Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston Mark II pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Trail NP MkII
Benjamin Trail NP Mark II air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Easy cocking
  • Heavy detent
  • Large pistol
  • Sights
  • Scope rail
  • The manual
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Power
  • Talk to me
  • Summary

Today we will start looking at the Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston Mark II air pistol. This is a single shot breakbarrel that uses a gas piston (Nitro Piston) as the source of power. Like all spring guns, the gas piston pushes a piston seal forward to compress the air for the shot.

I didn’t pick this pistol to review. Pyramyd Air sent it to me because they think it is unusual enough to warrant a review. After my first examination, I’m glad they did, because there are some different things I want to examine.

Easy cocking

Usually a gas spring or Nitro Piston means hard cocking, but not this time. This pistol is very easy to cock, which surprised me. It comes with a cocking aia extension that slides on the front of the gun, lengthening the barrel which is the cocking lever. The extension remains on the gun during shooting, so put it on and leave it. It’s tight.

Heavy detent

While the cocking seems easy for a gas spring, the breech detent is not easy to open. I can’t do it with just my hands. I have to bump the breech against something to break open the gun. Once open, though, cocking is easy.

The Mark II is a large air pistol but not as heavy as it looks. It weighs a little less than 3.5 lbs., and is definitely muzzle-heavy, which stabilizes the hold for me. The grip is sculpted and 100 percent ambidextrous. Only the safety button seems biased in any way, because it slides from side to side. And the safety is manual. The gun can be cocked and shot with the safety never coming on.

Large pistol

This is a large air pistol. with the cocking aid installed it’s 19-1/4-inches long by 7 inches high. The grip is molded into the synthetic frame and everything is black matte plastic. Only the spring tube, barrel and rear sight are made of metal. When you see the size of the gun you will be glad for the synthetics that keep the weight manageable.

Sights

The sights are fiberoptic, front and rear. The rear notch is smaller than the front post, and it appears you are just supposed to center the red dot in the rear notch, between the two green dots. This will take some getting used to for me, but it will be interesting to see how it works. The “manual” (a single sheet folded into 4 “pages” with a Spanish translation on the back) shows a conventional rear sight — not the sight on this pistol. I guess I will have to discover how to use this one on my own and tell you about it.

The rear sight is very well made with click adjustments in both directions. If only Crosman had given us plain black sights so we could aim! I can’t wait to shoot the pistol because these sights look so interesting.

Benjamin Trail NP MkII rear sight
The rear sight is adjustable.

Scope rail

The rear sight is mounted on 11mm dovetails, so a scope can be mounted. Scopes on handguns are not my favorite way of sighting, and there are precious few decent handgun scopes available. The only one I own is permanently mounted on a .22 Hornet varmint pistol and it ain’t a’gonna come off. However, Pyramyd Air does list a BSA 2-7X28 pistol scope that does have a high customer rating. I haven’t tested a pistol scope for you since 2011, so this might be the time to do one. They aren’t in stock, but I will put one on order for this pistol.

The manual

The manual calls the pistol a Break Barrel Air Pistol, instead of a Trail NP Mark II. It’s loaded with gratuitous warnings, misspellings and common stuff found in all manuals, but precious little about the actual gun. It has the look of a document that was rushed, and the writer never got to see the pistol.

Adjustable trigger

Yes, the trigger has one adjustment. According to the manual it is for the length of the second stage??? Second stages shouldn’t have any length, so that tells me the writer knew the second stage had travel that could be felt — which is all wrong. This trigger is actually a single stage trigger, so there is no second stage (more manual problems). The first (and only) stage does travel too far, and the travel is creepy (starts and stops unevenly). In part 2 I will work with the trigger adjustment to see what can be done.

Power

According to the specifications we are to expect velocities up to 625 f.p.s. from this pistol. I have shot it several times to get the feel of things and I must say it doesn’t seem that powerful to me. Of course I am using lead pellets and the factory may have used synthetics, but you know I will look at that in detail when we check the velocity.

Talk to me

I hadn’t planned to review this air pistol, but here I am — doing it. Some of you must be interested in air pistols and maybe even in this one. So tell me what you want to know. What should I look for?

Summary

When it comes to spring piston air pistols, I am a bit of a snob. I like the Beeman P1 and the Diana LP8 and even some of the older vintage ones, but I don’t really keep up with airguns like this one. It seems I’ve been forced into a relationship with the Trail NP Mark II that may turn out to everyones’ advantage, but only if you readers help out.

53 thoughts on “Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston Mark II pistol: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    Maybe on the next installment for this pistol you can show the heavy detent for this pistol and how you managed to open it. Looks like it doesn’t have a rail like the Hatsan pistol to counter recoil. Can you shoot it with the cocking aid or should you remove it to fire every time?

