Benjamin 397 Variable Pump Air Rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin 397
The new Benjamin 397.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Scope mount
  • Will the wood stock fit?
  • Shoot the paint out
  • RWS Hobby
  • Discharge sound
  • Stability
  • Lightweight pellets
  • Medium weight pellets
  • Heavy pellets
  • Pump effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the new Benjamin 397 Variable Pump Air Rifle. There was a lot of interest and chatter about this air rifle in Part One. Let’s start with some of the questions.

Scope mount

Reader GunFun1 asked where the dovetails are for mounting a scope. Well, there are no dovetails on this air rifle. Instead it is drilled and tapped for a peep sight, which Benjamin has done on their rifles for a very long time. The pictures on the Pyramyd Air website are too dark to see details, so I enlarged one and lightened the image for you to see.

397 tapped holes
The 397 comes with two threaded holes on the right side of the receiver. In the past these holes have been used to secure a scope base with dovetails to the receiver.

Apparently nobody makes that base any longer. They are now clamping to the rounded receiver with what is called an intermount. There are several models to choose from.

Will the wood stock fit?

I believe it will fit. After I take some pictures I’ll try to swap.

397 family picture
This “family picture” shows the old-style Benjamin 392 above the new synthetic 397. This 392 has been modified for the pump assist, but its wood buttstock remains unaltered.

397 wood
And there is the swap! Hallelujah!

Now, the wood butt fits on the new 397 and the pump arm will close, but the synthetic butt does not fit on a wood-stocked gun.

397b syntheti
Oh, oh. It doesn’t work the other way!

Shoot the paint out

In Part One I told you that paint inside the barrel at the muzzle is a common complaint of owners and I saw it in the test rifle. I said I was going to remove it and reader Toddspeed asked me to shoot for accuracy before removing the paint, and then again, afterward. He wants to see how much the overspray in the muzzle really affects accuracy. I will do that, though not today. In fact I’ll inspect the muzzle after today’s session to see if the paint is still there after I’m done shooting.

I also hope to shoot the rifle with a peep sight — IF I can find mine and if it matches the drilled and tapped holes, because the Pyramyd Air site mentions there is a new peep that fits rifles manufactured in the last 5 years. Crosman should offer an optional wood stock of the old low comb style for shooters who want to use sights. Let’s get started.

RWS Hobby

I may shoot some “trick” pellets but I’m more concerned with performance of the rifle with the pellets we will actually shoot. I’ll start with the 7-grain RWS Hobby wadcutter.

Pump…….Vel.
2……………..471
3……………..551
4……………..604
5……………..648
6……………..680
7……………..716
8……………..737
9……………..758 no air remaining in gun
10……………773 no air remaining in gun

This first test showed a lot. First — this IS NOT an 1,100 f.p.s. air rifle! I will also try it with lightweight pellets that no one would ever use, but with real-world pellets the new 397 is a 775 f.p.s. rifle.

Next, I have to revise what I said in Part One about pumping. The first three pumps are now easy. I think the new rifle was just stiff and needed to be broken in. At pump 5 it started to get hard. That is how the previous 397 was, so in that respect, the new gun is like the old one.

But the new rifle is more efficient for pumps 2 through 4! I like what I see on the string above. In fact, why pump more than 4 times for shots closer than 25 yards? Maybe if you are shooting at game you want to pump more, but to just plink 4 pumps seems to work fine, even 3 if you’re closer to your targets.Why work when you don’t have to?

Discharge sound

On two pumps the rifle discharged with 106.5 decibels of noise. On 5 pumps the discharge was 107.7 decibels. That’s not much louder. But on 10 pumps the discharge dropped to 104.9 decibels. I was surprised — not because that shot sounded louder but just because there were more pumps and more power. I think rather than increasing and decreasing with the different number of pump strokes the discharge sound is pretty constant and I’m just encountering minor variences.

discharge

Stability

Now let’s see how consistent the pump is. The next string will all be shot with Hobby pellets and 5 pumps in the rifle.

Shot….Vel
1………..647
2………..654
3………..654
4………..654
5………..651
6………..656
7………..660
8………..659
9………..658
10………665

The average for this string is 656 f.p.s. The spread is 18 f.p.s. which is on the high side for a multi-pump, but again I think part of that is a need to break in the rifle.

I will say this — this 397 is much more efficient on fewer pump strokes than any other that I’ve tested. Whatever was done to the valve to permit 10 pumps also made the rifle more efficient.

Lightweight pellets

Hobbys are lightweight for lead pellets, but there are pellets made from other materials that are even lighter. But I don’t think they will be used much in the Benjamin 397.

There are two good reasons most shooters will never shoot ultra-lightweight pellets in their 397. The first is, the affordable ones are far less accurate than lead pellets. I have proved that several times in the past. The second reason is the really good lightweight pellets that are as accurate as lead pellets are made from tin and are quite expensive. I don’t see anyone shooting this air rifle and using pellets that cost three to 15 cents apiece!

But Crosman has advertised it with velocities that have to be based on lightweight pellets, so let’s test it with some now. The lightest .177-caliber pellets that I currently have are Gamo Platinum PBA pellets that weigh 5.1 grains. Here is their performance. Next to my results I’ve written what the box says.

