Before we get started this time, there is a new video in the Airguns of Arizona video showcase. You might want to check it out.
Okay, now down to business. Brown Santa (the UPS guy) showed up the other day with a small box. In it was a Benjamin EB22 air pistol, and I’ve got to tell you that after playing with it for a little while, it is my new favorite pistol.
The EB22 is a .22 caliber, single-shot, bolt-action, CO2 powered pistol. Overall length is just nine inches, and the weight is 28 ounces. Let’s take a brief tour. The fit and finish are, I think, just right for a pistol in this price range. All the metal is black with the exception of the silver metal trigger and silver bolt at the back of the receiver. Under the receiver is the metal pistol grip frame, which is fitted with a couple of dark-colored hardwood grips. Ahead of the grips is a safety button. Push it full left to allow the EB22 to fire. Just forward of that is the silver metal trigger inside the black metal trigger guard.
Above the trigger guard is the tube that holds the 12-gram CO2 Powerlet that powers the EB22. At the end of the tube is a black knurled metal knob, the filler cap. Above that are the muzzle of the 6.38-inch brass barrel and the front sight. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the breech and the loading port. Behind that are the rear sight and the bolt.
To get the EB22 ready for shooting, remove the filler cap and insert a CO2 Powerlet small-end-first into the tube under the barrel. To ease removal of spent Powerlets, it’s helpful if you smear a dab of Pellgunoil on the end and around the neck of the Powerlet. Replace the filler cap and make sure it is completely screwed into place. Cock the action by rotating the bolt knob ¼ turn counterclockwise and pull it full back until you hear two clicks and it stays back. Put the EB22 off “safe” and pull the trigger. This should puncture the CO2 Powerlet, and you should hear a “pop.” If not, reactivate the safety, tighten the filler cap, and repeat the procedure.
Once the CO2 cartridge has been punctured, safe the pistol, cock the action again, insert a pellet into the breech, close the bolt and rotate it clockwise until it locks. Now you’re good to go. Take aim at your target, click off the safety, and squeeze the trigger. At around 2.5 pounds pull, the shot goes down range at velocities up to 430 fps, depending upon the pellet weight. You can expect 25 to perhaps 35 shots per cartridge before the velocity really starts to die.
There a bunch of things I like about this pistol. First is how well made it is – it’s all brass, metal, and hardwood; you won’t find a scrap of plastic on it. The second is its handy, compact size. Third, the EB22 appears to have sufficient power for defending the bird feeder or garden at short range. Crosman rates the EB22 as useful for target shooting, small pest control, and large pest control. Based on my casual tests on inanimate objects, I believe it. Fourth, the accuracy is decent – a bit better, at 7-10 yards, than what I can achieve shooting a Beeman P1 standing and two-handed. Fifth, the EB22 is just plain fun. Thanks to the CO2 powerplant, it’s a low-effort pistol. No pumping, no heavy cocking effort; just load and shoot.
To me, it’s a wonderful pistol for an afternoon of “competitive plinking” in the back yard.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott