by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Benjamin Cayden sidelever repeater.
This report covers:
- The test
- JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
- JSB group 1
- JSB group 2
- JSB group 3
- Did I sort pellets?
- Air Arms heavy dome
- Air Arms dome group 2
- Air Arms group 3
- Air Arms group 4
This will be my last report on the Benjamin Cayden precharged pneumatic repeater. In today’s report I shoot the rifle at 50 yards.
I shot the Cayden at a local rifle range where I was a guest of reader Cloud 9. I shot at 50 yards off a concrete shooting bench. The rifle was rested on a sandbag.
Cloud 9 was shooting his new RAW field target rifle next to me and this was the third time he’d had it out to the range. He must have gotten it sighted in well enough on this day because he won his field target match the next day. You will be seeing a test of that air rifle soon.
I shot several 10-shot groups with the two best pellets from the 25-yard test. I forgot to bring my new silencer, so this test was shot with a box-stock Benjamin Cayden that mounted the factory muzzle brake.
JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
Since the Cayden I’m testing is a .22 I started the test with the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome. The scope was still sighted for 25 yards, so I expected the shots to go low, but they didn’t. I loaded the first magazine with 12 pellets, because I didn’t know how much the scope had to be adjusted. When the first pellet hit above the bull but close I decided not to adjust the scope and just shoot all 12 pellets.
JSB group 1
I could see some of the pellets fly downrange and I saw one of them spiral off to the right. I think it’s the hole farthest to the right. The first group is very large, at 2.041-inches between centers, and it’s a little left of center.
The first group consists of 12 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy domes, shot at 50 yards.
JSB group 2
I left the scope set where it was for the second group. It didn’t seem like this JSB pellet was the right one for the Cayden, but a second group might tell. This time 10 shots went into 1.361-inches at 50 yards. Where the first group was more horizontal, this group was more vertical. It’s also off to the left.
The second group of 10 JSB Jumbo Heavys at 50 yards measures 1.361-inches between centers.
JSB group 3
I shot one more group of the JSB domes. Some of you feel that a rifled barrel needs to be “seasoned” by a pellet before the rifle will shoot its best and this was my concession to that viewpoint.
I adjusted the scope a couple clicks to the right for this group. This time 10 JSB Jumbo heavy domes went into 1.331-inches at 50 yards. Nine of the pellets landed in a 1.013-inch group. Based on that it seemed to me I had taken this pellet about as far as it would go in the Benjamin Cayden.
Ten JSB Jumbo Heavys are in 1.331-inches, with nine in 1.013-inches at 50 yards.
Did I sort pellets?
Cloud 9 was shooting his RAW field target rifle next to me and he was shooting pellets that had been head-sorted with a PelletgageR. His groups were large until he found the correct head size, then they shrank immediately.
I don’t typically sort pellets in these tests and I always tell you when I do sort them. I’m not trying to find the absolute best pellet and top accuracy for the airguns I test. I’m trying to find out what they typically do — kind of like the majority of their owners will do. So, no — I didn’t sort pellets for this test. I shot them right out of the tin.
If I was competing in a field target match I definitely would sort pellets. But at almost 30 foot-pounds this .22-caliber rifle is not for field target.
Air Arms heavy dome
The other pellet I tested in the Benjamin Cayden was the Air Arms heavy dome. This 18-grain dome looks a lot like the JSB pellet I just tested, but let’s look at the first group of 10 before we decide anything.
Ten Air Arms heavies went into a 50-yard group that measures 0.908-inches between centers. Now, that is a result! The group is more rounded than any of the JSB groups, so I think this pellet may be better in this rifle.
What a difference! The Cayden put 10 Air Arms heavy domes into this 0.908-inch group at 50 yards.
After shooting this group I adjusted the scope to the right. I could not hear the clicks but I watched the adjustments move on the adjustment knob scale.
Air Arms dome group 2
The wind was picking up at the range by this time. It was at our backs and gusting to 15 m.p.h. most of the time, but down at 50 yards it was swirling. The second group of 10 Air Arms domes illustrates this. The Cayden put 10 pellets in 1.863-inches with nine of them in 1.261-inches at 50 yards. The horizontal spread of this group was due to the wind. Cloud 9 was shooting smaller groups than I with his RAW and he was having the same problem with the wind.
The second group of Air Arms pellets suffered from the wind. Ten shots in 1.863-inches with nine in 1.261-inches at 50 yards.
Air Arms group 3
I adjusted the scope farther to the right and down after this group. I had to wait out the wind, so for this third group of Air Arms pellets I was very patient. This time 10 pellets landed in 0.874-inches — the smallest group of the test.
