Benjamin Trail NP All Weather – Part II

Monday, May 10, 2010


The third most interesting aspect of the Benjamin Trail NP All Weather – and the one that is bound to be most controversial – is the trigger. Now, I need to preface the following by explaining that I shot the All weather for a while and got some pretty nice accuracy results (which I will reveal below) before I ever attempted to measure the weight of the trigger pull.

That’s when things got interesting. When I first measured the trigger pull with my Lyman digital trigger gauge, I saw the following: at 1 lb 11 oz, the first stage appears to come out of the trigger and there is a hard stop. Then there is a long creepy pull and another hard stop at about 4 lbs 13 oz. Finally, at around 5 lbs, 4 oz, the shot goes off.

I had never encountered anything like this before. Weird, I thought, this air rifle appears to have a three-stage trigger. So I called Crosman about it. No, they said, what you think is the first stage is simply pulling against the trigger return spring. The second section that ends at 4 lbs 13 oz is actually the first stage, and 5 lbs 4 oz is where the second stage releases, they explained. They added that if you comparatively test breakbarrel rifles produced by Crosman, you’ll find that the Quest, the Phantom, the Summit, the Vantage, and others all have very similar triggers.

Now, I’ll grant you that All Weather’s trigger feels unusual at first, but I’ve shot it for a while now, and I’ve found that it is quite consistent and doesn’t interfere with accurate shooting (and it’s not as heavy as some military triggers I’ve been told about). For those who don’t want to deal with the All Weather’s trigger, after market triggers are available, but take note: if you fit one to your All Weather, you will void the warranty. So my advice is shoot your All Weather until your one-year warranty is up, and then put in an after market trigger if you still want one.

To cock the All Weather, grab the end of the barrel and pull down and back toward the buttstock. This is where the All Weather begins to show the advantages of the Nitro Piston powerplant. You’ll hear a “snick” when the breech unlatches and another snick when the powerplant is fully cocked and . . . nothing in between. The cocking stroke is one smooth, noiseless glide. It’s like cocking a break barrel springer that has been fully romanced by one of the master spring gun tuners.

With the breech open, slip a .22 caliber pellet into the aft end of the barrel and return the bullbarrel to its original position. The safety is non-automatic. If it is pushed back toward the trigger, push it forward toward the muzzle to ready the rifle for firing, and pull the trigger.

The sample of All Weather that I tested launched Crosman Premier 14.3 gr. pellets at 687 fps average, which is just a teensy bit below 15 foot-pounds of energy. When the shot goes off, the weight of the All Weather becomes your friend, helping to gentle the shot cycle. The recoil is quick and surprisingly smooth, with no torque, twang or vibration. Further, the report is quite subdued, even for a breakbarrel air rifle. The accuracy is very, very satisfactory. At 35 yards, I was able to put three Crosman Premier pellets into a little tiny group where all the holes touched each other before my technique went to blazes. I think a really good spring gun shooter (which I am not) could achieve some impressive results with this rifle.

In the end, I liked the Benjamin Trail NT All Weather. As I have explained before, I am not a trigger Nazi – what I care most about is how the overall system performs. In my view, the All Weather delivers a lot of performance and accuracy in a reasonably-price package. As such, I think a lot of shooters will enjoy it.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

- Jock Elliott

50 Comments

  1. bub says:

    what kind of cocking effort was required?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Bub,

      I don’t have any good way of measuring the cocking effort, but Crosman tells me it is 28-31 lbs.

  2. emt training says:

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  3. Jerry Bynum says:

    This Benjamin NP is light,easy to cock,and is accurate with Crosman premiers or RWS Super Point. For your dollar, its a tough gun to beat. The 14.3 gr. pellets hit very hard !
    An honest opinion.
    Jerry

  4. Jerry says:

    I forgot to add. I also have the gold trigger which is a plus for this rifle. A very nice affordable option.
    Semper Fi
    Jerry

  5. hoppe says:

    I have the NPSS in .177. Have not tried the heavy pellets, only 7, 7.9, and 8.4gr pellets.
    Surely would be interested in what the heavier pettets might do to settle it down a bit. Would also like to hear of the “best” aftermarket trigger available, so that I can buy pettets and trigger at the same time. I replaced the stock scope with a Burris Timberline scopel. That seems to help in the repeatability department.

    rehoppe at hotmaillcom …. drop a line if you have time

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Airguns of Arizona carries several different aftermarket triggers, I believe. Check wtih them to see which one is the best for your NPSS.