    Siraniko

    PS: Section Easy cocking First paragraph, third sentence: It comes with a cocking air (aid) extension that slides on the front of the gun, lengthening the barrel which is the cocking lever.



    • BB:
      I own the first iteration of the BNT. It is waiting for a police buy-back program wherein I hope to sell it off (at a loss) so it can be melted down into something useful. Obviously, I intensely dislike the poorly made Chinese pistol.

      The original required a bicycle skewer cone spring to add thrust to the spring blade rear sight and a much longer replacement elevation screw AND grinding off 3/8″ of the front sight to align the POI and POA. I was NOT pleased.

      The other, and killing defect, to me, is the insanely heavy trigger weight. I don’t have the means to measure the trigger weight, but I figure it in tons not ounces. This, obviously, interferes with any accuracy in shooting as one inevitabiy pulls of POA to overcome the spring tension and friction of the trigger assembly.

      While the plastic was well finished and the bluing was good, the mechanical aspects of BNT One just ruined the whole thing. When reviewing it for P/A, I noted that if Benjamin/Crosman wanted to sell a pistol under their banner, they would be well advised to market the Hatsan M-25 Supercharger!

      As an aside that might bear on this, I also purchased an UMAREX Trevox in hope that it would be a useable “plinker” for not very much money. It, like the BNT, is a Chinese pistol and it also has a horrid trigger that defeats what would otherwise be a very useable bit of air armament. The Trevox is, in my estimation, much better done, but the same fatal flaw exists – the trigger.

      The Chinese are perfectly capable of doing fine work. I have knives made by the Chinese that are first rate, and Ming Vases are world artistic standards of incredible attention to detail. So, it appears to me that this is certainly an issue of accountants making decisions that engineers and gunsmiths should be making at the point of origin. That said, it reminds me that my still favorite pistol is, and probably always will be my Beeman P-1 and its not so distant companions, a venerable RWS 5-G To1 and a recent Hatsan M-25 Supercharger.

      Benjamin/Crosman, by the BNT, reminds that “one gets what one pays for!”


  2. This looks like the original trail np pistol with a new plastic dress! The original had it’s share of problems, low fps, barrel droop from poor lock up, and most people couldn’t adjust the the rear sight enough to raise poi to match poa. Also it would have 2 different poi depending on is the cocking assist was left on or removed. I’m betting the mark 2 is going to have the same problems. I fabricated a stock for mine and turned it into a carbine.


  3. Are break barrel pistols as hold sensitive as their longer cousins? Of course, this has a nitro piston, which should ameliorate that a bit, but what about a gun like the P1?



  4. BB

    What caliber is the gun? Is the front sight part of the coking handle as it looks in your photo? Can you shoot the gun with something attached to the Piccy under rail to see how it changes POI? Will a laser or flashlight installed there interfere with cocking? Pivot pin or screw? Country of origin?

    That’s all I got.

    Half


  5. I have a Crosman 1377 pistol. Got it on sale for $40 a few years back. I ended up installing a steel breech for a nice secure scope mount. Then, I got the Crosman skeleton stock and put that on. Currently I’m using my NCStar 4×32 compact scope. So, I have made the 1377 into a short barrel carbine. With my eyesight I pretty much have to use a scope. The clamp-on Crosman scope mount wouldn’t work for me because they clamp to the barrel, and that system allows the barrel to rotate.
    I have really grown to like this 1377 set up this way, though it may not sound like a good combination. I’m getting some great short range groups with cheap pellets like the Crosman Hunter’s.
    Here is a little rig I’d like to see Tom test: https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Arms-288029-Mod-Fire-Barrel/dp/B01N9VLE7P/ref=pd_day0_200_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01N9VLE7P&pd_rd_r=7KVTQXP5T2ADME795E5F&pd_rd_w=Y9OF1&pd_rd_wg=2mqHp&psc=1&refRID=7KVTQXP5T2ADME795E5F


    • Birdmove
      The barrel can’t rotate. The transfer port orafice locked the barrel in place from rotating in the breech.

      Maybe you meant those clamp on mounts rotated on the barrel. Oh and I don’t like them clamp on mounts either just for that reason.

      The steel breech is the way to go on a 1377.


    • Birdmove,

      Still doing good and staying safe? I think of you every evening when I watch the news. Things seem to be heating up and expanding from the way the news tells it. Poisonous gasses, smoke and soot clouds and refrigerator size rocks getting hurled hundreds of feet in the air don’t sound like much fun.

      It would be interesting to see though,…. for all of about 5 minutes!


