Revitalizing a Benjamin 392: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Benjamin 392
Benjamin 392 multi-pump pneumatic.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Crosman Premiers
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Well?
  • JSB second test
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

Today is accuracy day for the Benjamin 392 that’s been rebuilt. What you are about to see is stunning! This report will blow your minds!

The test

I looked at the results of the Part 2 velocity test and determined that 4 pumps would be a good number for all pellets. Since this is a multi-pump where each shot takes more time, I decided to shoot 5-shot groups, to see whether one pellet is more accurate that the rest. If I found one, I would then shoot 10 shots with that one at a fresh target. That led to an extremely rare occurrence that’s going to surprise most of you.

I shot from 10 meters off a sandbag rest. Because the 392 is pneumatic, I rested the gun directly on the bag. I wore reading glasses to see the front and rear sights better, and the bullseye was a little fuzzy. That is normal, and, as you will see, not a problem.

Crosman Premiers

First to be tested were Crosman Premier pellets. The first shot hit about level with the aim point (a 6 o’clock hold) and about 1/2-inch to the right. I didn’t report this to you but the front sight on this rifle is bent slightly to the left and I wondered whether that had been done by a former owner to correct the point of impact or was it just damage from a bump? This rifle has been treated very roughly over its life, so I suspected it was from a bump.

Benjamin 392 front sight
The front sight blade is bent slightly to the left — probably from a bump.

Five Premiers made a 0.56-inch group. That’s about the accuracy I see with most 392s at 10 meters. It’s not fabulous, but it is very good.

Benjamin 392 Premier 5
Five Crosman Premiers went into 0.56-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys

Next I shot 5 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets. This time the group was quite good. Five of these pellets went into 0.217-inches at 10 meters. This group forced me to bring out the trime!

Benjamin 392 JSB 5
Five JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys went into 0.217-inches at 10 meters. This is fantastic! Note the size of the smaller trime and compare it to the dime.

H&N Baracuda Match

The final pellet I tried was the H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm head. This group was larger, at exactly 0.75-inches between centers. I would not use this pellet in this rifle. I held just as well for this pellet as for the rest, but the pellets scattered.

Benjamin 392 Baracuda 5
Five Baracuda Match pellets went into 0.75-inches at 10 meters. This isn’t the pellet for this rifle.

Well?

Given the results of the first three targets, does one group stand out? Of course! The JSB group is clearly better than either group made by the other two pellets. That was the pellet I wanted to shoot 10 times.

JSB second test

Oh, boy! These second attempts are always challenging when the first group is so tight. At 0.217-inches between centers, the first group of five JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets was really tight!

This time I took my time and aimed with the greatest care. I never looked at the target through the spotting scope after the shooting began, because if it was going well I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. It wasn’t until I walked downrange and saw the group that I knew what had happened.

This is only the second time in my life that a 10-shot group has been smaller than a 5-shot group of the same pellets. And this time the 5 shots I was comparing to were really good. But the 10 shots are incredible!

Benjamin 392 JSB 10
Ten JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets went into a group that measures 0.164-inches between centers at 10 meters. This one is a screamer!

Was I lucky? Probably. But to get lucky 10 times in a row is very rare. The rifle has to be accurate, too, for that to happen.

Evaluation

This 392 is extremely accurate and has also been restored to factory-new power. I am now finished with the rifle. Somebody is going to get a wonderful multi-pump when they buy this one.

Summary

This report set us up for the special report that starts this Friday. It’s about another multi-pump, and there will be several surprises in this one for you!

40 thoughts on “Revitalizing a Benjamin 392: Part 3


    • Geo
      Wonder how much paper chase’n he does?

      Or practicing or whatever you want to call it.

      And I know of springers that will shoot like that too at 50 yards.

      But ain’t that cool when someone can show the full potential of a gun.


    • Geo,

      Just watched it. He even has the same scope that I do. It is odd that he shot those sized groups. It doesn’t really tell you anything about the accuracy of the gun. I know because I have shot plenty of groups with mine using over 50 different pellets and I’d get excited to see 3 shots pass through the same whole only to end up with a 1 1/4″ 10 shot group. We both know the gun is accurate with the right pellets but he didn’t prove it with that test.

      You asked about my stormrider mag. It is made differently than the Urban’s. The whole face rotates around and it moves the inner cylinder with it against a spring. The first pellet holds the cylinder in that position and you rotate the cover back around as you drop a pellet into each chamber as the hole in the cover passes over it. When it has been rotated all the way back, a tiny ball (I think) pops into a detent to hold it there. That is what is making the scratch. The clear plastic cover is flimsy and is probably not polycarbonate. If it doesn’t have a lot of force held against it it slips down and partially covers the hole that the bolt has to pass through.

