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Benjamin Trail NP XL w/ Centerpoint 3-9×40 AO Scope

Airgun Review – Written By,
Rick Eutsler
Editor / Owner www.AirGunWeb.com
editor@airgunweb.com

Review Product & Supplies
Provided by: www.pyramydair.com

Everyone likes to have the biggest stick on the block.  Well Benjamin has certainly created a very big stick with their new Trail NP XL rifle.  I’m impressed when a break barrel can push a .22 cal pellet over 800 FPS, but when it can push lead over 900 FPS, that is really something.

Benjamin Trail NP XL

Not too long ago Crosman made a very smart, strategic move introducing rifles based on their new “Nitro Piston.”  I even had the pleasure of reviewing one of the first NPSS rifles in .22 cal.  They have “taken it up a notch” with the Benjamin Trail NP XL by adding a totally new scope mount, built in sling mounts, and a very powerful power plant.

I think the designers must have been sitting around one day and thought “Hey.. I wonder what it would look like if we crossed a Remington NPSS with a Benjamin Super Streak?”  The stock of the gun is undeniably similar to the Super Streak.  It is an all wood stock with raised cheek pieces on each side making it suitable for right and left handed shooters.  It has some nice checkering details on the grip and under the forearm just like the Super Streak.  I personally found the stock to be a little thick and a bit heavy for my comfort.  The Trail NP XL is unique in that it includes a “from the factory” sling stud at the back and a front sling mount that hangs under the barrel.  The rifle comes with a sling and is the only breakbarrel airgun I’ve ever seen that comes with this setup right out of the box.

Benjamin Trail NP XL

Benjamin Trail NP XL

Benjamin tackles a huge problem in a very practical fashion with their new Trail NP XL.  If you have ever shot a magnum springer you know that keeping a scope mounted on the rifle can be a real challenge.  I’ve had scope stops fail, stop pins sheer off, and mounts just fall apart. So rather than rely on old systems that are known to be unreliable, Benjamin replaced the standard 11mm dovetail with an integrated, military style, weaver rail.  What a difference!  Now my mounts attach securely and NEVER move because both are completely locked into place.  Why no one else has done this escapes me. (Are you listening RWS?)

Benjamin Trail NP XL

Unlike the Super Streak, the Trail NP XL includes a very PRACTICAL 3-9×40 AO, MD scope.  This is a “no frills” scope that I’m very happy with.  The 16x scope they used on the Super Streak was too much scope in my opinion, and I did not like the quality of the site picture at 16x.  The 3-9×40 is a great all around “utility class” scope, and I’m pleased they used it on this rifle.  The adjustment knobs are wide open, which may give you an issue if your gun bumps something in the field, but I like having them out there for quick adjustments.

Benjamin Trail NP XL

The Benjamin Trail NP XL is not all rainbows and moonbeams however.  It had its issues like everything else.  Perhaps the most disappointing thing to learn about this rifle is that it was made in China.  Now Crosman made the NPSS in the USA and I expected them to have their new flagship breakbarrel follow suit, but nope.  This is yet another Chinese import.  True to form, my first rifle that I received for testing had a problem and Crosman quickly replaced it.  The next rifle did not have the same issue and seemed to work well out of the box.

Benjamin Trail NP XL

Some of the issues I found were simply cosmetic.  For example, the workmanship on the stock, especially in the thumbhole area looks as if a high school shop class was doing the finish work.  This is not a big deal, but again.  If this is your “top of the line” product, it should reflect “top of the line” quality.  The next issue was not cosmetic, but functional.  The trigger is the same old Crosman trigger that was so hard to work with on the Super Streak.  Now they’ve changed out the blade, but it is essentially the same trigger.  The 2nd stage takes FOREVER to get through making it a real challenge to shoot accurate groups from the bench.  As a sporting trigger, i.e. for hunting in the field, I doubt you’d have an issue, but when shooting for maximum accuracy the shortcomings are extremely noticeable.

Benjamin Trail NP XL

Benjamin Trail NP XL

Where the Trail NP XL really shines however, is with the power it can produce.  My first .22 cal airgun was a Beeman GH150.  It was supposed to shoot 800 FPS but in reality it only shot 650 FPS.  My RWS 34 in .22 also shoots in the 650 to 680 FPS range.  To get up to 900 FPS in a regular weight .22 cal pellet is quite the feat, and the Trail NP XL does it with ease.  Crosman Premier Hollow Points, a 14.3 grain pellet, averaged 901 FPS all day long out of my test gun which equates to 25.78 FTLBS at the muzzle.

Another high point with the Trail NP XL, is the ultra quite shooting characteristics of the rifle. Two things go into making this happen.  First, the Nitro Piston power plant reduces the mechanical noise that accompanies many spring rifles.  Secondly, the barrel is fully shrouded.  Now what Benjamin has going on in there, I don’t know.  What I can tell you is that their claims of being 70% quieter are completely VALID.  Other than the sound of the shooting cycle itself, this thing is whisper quite.  All of my standard .22 cal springers are much louder than the Trail NP XL and none produce the power it can. (The RWS 350 Mag would give the NP XL a run for its money. That would be a nice comparison)

Benjamin Trail NP XL

With regards to the benefits of a Gas Ram over a standard spring, all you’ll need to do is shoot one and you’ll understand.  The entire shooting cycle is different with a Gas Ram equipped rifle.  It cocks smoother and the actual shooting cycle is completed faster with less recoil.  When you put all of this together you should get a smoother shooting, more accurate rifle.  This is basically the case with the Trail NP XL, if only Crosman would do something about that horrible trigger.  With so much going right, it seems to me that they could spend a few bucks on R&D and solve that problem.

The trigger is what gave me the most headaches during my accuracy tests.  In the end I was able to overcome most of the problems and eventually learned how to hold the rifle and deal with the 2nd stage of the trigger.  There were a lot of pellets that shoot decently in this rifle.  The group below is with 14.3 grain Crosman Hollow Point Premiers at 20 yards.  Some more exotic pellets did a little better, but the difference was negligible.  Here are the stats on the 14.3 grain CHPP pellets:

High: 904, Low: 897, Average: 901, Difference: 7 (only 7 FPS spread is incredible!)

Benjamin Trail NP XL

All in all, the Benjamin Trail NP XL is a worthy rifle that reaches velocities normally reserved for PCP rifles.  At $299.99 from PyramydAir.com, you get the whole package; powerful rifle, scope, and even a rifle sling.  The rifle takes some time to break in, but once you’ve put about 500 to 1000 pellets through it, you should have a quiet, accurate, and very powerful rifle.

Written By, Rick Eutsler
Editor / Owner www.AirGunWeb.com
editor@airgunweb.com
Copyright 2010, Dog River Design, LLC – All Rights Reserved

19 Responses to Benjamin Trail NP XL w/ Centerpoint 3-9×40 AO Scope

  • I just bought one of these Trail NP XL 1100 . I guess i was expecting alot after reading reviews .
    When i opened the box , the site of this rifle left me standing in awe . The size , the look . To me , it looked like something Clint Eastwood would own . Big , Powerfull ,silent , so , with that thought i proceeded to unwrap the gun and install the scope .
    Re-reading the literature again .
    70 % quieter than a springer , up to 1100 fps with PBA and 900 fps with lead , less recoil than a springer .
    Boy was i stoked .
    Well ,i get the scope installed , go to break the barrel , wow , this is real easy . Others were commenting on what a ” Bear ” this gun is to cock .
    Not this one . First shot . Yikes , less recoil !!!! Gun near took off out my hands !!! Quieter , well not until the first few hundred shots but acceptable . Now , the POWER , where is it ??? I get my old Superstreak , put in a 14.3 g copperehead pellet , aim at 15mm thick wooden plank that i have targets on . At 50′ the Superstreak puts a pellet through it , 2nd pellet breaks the plank . I now try the same test with Nitro Trail with an 18.3g pellet . Bounces off !!! 14.3g pellet barely makes it in . 3rd shot same thing . Thisgun has to be broken in by now . I’ve shot 5 tins of ammo through it . Accuracy , FORGET IT . lucky if you can hit the same target from 50′ 2 outa 5 shots , and thats a 2 liter pepsi jug . I try another experiment with 1 liter pepsi bottle filled with water . Superstreak goes clean through Nitro POS just goes in one side . I just ordered myself a Chrony so i can check . If you buy one of these reifles , i would suggest getting Pyramid Air to give it their $10 test before they send it . Lot of money to pay for something thats really no good . Now , like i said , i may hav got a dud but , for that kinda of money , i think these guns should be checked from the factory and supplied with a sheet of paper documenting the fps .
    Sorry for being so negative but its really frustrating for me . I don’t even have a warranty card in the box that i can send off . What do i do if the Chrony shows that this really is
    an ” Underachiever “

