The Benjamin Cayden: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Cayden
Benjamin Cayden sidelever repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Turned on the lights!
  • Air Arms 16-grain dome
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53 mm heads
  • Air Arms 18-grain domes
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Discussion
  • Personal note
  • Summary

Crosman managers — call your people together (except those assembling, of course). Tell them you have a winner in the Benjamin Cayden!  What an air rifle! I like the sidelever. I like the magazine. I like that it gets lots of shots on a 3,000 psi fill. I guess I just like the Cayden. Today I will tell everybody more about what I like.

Accuracy

Today is the second accuracy test and I’m moving back to 25 yards. I also boosted the power up as high as it will go, because the Cayden uses air so sparingly.

The test

I’m shooting off a sandbag rest from 25 yards. I decided not to adjust the scope today, as long as the shots land reasonably close to where I’m aiming. I shot 10 shot groups with each of 4 different pellets.

Sight-in

I had not planned to sight in the rifle again because I didn’t think it was necessary. But the first two shots hit the target a inch and a quarter above the aim point. They were also loud. Then I remembered — the Cayden is the rifle on which I used the DonnyFL silencer. In fact I bought it for the Cayden! So I stopped shooting and installed the silencer. The next shot dropped by almost an inch and the following shot went through the same hole. That answered several questions in the first 4 shots.

First — the Cayden shoots just as well with the silencer installed — perhaps better. And second, the POI does change when the silencer is on. If I was a rich guy I would just leave it on the Cayden, but this isn’t my rifle. It has to go back with its factory muzzle brake, so I don’t need to be misplacing that! What I’m telling you is sight in your Cayden with the rifle set up the way you intend shooting it.

Turned on the lights!

Remember in Part 3 I told you that I am using what we discovered to be an obsolete UTG SWAT 4-16 scope? I told you that scope has an etched glass reticle. Well after the first two shots I turned on the reticle and it became much easier to see over the bulls! Etched-glass reticles do not illuminate the interior of the scope tube when they are on. Only the tiny crosshair at the center of the reticle lights up, and that’s perfect for precise aiming!

Air Arms 16-grain dome

The first pellet I tested was the Air Arms 16-grain dome that has no other name. I mention that because I am also testing a different Air Arms dome today. I only load 10 pellets into the 12-shot magazine, to keep my groups to 10 shots.

Ten shots went into a somewhat vertical 0.474-inch group at 25 yards. And I did shoot all 10 shots. I reloaded the magazine after the first two shots went high, so I could finish the group.

Cayden AA 16-grain group
The two shots above the group were shot with the factory muzzle brake on. Then I removed it and installed the DonnyFL silencer and shot the 10-shot group below. It measures 0.474-inches between centers.

H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53 mm heads

Next up was a pellet I didn’t shoot at 10 meters — the H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53 mm head. These are heavier, and since I was shooting on full power I figured they would be ones to try.

Ten shots went into 0.438-inches at 25 yards. They landed a little to the left, but still on the bull at which I was aiming. 

Cayden Baracuda Match 553 group
The Cayden put 10 H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 5.53 mm heads into a 0.438-inch group at 25 yards.

Air Arms 18-grain domes

Next up was another pellet I hadn’t tried in the Cayden yet — the Air Arms dome that weighs 18 grains. These proved to be phenomenal! Ten of them went into 0.284-inches at 25 yards. It was the best group of the test!

Cayden AA 18-grain group
Air Arms 18-grain domes were just the ticket! Ten of them went into 0.284-inches at 25 yards.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

The last pellet I tested was the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy that weighs 18.13-grains. These did quite well, too. Ten of them went into 0.315-inches between centers at 25 yards.

Cayden JSB Exact Jumbo group
Ten JSB Exact Jumbo pellets went into 0.315-inches at 25 yards.

Discussion

What is not to like? The trigger that I will admit isn’t as refined as a Marauder trigger, is still very good.  The sidelever works perfectly. The power is quite adjustable and the Cayden gets a lot of shots on a fill. I shot 42 full-power shots in this test and the manometer (onboard pressure gauge) still reads 2300 psi, meaning there is probably another full magazine of 12 shots — all on max power!