      Half



  1. B.B.,

    Anytime a rifle I’m holding shoots like that is cause for celebration! More so, because it was done with iron sights. Congratulations in advance to the lucky buyer!

    Siraniko


  2. B.B.

    That’s a fantastic 10-shot group. Did it not make you want to try some groups at a further distance, like 25 yards? It certainly looks capable of good groups at a longer range. Nice 🙂



    • Geo,

      I have one of these that I have had for nearly a year but just got it out to shoot for the first time yesterday. I was shooting at 25 meters. I just set up a target holder and did some shooting from a folding table and some sandbags. I measured the distance afterwards and it just happened to be 25 meters from barrel tip to target. All the shots were on 4 pumps and I found 4 or 5 pellets so far that will put 10 in a tad over 1″ I was shooting in a very strong wind coming from my 3 o’clock and will be checking more pellets and refiring those 4 or 5 on a calmer day.

      Half


  3. BB
    It’s definitely accurate at 10 meters.

    Let’s see what 25 yards will do.

    By all means it should be accurate at 25 yards. But you just never know.

    Untill you try.


  4. Wonder what my regulated 1077/WildFire will do at 10 meters. Even if it’s a plinking gun.

    I know. And it’s astounding for a plastic gun.

    I’ll put it this way. It’s as good a shooter as my old Benji pistol. Well actually better. It’s just easier for me to shoot a rifle than a pistol. And that is probably the reason why.


  5. B.B.,
    The great accuracy of this gun reminds me of how much I love these old wood and metal pumpers.
    That’s why on that Strike Point pistol, I asked myself,
    “Would I save $10 by buying the Strike Point instead of a Crosman 1377?”
    No, I would not, because the 1377, already a cool and accurate gun to begin with
    (see B.B.’s previous write up on that here: /blog/2008/09/crosman-1377-part-3/ ),
    has so many available mods that you can turn it into pretty much whatever you want.
    My wife got me a 1377 from Pyramyd back when you couldn’t buy .22 LR ammo to save your life.
    I bought the steel breech and rear sights (also from Pyramyd, thank you),
    then sent it off to Mountain Air Custom Airguns for a custom 12″ barrel in .22 caliber, a trigger job,
    the flat top piston kit, and a set of Rosewood stocks.
    Some of my firearms buds thought I was crazy spending over $400 on a “bb pistol.”
    However, while they were crying over not being able to shoot their .22 (firearm) pistols,
    I was shooting my 1322 everyday and loving it!
    In the house, at 5 pumps, it spits out 14.3 g Crosman Premiers at 372 fps (4.4 fpe),
    which is fine for my 5 meter range.
    Outside (because someone asked about longer range accuracy), I got a 1.25″ group at 15 yards.
    Then I decided to try the H&N FTTs that work so well in my HW30S.
    My first group, shooting into the setting sun, trying to “equalize the glare” (how dumb? I know!),
    was awful at 2.25″; 15 minutes later, after the sun had set, but with just enough light
    that I could still clearly see the sights, I got the 0.75″ group below.
    At 10 pumps, I am getting 474 fps (7.3 fpe with those 14.66 g H&N FTTs).
    So, I have a nice compact, accurate, easy-to-shoot air pistol
    that put out just a little more power than my HW30s…what’s not to like? Nothing. =D
    Thanks for all your great work!
    take care & God bless,
    dave
    P.S. Why only 3-shot groups outside? One word…cats!
    If I put down a large pile of treats, then work really fast, I can get three good 10-pump shots
    before one of them jumps on me, or on the gun (yeah, not kidding). #_#



      • B.B.
        I hear you on that! When I shoot indoors, I have to shoo the 3 indoor cats out of the room
        …and close the door; otherwise by the time I get my pellets out, one will be up on the pellet trap,
        and the other two will be sitting underneath it. =>
        Outside, my “shooting bench” is next to one of the 4 feeding stations for the feral-in-name-only colony.
        I believe they think the benchtop is their deck to catch the afternoon sun.
        And since they use it way more than I do, I am “the invader” into a piece of their territory. =)~
        *shrugs* At least I get to shoot from it…sometimes.
        I guess I need to build a bigger indoor range; I guess a tiny house is not in the cards for me, hahaha!
        take care,
        dave


    • Yes, it can be hard to shoot with animals around…

      Last night, after supper I was taking advantage of the nice weather to do some shooting when two families of deer arrived for their evening visit. As I was busy, I ignored them and continued shooting. After ten minutes of waiting patiently, one of the does came over and stood in the middle of the shooting lane insisting on being given her treat. Nine visitors last night. 🙂

      Happy Monday!
      Hank



      • Vana2,

        I envy you! That is so cool to have those deer coming in for treats. I have an empty corn field behind my house and occasionally we will see a deer or two, but we haven’t seen any in a long time. It’s a real treat when they do come though.


