Date: 16/11/2018 9:44
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Benjamin 397. 397. Customer Reviews - page 1

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4.5 (66 reviews)
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The most helpful favorable review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Overall rating:5.0

Value for money:5.0

Accuracy:5.0

By Geoff from USA on 2009-02-12 19:01:01

Things I liked: How can you not love an American classic? After reading several reviews and online buzz you get a better understanding of just how attached people can and do get to this gun. When you first open the box, how can you not smile. The finish is fantastic. My wife thought it looked like a shotgun because of the air chamber I guess, underneath the barrel. The weight is perfect for any age, & will not fatigue if carrying for hunting for example. There simply is not another gun out there near this price range that can touch this quality of workmanship, accuracy, aesthetics, and fun factor. From the very 1st shot you take you are grinning from ear to ear. A little shocked at the crack it gives when discharging at first, but it makes you say "WOW" there is definitely plenty of power here. If backyard shooting, you definitely don't need to pump it the full 8 times. 4 or 5 is DEFINITELY enough. 5 pumps will go through metal cans & water bottles, even dispatch squirrels or small rodents. Once the sights are set & tightened to "your" personal liking, forget it for good! You almost can't miss your target!!! If you are in the market for a new gun, a first timer, or just wanting something different from what you have, don't even think for another second. Just buy it. I can almost guarantee whatever caliber you buy, you will want the other caliber immediately. I can guess with high confidence this gun does NOT get returned or exchanged, because your first impression should be way more than you'd expect for what you paid.

Things I would have changed: A little bit better finish on the bluing. Mine had a bump on the top of the barrel, and the first time I touched it, the bump came off and exposed the finish underneath. Other than that, just the cocking effort. It can be a little tough after quite a few rounds are dispatched through it. You will definitely get a workout! Other than that, nothing.

What others should know: If using just for close target shooting, i.e. 50FT. or less, don't bother with a scope. The open sights are tight and fantastic! If you Might be using it for small game hunting occasionally, buy a Leapers bug buster or something similar in size. Otherwise, this gem is go to go right out of the box! Enjoy.......

The most helpful critical review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Overall rating:1.0

Value for money:1.0

Accuracy:5.0

By Gary from USA on 2015-06-27 10:32:39

Things I liked: smooth trigger, very accurate and easy to shoot

Things I would have changed: Too hard to pump! With stock between legs while standing and left palm on top of breech it was very hard to break tension and start pump action with the right hand. After freeing pump lever the pump stroke was hard the whole way and very hard to complete which included a painful snap at closure. After sighting in and shooting about a hundred rounds my left palm was badly bruised and thankfully the pressure module would not hold pressure anymore and I was able to send back and buy the Benjamin Discovery which I hope will be a better experience.

What others should know: See above details.I started the air gun trip with the Gamo whisper fusion and still have the gun and will use it happily. The violent nature of the nitro piston recoil makes it very tricky to shoot well. I can hit the 4" gongs at 35-40 yds. steadily but would like to do the same with a 2" target. Maybe the pcp will be the answer for me. I have a small 40 cu. ft. nitrogen cylinder and a fill kit a welding shop friend put together for me complete with a pressure release valve and I am just waiting for the Disco to get here. Jerry at Pyramid Air was more than helpful in the successful resolution to this problem. I will recommend them highly to anyone who is interested,

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  • 5.0 5.0

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    By Gerald from USA on 2018-11-05
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    Things I liked: great...wanted one for years...took a minute to get it dialed in but is a great air rifle.... classic design will last the rest of my life and then some.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Jody from USA on 2018-08-19
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    Things I liked: These guns are great airguns. I have owned several over the years and everyone of them will easily group as many shots as you shoot inside a quarter at 25 yards. They can be a little pellet fussy, the current one I own likes H&N 8.64 grn FTT or JSB 8.44 grn Diabolo Exacts. With other pellets I have tried the grouping expands. When I shot 7 pellets over my chronograph I noticed with the JSB and the H&N pellets an extreme spread of 6 fps. (8 pumps) This consistency adds to the shot grouping. If you get this gun put a good scope on it you will be impressed.

    Things I would have changed: The trigger isnt what it used to be. When I first started to own this series of benjamins the trigger was all metal and was smooth and crisp. But now they put the crossman trigger on it, which effects the shot grouping. These guns will group all day long inside a quarter at 25 yards, but the old ones with the better trigger would group all day long inside a dime at 25 yards.

