by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Cayden
Benjamin Cayden sidelever repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Today at 10 meters
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Second group of Jumbo Heavys
  • Time to try the H&N Slug HP
  • Trigger
  • Air Arms 16-grain dome
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I start testing the accuracy of the Benjamin Cayden repeating PCP. I read Part 3 of this series before starting the test where I see that I tested the velocity of the 23.1-grain H&N Slug HP. The one I tested was the 0.218-inch size and not the 0.217-inch one. I got the larger size to make certain they would fit most .22 caliber pellet gun bores. 

Today at 10 meters

Because of the slug, which is a solid pellet that looks like a bullet, I tested today at 10 meters. I have never had much success with solid pellets in the accuracy department. They don’t have the drag that diabolos have and they tend not to stabilize. I’ve also encountered loading issues, though we learned in Part 3 that the H&N Slug HP loads quite easily into the Cayden’s breech. I would normally begin testing a potentially accurate PCP like the Cayden at 25 yards, but I didn’t want those slugs going haywire inside my house.

The test

I shot at 10 meters off a bag rest. I scoped the Cayden with an apparently obsolete UTG 4-16 SWAT scope with an illuminated glass-etched reticle. But I never turned the illumination on. At $155 this scope is a real value, because the optics are so sharp and clear. Because of the Cayden’s 12-shot rotary magazine that sticks up above the receiver, I had to use 2-piece rings, and this scope comes with a nice set of 2-piece Weaver rings that fit the Picatinny rail on the rifle. It took just five minutes to mount the scope that was already perfectly installed in the rings.

Cayden scoped
The UTG 4-16 SWAT scope fit the Cayden well.

I shot 10-shot groups, and remember — I am only this close to the target because I’m not certain about one of the pellets I’m testing. I will back up and give you a more realistic 25-yard test in the next report.

I set the power of the rifle to around the three-quarters mark — mostly to stabilize those slugs if nothing else. That means today’s pellets are moving out at around 775-825 f.p.s.

Sight-in

I started the sight-in at 12 feet, and when the first shot struck about one inch below my aim point I knew I was done. When I move back to 10 meters the shot will climb about an inch. The first shot was a little to the left of center, so I made a small adjustment.

The second shot at 10 meters was also too far to the left, so I dialed in some more right correction to shoot my third shot. The third shot was just a little too far to the left and after another small correction the fourth shot was in the black. It wasn’t in the center which was good because with a scope this sharp I could put the crosshairs over the dot in the center of the bull. So I didn’t want to shoot it out.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

The first 10-shot group was shot with JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy domes. The second pellet passed through the hole made by the first and so did pellet number three. I never saw the paper move! Talk about a one-hole group. After 5 shots I wanted to stop and move to another target, because the group was less than a tenth of an inch. However, shot 6 landed low and opened the group which after 10 shots measures 0.142-inches between centers. Remember that the distance is just 10 meters, but this is a great result! It earns my coveted gold dollar for comparison, which, at 14 mm, is the smallest American coin I own.

Cayden JSB Jumbo group
On the first group at 10 meters the Cayden put 10 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets into a 0.142-inch group, center-to-center. For all groups that measure under 0.15-inches between centers I use a gold dollar for comparison.

Second group of Jumbo Heavys

I should have switched to a different pellet at this point but instead I shot a second 10-shot group of the JSB Jumbo Heavys. This time 10 shots went into 0.214-inches at the same 10 meters. That’s not that much larger, but it only rates the dime for comparison, because it’s over 0.20-inches. Remember — these are 10-shot groups, not 5!

Cayden JSB Jumbo group 2
The second ten-meter 10-shot group of JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys was a little larger — 0.214-inches between centers.

Time to try the H&N Slug HP

Now that I knew for certain the Cayden was accurate it was time to try the H&N Slug HP solid pellets. I knew right from the start they were not going to be as accurate when the second shot landed apart from the first. Ten Slug HPs made a 0.739-inch group at 10 meters. Not only did they open up, they also struck the bull in a different place than the JSBs.

Cayden H&N Slug HP
Not so good. Ten H&N HP solid pellets made a 0.739-inch group when shot at 10 meters from the Cayden.

I need to test the H&N HP pellets in other .22 rifles that are more powerful than the Cayden. Perhaps if they were driven at 1,000 f.p.s. they would spin fast enough to stabilize and become more accurate. That is something I hope to do soon, because these pellets do seem to load well, unlike all the other solid pellets I have tested. But for now let’s try another pellet we know to be accurate.

Trigger

I must comment on how the trigger feels at this point. Accuracy tests always reveal  the trigger function better than just measurements because so much relies on the trigger when you are going for the best the rifle will do.

During this test I felt one tiny bit of creep in the stage two pull. It was consistent, and I quickly learned where it was, and that the trigger would release soon after it was encountered. That allowed me to keep the crosshairs on target to the best of my ability

Air Arms 16-grain dome

The last pellet I tested was the 16-grain Air Arms dome. I know JSB makes this pellet, but in other tests it has proven to be significantly different than the 15.89-grain JSB Exact dome. The Cayden put 10 of them into a 0.149-inch group at 10 meters. That’s good for a second gold dollar!

Cayden Air Arms group
The 10-shot group of Air Arms 16-grain domes measures 0.149-inches between centers — just small enough to qualify for the gold dollar!

Discussion

Without question the Benjamin Cayden is very accurate! Now that I have sighted it in, the next test at 25 yards should tell us just how accurate it is. Next time I will shoot it at full power.

Summary

Several readers indicated they were interested in the Benjamin Cayden. They like the looks and how it operates. I haven’t tested it as much as I’m going to, but without a doubt the Cayden is a very accurate PCP.