  • I bought the trail np synthetic stock .22 cal. According to articles I have read it shoots a 14.8 grain at about 700fps. This is the power I was looking for. I didn’t want something around 1000 fps or I would buy a powder burner with low velocity shells. The gun shot poorly Sent the gun back 2 times I told Crosman not to send me another unless it was tested for accuracy. They did and sent me a target to prove it. I shot the gun and the barrel was very tight when you cocked it. The gun shot pretty close to the target they sent me. After 50-100 rounds the barrel loosened up and so did my groups. Pretty soon I could not hold a 1.5 inch group at 11 yards. I tightened all the screws along with the barrel screw. Nothing helped. I knew it had to be the barrel not ligning up. I bought a 150.00 laser and mount and attached it right to the barrel. I moved the dot to the cross hairs of the scope. Cocked the gun and the laser was no longer aligned with the cross hairs. I sighted the gun in at 13 yards using the laser. Using the laser the gun would shoot a 1 hole group of 5 shots at 13 yards. The scope crosshairs never repeated to the laser dot. I wrote to crosman they said that I was experiencing barrel droop and it happens with break barrel guns. This happened on 3 of there guns with in less than a few hundred rounds. They told me I should rest the barrel on a rest to avoid barrel droop. One of the worst things you can do is put pressure on your barrel to control accuracy.
    This gun is about 6 to 7 months old. With the laser as your sight it shoots good. guessing elavation is tough. The scope is only usefull for seeing the dot at long ranges during the day. It never stays aligned with the laser because the barrel lock up never repeats.
    I would never pay this much for a gun that shot this poorly.

    • That is a sad but often true commentary of Crosman’s quality control. As much as I like my Benjamin Trail NP (fortunately mine doesn’t have the barrel loosening issue) I going to have to stop recommending it I believe. It looks like RWS has a competitor to it that is in the same price range, but has German made quality and quality control. The RWS 34 with the new T06 trigger is really something else. I’ll have a post on it soon. Just a note, I’m going to be sending your comments directly to the head of Crosman’s product development team. He also works with quality control. Whether it will do any good or not has yet to be seen. FYI, I had the same problem with my NPSS. The barrel joint failed. Gamo’s, the new ones anyway, are also having a similar issue because they use composite for the breach block rather than metal. I’ve had better results with Ruger (BAM/Xisico) and some of the Tech Force guns. It is sad that Crosman is making excuses for their poor quality control rather than fixing it.

      Hope you get some resolution.

      Rick

  • I’m awaiting the arrival of my Benjamin Trail NP XL .22 air rifle, and these posts make me apprehensive about the rifle. Although I purchased it from Pyramydair.com and paid for the 10 for $10 option, all of you are making me think I made the wrong choice. Well, I suppose returning it should it fail is an option. I was looking for power in a .22 air rifle, as we can hunt wild turkey here in CA with a .20 or larger caliber air rifle. I’ve read many reviews about this rifle, but you guys are scaring me with your tales of woe.

  • Well, the Benjamin Trail NP (not the XL as I thought I had purchased) arrived. Cleaned it, attached the sling, collimated the scope and went to the range. Today I was shooting at 100 yards with my Savage 93r17BTV, so I moved the target to the 50 yard line and commenced to zero the Trail NP in .22. Well, it took a couple of spotters to help me realize I was in the dirt about 5 yards in front of the target. 10 pellets later I as in the black at 50 yards (from my perspective, that is the maximum effective range of the rifle). Then I commenced to shoot out the center of the target at that distance–I was not using a sand bag or any other type of rest. The 2-stage trigger was smooth, albeit quite long, but when it let off it came as a surprise. Cocking effort was moderate, and the rifle balanced well between my hands. When I examined the rifle and the contents of the box I decided to call Pyramyd Air about the velocities of the ten shots they put through the rifle before shipping it. Spoke with one of the techs after the as I was concerned about the 200fps drop in chronographed velocity between the first and tenth shots. They informed me that that was normal during the break in phase, and that once broken in would probably shoot in the low 700s with 14 grain lead pellets. I presume a solid copper pellet would shoot a little faster as the copper would provide more friction through the barrel thereby increasing velocity by a small amount. All in all, I am pleased with the purchase. If I want a little more zip from the Benjamin, I may purchase the Trail NP XL at some later date. For now, I am happy with my purchase– this rifle, I am convinced, will serve me well.

