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Benjamin / Crosman Trail NP Pistol

Discussion in 'Air Pistols' started by Mike C, May 12, 2014.

  1. Mike C

    Mike C Member

    Likes Received:
    I understand these pistols will soon be available in blighty so as I have one I thought I'd give you guys a heads up.

    View attachment 96116

    So a quick overview.
    .177 cal only, nitro piston (gas ram), amidextrous gripped, break barrel pistol. The main sales pitch is this is the 1st gas rammed pistol.
    As I've been away from airguns the past 15 years I find this incredible! I managed to get a UK mag and was stunned to see manufactures spouting about their latest revolutionary gas ram rifle. I seem to remember Theoben inventing them in the 80's and I had an HW90 in the late 90's.
    So small rant at the stagnant airgun technology growth over!

    So its got Crosman's Nitro piston fitted and very nifty it is too. These are I believe going to be priced at £120. That pitches it into a pretty competitive market I guess. However these sell for 80 bucks stateside so before I talk about quality it's worth remembering how much they sell for in their home market and how much export trade is ripped off. I am not in UK currently but paid the equivalent of £120 in my extremely limited sports shop, so it won't just be rip off Britain paying over the top.

    Just a note, I didn't read any reviews until after I purchased the pistol. If you check out google (and I suggest you do) you will find a very mixed reception.
    One reason i'm putting this little review in, is that I will address the issues that have really frustrated some buyers. Me included to start with.

    So from pic 1 you can see the pistol is a tradional cylinder action and break barrel. The handle is a one piece synthetic affair that provides grips and covers the action.

    View attachment 96117

    Now stripped you can see the structure. The grips have a militarized texture and are of an average size. They are ambidextrous. Personally I would have liked to see removeable grips so you could upgrade (a la 2240) to handed grips of a different material and style Ie supportive target type. In practise though they are comftable enough.

    View attachment 96118

    Here you can see the quality of the cylinder finish and blueing. It's pretty good for an $80 gun.
    And also the rear sight. I will talk about the sighting a bit more later, but the quality of the rear sight was beyond what I expected. The adjustments are very positive and hold a zero. The sight plate has green Tru-Glo dots. This is new to me and I am unsure about it. Seems every manufacturer is fitting them so Crosman are following fashion. I would have liked the notch to be less wide but it has to accomodate an enormous foresight! Conveniently the rear sight sits on a 11mm dovetail. So if iron sights aren't your thang then you can remove the rear sight and afix the optics of your choice.
    The action is secured by 4 screws to the handle. Once you remove the spring clip retained safety catch the action simply pulls off. Very easy for cleaning and servicing.

    View attachment 96119

    Barrel, nicely blued and rifled. There is no slack between the breech and grips and it opens and closes with a satisfying mechanical clunk. Time will tell on the longevity of fit. I have seen mention of some pistols suffering barrel droop, which required a bit more torque on the breech jaws to alleviate. A case of quality control and check in shop if you can.

    View attachment 96120

    Theres the breech and you can see the monstrosity of a foresight! This has a red Tru-Glo fibre optic and hence has the delicacy of a steel toecapped Doc Marten.
    I would have infinetely preferred a nice fixed steel blade but this is what you get. It gives a big fat glowy sight picture and when when trying to frame your target, make sure its big!
    You can fit other sights though and this will lead me into the 1st big complaint about this pistol.

    View attachment 96122

    The Trail NP complete with cocking aid. Note the fact that Crosman have promoted this gun with said cocking aid attached and that the instructions expicitly state you can leave it on to no effect.
    The cocking aid will cause the shots to drop by enough that the rear sight cannot compensate in elevation.
    That's right. You cannot zero the pistol if you leave the cocking aid on.
    A multitude of owners have done the following:
    Fit a scope/red dot. Job done iron sights begone.
    Removed the cocking aid and shot in happiness but used a rag etc over the foresight for cocking.
    Got a refund.

    You can use the cocking aid though, it's just that Crosman got all confused it fitted it backwards and left it on.

    View attachment 96124

    To load weapon. Take manly sized cocking aid and shove the blunt end with big hole over the pointy end of the pistol. Note how good a fit it is.
    Cock the gun and remove cocking aid and toss it onto your bench/floor/hedge.
    Shoot with supplied iron sights and marvel at the fact you CAN zero your weapon!

    Seriously this issue has really pee'd off alot of folk. Do the above and worry no more about it.