      • We’re okay so far. Like I say, we are about 10-12 miles from the burning homes. I get a whiff of the ash but not too thick here. People with asthma are probably suffering. Had a doctor appointment yesterday over in Kona. We drove over on Monday and stayed at a hotel there and enjoyed ourselves a bit. My doctor says I am doing pretty well, but I’ll be getting radiation treatments pretty soon. Prostate cancer and probably spread to one lymph node, not removable, hence the radiation. My lupron meds have lowered my PSA level down to .1, and shrunk the cancer. I’ll be 65 on November 1st so can get Medicare, if it’s still there for me.


        • Birdmove,

          Glad to hear you are safe and sound. From the news, the volcano is spreading and popping up in new places. You would know best without doubt. Continued prayers for your health. My Dad (80) decided to ride it out. He had the cyber knife implants done, but did not go any further. I suppose there is differences, but I do not know. Genetics and DNA are playing a bigger role in customized treatments,… so do not overlook that approach.

          Best wishes on averting any loss or inconvenience’s with the volcano. Please stop in and say Hi! on a (regular),… 😉 ,…. occasion and lets us all know that you are still out of harms way. Ok?

          Chris



  6. Well,.. it is interesting. I think that the 2240 fits the bill for sculpted grips. This looks like it would want to slip around in the hand. The leave on barrel extension is interesting. Since the front sight appears to be on it, I guess that you (have) to leave it on. ( a pic of it off would be interesting) These large break barrel pistols have always been a curiosity. When I break out my tape measure and get a real sense as to just how big one would be,… I go “huh”?

    I do not have much to add to what has been said so far from the comments. I am sure there will more. At the very least,… I think we will all be curious to see how it does after going through the B.B. gauntlet of testing.


  7. The cocking aid appears that it would pivot/slide past/over the action. It almost looks like it was meant to do that as a way to further hold the barrel tight (along with the detent). Unless,… the cocking aid slides forward, cock the gun and then slide the cocking aid back to shoot???


    • Chris
      If I remember right the Mrkl version had a removable cocking aid.

      I would like to see a side by side picture of the Mrkl and Mrkll to see what differences there are.



  8. BB,

    I have one air pistol, my Izzy. I would like to have another air pistol, but I have not as of yet seen one that measures up. I guess I am pretty picky as I have actually had a few rather nice air pistols board here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns for a short time, but only Izzy has stayed. Now if an old Webley was to show up or a Diana 6M or 10 was to drop by I would probably invite them to stay awhile.


  9. BB,

    Interesting question. What is this pistol?

    Firstly, if it can not hit something it is no pistol but a stageprop. So can it hit something?

    It is definitely not in the class of a FWB or a Diana which are real 10 mtr target shooters. Is it then like a HW 70, a budget target shooter for 10 mts or more like the Crossmann multipump which can be used up to 20 mtr?

    Secondly, for whom can this pistol be used? Is it easy enough to cock for a 12 year old or too heavy and too big to use? The Crossman can be used with 3 or 4 pumps by small persons to shoot and is small enough to handle for a 12 year old.

    I personally would like to use it to hunt those feral soda can in the backyard, so ease to cock and load would be a premium, but target class precision not really necessary. Can it shoot hard enough to use spinners or other backyard goals at 20 yard? If you handle it fast like shooting on moving targets is it not to unwieldy?

    So for me it is back to your shooting days as a sheriff but this time hunting for fast moving feral soda cans!

    Regards,

    August.



  10. For all of you who have regretted not getting the Beeman Double Barrel air rifle when they were available, all is not lost! There are several new ones for sale on Gun Broker! In 65 million years they might be worth a fortune! You had better get yours and bury it now!


  11. I have had good luck with the inexpensive Hammers pistol scope on both my LD Mark 1 and Scout rifle. Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope 2-7X32

    I don’t know how it compares to the BSA model though it is in stock to complete the test



  12. BB

    I have the first NP pistol. I do shoot it sometimes because it is surprisingly accurate. Here are a few pros and cons:
    Not hold sensitive. Much easier to cock using wrong end of barrel extension and a golf glove. Shoot without this extension and yes the POI goes to a different place on target. Do away with the glow tube sights and mount a popular priced pistol scope like the one from Crosman Custom Shop. The insane trigger pull became quite manageable over time without my knowing why.
    The reason for the NP2 existing will have to be accuracy and the fun of taming the quirks. We shall see.