Pumps.…Vel.…Box
2….………..538…650
6….………..784…850
10….………879…1,100

This 397 is clearly not an 1100 f.p.s. air rifle! Not even with lightweight pellets does it come anywhere close to the advertised velocity. That’s not bad — but it is a fact. This new 397 is a little faster than its wood-stocked predecessor, and it’s also more efficient with fewer pump strokes. Keep that in mind as we progress.

Medium weight pellets

Now let’s test the new 397 with some medium-weight lead pellets. I chose Crosman Premier Lights that weigh 7.9 grains.

Pump…….Vel.
2……………..463
3……………..533
4……………..582
5……………..628
6……………..666
7……………..696
8……………..720
9……………..738 no air remaining in gun
10……………758 no air remaining in gun

Now let’s see what the rifle does with a heavy pellet. I’ll shoot Crosman 10.5-grain Premier Heavys.

Pump…….Vel.
2……………..397
3……………..465
4……………..518
5……………..557
6……………..595
7……………..623
8……………..653
9……………..666 no air remaining in gun
10……………682 no air remaining in gun

I expected the heavy pellets to shoot slower and they did. But if you plan to hunt with the rifle a heavier pellet should be considered.

Pump effort

Now for the big one! What does it take to pump the new 397? I am working the pump slow and steady as I watch the scale’s deflection.

Pump….Effort lbs.
1……………..18
2……………..24
3……………..26
4……………..29
5……………..29
6……………..29
7……………..31
8……………..33
9……………..33
10……………34

Those numbers are in alignment with the older 397, except pumps 9 and 10 on the new gun are like the old gun’s pumps 7 and 8. The rifle could still be breaking in and these numbers might drop, but only by a pound or so.

Trigger pull

The first stage takes 12 oz. to complete. Stage two releases at 4 lbs. 15 oz. The second-stage release is crisp. In all this is a good trigger that I can work with.

How is the paint?

I looked at the overspray inside the muzzle and after 40 shots I can detect no loss of paint. So, when we get to the accuracy test I will try it with and without the paint — assuming I am able to remove it.

Summary

We have learned a lot about the new Benjamin 397 Variable Pump today. We now know that it is not an 1,100 f.p.s. air rifle, no matter what ammo is used. We also know that the older-style wood butt stock will fit the new rifle and make it possible to see the open sights.

We have also learned that this new rifle is more efficient in the lower number of pump strokes, which makes it a delightful plinker. Crosman has done something to this rifle’s valve that has changed its performance for the better.

Besides testing accuracy with open sights I also hope to test it with a peep sight and a scope, if I can find the mount. Lots more to come!

115 thoughts on “Benjamin 397 Variable Pump Air Rifle: Part 2


  1. B.B.,

    Last time i removed the paint over spray i used a Q-Tip dipped in Acetone. That was a 392 so it fit almost perfectly; you may need to remove some of the cotton from the tip to fit the .177 bore.
    I’m interested in this new peep you referred to any additional insider information? It looks just like the Williams 5D that Tim (Mac1) provided with my last Steroid Kit.

    shootski



    • I did similar, but with MEK-based paint stripper on my 397 and 392. It’s pretty easy to be careful and keep it off the outside of the barrel, except at the “crown” so I polished the crown afterwards. To quote Tim McMurray of Mac1Airguns, “Paint is not a crown.”

      BTW, Tim can cut 10mm dovetails in the aft section of the metal breech.




    • I know! I think it is sickening that a major manufacturer is doing this. As far as I am concerned, this is blatant and fraudulent, bait-and-switch marketing/advertising. B.B.’s data proves this. They are preying on the uninformed consumers.

      Shame on Benjamin/Crosman.

      The real numbers are still quite decent for a pump up.


    • Yogi,
      I am guessing it’s the lawyers. I bet they give the highest possible (light pellets, best conditions). It’s not just Crosman and Daisy. Following this blog I notice lots of guns are that way. Sig is big into it with the C02 guns. They never seem to shoot what they claim. I agree and wish it could be better. For the record, I at least like how some list a high velocity followed by a lower velocity with lead pellets.

      Doc


  2. BB
    No not the dovetail. I was wondering if it was still drilled for the scope mounts like the old 392 and 397 I had in the past.

    You mentioned in the comments in part 1 that it was drilled for a Williams peep sight. So I wanted to know if it was still drilled for the scope mount which I can see now that it is. And thanks for the picture.

    And I’m also interested in the before and after accuracy with the paint in the barrel.




      • BB
        Since you done shot it for velocity it won’t matter now.

        I’m sure all the paint is off the lands now of the rifling.

        You should of shot one 10 shot group right off then done the velocity report then cleaned the barrel and then do another 10 shot group and compare the groups.


    • GF1,

      Upon further reflection I do recall a scope mount that fastened to the side of the receiver of these things. I have never seen one in real life though. I do not know how well it would work, but it had to be better than the mounts that clamp to the barrel. I have heard and seen some real horror stories with that one.

      It would make me hesitate to use those clamp on Intermounts on the receiver. How is the receiver fastened to the compression tube?