The Cayden is stable. It has no barrel issues (moving when bumped). It is attractive, with the Turkish walnut stock, and don’t forget that cheekpiece adjusts.

Personal note

I love my job, but some airguns are easier to write about and test than others. The Cayden was easy because it did everything Crosman said it would. That makes it so much easier for me. And, I like shooting accurate airguns!

Summary

I know it sounds like I’m finished, but I’m not. This rifle has earned its way into a 50-yard test! The problem is, there are some other airguns ahead of it and at this time of year getting a 50-yard range without a windstorm isn’t that easy. Still, I will push it up in the line because I want to test at least one more of the Benjamin Craftsman Collection — perhaps a .25-caliber Kratos. Wouldn’t that be fun?

102 thoughts on “The Benjamin Cayden: Part 5

  1. BB,
    The last few weeks have been a blast all thanks to you, addictive blog! This was another great report. I was reading and saying, ‘H..l yeah!” I genuinely cannot wait for the 50 yrd test – very exciting stuff. TY!
    Kratos is also made in Turkey. Turks know how to build guns.
    Fish.


    • Fish,

      Ol’ shoe leather skin here. The Turks did not always know how to build airguns. I have seen some pretty shoddy craftsmanship come out of Turkey. I am referring to companies such as Hatsan and Kral.

      I have a Hatsan here that if it was not for the fact that it was almost free, I would have sent it back for a refund. You can ask BB about the two Kral copies of the Gamo CFX that he was trying to sell at the Roanoke Airgun Show in 2009. One was wood stocked and the other was plastic stock. I bought a used Gamo CFX at that show for more than what he wanted for both of them. That was after I looked at those two Kral he had.

      The Turks have learned and are still learning how to build an airgun for the U.S. market. They are finally starting to get pretty good at it.


      • RR

        I only have one Hatsun, the air springer version of the Hatsun 95 which failed after 3-4 years. Because it had sub 1 inch accuracy at 25 yards I wanted it fixed. Hatsun Repair in USA was responsive. I decided on the metal spring conversion. No surprise that it is more hold sensitive now. It still is accurate but the trigger release is harder to deal with than before.

        Deck


        • Deck,

          It is kind of strange (not really) that the old timey sproinger shooters take the metal spring over the gas spring every time.

          Maybe you should give some serious thought to shortening up that spring? If you have a spring compressor and a chrony you can chop, say an inch at a time off, until it smooths out, decreases in velocity or becomes less hold sensitive, whichever you desire. The trigger will improve also and there is a good chance that so will the accuracy.

          Sproingers for the most part are way over sprung. It is our fault because we want “MORE SPEED! MORE POWER!”

          GunFun1 has a sproinger that is superbly accurate. It is also not very powerful. He also has experience with chopping springs.


          • Maybe, I should’ve said PCP airguns, eh? I’m not a big fan of Turkish springers either – when I say springer, I include both coils and gas rams… I think you guys all know where I stand with those d..n fibreoptics. 🙂 Also tad bit too powerful for my taste. You see power is fine on a PCP, because they like heavy pellets, but springers like light pellets – so balanced power is move valuable in a springer. On the other hand, I read so many angry customer reviews about Proxima; they were not happy with the fact that Proxima was weak. It pushes .177s at 950 FPS 15 FPE; I think these numbers are well balanced, but market wants more power.
            I like this Proxima better, see if you can spot the difference https://youtu.be/e6dOXl_Evq4
            I liked Dominator too.


            • Fish
              My .177 caliber pellet is the JSB 10.34’s. I shoot them on low power to high power springers and PCP’s and have very good luck with them. Been shooting them for years.

              And yes I have tried many other weight and brand pellets. The JSB 10.34 has always won out for me.



                • Fish
                  I found they work in guns from 600 fps to a little over 900 fps.

                  They tend to have a flatter trajectory and shoot faster than other diablo shaped pellets of the same weight.

