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Benjamin Trail XL - Nitro Piston-powered!

Benjamin Air Rifles, from the Crosman Corporation, have been churning out some very nice air rifles of late. The Discovery was the first pre-charged pneumatic from Crosman, and then the multi-shot Marauder arrived on the scene.

For the break-barrel enthusiast, Crosman has now introduced the Benjamin Nitro Piston series of air rifles, powered by the nitrogen-filled gas ram licensed by Crosman. Placing this power-plant into some very fine rifles has given Crosman some wonderful new offerings for the air rifle shooter, and today we will look at the Benjamin Trail XL.

As you can see, this is a handsome rifle that comes with a thumbhole stock, a 3-9x40 AO scope with a mil-dot reticle, and a weaver-base mounting system that is secure and sturdy. White-line spacers between the buttpad and stock highlight the fit and finish of the rifle, and the barrel features a full-length shroud.

 

I mounted the scope in the provided rings, placed it all on the gun, and went outside for some shooting and pattern evaluation. I shot several kinds of pellets from the Trail XL and found each pellet performed well. This gun was not pellet fussy, though other rifles of the same make may prove fussy. It all depends on the barrel that each gun has, so I always steer new buyers towards trying out several different kinds of pellets just to be sure of what works the best in their gun.

This 3-shot pattern proves how well each pellet performed. All the pellets I tried gave a similar result, as the next photo shows.

I really like a gun that isn't pellet fussy, and this one is on my list of candidates for membership in my stable of airguns!

Now the Trail XL is a long gun, just slightly over four feet in length. That length helps in the cocking of the gun as you have a longer lever for compressing the gas ram that powers this machine. To aid in carrying the gun afield, Benjamin has located a sling swivel at the front, and a mounting stud installed into the butt of the gun.

The power of the Benjamin Trail XL is well into the high 20's in foot-pounds of energy (fpe). With a 15-16 grain pellet, I was getting just over 27 fpe, quite a punch for a break-barrel rifle. This is coupled with the lower recoil and smoother firing action of the nitro-piston rather than the traditional twang and torque of a coiled spring. The rifle feels different during the firing process, and it is quieter than the comparable spring piston rifle. And, you can leave it cocked for extended periods of time in the field with no damage or wear to the powerplant.

For a hunting rifle that is self-contained and powerful, you really need to consider this Benjamin Trail NP XL1122. (That is the designation for the .22 caliber version - the .177 version is XL1500). The chrony readings I got placed the afore-mentioned medium-weight pellets in the high 800's. Here's a pic of a chrony reading from the shooting session to confirm that for our readers.

Chrony reading from a 15-16 grain pellet from the Benjamin Trail XL.

 

Smack a squirrel or rabbit with that kind of power, and you have game in the bag! Want to knock over a nice metal silhouette? This one will do it!

Currently selling for $299.90, you will receive an air rifle, scope, mounts, and a sling all in one package. Add some pellets, and you are ready to go!

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