The rich wood stock is carved to fit the arm and the eye for smooth, clean shooting. At 33 feet, it can deliver a half inch group. You'll get accuracy and durability from one of the finest air rifles made today.
NOT A TOY. ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED. MISUSE OR CARELESS USE MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH. BE CAREFUL, SHOOT SAFELY.
- Model Number397
- Pellet VelocityUp to 800 fps
- Alloy Pellet VelocityUp to 1100 fps
- Weight5.5 lbs
- Length36.75 in
- MechanismBolt Action
- Power SourcePump
- CapacitySingle Shot
- Front SightFixed
- Rear SightAdjustable for windage and elevation
- SafetyCross Bolt
Benjamin 397 Pellet Rifle
By Milt in SC
Things I liked: This is a classic air rifle and continues to set the standard for multi-pump pneumatic air guns. The rifle is solid and well built. The finish on the wood stock is excellent and with the exceptions of a small scratch on the barrel near the serial number the rifle is in excellent shape. The scratch was easily covered using a black “Sharpie” permanent marker. I like the option of shooting at lower velocity levels, but also like having the ability to pump it up to a level capable of taking out small and large pests. This is my main reason for buying this model.
Things I would change: Nothing
What others should know: I bought one of these as a Christmas gift for my son back around 1990. I was impressed by its performance and wanted one for myself. I’ve been air gunning since 1975 and have several Crosman multi-pump pneumatics, a Beeman and Browning spring piston and a Gamo gas piston air gun. But, the Crosman guns aren’t powerful enough for large pest control and the spring and gas piston models are too powerful to shoot in my small garage.
Out of the box the accuracy and power of this gun is apparent. Using the sight that came with the gun I was able to shoot clover leafs at 15 feet. I was able to duplicate those results using the Williams peep sight manufactured for this gun. As far as the power, at 15 feet I was able to place Crosman Premier Domed Ultra Magnum (10.5gr), Crosman Hunting Pointed (7.4 gr) and Beeman Silver Sting (8.64 gr) pellets cleanly through a 5/8” thick board. I shot other pellets at the board but they did not penetrate all the way through.
I took the gun to the range and was able to place 5 shots into a 2 inch diameter circle at 22 yards; this done without using any type of rest. I had intentions of chronographing several different types of pellets but ended up testing only the Crosman Premier Domed Ultra Magnum. This is due to the amount of effort needed to pump the rifle 8 times in order to achieve maximum power. The Crosman pellets gave an average velocity of 685.4 fps and an average energy of 11 fpe; making this rifle capable of taking out pests such as squirrels. Make sure you eat your Wheaties before using this gun at its maximum power level. As I stated pumping it up to its 8 pump maximum requires a lot of effort. For casual target shooting 3 pumps is sufficient. I was able to obtain a velocity of 502.4 fps by pumping the rifle three times.
The buckhorn sight that came with the gun is adequate, but the Williams peep sight gives a better sight picture and is well worth the cost.
I killed my first squirrel wit one just like this one when I was 11. My 397pa is just as accurate as the first one my step-dad let me use way back when. I paid $99. plus tax in "98 and i have had no problems with it since. I recommend it for everyone.
Reliable have it for more than 20 years and still shots great!,
ok so i bought one of these a few years back and at first i loved it, it shot straight and was great and there was nothing better but then it started to leak air and eventually it wouldn't hold air at all. so i sent it it with the warranty and i received another one that work but not as well, then the same thing happened to it and i had no warranty and so I'm now stuck with a 170 dollar hunk of wood
Great Solid American Made Air Rifle
Very solid built accurate air rifle. It really says something when the manufacturer makes and sells everything you need to fully rebuild or even just replace the entire air valve assembly. They plan on people shooting these rifles until they are worn completely out and, instead of trying to sell you another, they stand behind their product and your desire to keep the same air rifle by offering what you need to restore it and continue using it. This is a very accurate air rifle. I can shoot 1 1/2" diameter spinning spoon targets @ 18-20 yards in my back yard all day long. It is somewhat of a stout air rifle to pump. Guess I just got lazy and forgot how it was when I was a kid and had to pump the heck out of my old pumpmaster 760 when I was plinking or pest shooting all day.
