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Education / Training Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 8

Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

A history of airguns

Benjamin 310
A Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun from 1952.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Hobbys
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Falcon
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I test the Benjamin 310 BB gun with pellets. We learned in the test of BBs that the gun does like to shoot with the larger BBs. Let’s now find out how that translates to pellets.

The test

I shot the gun off a sandbag 10 meters from the target. I used the plus one pumping routine that worked so well for BBs. That works like this — the gun has air remaining from the previous shot and I pump one time after each shot. I get a stable velocity with that routine. Let’s see what she will do.

I shot just 5 shots per target because of the pumping, though it was not strenuous. If I have a reason to go out to 25 yards I might pump 5 strokes and replenish with two pumps after each shot. We know that is also stable.

I aimed at the 6 o’clock spot on the bull for every shot.


The first pellet I test was the RWS Hobby. It’s a wadcutter that will give nice round holes in target paper. But the group was unimpressive. Five shots went into 1.838-inches between centers at 10 meters. That will be all I do with them.

Hobby group
The Hobby group wasn’t anything to get excited about. It measures 1.838-inches between centers

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Next up were Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. Remember how I always say these are among the most accurate pellets? Well, this time they were the best of the 4 pellets I tested. At 10 meters, 5 shots went into a group that measures 0.587-inches between centers. That is a very tight group for a smoothbore airgun at 10 meters! It shows the potential of the 310, so any other group you see must be compared to it.

Sig Match group
Now, that is a group! Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.587-inches at 10 meters. Hard to believe this came from a smoothbore!

H&N Baracuda Match

Next to be tested were H&N Baracuda Match pellets with a 4.50mm head. I shot the 4.53mm heads in the velocity test, but grabbed the 4.50mm heads for the accuracy test. At 10 meters these pellets hit the target about 1.25-inches below the aim point. Five went into a group that measures 1.063-inches between centers. It’s not a bad group, but not nearly as good as the Sig pellet group.

Baracuda Match group
The Benjamin 310 put 5 H&N Baracuda Match pellets into this 1.063-inch group.


The last group I shot was with the Air Arms Falcon pellet. Five of them went into 1.259 inches at 10 meters. That’s okay for a smoothbore but nothing exceptional.

Falcon group
Five Falcon domes went into 1.259-inches at 10 meters.



The Benjamin 310 is pretty darned accurate for a smoothbore. It also hits pretty close to the point of aim, which is nice because the sights aren’t easy to adjust.

I still need to test darts in the gun, plus I think I would like to try the Sig pellets at 25 yards.


This has been a long and thorough test of the Benjamin 310. You’ll remember this was an airgun I found at a local gun show. The condition is almost excellent and it even came with the original box.

It leaked initially, but ever since oiling it with automatic transmission stop leak it has held tight. And I have spent the time to learn how to get the most out of the powerplant.

I have thought about getting a new striker spring to see if I can restore the power to the gun. As it is, it tops out on 5 pumps and there is always air remaining after the shot. A fresh spring would take away the air remaining after the shot, and would give much more power on pumps 6 through 8.

This will require more thought.

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.

29 thoughts on “Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 8”

  1. B.B.,

    Maybe a test including the H&N Baracuda Match 4.53mm diameter head at 25 yards could also be done. That might also indicate if weight of the pellet can help with long distance stability/accuracy.


  2. B.B.,

    Interesting. You mentioned the striker spring before, but not in direct relationship to the 310’s ability/reason to store air,…. at least that I recall. It stands to reason then that a weaker striker spring (in a current multi-pump) might also produce an air storing rifle, also capable of the 5+1+1 routine. Maybe?

    It will be interesting to see what you decide. Something like a 5+1+1 would seem to be desirable, be it in an old gun or something newly produced.

    Good Day to one and all,……. Chris

  3. B.B.
    I’d be interested to see how much that Sig group opens up at 25 yards.
    Also, when this accuracy testing is over…
    “I have thought about getting a new striker spring to see if I can restore the power to the gun.”
    …I think that would be good, too, for comparison’s sake.
    This is a really cool old gun, something from a different era (not today’s throw-it-away-and-buy-a-new-one-era).
    It would be nice to see her restored to full power…just my 2 cents.
    Great report!
    take care & God bless,

    • Dave,

      I expect the Sig pellet to really open up at 25 yards, because that has been my experience with smoothbores. They can be dead-on at 10 meters and horrible at 24 yards.

      But I do this stuff for all of us to learn. I don’t know any more than any of the rest of you. So I test.


      • BB
        Maybe you should do the striker spring first. It will probably help the 25 yard group. Heck it my improve the 10 meter groups.

        I know the 760 doesn’t fall in the same league as the gun your testing. But the modern 760 is smooth bore and I have had good luck with mine out to 25 or so yards with pellets. And remember there has been accurate smooth bore air guns throughout time. I’m sure you can recall better than me right now. Maybe the 310 will surprise us.

  4. This extensive accuracy testing of the Benjamin 310 smoothbore reminds me of the accuracy testing B.B. did with the Swedish Excellent. In the end, B.B. determined, with the help of Jerry Cupples’s PelletGage, that size does matter.

