Gunnar
Benjamin Gunnar.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Discharge sound
  • The trigger?
  • One click down on power
  • Two clicks down on power — the midpoint
  • Discussion
  • Three clicks down on power
  • Low power
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Make sure
  • Quiet-osity
  • Summary

Today we look at the power and velocity of the .22 Benjamin Gunnar I’m testing. Remember the good thing — that this rifle only needs to be filled to 3000 psi, which makes it possible to fill from a pump, plus it won’t drain your carbon fiber air tank on the first fill. We have a lot to discuss and consider, so let’s get started.

The test

I wanted to test several things today — the power, the shot count, the consistency of the regulator, the ease of loading and the trigger. There are five power levels and I want to check all of them as well. So I did a special sort of test and, rather than explaining it, you’ll see it unfold as we go.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

Most of the test was shot with the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellet. You’ll see why using the same pellet for everything is important as we go.

Since the rotary magazine holds 12 pellets, I loaded it full and my strings are either all 12 or a subset of 12. I must say that the Gunnar rotary magazine loads very easily. There is none of the loading the first pellet skirt-first or from the back side of the mag funny business. It loads as you expect it to.

First up was the high power test. The reservoir was full and the regulator was set as it came from the factory. 

Gunnar reg gauge
When the reservoir was filled to 3000 psi, this is where the regulator gauge stopped.

Gunnar reservoir gauge
And this is what the reservoir gauge showed after the fill.

Shot…….Velocity
1…………..901 fastest shot
2…………..893
3…………..888 slowest shot
4…………..890
5…………..890
6…………..893
7…………..889
8…………..894
9…………..891
10..………..888
11..………..893
12..………..889

I round off my chronograph numbers to whole numbers, so what you see here is based on that. The chronograph does the average calculation and the decimal fractions are factored in there. The average for this string is 891 f.p.s. The spread is 13 f.p.s.  -— from 888 to 901 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 31.97 foot-pounds, so there is your 32 foot-pounds that is claimed for the .22-caliber Gunnar.

Discharge sound

How loud is the Gunnar? I was shooting in my garage, into a box of rubber mulch, so there was no sound from the pellet trap. The Gunnar is the quietest powerful PCP rifle I have ever tested! The discharge was 91.9 dB.

Gunnar discharge
The Gunnar is quiet at full power.

The trigger?

I tried the trigger during this test and it was as I told you in Part One — a short first stage and a crisp light second stage. It’s not adjustable, but I wouldn’t if I could.

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One click down on power

The detents for the power switch that I showed in Part One cannot be felt, but I could see where the switch was by eyeball. For these next tests I shot only 6 pellets per string, so I didn’t waste all my JSB pellets.

Shot…….Velocity
13…………..885 fastest shot
14…………..876 slowest shot
15…………..884
16…………..879
17…………..877
18…………..880

We have just learned that the power switch is very sensitive and adjusts the power by a small amount when it’s clicked down one click.  The average for this string was 880 f.p.s. The spread was 9 f.p.s. from 876 to 885 f.p.s. At the average velocity the pellet generates 31.18 foot pounds of energy.

Two clicks down on power — the midpoint

Shot…….Velocity
19…………..did not register
20…………..862 slowest shot
21…………..863
22…………..868 fastest shot
23…………..863
24…………..868

The average for this string is 865 f.p.s. At that speed the pellet puts out 30.13 foot-pounds of energy. The spread for the string is 6 f.p.s., from 862 to 868 f.p.s.

Discussion

We are seeing almost full power at the midrange of the power switch. If you want a high shot count with power, this would be a way to get it.

Cocking and loading is as smooth as melted butter. The magazine advances perfectly as the bolt cycles.

Three clicks down on power

At this point we are just one click up from the lowest power setting.

Shot…….Velocity
25…………..805
26…………..807
27…………..806
28…………..804 slowest shot
29…………..809 fastest shot
30…………..809

This was a larger drop in velocity than before, but the Gunnar is still hanging in there with power. The average velocity was 807 f.p.s. at at that velocity the pellet generates 26.22 foot pounds of energy. The spread for this string was 5 f.p.s.

Low power

Now I set the power switch as low as it would go. 

Shot…….Velocity
31…………..692 slowest shot
32…………..699
33…………..703
34…………..705
35…………..706
36…………..707 fastest shot

This time the power drop was even larger, but I want to make an observation. Other guns with power adjustments often dip to extremely low levels when set to low power. That isn’t the case with the Gunnar. The average velocity for this string was 702 f.p.s. and at that speed this pellet generates 19.84 foot pounds of energy. You can still hunt and shoot at distance with that. The spread for this string was 15 f.p.s., from 692 to 707 f.p.s. I am saying that all five power settings give useful power.

At this point in the test I have fired 36 shots from the rifle. I thought the thing to do was to set the power back to the maximum and see what sort of velocity I got with the same pellet as in the first string. Same JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellet was used.

Shot…….Velocity
37…………..891
38…………..897 fastest shot
39…………..885
40…………..889
41…………..889
42…………..886
43…………..888
44…………..889
45…………..884 slowest shot
46…………..886
47…………..886
48…………..892

The average for this 12-shot string at full power was 889 f.p.s. That’s 2 f.p.s. slower than the average of the first 12 shots at full power. So the Gunnar is still on the power curve and doing well.

At the average velocity this pellet generates 31.82 foot pounds of energy. The spread for these 12 shots was 13 f.p.s., the same as for the first 12 shots.

H&N Baracuda Match

Now let’s try a heavier pellet and see what we get. The H&N Baracuda Match weighs 21.14 grains. It’s far from the heaviest .22 pellet, but it will give us a look at what the Gunnar can do. These 12 were shot on high power.

Shot…….Velocity
49…………..850 fastest shot
50…………..842
51…………..842
52…………..841
53…………..839
54…………..839
55…………..842
56…………..841
57…………..837
58…………..839
59…………..837
60…………..831 slowest shot

The average for this string was 840 f.p.s., but I do believe the Gunnar has fallen off the regulator. That may have happened on shot number 60. At the average velocity this pellet generated 33.13 foot pounds of energy. That’s slightly above the specified power for the .22 Gunnar. The spread was 19 f.p.s., but like I said, the rifle is off the power curve. 

Gunnar reservoir end
This is where the reservoir gauge was at the end of the test.

Make sure

Just to be certain that I was right about the Gunnar being off of its regulator I shot one final string of 12 shots with the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets.

Shot…….Velocity
61…………..873 fastest shot
62…………..867
63…………..860
64…………..860
65…………..848
66…………..847
67…………..848
68…………..839
69…………..836
70…………..830
71…………..825
72…………..817 slowest shot

Looking at this string there can be no doubt that we are off the regulator. However, look at these velocities. They are still good and powerful. The Gunnar is still shooting well.

I didn’t give you a shot count, but it occured to me that I could shoot this rifle several clicks down on power and probably get a lot more than the 60 shots or so that we saw today. I’m thinking that is what Crosman did when they said 90 shots per fill for .22.

Quiet-osity

During the test at an early stage I installed the threaded adaptor and then my DonnyFL silencer. After that the Gunnar on high power was as quiet as a Diana 27. I could hear the pellets hitting the cardboard mulch box that was about 6 feet from me! I didn’t take a sound meter reading, but it was down in the 70s, for sure — probably the lower 70s.

Gunnar silenced
The DonnyFL silencer made the Gunnar very pleasant to shoot.

Summary

Wow! The Gunnar gets lots of shots, has a great trigger, is butter-smooth to cock and load and in all ways seems like a great precharged air rifle. No long-term pronouncements until I see the accuracy, but so far this one is good.