The Cayden put 10 Air Arms pellets into this 0.874-inch group at 50 yards. This was the result of patiently waiting out the wind.
I now adjusted the scope a little back to the left and a little down. The wind really picked up by this time.
Air Arms group 4
The last group was a nail-biter! This group hit the target low and to the right of center. After the first five shots I wanted to stop because I had a 0.215-inch group. I had waited out the wind for each shot and through my 16X scope it looked like a one-hole group. Cloud 9 had a 50X scope and could see two overlapping holes — the ones that are on the bottom left side of the group. But I decided that I was shooting 10-shot groups on this day, so I fired shot number 6 — and watched the shot get blown sideways to open the group to 1.123-inches, where it remained through shot ten. The moral of my story is to sometimes quit when you’re ahead.
The first 5 shots (arrow) went into 0.215-inches. Shot 6 landed all the way to the right, opening the group to 1.123-inches between centers.
The Benjamin Cayden is a very worthwhile precharged pneumatic repeater. It has good power and accuracy and gets lots of shots on a fill to just 3,000 psi. The power is adjustable across a very useful range.
Probably top on the list is its outstanding looks. Many shooters talk about how they desire a beautiful wood-and-metal air rifle that delivers performance. Well, we just tested one!
So — is the Cayden better than the Marauder? I’m not sure. Is yellow a prettier color than green?
68 thoughts on “The Benjamin Cayden: Part 6”
Not bad. I seen better and I have seen worse.
Did you have any wind the day you shot? Out at 50 yards the wind starts taking affect alot easier than in at closer distances. Which I know you know. But was wondering about the wind.
He said it kicked up towards the end of session.
Hmm I guess I missed it.
So yep that’s a bummer. Not the best groups the gun can shoot then I’m thinking.
Well a gun that can shoot 2 MOA is nice. For me to be tempted by the Darkside, it had better shoot one MOA.
Maybe Cloud9’s RAW does that?
My .357 HM1000X will shoot one MOA at 100 yards. I am certain Cloud9’s RAW will shoot that at least out to 75 yards. A .177 is pretty tough to shoot well out to 100 yards, but it can be done.
Lots of sub-MOA airguns available and they need not be expensive.
I typically use my .22 Maximus for general shooting and pesting out to around 35 yards but (in spite on it’s light weight) it will shoot 3/4 inch groups at 50 yards.
The darkside in not really that dark, my friend has been using a second hand SCUBA tank that he picked up for $100 to fill his Maximus for a couple of years now. HPA compressors are nice to have but you can get by without them.
Sorry I should have said, gun that can shoot 1″ groups @100 yds, 1/2″ groups @50, and 1/4″ groups at @25.
What do I know, I use MIL, lol.
My HW 50 can shoot 3/4″ groups @ 35 yds, woop woop……..
Nice groups for a springer!! I still want to get a HW30 some time.
One inch groups at 100 yards takes a lot of doing – both from the equipment and the shooter. Price of admission is high in $$$ and practice.
You can’t just buy you way into that club! I have two .22 and on .25 caliber airguns that have the potential of MOA @ 100 yards but the shooter is not up to par LOL! Been extending me effective range 5 yards at a time, hope to get there eventually.
Standard pellets are great out to about 50-60 yards but beyond that the energy bleeds off to quick and things go to heck. In .22 heavier pellets (.25 g) and larger calibers are better and people shoot them out to longer ranges but IMHO, anything after 80-90 yards is more practical.
For airguns, my basic premise is that if I can’t hit a 1 inch spinner (consistently) then it is beyond my (gun and shooter’s) effective range.
Anyway, sorry to ramble at you it is miserable wet and cold outside so I am stuck indoors so I am at the computer. Just trying to woo you to the darkside 🙂
Sorry for your poor weather. There are a bunch of guys at my range who have a 1 inch bell @107 yards. They hit it regularly, 8-9 times out of 10 with their .25 FX’s. Same gun that B.B. tested and could not get the same results…..
For the Darkside to tempt me, it would need a shot counter, permanent seals, and compressors would have to be the size and weight of shoe-boxes and pigs could fly…lol…
You keep moving the bar on us! 😉 Have you ever tried to lob one out to 107?
and technology can’t keep up……
You went over the line with the flying pigs! 😉
Guess you did not like “Alice in Wonderland” as a kid?
I think those were flying monkeys.
Don’t forget those everlasting magazines that never run out! 🙂
I want all 10 shot mags. That way it is hard to screw-up 10 shot groups. lol.
Or just load 10 pellets into a 12-shot mag. Like I do.