oldie but goodie
By Old Time Shooter
My younger brother got one of these rifles in the old brass model (.177/4.5mm) for Christmas about 1960. He's rebuilt twice, and it has gone through his four kids and still shoots accurately. When I was a youngster, shooting starlings and ground squirrels in Idaho, it was a tough choice between my 22 rifle and this .177 air gun. I must have added over 10,000 rounds of wear to it all by myself. Pellets are cheaper than cartridges, after all. When I got into the Navy, I added two pellet pistols to my growing collection. Then after I got married, I added a 397 rifle. It shoots great to this day, but needs some work - too loose after 10s of thousands of pellets. My wife, four children, nephews, nieces and assorted "non-shooting adults" have been introduced to gun safety, small game hunting, plinking and target shooting with these airguns. "Gun Safety"? I took one of my nephews outside, filled a soda can with water, set it on a stump and had him shoot it. The entrance hole was about .18 inch, but the back was split from top to bottom, water going everywhere. I believe I mentioned eyes in that lecture. He still shoots, and even outshoots me, but hasn't had an "accidental discharge". It's was a great way to teach people to be careful with ALL guns!
benjamin sheridan 397PA
I only have to pump it three times to get a 1/2" dia circle during pellet rifle competition at 33 feet. Love my rifle.
Have loved this model 397 rifle for, well almost 20 years now.
Excellent air rifle!
I bought mine back around 1995 for $100 at a Target store in Colorado. After thousands of shots and umpteen thousands of pumps it still shoots great, is very accurate, and still has plenty of power. Want to know the best part about this air rifle? NO PLASTIC!! It's all metal pump, barrel, bolt action, and trigger. And what isn't metal is solid wood. And I mean REAL WOOD! Not plastic simulated wood. And the very best part of it is, IT DOES NOT HAVE "MADE IN CHINA" stamped on it anywhere! Amazing! That makes it worth buying right there.
When I was a kid back in the 60's a friend of mine had a Benjamin pump pellet rifle and I loved it. That's why when I saw this one for sale in Target, for only $100 I just had to buy it. I highly recommend this air rifle for any shooter. It's a great rifle for teaching your kids gun safety and how to shoot too. One nice thing about it being a pump action is, if you are careful and do it right, you can use it indoors. I make my own rubber pellets using pieces of a large rubber O ring and a home made target box pellet trap and with only one or two pumps you can turn your hallway into a shooting range. Works great in my 14' x 70' mobile home any who. My hallway makes a nice 40' range. And when taking it outside and increasing the pumps to 5 or 6, the sights are right on at 100 feet.
What ever you use your pellet rifle for, hunting small game or just target shooting I strongly recommend buying one that is American made, or at least NOT made in China. So if you decide not to buy one of these, at least try to find one that is made in the USA and not made in China. (I'm assuming that they are still being made in the USA any who. I may be wrong but I hope I'm not)
Very accurate with 2" groups @ 20 yards. I like the small size of the rifle as it is handy in tight spaces such as blinds or thickets. I've found that with Beeman Silver Arrows this rifle will penetrate a metal garbage can lid, however due to the increased pellet weight it is rather a short range option. Takes too long to reload for a pure hunting gun but probably the best variable pump on the market.
Best Investiment Ever Made in an Air Arm
By Kyle J. Cherry
My Benjamin 397 us over 25 years and I cannot detect any less perfomance than the day I purchased it. I live near Knik, Alaska and run into some very large pests that need to be discouraged for personal safety purposes. The 397 is very accurate beyond the advertised range. With a little Kentucky windage the 397 has an amazing range to move pests along. This product one of the most reliable and useful tools in my possession. I also use it for target practice. My wife is a better shot than I am using the 397,
My Benjamin 340 was purchased from another Navy man for twenty bucks back in the early '70s... and it still works perfectly. My 340 looks just like the 397 of today.
Unreliable piece of shit
This gun lasted okay for about a year and I have nabbed alot of squirrels and rabbits with it. The downside is that the safety broke and fell out..... Secondly the gun leaks alot from the front and from the breech so that must mean the seals are gone. Its honestly not worth all $180
20 years old and still kicking!
I purchased this the model 397A back in 1993 and have had 10's of thousands of pellets ran down the barrel with ko issues except for the yearly cleaning and break down to ensure the seals stay good...original everything! Couldn't have picked a better more reliable rifle, thought at first I was paying too. Id do it again in a heart beatmuch for a pellet rifle back then but what I know now id do it again in a heart beat! Might take longer to pump compaired to the newer rifles of today but this rifle will keep its oven amonst the others...
Opened the box, took out the rifl, put a pallet in it, shot a squirrel at about 30 yards. Had dinner. Love the rifle it is perfect right out the box.
By Mark W.
I agree with all the above reviewers. I've had mine for about 12 years. No problems, very accurate and quite powerful....I routinely shoot targets at ranges of 25-30 yards, with 6-7 pumps, rarely 8. I love the feel of the rifle....solid materials and comfortable when at the shooting position.
The Sheridan 397 is An awesome well made rifle that is an excellent around air rifle & is very accurate, there is a good reason why this rifle has been around as long as it has!
Just bought mine this Saturday, and I love it. Has a solid feel that many airguns lack, and groups shockingly well at 30 yd. I'm glad Crosman has kept the design the same, it really makes this a fantastic airgun. Great job!
