Benjamin Maximus: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Benjamin Maximus
The Benjamin Maximus.

This report covers:

  • Texas Airgun Show
  • Pyramyd Air Cup
  • Am I done?
  • My thoughts
  • Readers’ thoughts
  • Crosman Premier Copper Magnum
  • Baracuda Match 4.53mm head
  • Does sorting help?
  • RWS Superdomes
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets
  • The trigger
  • Evaluation so far

Texas Airgun Show

The Texas Airgun Show is fast approaching! It’s held on Saturday, August 27 and opens to the public ($5 admission) at 9 a.m. Dealers and early buyers (cost for early buyers is one table — $30) can get in to set up at 6:30. Bring eye protection if you have it, because you have to wear it all the time you are outdoors. The hall is next to the skeet ranges and shot sometimes falls (like rain, with very little velocity) where people are.

AirForce Airguns has donated a Texan big bore in the winner’s choice of .35 or .45 caliber for the door prize, so anyone who buys an admission ticket is entered for the drawing. Airgun Depot is sponsoring the show and has donated one of their .40-caliber Badgers rifles for the raffle. Hatsan donated a Bull Boss PCP, Umarex USA donated a .22-caliber Octane, a $100 gift certificate, an S&W MP40 blowback pistol and 6 hats, Pyramyd Air donated a Benjamin Maximus rifle and a Zombie Slayer Paper Shooter, and American Airgunner donated 6 hats. Buy lots of raffle tickets and increase your odds at all these prizes that will be raffled from 10:30 until 1: 30.

Nobody knows how large this show will be, but it draws on the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex of 6.6 million people that is the 4th most populous area in the United States. So we could see a huge tidal surge of attendance!

Pyramyd Air Cup

Don’t forget, too, the Pyramyd Air Cup will be held September 9-11. There will be competitions of all kinds, as well as a chance to see, handle and shoot some airguns you have only read about until now.

I will be there, so please come out and say hello if you can. Click on the link at the top of this page for more information.

Now, let’s get into today’s report. Yes, this is Part 6 and there will be a Part 7! Why? Read this report and you’ll find out.

Am I done?

I asked in Part 5 if I was finished with this report. Of all the readers’ comments, Chris USA hit the nail on the head. I was asking whether I should test the Maximus some more. I had shot it at 25 yards and again at 50 yards, and many readers thanked me for taking it that far. But Chris saw what I was asking. I thought the rifle deserved more testing and I wondered if you could tolerate it.

My thoughts

I wondered if sorting the best pellets (of the ones I have tested thus far) would produce better results at 50 yards. I already had a baseline for them from the last test, so this would be interesting to find out.

Readers’ thoughts

You readers had some suggestions for me, as well. You suggested I try JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellets, RWS Superdomes, Gamo Rockets, H&N Field Targets and JSB Exact 10.34-grain pellets. I wasn’t going to test both the head-sorted pellets and all those new ones, but I did add a couple of the more likely new pellets to today’s test. Let’s look at the head-sorted pellets first.

Crosman Premier Copper Magnum

The first test was of the 10.6-grain Crosman Premier Copper Magnum pellet at 50 yards. When I sorted them with the Pelletgage I found head sizes ranging from 4.51mm to 4.56mm. The bulk of them were 4.55mm, with the next largest group at 4.54mm. Since this is a new pellet, I decided to test a group of 10 in each of the two principal sizes.

The first test was with pellets having a 4.55mm head Ten landed in a group measuring 1.636-inches between centers at 50 yards. Previously ten of the same pellets that were unsorted went into 2.105-inches at the same distance, so this is an improvement of approximately one-half inch. That’s significant.

Benjamin Maximus Premier Copper target 1
Ten Crosman Premier Copper Magnum pellets went into 1.636-inches between centers at 50 yards.

I next tried the same Copper Magnum pellet with a 4.54mm head. Ten of those made a 1.999-inch group at 50 yards. That’s a lot closer to the unsorted group size of 2.105-inch group, so I would say the 4.55mm heads are best with this pellet.

