Which Benjamin air rifles are best?
Benjamin air rifles are renowned by enthusiasts for their durability, quality and accuracy. As a part of the Crosman manufacturing group, they are enjoyed by professional hunters and casual marksmen alike. Benjamin constantly raises the bar by creating innovations for their product line, making them one of the most progressive and popular air gun companies in the business.
For the best in build quality, dependability and performance, consider the Benjamin Marauder air rifle.
What to know before you buy a Benjamin air rifle
Different calibers of ammunition
Air rifles either fire ball bearings or small pellets, with the latter being most popular for both hunting, pest control and target shooting. The most common pellet calibers are .177, .20, .22 and .25, and each has its benefits. For example, .22 and .25 caliber pellets are ideal for hunting due to their greater muzzle velocity. Smaller caliber pellets are better for target shooting, as their reduced weight generally gives them a higher feet-per-second rating with less bullet drop over distance.
Different propulsion methods
There are three main propulsion methods for air rifles, namely CO2 power, pneumatic power and spring piston power. CO2 is the most convenient means of propulsion, as you need only cock the gun once and a canister, similar to a scaled-down diver’s air tank, pressurizes the piston allowing the rifle to be fired at will. On the other hand, pneumatic guns use a lever to manually compress air into the reservoir, usually requiring multiple pumps to charge it sufficiently. Finally, spring piston propulsion is the most common type, whereby a lever compresses a spring, which releases a piston that forces air into the barrel when released by the trigger. Some incorporate gas springs that reduce recoil and increase lock time.
Air rifle precision vs. power
Whether precision or power is more important depends on the primary application of your Benjamin air rifle. For example, a high degree of precision is not paramount if you are using your rifle primarily for “plinking” or the shooting of bottles, cans and other paraphernalia as casual target practice. But if you are using it mostly for target practice, then you need constant velocity to achieve the best possible accuracy. Yet, if you are using your rifle for pest control or for hunting small mammals and game, you need a gun that produces a high muzzle velocity and achieves a high FPS rating for maximum impact. Pellet weight, type of powerplant, pellet profile and barrel length also contribute to the overall power of the rifle.
What to look for in a quality Benjamin air rifle
Benjamin rifles often use wood in their construction. These can include Turkish walnut stocks and other high-quality hardwoods that offer excellent durability and comfort. Newer designs also incorporate molded synthetic materials that are not only hard-wearing but also have excellent waterproof qualities. Barrels are usually rifled steel in their construction.
Your rifle may come with some additional accessories. These can include adjustable scopes for precision shooting, auto-indexing magazines for rapid reloading, rifle cases, pellets, slings and targets. Accessories vary from model to model and with different retail outlets, so it’s always worth checking for add-ons when comparing prices.
Stealth is an important factor when tracking game and repetitive muzzle cracks can become fatiguing or even damage the hearing after repetitive use of your rifle. To this end, Benjamin air rifles use sound-dampening systems in a number of their rifles, especially those that are high powered, such as the shrouded barrel of their Marauder model, which greatly reduces resonance.
How much you can expect to spend on a Benjamin air rifle
Benjamin air rifles are high in quality, which is reflected in their price, with entry-level models costing over $200. Mid-range rifles cost between $400-$600, while some high-end options cost $1,000 or more.
Benjamin air rifle FAQ
Where are Benjamin air rifles manufactured?
A. Having been established in Racine, Wisconsin, Benjamin air rifles are now designed and built in Rochester, New York, as part of the Crosman family of products. The parent company acquired Benjamin in 1991 and continues to manufacture rifles to a high standard.
Are Benjamin air rifles safe?
A. Air rifles are high-velocity weapons and should always be used with great caution. Always take precautions to ensure safe and responsible handling of your Benjamin air rifle, especially around children and young adults. These are dangerous and potentially lethal weapons in the wrong hands and should be treated as such.
What’s the best Benjamin air rifle to buy?
Top Benjamin air rifle
What you need to know: The Marauder has become the go-to rifle of choice for small game hunters looking for a dependable, high-performance model.
What you’ll love: Standout features include a fully adjustable match-grade trigger, a European hardwood stock with an adjustable comb and highly effective sound suppression. Its bolt can be reversed for left- or right-handed users, and it has a rotary mag for rapid firing.
What you should consider: This model is comparably heavy, so it’s best carried in a sling if it’s being used on the trail.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Benjamin air rifle for the money
What you need to know: With its contemporary “Monte Carlo” styling, this rifle is guaranteed to turn heads and offers performance to match.
What you’ll love: The 392 can be bought with a beautiful hardwood stock or a synthetic construction that is practical at guarding against the elements. It has a fully-adjustable rear sight and is accurate enough for plinking and pest control, even without a scope.
What you should consider: This model requires some effort to pump and can be tiresome after repeated use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The versatile Trail NP has enough power for small game hunting and enough accuracy for target shooting.
What you’ll love: The Trail NP’s checkered hardwood stock feels positive to grip and comfortable against the body. This rifle has one of the smoothest nitro pistons available, with its rifled steel barrel providing great accuracy with up to 1500 FPS. The 3-9 by 40 scope is included in the package.
What you should consider: This rifle resonates loudly compared to some other similarly-performing models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.