by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Cayden
Benjamin Cayden sidelever repeater.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Adjusting the power
  • DonnyFL Ronin silencer
  • Velocity on high power
  • Velocity on medium power
  • Velocity on low power
  • The trigger
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Shot count
  • Summary

This was a fun test because the Benjamin Cayden gives me lots of things to do. Some, like adjustable power, are things I have dealt with in the past and I’ve figured out good ways to handle them. Others, like the sound of the unmoderated gun firing, are not things I usually deal with. And I have a new sound meter to collect data on that! Let’s get right into the test.

The test

Since the Cayden has adjustable power I thought I would test it with a single pellet and the setting on high, medium and low. That would give us a good idea about the power range as well as the stability at all power ranges. I will also keep track of the reservoir pressure and try to get a shot count, though. as we go.

Adjusting the power

When I got the rifle the power was set high, but not as high as it will go. That was the first thing to do and I discovered that the power adjustment knob doesn’t stick out far enough for me to adjust the power. It’s too close to the wood in the stock for me to get a hold on it, and it turns with some resistance. I had to use the needle-nosed pliers on my Gerber Crucial multi-tool. I worked as carefully as I know how but of course I scratched some of the finish on the knob and the surrounding wood. I set the power as high as it will go and loaded the 12-shot rotary magazine with 10 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets. These 18.13-grain pellets seem ideal for the Cayden’s power level. There are no detents in the power adjustment knob, so the settings can be set wherever you like between both limits. 

The first shot was fired with the rifle exactly as it came from the box. All I did was fill it to 3,000 psi, load the magazine and start shooting. I set my smart phone with the sound meter app up three feet to the left of the muzzle and fired. The sound was loud for sure, but not as loud as I had been anticipating. I would rate it a 4.2 on the 5-point Pyramyd Air noise scale. My sound meter recorded it as 108 dB.

my Cayden
The Cayden I am testing came with straight grain. It’s still handsome! To attach a silencer the muzzle brake must be removed.

Cayden sound unsilencedThe full-power shot registered 108 dB on my sound meter 3 feet from the muzzle.

DonnyFL Ronin silencer

Cameron Brinkerhoff of AirForce Airguns loaned me a DonnyFL Ronin silencer to use with the Cayden. It’s 2-inches in diameter and 6.5 inches long. The rifle looks different with it installed.

Cayden silencer
As you see, the DonnyFL Ronin silencer is large. And it works!

With the silencer installed, the muzzle report from the Cayden on full power was 85.6 dB. That’s a 22.4 dB reduction, which is about what a normal silencer can do. But the Cayden isn’t that loud to begin with, and at 85.6 it’s quieter than most lower-powered breakbarrel spring rifles. It turns the Cayden into a suburban back yard air rifle. On lower power it is even quieter, and we will soon see what we get with lower power.

Cayden silenced
With the DonnyFL silencer installed the report was quieted to 85.6 dB.

Velocity on high power

Let’s see what this Cayden rifle gives us. Ten of the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets averaged 857 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 850 to a high of 865 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 15 f.p.s., which isn’t bad! At the average velocity this pellet generates 29.57 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Find a Hawke Scope

Velocity on medium power

Next I turned the power down to about halfway between low and high. At that setting ten of the same JSB Jumbo Heavy pellets averaged 715 f.p.s. The low was 703 and the high was 724 so the spread was 21 f.p.s. It’s still close enough for good accuracy at targets out to 35 yards, at least. At the average velocity the pellet generates 20.59 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Velocity on low power

Next I dialed the power to as low as it would go. That still required my needle-nosed pliers. The lowest setting the same JSB pellet averaged 432 f.p.s. The spread ranged from 405 to a high of 444 f.p.s. which is 39 f.p.s. difference. That will work for close-in targets, but beyond 20 yards or so you might want to set the power a little higher. At the average velocity the pellet now produces 7.51 foot-pounds at the muzzle. That is a broad range of adjustability! At the end of this test the reservoir that started at 3,000 psi registered 2,500 psi.

The trigger

First I must remark that the safety DOES NOT set automatically. Thank you, Crosman, for that! Secondly, the safety is very easy to operate with the trigger finger. It’s exactly what I want to see on a hunting air rifle.

Next, I played with the trigger some without firing the rifle before this test started. I was prepared not to like it and to dive into all the adjustments. But there aren’t any, other than the location of the curved trigger shoe can be swiveled around the trigger post.

Cayden trigger
The trigger shoe can be rotated after loosening a small Allen screw on the opposite side.

The trigger is two-stage. The first stage is very short and stage two that was creepy during my evaluation before this test has transformed into a crisp 2 lbs. 13 oz. break.

Actually there is one unannounced trigger adjustment. I found out about it too late to get it into this report, but I will look at it for you in the next report.

More velocity testing

To this point I had fired 30 shots — 10 at each power setting. I wanted to test a different pellet on high power but was the rifle still shooting as powerfully as before? I shot one more JSB Jumbo Heavy pellet at it went out at 861 f.p.s. That’s spot on!

Crosman Premiers

I now loaded 10 Crosman Premiers into the magazine and fired a string. They averaged 946 f.p.s. The low was 939 and the high was 952 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 13 f.p.s. At the average velocity this 14.3-grain pellet produced 28.42 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Shot count

The pressure in the reservoir now reads 2,200 psi. That should be close to the point that the rifle needs to be refilled.  So I shot another string of JSB 18.13-grain pellets on high power to see where things were. Let’s look at it.

Shot……….Vel.
1……….….852
2……….….855
3……….….852
4……….….850
5…….…….854
6……….….852
7……….….847
8…….…….845
9……….….842
10…………839
11………….833
12………….834

The Cayden has fallen off the power curve at shot 7. I didn’t tell you that I also fired two blank shots on high power to measure the trigger pull. So, on this fill, doing all we have done, the Cayden has given us 54 shots.

Summary

The first thing I need to tell you is the power adjustmernt knob hasa freed up. It did so after the first 30 shots. It’s still not easy, but I no longer need tools.

We are not finished with the velocity test. Part 3 will be a continuation, because there is a lot to learn about this rifle. How large a pellet can be shot? What is the most power we can get? How slow can it shoot and still keep the shots under a 30 f.p.s. spread? Stay tuned.