Fly monkeys was “Wizard of OZ”,
Probably does. I’ve never heard of a RAW that didn’t shoot well. When you pay $2000 for an air rifle, it better shoot. They have Loather Walther barrels.
I am not so sure the pre AirForce RAW’s had LW barrels. Some of them may have. The .357 was made with 1:16 and 1:26 twist rates. Martin Rutterford experimented with various twist rates. Mine I believe is the 1:26 which is superb for the JSB 81 grain pellet.
He is still building air rifles by the way.
Martin and his wife Sharon are visiting AirForce this week. I had dinner with them Sunday evening. Martin hunts whitetail deer with his .357 RAW.
I communicated with him a while back. If I am not mistaken his RAW is not regulated and kicking out over 200 FPE. Mine is pushing about 100 FPE. I am seriously thinking of having him make a new barrel for me for the new cast bullets (slugs). I am fairly sure I can adjust my regulator up to 130 FPE and possibly 160 FPE. Any higher than that you have to remove the regulator.
He did mention a foot-pound number and as I recall it was above 200.
Could you ever convince him to build a springer?
Who? Martin Rutterford? He sold his company to AirForce , and I don’t think he wants to produce airguns any l;onger. Besides, going from PCP to springer is a large leap!
He does indeed still build air rifles.
A sproinger, really?
Thank you for that fine test. Always the treat to see 50 yards here on the blog. I know that it is more work for you with packing everything up. Overall, not bad.
That’s some good shooting. Good wind calls, except for when it wasn’t. 😉
In your experience with the PelletgageR, do you have a gut feeling or prognostication of how sorting pellet head sizes for the Cayden would play out?
I think pellet sorting of the Air Arms pellets might shave another 15-25 percent off the group size.
That is quite a testimony for measuring pellet head size.
So much uncertainty about silencers for airguns. Are they okay to use in Texas? I’m asking about the type that are not mounted permanently.
Nice shooting in that wind!
Silencers are legal to hunt with in Texas.
Smooth bore update: The Daisy 499 barrel successfully functions in my old Crosman 1600 pistol. The Daisy precision shot runs through the linear magazine, feeds and fires. Didn’t shoot it enough last night to definitively say it’s substantially more accurate than before. This isn’t the right host platform for that test–semiauto long heavy trigger… So, no, still not a laser beam and I won’t need to buy a trime on ebay for group comparisons. I’ll shoot it more and see how it shakes out.
Great news! Looking forwards to future analysis. Please provide some before and after group size data (and range) if you happen to know the “before” groups.
Like Chris said. Give some before and after group sizes if and when you can.
OK I’ll open the can of worms. Do you think not having the silencer on hurt or helped your 50 yard groups?
I flat don’t know. But since most Cayden buyers won’t spend the money for the silencer I think this was a more representative test of what the rifle can do.
My Red Wolf .25 shoots better with it (Hugget) on. Really though, I think it is a crap shoot if something will be better or not. Lots of variables. About the only thing you can say for sure is that you will have a substantial reduction in noise with any quality moderator.
A silencer will usually help accuracy as it will act as an air stripper.
Great shooting in the wind!
Think that the Cayden would be more than capable for 99% of the shooters – especially since most people don’t shoot at much more than 35-40 yards.
After spending a lot of (fun) time playing around with the tune on my Impact I look at groups shot with “right out of the box” airguns and can’t help but wonder how well it could do with a bit of tuning. Factory tunes are generally pretty good but they are “generic” for multiple brands of pellets – to really sing the rifle should be fine tuned to its golden pellet.
Bet the Cayden could easily shoot sub-MOA at 50 yards.
As I often do, I go back and re-read your old blogs on guns that I have. Today, it was the Crosman 160. Mine was probably an Air Force model, but without the paperwork I will never know. I remember that you had sold your first 160 and never could understand why. Then, you bought the 160 you tested in 2012 and mentioned you might return to the 160 and test it at 50 yards. Hope you decide to shoot the 160 out to 50 yards.
I’ve never tested my gun out to 50 yards. No particular reason other than I have just never shot the CO2 guns at that range even when I was using CO2 in the Discovery’s. Don’t use CO2 any longer in the Discovery’s. However, at up to 25 yards the 160 will out shoot either one of our discovery rifles. I have shot the 160 both scoped and with it’s S-331 receiver sight against the Discovery’s. Both of the Discovery’s were fitted with receiver sights and a good front sight without the useless fiber optic. Also, both Discovery’s are scoped most of the time. All three guns shooting the JSB 15.89 pellet that does the best in these rifles, the 160 will come out on top.