Benjamin Maximus Premier Copper target 2
When the head size was sorted to 4.54mm, the Copper Magnum pellet group expanded. Ten went into 1.999-inches between centers at 50 yards.

Baracuda Match 4.53mm heads

I tried the H&N Baracuda Match pellets with the 4.53mm heads next. Of course just because they say 4.53mm on the bottom of the tin doesn’t mean the Pelletgage is going to agree. In this case it said that most of these pellets had a head size of 4.55mm. There were a few that were smaller and maybe one that was larger, but the bulk of the pellets measured 4.55mm with the Pelletgage.

Ten pellets went into 1.638-inches at 50 yards. In the first test with unsorted pellets, 10 made a group that measured 1.852-inches. While that’s larger than the group I got with these sorted pellets, it isn’t that much larger. It could just be due to a difference in my aim on the two days.

Benjamin Maximus Baracuda Match 4.53 target
Ten H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.55 (the sorted measurement) heads made this 1.638-inch group at 50 yards.

Does sorting help?

Sorting the pellets by head size did produce smaller groups with all three pellets I tested, but the amount of improvement in two of the three tests is so small that it isn’t significant. Based on the target I shot with the Crosman Premier Copper Magnum pellets with the 4.55mm heads, however, I have to say sorting does help. But none the groups thus far are spectacular. Let’s see what different pellets can do.

RWS Superdomes

Someone suggested I try RWS Superdomes, so I did, They hit very low on the target and also way to the left. I can’t be certain that all 10 pellets actually hit the target paper. What I have looks like a group of 9 holes that measures 1.83-inches between centers. Based on that, plus the fact that all the holes are torn on the left side (indicating tipping at the target), I think Superdomes are out.

Benjamin Maximus RWS Superdome target
It looks like 9 out of 10 RWS Superdome pellets went into 1.83-inches at 50 yards. This group landed 2 inches below the aim point and an inch to the left.

JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets

The last pellet I tried was the JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome. This is where it got interesting. Ten pellets went into a tight 0.913-inch group at 50 yards. It was vertically centered on the bull, but about 3/4-inches to the left.

Benjamin Maximus JSB Exact target
Now, this is a group! At 50 yards ten JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes went into 0.913-inch inches.

This is accuracy similar to that of the Benjamin Discovery! This is great accuracy for the price. I know of nothing that can beat it in this price range. It’s why I say I am not finished testing this rifle. If it can do this well, it deserves a closer look. But wait — there’s more!

The trigger

While I was shooting the rifle I noticed that all creep has left the trigger. It still pulls too hard, but now it has no creep that I can detect. That makes the job of modifying it so much easier. It is now a two-stage trigger with very little travel in stage one. I could easily reduce the pull weight if the rifle were mine to modify. Even some moly grease in the right place might make a noticeable difference.

Evaluation so far

I was both surprised and extremely pleased by the accuracy demonstrated in this test. Apparently the Benjamin Maximus rifle is picky about the pellets it likes, but given the accuracy that we see today, I don’t think that really matters.

A single group isn’t enough, thpough. I want to see more. Next time I will shoot these JSB pellets, both unsorted and sorted, to see how they do. I will also try a few other pellets I haven’t yet tried. I’m not going to test every pellet I have, but I’d like to get a sense of the potential for the Benjamin Maximus. So stay tuned!

53 thoughts on “Benjamin Maximus: Part 6

  1. BB,

    I’ve enjoyed all the reports on the Maximus. I’m looking forward to the next one. I hope you add this rifle to your collection rather than returning it.

    We have had hotel reservations to the Texas show for a while. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

    Jim


  2. The jsb group is making this rifle very interesting for the money.

    In one of the earlier reports on this rifle you mentioned Crosman had made changes to their barrels for this gun, other than the length.

    I wonder what rifle the barrel will appear on next.

    Of course, it would be of interest to everyone if you could get Crosman to let you disclose what changes have been made to them.

    Although, we know Crosman can make accurate barrels, their 2300 & 2400 co2 platform guns in either .177 or .22 are proof of that.

