To Dad: The Gift Of A Gun

Did your dad ever tell you that you’re full of hot air? It’s time to show him that can be a great thing.

I've heard people suggest that summer is air-gun season. And I certainly won't deny that's true. There's lots of air- gun shooting to be done over the summer months.

However, hunters like myself, who live in cold climates, tend to think winter is a good time for air-gunning as well— indoors of course. The truth is, spending time with a high-quality air rifle is never a bad thing. So, when I noticed a vacancy in my gun vault, I decided to fill it with an air rifle.

I wanted decent quality without breaking the bank, and because I wanted to use the rifle for hunting small game, it had to be a high-velocity .22 caliber. My search settled on the Benjamin Trail, equipped with a Nitro Piston 2 power plant. This rifle is rated for 1,100 fps with lightweight pellets and 850 with conventional lead pellets. And because I've had the opportunity to shoot guns equipped with NP-2 technology before, the choice was easy.

In these guns, a gas ram drives the piston forward to propel the pellet, and the result is smooth shooting and quiet power. That massive spring, which powers old style pellet guns, is a thing of the past. From everything I've seen, it's a system that works well.

The rifle I found came as a package with a Center-Point 3-9X scope, so after mounting it, I started the chore of breaking in the rifle, a necessary task for every break-barrel rifle I've ever seen. After 250 pellets downrange, the groups began to shrink dramatically, and at about 300 shots everything seemed to stabilize. So, I began testing pellets for accuracy.

Performance Of The Pellets
Of the nine brands and styles available at my local Cabela's, the winner by a clear margin was the RWS Hobby pellet. At 30 yards, these pellets averaged 5-shot groups of 1.3 inches and the pellets were blowing completely through the 3/8-inch plywood on which I was hanging targets. That, in my opinion, is an excellent combination of power and accuracy for a hunting rifle and scope combo available for less than $300.

The rifle has an adjustable two-stage trigger, and I tinkered with it while doing the break-in. I didn't move it much from the factory setting to find a sweet spot. This isn't a match-quality trigger, but it is far better than many other air rifles I've shot. I didn't include any lightweight, high-velocity alloy pellets in my initial testing, so I eventually tried those as well. In keeping with past experience, their accuracy was dismal and at my 30-yard air-gun range they stuck into the plywood that conventional lead pellets were blasting through. No accuracy and no penetration spells “loser.”

The only negative I can report was in the scope adjustments, which I found were sticky and didn't always move the point of impact in a predictable fashion. However, once I had it sighted in, everything stayed where it belonged. I suspect this scope will move over to my grandkid's rifle and a higher quality scope will come to live on the Benjamin Trail. It's certainly worth it. This is great value in a powerful air rifle.


North American Hunter Top Stories

\r\n\r\n

I've heard people suggest that summer is air-gun season. And I certainly won't deny that's true. There's lots of air-\r\n\r\ngun shooting to be done over the summer months.

\r\n\r\n

However, hunters like myself, who live in cold climates, tend to think winter is a good time for air-gunning as well—\r\n\r\nindoors of course. The truth is, spending time with a high-quality air rifle is never a bad thing. So, when I noticed a \r\n\r\nvacancy in my gun vault, I decided to fill it with an air rifle.

\r\n \r\n

I wanted decent quality without breaking the bank, and because I wanted to use the rifle for hunting small game, it \r\n\r\nhad to be a high-velocity .22 caliber. My search settled on the Benjamin Trail, equipped with a Nitro Piston \r\n\r\n2 power plant. This rifle is rated for 1,100 fps with lightweight pellets and 850 with conventional lead pellets. And \r\n\r\nbecause I've had the opportunity to shoot guns equipped with NP-2 technology before, the choice was easy.

\r\n\r\n

In these guns, a gas ram drives the piston forward to propel the pellet, and the result is smooth shooting and quiet \r\n\r\npower. That massive spring, which powers old style pellet guns, is a thing of the past. From everything I've seen, it's a \r\n\r\nsystem that works well.

\r\n \r\n

The rifle I found came as a package with a Center-Point 3-9X scope, so after mounting it, I started the chore of \r\n\r\nbreaking in the rifle, a necessary task for every break-barrel rifle I've ever seen. After 250 pellets downrange, the \r\n\r\ngroups began to shrink dramatically, and at about 300 shots everything seemed to stabilize. So, I began testing pellets \r\n\r\nfor accuracy.