      • RR
        If your talking about these they are terrible.
        https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Crosman_459MT_2_Pc_Intermount_3_8_Dovetail/190

        They rotate on the barrel from side to side. I even drilled and tapped extra hole on each side to hold it on the barrel. It was better but would still move around if you bumped the scope.

        Had the ones used on this one too and didn’t like them.
        https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Crosman_459MT_2_Pc_Intermount_3_8_Dovetail/190


        • GF1,

          I do not know which ones they were, but the scope mounted on the barrel can cause the solder joint between barrel and tube to separate. Not much chance of fixing that.


          • RR
            Yep don’t like that either. Barrel seperation wouldbe a bummer.

            Maybe.

            If it did then you could modify a Crosman steel breech and put it and a Maximus barrel on the 392 or 397.

            How about that for thinking outside the box. 🙂


        • Gunfun1: I mentioned above but will again here; Tim at Mac1 can cut 11mm dovetails in the aft section of the metal breech but I’ve never gone this route. Someday I’ll buy a cutter and try it with my milling machine. For a long time, I’ve also had an idea to CAD-up and 3D print a mount for the light weight SeeAll sight (a design that doesn’t cause solder joint barrel separation), but the SeeAll sight doesn’t work well for you (or many other shooters, I think).



          • Calinb,

            What is really sad, to me, just looking at B.B.’s pictures, is that there is no easy way to use one of the Mac1 Steroid kits on the plastic stock. I do wonder if when Crosman has the (new valves?) in stock for parts sales if it will be any better than one rebuilt/upgraded to Steroid specs by Tim?

            shootski


            • Shootski,

              The Steroid treatment (there is no kit available so only Tim can do a true Steroid) is entirely internal. A longer pump arm is optional and it would not work with the plastic stock. It simply provides more leverage for pumping but doesn’t increase performance. From the photos, it looks to me like a wood stock and fore end would fit on the new rifle in combination. It’s hard to say what makes the gun shoot harder / require fewer pumps but I suspect Crosman reduced pump headspace and did a little porting.


              • Calinb,

                Has Tim gone back to doing STEROID builds?
                A few years back I wanted another STEROID to give as a gift and he said that he no longer was doing them since the accuracy of the Benji coming from Crosman was such a [email protected]
                He did rebuild a valve for me and I installed the pump arm/link, cut the stock, redid the trigger and some other small mods on the (retured five) one accurate enough Benji to STEROID. Tim was not happy with Crosman management for a host of reasons at that point. Reading B.B.’s Part 1, I speculated that they had just increased the valve volume; as you know there are a bunch of ways to do that given the even pump effort reported. Now after reading Part 2 im back to just plain wondering what they did. Need to wait for someone to take one apart and report on what they find!
                I suspect you are correct that Crosman decreased headspace and may have changed the pump head shape along with the TP mods. Much like some/all modders had been doing for decades. We will know soon enough; even in the plastic stock the Benji 39X story is now long from over…we can hope!

                shootski


                • Tim did a barrel/pump tube solder separation repair on my Silver Streak about three years ago (turned out great) and I had him Steroid it too. We talked about doing my 392 and 397 at the time and he just cautioned me to make sure the newer guns are accurate first. I don’t know if he’s now flat-out refusing the new guns, because there are some good newer guns. My 392 is the least accurate but, after testing dozens of pellets, I found that it is as accurate as my Streak with one pellet only–JSB Heavies. My Streak and 397 are not very picky and my 397 is the most accurate of them all! Of course, lacking heavy pellets, it’s the least compelling candidate for a Steroid.

                  Believing in the “law of averages” I put a spread sheet together many years ago using quantitative online accuracy reports from countless forums and review sites. (I used online search engines.) I had dozen of entries for Crosman Benji, old Benjis and old ‘dans. I didn’t have enough data to confidently say the old Benjis were better but, from the data, there was no doubt in my mind that 397s are, on the average, significantly more accurate than any of the others. The Streaks were less accurate than the 397s and the 392s were less accurate than the Streaks. 392s were the most variable.


                  • Calinb,

                    “Tim did a barrel/pump tube solder separation repair on my Silver Streak about three years ago (turned out great) and I had him Steroid it too.”

                    Tim is amazing for sure!

                    Your data set is a Benji-Dan treasure. How are you going to preserve it? Could be used in an updated edition of a book on multi-pumps.

                    Next to my Big Bores my multi and single pump are my favorites for plinking and hunting.

                    Keep pumping!

                    shootski


                    • shootski,

                      When B.B. started this series on the new pumpers, I looked for my old spreadsheet but I haven’t located it yet. It might be on an old computer that’s being “stored” in the barn. Its mobo appears to be dead so I need to pull the hard disk drive and look. I should have put it on an SD card but SD cards didn’t hold enough data to be very good for backups back then and I tend not to bother with optical media either (unreliable over time) so I may have lost it forever.

                      BTW, I bought all the parts for a 39xPA Steroid from Tim. Though a home brew installation doesn’t make for a true Steroid, I think I understand the process Tim uses. He has never tried to keep much of a it a trade secret. I know a guy who watched him do the whole process in his shop. If Tim won’t Steroid the new guns, I’ll find the time to machine the valve and install all the parts someday.