  6. Dave says:

    I purchased a Trail NP1500 with wood stock in .177 cal. I have read that these rifles have a break-in period. I have about 75-100 pellets through it already and its still won’t group consistently at 25 yds. I might have a 1″ five shot group then it will open up. The scope (Center/Point) which came with the rifle might be the culprit too. I’m using Gamo match pellets during the break-in period and have ordered some Polymag Predator’s to try. The trigger isn’t very good in this rifle which adds to the problem. I have orderd a new trigger from Airguns of Arizona and might glass bed the rear recoil lug after the warranty runs out. Any Suggestions

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Dave,

      You have to let the rifle choose the pellet. That probably means you’ll have to try several different kinds of pellets until you find one that groups best. I suggest shooting off a semi-soft rest like a cushion or a rolled up jacket. Don’t use a hard rest and try to be very consistent in your hold. Also, make sure that the bolts that hold the scope mount, including those that hold the scope in the rings, are snug.

  7. Orin says:

    Dave,

    If you have the Trail NP XL-1500, you might be using pellets that are too light. I would try some Baracudas/Kodiaks, JSB Heavies, and CPH’s. You’re probably running in the transonic or supersonic range, which will always wreak havoc on accuracy.

    Also, be sure to closely inspect the barrel. After a thorough scrubbing with bore cleaner, there should be no burrs/pits/rough spots visible to the eye. I have the XL-1100 (.22) and my factory barrel was crap… I could feel multiple rough spots when slugging a pellet through with a wooden dowel, and the first three inches in the breech block were the tightest – prematurely choking the pellet. No matter what amount of other tuning I performed, I could not get accuracy out of my XL until I replaced the barrel.

    Between the long piston stroke, long barrel, and moderate recoil, the hold sensitivity on this gun is going to be extreme. Lilke, Jock said, you’re going to really have to focus on maintaining a consistent hold. Some tape markers on the forestock and grip can help with that. Oh – and check your stock screws frequently… they tend to loosen up pretty easily on this gun. Loctite is highly recommended.

    - Orin

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Orin,

      Thanks for your comments.

      1. Orin says:

        No problem, Jock. I forgot to mention also that Crosman customer service is incredible (for anyone who doesn’t already know that). Because I tuned/modified the gun, I voided the warranty. I expected to have to purchase a new barrel, but Crosman sent me one free of charge to install myself. There were no questions asked or pictures required – I just described my findings over the phone and received a new barrel in the mail a couple of weeks later. It came as a complete assembly including breech block, receiver shims/spacers, breech seal, and shroud. The only think I had to transfer over from the old barrel was the cocking linkage. Talk about exceeding my expectations!

        - Orin

  8. Dave says:

    I want to thank all of you for your support concerning this rifle. A lot of the things Jock suggested I have done and I plan to try other some brands of pellets as Orin suggested too. Air guns are new to me and seem to be quite a challenge over traditional rifles which I’m more a custom to. If I cant get this thing to settle down I might have to give Crosman a call. I wonder if the 22 cal. version might have been a better choice because of the added pellet weight and slower velocity….. I’m going to set my Crony up and see what’s going on velocity wise. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Dave

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      The .22 did seem to have a very smooth shot cycle, but I haven’t shot the .177 version of the Trail.

  9. Dave says:

    I wonder, do you think by just changing the barrel you can convert it over to a 22 cal.? If so, that would be something to think about later. The reason I purchased the .177 was because of the ballistics. I also wanted a gun to shoot indoors….. I have a large basement. So far, all my shooting with this rifle has been outdoors at my gun club… from a good shooting bench with sandbag rest. Wind will effect the the lighter pellets more then the heavy .22′s but at twenty five yards I would hope it wouldn’t be to extreme.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      I don’t know about converting to .22. Sorry.

      As to the wind outdoors at 25 yards affecting the pellet, it really depends on how hard the wind is blowing. The shorter the distance and the lighter the wind; the less the deflection.

    2. Orin says:

      Dave,

      My suspicion would be that the barrel is the only part to exchange for .22 conversion. The powerplant, including transfer port diameter, are usually identical across calibers of the same gun. If you order a .22 barrel assembly from Crosman, I would bet that it drops right in, but I’m sure they could tell you for sure. Of course this will void the warranty, just so you know to expect that.

      On another note, as an experiment, I recently cut 6″ off the original (bad) barrel and shroud on my XL-1100. The remaining 14″ or so is still full of burrs and the breech block area is still too tight, but I can’t believe the accuracy now. After thoroughly scrubbbing the bore and taking a couple dozen shots to re-season the barrel, I was getting pretty consistent 3/8″ – 1/2″ groups at 20 yards. That’s nothing to brag about, but compared to the previous 1″ – 1 1/2″ groups I was getting before at the same distance, it is a vast improvement. The gun is also slightly louder now, but WAY less hold sensitive. All told, I lost somewhere between 20-40 FPS. So my conclusion is that even with a very quick shot cycle from the nitro piston, the long barrel on the XL combined with the moderate recoil/vibrations adversely impact accuracy and hold sensitivity. Even with a less than ideal shorter barrel, the accuracy and hold sensitivity have greatly improved.

