Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, September 11, 2006

Benjamin AS392T

by Tex Force

Some shooters would like the inexpensive power and accuracy they can get from a .22 caliber Benjamin 392 multi-pump, but they don't want the hassle of pumping for every shot. For them, Benjamin has created the .22 caliber AS392T. It's very similar to the 392 multi-pump but uses an 88-gram AirSource cylinder to deliver hundreds of powerful shots without pumping.

Similar, but not the same
There are some differences between the AS392T and the 392. The stock, for example, has a shorter forearm to allow the AirSource cylinder to be attached. The aluminum cartridge has a foam sleeve cover that provides a warm handhold in all weather. Unlike the multi-pump, the dovetailed receiver is longer and adequate for mounting a scope. Regular scope mounts that clamp to an 11mm dovetail are all you need. The bolt, which cocks the rifle and also opens the breech for loading, has two positions at which it stops. The first gives you a low-power shot, while the second gives full power. The power level is lower than what the 392 offers, but still in the respectable range, with a stated top end of 610 f.p.s.

Other than those few differences, the AS392T is virtually the same as the 392 pneumatic. To shoot the gun all you have to do is cock the bolt, load a pellet and fire. This is a faster-firing air rifle than the multi-pump, and hunters can take advantage of that. For everyone else, there is the sheer ease of not having to pump.

Can you leave the AirSource cylinder installed?
This is a big question, because few shooters can shoot enough at one time to exhaust the AirSource cylinder. Hundreds of shots are available! The owner's manual recommends not storing the rifle with an AirSource cylinder installed. This doesn't mean you need to remove the cylinder after each firing, however. They say it to lower their liability; if there a cylinder is installed, the gun is always charged. I have kept my rifle for over two years with an AirSource installed, and it still holds perfectly and shoots strong. If I were going to store the gun with no possibility of shooting it, I would remove the cylinder.

Velocity
Shooting a .22 caliber Benjamin diabolo domed pellet weighing 14.3 grains, which is the virtual twin of a Crosman Premier, my rifle gets about 480 f.p.s. on low power and 575 f.p.s. on high. That's entirely realistic with this medium-weight pellet. The AirSource cylinder used in this test was new.

Easily scopeable!
The dovetailed receiver allows the easy installation of a scope for better accuracy. I suggest two-piece medium-height mounts to increase your positioning choices, and I'd keep the scope small, such as the Tech Force 2-7x32mm.

Accuracy
Using good pellets, you can expect to shoot five-shot groups smaller than one inch at 30 yards. If you're really a great rifle shot, that distance might stretch out to 35 yards, and that's over 100 feet - about the limit for hunting small game with this rifle. This rifle is fine for squirrels, cottontail rabbits, gophers and small birds (such as pigeons).

Fine quality
The Benjamin AS392T is a rifle your children will leave to their grandkids. Though it's modern in every sense of the word, it's built of the same materials and with the same care that Benjamin has used for more than a century. I have owned Benjamin guns that were 60 years old and still operating like new, so this one's a keeper, for sure.

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