        • Hey Gunfun1
          Almost 20 years ago I modded a Crosman 2240 with an 18” barrel, a crooked barn valve and steel breach, barrel weight front sight holder and a Crosman open plastic stock.
          Using those mounts on the barrel I mounted a Leapers 4X32 AO scope and never once in the last 20 years or so experienced those mounts moving!
          NB: the crooked barn valve almost doubled the muzzle energy of the gun which immediately put it into the non-restricted firearm category and subject to all storage and transport requirements here in Canada. For the next few years it was a great gopher gun. Hardly ever a bad shot but only about 16 – 18 shots per co2 cartridge.
          Dave



            • Gunfun1
              Yes, those are the exact mounts. I used them because the dovetails on the breach just did not work with my scope. The dimensions of the Crooked Barn breach were quit a bit different from the Crosman Breach and not to mention only a single grub screw to set the barrel.
              The CB Breach was a lot smaller, lower and shorter. It was anodized in an almost titanium colour. Never had one problem with it and the intermounts kept the scope a little forward and higher on the gun making it more comfortable to use and out of the way of the loading port.
              That mod was done in the early 2000’s and the gun was sold a few years ago to a neighbor up the road from me and as far as I know the gun is still in regular use in the warmer months.
              Dave


              • Dave
                My scope wouldn’t hold aim point when I used those barrel mounts. It would constantly shift to the left or right.

                I put a steel breech on the gun and same scope and never had anymore problems after that.

                Maybe the barrel mounts I had was made on a Monday or a Friday. You never know.


                • Hey Gunfun1
                  I do remember the mounts came with Phillips head screws that I swapped out for Allen screws. Mebbe getting everything a bit tighter was the proper way to go?
                  Dave


                  • Dave
                    Really mine came with the allen bolts like in the picture from the link I gave.

                    What I found is that when you tightened them it would lock down on the barrel. But as soon as you tightened up the scope ring bolts the mount would get loose on the barrel. Even if I went back and forth tightening them they would never hold secure on the barrel.

                    The way I seen it is I already put more effort in than I wanted to. I even drilled and tapped holes and put set screws in to hold the Crosman adapters to the barrel. It got better but still not like mounting a scope ring to a dovetail or Weaver style scope ring.

                    It’s just one of those things I learned to stay away from.

                    Kind of like the TR5 syndrome


                    • Hey Gunfun1
                      Mebbe the 18” barrel was sized a bit different but I never had trouble with the scpe! Mebbe the paint on the inside of the mounts needed to be roughed up or removed – it worked for me and is still working for the new owner.
                      Goblins, ghosts and mebbe a little rust – who knows!
                      Dave


                  • Dave
                    Very well could of been any of the things you mentioned. I will probably never know because I don’t think I will buy any again.

                    Now if I still had them maybe I would try them again and look into the things you mentioned. But that would be the only way for me.


  3. BB,

    That is a big difference in max. fps. You are usually able to get closer than that when using the alloys. Something is fishy there.

    Maybe they used (felt cleaning) pellets for the max. fps test??? “Blistering speed and deadly accurate to 12 inches!” 😉

    Chris





      • BB,

        Your results show a 10.5 grain pellet goes 682 fps at 10 pumps to produce 10.85 fpe
        a 7.9 grain pellet goes 758 fps ” ” ” ” ” 10.08 fpe
        a 5.1 grain pellet goes 879 fps ” ” ” ” ” 8.75 fps
        It would then be reasonable to expect, since this is a pneumatic gun, and lower weight pellets tend to produce lower energy levels with the same charge of air, that the 3 grain pellet that you mention will produce around 7.75 fpe. That would require 1079 fpe at the muzzle, which is pretty close to the claims but is, nonetheless, deceptive as hell. For an American company to use what is essentially a toy pellet that isn’t even widely available is the USA to make its numbers is deplorable, IMO. Why not just test their guns with paper spit balls. Its disgusting! I suppose we should give Crosman a chance to explain themselves and, since they should be monitoring this blog as well as others, here’s you chance Crosman, before your name gets trashed any worse. Lucy, you have some ‘splainin’ to do!

        Half


        • Half step
          I still say it’s got to do with the chrony that was used.

          To me chronys are like the air gauge on PCP guns. They let you monitor your gun. But from gauge to gauge you can have different readings.

          Heck and think about it. How many companies get that right. I bought several guns from AOA in Arizona and their guns all get shipped with chrony readings and what pellet they use. My chrony never matches thier readings. And my buddies chrony never matches thier readings or mine for that fact.

          And come to think of it I have bought new guns from PA and other places that BB tests and my chrony readings NEVER match BB’s.

          So I’m still sticking to the chronys reading different until someone can prove it different. 😉


          • GF1,

            I guess conditions like humidity, temperature and distance above sea level can account for why someone testing in Florida in July might get a different result than another guy testing in Alma, Colorado in mid January, but it just doesn’t feel right that that accounts for Crosman’s shortfall in this case. Where do you live, what was the conditions when you got your differing readings, how different were they? Was it just 10 fps or 210 fps. I have two different chronographs, one using the traditional light and timer circuitry and another that uses radar and when I have tested them side by side they are within 1 or 2 fps of each other at airgun velocities. I choose to trust BB’s accounting based on that and believe that he has a defective gun or Crosman is using deceptive practices now. After all, they did just go through a restructuring and name change. Maybe truth in advertising went the way of the old company.

