The Benjamin Cayden: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Cayden
Benjamin Cayden sidelever repeater.

This report covers:

  • News from Benjamin
  • Craftsman Collection
  • Price
  • Description
  • Fill
  • Barrel not shrouded
  • Summary

News from Benjamin

I was contacted last week by the Crosman Corporation, They asked me if I would like to test one of the three new precharged pneumatic rifles from their Benjamin Craftsman Collection. You may recall that I showed you all three new rifles in Part 4 of my SHOT Show report, back in January. I asked to test the new Benjamin Cayden.

Cayden-1
The Cayden is a conventional-looking sidelever bolt-action PCP.

The Cayden looks conventional. The Akela is a bullpup repeater and the Kratos is a bottle-fed PCP. Both are repeaters like the Cayden and they all three come in .22-caliber. The Kratos bottle gun also comes in .25-caliber — the only one of the three that does.

Akela-Kratos
The Akela (top) and Kratos are the other two new PCP rifles in Benjamin’s Craftsman Collection.

Crosman’s product manager, Phillip Guadalupe contacted me with some information I requested and could not find on the Crosman website. First of all, what is the Craftsman Collection?

Craftsman Collection

Right now Benjamin’s Craftsman’s Collection consists of the three rifle just mentioned. They are produced in Turkey exclusively for Benjamin. Benjamin conducted a survey to find out what their customers really wanted in a precharged rifle. The Foster quick-disconnect fitting for filling the rifle was a given, as were American-style quick-disconnect sling mounts. Seventy percent of those polled asked for a sidelever to operate the bolt, and I will throw my vote in there, too.

I was surprised to learn that 60 percent of those polled wanted a rifle with a removable air bottle. That would not have been my choice, but I can’t argue with 60 percent. That Kratos bottle holds 480 cc of air, where the Cayden’s reservoir that doesn’t remove holds 280 cc, yet both rifles are said to get up to 60 shots on a fill, with maximum power in the 32 foot-pounds realm. But only the bottle gun is offered in .25 caliber. All three are offered in .22. So these are hunting rifles, without a doubt.

All three rifles have genuine Turkish walnut stocks. The survey said Crosman customers were looking for an upgraded rifle — something without a synthetic stock or a plain beech stock. Turkish walnut is certainly the right way to go!

Price

Crosman won’t say this but I sure can. With the current market heat from the price-point PCP arena, any new precharged air rifle has to have a very good price — especially here in America! The days of average PCPs retailing for $1,000+ are over. The Cayden we are looking at retails at $550. The Akela sells for $600 and the Kratos goes for $630. Just from an appearance and feature standpoint all three rifles look like a good value to me.

Description

The Cayden is a .22-caliber 12-shot repeater, and you get 2 magazines with the rifle. The bolt operates by a lever on the right side of the receiver. The grip is ambidextrous, but the sidelever cannot be switched to the left side of the receiver. The 12-shot circular magazine inserts and is removed from the right side of the receiver, though it sticks out on the left.

The rifle is 40.76-inches overall with a 20.87-inch rifled barrel. The weight is 7.95 lbs., with a small allowance for a variation of the wood. There are no open sights. The receiver has a Picatinney rail on the top that’s split into two segments by the magazine. This design indicates 2-piece scope mounts.

Cayden sidelever
The Cayden sidelever stays on the right side of the receiver.

The cheekpiece is adjustable. That allows you to get a better sight picture through the scope that’s required. The Turkish walnut stock is stippled at the pistol grip. The stippling extends to the forearm. I will report on the feel of the rifle in part 2, but as I remember from the SHOT Show, it feels great!

Fill

The Cayden is filled to 3,000 psi. That was smart of Crosman, because higher pressures are still taxing for many shooters. The company says you can expect up to 60 shots from a fill. The reason they say “up to” is because the power is adjustable.

Cayden power adjuster
On the left of the receiver is the power adjustment scale that tells where the rifle is set.

Cayden power adjuster knob
On the right side of the receiver is the knob for adjusting power.

There is no regulator. In Part 2 we will see how stable the Cayden powerplant really is.

Barrel not shrouded

The Cayden barrel isn’t shrouded. The muzzle brake is threaded and removable, so presumably an aftermarket silencer could be attached.

Summary

This is a chance to evaluate a new PCP from Benjamin that isn’t based in the Marauder. I know you will be interested in shot count, the power adjustment, the rifle’s report that is sure to be loud and the trigger. Of course accuracy will be above all other things.

