the edge with their very favorable reviews. One selling point that I did not fully appreciate at the time was a traditional gun of wood and metal. But now I have a ton of wood and metal in the form of other guns.

    If a blog is graffiti, I’ve heard it said that graffiti is a high form of art.

    Wulfraed, yes, I know that the accurized 1911s of today have probably given up some reliability. That was the case with my M1 Garand that was reworked into a target rifle. Clint Fowler said that a target rifle does not need poorly fitting parts like a service rifle, so he tightened everything. But I will just be using it on the range and not fighting any wars with it, so that seemed okay. On the subject of reliability, I had a strange thing happen that you might be able to explain–or anyone else with a knowledge of 1911s. My Smith and Wesson 1911 has never ever jammed or malfunctioned in any way (notwithstanding its tight tolerances), but there was an exception the last time out. The range I was shooting at has a limit of five rounds in the magazine and on round number three, the slide locked back as if the magazine were empty although there were two more. Now why would it do that? I emptied the gun and reloaded and everything worked fine after that, so I’m inclined to dismiss the episode. But I also want to make sure that the problem doesn’t indicate something seriously wrong like a stovepipe would.

    As a related point, I wonder about the common practice in gun magazines to shoot guns on a range and declare them reliable if they work. For me that means that it’s not broken and doing what it is supposed to do. Reliability would be demonstrated by adverse circumstances or a torture test.

    Gun Doc, yes, the Lee-Enfield bolt works very fast, and I fancy that I’ve now got mine working as fast as anyone I’ve seen on the internet (although I don’t have film of myself to tell for sure). But even this speed does not seem adequate to withstand the charge of a dangerous game animal. I understand that a lion can cover 50 yards in about two seconds and that a grizzly bear can run 30 mph which means it will be only slightly behind the lion. You would be very hard pressed to work a bolt for a second shot in that time frame. Besides, the wisdom is self-defense is that when you are afraid and full of adrenaline, the fine motor skills deteriorate and you’re only capable of big simple motions unless you are VERY well-trained. Working a bolt through four separate motions and then threading your finger through the trigger guard, finding the trigger and pulling it seem to me like very small, precise movements. So, this does not seem like a workable scenario for most people, and still don’t see how a controlled round feed would really make a significant difference for dangerous game although I guess it would be reassuring.

    Well, I’ve finally completed loading 25 cartridges! Along the way, I ventured into a revolutionary new priming device. The Lee hand primer I first bought was no good. So, I replaced it with one called the APS RCBS hand priming tool. This one works from a belt of primers that is fed into it like a machine gun. Pretty cool, and it worked fine. The loading of powder was a high point. Using a spoon I was able to isolate individual particles of powder to get exact loads. The theoretical limit! The next step would be to subdivide particles and the scale which reads down to 1/20 grains would not register the difference anyway.

    Loading the bullets was a bit of a disappointment after this. I got a spread of 5/1000 inches difference in the bullet seating with a few fliers that I excluded. So, this part was not as exact as I thought. In fact, I began to understand the impulse as I have not before to post up long strings of numerical data to evaluate. I have been measuring and remeasuring. Anyway, this first batch should work okay. Now comes the final step of putting things on the line and firing the stuff. Well, I will take every imaginable precaution and see where it gets me. Hopefully the can-do spirit which has seen me this far (with the help of critical outside assistance) will see me the rest of the way. My favorite quote on this theme is from one of the Star Trek movies.

    Sarek: Kirk, you failed in your responsibility to return with Spock’s body, and you must retrieve it.

    Kirk: But Spock’s body is on a planet deep in Romulan space, and I don’t have a ship.

    Sarek: You will find a way Kirk!


    • Matt this is why those who hunt dangerous game, really dangerous stuff, traditionally used those double rifles that looked like a side-by-side shotgun with external hammers. That shot huge cartridges. I was trying to explain one of those guns to someone the other day, and they just couldn’t wrap their head around the idea of a rifle configured like that.

      They didn’t spend their adolescence with their nose in The American Rifleman, Stoeger catalogs both new and those repros of the old ones, etc. Gosh the arcane stuff I read about!

      Also, they’ll often have a “wingman” or two similarly armed.

    • If you were shooting two handed with your .45, you may have hit the slide lock/release by mistake. This would cause the lock back. It is fairly common to have this happen if you don’t watch for it. This is less likely to occur with the stock GI lock/release as opposed to an extended one.


      • Ah, this makes sense–and fills me with relief too. Actually, it was my Dad who was shooting the pistol and his grip is non-standard. I bet that was the problem. If that was so, then the perfect record of my SW1911 remains unblemished.