            Half


            • Halfstep
              I live in illinios about 20 or so miles south east of St.Louis.

              My readings are usually 75 fos faster than AOA and BB’s and usually 25 fps slower than my buddies. We both have the green chrony.

              And I have to say you are assuming about the results You just said. The only way to know is shoot shotgun over tourchrony and mine and see what readings we get. Like I said. Rightnow your just assuming. And you know what the saying is about if you assume.


              • GF1,

                I didn’t say you were wrong to believe that different chronys can give different readings. I was just telling you what my experience has been with 2 different ones when I shoot over them at the same time and why I trust crony readings more than you seem to. Then I was just gathering some more information from you to see if you were getting big differences or small differences and if you meant you just thought they differed from one location to another or if you really meant you saw it happen in side by side simultaneous testing. I live along the Ohio River in KY at about 450 feet ASL. I have lived here all my life and seen temps as low as -20 degrees F and as high as 109 F with dew points near 80 F. That’s very humid and the changes come very quickly and unexpectedly sometimes and can last for weeks or just a day. That makes it hard to compare day to day readings, but you CAN compare readings during the same session ( for the same shot, even ) if you have 2 chronys like I do.

                The MAIN point that I was making is that I don’t feel that the differences between chronographs, in this case Crosman’s and BB’s, can account for a shortfall of 220 fps off the stated velocity on the box. BB is using the very light alloy pellet that we have come to expect companies to use to bump up their numbers and he doesn’t have a history of always falling short of the manufacturer’s claims in his hundreds of tests for this blog, so I trust his chrony. He does his testing in the same air conditioned house, at, if memory serves, 70 degrees F. That takes away many of the variables. As I recall, much of your shooting is open air from your breeze way. Do you do your chrony testing open air, as well? That could account for some differences in your results if you buddies’ are shooting in a conditioned environment. I still say that I’m more comfortable trusting BB’s results and ASSUMING that the gun is defective or Crosman is lieing than I would be ASSUMING that BB’s chrony is suddenly unreliable or Crosman just bought a different chrony to start doing their testing with and it reads 220 fps faster than the one BB has been using all this time.

                Opinions are like elbows, most people tend to have a couple of them and I’m sticking to mine. 😉

                Half




    • RR,

      Yeah, dumb move with that stock design. To me, a poor fitting stock is as uncomfortable as a pair of shoes that are 2 sizes too big. You may be able to walk in them but you will never be able to run.

      Considering how many (potential) buyers it could turn away it would probably be more cost effective to make a new mold.

      I have modified plastic stocks (using urethane foam, fiberglass and epoxy) but it is not as easy as working with wood.

      Hank



    • I bought one of those BE#1 mounts from the inventor, Greg Lundy, years ago. It can work well, if your scope geometry and eye relief can be satisfied by the position of only the two recoil grooves. Even running “normal” scopes (not super short, etc.), I had to mill another slot in it for one of the rings, however.


    • RidgeRunner,

      That Baker Mount looks really substantial!
      But I don’t think it will do much to keep the soldering intact since it just attaches to the barrel/breech IMO.

      shootski


      • Shootski,

        It only attaches to the breech and when tightened only contacts the breech, but the question becomes how is the breech attached? Of all of the different mounts for this air rifle, I consider it the best. The issue is this air rifle was never intended to be scoped. It does not have the power to really utilize a scope. The new stock and printing on the box is nothing more than pure marketeering garbage. I would fire them.


    • RR,

      I was ready to post this same link if I didn’t find it in the comments before I finished reading them. I have one and it works great. I also have all the other scope mounts as well as the peep sight and I should have just gone with the Baker mount from the start. None of the others compare, IMO. The exception might be the Williams Peep. It doesn’t work on my 392 because the barrel slopes up and I can’t get enough down adjustment for my close-in use of the gun. Had to shave off stock material just to get my eye down to the peep when it was adjusted low as it would go, and that wasn’t low enough. Never came up with a good way to extend the front blade and keep it thin and still durable, because it was going to take a lot of raising. My hope was to avoid a scope altogether so the gun could just knock around in my back floor board, but it didn’t work out that way.

      Half


      • Half,

        I have heard of issues with the peep sight not being low enough on the “newer” models. I think the issue was solved by either cutting away some of the bottom of the peep or some of the receiver. Quite honestly, neither would give me a warm fuzzy. This sight is supposedly made for these air rifles. It sounds like the same people designed the new synthetic stock.

        It does not bode well for the new 392S and 397S. Why did they even bother putting open sights on the new ones when you cannot use them? It is a rhetorical question.