Already the jungle drums are asking why Crosman had to go outside the country for these three rifles. I think the answer is obvious — to get them into the marketplace. People need to realize that developing a new air rifle isn’t a 12-month task. Each new platform absorbs the time of a great many people. Even products acquired from other companies take time to develop and mature.  Let’s evaluate these new rifles on their own merits.

49 thoughts on “The Benjamin Cayden: Part 1


    • LOL! Not really. I am certain sales have started to drop off some. So rather than try to update the Marauder and really up the price of one, they brought these in. Hey, at least they are not from China!

      Besides the name shall continue with the S.A.M. (Semi Automatic Marauder).

      Who knows, maybe the old bolt action Marauder will come down in price? Not likely though. They will probably allow it to fade away and have that slot taken over by the Fortitude.


      • RidgeRunner,

        I agree with your thoughts, but that kind of thinking is the same line that allowed other countries (eg. China) to take over production. The innovators better not rest on their laurels and keep forging ahead to produce a better next generation.

        Siraniko



        • Siraniko,

          Large multi-company corporations are not known for innovating. There usual tactic is to buy out the innovators and use up their product and then discard them for someone else who is innovative.

          I am certain there are many in engineering who begged to be allowed to develop the side lever on the Marauder. Rather than do that, they went to an outside source to bring in a side lever. The only reason they have a S.A.M. is there is such a huge market demand for semi and full auto. How much of their engineering is actually responsible for this design?

          As far as the Benjamin Craftsman Collection is concerned, it is my hope that these will not turn into Webley/Hatsan Tomahawks. They started out real nice, but to increase their profit margin, Hatsan started using manufacturing rejects from their airgun line to build the Tomahawks. That is how I ended up with a brand new one for almost nothing, literally. Many Chinese companies are famous for that also.


  1. “Evaluate these new rifles on their own merits”
    Hmmm. They certainly look Kral to me, so what could be different? If I’m correct about the maker then maybe Crosman could ask for a copy of the Np04. Nice compact semi auto.
    Good morning everyone.


  2. B.B.

    I do not understand why would they put the bolt/lever on the right side? 80% of people in the world are right handed.
    Having the lever on the left would allow shooters to not have to remove their trigger hand from the stock to load the next pellet. Seems very non-ergonomical to me????????

    -Y


    • Yogi
      Regarding my Kral comment it’s just a guess coming from the looks of the power adjustment and the unf adapter.
      As far as the right sided lever, or bolt, there is an old saying, in my country at least, that “it’s the left hand that kills”. Think about it for a moment; If you are right handed its your left hand that points the rifle/shotgun to the target, so you don’t want to interrupt it with different tasks. Pistols and maybe Bullpups work the opposite way


  3. BB,

    The cat is not going to like this air rifle. That thing is going to have a bark. Sorry for the pun.

    There was no comment of such and we could not see the back of the receiver, but is the striker spring tension adjustable? From the looks of things, if it is you will have to pull the action from the stock to do such.

    I have noticed that recently everybody has become regulator happy. I guess it is because their cost has come down so much. What it does is allow engineering to get sloppy and marketeering to speed up bringing a “new” product to market. Of course there are regulators and then there are regulators. The cheaper ones tend to be slow and sloppy while the better made and costlier ones are fast and precise. These are the ones that each shot only varies 1 or 2 FPS. These are also the ones not found in PPPCP’s, unless it is by pure accident.




        • RR
          Here it says it is externally adjustable for power.

          “Benjamin Cayden PCP Air Rifle

          Precharged pneumatic
          Sidelever action
          3000 PSI/206 BAR fill pressure
          280cc air cylinder
          Turkish walnut stock with checkered grip and forearm
          *****(Externally adjustable power)*****
          Max. velocity: 1000 FPS
          Max. power: 32 FPE
          Up to 60 shots per fill
          Picatinny optics rail
          Integral manometer
          Male quick disconnect fill fitting
          Removable threaded muzzle break
          Raised aluminum breech
          Rubber buttpad
          2-stage trigger with adjustable shoe
          Height-adjustable cheek piece
          12-round rotary magazine
          Length: 40.76 in.
          Weight: 7.95 lbs.
          5-year limited warranty

          The Benjamin Cayden PCP Air Rifle is a hunting rifle featuring a beautiful Turkish walnut stock and fine styling with the expected Benjamin high quality. At up to 1000 FPS and 32 FPE, this airgun has plenty of power and accuracy for taking down small game or target shooting.