    This brings me to a question that ties in with yesterday’s blog.
    What makes some airgun barrels more accurate at some pressures than others?

    With factory settings, My .22 caliber gen 2 Mrod would not group well with any pellet I tried,
    until the pressure dropped below 2000 psi,
    then it became a tack driver down to about 1000 psi, and was no longer pellet sensitive.
    So I adjusted it to a 2000 psi fill, for 40 shots at an average of 860fps.

    I learned on that rifle, you tune the gun to where it wants to be, not where you want it to be.


    • 45Bravo,

      Your last sentence answers all your questions. Sometimes (most times) it is what it is, rather than what we want it to be. That’s what is so fun about going to the range to test guns. I learn things I never suspected.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        I totally agree with you – a major portion of the fun is learning, tuning and tweaking the rifles at the range! 🙂

        A SUGGESTION: Why don’t you hire someone to sort a couple of cans of pellets for you?

        (Is there an electronics assembly facility near by? I have always been impressed with how deft and fast those women work)

        IMHO, I feel that head-size is very important when matching a pellet to the rifle so I will sort and test accordingly. When shooting unsorted pellets I have found that the percentage of “fliers” I get is relative to the percentages of variation I find when sorting so I don’t consider the non-conformists as part of the group.

        I sort about 25% of the pellets for use in testing, sighting in, formal target shooting and hunting… the rest are straight from the can.

        Just my nickel

        Hank



          • GF1,

            Took a couple of days vacation, visiting, visitors, BBQs, fishing etc. etc. didn’t get a chance to work on the TX200… did shoot it a lot 🙂

            I have a couple of garden sheds to build, the TX will have to wait. I’ll let you know when I open it up though.

            Hank



              • GF1,

                Because it has the 12 fpe spring in it at the moment I just grabbed a can of 8.44s and limited my shooting to 25 yards.

                Spent a fair amount of time fine-adjusting the Rowan Engineering trigger that the previous owner had installed. It the first Rowan for me and I found I had to restart the tuning process a couple of times before I got the adjustment where I wanted it. Discovered that the trigger weight was set too light and that interfered with getting the second stage to crisp let-off.

                The rest of the shooting was to get a feel for the rifle and the trigger. Figure I need to go through a can or two before I can get into some serious shooting with the TX.

                All in all I like the rifle and it shoots well – I have to learn how it likes to be held.


                • Hank
                  I had a low velocity tune in my Tx at one time. It was at 745 fps with JSB exact 8.4 pellets. It shot the JSB 10.34’s at 710 fps with that tune and still had a pretty flat trajectory and shot better groups in the wind. The JSB 10.34 pellets don’t perform like a heavy pellet ballistic wise. You should try them before you make a change horsepower wise on your gun. I think you will be surprised.


                  • GF1,

                    I was told that the rifle was shooting 8.44s @ 761, haven’t confirmed that yet. Will definitely try the 10.43s.

                    The rifle is shooting pretty quiet/calm right now but I will likely put in the stock spring just to see how that affects the shooting cycle. Will decide after that as to what power level I will go with.

                    Thanks for the suggestions!

                    Hank


    • Give the man a Q-B doll! So many never figure that out. That is why a Marauder is on my short list. I really like the idea of tuning it down to around 2000 PSI. Why does everyone want to fill their air rifles to 10000 PSI? The old big bores operated at below 1000 PSI!

      Crosman has not figured out how to make a decent sproinger yet, but they have succeeded with their PCPs.


      • RR.
        Well, there in comes in the problem, mentioned in my last sentence above.

        My gen2 .177 mrod likes a 3100 psi fill, shot down to 2000psi. For 70 shots at about 860fps.
        Same speed, different caliber, different pellet weights and about 1000 psi working range.

        And it’s not pellet sensitive with this tune.

        I tried it at 2000 like the .22, but it didn’t like any of that…


    • Bravo45
      You know that’s excellent information about your .22 caliber Marauder. There has been mixed results brought up about them. I had a gen 1 and gen 2 Mrod in .22 caliber. Not good luck with mine. I tryed high tune pressure and low tune pressure. But only went down to about 2400 psi. Never tryed only 2000 psi and down.