    • You did well to get the NP over the NP XL.. While the XL shoots faster it is much more difficult to control. When a $200 airgun hits and groups at 50 yards, you keep the gun.. I’ve seen folks spend 3 times that much and not get the same results. Velocity is only effective when you hit your target. Better to be accurate at 730 fps than miss at 900 fps.

      Cheers

      Rick

  • Thanks Rick for the encouraging words. I’ve read reviews of this rifle, and have noted that some people have swapped out the Benjamin trigger for something else. What that something else is remains a mystery. Do you know of a replacement trigger for the NP?

    Thanks,

    Frank

    • Frank,

      The trigger that I endorse is the GTX Gen-II trigger. While there are those that would argue that it is inferior to the GRT – III trigger. I would disagree. I have both triggers and I prefer the GTX GEN-II trigger. You can get it from Airguns of Arizona for about $30. Now, from what I hear, the XL version has some issues with replacement triggers. You need to know what you are doing in order to have a successful install. I’m considering offering this service, along with some basic repairs, tunes, and lubes of some airguns. I have not decided on it yet, but I’m considering it. If you’d like, give me a call 928-854-4981 and we can chat.

      Cheers

      Rick

  • I just purchased one of these rifles and I love it! Yes the trigger sucks and they made it in China for some reason , but what power! Its obvious to me that the factory used to build these had to meet fairly strict standards. It is built very well compared to other chinese guns. I am sure there will be a few bad one out there as there are with any makers guns. I had mine zeroed in within 20 pellets out of the box and took down a crow at 60 yard plus! I think some of the accuracy complaints about this gun are just people who dont know how to set up the scope properly. So many newbies think you just mount it and go. I am also going to purchase the RWS 350. I will give them a long term comparison. Im sure the Rws will out last in the long run , but we will see. I do recommend this gun. At least in the .22. Thanks for reading, mike.

    • I’m really glad that you are having such success with your Trail. I have had similar experiences with mine. Great power and accuracy. Unfortunately, the quality control issues mean that you and I get a good one and someone else may get a dud. I had a dud come in when I purchased my all weather version. It had a defective barrel joint. I sent it back and the replacement’s been fine.

      Cheers!

      Rick

      • Do you have any plans to do any testing on the .25 ? I was going back and forth deciding which to buy between .22 and .25.
        Thanks
        Mike

        • I started evaluating the .25 and I could not complete the review. The rifle had too many problems. It was terribly underpowered and the accuracy was around 8″ at 10 yards. So I packed it up and sent it back. From my experience the .25 cal is too much for spring guns. Great in a PCP gun.. not great in spring. .22 is a much better caliber.

          Rick

  • Ive recently order the .22 cal Benjamin np. Does anyone know the difference between the regular np and the np xl 1100? I’m assuming crosman claims the xl shoots 1100 fps. I guess my question would be can the regular np be modified or would it be cheaper just to buy the xl?

    • Hey there.. the big differences are size and power.. The added power equates to a much more difficult rifle to shoot and also reduces accuracy. You are better off with the standard Trail NP over the NP XL

      Rick

  • I got the Benjamin Regal….a mix between the crosman trail and benji trail….anyhow i dont believe theres a two stage trigger…but after removing spring from the triggergroup that only served to make the pull harder…once removed the trigger adjustment screw worked like supposed.

    its a .177, and im shooting 60-70 feet, and can shoot quarter sized groups with mine….it took some experimenting on how to hold, and which pellet it liked

    mine likes CPH’s(cardboard boxed ones), JSB and crowmagnums (go figure)