      On wind, as Jock said, it depends on many things including wind speed and direction, pellet velocity, pellet BC, etc. But don’t be surprised if a steady 20 MPH wind gives you a deflection of 1/2″ or more at 25 yards. Being that your gun shoots so fast (compared to the average .177), it might be less.

      - Orin

  10. Dave says:

    Thanks Orin, very interesting post. At twenty-five yards, my groups were as large as 3 – 4″, which is totally unacceptable. I have some ten + gr. pellets ordered; I’ll see if it changes anything. I wonder if the 8 gr. pellets might be to light for the Nitro’s velocity to stabalize . I have been shooting for over forty years and have been able to correct a lot of bad shooting rifles by trying various bullet and powder combinations. With this rifle, I’m limited to a gas piston as my only source of propellant. I also have a Gen II trigger to install which should help a lot in that aspect. I find it challenging to make a gun a shooter.

  11. Slinging Lead says:

    Dave

    If your scope does not have AO (adjustable objective) that could be a source of your problem. Fixed objective scopes are very susceptible to parallax error. This means that if you do not have your head stuck in the exact same place every time you pull the trigger, or are shooting at some other distance than what the scope is set to, you will not get good results. If your scope is not AO, I would get one. If it is AO, then I would just try different pellets as Jock and Orin have suggested. I own MANY airguns, and the GAMO match pellets shoot poorly in all of them. That is merely my own experience. I also wont use wadcutters past 10 meters, I use domed pellets for the longer shots.

    Benjamin (Crosman) guns usually like Crosman pellets. Try the boxed Premiers in both weights. Also I believe that how a pellet fits in the barrel is more important than the weight of a pellet which is sometimes arbitrarily assigned. Airguns are like Goldilocks. Too tight! Too loose! Ahhh…..just right.

    You may want to scrub the barrel from the breech end with some JB’s non embedding bore cleaning compound from Brownell’s. It greatly improved the accuracy in my Benjamin Discovery.

    If you enjoy the challenge of making a gun a shooter, you have found the perfect hobby my friend!

  12. Darrell vaughan says:

    what the fps of the benjamin trail xl1500 with a 10.5pellect.anther think i hunt small game and my 177 air gun kill better then my 22cal air gun i use 10.5 gr pellect i kill posses at 40yards with my 177cal what u think

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Darrell,

      I haven’t had any experience with the Benjamin Tral XL1500. As to the selection of caliber, air gunners debate which is best endlessly.

      You might want to check out this link: http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/thread/1250084376/Interesting+fodder+for+the+FPE-hunting+ballistics+discussion

  13. Davevabch says:

    Jock, always love your post. Question, you say that the report of the gun is “subdued”. Can you give a better description of the noise level?

    Thanks
    Dave

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Dave,

      It is quieter than most magnum springers but not totally quiet.

      About as noisy perhaps as someone whacking lightly on a board with a hammer.

      As an aside, characterizing sound is an issue that drives me nuts. I actually bought a decibel meter and thought I had a handle on making sound measurements, then I found I didn’t get nearly the same results twice from the same gun.

      If you are looking for a gun that is absolutely dead quiet, you’ll probably have to go with a fully shrouded precharged pneumatic.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  14. Steven Dick says:

    I’ve ran my rifle over a Chrony and averaged about the same FPS as you did. Non-lead pellets brought it up to around 830 FPS. So where does their 950 FPS number come from? Big difference between 670-680 and 950.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Steven,

      I don’t know where that number came from. Perhaps if you used some of those super-light Gamo non-lead pellets . . .

  15. Darrell vaughan says:

    I brought the xl 1500 and it tis a good an accuracy gun i shot 7.9 an 10.5 gr pellets the 7.9 shoot more accuracy than the 10.5 so would the 7.9 pellets mes the gun up like it would a springer gun by the pellets been light. What u think about the xl 725 i am think about get one of them later do you think it up there with the gamo hunter exetrem 25cal far as volcity

  16. Darrell vaughan says:

    Just get the xl 725 wait on pellets to come in do you think 600fps is for a 25cal shoot a 27gr pellet what u thimk about the 25cal hunter extreme is it voctiy the same

  17. Darrell vaughan says:

    haven get the xl725broke in yet what u think about the maruder 22 an25cal was think about get one dont no which cal to get is there any other way to fill the gun other than sub tank would a air conpresserdo the job

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Darrell,

      You could use a high pressure hand pump, available from http://www.airgunsofarizona.com, to fill the gun.