        • Geo791,

          I like to say that I live in a swamp but in truth it is a 55 acre spring-fed beaver flood. 3 of my 10 acres are under water but I am OK with that.

          I’m lucky to have a diverse habitat and the great variety of flora and fauna that goes with that. We have half a dozen different frogs that are just coming out of hibernation and it can get quite noisy (pleasantly so) in the evenings.

          You never know what will show up next – yesterday a newly hatched painted turtle (about 3/4 inch across the shell) tumbled down the lawn and out on to the driveway. After being introduced to the family he was escorted safely to the pond. It was nice to see some of the turtles out sunning themselves today, means that spring is finally here. 🙂

          Hank



            • If you click on the picture it will expand for you.

              That is a pair of mallards swimming back there. We usually have a pair of geese and several families of mallards, wood-ducks and mergansers nesting each year.

              If you look closely you should be able to count a dozen turtles as well. That is a beaver hut at the upper right of the picture.

              Beavers, raccoons, muskrats, otters are quite common on the pond with all kinds of small game in the surrounding bush. In the larger critters, we have lots of deer, a couple of bears and a pack of coyotes in the area. Deer are friendly, bears are very shy and the coyotes have learned (the hard way) to keep clear of me.

              The nice thing about the beaver flood is the quiet – no motorboats or jetskis – in fact, in 12 years I have never seen another canoe or kayak on the pond.

              Love it here 🙂


          • Hank,

            You’ll never know how much I envy you for having that view.

            I have a drainage ditch 25 feet behind my back fence. It has a 18 foot high dirt bank that slopes about 60 degrees down to what was once a creek, I suppose. It has a rock bottom, is about 18 feet across and usually holds a foot or two of water because of a riffle and island that is formed behind my next door neighbor’s house. It attracts Mallards, Canada Geese, Muskrats, Herons, Egrets, Kingfishers, snakes ,frogs, owls, several kinds of hawks, There are groundhog burrows every 100 yards or so on the far bank. I’ve seen deer drinking in it and wading coyotes hunting for frogs and crawdads. AND I LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY! I feel very lucky to have this little treasure right outside my door, but man oh man, what you have there is REALLY special. And that’s 3 acres you get out of mowing. 😉

            I’m trying to remember. Are you in Canada or NW USA?

            Half


            • Half,

              Great that you have a slice of nature to appreciate even if you live in a city!

              I live in a rural area about 10 minutes drive from the town of Perth in Ontario, Canada which is about an hour west of Ottawa. Its a small, quiet town that is just big enough to provide a good variety of shopping options so treks to the big city are rarely required.

              I have conceded a band of grass around the house but the remainder of the property in in a natural wild state which is how I like it to be – keeps mowing to a minimum 🙂

              Have a great day!
              Hank


    • Our cat, Stumpy, always sits near me on my shooting table when I’m target shooting. The report of my multi pumpers seldom disturbs his sleep. I sit down to shoot, he jumps onto the table and l always have to scoot his kitty butt to the left, and he enjoys my shooting time by sleeping, or just looking around.


  6. I have a soft spot for multi pump guns at least the good ones, but my old eyes for whatever reason don’t like fiber optics especially the center post but they can be painted, but i digress. I appreciate the report and can hardly wait for all the reviews of the new stuff.


  7. B.B.,

    That is the way those old pumpers are supposed to shoot, if you get a good one with a straight barrel. My old 312 was very accurate even with the old pellets. Well not the Crosman pellets but the old Benjamin pellets. That 392 is a pleasant surprise. I was thinking that the new ones were not as accurate as the old ones.

    And using four pumps guess that showed me a thing or two. It would be good to see how it does at 25 yards though.

    I can’t wait for the report on the next multi-pump.

    Don



  8. BB,

    I really like it when one of these old gals can show the new ones how it is done.

    Speaking of old gals, I had the Webley out yesterday evening, trying out H&N Sniper Lights and Field Targets in her. I am still getting a lot of dieseling out of her, I think on the verge of detonation. I think I am going to have to go inside sooner than I planned. Can you point me to the proper disassembly sequence for this tube?