    What others should know: To put a scope on this gun you will need to order the special scope mounts. The mounts are well worth it. I feel that a better scope with higher magnification brings out the full potential of these guns.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    4.0 4.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Tucker from USA on 2018-08-15
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    Things I liked: Over the last four and a half years, I've put roughly 23,000 rounds through my 397, which I've used primarily for plinking and pest control. Overall, I am more than happy with the fit, finish, and quality of the rifle, which is definitely on par with the older Sheridans. Accuracy: Initially I could barely hold a 1.5 inch group @25 yards with Crosman ammo (7.9 grain HPs and 10.5 grain Ultras). I started experimenting with some other pellets such as H&N, Air Arms, RWS, and Predator, and while H&N looked slightly promising grouping at just over an inch, I just wasn't impressed. Fast forward six months and I notice PA has JSB Exact Diablos 8.44 grains on sale. I gave them a try and that did the trick! 6 pumps at 25 to 30 yards rested would consistently give me 1/2 inch groups. Quality: Well built to say the least. Wood stock is nice, trigger is heavy but breaks clean. Bluing (not really bluing, more like paint) isn't bad. Careful rubbing it against things because it will scrape off.

    Things I would have changed: The amount of pumps you pump the rifle has a definite effect on accuracy. After 6 pumps group size starts to go south pretty quick with mine. I think it has to do with the hammer not smacking the valve hard enough to empty the air reservoir completely, because I've noticed that the groups become more strung out vertically instead of horizontally, suggesting inconsistent velocitys. If my assumptions are correct, the gun merely needs a more powerful hammer spring. Might be a potential mod. Although I'm not hugely concerned about this, iron sight shooters will be. There is no windage adjustment on the sights, so if you intend on shooting without a scope, plan on making an additional investment in something such as a William peep sight or similar. The scope mounts I bought are branded by Sheridan and can be had on Amazon for about $12. They work fine for me, but if your scope is short in length, then you will most likely have problems with proper eye relief since it sits so far forward.

    What others should know: Beware of the initial pump effort. Took me at least a couple hundred rounds just to get it broke in enough so I could pump it more than 5 times. For those who are shooting in residential areas with neighbors, keep in mind the noise. Nothing major, but there definitely is a little bark to it. After about 9,000 rounds, the seals finally wore out so every time I went to pump the gun up, all the air blew out of the resvoir an through the barrel. I called Pyramydair customer service (GREAT PEOPLE) and they assured me that all I needed was a rebuild kit. I followed the instructions, punched the pins, and replaced the seals. Took me about an hour. Make sure you store the gun with one pump (I didn't, that's probably why the seals wore out so soon on mine). Lastly, make sure you have the proper form when pumping the rifle. I always use the inside of my palm, and hold the butt of the rifle between my legs and press the pump lever closed. Also keep the gun oiled well, and always use Pellgun oil.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    4.0 4.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Phil Eckels on 2018-06-24
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    Things I liked: Owned one before and wore the brass barrel out with lead pellets. Good rifle. Accurate.

    Things I would have changed: Pump mechanism is rough but I think it will wear in. Need better telescopic mounting features. Quite accurate out of the box.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Ron from USA on 2018-06-12
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    Things I liked: design on the forearm pump.

    Things I would have changed: Nothing

     
  • 4.0 4.0

    4.0 4.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Bill on 2018-06-09
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    Things I liked: It has a great feel just the old .20 cal I had when I was a kid, it dose shoot great

    Things I would have changed: They need to work on quality control the stock was loose when it came

    What others should know: It is a work out pumping it but fun

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Bruce from USA on 2018-03-11
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    Verified Purchase

    Things I liked: Had one of these 60 years ago and its just as I remember.

    Things I would have changed: Better varnish on the stock

    What others should know: Very accurate out of the box. Build quality is excellent.