    • My Smith and Wesson 1911 has never ever jammed or malfunctioned in any way (notwithstanding its tight tolerances), but there was an exception the last time out. The range I was shooting at has a limit of five rounds in the magazine and on round number three, the slide locked back as if the magazine were empty although there were two more. Now why would it do that? I emptied the gun and reloaded and everything worked fine after that, so I’m inclined to dismiss the episode.

      If you have a long thumb (or use a two-hand hold in which the left hand thumb lies along the right-hand thumb) I’d be tempted to think it was just a quirky hold, in which the thumb bumped the slide release upwards.

      I also suspect that, were it me, I’d have checked visually for any blockage and just pressed down the slide release to see if the rest would behave normally, rather than unload/reload. After all, in a field situation one doesn’t have time to manipulate all that — while any misfeed is undesirable, at least it was just a case of locking open, and could be remedied with one quick thumb press… vs a closed slide that failed to feed and needs two hands to cycle the action.

    • I liked the Lee hand Auto-Prime so much that I bought another. One for large primers and the other for small. There’s a special release of the thumb lever that makes them work slick…. 🙂 Never tried the RCBS tool yet.


        • Thanks, BB! I got both of mine several years ago, so they must be the old model. Sorry to hear that the fine Lee company put out such a dud…. There really wasn’t any need for “improvement” on the old Auto-Prime, except making the tray bigger or square so you can dump in the full 100 primers from a new pack without spilling them.


    • Matt61,

      From your post: – – Gun Doc, yes, the Lee-Enfield bolt works very fast, and I fancy that I’ve now got mine working as fast as anyone I’ve seen on the internet (although I don’t have film of myself to tell for sure). But even this speed does not seem adequate to withstand the charge of a dangerous game animal. I understand that a lion can cover 50 yards in about two seconds and that a grizzly bear can run 30 mph which means it will be only slightly behind the lion. You would be very hard pressed to work a bolt for a second shot in that time frame. Besides, the wisdom is self-defense is that when you are afraid and full of adrenaline, the fine motor skills deteriorate and you’re only capable of big simple motions unless you are VERY well-trained. Working a bolt through four separate motions and then threading your finger through the trigger guard, finding the trigger and pulling it seem to me like very small, precise movements. So, this does not seem like a workable scenario for most people, and still don’t see how a controlled round feed would really make a significant difference for dangerous game although I guess it would be reassuring. – –

      Well, I believe most PHs in Africa carry a double or a bolt gun. Those who choose not to carry or cannot afford the double apparently greatly prefer controlled round feed if they carry a bolt rifle. I suspect there is a reason. Perhaps we shouldn’t tell them how fast lions are, but I kind’a think they know.

      Now are you SURE you have seen a SMLE run well?:

      And finally, since you seem sure many of those PHs (pretty much all the ones NOT carrying a $10K PLUS double) are ill armed, what do you suggest they carry?

      There are some people taking .45-70 and larger lever guns to Africa, and they are also popular in Alaska. But the controlled feed bolt guns are popular in Alaska as well. So, since .45-70 levers have been available for at least a century, and are priced comparable to a bolt gun, one would think if they were far superior they would have won out in both places.

  6. Just wanted to add that even though it’s not traditional, I think a benjamin 392/97 with a carbine length barrel and polymer for-end and stock would be pretty sweet. They could call it their “All Weather” model or something. Also, by using polymer for the stock, they could make it slimmer than what it currently is.

    It’s unfortunate, but I get the feeling most people don’t care for the multi-pumpers these days. It either has to be a springer with high velocity or a pre-charged pneumatic. I mention to other airgunners that I meet about my benjamin 317 or sheridan rocker safety and they are bored.

  7. BB,over the years I’ve read tons of your blogs and blogger comments,as well as your patient replys
    to “Benjamin Franklin” owners.If you had a dollar for each one,you’d have piles of dollars.I cringe every time I stumble across one in the archives.My peeve is when the fifth person asks (insists) on an answer to a question that you answered clearly in the blog,then four more times in the comments RIGHT above where the “new” question is posted.You have an admirable amount of patience sir.

  8. Flobert and all, I’ve got some arcane stuff for you that I forgot to mention. My researches into cartridge length have introduced me to the obscure concept of the “ogive.” The key sentence for me was to the effect that measuring cartridges from case head to tip is erratic and that for real precision, you want to measure from case head to ogive.

    So, what’s the ogive?