          This air rifle has the adjustments and features shooters are looking for, including *****(external power adjustment)*****, a threaded removable muzzle break, height-adjustable cheek piece, and integral manometer. Those options combine to make it simple to get repeatable and dependable results.

          Shooters will find the checkered forearm and grip and rubber buttpad help accuracy and comfort, and the raised aluminum breech makes loading the circular magazine easier. Also, the smooth sidelever and quick-disconnect Foster fitting make filling and shooting easy.

          For mounting a scope, the air rifle features a Picatinny optics rail, and the 2-stage trigger has a shoe that adjusts vertically and horizontally. The 280cc air cylinder gets up to 60 shots on a 3000 PSI fill, and the package includes 2 12-round rotary magazines, both of which give more shooting time and less downtime.

          If you want a reliable air rifle for hunting small game that’s as accurate as it is good-looking, get the Benjamin Cayden PCP Air Rifle from Pyramyd Air today.”

          It don’t say how. But I bet that’s how.


    • RR,

      Yeah, pro-regulator here, always have been.

      When I was first looking at PCPs I was totally gob-smacked with the AirArms S510 – BUT – it had no regulator and fitting and calibrating an after market one was not a job for newbies! I ended up going with the Weihrauch HW 100 as it is regulated and has (IMHO) a superior magazine system (higher shot count, low profile, metal, no moving parts and cannot be double-loaded). The .177 was all that was available in Canada at the time so I got one of those, liked it so much that I bought a .22 caliber as soon as they were available. Definitely my favorite rifles.

      I strongly suspect that people will be fitting HuMa regs to the Cayden.

      Hank




      • BB,

        As I suspected. The stock did not look like it would be accessible externally. Now, someone who is creative and has a steady hand might drill a hole through which it could be adjusted.


  4. I think I took the pole that Crosman did about what people would like in a air gun. It was some time back I believe I took it.

    And now since this is reality and Crosman is selling them. I wonder if Crosman will carry parts for them now. I hope the answer is yes.

    And I like the bottle guns myself.


  5. BB,

    Looking good. It has a lot going for it. Being made by Kral,.. I wonder what differences there is from their line up,.. if any. It is one thing to have someone else make (your) design and something else when a product is just rebranded. I have not looked at the Kral line, so I can not say.

    So, I would ask,.. what is different? Where did Crosman add their own input?

    I like the post and shoe trigger. I like the cheek riser. Nice big tank, for tube type. Magazine is good. P/W rail is good. Ambi is good, minus the lever. Silencer add option is real nice. Hopefully 1/2-20.

    On the downside,.. heavy. Wood is nice until you have to lug it around for awhile. No lever swap (I shoot left). Single shot tray?

    Adjustable. One looks to be transfer port restriction. The knob one?

    Looking forwards to more.

    Chris



    • Yogi,

      Nice pistol. It was also a nice compromise between compactness and firepower.

      Many years ago I had a 1938 Limited Production Saur & Sohn German Naval Officer’s Pistol. It was chambered in 7.65 mm also, but took the PPK design to the next level. It was awesome!


    • Yogi,
      Thanks for the link and the reminder; I bought a nice pre-WWII PPK for only $285…some time ago. The price was cheap as the grips on the gun were falling apart, and there was some pitting on the back of the slide.
      With the installation of some new grips from Germany, it became a really cool carry gun (it would shoot a single ragged hole at 50 feet with 7.65mm Fiocchi ammo…right to point-of-aim…excellent engineering!).
      And at the range, everyone wanted to shoot “the James Bond Gun.” Even though I bought it as a shooter, eventually it did get come collector value, and I passed it on to my son as grandson inheritance material.
      These days, I mostly have this little Walther TPH .22LR in my pocket as I walk the farm. An inheritance from my Dad, it will never be sold; but it makes me feel like he is still nearby just to have it; and it has accounted for some varmints; it’s like a little PPK, one that went through the dryer and got shrunk.
      It took a bit of gunsmithing to get this one running right; but now it is a perfect little pocket pistol, accurate and reliable (using CCI MiniMags exclusively); I love this little TPH.
      But holding the original James Bond gun in your hand gives you a real sense of history; and I’ve read that this gun is a case of where life imitates art…I saw an article that said after James Bond got his PPK, no CIA spook would show up at an alphabet soup party without one….I think that’s hilarious! =)~
      Take care & thanks again,
      dave


  6. My initial reaction was disappointment when I saw Crosman using Kral to supply this generation of rifles vs. designing and manufacturing them here in NY.

