Posted By admin on July 22, 2009
The air gun is, and has been for generations, an icon in the shooting industry. The first air rifles hit the American public in the mid-1800s most notably, when the Daisy Windmill Company used an inexpensive BB gun as a promotional gimmick to get the mid-western farmers to buy their windmills. An air rifle was given away with each windmill and the demand for this simplest of all guns started to surpass the windmill market and Daisy soon devoted most of their production resources to making air guns. (Dallin, 15-years old, Junior Shooters gun tester)
However, one must remember that the air rifle had been in use for many years prior to that and history records the pneumatic rifle being used to take game by the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition at the beginning of the 19th Century.
As a youngster in rural Southwest Idaho, I received my first BB gun on my sixth birthday and was never without one for the next four years when, instead of my usual BB rifle Christmas present, my dad gave me a brand new Benjamin pneumatic pump .177 caliber rifle which was my constant companion until it was lost when I moved my family to a new home in the early 1970s.
That wonderful little rifle accounted for literally thousands of pellets going down range as both a target shooting and training tool as well as taking innumerable pests and small game including birds, ground squirrels, rabbits, and the like. I was truly saddened by the loss of that old friend.
Today there are several suppliers of air rifles, both American made and imported. The prices are as varied as the types, styles, and manufacturers, with entry level guns going for less than $50 up to Olympic competition quality guns running in the thousands of dollars. Most of us will never handle, much less fire a true, top end target air rifle, but usually opt for more modestly priced guns that are both accurate and reliable.
One such gun that I have been trying out for the past several months is Benjamin’s new Discovery air rifle from Crosman that has some very innovative features that make it one of the handiest air rifles that I have seen.
The rifle sent to Junior Shooters is chambered to fire .177 caliber pellets. Weighing in at about six pounds and featuring an oil finished walnut stock, the Discovery is not nearly as bulky and heavy as many of today’s air guns. Set with Tru-Glo sights, rear and front.
This single-shot rifle is very unique with its duel air charging system. The basic rifle comes with a low-volume, high-pressure hand pump that looks very much like the old style bicycle tire pumps that your parents probably grew up with. Featuring a quick-disconnect coupling below the muzzle, the pump attaches easily to the rifle and the internal air tank is charged by utilizing the hand pump. On the underside of the stock is a gauge that shows the pressure remaining in the air tank and can be easily checked to see what the pressure level is simply by turning the rifle over. The tank, when fully charged, will supply enough reserve air pressure to fire approximately 50 shots before recharging is required. While charging the tank does take several minutes and a fair amount of physical labor (approximately 100 pumps when the tank is empty), the convenience of not needing to worry about the air supply for 50 shots is well worth it.
Now, I need to explain the duel air supply aspect. That comes in the form of an optional CO2 air tank and supply kit that allows you to charge the rifle air tank in a matter of a few minutes with little or no work. Simply connect the CO2 tank to the rifle’s tank with the adapter kit, turn on the valve and you have a charged rifle. This is a great idea that is perfect for those who want to work less and shoot more.
When testing the rifle for accuracy I found the Benjamin Discovery to be similar to most of the guns that I have tested in this price range. Firing the supplied Benjamin round-nose, hollow-point pellets from a Caldwell Lead Sled rest, five, five-shot groups at 25-yards averaged just over one-inch. Velocity, as registered on my Pro-Chrony was a very impressive 1,000 feet-per-second. With that type of accuracy and velocity, the Benjamin Discovery is just about the perfect all around air rifle, with good accuracy for target shooting and plinking, and ample power for pest and small game hunting. All-in-all this is one fine little rifle.
Go to www.crosman.com to check out the discovery and their other great new air rifles including the new NPSS and their new CH2009 PCP competition air rifle approved by the (Civilian Marksmanship Program) CMP.
It has been approved for use as a Sporter Class air rifle by the National Three Position Air Rifle Council. Director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), Gary Anderson, said that Council approval of the Crosman Challenger PCP as a legal Sporter Class air rifle means that the Council has determined that it fulfills all basic rulebook standards for price, caliber, velocity, weight, configuration, dimensions, sights and adjustment capabilities.
Copyright & Published By: Junior Shooters & Junior Sports Magazine, Inc. July 2009