    Well, either most people are not really sure or the few that do are just about unable to explain it. The stuff I’ve read is either raving nonsense or so convoluted that it doesn’t do anyone any good who doesn’t already have the knowledge. One site was going on about the tangent and the secant ogive. From what I can see it is either the characteristic SHAPE of the bullet where it starts to curve inward from its cylindrical walls as you move towards the tip. Or some have claimed that the ogive is the part where the bullet/projectile meets the rifling of the bore. In that case it would correspond to a RING where the bullet just starts to curve inward and is concentric with the axis of the bullet. If one is supposed to measure cartridge length with the reference to the ogive, this second definition must be the one that applies. But I don’t see any reference mark to determine exactly where the ring is, so it’s a moot point, and I will stick with measuring bullet tips. But if anyone has insight into the mysterious ogive, please let me know.


    • It’s where the bullet meets the rifling.

      For a given shape, I think people will take a loaded round and chamber it then eject it and look for engraving to show where the ogive is for that chamber with that bullet. Then figure the overall length to look for.

      So, if you change your bullet type, you might want to find the ogive length and then use that to calculate your overall length. Going from Sierra model xxx, you may need a different overall length when you change to Sierrs model yyy, both will have the same ogive.

      Does this make sense?

    • Try wikipedia


      Basically it is the shape of the tip of a bullet. Think of drawing two horizontal lines to represent the diameter of the bullet. Now for the 2-D cross section you want to you want to draw two circles that cut across the two parallel lines. Secant vs. Tangent has to do with where you place the center of the circle to draw to two arcs.

      Skip down to part about “Rifle Nose Shapes ”

      also good drawings here:


  9. Matt61,

    I’m sure there are just as many interpretations for the interesting word ‘ogive’ as there are guns and gunners. From Dictionary.com we have:

    1. Architecture.
    a. A diagonal vaulting rib.
    b. A pointed arch.

    2. Statistics.
    The distribution curve of a frequency distribution.

    3. Rocketry.
    The curved nose of a missile or rocket.

    And in Spanish ‘ojiva’ simply means ‘bullet’, that you assemble into the cartridge casing.


  10. I really like the old pumpers. I have a Benjamin 342, 312, and a 311 (BB). Both the 342 and 312 are .22’s. They are great fun to shoot in the back yard or off the deck. I have used the 342 to get rid of Red Squirrels even though the Diana 52 in .177 most often does that work.


  11. Off Topic…B.B. (or anyone else).
    I’m thinking of upgrading my Gamo Compact. Nothing wrong with it, really, and it is pretty accurate…more so than be I wager.
    I feel a bit bad about asking this because it is nothing Pyramyd sells…but they don’t ship to Canada anyay…but how do any of you feel about the Tau 7 Sport. My crack-dealer up here just started carrying them and they seem pretty nice for the price. For basement shooting and the odd local competition I’ve entered I just can’t justify a new Steyr or FWB and the Tau seems a definite step up from the Gamo.
    I’ve considered one of the better pistols used…but in Canada, with our draconian laws, it’s also very hard to find gunsmiths, especially ones who know their way around airguns…so a breakdown on a used gun would mean huge headaches.

    • CSD,

      The Tau 7 is a nice, basic 10-meter pistol. No frills but decently accurate. Criticisms are the trigger and the fact that it is powered by CO2. But you can compete with one. Heck, I shot a CO2 Chameleon for years and that’s just about the same thing.


      • I owned a Tau-7 for about 10 days and returned it. The furniture was just a bit to crude for my taste, and the gun a bit too light (OK, it was the “junior”). I don’t think a single CO2 cartridge will get you through a 60 shot match plus sighters and maybe finals, but that may not be a problem. I found the trigger awful, no matter how I adjusted it. Either too heavy or Much too light. The adjustment was somewhat patchy, in that it seemed to jump over the weight I wanted.

        That said, it’s a decent and accurate beginners’ pistol. I would much prefer an Izzy 46M, and so I bought one.

        • Thanks for the input…I think I’ll end up purchasing the Tau.
          I appreciate your input pete, but one of the reasons I want to ‘graduate’ from the Gamo is because I find that having to pump the pistol every shot does not help maintaining a consistent grip.
          I know that a few of my old rimfire match buddies in the old days would, when practicing, even wrap tape around their hands/grip to ensure it didn’t change from shot to shot.
          That’s why I’m not really considering the Izzy, even though it gets great reviews.
          The local matches I do compete in are only 40 shots plus sighters, so I’m hoping a cartridge will get me through.

          • Hi, CBSD!

            If you’ve tried it and liked it already, I guarantee that the Tau will serve well. If you haven’t tried it? Same advice as always: be sure you can return it if it doesn’t fit you. The Junior’s ambi- grip was awful, but I know the match grips aren’t bad.