     
  • 4.0 4.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Joe from USA on 2018-02-01
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    Things I liked: some of my friends had these when I was young. I made some good distance shoots with open sight using there back then. so know I bought one for myself

    Things I would have changed: I would set it up for 1100 fps. like mine I bought last winter

  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By James from USA on 2017-03-13
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    Things I liked: Accuracy shooting the JSB 8.44 gr Doomed

    Things I would have changed: Make the stock a bit longer

     
  • 5.0 5.0

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    4.0 4.0

    By Orlo from USA on 2016-11-28
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    Things I liked: Classic multi-pump. Not super high end, not low end. Timeless. Shoots nicely. Although I'm a scope guy the Iron Sights aren't bad. Fairly quiet

    Things I would have changed: A usable dovetail scope mount would be great so you didn't have to use the intermounts.

    What others should know: Has a brass barrel so lead pellets only. Not the most powerful out there, and cocking even a magnum springer beats pumping this 8 times, but it shoots smooth, like a PCP so the pumping is worth it. I had the 392 and wanted this for my collection.

     
  • 2.0 2.0

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    1.0 1.0

    By Will from USA on 2016-01-14
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    1.01 rating

    Things I liked: Variable pellet speed related to how many pumps you put in.

    Things I would have changed: Better quality control. The wood is not uniform color (I got one with an "oops" where clearcoat dripped onto the wood before the stain was applied) big light colored blot. It's ugly.

    What others should know: I have read good reports on this gun and that's why I bought it. Due to variation is manufacturing, the rifles will vary in quality from junk to really great. I got a junker and waited too long to return it.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Rick from USA on 2015-11-30
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    Things I liked: I've had my 397 now for 15 years and have never had to replace anything on it. I use it throughout the year every year. It's accuracy can be counted on. Easy hole on hole at 30 yards with the proper scope.

    Things I would have changed: If you use one often enough you will get tired of pumping it. There are easy things Crosman could do to change the pumping assembly and valves to make it easier to pump and more powerful to boot.

    What others should know: It may seem pricey but keep in mind that I've had mine for 15 plus years and have never had any issues with it. It's an excellent air rifle.

  • 4.0 4.0

    4.0 4.0

    4.0 4.0

    By Bill from USA on 2015-07-05
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    Things I liked: Fairly accurate.

    Things I would have changed: Trigger pull needs to be lighters

     
  • 1.0 1.0

    1.0 1.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Gary from USA on 2015-06-27
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    1.01 rating

    Things I liked: smooth trigger, very accurate and easy to shoot

    Things I would have changed: Too hard to pump! With stock between legs while standing and left palm on top of breech it was very hard to break tension and start pump action with the right hand. After freeing pump lever the pump stroke was hard the whole way and very hard to complete which included a painful snap at closure. After sighting in and shooting about a hundred rounds my left palm was badly bruised and thankfully the pressure module would not hold pressure anymore and I was able to send back and buy the Benjamin Discovery which I hope will be a better experience.

    What others should know: See above details.I started the air gun trip with the Gamo whisper fusion and still have the gun and will use it happily. The violent nature of the nitro piston recoil makes it very tricky to shoot well. I can hit the 4" gongs at 35-40 yds. steadily but would like to do the same with a 2" target. Maybe the pcp will be the answer for me. I have a small 40 cu. ft. nitrogen cylinder and a fill kit a welding shop friend put together for me complete with a pressure release valve and I am just waiting for the Disco to get here. Jerry at Pyramid Air was more than helpful in the successful resolution to this problem. I will recommend them highly to anyone who is interested,

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    4.0 4.0

    By Mark from USA on 2015-06-01
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    Things I liked: solid rifle/ no frills, just like the one my dad had in the 60's, that gun was sold years ago and I just had to have one like it, yes it is made now with modern technology, but if he was alive he would pick it up and smile with every shot!

    Things I would have changed: the packaging was skimpy to say the least, 2 pieces of foam on the gun and a cardboard box, but it was not damaged in shipping

    What others should know: shoots best in targets with Crosman Wadcutter pellets

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    3.0 3.0

    By Loy from USA on 2015-03-09
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    5.01 rating

    Things I liked: I LOVE this gun. It is a classic, cheap for what it is, and is really special as this is what older family members learned to shoot with when they were younger. It is very accurate, but the open sights may be hard to use for those whose eyesight isn't what it used to be.

    Things I would have changed: Not much. This gun was well thought out. It is a little wider on the forearm, to make it easier to pump. The only problem for some may be that the higher the pump, the harder it is to use. Shouldn't be a problem for adults, but younger shooters may have difficulty.

