Ever since I got caught in a light summer shower with an airgun, I’ve had an interest in all-weather airguns. It just seems to me that, in general, it’s a good idea to have airguns be as impervious as possible to bad weather.
So when Crosman offered me the opportunity to evaluate the new Benjamin Trail NP™ All Weather air rifle, I said “You bet!”
The All Weather, which is available only in .22 caliber, is a break barrel air rifle, and there are several interesting things about it. First, it has an all-weather synthetic stock. Not only that, but the all weather stock is fully ambidextrous, nicely styled, and downright swoopy looking.
The catalog says that All Weather weighs 8 lbs (and stretches 43 inches long), but it comes with a scope and mount, so the whole package weighs 9 lbs 12 oz when fully assembled. That might seem like a lot to tote around for a day afield. Fortunately, also included in the package (at least during an introductory period) is a sling. It easily attaches to the swivels that are provided and makes carrying the All Weather so much easier that it makes me scratch my head and wonder why I hadn’t tried a sling before now.
Let’s take a tour of the All Weather. Starting at the back, there is a soft black ventilated butt pad, separated from the synthetic stock by a gray spacer. The buttstock has a cheek piece on either side, which ought to make lefties happy and a stud near the end for mounting a sling. Forward of that is a large thumbhole and nearly vertical pistol grip that is checkered and has a pronounced flair at the end. Moving forward again, the trigger guard is molded into the synthetic stock. Inside the trigger guard is a metal trigger and forward-and-back lever safety.
The forestock stretches out in front of the trigger guard. There is checkering on either side near the end and a long slot underneath to provide clearance for cocking the break barrel action. The other attachment for the sling is fastened to the breakbarrel mechanism near the end of the slot. Beyond that is the bullbarrel/shroud.
The barrel attaches to the breech block. Moving rearward, you’ll find the receiver, on which is mounted a picatinny/weaver scope rail. That’s it. The result is an air rifle that looks and feels good in the hand and balances very well.
Included with the All Weather is a CenterPoint 3-9 x 40 scope and weaver rings. When I saw the beauty and simplicity of how the scope rail and rings worked together, it made me wonder why all airgun manufacturers don’t standardize on the slotted weaver rails. You don’t have to worry about whether your rings will hold, whether your anti-recoil pin is seated deeply enough in the socket or whether you have to really crank down your mounts. All you have to do is drop the bars on the weaver rings into the slots on the scope rail, snug the mounts down, and you’re done. Hats off to Crosman for doing this!
Another key aspect of the All Weather is that it is powered by the Nitro Piston powerplant. (That’s what the NP stands for.) Unlike a conventional breakbarrel springer, which uses a spring to drive a piston that compresses the air which in turn launches the pellet, the Nitro Piston technology uses a gas strut, much like the strut used to elevate the back window on many automobiles. As a result, there is no spring to wear out, no twang when the shot goes off, no vibration or torque on discharge. Further, you can leave a Nitro Piston powerplant cocked for as long as you want without worrying about damaging the spring.
Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Benjamin Trail NP All Weather performs.
Til then, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott