Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 Air Rifle with Scope
|Price:||$194.98 - $287.84|
|Sale:||Lower price available on select options|
- Warranty: One year limited warranty
- Quiet, Enhanced Trigger, Scope
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Benjamin Trail NP2 air rifle Nitro Piston 2 (gas piston) Breakbarrel Single-shot Rifled steel barrel 15.75" barrel (4" shroud makes it look longer) 28 lbs. cocking effort Enhanced 2-stage trigger adjustable for take-up (CBT=Clean Break Trigger) Picatinny optics rail Manual safety Ambidextrous black synthetic thumbhole stock Recoil pad Integral sound suppression system 8.3 lbs. (without scope/mount, which will add about 1.5 lbs.) Includes scope and mount (unmounted) Improvements over the original Nitro Piston and/or most other gas pistons: 10-lb. reduction in cocking effort, 15% faster and double the effective shooting range Assembled in America! Benefits of the Nitro Piston 2 over a metal mainspring: Smoother cocking Smoother shooting No spring torque No spring fatigue, even if left cocked for hours Functions perfectly in cold weather Lasts longer than a metal spring ... ...
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Top customer reviews
This is an extensive review (including which pellets work the best in MY rifle (all rifles have their own idiosyncrasies when it comes to ammo)). Please, please, please... if you are unfamiliar with Air Rifles and how to use them correctly, read this entire review. Also, please leave a comment if there is something that I may have missed or you have any questions.
I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about ordering this air rifle because of the negative reviews. However, I am not one to take bad reviews too seriously (depending on how they are written and the content of the review) as it's pretty easy to tell when someone is frustrated and/or inexperienced with air gun shooting (don't hate me for telling it like I see it). Giving this product a negative review because of the Scope is not a valid reason to do so - you are told what Scope is included with the rifle in the specifications. If you know you are not going to be satisfied with the included Scope, then buy a better one! For the price that you are getting this air rifle at, you should be able to afford a better Scope and do a review on THAT Scope.
NOTE: When you first receive your rifle, please take a moment and check all the Stock mounting screws and the Barrel Shroud to make sure that they are tight ((be careful not to over-tighten the Barrel Shroud as you may strip the threads and render your rifle inoperable EDIT: You can still use your Air Rifle without the Barrel Shroud, but it will be louder and could (my opinion) change it's accuracy)) - check them often if you use your rifle every day as some (but not all) rifles inherently will have screws that loosen. You may want to check the Stock mounting screws for blue Loc-Tite - if there is none on the screws, put a small amount on each of them (don't use too much and you still should check them after firing a tin of pellets (around 500 or so)). You should check the Scope mounting screws to insure that they are tight as well.
First, and foremost, I have been shooting some type of rifle/pistol since the age of six and was an expert marksman in the USMC (the only reason for mentioning this is to make a few points about this, or any, air rifle). I am now retired and have collected many rifles (including BB and Pellet) over the years. One thing that I was not aware of was how holding today's air rifles will make a huge difference in accuracy when shooting them (I learned this back in early 2000 by a young man who ever so graciously humbled me). Because "today's" air rifles (Spring, Piston, Gas Piston) produce more FPE (Foot Pounds of Energy), it is necessary to hold the air rifle like a new-born baby. When shooting the aforementioned air rifle types, it's necessary to use the Artillery Hold (look it up on YTUBE) to maintain accuracy at any distance. Don't fret over the FPS (Feet Per Second) rating that they say this rifle will do (they state "Up to ###(#)" FPS) - it's highly unlikely that you will ever achieve it using "store bought" pellets - but, this rifle has substantial knock down, and kill power and it's NOT A TOY!!! You should treat the Benjamin Trail NP2 as you would any Cartridge/Powder weapon.
Second, this, and almost every rifle (Spring, Piston, Gas Piston or Cartridge) will have some "break-in" period. Hence, you will NOT be able to give this rifle a fair review until the break-in period is complete. The manufacturer will list a specific number of rounds to be fired through the barrel before the rifle settles in. This number is only an estimate. There are too many variables in play that will drastically affect an air rifle's accuracy during the break-in period and beyond. Generally, air rifles will take anywhere between 50 and 250 rounds to settle down enough for you to sight in your Scope. NOTE: DO NOT attach your Scope during the first 50-100 rounds fired as this is when the rifle diesels the most (look it up if you don't know what it means) and can cause undue stress on your Scope. I put 75 rounds, of various pellet brands, through this rifle before attaching and sighting in my Scope. I was able to zero the included Center Point 3-9x32 Scope within 5 shots and have put another 220 pellets through it with only very minor adjustments.