      • BB,

        My thinking is it will be much similar to this one that you did a report on some time back.

        /blog/2016/08/webley-senior-straight-grip-part-4/

        By the way, is this old gal still hanging around there somewhere? Hint. Hint. 😉



          • BB,

            I did. I have not delved in yet, but I suspect the rifle’s disassembly is similar in respect to the compression chamber section.

            I was just thinking the pistol is about the same age as the rifle. They would make a pretty nice set. 😉


  9. B.B.,

    Always a pleasure watching shot after shot go into the same hole, though I know you didn’t look at that last group until it was all over. Surprised the JSB Exact Jumbo heavy did so well at 4 pumps — usually your heavier pellets (and this one in particular) perform better at faster velocities. At this velocity, the Air Arms Falcon would be one to try. I’ve never had Barracudas, your other heavy in this test, do especially well though I know they are a favorite of many.



  10. B.B.,

    Congratulations on that 10 shot group!

    Vintage guitar collectors have a belief that the beat up guitars play and sound better, and that’s why they got beat up over the decades — they got picked up and played while the not so great playing and sounding case queens stayed in their cases.

    I looked back at Part 2 and saw how consistent the velocity was at 4 pumps. If one tosses out the first three shots, while presumably lubrication was being distributed and the power-plant was warming, the spread over seven shots was just 4 fps. I know this test was at 10 meters and that vintage 10 meter rifles have greater velocity spreads than that and still shoot incredibly well at 10 meters, but tight velocity spreads can’t hurt accuracy, and here, I have to wonder if it helped. A lot.

    Regardless, excellent shooting.

    Michael


  11. BB and others,

    I did some shooting for the first time yesterday with my 392. It is a 2014 vintage and I have some issues that I hope you can help me with.

    First off I think I need to get a gym membership. 4 pumps I can do all day. 6 pumps causes some discomfort in my wrist. And 8 takes everything I’ve got. Not fun at all. Are they all this hard to pump and do they get easier with wear in?

    Next, the gun is shooting to the left. The instruction booklet has a picture of the rear sight with labeled arrows pointing the elevation and windage adjustments. The accompanying text decribes how to adjust for elevation but there is no details on how to adjust for windage and the sight is made differently than any others that I have dealt with, so if anyone wants to share, I’d appreciate the help.

    BB, in Part One you said that you put ATF conditioner in the pump tube. I thought I knew what you were doing, but now I’m not sure. My gun has a hole ( for air ) on the pump housing but it is marked “NO OIL” I don’t see any maintenance instructions on lubing the piston seal, only the pivet points and rivets. Is it unnecessary?

    The LOP on my gun seems short for an adult. It also puts my eye close enough to the rear sight that the slot looks too wide for the front sight. I used a slip on rubber pad to increase the pull length, but it still wasn’t enough, so I cut a piece of that foam that pellet tins come packed in and slipped it inside the rubber pad to add another inch. I’m still having problems with the sight. The groove looks right but I can hardly get my face down low enough to line the rear and front up height-wise. And that’s at 25 meters on 4 pumps. The leaf is just barely off the barrel and I’m still hitting a little high. The adjusting screw is almost visible in the notch. I was shooting from sand bags so I was able to get my head down by sliding it back to a point where my cheek was on the last 2 inches of the lengthened stock. The end of the actual gun would have been just in front of my ear.It worked on the bags but it would be a really weird way to shoot off hand. Anyone else have this issue? Is my barrel drilled or mounted such that it points up in the air instead of “drooping”? Am I right in thinking that filing the front sight would make things worse, because that was my first thought. I have reconsidered since.

    I’ll take any help I can get.

    Thanks in advance, Half


  12. BB,

    That is the same manual that came with the gun and it doesn’t address the windage adjustment, but I understand your explanation. I read about the lube and I have that understood also. My other pump guns have felt or some sponge-like material built into the pump rod to hold the oil.

    Do you have any difficulty getting your eye down low enough to line up the top of the sights?

    Thanks for your help, Half


  13. Amazing accuracy. No wonder it has been made for so long.

    I remember when I was in the Navy in the late 70s. A guy bought the .177 Sheridan. It was about $150 back then which was a premium air rifle.

    I bought a .22 about two years ago after BB called it the best survival air rifle because you can adjust the power so that the pellet stays inside the game so it doesn’t go far after being shot. I haven’t shot it much but will now.


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