I know that one can buy a QB78 like the Crosman 160, but it’s just not a Crosman. Wish Crosman would bring the 160 back. Be interesting. Change the valve and tube for HPA. I know, they have the Maximus, etc., but they are just not the quality guns that the 160 was/is, at least in my opinion.
I don’t even know if I still have the second 160. I have to move guns out to get different guns in.
Could you please put me on the email list for pending airgun evictions?
Before you move one out, I would like a chance to see if it’s something I just can’t live without…
Nice shooting at 50 yds BB. I love it when you stretch it out a little like this. I would save a buck or two and go with the AirArms heavys I think. Is it a better gun than a Marauder? At $300, the made in China Avenger is better than both the other two. Sorry Charlie, only the best tuna gets the Chicken of the Sea label. New shipment in December?
I am going to rebuild my Marauder AR style, maybe drop for the aluminum pressure tube. waer you mask folks.
What are you going to use to go AR style? I have a .25 with full RAI furniture.
I see now where you said the wind is at 15 mph.
This is not a fair test to the gun. Even if the wind happened at certian times.
I know its real world but I would not base the results of this test off of the results you got. Wind will mess results up more than you think.
I say a retest at 50 yards with the best pellet is in order at some point in time with minimal wind.
I’m sure your time is limited and finding a calm day is hard to get sometimes. But at the least I hope people keep in mind that the gun might be able to do better with out the wind being a problem.
B. B. Pelletier,
I’m Calling You OUT Mr. B. B. Pelletier!
From Part 5:
“I’m shooting off a sandbag rest from 25 yards. I decided not to adjust the scope today…” Also from the Caption of the first Group picture in Part 5: “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.” You didn’t report the full (12shot) Group size but i mensurated it at: 0.668-inches between centers. From todays post: “I shot several 10-shot groups with the two best pellets from the 25-yard test. I forgot to bring my new silencer, so this test was shot with a box-stock Benjamin Cayden that mounted the factory muzzle brake.” And…the final strike: “The scope was still sighted for 25 yards, so I expected the shots to go low, but they didn’t. I loaded the first magazine with 12 pellets, because I didn’t know how much the scope had to be adjusted. When the first pellet hit above the bull but close I decided not to adjust the scope and just shoot all 12 pellets.”
Well now, Mr. B. B. Pelletier, seems that the business end of this poor Benjamin Cayden never knows what is going to be hanging off of it!
How is Yogi ever going to SEE THE LIGHT and come to the Dark Side?
You owe us another test at 50!
PS: Nice wind shooting considering all of the above distractors!
I’ll jump on the bandwagon with you. Poor, poor Cayden. First it doesn’t know what’s on the end of the barrel and then it doesn’t know how many shots are going to be in a group. And the wind! I think I would have to give a thumbs up for a 5 shot .215” 50 yd group.
On a related front 12” corrugated (smooth inside) plastic runs around $10 a ft. How about a Go Fund Me for a Tom Gaylord No Excuses BB Gun Testin’ Tunnel of Truth and Wonderfulness to be installed at his local range? Think of how many more blogs BB could give us without having to wait on the wind. Think of how relaxed testing could become for him. I think he deserves this.
Some of those domed green house set ups would be nice, put end to end. The downside is the plastic (most plastics) will deteriorate with the sun’s UV rays. That clear “twin wall” sheet is some cool stuff.
That’s what 303 is for!
BOOM, BOOM, BoomBoomBoom!
Paco he is good enough shooting in the wind after his years in Texas! I think he just needs to use Range Checklists again! Lol!
On a ROLL!
You jest, but in the 19th century Dr Franklin W. Mann constructed an 18-inch 100-meter long tunnel for just that purpose. He even curved it so it matched the trajectories of his many experiments. And his shooting “bench” that he called his Shooting Gibralter weighed 3,500 pounds and was anchored in bedrock. All for his 37 years of experimentation about why bullets don’t always go to the same place. “the Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target”
I can still feel the wind right here! 😉
I think this was a fair testing, because I see Cayden as a hunting rifle. In imperfect conditions, with variety of pellets, it performed pretty admissibly at 50 yrds. If you want to hunt with a certain rifle, you want to see how it performs in bad weather. I agree with Hank’s comment above, most people don’t shoot at much more than 35-40 yards anyway. Also I’d prefer a rifle that shoots good in harsh conditions with various low quality ammo over a rifle that performs excellently only with a few good quality ammo in milky conditions.
ps: Please, don’t ask me what ‘milky conditions’ means, cause I have no idea what the h..k it means either. 🙂
It was fair. When it comes to testing though, the whole point is to see what it (can) do under ideal conditions. Of course, that too can vary from rifle to rifle. BB did his best with what he has to work with.