                  That’s why I use them. I like a flat trajectory so I don’t have to use alot of hold over or under as distances change.

                  And you know me. So this is no surprise. I have done alot of testing over time with different pellets and at different distances. It’s the only way to truly know for a particular gun your shooting.



                    • Fish
                      Most people will say that a heavier pellet in a springer will make for a harder shot cycle.

                      From what I seen that don’t happen with the 10.34’s. And they tend to fit a bit loose in the bore on some guns. But they have a thin skirt. So I think that even weaker guns still seal to the barrel good with them pellets. Then again add in that they fly faster than the traditional diablo shape. It all adds up and makes a difference.

                      I like them.


          • RR

            I’m guessing that most readers who comment on this blog would prefer accuracy over power if a choice has to be made. Obviously airgun newbies think differently.

            Thanks

            Deck


          • RR & Deck,
            I also prefer coil springers over gas rams. Just a personal choice.
            Well, also when gas rams break, you’ve gotta find the certain part, but when coil spring breaks, you can always fit something generic there. Coils seem to be more reliable.
            Fish.


        • I have three Hatsan pieces. Two are Hatsan pistols, a .177 M-25 Super Charger and a Browning 800 Mag in .22. The other is an M-135 Rifle in .25 caliber.

          The Super Charger is the pistol that the Trevox and the Benjamin Trail pistols SHOULD HAVE been. It shoots smoothly and very, very accurately. The trigger is very good for its price point.

          The Browning 800 was recalled due to a dangerous flaw. It was replaced for a nominal shipping charge with a new issue rather than a repair and it shoots acceptably but is more difficult to hold given its (for a springer air pistol) massive power in .22. The trigger is too new yet to make any real long-term judgments, but will likely wear in and become acceptable.

          The M-135 Rifle was a mess. I am on my third! The first was replaced as it could not group shots. I received a trade and it was only better, but not great. Its mainspring broke and I opted for the gas ram conversion and it actually improved accuracy a slight bit. It still was a “scatter gun.” I went through lots of high quality .25 pellets and was frustrated round-house.

          Finally, I read, on a P/A blog that a commenter was very vexed by the JSB Exact King Heavy Mark IIs that they were extremely difficult to chamber in the breech. I took a chance and ordered a tin and Voila! the rifle became exceedingly accurate! The problem is that the Hatsan .25 bores are oversized. H&N, a partner of Hatsan, I learned, found this to be true and re-engineered their Barracuda with a larger head in .25. The JSB is so oversized that it makes the .25 Hatsan a shooter.

          Now, I have a bunch of tins of high quality .25 pellets that just don’t work on the M-135. I have “solved” the accuracy problem on the rifle so, in a sense all is well at least for this piece. Hatsan has some learning to do about .25 bores for sure.



    • Fish,

      P.S. IMMHO Hatsan still has some work in the fashion department, but they are getting there. They also have a great deal to work on with their customer service. The sad thing is they are better than some.


      • rr,
        with fashion if you meant the looks, I like the wood work on 95 & proxima. I’d just delete those fibreoptics and get rid of the plastic parts, then they’d be beauties.


  2. Very nice, great job Crosman!

    Tom, find a friend that manages/owns a storage facility, or a warehouse.
    After hours, you could have access to a 100 yard indoor climate controlled shooting range.

    It would mean you would have to shift your shooting to evenings.

    But well worth the stable climate.



  3. BB,

    Well,.. you can’t ask for better than that. 🙂 Looking forwards to the 50 yard.

    45Bravo’s idea,… looking for an indoor 100 yard site would be well worth it. Where I worked, I could have done it. More like 500+ yards. But, there is always keys, alarm codes and liability to consider. I unlocked everyday. It can’t hurt to ask. You never know,… all you would have to do is find the right owner that might be interested in shooting.

    On the .25 Red Wolf, it shoots better with the moderator on and does shift the POI. I put it (Hugget) on the Maximus Hunter version too. Same there as well. MUCH quieter with it on, than off.