    View attachment 96125

    The next issue is the trigger.
    It has a 7lb pull. Thats like picking up a baby with your pinky!!
    However in practise it doesnt feel that heavy. The pull can be looong and unpredictable though.
    This is where it pays to take heed of the instructions. They state that the gun requires at least 250 rounds to break it in. Until then accuracy will suffer.
    True but also the trigger mechanism will start to bed in and get better.
    I am coming up to 1000 rounds and was not entirely satisfied. My trigger had a kind of 2nd stage in the form of a notch. I couldn't always acheive it though and follow through was not consistent.
    So I removed the trigger only,and noted how the adjustment screw affects the action. Yes there is an adjustment screw but it comes set to the lightest pull....
    You cannot lighten it anymore.
    My solution was a small blob of Moly grease over the trigger and sears.
    It's really smooth now and much nicer to shoot. I reckon with more use it wil improve.
    It's not light but it is workable. However Crosman realy should address this and make it lighter. Even the trigger in a cheapo Crosman 357 is better!

    Now onto shooting the Trail NP. Let me first announce I am no pistol marksman. The last pistol I had was 20 years ago and that was a Webley Tempest. It was great for banging tent pegs in! Before that a GatGun.
    So this is what the Trail NP is about. A low enough price to attract people to have a go with a pistol, and enough quality not to discourage them.

    View attachment 96127

    OK now you have wiped your tears away from laughing....:eek:

    10 shots at 10m freehand. I have compared with a Crosman 357. For me this shows that my practise is starting to pay off and a group is starting to emerge.
    The flyers are down to poor trigger control which maybe attributed to the weight of pull.(and my ability at present)
    The 357 looks like a shotgun blast!!

    In practise the Trail NP is a fairly heavy pistol. It's weight is top and to the barrel. A two handed grip is not mandatory but stops you shaking after 3 rounds!
    If you scroll up you can see why I mentioned about lack of grip choice. A more supportive handed grip would improve the weight distribution.

    As it is a gas ram the cocking and firing cycle is superb. It is really smooth, the recoil is minimal and the retort is extremely neighbour friendly.
    You can get into a nice routine with the cocking aid and sent some lead down range. There is no mechanical twang and cocking force is very easy. I really enjoy this pistol for plinking.

    Being .177 the velocity feels perfect for 10m. It will penetrate one side of a thick soup tin. I have seen figures of 4ft/lb and chrono checks on other more scientific reviews that I would agree with with respect to 'feel'.

    View attachment 96129

    So in conclusion for an $80 pistol I really rate it. For £120 I am not disappointed. It is not a 10m olympic target pistol. It is not a finely built replica.
    It IS a good old fashioned garden plinker that is as good as you are. I have seen target grouping tests from rested positions etc but for me thats not what this is about. When I feel I have outgrown the accuracy offered by this pistol then it's time to outlay a significant amount of money on a competition piece.
    When I feel I want something to look at and feel and admire I'll look at high end replica's.
    If I want to practise my pistol target shooting or kill some can's then I have my box of budget shooters that put a grin on my face.

    There you have it. Another midrange pistol with some issues that are overcome by it's beautiful firing cycle.
    Now if Crosman can put their nitro piston into a more expensive chassis then i'm interested. In the meantime this will do nicely.

    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  2. Mike C

    Mike C Member

    Likes Received:
    Been doing a bit more target practise. Weaver stance at 10m and my grouping is improving. I think it's down to the trigger action smoothing out thanks to the moly.
    A mate has been trying it and although he shakes like he has Parkinsons, he's also getting pretty good.
    I also tested it back to back with my Crosman 357. No comparison the 357 is a blunderbus compared and MUCH louder. A breakbarrel and C02 make a nice compliment though. One for wadcutting and one for can killing.
  3. mitchell5

    mitchell5 Engaging Member

    Likes Received:
    Do you happen to know the diameter of the outer barrel? Is it 15mm? Tried measuring it with a measuring tape :)
  4. c96

    c96 Donator

    Likes Received:
    south wales
    I got one of these last year. Ok its not a target pistol and the triguer has stated in a earlier thread is a tad hard but have to say I like it, more than adequate for some plinking and its accurate enough used with a two hand hold. Mine works very well with Crossman Domes and allso Air Arms/ Jsb domes.
  5. mitchell5

    mitchell5 Engaging Member

    Likes Received:
    I think that because the americans were so overly critical of the first production run of this pistol it has turned away many would be buyers. Now, 2 years on I think that the issues that plagued the early pistols are largely rectified and the gun thats available today is more like it was originally intended to be.

    It's a crackin wee air pistol, highly recommended
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015

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