A New Airgun Is Designed
by Tom Gaylord
After the meeting in New York, a schedule was developed and a project team was assigned to all the tasks that go into designing and fielding a new air rifle. Those who build them one at a time in the basement might not appreciate everything that goes into a new product like this, but there is literature, packaging, education and promotion to consider, not to mention a hundred small but important details on the gun, itself. Just because a couple hand-built prototypes work doesn’t mean you’re ready to produce them.
And this isn’t just a new model. It’s a precharged pneumatic – a type of airgun that Benjamin has never made in its over 100 years of existence. When it comes to CO2 and multi-pump pneumatics, everyone knows Crosman and Benjamin Sheridan. In recent years, those lines have made inroads into the world of spring-piston guns, as well.
But PCPs are something new. And this is not only a new model rifle in two calibers, it is a revolutionary new TYPE of PCP – one never before seen from any production manufacturer. On top of that, it comes to market in a revolutionary new way – a complete shooting system in a box – nothing more to buy.
With one powerful stroke, the Crosman Corporation has shattered all the fences and obstacles to PCP ownership – right down to the affordable price. Wouldn’t it be nice if the new guns also shot well?
When I originally pitched my idea, I said I believed the guns would have decent accuracy on air. After all, they were already shooting decently on CO2! But imagine my surprise when I began testing the early prototypes of the Benjamin PCP 2000 and discovered they are just as accurate as the thousand-dollar European PCPs!
I couldn’t believe it. Starting at 25 yards, I was getting some five-shot groups smaller than a half-inch, but that’s no big deal for a PCP. A PCP can do that well out to 50 yards. And, so could both calibers of the Benjamin PCP 2000, as it turned out! As incredible as it sounds, their groups didn’t seem to open up between 25 and 50 yards.
I didn’t do it once, I did it time after time after time. Not every 50-yard group was a half-inch, just as not all of my groups from a thousand-dollar PCP will be a half-inch, but enough were that I know these two rifle can shoot that well! And the rest were only one-inch or less.
So what DON’T they have?
So that begs the question, what are you giving up when you buy one of these? Well, you do loose the fancy adjustable trigger, though I must say the trigger on these rifles is very usable. It is reasonably light and very crisp. It lacks an overtravel screw, but that’s a feature almost anyone can install for themselves. They also haven’t got the fancy adjustable stocks, though the one they selected is pretty slick-looking. And the Benjamin is lighter than most of the European PCPs – but wait a minute – that’s better!
In short, there is not a lot that you do give up with this very affordable PCP rifle. If you have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the day when an affordable PCP comes to the market, now is the time to act. There won’t be a better package than this one.
It comes to you with a steel breech that has a long 11mm dovetail for airgun scope mounts. It’s longer than half the expensive PCP scope rails on the market. It has a built-in pressure gauge called a manometer – something some of the expensive guns don’t even have. It has a protective cover to keep the fill nipple clean, which is an absolute must. And the fill nipple is a simple Foster quick-disconnest that shooters find the most desirable fill nipple of all. The accuracy will astound you, but you’ll have to determine that for yourself. Fortunately, the low price for the rifle, hand pump and a tin of pellets that puts you in business from the moment you open the box means that PCPs have never been more affordable.
The 2000 psi fill level means almost anyone old enough to shoot this rifle will also be able to fill it from the hand pump that comes in the package. If you do use a scuba tank instead of the hand pump, you will get a huge number of additional fills before that tank has to go back to the dive shop for a refill. You will get around 30-35 full-power accurate shots on each fill of air. The exact number depends on the distance at which you are shooting.
When you want to just fill the gun and shoot a lot, an inexpensive CO2 adapter converts this rifle from air to CO2 operation. Then it is easy to fill the gun from a standard paintball tank. For indoor use or for outdoor casual plinking, CO2 is the way to go. It even has enough power for close-range hunting of small game.
As for which caliber to get, choose .177 if you want to shoot informally, punch paper targets or try your hand at the sport of field target. The Benjamin PCP 2000 is certainly accurate enough to put you in the winner’s circle.
If you want to hunt small and medium-sized game, dispatch pests and shoot informally at larger targets, choose the .22. It packs a real wallop downrange.
But here’s the best idea of all. Get the caliber you want most right now and later you can buy the other one. You won’t need a second pump, so the price of just the rifle will be even lower than the first one! You will still have less money invested in these two air rifles that if you bought just one budget-priced PCP from another manufacturer!