    Chris



  4. BB,

    That is some great shooting! In the last report you tried some slugs, and while they did not shoot as well as the pellets, it would be interesting to see how they do against them at longer distances. Maybe you could include them in the next test at 50 yards?


    • Alan,

      I will second that. Pick one and at least throw 10 downrange since BB will doing 50 yards anyways. We do not get to see 50 yard testing very often. If for some reason they show promise, take them out further.

      Chris


      • Chris
        I agree with trying out farther than 50 yards.

        Probably why BB don’t is there is not many of us on the blog that shoot longer distances. So maybe he doesn’t think its important.

        And I know his plate is full. But like you I’m sure. I take the long distance shooting when BB does it as a treet. I would definitely like to see more tests out at farther distances.





  5. BB,

    Most interesting about the silencer altering the POI. I would have thought the muzzle brake would have had similar air stripping effect. This makes me ancious to remove the muzzle brake from my Tomahawk and fit the air stripper to it.

    Who knows, maybe some of the manufacturers will pay attention and add better air stripping to their airguns. It is not that it is rocket science. This has been known for quite some time now. It seems most attempts to this point are more concerned with fashion than function.


    • BB,

      The DonnyFL silencers look nice and are very effective at reducing noise. What’s your view on their legality? Does one need a permit for these in the US? I know you’ve written about silencers and moderators in general in the past and it can be a grey area. Thanks!


      • Whetor,

        And a gray area is where BATF&E wants them to be. I see them selling unchallenged. I have stayed away from them for many years, but it appears that BATF&E doesn’t care. Of course the sleeping bear could awaken at any time. That’s what bureaucrats love doing!

        My advice is to play it safe.

        BB


        • BB,

          I was going to suggest a report where you could use your sound meter app to evaluate the efficiency of different devices, including shrouded barrels. That said, your comment about a sleeping bear made me think that it might be better to avoid (low) noises that could awaken it.

          On the whole subject of sound reduction, the law is antiquated and should be adjusted. An oil filter or even a water bottle could land you in trouble if an unscrupulous prosecutor is trying to climb the ladder. Just my $0.02.

          Henry



  6. Not ever having owned/shot any Turkish-made air guns, can’t speak to build quality/service issues, so as always these reviews are valuable for us still deciding what airgun path to take; of course, availability is always a big part of the decision equation. The elephant in the room, when it comes to foreign-made products, is politics. Right now as FM is sure you all know, things are getting testy between Turkey and France; the possibility of boycotts, counter-boycotts and embargoes affecting the hobby cannot be ruled out. That is why it behooves American airgun manufacturers to design and manufacture right here in the good ole USA as much as possible. Emphasis on quality ALWAYS, at least for me and I know or suspect for many of you as well.


  7. GF1, FM, RR and everyone else
    I fully agree to the comment that and airgun made in the USA HAS to be manufactured with much higher quality standards than a Turkish made one. After all even the name of Kratos seems to have been stolen by the, much older, Greek language… That says something even if it is a name chosen by Benjamin.



    • Bill
      I searched it and in means strength.

      Which when this conversation comes up I always remember what they said about Chevy when they chose to name one of their cars Nova. That supposedly means. Will never go over. Like in nobody will accept it.

      Funny looking at it nowdays. Chevy used that name for many years and it definitely was a popular car back then. And still is today.

      Again. Whats in a name. Maybe nothing. Or maybe everything.


  8. I find the conversation interesting after this stunning test of the Benjamin Cayden at 25 yards.

    Among other topics, where it’s made has some relevance. We’re now seeing impressive products from China and Turkey arrive on our shores. It seems the difference between cheap/throwaway stuff and quality that should actually last and performs well from China and Turkey are tolerances and manufacturing oversight.

    Crosman apparently knows a thing or two about manufacturing and provided close oversight to the production of the Cayden in Turkey.

    Back to the Cayden. Let’s see, it has:

    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

    AND respectable accuracy at 25 yards with multiple pellets.