      Do you know what you had the 1/8″ and 1/4″ Allen wrench adjusting screws set at? And how many turns out the transfer port flow adjusting screw was set at? That would be very helpful info for people that may have a .22 Marauder sitting in a corner.


  3. Have you by chance determined the head diameter of the JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets previously? I would like to find out just to compare the head diameter with that of the 4.55mm Baracuda Match. If the head diameter matches then that would be some evidence favoring determination of head sizes. Skirt size would probably be next.


  4. Even if you aren’t confident with altering any angles within trigger groups I’ve found that simple disassembly then polishing all components bright with 00 grade wire wool then metal polish, a thin smear of molyKote and reassembly can pay dividends, I even do it to new Record triggers
    Many cheaper triggers also like to have maginally longer adjuster screws, you don’t necessarily have to be a gunsmithing whizz to improve your trigger quite radically


    • Dom,

      Those are all excellent little “tricks of the trade” that anyone who is marginally mechanically inclined can accomplish and not likely to damage any parts. As you pointed out, even some of the finest triggers can stand a good “clean up”.


      • RR
        Yesterday you mentioned you did a lube tune on that springer you got. You said you snuck out and shot about 10 shots but it was to hot out.

        I asked if it smoothed it out. Then I just thought about what did you use for the lube to lube tune it? Well?



  5. BB,

    You just keep right on selling me on the Maximus. If this one was .22 I would tell you to just send it to me rather than sending it back.

    I noticed that in all of your targets that you showed us today with the exception of the JSBs that you had tipping and all of them were to the left. The others were also considerably lower than you POA as though they were out of steam and starting to drop fast while the JSBs still had enough velocity to maintain stable flight. From what I have seen I would say that pellets in the 8-9 grain range are likely the optimum mass. I am anxious to see how the Field Targets do.

    Thank you for continuing this test. Because of this I feel confident in recommending this as someone’s first PCP. I can see this in my “collection” and it will not be my first.


  6. B.B.,

    I do not remember saying anything that earth shattering,.. I even went back and looked. I did say that I think you liked it and hinted at you keeping it and maybe having a little work done on it.

    I am glad you are staying with it though. The pellet tipping that RR noted was the first thing I noted as well. In fact, the first thing I did was go back and look at Part 5. I am not sure what to make of that.

    You mentioned trying more pellets. I would like to see you give the 10.34 JSB’s another go. GF1 swears by ’em. He is like the 10.34 spokes person! 😉

    Thanks too for sorting. I know that can take time, which is at a premium for you. I find it somewhat unsettling that pellet manufacturers go the extreme of going double digits on their head sizes and weights. If someone does verify the head and weight, they find different. That won’t change. The can, size and weight, does give you a “general” idea what to expect though. But, 5.50, .51, .52 and .53? Really? I just see that bell curve shifting left or right.

    At any rate,… Thanks again for another 50 yarder. Always the treat. Chris


    • Chris USA
      I do like those JSB 10.34’s don’t I. 🙂

      And the pellets BB listed where the ones I mentioned in a comment in part 5.

      I had good results with those pellets I listed. But it always seemed that the JSB 10.34’s had quality’s with performance that seemed to shine over the other pellets. They were just a little lower in velocity than lighter pellets I tryed. Like only 30 fps slower. Not the normal 50-60 fps slower you would see with a heavy pellet. They shot just as flat on trajectory as the lighter pellets which means not as much hold over or under that would normally be needed for a heavier pellet. Plus the wind didn’t affect them as much as it did the lighter pellets. Plus they had a little more retained energy than the lighter pellets. And they worked good in pretty much every gun I shot them in. So I guess those reasons are good as any to be a spokesperson I suppose. 😉


      • GF1,

        Finally got to shoot without the O-ring tune and the new adjustments. 12 groups over 2 days,… between the rain drops. (not good) I am getting 24 good shots, so I am happy with that. I put 5 of 8 (and) 6 of 8 into 11/16″ at 70 yards. Still getting some flyers. Overall, I would say better. Using the 25.39’s.