Third, and finally (uh, for the three rating reasons I wanted to point out), give Crosman a call before you purchase this rifle and ask questions that may concern you about it. I did and it saved me some undue frustration during the set-up process. It's a good idea to write down your questions and check them off as you ask them.
OK, now for the rifle. Like I mentioned above, I shot 75 pellets through this rifle before attaching the Scope and trying to sight it in - this rifle, when fired correctly, is extremely accurate! I am able to shoot dime size groups from 10 to 20 yards, nickel size groups from 30 to 40 yards and quarter size groups on out to 60 yards. I expect that this will improve as time goes on (I guess I should have mentioned penny size groups from 22 to 28 yards).
The Trigger (Please note that the Trigger Safety is MANUAL and should be set ON prior to cocking the rifle):
It was a bit heavy out of the box. I was able to use the adjusting screw, and a YTUBE video, to adjust the Trigger pull to suit my style of shooting. It's not as crisp at my more expensive air rifles but, I would not expect it to be. The First Stage Trigger pull might be a bit lengthly for some shooters to get used to though. However, a simple adjustment can shorten it some as well as lighten the Second Stage Trigger pull force needed to fire the rifle. You can upgrade the Trigger with an after-market one. If it's an issue with you then I would simply buy a more expensive air rifle with a better Trigger - although, in my opinion, I don't believe that you will get a more crisp Trigger in the $200.00 price range than the Benjamin Trail NP2.
The Barrel Shroud/Suppressor:
After reading reviews and watching videos on the Barrel Shroud coming loose during the cocking procedure, I was ready to get out the Loc-Tite and the Hobby-Grade Epoxy so that I could fix that issue when my rifle arrived. OK, so my rifle arrives and I unpack it from the box, grab the Shroud and give it a slight twist clockwise. It did move some and, at first, this concerned me. I was ready to arm myself with the above liquids and solve that problem but... wait... does it do this during the cocking procedure or just when grabbing and twisting on the Shroud? I decided to wait and shoot some pellets through the rifle before I made any unnecessary "fixes" to my rifle. After shooting 300 pellets through it, I had no problem with the Barrel Shroud loosening. I was able to cock the rifle, with a loose grip on the Barrel, over and over without the Shroud coming loose. You can not grab the Barrel tightly and cock it as this will cause your hand to rotate and loosen/tighten the Shroud. Make sure to grip the Barrel well enough that it does not slip out of your hand and pull straight down when cocking it making sure NOT to rotate your shoulder. I believe the reason Crosman made this removable was so that you could take the Barrel Shroud off to make it easier to clean the inside of the Barrel should it become necessary. A one-piece Barrel would only add to the expense and weight of the air rifle.
The Scope Rail:
There is no Dovetail grooves on top of the rifle so I'm not too sure how they actually attached the rail to the rifle. I can see what looks like a strip of some type of bonding material (or weld) that runs the length of the rail between the rail and the gun but, I'm not able to tell if it's actually welded. However they did it, it works great! I leveled my rifle on my work bench and used a Carpenter's Square and a Caliper to check it for squareness. Nothing is ever really perfect... but this was too close to call anything else but straight. From what I understand, this is quite the improvement over some of the earlier models released back in 2014. I should mention that I did not use the enclosed Scope mounts because I am going to install a 50 mm Scope in the next few days and decided to install my 1" high see-through Scope rings. Even at the higher level above the rifle, it is still easy to see through the Scope to your target without distortion. EDIT: One other thing I need to mention is that if you are going to put a Hunting Scope (larger than 40 mm), you may find that the Scope Rail is too far forward - especially for scopes in the 13 to 16 inch length. You can find adapters here on Amazon that will help to accommodate longer scopes. ALWAYS check the front of the scope to ensure that it's not protruding past the Barrel break point.
The Butt Pad:
Although it's not vented, or adjustable (that I can tell), it seems to do its job very well. Using the Artillery Hold, the Butt Pad is only pressed against your shoulder lightly to allow free travel of the air rifle when fired - this helps improve the rifle's shot accuracy by allowing the pellet to leave the Barrel the same way every time you fire the rifle. Not only does the Artillery Hold lessen shot vibration but, it allows the Butt Pad to do its job so that you can enjoy a full day of Plinking, Hunting or Practicing.