    HMMM, it wasn’t that long ago that a pcp with all of these features cost AT LEAST twice as much as the Cayden. I’m reminded of the AA S410 that was a go to pcp if you wanted all of these features and it has a proprietary fill adapter, no height adjustable cheek piece, no trigger shoe, dovetail rail, only a 10 shot magazine and struggled to get 60 accurate shots.

    Today’s report is glaring proof that our hobby has indeed come a long way in a short time. It’s amazing.


    • Kevin
      True. But you can get a Kral kind of like it for about half the price. Well maybe not half. Anyway you get the picture.

      Whatever way. I guess we got to give it to Crosman for trying. Definitely better than their China nitro guns.




    • Kevin,
      Don’t forget the sidelever.
      But if it was also fully ambidextrous, lighter in weight, did not need a large moderator to be quiet, and shorter in length (carbine), it would be even better. – Don


      • Don425,

        Sidelever seems all too common today on rifles and bullpups. The few bolt action rifles like the marauder seem to have worked out the bugs.

        Fully ambidextrous seems easy but sacrifices are made by design for both righties and lefties. Lighter in weight? 7.95 lbs in a rifle seems about right. The synthetic marauder is 7.3 lbs. Moderator to be quiet as we want seems common since even shrouded guns offend our spoiled senses. Shorter in length usually compromises shot count since the tube gets shortened too. Surprised you didn’t mention the lack of a regulator since this is a hot check box on most airgunners list of wants (not mine).

        You’re one of the great airgunners since you’ve expanded the list of items on your wish list for the perfect gun at a price point. Hopefully manufacturers are listening.

        I for one am amazed at the features in the Cayden for under $600 when you take into account the accuracy that B.B. showed in todays blog.


        • Kevin,
          I forgot to add adjustable trigger and adjustable hammer spring to the list. But both are ok as is.
          I agree that the demonstrated accuracy is a major feature.
          This gun is so air efficient that there would be plenty of usable shots with a 20% shorter air reservoir. Particularly at lower power settings and lighter pellets.
          I am definitely not a great airgunner. I am new to shooting and airguns. My only experience is with my Prod. It has the bolt changed to left side (for left handed shooting), tuned for GTO pellets and fitted with an AR adjustable stock, Tanto moderator and 3-12×44 scope (for low light) set to 5x. It has trade offs, but suits me well and is my baseline for airgun comparisons. – Don


  9. Nice shooting BB. This rifle seems like a good value, something we all appreciate. $50. for 50 rounds of match grade rimfire? I understand why these airguns exist! If we could load our own rimfire ammo for ourselves and friends, would that put the ammo maker out of business? That was a beautiful photo of that American bolt action and scope.
    I would expect some serious horse trading for one like it. The Nova wagon I remember had a corvette motor in it, a five speed monza trans, and positraction rear end, and an 8 trac in it, as well as a bunch of tools in the back. but gas was a buck twenty a gallon too. It’s squirrel season..
    Rob


  10. I need a little help and advice from the community.

    On the subject of Turkish airguns, I have a Hatsan 125 V Sniper with the Vortex gas spring .22 caliber. It is quite powerful producing 28 fpe with Kodiak 21.15 gr and very precise when I do my part with artillery hold. That said, I do not like it much. As could be expected the shot cycle is quite harsh, slapping you in the face if you are not paying attention. It deconstructed a scope already.

    Now the ram died with no warning. PA does not carry spare parts for it and an email to Hatsan asking for the part went unanswered. I am sure that they would service it but I don’t like the rifle enough to go through the hassle.

    More than a problem this is an opportunity. I would like to repair it but reducing the power to make it more user friendly. So my question to the group is, does anyone know where I could find a ram with adjustable pressure or better yet, a spring conversion for it?

    Henry.


    • Gamo sells their gas ram/nitro piston on amazon. It’s not adjustable and I don’t know if it will or can be made to fit your Hatsan. If you find an adjustable gas ram to fit your Hatsan you’ll need a pump to adjust it and that will likely cost as much or more than the adjustable gas ram.

      Why not contact Pyramyd Air’s service department and see if they can replace the gas ram or insert a spring instead?