        • RR,

          My issue started with the factory sights. I adjusted down until the adjustment set screw in the middle of the rear sight was sticking up into the slot of the rear sight and thus obscuring the front blade altogether. I then temporarily glued a bit of brass wire to the top of the front blade to give it more height and found that the only way that I could see the tip in the rear notch was if I held the gun such that my cheek was positioned at the top edge of the comb, right at the rear end of the stock. Of course that was no way to shoulder a rifle – especially since it wasn’t even on my shoulder at that point – so that’s when I looked into the peep sight. I found that it caused even more problems because I still had to put my cheek so far back on the stock that the hole in the peep didn’t work right. It was too far from my eye. I then started shaving away the comb on the stock and after a certain point, and without any real success, I just accepted that I would need a scope with this gun and bought two other varieties of mounts before I eventually settled on the Baker Air mount, which works great. I tried here and in other forums to find out if others had the same sighting issues that I had, but never got any response, so I assume that I have a goofy gun that has an unusual up-droop, for lack of a better term. Since the rear sight is mounted to the barrel, the up-droop would have to be as a result of the bore in the barrel tube being off axis. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it again, could the barrel, air tube and receiver being seated in the stock in a peculiar way be causing my issues? All of this was just to get the gun to shoot to POA at 25 yards or under with about 4 or 5 pumps. I waited too long to get a replacement, but I’ve been convinced my gun is defective in some way, based on never seeing the issue mentioned anywhere else.

          Half


          • Half,

            I have heard mention of this issue. The peep worked great on the old Benjis, but when they changed the design they screwed something up.

            There are too many airguns being designed by those who do not shoot them.



  4. BB, the 7.9 grn pellets seem to have almost the same energy as the 10.3 grn ones, and
    5 or6 pumps seems like the sweet spot. Who knows whats most accurate.
    The AV-46 does this on one pump almost.
    R




      • BB
        I figured it stated that on the box.

        Now we still got to figure out what pellet they used to gain a hundred or so more fps than you did.

        I wonder what kind of chrony they use???



          • 45
            I’m sticking with the chrono.

            I done exsperianced differences in my chrony readings compared to someone else’s.

            I suggested this before. Lets get a air gun. Lets say a Maximus and a tin of 500 pellets. Lets send that tin of pellets and gun around the country for people to do a 10 shot group and chrony results and post the results on the blog.

            Well I didn’t go into as much detail before. But I think that’s a better way to show the results than say a wadded up piece of aluminum foil.

            But what do I know. I’m just one of those country boys that shoot guns and give the real results instead of making things up. We all get education some way don’t we. 😉 😉


            • GF1,

              Unless you really hunt around, you are going to have to special order that Maximus from TCFKAC. They have stopped building it in favor of the Fortitude. All there is now is new old stock like mine. I am not sending mine around the country!

              Of course the chronies read differently. To what standard are they built and calibrated? You will be doing good if two of the same model read the same.

              How often are they “calibrated”? Have you ever sent yours in to be adjusted?

              Then you have the variables of the shooters to contend with. Is the pellet going over the exact center of each sensor at the exact same height?

              What of the Maximus, or any airgun or PB for that matter? Every shot is going to be at a slightly different velocity. Averaging the group helps.

              Who says everybody’s fill pressure is going to be exactly the same?

              To give credit where do, your idea eliminates some of the variables and I would really like to participate. I already know the results. All of the readings are likely to be in the same ball park, but on different bases.

              Somebody send me a Maximus and some pellets and not only will I feed back my chrony’s results, I will do a comparison with mine. 🙂


              • RR
                How about this.

                When you get done testing that gun and some pellets send it my way and I’ll do the same.

                If we all do two 10 shot groups and send the gun on to the next person we could gather some good info out of a tin of pellets.

                I’m all for it. Send it to RidgeRunner first. Then he sends it to me and I’ll send it to the next person in line that wants to participate if intetested. Well as long as they are a few states away. 🙂

                And lets do this. The owner of the gun doesn’t reveal thier results till the tin of 500 has made it through all the people and the tin of 500 is empty.

                I’m in. Anyone else?



                  • Chris
                    I’ll pay shipping to who I send it to only and only up to 2 states away.

                    So if someone sends it to RidgeRunner and he sends it to me do you want to be next in line to get it after me?


                    • GF1,

                      If you should find someone to go along with this, maybe they should start with something like this.

                      https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Ruger_Explorer/2016

                      Something fairly inexpensive and easy to shoot. Some may not have an air supply for a PCP. The smaller it is, the cheaper it will be to ship.

                      We did something similar to this many years ago with a sport kite. When you received the kite, you would fly it, sign it and send to the next one on the list.

                      I’m in.


              • RR
                Sure the Explorer would be fine to use.

                And cool with the kites. I was into them a bit when I was younger. I remember the box kites. Then I remember something with kite fights also. Like airplanes dog fighting.

                But yep I think the air gun chrony thing would be fun to do. If anything its something a bit different than what we do every day.

                Maybe I should kick it off. I’ll be the one to chrony it first and keep my results last till the last pellet is shot out of the tin and the gun returned to me.

                We probably need a participation list first. Then someone trusted like BB to hold where the gun and pellwtsgo next down the chain.

                I’m in too.