    But I get it and can appreciate the complexity of getting a new product to market. AND I have owned a Kral. I had a Kral BigMax in .22. It was a remarkably consistent gun for not having a regulator. It was respectably accurate but very loud (side effect of not being efficient and not having any baffels). If Crosman has been able to keep the good aspects from Kral AND get them to tighten up manufacturing tolerances AND they can maintain a parts inventory, then this gun WILL be a winner!


  7. In my opinion, having to insert the magazine from the left side is a big minus. Most of my parallax adjustable scopes are side adjust with large wheels installed on the adjustment knob. It will make it impossible to insert the magazine from the left side with a large parallax adjustment wheel installed.

    Comments above concerning replacing the Marauder are premature. The three new guns from Crosman better be the “cats meow” if they are to replace the Marauder.

    The Fortitude replace the Marauder? I would hope that Crosman would have more sense than that!

    Of course, these are all just my opinion. To each his own.

    BB, on your .30-30 journey, how about including some lead bullet loads. The .30-30 will shoot lead bullets very well. I have a five shot 50 yard group using Lee lead bullet gas checked of .711″ center to center fired from a Marlin 336 lever action with a micro-groove barrel. Do have a Lyman tang sight installed, but no scope. Whoever said a micro-groove barrel could not shoot lead bullets accurately just didn’t try hard enough.


  8. I think it’s very telling that none of these new air rifles from Crosman are offered in .177 caliber. 22 and especially 25 caliber are becoming very popular as people want to shoot air rifles 50 to 100 yards now. I have been reading through the comments on various PCP rifles as a I contemplate buying a new PCP now that I’m retiring and most of them are raving about the new 25 caliber that they bought. And I agree with Jonah, I would rather see Crosman lose the Fortitude than the wood Marauder. The Marauder is still at the top of my list.

    Brent


    • Brent
      Totally agree. Loose the Fortitude and keep the Marauder.

      And most of the .25 caliber pcp guns are making serious foot pounds of energy and are accurate and quiet depending on what kind you get.

      But I still have to say I like the precision pin point accuracy of a .177 caliber pellet gun. And they can take down raccoons and smaller critters and birds out to 50 yards and in no problem. I have pested a long long time and have no problem with .177 caliber.


  9. Wow,
    I think this story is in part about how serious the supply chain problem is. This rifle
    has to go up against the Avenger. The Bull pup does not have the bolt handle in a good location. I bet the power adjuster is a transfer tube restricter. Add a regulator(or not) and a silencer (or not). So, this is not an upgraded Marauder, whoose bolt handle is on the best side, (if you’re a lefty). I get why supporting the weight of the battle rife with your off hand is more desirable than a quick rechambering of a cartridge. Since I dont have that requirement, I like the right hand bolt.This rifle seems like a stop gap measure, and rebranding exercise in futility.
    Crosman doesn’t have any new product to sell, yet. I cant wait to see why I need the new SA rifle for $750.
    How’s the trade war with China going? Any winners yet? Or just Whiners?
    Love the reloading/ historical wrk.
    Rob


  10. Gunfun1,

    Yes, I still think that Marauder is the best all around PCP and beginning Field target rifle that you can get for around $500. I thought about an Air Venturi Avenger but it’s too light and I just don’t think you can make the trigger as good as a Marauder’s. You really need an accurate and heavy gun with a great trigger for field target.

    Brent



    • Brent
      Yes I did and no I didn’t have to turn the barrel.

      Alot of the Crosman/Benjamin barrels interchange from their Co2 and pcp and pump guns. Some are even Lothar Walther barrels. They are a direct fit. Even on the plastic breech 2240 and 1322/77 guns

      The Maximus barrels will interchange too.



  11. BB,
    Ask Don if any parts interchange with legacy guns from Crosman/Benjamin too.
    One of the whole points of staying in the parts ecosystem was the mix and match configurations.
    I dont get this approach with this product line unless there is interoperability, It is a nice piece of imported wood tho.
    Rob




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