        I even shot a 4th. eight shot group to see if the lower fill pressure and (what I assume) would be a lower fps would do,.. just to see if things “magically” tightened up. That did not work. They were dropping steady after 26 shots. I can not say that any one of the 3 groups was better than the others (per fill).

        A fill at 3400 will end up at 2400. Per 8 shots, it is like a 300 drop. That little gauge is a bit tuff to see exactly, even with a magnifying glass.

        I will just shoot some more. Maybe try the 33.95’s next. I was hoping to find a fill range “sweet spot” or a fps “sweet spot”,… but nothing is standing out.


        • Chris USA
          So definitely try the JSB 33.95’s before you make a change again. And I’m going to suggest something else. Give the Barracudas a try again.

          And I will mention this again. Remember when I was shooting strictly the Barracudas in my .25 Mrod. Then I tryed the JSB 33.95’s. Remember I said they seemed better than the Barracudas but not by much. Then I kept shooting them. Then the groups really started tightening up.

          I would say give each of the different .25 caliber pellets you have right now another chance. But shoot a whole day on one particular type. Don’t switch up that same day. I know you done this before. But not with this tune. You got to give the gun another chance with those pellets. It’s in a sense a different gun again now. And I know you don’t like when i say this. But use the single shot tray this time around again on all the shots. Remember it’s a different tune.

          Heck your shoot’n you know take the fun with the testing. Give it more time. You’ll see something with these next tests if you try them. Pcp’s can be finicky. You just got to keep on testing. But I would retry all the pellets one day for each and with the single shot tray. Make a full dedicated day to testing with some breaks inbetween. Believe me I tested more than you can imagine. But the main thing is don’t keep switching pellets. Give each one a lot of shots before you try the next pellet type. That does make a difference.



  7. B.B.

    About ripped pellet holes…
    I find at times that the holes tend to rip out if the target is not squared to the line of fire . Does not take much .
    Also if the target is not flat against the backer .
    Humidity also tends to cause more ripping some days .
    Do you think that any of this may be a contributing factor ?

    twotalon



    • TT
      With you on the targets not square to the shooting line.

      Hmm now BB needs to go back and retest all the guns and pellets he shot that we thought was from other things.

      Wonder how that study would of got documented in that book he talked about yesterday with accuracy. Just a turn of the paper. It could even show straight down tipped if the top of the target was angled in closer to the shooter. TT your a genius. 🙂


      • GF1

        Simple matter of observation .
        Not much need for a retest . Look at the size of the groups before anything else .
        There is also something else about paper rips . The shape of the pellet head can have a lot to do with paper rips .

        I have gone to using card stock for targets . The backer is not too awful flat, and thin targets rip easily from any provocation .
        I like to use a card stock target backed by another sheet of card stock . They tend to stick together and give a pretty clean hole even if they do not lay flat on the backer cardboard .

        twotalon


  8. B.B.
    Looks like the lightest pellet was the most accurate @ 50 yds. Would a lighter pellet do even better? The increased velocity might make it more stable. I am thinking of the JSB Exact RS 7.33gr.

    Pete


  9. Should I expect a PCP to hold air indefinitely? I have a Max. and a Disco & they have both lost air slowly over a period of 3-4 months. I have read almost all of BBs columns & not sure if that’s been addressed. Obviously holding air for hunting or shooting sessions is not an issue; I guess co2 guns can hold gas over very long periods but that could be due to larger molecule size?

    Thanks,
    NW


    • Nathan,

      Some do, but not all. Even the makers can’t always seal their airguns. I know of one field target rifle custom maker who made a $3,500 rifle that he could not seal. It leaked slowly over several months, like you are describing.

      Some PCPs do seem to hold forever. My AirForce Talon SS is 15 years old and has never leaked. So it varies.

      B.B.