            I do understand why you don’t want to pump a handle! That’s why the Izzy is my number two pistol, even though its trigger is good and it’s intrinsically as accurate as the Steyr.

            Are you getting it with the bulk CO2 adapter? If so, be sure you get all the chunks of plumbing needed to adapt it to your bulk tank; my Tau was lacking one critical fitting…

            The kit that comes with the Tau is also very nice with a good set of tools and all that.

  12. I really don’t understand being angry at people who call these things “Benjamin Franklins” — it says it right there on the rifle itself. Is there documentation (i.e., from the company) that they are not to be referred to as such? If it were on the underside of the receiver or barrel, as one sometimes sees “INRI” on longrifles, I would be more inclined to believe it was a purely esoteric reference, albeit a much more trivial one. I have seen the quotes used mostly in older (circa 50’s) marketing and advertising material seemingly for emphasis, though it often takes on an unintentionally ironic note, as in “eat and get gas” or “an honest mechanic”. So, I find it difficult to believe that they weren’t intended to be called a “Benjamin Franklin” at least at some point, although the idea might have lost its appeal to later marketing staff.

  13. I don’t have the 347 but do have it’s sibling, the 392. In fact, the 392 was the first air rifle I owned. I am one of those owners that bought the Williams peep sight but throught the Crosman website (I was pre- PA back then) as my rifle’s receiver is tapped for it. I liked it much more than the blade sight. It was not expensive but it is not one of the high end micro-click sights that can be found on the Williams website. You loosen a screw and manually move the peep. Not a big deal. However, shooting the rifle 20 or 30 times in the indoor target range (basement) gave one a real workout especially if you were pumping to the recommended 6 pumps (that’s what it states in the manual this rifle came with). I ended up only pumping the rifle up 3 times in the interest of time and energy and found it was sufficient for practice at the 28′ distance I was shooting. It’s also a surprisingly accurate rifle. Highly recommended to someone who wants to try their hand at air rifles without going for big dollars, for those pesky squirrels and woodpeckers.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • I don’t think the old pumpers were made for match shooting, in that I think they were designed for some plinking, and game. I think they put a lot of meat in the pot in the Depression.

  14. Old number one!

    The 347 is the first “real” airgun I ever had…and I’m proud to still have it. Mine must be quite an early one. I actually got it for Christmas in 1968, and the stock (except for the revised safety inletting etc.) looks like leftovers from the earlier 310-series guns; it has no “monte carlo” shape on the comb, no grip checkering, and retains the classic “tootsie roll” pump arm.

    That poor old thing accompanied me through my entire adolescence…fired untold thousands of rounds…endured years of mis-conceived “maintenance” by ignorant little me…and it still lives! It got a rebuild and action re-finish in the mid-80’s…ironically, maybe one of the last done by the original St Louis factory…and it’s still shooting like a champ today. 🙂

      • Volvo, for the record my first Euro wonder airgun was a mighty Slavia ZVP pistol! Got it in school and used it a bunch. It was eventually stolen. 🙁 Oddly enough. I don’t recall ever once thinking about what a different sort of beast it was compared to the Benjy.

        My first buy after re-discovering airguns as an adult in the mid-80’s, was a Webley C-1 carbine from Beeman. Not the best choice for a springer newbie, but it got me started!

  15. I was typing a reply when Facebook booted me off. I also bought six hardwood dinner chairs from the lady for $45. I told her I felt like I was taking advantage of her, but had no idea what the Benjamin was worth. She said she was trying to sell it to get rid of it and that I wasn’t taking advantage. Felt better.

    I registered at American Airguns, but found out that I couldn’t post a question about getting service, so I just deleted my account with them. Not sure what that’s all about. I’ve never been told that they weren’t taking registrations from any other site. And, actually, they allowed me to register, just not post anything. Curiouser and curiouser. Wade

  16. I have a rusty, beat-up Benjamin Air Rifle Cal 177 Model 347 with a Sheridan Intermount scope (also rusty). Everything may need repair; don’t know if rifle is fully functional. It pumps but I don’t know if it’s holding adequate air; can’t get trigger to move into a position where it pulls and clicks. Stock has the cross-hatching patterns in four place. May be good for parts. Anybody interested? I’m in Southern California (Inland Empire). daveboyles “at” earthlink “dot” net

    BJ IN EDMOND…..MY CELL IS 405-315-2304….

  18. My dad bought me the checkered 347 new as a kid. I can’t remember ever oiling or updating, and it still works great. At one point I removed the standard rear sight and installed a peep sight on the left side, near the bolt.
    Last year the nut fell off and eventually the peep sight fell off and was lost.
    Can you give me some ideas as to where I can buy a replacement rear sight? I’d take either style.

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