    On another note, I received a notice from Rock Island about their upcoming auction on November 30th through December 2nd. Among other guns being auctioned, this is their annual, antique airgun auction. Their antique airguns will be part of the last lot of guns auctioned on Sunday, December 2nd. Here’s a link (especially for Ridgerunner):


  5. I also have a newer model 760. I shoot it mostly at 7 yards with pellets. Mine shoots its favorite pellets into groups a bit better than your airgun shoots the Sig pellets. At $35 for a tin of 500 at Pyramid, one tin costs more than my 760. I like your gun better, being all metal and wood though. I’ve shot between 2000 and 3000 pellets down range with the 760 now, with not a hint of a problem. The 760 shoots the Crosman Premier Super Match pellets the best, followed by the RWS Hobbys. I would not mind seeing what your gun will do at 25 yards. That’s a long reach for a smooth bore, but let’s see what it can do.

    • Birdmove,

      $35,… for a 500 tin of .177’s? For real? I never would have imagined that. Not that I would not buy them,…. but them suckers better hit the bull like they are laser guided out to 50 yards! Ouch!


  6. Some FYI,

    Having a Daystate,… I “joined” the “Daystate Owner’s Club”,…. which (anybody) can sign up for. First up,.. good site for looking at higher end stuff and asking questions,… (like here). Second,.. “they” are just like us,… with a bit of a U.K “twist”. There is a frequent link to “Hot Air” which is a video review and banter of whatever is of interest at the moment. I recommend it. Probably available with a simple search to anyone.

    At any rate,.. and more to the point,… the latest video mentioned that Air Arms (TX200, S510, etc.) had changed hands and a price increase has ensued. About 10%. Not sure if P.A. has seen that up$ yet, but heads up for anyone looking at getting an Air Arm’s product. The S510 Ultimate Hunter Special…….. blah, blah, blah,… or whatever it is called?, has always been on the wish list.


    • Chris U,

      How is your Red Wolf doing? I am seriously thinking of getting the Athlon FFP scope you have on your gun. Are you still happy with it? It is between the Athlon and the Hawk scope. I think you contemplated the same scopes.


      • Don,

        Yes, still very happy,… with both. The FFP is nice. I like the reticle. It is the one that looks like a Christmas tree on the bottom. It lights in red only. Overall, I like the UTG light better but still fine. The Athlon does offer a front extension. A wheel or eye cup seems to be harder to find. UTG and Hawke are better there if you are considering either. Mine is the 8-34×56 “Argos”? As I recall, at 41′ indoors, it was a bit fuzzy. 15 yard min.? Outside it is very clear. I have yet to try it indoors again from that one time. I got the fully adjustable Sportsmatch rings to go with it. Very nice as well. 1-4 clicks from factory center are all I need to adjust for the day.

        Look around and ask around. Look at reviews. They say to try it first, but how realistic is that for most of us? Winter is here, so shooting has been nil as of late other than the 499.


  7. B.B.,

    The edit feature works like a “dream”!!!!. Like,…. one of those really good ones! Just tried it for the first time and it worked quick, easy and flawless. I added a “.


  8. My .177 TX200 MkIII arrived today. Let me start by saying that I have not been a big spring piston gun fan. I also have not had one I could shoot well. The TX200 is not your average spring piston gun. I don’t know if you can hold it wrong so far dime size groups are typical at 25 yards off a rest. Can’t wait to get out to my 40 plus yard maximum distance. So far I have only shot Crosman Premier Lights and they are doing good.

    I don’t know why but the cocking, antibeartrap catch and safety was very strange for about 3 shots. Then it clicked in and the process was very simple and not stressful at all. After about 20 shots I no longer had to think about it.

    So far this gun has lived up to all the great reviews. It is a master piece.


  9. B.B. A very good report on an example of the gun series (310,312,317) which was the unattainable dream of so many of us kids with only a daisy.
    Until I saw your photos I had assumed some previous owner had strapped tape around my 310 box but now I suspect it might have been the factory since the placement/width is very similar. Imagine some creative mind designing the graphics countered by somebody in shipping wrapping tape around it to prevent the box coming open.

    My 310 is presumably a little earlier with the 2 piece bolt and a flat faced rubber pump cup which I had to replace with a later style. I tried 4 of my 312/317s and all retained air after firing with 4 pumps so that must be pretty common.


  10. B.B.
    I completed a rebuild of my 1963 Benjamin 310 and was able to locate an image of a 310-312-317 instruction sheet and recreated that to a word document. After looking for parts on Pyramid Air for my airguns I located this blog entry. Here is a section from that instruction sheet from Benjamin relating to retained air:

    “SOMETIMES VALVES LEAK ON FIRST PUMP, but usually seat themselves after pressure is raised in air chamber unless they are worn or unyielding. YOU CAN KEEP A LIGHT CHARGE OF AIR IN THE GUN to keep valves seated. Usually all of the air is not discharged when you fire and fewer pump strokes will be needed for recharging. If there is no pressure in the air chamber when you start pumping it may sometimes be necessary to cock the hammer which takes pressure off the outlet valve.”

    My 310 also retains air after a valve rebuild but is seems to be the way it was designed.
    Hope this helps.

    • I know this is a couple of years old but hoping you see it. How difficult is it to rebuild a 320? I have only rebuilt one springer, a Diana 34 and didn’t have much trouble with it. Do they typically have leather or synthetics?

        • Sorry B.B. Typo, I meant a 310 like in the article here. I am intrigued by the results you found of initial pump up followed by one or two follow pumps per shot.

          Edit: saw your reply and thank you! If you stay away from them I am sure they are over my head!! Appreciate it and all of your imparted knowledge here.

          • Bob,

            The 310 is a vintage valve. I stay away from those. Some guys like reader Cloud9 do work on them, but they are not my cup of tea.


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