    Decksniper


  13. I’m glad that you’re reviewing this pistol BB!
    I had high hopes for the first NiTRo Piston Benjamin trail np pistol, and I have wished that there was a shoulder stock available, because it is quite heavy and would be a great Carbine…my pistol has has breach seal problems which greatly affected power, and gave me headaches.
    I’ve sort of solved the problems now with shims and plumbing tape.
    I still would like to see a stock available from Crosman for both trail NP pistols.
    Now that I own a Beeman P1, I rarely shoot the trail NP and most certainly won’t be taking a chance on this new version, unless crosman releases a stock and there aren’t breach seal issues.


  14. B.B.,

    Are the ergonimics of the hand grip fixed?

    Are the stocks removable (looks like monolithic molding of receiver and stocks) are they modifiable with a rasp?

    Looking forward to your test and hopefully that you find a diamond in the rough.
    I’m looking at this pistols for my under 10 grandkids along with a bunch of other possibilities.

    shootski


  15. B.B.,

    I ask this out of curiosity and for my edification. What about a dot sight? Would one even be good for plinking? I realize there are issues related to sturdiness and mounting, however.

    ~ken


  16. BB
    Do you think the thumb rest contoured pistol grip as on the Diana P5 Magnum is better for use on these large break barrel pistols ? Certainly seems to help me.
    Evidently the Nova Freedom PCP I ordered came in yesterday but was delivered to my PO Box. Hate when FedEx does that !
    Do you think the two new M4 type bb carbines, HellBoy and DPMS SBR are being delayed because of recent news worthy shootings? Bad timing. They seem to have really long wait times after a prototype has already been made.

    Well off to the P.O.
    Bob M



    • Bob M,

      That sucks. Glad I don’t have a PO box. I have enough issues with deliveries without adding that one.

      Hope they didn’t break it trying to cram it in there. 🙂

      Half


      • Half
        The postal clerk uses magic. He changes it into a yellow index card with my PO Box on it. I retrieve it and give it to him at the counter. He goes behind a wall and changes it back into a package. !

        It’s really worse than that. We are issued a PO Box for free because they do not deliver mail here. However, as a result they do not enter my ‘street’ address into the PO ‘data bank’ of addresses, no need to.
        Now UPS and FedEx use the PO address ‘data bank’ to ‘Verify’ a location. The result is a kickback because their computer says “No such address exists!” and they will not send it and they do not deliver to a PO Box !!
        On top of that …. credit card companies want the billing / mailing address they have on record to match to prevent fraud and that’s the PO Box.
        Some companies eventually understand why I use both the street address and PO Box in my address.

        The last resort, send stuff to the PO street address, which is in the computer, and list the actual PO Box as a suite number.
        It all works out fine because there is only one person working in our PO and delivery drivers eventually figure it all out. The PO is an alternate address for them, but easier to reach so they take a short cut there sometimes.
        Had company all day, should get to the Nova Freedom Thursday.
        Love it when police officer asks if I still live at the PO Box number on my drivers license … “It’s a little cramped” 🙂


  17. BB
    Off topic.
    Noticed the HellBoy is listed on PA’s new items list and it’s a semi-auto. Soo.. No mention of blowback and it has a long single stage trigger. Think we are looking at a DAO trigger here, like the M11?
    Would be a little disappointing but being an outstanding replica that is interchangeable with M4 external parts makes it somewhat desirable. Hope the handguard really is.


  18. My wife got me P-Rod for Christmas and I decided to try a UTG scope, 1.25-4 on it after seeing Tyler Patner use one on a review of the HW-44. I must say, unless his scope was a lot better than mine, he did some excellent shooting with a fish-eyed scope! What I have not tried yet is a Sightron S33-4R red dot. I chose that since it offered a small dot (2moa) as one of the 4 options, and it was on special 🙂


  19. BB
    I also have the first generation of this pistol. It is a good plinker. I had to remove the rear site to mount a Tru Glo dot site. Long term I have found that it needs a wake up shot when it is not used for a long time.
    I will be reading this series with much interest. Thanks.
    Gerald



  20. BB,
    I read on another blog about some experts discussing length of second stage trigger adjustments. I was puzzled as to why experienced airgunners would think that desirable. I questioned it of course but I got no response lol. Maybe they could not explain it.


  21. I’d like to see chrony strings with different pellets?
    I’ve shot the Mark1 version, our German club has a few, it varies ALOT with certain pellets.
    Maybe a sample pack from H&N that has different head sizes willshow what I mean.
    I believe that some of the smaller sized heads suffer blowby, which in turn gives inconsistent velocities.
    Just like all airguns, the airgun choses the pellet. Some people like cheap pellets, I get that, but sometimes the quality pellets really shine when proper sizing is found for a particular airgun.
    Look forward to your 2nd part, hope this Mark2 has some of the bugs of the Mark1 worked out.


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