I'd like to pick up an air-*****, primarily for hunting squirrels. Based on various criteria, I've narrowed my selection down to a Crosman Phantom 1000X (info here) and a Benjamin 397 (info here). I'll be purchasing these locally, the links are just for information.
Here are my thoughts between them.
The Crosman fits me better. It's closer to a full-size *****, and I find it very comfortable to hold. The Benjamin's stock is pretty small for me. Might make a nice pack-***, but I don't know how it'll be for extended shooting.
The Crosman is a spring-piston, which in theory is supposed to be a simpler mechanism which therefore leads to a longer life. I've heard very good things about the Benjamin's longevity, though, and I've heard that the high-power spring-pistons wear out quickly due to the high pressures and temperatures involved.
The Benjamin is supposed to work with a wider variety of pellets. The Crosman is reported to be fairly picky about its pellets.
The Benjamin is supposed to have very little recoil. The double-recoil of a spring-piston is supposed to require a hold which is different from a traditional firearm, which the pump-pneumatic Benjamin shouldn't require.
I don't think the Benjamin name stands for much anymore, since they're now owned by Crosman. I imagine the power-plants and construction are of pretty equal quality.
I like the range of powers available on the pneumatic, and I like that the Benjamin supposedly works with a wide variety of pellets. I like the simplicity of the spring-piston and the fit of the Crosman.
So... what are your thoughts? If I was looking at a 30 year old Benjamin, I'd get that, but since they're both new production... I dunno.
I'm going with .177s due to the huge and inexpensive variety of locally-available pellets. The only store locally that sells .22s sells them at $20 for 500 pellets (no thanks!). Sure, I can get them online, but I like to shop locally.
Well, I have a Benjamin 397 from many, many moons ago. It still works fine. It is a pain in the ass to put a scope on it. Also, velocity will range based on pumps, but will max out about 800 fps. Which is plenty for basic shooting and plinking.
I also have a Daisy powerline 1000 which is a break barrel spring action similar to the phantom from crossman. These are easier to mount a scope. Do not use a ***** scope, get an air ***** scope. The "recoil" from a spring piston is different than a ***** and will mess up a ***** scope. Generally, these types of guns are accurate, powerful, and dependable. You can not work on them your self. The spring is way to powerful and can hurt you very badly.
That said, either one would be a fine ***. Get the one that feels best to you.
Salsa La Raza, Panasonic Electric, Bria, Bamboo touring, Bamboo cargo
I've got a few.
An older Benjamin before they were bought out by Sheridan, and a current Benjamin.
Both are pneumatic (pump) *****s.
And I have two break barrels, an old German make and a Beeman R1.
One of the Benjamins is a .22 the other is a .177, of the break barrels the Beeman is a .22 and the German is a .177
Of them all I like the Beeman the best, and I prefer the break barrels over the pumps.
I don't really care much for the new Benjamin mostly because the stock does not fit me well at all, but both Benjamins are quite accurate.
The flight trajectory on the Beeman is far and a way the flattest, and it hits with a lot of force.