Benjamin Fortitude precharged rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Benjamin Fortitude
The Benjamin Fortitude precharged air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Setup
  • Pellets selected
  • The test
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Cocking and trigger
  • Discharge sound
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Crosman Premier light
  • Discussion
  • Summary

We start accuracy testing the Benjamin Fortitude today. Sometimes I begin this test at 10 meters and other times at 25 yards. I’m starting at 10 meters today because the Fortitude is a significant precharged air rifle that I want to test very thoroughly.

Setup

I mounted a vintage UTG 8-32X56 SWAT scope on the rifle. The scope was so old it only parallax adjusted down to 25 yards, so I ran it at 8 power for this test. The bull was a little blurry but easy enough to see. When I get back to 25 yards the image should be crystal clear. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Value-packed airgun!
  • Stock
  • Sidelever
  • Single shot and repeater
  • Sights
  • Filling
  • Overfill pressure release
  • Depressurization screw
  • No-fill
  • Safety
  • Power adjustor
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Features
  • Evaluation

I just received this airgun last week and I am bumping some other reviews out of the way to bring it to you today. This is the air rifle many of you have been waiting for — the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP with a built-in pump! They won’t be available from Pyramyd Air until early December, so we should see a pretty full test before you have to make the buy decision, to get it by Christmas.

Value-packed airgun!

The Aspen retails for $400, so it’s not quite a price point PCP (PPP), but it has some features that few other airguns offer. Let’s look at them now. For starters this is a PCP that has a pump built into the airgun! What that means is you can fill it from a tank or you can pump it up yourself. This is exactly what the easy-chair engineers have been designing in their dreams for years. Then FX came along with their Independence that does exactly that and everybody changed their tune to —“I would buy one, if only it wasn’t $1,600!” Well, this one isn’t. read more


Seneca Double Shot air shotgun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Seneca Double Shot
Air Venturi’s Seneca Double Shot air shotgun.

This report covers:

  • Fast second shot
  • Let’s review
  • Sub-1 crossbow
  • Reality of bow hunting
  • Description
  • How many shots?
  • What it shoots
  • Is this for you?
  • Summary

I usually just review the products and leave my personal opinions out — or I try to weave them in under the radar. Not today. I first saw today’s subject airgun, the Seneca Double Shot air shotgun at the 2018 SHOT Show. I looked at it and then showed it to Rossi Morreale on American Airgunner, all the while wondering — WHY? What possible use is there for a double-barreled air shotgun? Then Val Gamerman, the president of Pyramyd Air, told me. The extra barrel gives you a fast second shot.

Fast second shot

That second barrel gives you a quick second shot at a deer or other large game animal, when you are using Air Venturi Air Bolts. Nuff said! That is a real reason for owning a double-barreled air shotgun. read more


Benjamin Fortitude precharged rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Benjamin Fortitude
The Benjamin Fortitude precharged air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Second rifle
  • Crosman Premier lites
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Trigger
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Premier lites again
  • Shot count
  • Discharge sound
  • Test target
  • Evaluation

Today we resume our look at the Benjamin Fortitude precharged air rifle. I will summarize where we have been, so folks reading this report for the first time will understand what is happening.

Second rifle

This is the second Fortitude I have tested. Parts 1 and 2 of this report belong to the first rifle. The first rifle’s inlet valve locked up at the end of the velocity test and remained open when I bled the air after the fill. The entire gun exhausted all its air. I tried to fill it several times, just to be sure. So I stopped the test at that point and requested a replacement rifle in the same .177 caliber. While this is Part 3, I will actually run another velocity test today, since this is a brand new airgun. read more


Umarex Gauntlet: Part 9

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gauntlet
Umarex Gauntlet.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

This report covers:

  • Tightened shroud
  • The test
  • Pellets
  • Magazine tested
  • Sight in
  • Magazine again
  • Adjusted the scope
  • Quiet!
  • Trigger
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Magazine acting up
  • Premier Heavy single shot
  • Summary

Today I test the Umarex Gauntlet PCP rifle at 50 yards, to see whether tightening the barrel shroud makes a difference to accuracy. I had planned to finish the report with Part 8, which was already more testing than I normally give a modern air rifle, but this is the rifle that defined the price point PCPs and it deserved a close look.

Tightened shroud

Reader GunFun1 asked me to check to see whether the barrel shroud was tight after my last test. It wasn’t, so I agreed to this additional test. I tightened the barrel shroud before the test began, and it stayed tight for the whole test. I wasn’t going to get it wrong this time! read more


The game-changing price point PCPs

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The Gauntlet
  • Desirable PPP features
  • Less desirable PPP features
  • The list
  • Growing!
  • Discovery opened the market
  • Marauder set the bar
  • The airgun market explodes
  • Tipping Point
  • Room for improvement
  • Summary

Sometimes I hit one out of the park and when I labeled the feature-laden precharged pneumatic rifles selling for under $300 as price point PCPs (PPP), I was right on the money. In fact they will do more to help our sport of airgunning than anything I can think of. Today’s report was requested by reader Vana2.

The Gauntlet

The first PPP I saw this year (actually, it was launched in 2017, but the launch had problems in the beginning) was the Gauntlet from Umarex. It was an air rifle many had dreamed about but never thought would happen.

Let’s now look at both the good and not-so-good features, because they pretty much sum up all that a PPP can offer. read more


Benjamin Fortitude precharged rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Benjamin Fortitude
The Benjamin Fortitude precharged air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Point one
  • Crosman Premier lites
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Why such a large velocity spread?
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Shot count
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Inlet valve failed
  • Evaluation so far

Today we look at the velocity of the Benjamin Fortitude. As this is one of the new price point PCPs, this test should be interesting.

Point one

My test rifle leaked down from the initial fill in three hours. I had filled it to 3,000 psi, then set it aside to do other work. When I returned three hours later nearly all the air had leaked out. However when I refilled it, I couldn’t hear a leak. It was apparently slow enough to allow testing, so I proceeded.

Crosman Premier lites

The first pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain dome. They averaged 885 f.p.s. over 10 shots. The low was 872 and the high was 900 f.p.s. That’s an 18 f.p.s. spread. At the average velocity this pellet produced 13.74 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. read more