  10. I think that the Maximus has a lot of potential and I am reading your reviews with great interest – hoping that you will have a chance to test out a .22 caliber rifle B.B.

    Seems that the trigger is the biggest point of concern. Know that the rifle it built to a price-point but I can’t but wonder what the actual cost difference is between a poor trigger and a decent one once the engineering and tooling are done. A couple of bucks added to the cost of the rifle would really pay back in customer satisfaction.

    Guess that the flip-side to that is sell the rifle as cheaply as possible and give us “tinkerers” the opportunity tune it up to its full potential. 🙂 There were some good trigger improvements suggested in a post above.



    • Gunfun1

      I’m eager to hear what you think about your Daisy 74. I’ve looked at it, but I’m not sure what the advantage is over the Red Ryder or Model 25. Semiauto action, but then you have to manage CO2 carts, so it’s a tradeoff, I guess. Of course if you got lots of shots from one cart, that might make it better.


      • Flintrocker
        I like to rapid fire at multiple cans set out in the yard in different places.

        What makes me like the 74 is it has the big 200 round resivoir for the bb’s. And it takes a few shakes of the gun to load the 15 shot magazine. And that one co2 cartridge last for a bunch of shots.

        If you compare it to my Crosman 1077 which is probably my most favorite co2 rifle. The 1077 has to have each pellet loaded by hand in the 12 shot clip. That takes time when you have to load up 6-7 clips at a time.

        What I’m looking for out of the 74 is that I will be able to throw a co2 cartridge in pick up the gun and shoot. That way the guns basically ready for action other than loading the co2 cartridge. In other words when I have limited time before I go to work I can pick up the gun and do some rapid firing on the cans then be on my way to work.

        The big difference that means the most to me if I compare it to the Red Ryder is the ability for it to rapid fire. I grew up on a farm shooting semi-auto .22 rimfire rifles and just love that fast action shooting. The 1077 and 74 give me that in a airgun and they are affordable. I had a couple FX Monsoon’s which one of them did very well and I let it go. The other not so good and definitely let it go. But they are just to expensive to buy.

        So that’s why the 74. 🙂


  11. Head size sorting is one thing. How about weight sorting after head size sorting?
    The variation’s in weight could be playing in as a factor at longer ranges. I have read many reports of FT and long distance shooters weight sorting after head sizing.
    Also, what is the twist rate in the rifling on the Maximus?

    Silver Eagle


  12. So the Maximus is still chugging along. The accuracy is impressive. It’s not enough to displace the Marauder in my mind but fun to watch. While back in Hawaii, I had another airgun revelation. This is one of my few opportunities to go to an indoor range and practice combat pistol shooting with rapid fire which I usually do at home on my airgun range. All the airgun practice translated easily! I’m reminded of a Japanese guy who was some kind of airsoft champion in Japan. He came to the U.S. and after a month of practice with firearms he was winning action pistol events. Even a 1911 doesn’t feel all that different from an airgun in my various drills.

    In other news, I came across a great source of information on the quintessential American close quarters combat style. And this is none other than the tomahawk and long knife! It’s a fascinating mix of styles and you wouldn’t want to get in the way of this combination. My re-enactment hobby has taken another step forward.

    Matt61


  13. HI bb,

    I know this is an old thread but hopefully you will see the question. After reading everything about the Discovery and the Maximus it seems to me that the Maximus is the new, improved entry level offering from Benjamin.

    I like the stock of the Maximus but not having handled either they seem just alike with the Discovery getting the nod or a little more fps.

    I would like to use either to get my feet wet in HFT shoots.

    Which would you recommend?

    Thank You for the great blog,
    Tom



      • Thank you for the response. I think I’ll go for the Maximus for a first pcp & the Air Arms TX200 MkIII for a one cock gun. I really like the underlevers, break barrels just bother me for some reason even though there are plenty of accurate ones.

        I can’t wait to try these new style air rifles. I grew up with multi pumps, currently shooting a Crosman 2100 Classic, which I really like. We have plenty of room to shoot center fire rifles where I live but it’s getting pretty expensive these days.

        Tom


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