Every once in a while my cousin Wallace sits down does a little actual research. Here's his email in total:
About a month ago I borrowed my co-worker's Crossman "Titan" break-barrel .22 calibre pellet rifle (model # C8M22NP) that has the new nitro-piston system instead of a conventional spring piston method of propulsion. As some of you know, the spring piston system could be considdered a tad unpleasant to shoot due to the "recoil" produced. I believe the recoil to be less on this system and it seems a bit more pleasant to shoot. He has a 3X9 scope mounted on this rifle as it has no provisions for iron sights. It is a fairly heavy rifle having a wooden thunb-hole stock and is full sized.
I have little experience with these types of air rifles and was told by my co-worker that the rifle was sensitive to the way it is held upon firing. Sure enough, I tried holding the rifle "tight" and shot a 3-shot group and then "loose" for a 3-shot group. The group sizes wern't much different but the point of impact differed about 1.5" at only 15 yards! Wow, I never dreamed it would make that much difference. If a consistent "hold" is not maintained, then it surely will effect group size.
The Crossman was hefty enough to feel like a real rifle. I wasn't particularly happy with the trigger. While smooth, it was a super long pull, not unlike a double-action only pull. I am told aftermarket triggers are available which are better. Cocking effort wasn't too bad, a little stiff perhaps for a small person but the avg person shouldn't get sore muscles. Loading was easy with the breech exposed. Care was taken to fully seat the pellet so as not to damage the skirt when the barrel was snapped closed. It was apparent this was no toy. This is a powerful rifle. I shot through a 1/2" thick piece of OSB with a pointed pellet! Definitely has some punch!
I had recently recieved my chronograph back from being repaired after a bullet came apart & splattered the front display, so I was anxious to try it out. I figured this was an excellent time to compare the Crossman break barrel with my Benjamin model 392 pneumatic. I set up a benchrest in my backyard to minimize human error and placed my targets at 20 yards with a suitable backstop in my back yard. Wind wasnt much of a factor as the yard is surrounded by a wooden fence and I tried to do this on a day when the wind wasn't howling. The chronograp was set 5 feet in front of the muzzles so the actual muzzle velocity would be just slightly higher than recorded. I decided on 3-shot groups for group size, average velocity, standard deviation and extreme spread figures. I normally use 6-pumps for my Benjamin so I settled on that as a standard. On two pellets, I tried 8-pumps just to see what effects on velocity and groups size would be. I also tested my old Crossman 2200 Magnum pneumatic rifle (6 pumps) with a couple of pellets just to see how it would compare. I've had this rifle since sometime in the 1980's so it's kinda old. Also tested my Benjamin model 242 pneumatic pistol (6 pumps) for grins. All groups were shot with issue iron sights except for the Crossman Titan which I used the 6X setting on it's scope. Below are the results.
Ben Rifle w/6 Cross Titan Cross 2200 Ben Pistol w/6
Daisy Precision Max avg 582 fps avg 673 fps avg 492 fps avg 365 fps
Flat-Pt ES 6 fps ES 10 fps ES 31 fps ES 4 fps
Avg wt 13.62 grs SD 3 fps SD 5 fps SD 16 fps SD 2 fps
Avg Ft Lbs Energy 10.23 ft lbs 13.68 ft lbs 7.31 ft lbs 4.03 ft lbs
Group Size 1.120" 1.936" 2.959" 1.282"
Daisy avg 586 fps avg 679 fps avg 517 fps avg 369 fps
Pointed Field ES 8 fps ES 20 fps ES 17 fps ES 14 fps
Avg wt 13.73 grs SD 4 fps SD 10 fps SD 9 fps SD 7 fps
Avg Ft Lbs Energy 10.46 ft lbs 14.04 ft lbs 8.14 ft lbs 4.15 ft lbs
Group Size .963" 1.312" 1.302" 1.857"
Predator avg 551 fps avg 616 fps
Polymag ES 3 fps ES 11 fps
Avg wt 16.23 grs SD 1 fps SD 5 fps
Avg Ft Lbs Energy 10.93 ft lbs 13.66 ft lbs
Group Size 1.102" 1.053"
JSB Match Diabolo avg 530 fps avg 582 fps
Exact Jumbo Heavy ES 3 fps ES 9 fps
Avg wt 18.12 grs SD 1 fps SD 4 fps
Avg Ft Lbs Energy 11.29 ft lbs 13.61 ft lbs
Group Size .708" 1.145"
The Crossman Titan averaged 637.5 fps vrs the Benjamin with 6-pumps avg of 562.3 fps for an advantage of 75.2 fps to the Crossman. The energy advantage of course also went to the Crossman with an average of 13.75 ft lbs to 10.72 ft lbs for the Benjamin. Best average accuracy went to the Benjamin with the 4 pellets averaging .973" vrs the Crossman with a 1.362" average. Of course, some of this may have been me not holding the Crossman as consistently as needed. I was trying to be as consistent as I could for a fair test. The Extreme Spread (ES) and Standard Diviation (SD) was more consistent with the Benjamin as can be seen in the figures. I do not know why this is but it was bound to help with accuracy. The Benjamin, in my opinion, is a more pleasant rifle to shoot. No recoil and a trigger that is somewhat easier to manage. It's trigger isn't light or creep free, but it does seem to break within reason.
I did shoot the Benjamin rifle using 8-pumps on a couple of the pellets to see how the velocity/ES/SD/energy & groups sizes would compare to the 6-pump test. Here are those results.
Daisy Flat Point avg 626 fps / ES 4 fps / SD 2 fps / energy 11.84 ft lbs / 1.328" group
Daisy Pointed avg 634 fps / ES 13 fps / SD 7 fps / energy 12.24 ft lbs / 1.009" group
There you have it. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the Benjamin. I like the Crossman being more powerful but, it is a harder rifle to manage. Unexplained "flyers" are hard to tolerate. The long trigger isn't very user friendly. The Benjamin is very predictable and easier to shoot. It isn't as adaptable for scope use but has the advantage of being "varible power" depending on what it's needed for. I have found that with only 6 pumps, it is plenty potent for small critters/rodents...it will drop a squirrel easily. I have 4 "squirrel notches" on it already! You do have to spend time & effort to "pump up" the Benjamin. With the Crossman it's one cock and you are ready. That's a little faster & a little less effort if that matters to you.
As for pellets, the big surprise was the daisy pointed field pellets. For a cheap bulk pellet, they did pretty well. They obviously have an advantage at any distance, being more streamlined. They also seem to penetrate better...plenty enough to drop Mr Squirrel out to about 20 yards or so if properly hit. I think the JSB Jumbo Heavy roundnose pellets are a great choice too, especially at extended distances as their extra weight makes them carry further and hit harder. They delivered excellent accuracy too. The old Crossman 2200 Magnum was OK but not in the same league with the better rifles. Of course, it's approaching 30 years old too. The Benjamin pistol is about 26 years old and has slew it's share of grackels and a squirrel or two. It's 20 yard accuracy surprised me. It would be a lot easier to shoot if it had a lighter trigger.
I hope this report served as entertainment and was informative. It answered a few questions for me and was fun. As always, I welcome comments, good or bad.