\r\n \r\n

Performance Of The Pellets
\r\nOf the nine brands and styles available at my local Cabela's, the winner by a clear margin was the RWS Hobby pellet. At \r\n\r\n30 yards, these pellets averaged 5-shot groups of 1.3 inches and the \r\n\r\npellets were blowing completely through the 3/8-inch plywood on which I was hanging targets. That, in my opinion, is an \r\n\r\nexcellent combination of power and accuracy for a hunting rifle and scope combo available for less than $300.

\r\n \r\n

The rifle has an adjustable two-stage trigger, and I tinkered with it while doing the break-in. I didn't move it much \r\n\r\nfrom the factory setting to find a sweet spot. This isn't a match-quality trigger, but it is far better than many other \r\n\r\nair rifles I've shot. I didn't include any lightweight, high-velocity alloy pellets in my initial testing, so I \r\n\r\neventually tried those as well. In keeping with past experience, their accuracy was dismal and at my 30-yard air-gun \r\n\r\nrange they stuck into the plywood that conventional lead pellets were blasting through. No accuracy and no penetration \r\n\r\nspells “loser.”

\r\n \r\n

The only negative I can report was in the scope adjustments, which I \r\n\r\nfound were sticky and didn't always move the point of impact in a predictable fashion. However, once I had it sighted in, \r\n\r\neverything stayed where it belonged. I suspect this scope will move over to my grandkid's rifle and a higher quality \r\n\r\nscope will come to live on the Benjamin Trail. It's certainly worth it. This is great value in a powerful air rifle.

\r\n\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Talk With Other Hunters Here

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"
[YOUTUBE:pujl1EL8qFU]

I've heard people suggest that summer is air-gun season. And I certainly won't deny that's true. There's lots of air- gun shooting to be done over the summer months.

However, hunters like myself, who live in cold climates, tend to think winter is a good time for air-gunning as well— indoors of course. The truth is, spending time with a high-quality air rifle is never a bad thing. So, when I noticed a vacancy in my gun vault, I decided to fill it with an air rifle.

I wanted decent quality without breaking the bank, and because I wanted to use the rifle for hunting small game, it had to be a high-velocity .22 caliber. My search settled on the Benjamin Trail, equipped with a Nitro Piston 2 power plant. This rifle is rated for 1,100 fps with lightweight pellets and 850 with conventional lead pellets. And because I've had the opportunity to shoot guns equipped with NP-2 technology before, the choice was easy.

In these guns, a gas ram drives the piston forward to propel the pellet, and the result is smooth shooting and quiet power. That massive spring, which powers old style pellet guns, is a thing of the past. From everything I've seen, it's a system that works well.

The rifle I found came as a package with a Center-Point 3-9X scope, so after mounting it, I started the chore of breaking in the rifle, a necessary task for every break-barrel rifle I've ever seen. After 250 pellets downrange, the groups began to shrink dramatically, and at about 300 shots everything seemed to stabilize. So, I began testing pellets for accuracy.

Performance Of The Pellets
Of the nine brands and styles available at my local Cabela's, the winner by a clear margin was the RWS Hobby pellet. At 30 yards, these pellets averaged 5-shot groups of 1.3 inches and the pellets were blowing completely through the 3/8-inch plywood on which I was hanging targets. That, in my opinion, is an excellent combination of power and accuracy for a hunting rifle and scope combo available for less than $300.

The rifle has an adjustable two-stage trigger, and I tinkered with it while doing the break-in. I didn't move it much from the factory setting to find a sweet spot. This isn't a match-quality trigger, but it is far better than many other air rifles I've shot. I didn't include any lightweight, high-velocity alloy pellets in my initial testing, so I eventually tried those as well. In keeping with past experience, their accuracy was dismal and at my 30-yard air-gun range they stuck into the plywood that conventional lead pellets were blasting through. No accuracy and no penetration spells “loser.”

The only negative I can report was in the scope adjustments, which I found were sticky and didn't always move the point of impact in a predictable fashion. However, once I had it sighted in, everything stayed where it belonged. I suspect this scope will move over to my grandkid's rifle and a higher quality scope will come to live on the Benjamin Trail. It's certainly worth it. This is great value in a powerful air rifle.

Talk With Other Hunters Here

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