What a great lil' air rifle
1/2" groups from 10 yards out to 40 yards. I'm impressed !!!
Impressive rifle. Using Crosman Destroyer pellets and iron sights I get groupings that are very tight. Good penetration. Not a toy. I like it!
my new rifle
Powerful, Reliable, Perfect
Best pneumatic rifle available
These things are the REAL DEAL! Fortunately, Crosman is run by real gun fanatics who love what they do, and so therefore, they have kept the Benjamin models true to their heritage, both in design, and build quality. People don't care if these guns are expensive, as long as they are just as good as the old original models were. Now, yes, this gun is hard to pump, but it's worth the effort to have the very best, most accurate multi-pump 177 caliber rifle in the U.S.A. The iron sights are old-school, and require good eyes, but, with practice you can hit 1/2" groups at 35 yards with no problem. Now, that is my best effort, and quite good enough to take out varmints with head shots, or starlings and pigeons in the kill zone. The 397 does not skimp on cheap parts, there are none, every part on this thing is of the highest quality, and will last basically your entire life with decent care. These are REAL guns, not cheap toys. But, I will also say, that the low-cost Crosman air guns are also of very high quality and seem to last for decades. .weird, but it's true. My old 766 is still working great, so I think Crosman is a great brand.
Second time around just as great as the first
By Rich Thomas Jr
About 36 years ago I received my first Benjamin/Sheridan model 347 air rifle from my father. Great air rifle, I used it for everything from plinking to squirrel hunting. Extremely accurate for any weapon, more or less an air rifle ! I bought my 397 from a local hardware store on closeout. With a Williams peep sight added later, this newer version is as accurate as the first. Half inch groups at 50 yards ! I was a little skeptical since Crossman bought them out (Sorry Guys !), but you have done the Benjamin name justice. Another Benjamin to be proud to own, Thanks !
1 hekuva deal!!!
Silver and Blue
Ive Owned a Benjamin since I was a young kid. Around 37 years now I suppose. I still have that original 5mm and it shoots as well today as it did then. We called them silver streaks and blue streaks. The silver was nickel coated. Simply put this weapon is the best air rifle made. I have since purchased a second 5mm I suppose that's the .20 caliber and it shoots as well as the first. I'm not sure if crossman made that one or not it's about 15 years old now. I can still shoot a bird in flight or a rabbit at 100 yrds with either weapon and no other air gun offers the punch of the Ben. Enough said. Crossman if you build true to the original specs you will always have the finest air rifle ever made. *I*K£G *I*RONKNIGHTS
I have this model which is over 30 years old and it still pumps and shoots great. Mine was made in the USA.
I decided to get a quality wood and metal built air rifle in my favorite .177 caliber. The Benjamin 397 was just the ticket. It's made of brass and hardwood, is relativally powerful, and is accurite. It did have some paint overspray in the barrel, but after I removed that I shot a 5 round 1/4" ctc group with destroyers at 10 yards, 4 of them in one hole. I also have the peep sight mounted on mine, it makes for an even more accurite combo. Hitting soup cans at 40 yards is a breeze. Something I could never do with my 760. 800 fps is powerful enough do to anything that should be done with an airgun. It's only 200 fps less than a springer, and a lot more quiet. The trigger is a bit rough, but that can be taken care of quite easily.
I live in New Zealand and after much research and contact with Crosman USA I decided that the Benjamin 397 was the rifle of choice for me - even though I had not seen or held one as the local retailer did not have any in stock. I ordered it and the local retailer arranged for the rifle to be imported. The overall finish of the rifle is good and better than many of the other rilfes sold in NZ in the same price bracket. The weight and overall balance are great. The rifle has an excellent steel trigger with good pull weight. The safety is easy to use and loading is enhanced through the use of the breech bolt. I fitted a Center Point 4-16 x 40 scope for target shooting, but I would prefer a Williams Peep sight for shorter distances. But the steel open sights are perfectly adequate for most shooters.The 397 is a fantastic little air rifle. Very accurate with dense shot patterns over 25 yards with only 2 pumps (I didn't expect much with only 2 pumps, so the actual result speaks heaps for the quality and versatility of the 397). After a couple of hours I did need to take a 15 minute break as my arm was tiring - but that was no big deal. All in all I have no hesitation in recommending the 397 to target shooters who are looking for variable power and accuracy at a sensible price. A great rifle!! I cannot speak highly enough of the support I was given by the Crosman USA team. They were great, responding to my questions and providing advice. Special thanks to Kim and Chip.
Sir, Good day!
Thanks for a good rifle.
i can shoot a tooth pic in half and shoot that half in half about 20 to 25 feet
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