Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston Mark II pistol: Part 2
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The detent and how I open the gun
- Air Arms Falcons
- Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
- Cocking effort
- Discharge sound
- Trigger pull
The detent and how I open the gun
I’ll start today’s report by answering reader Siraniko’s questions from the last post. He asked me to show the locking detent and how I manage to open the gun for cocking. Here’s the detent.
That detent chisel face is long and shallow but the spring is not that strong. I can push it in with my finger. So the long shallow slope of the chisel on the detent is what’s keeping the breech locked so tight.
How do I break open the breech? I tap the end of the cocking aid — what you might think of as the muzzle — lightly downward and the breech opens easily. It is not a problem. When I wrote Part one, I hadn’t learned this yet, so I made it sound like the breech was really hard to open. I can’t do it with just my hands breaking open the barrel, but a light tap on the muzzle is all it takes.
That picture also answers the question that was discussed by several readers about the cocking aid. Yes it remains on the pistol at all times and, yes, the two cocking aid “ears” do extend back farther than the end of the breech. They move freely and do not contact anything as they do — nor do they contact any part of the stock or spring tube when the barrel closes .
The first pellet I tested was Crosman’s own 7.9-grain Premier lite dome. This pellet averaged 477 f.p.s. in the Trail, but the spread was large — from a low of 445 to a high of 504 f.p.s. Let me show you the string.
That’s a spread of 59 f.p.s. This gas piston may need a break-in period. I do think the average of 477 f.p.s. seems about right. At that velocity this pellet generates 3.99 foot-pounds. Let’s move on.
Air Arms Falcons
Next up was the Air Arms Falcon. This is another domed pellet, but it’s lighter than the Premier and it’s also made of soft pure lead. Because of that I expected higher velocity, and I got it. The average was 501 f.p.s., with a range that went from 476 to 512 f.p.s. That’s 36 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet develops 4.09 foot-pounds at the muzzle.
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
The next pellet I tested was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter. I chose it for three reasons. First, it’s lead-free, so it’s the lightest pellet in this test. It should therefore go the fastest.
Second, it’s a very accurate pellet in many other airguns. I wanted an accurate pellet for the accuracy test. Not that the first two aren’t accurate, because they both are. But this pellet is often exceptional.
The final reason I chose this pellet is because it is a wadcutter. I felt we had to have a wadcutter for the accuracy test, and I wanted to get this one baselined.
The average with this pellet was 607 f.p.s., and the high velocity was 636 f.p.s., so Crosman’s claim of 625 f.p.s. for the Trail NP II is upheld. But the velocity spread was huge. It ranged from 535 to 636 f.p.s., a span of 101 f.p.s.! At the average velocity this 5.25-grain pellet generates 4.30 foot-pounds at the muzzle.
The Trail NPII pistol is interesting because the designers have achieved good power with a reasonable cocking effort. The cocking aid remains in place as you cock and fire the gun, so it’s almost imperceptable as a separate part. The pistol fires smoothly, which I will attribute to the Nitro Piston.
When I tested the cocking effort I noticed something. If you cock the pistol very slowly you can get the effort all the way up to 29-30 lbs. But if you cock quickly and deliberately the effort never tops 21 lbs. So cock deliberately, and not as if the pistol was an exercise machine!
The Trail NPII is quiet. I did all my velocity testing with a cat sleeping in the window five feet away from the gun. He was snoring, so I knew he was asleep. That is not usual in the Pelltier household! I will say that the faster Sig lead-free pellets did raise the discharge sound noticeably, but the cat snored on.
Punky was oblivious to the Trail NPII’s discharge noise — many times!
The trigger pull is heavy — at 7 lbs. 15 oz. It’s a single-stage trigger. I did tell you in Part 1 that the trigger does adjust with one screw. But when I tried to adjust it — no way could I get on the screw head without damaging the triggerguard. The triggerguard is so thick that it holds any screwdriver shaft rigidly from moving even far enough to get into the screw head. There might be a special Phillips screwdriver with a long thin shaft that does work, but my collection of 50-60 screwdrivers doesn’t include one.
I even tried a Chapman ratcheting screwdriver that allows entry from the side, but the bit was too long for the room available. So — nice screw but no adjustment for me. The pull has to stay around 8 pounds.
This is a very nice air pistol. I see why Pyramyd Air wanted me to test it. I have shown you all the warts and still you are getting a lot for your money. But accuracy is next, and that tells the real story.