  5. Hey all,
    I’ve read through all the comments (so far), and I do have a bit of insight on this rifle, having owned its predecessor for the past 45 years. Yes, the mount from Baker Airguns looks pretty intriguing:
    https://www.bakerairguns.com/product/one-piece-scope-mount-benjamin-397-392-air-rifles/
    And for someone who wants to pump the rifle lightly and shoot it off a bench, that might be the way to go.
    But I have had the Sheridan C-model since I was 17 (my first airgun), and here is what I have learned: the open sights are OK, but a peep sight on these guns is perfection. Yes, I have scoped the gun…several times; I tried with the intermount, I modified the intermount (to move the scope back farther), and I even tried it as a pseudo-Scout-rifle with a forward mounted pistol scope. Of all those attempts, the forward-mounted pistol scope worked the best as it did not interfere at all with pumping the rifle. However, even with that method the balance of the rifle suffered. In the end, the best results were achieved when my Dad got his machinist friend to tap the rifle (as my old gun came from the factory untapped) for the Williams peep sight I bought from the Sheridan factory for the whopping sum of $12.40 (it was a looong time ago; you are not going to find a Williams sight for that price now!).
    For a hunting rifle, for a squirrel gun, this thing is perfection. No, it is not a precision gun for shooting squirrels in the head from 50 yards away; this is a rifle for someone who longs to walk through the woods, perhaps for miles a day, and who will sneak up on squirrels (throwing rocks on the far side of a tree to bring the squirrel to your side, or rubbing 4 pennies together to get a squirrel to give away his location), getting within 15 to 25 yards of them.
    I totally understand B.B. testing this rifle in .177 caliber to check out the 1100 fps claim of the manufacturer.
    However, now that we see the gun doesn’t really live up to that (it is still quite respectable, though), I would love to see a follow-on test of its sister, the model 392 in .22 caliber.
    Yes, if I didn’t already have my old reliable .20 caliber Sheridan, I would get this Benjamin in .22 caliber, slap on a nice peep sight, find the pellets it liked the best, and hit the woods. These guns were made for hunting.
    *climbs down from his soap box*
    Have a blessed day all,
    dave


  6. B.B. and Readership,

    A change on the PA Main Site seems to have happened. Also no new Friday Blog and it is after midnight EST! Is it the start of the new Blog?

    shootski


    • Shootski,

      I’d bet it’s the usual teething problems with WordPress and the site architecture. The blog will be published sooner or later. I usually don’t get any jitters unless the blog is over 6 hours past its usual publication time.

      Siraniko


      • Siraniko,

        Jitters…LOL!
        I was out late night on a paddle with my fellow Ice Pirates and checked when i got home. It was a great night to do rescue and self-rescue training! It was overcast o headlamps were the only source of usable light and the water was right at 1°C (34°F) but air temperature was 4°C (41°F) rising another few degrees by midnight…(in my Drysuit) it felt downright tropical!

        Be well!

        shootski



          • Thedavemyster,

            You would think we are hardcore until you see the Ice Swimmers in the water in their Speedo and Tyr fabric suits…okay they do wear two silicon caps! So far we only work with them during day swims just too much risk for them to add night time to an already dangerous sport. The Pandemic seems to have changed so many things that folks are willing to do during this past year by shutting down most NORMAL activities.

            shootski




                • Shootski, wow that’s a cool link; thank you! And that EPIC 18-footer is pretty sweet!
                  I mostly just hack around doing flatwater kayaking, taking pics of wildlife and stuff like that. I used to make really lightweight boats, small sailing dinghies and some pirogue-type craft; but I sold all my boats (for like nothing, $100 for 7 boats, LOL) to a friend who helps challenged teens, and he uses them to take them camping. But 12 years ago, my wife was in the hospital for a bit, so to keep from freaking out, I built a small sit-on-top style kayak from two 12-foot cedar roofing shingles (just for fun, to see how it would come out). Since my wife was not at home, I built it in the living room, while watching TV; I wired the bow and stern together and started to spread the boards to 28″ at their center, however, I heard them start to crack at 27″ so I backed off to 26.5″ and slapped on a 1/8″ plywood bottom and decked the top with pine strips so it looks like an old Chris Craft. I named her “Jubilee,” as I was 50 years old when I built her, and I assigned her the last hull number from the now defunct company know as “UltraLight Boats.” She is nice and light at 27 pounds, but her primary stability is not too good, and her secondary stability is non-existent. Nonetheless, I love her, and have paddled her many a mile; I am comfy with her, and have had her out in whitecaps on some large lakes; but a friend begged me to loan her to him for a trip on Lake Lanier, and it scared the bejeesus out of him. =>


                  • The Davemyster,

                    That looks like a reall fun craft! Really obvious craftsmanship on display with that build. Your boat reminds me of my Punt when I was a young boy. I paddled that in both the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers along with as many of their tributaries I could get to. I built what I called a dolie out of some baby buggy wheels and parts to allow me to tow it behind my bike!
                    My wife and I paddle an EPIC 18X Double Ultra and did a trip across the Country paddling in a bunch of lakes and rivers. We paddled the Great Salt Lake which was a real surprise. The water is so dense that a two foot wave pushes like one at least twice as high. We got caught out in an unforeseen blow near Antelope Island and surfed 6 footers back to the safety of the GSL Marina. The Harbormaster was about to launch a search for us when we screamed back into the 20′ high rock wall sheltered marina.