“Also I’d prefer a rifle that shoots good in harsh conditions with low quality ammo over a rifle that performs excellently only with certain good quality ammo”,…….. not asking much there,.. are you? Always shoot the best ammo you can buy. Most times it will be more consistently made and therefore shoot more consistently.
“h..k”,…….. ? I do not think that (heck) is on the “banned” list of not to use words.
I used to have a Diana 27, and whatever I fed it, it shot it consistently. The cheapest box of pellets would do just fine with it. Wadcutter, domed, hollow point, or whatever, it wouldn’t have mattered. How you hold it didn’t matter either. With an average box of pellets, you could work wonders with it. I’m starting to believe — just a belief here — 30S/R7 must be that kind of rifle as well…
It must then be a truly Ill Wind that doth blow so!
Covers a whole range of degrees of accuracy! Lol!
It was consistently accurate. Seriously now?
You have to test in all conditions. That’s what I do.
But usually a gun that shoots good in not so good conditions can even do better in good conditions.
As it goes the more you shoot the more you learn. And you better have done that before you plan to hunt.
i don’t hunt. I just guessed that it’d be like that.
Anyhow, the Turks did a heck of a good job with Cayden, I think. I salute the Turks, my friend!
I kind of got that from the comment you made when you replied to me and posted that video about the hw30 and wanted me to watch it and I didn’t have time right then. Then you replied with the bear videos.
But I have hunted all my life and pest for local farmers and 2 of the city’s I have lived in. And pested when I was a kid on the farm.
And without going into detail all I mentioned was for a reason that I have done it.
But here is the bottom line. When I shoot I want it to be as humane as possible. Otherwise I don’t take the shot. And before I go out I better know what the gun will do and what I can do with the gun.
Why do you think I practice (EVERY DAY).
Because I have to know what I’m doing for more reasons than I’m explaining right now.
Hope your not offended. It’s what I do.
I am not offended at all. I like my salmon, steak, and lobster. 🙂 I have lots of vegeterian friends who constantly preach at me, and I remind them about how many poor little animals have to be killed so that we can have our veggies on the dinner table. Sad but true.
I put a tremendeus effort into where I buy my food. I want my fish to be wildly catched and the meat I eat to have a good happy full life. I know it sounds stupid, but I have known to take a trip or two to country to make sure that the cage free chicken eggs I buy are really cage free.
I did a lot of speargun fishing in my younger days. I was able to hold my breath for long minutes, this and that. I don’t hunt anymore, and never have hunted on land – just a personal choice…
Of course, I don’t approve hunting for pure pleasure; I’m against that. Although, I have to admit, speargun fishing was fun.
PS: I make the best vegetable soups in the Universe.
I wrote harpoon earlier for some kind of reason; I meant to say speargun… https://akvasport.com/userfiles/productlargeimages/product_10474.jpg
Also, you were right. I broke my promise again. Here I’m talking about spearguns and cage free chickens instead of airguns. 🙂
I got that about you liking water from other comments you have made about the Mediterranean and sail boats. I think I’m remembering right anyway.
And good for you with trying to know about what your eating.
Here’s a little story about me growing up on the farm.
We had pigs, chicken and rabbits and even was licensed to raise quail to release on the property. And trust me it wasn’t nothing like how things are done nowdays.
We grew feed corn for the animals and food corn for people. Even Indian corn for decoration and Thanksgiving and pumpkins for Halloween. Our garden was a minimum of 2 acres with all kinds of stuff. And we had two different type of grape vines growing on trallaces. My dad called them yard decoration. 🙂
We never went to the city for anything. We traded eggs for milk from the other farmers. Well I shouldn’t say we never went to the city. We did buy toilet paper and paper towels and some cleaning supplies.
And you know what. We never had trash as in plastic and such. Nothing was wrapped in plastic.
Things were way more efficient and ecologically correct back then. Sometimes I just wonder about how things have changed over time. Basically not for the good. Unusually don’t do frowny faces. But here’s one about how things are now days. 🙁
You had an awesome childhood. I envy you. I’d like to tell you about mine, but at a later time; for now, I have to get back to work.
The older I get the more I realize how lucky I was to grow up how I did and have the parents and family and neighbors I had.
That’s hard to find now days.
And I probably shouldn’t even bring all that up on the blog. So don’t feel obligated to tell about your child hood if you really don’t want to. But I will be much obliged to listen. 🙂
But… But… I was about to dump all my childhood problems on you. Who on Earth wouldn’t love to listen to that?! 🙂 Okay, let’s get back to airguns then. I actually have a 30s question. I’ll ask under today’s blog in a little bit.
Ok. But how you know I will be able to answer?