    What others should know: This is a classic, fun, and is a great stepping stone in the world of airguns. Try it out!

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Charles from USA on 2014-06-28
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    5.01 rating

    Things I liked: Wood Stock. Metal fit and finish. Classic styling. Accuracy. Even the trigger is sweet on the rifle I received.

    Things I would have changed: Can't think of anything. I'm tickled with this purchase.

    What others should know: Called the nephews when it showed up. Between the 4 of us we shot a whole tin of pellets. Everyone loves this gun.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Bill from USA on 2014-06-15
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    5.01 rating

    Things I liked: Very pleased with this rifle. Accurate with plenty of power if you want it. Just for reference, one pump on this gun will push a pellet out the barrel with slightly less power than my IZH 61 rated at 490 fps. Two pumps puts the fps noticeably better than that 490 fps. Three pumps will put a pellet inside an empty dog food can at 20 feet. Five pumps puts it thru both sides. And that's as far as I went as five pumps gets difficult for me. Pellets used were RWS 10 Match 7.0 gr.

    Things I would have changed: The gun is good to go as is, but I would like to see multi pump gun reviews include pellet velocities obtained with different numbers of pumps applied.

    What others should know: Two pumps per shot is plenty for plinking and target shooting. Three pumps if your feeling aggressive. Won't tire you out. Gotta press your cheek into the stock to line up the sights but I'm guessing that's because the rear sight design puts the sight down low closer to the barrel. That seems like a good thing.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Milton from USA on 2014-05-25
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    5.01 rating

    Things I liked: This is a classic air rifle and continues to set the standard for multi-pump pneumatic air guns. The rifle is solid and well built. The finish on the wood stock is excellent and with the exceptions of a small scratch on the barrel near the serial number the rifle is in excellent shape. The scratch was easily covered using a black “Sharpie” permanent marker. I like the option of shooting at lower velocity levels, but also like having the ability to pump it up to a level capable of taking out small pests. This is my main reason for buying this model.

    Things I would have changed: Nothing; this gun is a good buy the way its manufactured.

    What others should know: I bought one of these as a Christmas gift for my son back around 1990. I was impressed by its performance and wanted one for myself. I’ve been air gunning since 1975 and have several Crosman multi-pump pneumatics, a Beeman and Browning spring piston and a Gamo gas piston air gun. But, the Crosman guns aren’t powerful enough for pest control and the spring and gas piston models are too powerful to shoot in my small garage. Out of the box the accuracy and power of this gun is apparent. Using the sight that came with the gun I was able to shoot clover leafs at 15 feet. I was able to duplicate those results using the Williams peep sight manufactured for this gun. As far as the power, at 15 feet I was able to place a Crosman Premier Domed Ultra Magnum 10.5 gr and Beeman Silver Sting 8.64 gr pellets cleanly through a 5/8” thick board. Get the Williams peep sight for this gun it helps improve its accuracy. Eat your Wheaties before shooting this gun at full power; it gets hard to pump.

     
  • 5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    5.0 5.0

    By Peter from USA on 2014-04-08
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    Things I liked: Excellent balance and accuracy! I also like the wood stock and the bolt cocking system. To me it feels much like an old military Springfield 30-06 rifle but smaller and lighter and easier to use. As a youngster I used to spend a lot of time at a Navy Radar station and the walls were lined with Springfield 30-06 rifles. I played with them every day for a year and a half. Perhaps that explains why I like the Benjamin 392 and 397 PA Air Rifles so much.

    Things I would have changed: I'm satisfied with my new Benjamin 397PA just the way it came out of the box. It's a lot like my Benjamin 392PA which I purchased new back in 1993 for around $129-$149.

    What others should know: I had a 397PA but I gave it to my son years ago. He still has it. Even though I really like my 392PA which looks and shoots like a new air rifle I missed the 397 so much after I gave it to my son I decided to purchase another one for myself. It took a while but I'm so glad I did. It's my most fun air rifle and it's as accurate as anything I have. All my other air rifles are Match Air Rifles such as Crosman Challenger 2000 and the newer Challenger 2009, Daisy 753 and also IZH MP-532. I even have a new HW30S purchased from Pryamid Air in February this year. The Benjamin 397PA is as accurate as everyone of these Match air rifles. But it's easier and more fun to shoot.

     
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