      • Thank you Kevin for your suggestions. As soon as I finish other projects I will disassemble the Hatsan and with the dimensions of the ram I should be able to see if the Gamo part fits in it. Filling up the ram wouldn’t be an issue, I have a PCP hand pump that would work fine for that. Thanks again, it is worth checking.

        With regard to having PA, or Hatsan for that matter, repair it I am sure that it can be done. The question is that I like working on the guns while avoiding all the hassle of packaging and shipping the beast.
        Best,
        Henry



      • Thanks Fish for the references. The bad news is that Hatsan uses five different rams in their airguns, and this was an old article! The good news is that some of the rams can be repaired. I will take a closer look at that. Then again, I will also Macari and other people to see if they have a coil spring conversion. I am a bit of a traditionalist about that.
        Best,
        Henry


        • Henry,
          It was my pleasure. I, once, read a forum comment somewhere, the shooter had bought a vortex torpedo, and the gas ram failed. He sent it to Hatsan – in warrany – and asked for a coil spring powerplant, and his wish was granted free of charge. Referring to that story, it seems to me as if Hatsan folks are familiar with such practices. Then again, it was an old forum.
          More than likely, you’ve already tried this… Their facebook page appears to be active. I don’t think they’ll turn a blind eye to a reasonable public comment. https://www.facebook.com/HatsanUSA/
          Lastly, have you tried this channel? [email protected]
          Best regards,
          Fish.



    • Henry

      Have you tried Hatsun Repair USA? They were very responsive this past winter. I would go for steel spring conversion. Maybe they will put in a shorter spring.

      Deck


  11. Totally off topic, I replaced the leather piston seal in my Diana 35 with a synthetic seal from vortex. Want to thank Tom for his blog on the 35 where he described disassembling his which gave me the confidence to take mine apart. One thing I wanted to mention is online what few posts I could find about the 35 say that the blind pin holding the seal onto the piston is hardened steel, mine wasn’t and was easy enough to drill out.
    Thanks again Tom,
    Pat



      • I’ve been on the blog a long time, just do not post much. Read it most every day but by the time I read it everything has already been said by folks that know a lot more than me.

        We have met at the Texas airgun show for the last three years or so, heck we traded air rifles at the last one. Maybe that why you are trying to forget. Lol.
        Pat


    • Pat

      Diana 35 is a good example of what many readers who comment on this blog want in a rifle. Not too powerful, accurate, easy to cock, good trigger and quality build.

      Deck


      • When I bought it it had a very harsh shot cycle. After oiling the piston seal it would smoke from the rear of the tube when fired. I had never seen that before. Once it was apart I found the seal had been scored by something that had gotten into the tube. After replacing the seal it has a much nicer shot cycle and it’s easy to see why it’s a fan favorite.
        Pat


  12. B.B.,
    The Benjamin Kratos in .25 cal seems to be a good choice for review. It’s shrouded barrel and power level are similar to the bull pup in that lineup, the Benjamin Akela. It will be interesting to see the noise level and accuracy of the Kratos. – Don


    • Don425.

      It seems that all three of these Benjamin rifles are very similar, I guess with the Cayden they just did not have room for the shroud or they wanted to reduce the price point.

      I will bet the shrouded versions will be backyard friendly and perhaps just as accurate as this loud rifle.

      Would like to know why the Cayden does not have the .25 option.

      Mike


  13. Mildot52-

    I find your comments to be pretty offensive and inappropriate, and your meaning clear. But this isn’t the place for that. This is a place where we discuss airguns.
    On the bright side, I don’t think you will have to try very hard to find another blog or website where they really welcome your style of casual racism. Sadly, it just isn’t our thing here. What can I say- it ain’t like the good ol’ days when you could blame the decline of western civilization on non-whites just right out in the open. Golly.




  14. Hmm
    Looks like some comments must of got deleted by what Pro Steel replied.

    Kind of funny how some thing’s will get deleted on the blog and other things don’t.

    Darn that’s what I get for not being able to be on the blog all day. Close your eyes and you’ll miss all the fun.


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