The Synthetic Stock:
OK, there are justified complaints, or issues, with the Synthetic Stock - one being immediately prevalent; It has sharp edges in all the wrong places. There are YTUBE videos that show people rounding the sharp edges of the stock. Personally, I am not going to go to all that trouble to keep from getting a scratch. Besides, I always wear shooting gloves of some type every time that I use the (any) rifle - yep, even in the summer. The next thing I found is that, depending on your hand size and how you actually like to grip the Thumb Hole Pistol Grip part of the stock, you may need to adjust your grip so that your trigger finger does not pass too far past the Trigger (this can cause an accuracy problem due to improper Trigger pull). Again, the Artillery Hold will vastly improve shot accuracy. You could bend your wrist a bit (inward toward your center body mass) causing the tip of your finger to pull out some and rest on the Trigger correctly - this could become uncomfortable after a day of shooting. One thing in particular that I like about the stock, besides being light in weight, is the Checkering on the Pistol Grip and at the mid-point of the Stock for your resting hand - although I only use the mid-point Checkering for a tighter grip when I'm shooting downward on a steep angle. NOTE: Make sure to check the Stock mounting screws regularly as some tend to loosen up after extended use and will cause accuracy issues. As I stated above, you should check to make sure that all the screws are tight BEFORE firing your rifle.
Now... what do I think about the Scope that a lot of people are having issues with? I like it and it's performing as I would expect it to (seeing as how it's not a $1350.00 Scope). The Optics are actually more clear than I had given the Scope credit for (I called Crosman and mentioned some issues that I had with their Scopes in the past and may of ragged on them a bit - please accept my apology Crosman... this is a reasonable Scope for this rifle). Normally you would only get a single power Scope with an air rifle purchase. Granted there isn't an AO (Adjustable Objective) ring on this Scope but, it's not really that big of a deal. I would like to see an option to upgrade the Scope at purchase.
The Scope (continued):
How big of a Scope do you think you need? This 3-9x32 Scope will get out to 50 yards, clearly, without a problem. I sight in all my Scopes at 30 yards and then adjust from there when shooting - that's how I sighted in this Scope. If you are only Plinking and doing light Pest elimination, then this Scope should be just fine for you. Since I am an avid small game and varmint hunter, I have ordered a 6-24x50 AOE Scope to attach to this rifle (probably a bit overkill for my area but, my eyesight isn't what it used to be). However, the main reason for upgrading the Scope is because I ordered this rifle in .22 caliber and figured I could use a Scope that would allow me to use this rifle to its fullest potential. I will say that 75 yards with the included Scope is pushing it quite a bit and your accuracy will suffer shooting at anything over 60 yards until you get used to the Benjamin Trail NP2 and Center Point Scope.
This is where it gets tough to decide which pellets are best for your Benji Trail NP2. Everyone has their own style of shooting which will make a difference in which ammo you use. The proper way to determine what pellet will work for you is to break-in your rifle FIRST. There are a ton of reviews on just about every pellet known to man and everyone has somewhat of a difference in opinion. Here's how you do it for ANY air rifle/pistol:
1) Buy 500-750 rounds of the cheapest pellets you can find.
2) Buy a Sample Pack of pellets from different ammo manufacturers (I rarely use GAMO pellets - GAMO Red Fire only).
3) Shoot the pellets in step #1 - don't worry about accuracy... just try to shoot at the same area each time (at least 100 pellets with no Scope).
4) Shoot the pellets from each Sample Pack and KEEP A LOG - always shoot at the same area every time!
5) Check your log and targets to see which pellets are grouping the best (doesn't have to be center of target).
6) Pick the best 3 and sight your Scope in using a 5-shot average of each of the 3 pellets used.
7) Log where each pellet hits the target.
8) Make a cheat sheet to reference where you should aim when using each pellet (or you could adjust your Scope each time you use the pellets}.
My Benji Trail NP2 likes the Crosman Premier Hollow Points (small birds, Squirrels, Rabbits, Mice, Doves and Quail) and the Destroyer (larger birds, Squirrels, Rabbits, Rats and medium sized game). The Pointed (Raccoons, Groundhogs, Opossums, Crows, Skunks, Fox and Coyotes), and Domed pellets (plinking and target shooting) are the next two most accurate pellets in Crosman. Any of the aforementioned pellets will take down everything except Fox and Coyotes (The Domed for small Vermin - not always humanely so I choose to only practice with them). Some JSB and H&N are comparable in accuracy to the Crosman but, they are more expensive so why pay more for less pellets that are no more accurate than the less expensive ones? I do buy Copper Coated Lead pellets when hunting Coyotes and Feral Hogs (Yup, the Benjamin Trail NP2 will take down both humanely as long as it's a well placed shot). This takes a lot of practice along with a little luck sometimes - Feral Hogs at 10-15 yards and Coyotes at 20-25 yards are an easy kill. I have a hunting buddy that has taken both with his Benji Trail NP2.
The pellet you choose will be completely by trail and error and your personal preference.