  18. Darrell vaughan says:

    i just get the trail xl 725 back an the pellect is going every ware i only shoot 70pellect throw the gun an i try diff pellect to do think it wil take longer to brake it in this is gun number 2 .

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Darrell,

      You have to shoot groups, try different pellets, shoot at the same distance, and shoot off a soft rest to determine which pellet will produce the best accuracy for you.

  19. Darrell vaughan says:

    what u think about the benjamie discovery in a 177cal wil it shoot a 10gr pellect at 850fps

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      In stock form, the Discovery will shoot 7.9 grain pellets at around 850 fps.

  20. Joe Wilson says:

    I have a .22 Benjamin Trail NP Hardwood. I added a Leapers scope and upgraded to the gold trigger. I shoot H&N 14.66 grn FTTs with 5.55 dia. I must be very lucky in that this gun is just amazing. It will hold sub 1/2″ groups at 50 yards off a bench with me shooting. the 2 1/2″ spinner at 100 yards is a 2.5 mildot holdover and an easy shot.

    My biggest learning on this gun is that the breechlock must be kept clean and oiled with very light oil. It is machined a little tight and fouls easily from debris off of dirty pellets. I learned early on to only oil it with the lightest of oil and to use clean or rinsed pellets.

    I also torqued and Loc-Tited the shroud cap to ensure no variation in barrel harmonics.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Joe,

      Nice shooting!

      Thanks for your comments.

  21. Kelly Roup says:

    I’ve just purchased a Benjamin Trail all weather NP for my Granddaughter and found it to be very heavy, has a mile long trigger pull and is very accurate! I cranked up the scope that came with it and managed to remove the [[spent]] primer from a 12 Ga. shot shell at 30 yards after running 30-40 rounds through it to sight it in and break it in a bit for her

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Kelly,

      Thanks for your comments.

  22. Duc Stair says:

    I;ve got the .177 version and wanted to know what pellet weight might bring this into sub-sonic territory? Please help:-)

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Duc,

      I would try the Crosman Premier 10.5 grain or the JSB Exact Heavy 10.34 grain.

  23. uniquefrm808 says:

    no1 needs to BUY the upgraded trigger because there is a fix on youtube that corrects the problem for 5 10 15cents…i have a benjamin trail np .22 and used a simple washer to give my trigger pull excellents…this method is 15x better and cheap…im just lookin out for my fellow air riflers unlike the ones that charge $30 $40 $50 for the tuna WATEVER trigger…

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Uniquefrm808,

      People have been removing the blade return spring and installing spacers in Gamo triggers for many years. The consequences are dubious in both performance and safety, and in no way comparable to the true-2-stage trigger produced by installing a GTX.

  24. Joe says:

    I have the 1500WNP .177cal XL trail.
    I shot a pellet went to reload and it does not open it is locked closed. Any suggestions

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Joe,

      I suggest contacting Crosman. http://www.crosman.com

  25. Keith says:

    I have an all weather trail XP in .22cal. It is stock out of the box with no mods. I’ve tried crosman premier 14.3 HP pellets and skenco 18gr. Non lead pointed tip pellets. At 30-35 yards I get shots all over the place with both. Any suggestions on how I could fix this accuracy problem? The crosman pellets once sighted in would group in 3-4″ groups but it would still have random fliers.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Keith,

      First, make sure that the screws and bolts on your scope mount are snug and have not loosened.

      Second, shoot off a soft rest such as a rolled up jacket or bum bag.

      Third, don’t hold the rifle in a death grip to your shoulder; you need to allow it to recoil a bit.

      Fourth, you may need to try more than just two different kinds of pellets to get your best accuracy.

      Start by shooting at 10-15 yards, then move out to longer yardage once you have identified some pellets that produce good groups at closer range.

      I hope this helps.

  26. freddie nz says:

    Just had my 177 benjamin tail serviced. New nitro piston and seals. We cronyd it be for service 988 fps and after 1098 fps. Not bad for H&N baracuta and bang on the money at 70 yards. Replaced scope with a Hawk hd sport 3 9×40 AO IR MIL.

  27. Emil Kiaer says:

    Hey! If i dont think the trigger i get it with is comfortable, which trigger should i then buy? For getting a shorter pull…
    Recommend please :)
    And thanks

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Emil,

      You should discuss your length of pull with http://www.airgunsofarizona.com so that you buy the right size rifle.

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