                    shootski


                    • “My wife and I paddle an EPIC 18X Double Ultra and did a trip across the Country paddling in a bunch of lakes and rivers…”
                      Wow! That’s way cool, and it sounds like you have some good times! =>
                      Sixteen years ago, I read a blog about a “one-sheet-skiff,” where the author said you could not really make an effective boat from a single sheet of 4′ x 8′ plywood.
                      Being an engineer, I had to give it a try. Six weeks later, I had this over-designed 9’4″ beast…yes, a beast at 65 pounds! Like you, I had to make a wheeled assembly to bring it to the river. LOL =>





          • RidgeRunner,

            I would suspect in your area they are in Whitewater or Squirtboats unless on a lake or reservoir. The Ice Pirates are in River Playboats or more typically in 14′-16′ roto-molded SeaKayaks when we paddle above Little Falls a part of the Potomac that is called Mather Gorge. It has some Class II to occasionally Class III water and at one point all the water goes through a 95′ slot in shear rock cliffs on both sides usually a fast ride even at Winter water levels. The Great Falls itself I stay out of; it can be Class 5+ I don’t need to die!
            Drysuits are really for the water temperature and without woolies or layers of polypropylene underneath going into the water for even for very brief periods is like swimming in a plastic shower curtain–COLD! I have been on the river in the Spring with air temperature in the low 80s and the water is still high 30s to low 40s wearing a Drysuit; we do rolls to stay cool if the river doesn’t roll us often enough!

            shootski


            • Shootski,

              It is most definitely white water. Usually you see them out on the weekend after a big rain. These young fools are using dry suits this time of year.

              It has been some time since I have been on the white water. I like to go rafting on the Upper Gauley during Gauley Season (September and October). My grandson is just about old enough now to make the trip. Now I just need a spark of insanity and his Mother not watching us closely.


              • RidgeRunner,

                Insanity? This Lockdown to Flatten-The-Curve for two-three weeks now going on ONE YEAR PLUS is the insanity! Especially now that a NEW Study is indicating that the lockdown didn’t/can’t work anyway!
                END OF RANT!

                But you might find SANITY reading this:
                https://www.outsideonline.com/2051171/how-grand-canyon-speed-record-was-broken-twice-three-days
                Colorado River Record run; that EPIC 18X boat he used is the same as mine…If I was just a decade or two younger….

                Go for it on the Gauley and take your grandson!

                shootski


                • Shootski,

                  I have hardly noticed a lockdown. My wife and I are naturally self distancing. We cannot see our neighbors houses from ours. Most of the places around here do not enforce masking except with their employees. We do our best not to go anywhere. I work from home now.

                  I know this Chinese bioweapon is nothing to play with, but we do not get around anybody.

                  As for the Gauley, we will have to see if I get that spark next September. 😉


              • RR,

                I used to go on a guided trip on the Upper and Lower Gauley every year with friends from work. Did you go on your own or use a guide? We booked with an outfit called Ace Whitewater. They offered a trip called the Gung Ho that was both Upper and Lower in the same day, in a 6 man raft with just 4 customers and a guide. We always booked the same guide and, as he became more familiar with us and our experience, the trips got more…adventuresome. As you well know, there is going down the river and then there is GOING DOWN THE RIVER. They eventually stopped offering that trip because too many people booked it and just weren’t capable of finishing the float. The guides can only do so much and they need the customer to supply the horsepower, so to speak. They had a private takeout on the Lower that cut out the 2 miles or so of dead water that most outfitters had to paddle to get to the public takeout. The trip out of the Gorge was via a switchback road that they carved in the mountainside. It was so narrow that there was one long stretch that the school bus had to ascend in reverse because it couldn’t make a turn, it just pulled forward and then backed up for the next leg, and I don’t mean slowly backed up. A 65 year old, retired female coal truck driver ran the bus. At the takeout, after we loaded on the bus, we were told that some customers admitted to paying for the raft trip just to get the ride out ! After your first time you could believe it !

                I actually planned to do a lot of rafting when I retired but a crushing accident at work left me with an injured shoulder and now I spend my time messing with airguns. Have you ever been on the Russel Fork of the Big Sandy in Breaks Interstate Park. It’s at the VA, KY state line. They only run it for the 4 Fri – Mon weekends in October. We once did the the Gung Ho trip and then drove that night to do the Russel Fork the next morning. It is beautiful and truly dangerous and I don’t recommend doing it the way I did because it was exhausting, but I cherish the memory. Never be able to do it again. Maybe you can get permission to take your grandson on the New River. My daughters loved it AND decided that it was all the adventure they needed in their life. LOL

                Half


                • Half,

                  On a couple of my trips we went with Ace. A pretty good bunch. I have taken my daughter and the teen church group on a guided run through the New River gorge. I have also been down the Upper and Lower Gauley, but not in the same day. I myself would not want to do the Upper and then Lower in the same day. the Upper is so much better that the Lower would seem anticlimactic after it.

                  I have never been down to the Big Sandy and now that I have become an old fat bald headed geezer who does not like to do more than day trips, it is not likely going to happen.

                  Since my daughter has been down the New, I might be able to talk her into letting me borrow my grandson for some of those trips. The fact that he swims competitively may ease her mind a bit also. We shall see. 😉


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