You really can't go wrong with the Benjamin Trail NP2 but... you MUST be patient and give the rifle a chance to work for you. Do your research on how to shoot this rifle, download and print a bunch of on-line targets (or buy the "Splat" targets here on Amazon) and PRACTICE, PRACTICE PRACTICE.
I would highly recommend the Benjamin Trail NP2 .22 Caliber for Intermediate and above air gun shooters. I would suggest that if you've never fired an air gun that you start with the .177. If you have a teacher/trainer, then you could probably go the .22 Caliber route, otherwise I would not recommend it.
Air Gunning is a blast and can be fun for everyone. Get someone involved in Air Gunning today!
I will try to edit my review after a day of hunting with some video and/or pictures if possible.
I hope this helps clear up some misinformation that's out there. Please, if you have any questions, leave a comment and I will respond as quickly as possible.
UPDATE: March 13, 2017
Now that I have used this Air Rifle for some time, I have noticed an increase in its accuracy (It finally went through its break-in period). This is true for ALL pellets that I am using - Yes, they do not all hit the target in the same place when fired without re-zeroing my scope, but the groups are much tighter now.
I have stated that the Artillery Hold is a must for maintaining accuracy when shooting this Air Rifle, and I still say this. Some "experts" will tell you that it makes no difference, when using a 'Gas Piston' Air Rifle - They state that the Artillery Hold is more for Spring Air Rifles. Uh huh, yeah right! If your Air Rifle has a lot of recoil, learn the Artillery Hold - you can thank me later :o) As I have said, an Air Rifle will recoil in two directions, forward and reverse, and it ABSOLUTELY needs to be able to travel freely so that the pellet leaves the Barrel the same way every time (or at least as close to it as possible). If you hinder the natural freedom of travel your accuracy will suffer. If you use a shooting rest, make sure that the rifle is not locked down to where it can not move freely. If you are filling your own Shooting Bags, fill them with Rice, or small Beans, NOT Sand. Over time Sand will compress and become more rigid, slightly hindering the recoil - You can place your hand under the stock and your rifle will recoil properly.
If you insist on using a Shooter's Rest and have zeroed your scope using one, you are going to have accuracy issues if you take it hunting or use it without the Shooter's Rest. Low power Air Rifles, and most PCP's, do not have this issue. The closest way to emulate your hand using a Rest is with a bag of Rice or Beans. Yup, that's right... works like a charm and won't cost you $40.00 either. Besides... if you get hungry you will always have food to eat. *smile*
If you are going to use the same Shooter's Rest, set up the EXACT same way, every time you shoot your Air Rifle (and you don't use it for hunting) then no worries. But... when your accuracy starts to suffer, are you going to blame the Air Rifle, the Pellet, the Scope, the Shooter's Rest, or YOU? Just saying - way too many variables to figure out the real problem so keep it simple.
If you are just Plinking and having fun with your new toy, then you probably don't care about what I've said... and that's fine. However, if you are wanting to be a serious Air Rifle shooter and hunter, them maybe you should care about what I've said and give it a try. What can it hurt?
This is my opinion, based on my findings, and should be considered as such... My Opinion. Every shooter has their preferred way of doing things. So... what works for me, may not work for you. It's all trail and error.
Manuals for rookies are the Benjamin Trail NP2 rifle, excellent weight and balance of the rifle, I add a pound with the new scope, but that's ok. Recoil is long and slow, but it is average for a airgun with this power. Just experiment, practice and perfect your shotting with safety.
I bought it after being disappointed with spring piston Ruger Blackhawk Elite and must say that the Trail is the perfect rifle in its price category for backyard plinking and small pest control.
It is loud at first but after a dozen or two rounds it gets much more quiet. I have a cop living next door and he never complained anout the noise. The box says it shoots at up to 1400 fps - never could verify it. The 8.3 grain RWS Superdome .177 pellet DID break the sound barrier: the typical "whip" crack could be heard. However, after a while the sound disappeared, which makes me believe that after a "break-in" period the gun calms down a bit.
Experimenting with few different pellet weights and brands, I have found that the RWS Superdome and RWS Supermag perform quite well. Although, neither get close in accuracy to 10.3 grain AirArms Diabolo Field Heavy pellet. After a little practice and adjusting the scope I could consistently burst Skittles candies into sugary dust at about 60 feet. Heavier pellets (in the 15 grain ballpark) would not provide a good group for me.
The scope is Center Point and does the job fine at this range. Scope mounts are stout (attached to integrated Weaver / Picatinny rail) and hold the scope without loss of zero. Manufacturer recommends to tighten the scope and frame bolts and screws regularly.
Although it tends to favor on brand/type of pellet all of then were acceptable.