    JSB are the best by quite a margin, but only available online, so i started to shoot crosman premier heavy (CPH) which i had 4 boxes of and groups opened up a bit, but not much

    i also have about 1500 crowmagnums i required in a trade, and surpricingly they shoot about 1″ higher but are every bit as accurate at 50-60 feet as the CPH, which was a real surprice, as i have never had a gun that would shoot them in this caliber or .22 well…..my Crapid in .25 shoots them real well too which is a bit weird i know but crows at 50-75 yards is not problem with the .25 crowmagnums

    anyhow back to the benji regal….i love it, cocking it it smooth, shooting cycle is smooth, ten times better than my tuned B30 which is only shooting 12 fpe, vs the benji’s 18 fpe….i havent chroniet it so i cant confirm the 18 fpe, but the pellet zips right through a squirrels head, and my gamo pellet trap is getting mighty dented even though its at 60feet at least, by 12 fpe b30 does not dent it at all

    my only regret is that i wish i had gotten the low power crosman trail NP instead, i dont need the power this rifle puts out, i got other rifles for that job (aa410.22, crapid.25, talon ss .177-.22.25.9mm)

    is it possible to lower the pressure of the gasram….i know my eliminator had a little valve to let out a bit of pressure, and so did the rx1, im not really in the mood to take the benji appart to just take a look

    ohh the 4×32 scope included with the regal, is ok, the mounts are garbage….get a good onepiece mount, and i suggest getting a better scope as well, im using my very cheap BAM 4-12×40 scope and one piece mount, it made a huge difference in accuracy..i repeat HUGE !!! also tighten screws and give them a drop of blue locktite to glue them in place….if you dont have blue locktite just use any crazy glue, it usually wont stick so much you cant get it apart, and if it does take a soldering iron and heat the screw a bit and it should come right out

    im very happy with my benjamin regal, i wonder if they sell a .22 barrel, because at 18 fpe it would be doable with light .22 pellets, maybe even gain a few fpe ;-)

    imho springers should not be overpowered 20 fpe at max….to keep them controlable, there are some hotter rifles out there like the theoben eliminator/beeman crowmagnum which are awersome in .22 at 25-30 fpe ! but also 10 times the price, for the 154$ i paid for the regal im very happy with it

  • Hey there web folks……I bought the standard NP this fall, and after getting the right pellets for it it, and replacing that “god awfull trigger” to a GTX gen2 it shoots very well.
    It likes the H&N FTT 14.66 gr. domed pellet, and shoots them at an average of 730.5 FPS with a very small velocity spread…..I threw my results paper away a few weeks ago, but take my word for it…it was very consistant in velocity. I DID HOWEVER
    run a few dry patches through it after about 50 shots, and had to re-zero, but it’s been real good at 20 yards ever since. I can get ten shots under a quarter without any trouble. (off shooting sticks at 20 yds.)
    I have the free “chairgun” software downloaded and will be setting it up to shoot further this weekend. I want to see if I can reliably reach a certain tree out back, where the starlings feel safe….he he he
    The tree in question is 84 yds. from my bench………go ahead ‘n laugh if you want, but I really do feel it IS within reason, providing I can match what the program parameters are…..I printed off the chart and it says if I zero at 41yds. I can hit 80 yds with a 4 mil-dot hold over.
    Any others tinker with this long distance shooting with their NP’s???
    Thanks for read’n………………………….Paul

    • Hey there Paul,

      Good work on the gun. The Trigger really makes a huge difference for sure. Let us know how things go with the distance shooting.

      Cheers

      Rick

      • Well, I have been working on this “distance shooting” (84 yds) and haven’t been able to hit any starlings, but did hit the branch they sit on. It has come to the fact that the ballistics program results are accurate for a scope which has a different reticle than I have currently on my rifle. It does have some choices (on a drop down menu) but none are spaced exactly like mine are, because I don’t get results on a linear level the whole way through the arc of trajectory. By this I mean that at ten and 41 yards the gun is zeroed the same as the program predicts, but where it gives a certain dot “holdover” the point of impact is way off. This can be corrected by purchasing a HAWKE brand scope, which looks like an attractive solution, but right now I am saving up for a marauder so it is out of the question!
        If anyone has some experience with the same program, lets hear from you about your shooting results!
        Good shooting…………Paul

  • Well ive been shooting mine quite a bit now for the last month and am still very happy with the xl. I love the power and its quite a bit quieter than my beeman. The recoil is kind of crazy it seems but I guess thats to be expected from a gun like this. I missed the turkey season unfortunately , but I can still go after crows and what not for now.

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