Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Review

Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle ReviewWhile many feared that Crosman’s acquisition of Benjamin would affect the quality of this model, we are happy to say that the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle still lives up to its reputation as a timeless and rugged American-made pump-action rifle that is on par with some of the best rifles out there in terms of hitting power and accuracy.

Please read on for more information on this very affordable and well-built bolt action air rifle.

Why We Like The Benjamin 392

There are many, many reasons to love this relatively short and robust bolt action air rifle.

First, it’s very hard-hitting, especially for a multi-pump rifle. The 392 model in the .22 caliber is capable of sending a traditional lead pellet at 685 fps (alloys around 800fps) and is rated at an impressive 14.9 FPE. This of course well exceeds the rule of thumb minimum 12 FPE for a serious hunting firearm. As such, the Benejamin 392 can easily take down a variety of small game, as well as dispatching larger, grouchier pests as well.  This of course requires you to pump the rifle up fully, which requires around 35 lbs of effort (something younger and/or more slightly built shooters may struggle with). Moreover, with its multi-pump design, you can also plink and target shoot to your heart’s content while using less compression: just a handful of pumps is enough to mess around in the back yard and at closer ranges.

As far as accuracy, any old-school user of the 392 will tell that it’s accurate – deadly accurate. Because they use compressed air, these rifles don’t suffer from springer recoil and are typically very straight, consistent shooters right out of the box, although in some cases you may need to work on the windage/elevation a bit. And if you are really looking for laser-like kills, you can pair this air rifle up with a decent scope and really take your game to the next level. The great thing about scoping this model is that you don’t have to be concerned with heavy recoil beating on the scope itself, or the barrel misalignment issue sometimes associated with break barrel springers. Just remember this rifle requires dovetail style mounts.

Other benefits of the Benjamin 392 are its compactness, light weight and near-legendary durability. Although its only around 5 pounds and has a comparatively short (37-inch) barrel, there is nothing dainty about this rifle. In fact, thanks to its outstanding construction and the use of high quality components, this is one of the most robust, abuse-tolerant models you’re going to find, with many praising them for lasting for decades with only minimal attention.

Finally, in case you haven’t noticed, these rifles are beautifully-clad in a hardwood fish, and are veritable steal at their current price point in the neighborhood of $150. We can hardly think of an all around better and more durable option in this range.

Anything Not to Like?

So what’s not so great about the Benjamin 392? Well, it’s really hard to nitpick the quality and value you get with this rifle, but some will likely find the open sites a challenge to dial in. Not sure why, but this is invariably a complaint. In addition, while we can appreciate a firm trigger, it may be a little too firm for some. Beyond that, however, there are few issues that a user is likely to encounter. Just remember that pumping this will take a bit of work, but is definitely worth it once you see how well this inexpensive air rifle performs when fully pressurized.

Recommended Uses

In addition to target shooting, with it’s hard-hitting .22 caliber power, outstanding accuracy and low recoil, this would make an excellent hunting rifle, especially when paired with a good scope (compare top-rated scopes here). Likewise, if pests around the home are a problem, this rifle is well-suited to clear them out in convincing fashion. Our only caveat would be to try and keep your shots within 30 yards or so, since the .22 pellet will arc and be a bit more difficult to sight in at longer ranges. If you are looking to consistently take down game much beyond 50 yards very accurately, you’ll want a gun with a bit more FPE in our opinion to keep pellet trajectory flatter.

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  1. Sheryl says:

    I received my Benjamin-Sheridan 393P on my 15 birthday, I am 51 now and still use it. I bought 4 other air powered rifles, and all are crap. The only reason why I bought others. Reason being, my pump locked on me, after 30 years. Had to send it off for repair. Absolutely remarkable accuracy, it will not let you down.
    Love it, Love it….

  2. Ken Sereno says:

    Well, I just purchased a Benjamin 392. I did my research and am confident it will meet my needs.


  3. Steven Ludwig says:

    I owned one of these rifles 25 years ago and ended up selling it when I down sized to living in a tiny trailer. I’ve always regretted getting rid of this rifle, but now that I’ve retired and moved to a small cabin in the mountains I will be purchasing another. I’ve owned several pellet rifles in my life, good ones and some not so good ones. The Benjamin was one of the best built and most accurate. I’ve taken much game for the pot with it. Mine had a scope and was deadly accurate. I am looking forward to getting another and am pleased to read that the quality of this rifle has remained high over the years. It is also a beautiful looking and handling rifle. Thanks for letting me comment on it.

  4. Wayne Bloch says:

    I’m now 67 years young and as a young man my father had used the Sheridan Silver Streak pellet rifle to teach his 3 sons the ART of gun safety, handling, shooting and cleaning. The 3 of us to this day still enjoy and respect the privilege of hunting.
    I now own that very same rifle that I used as a kid and it still operates as well as it did in the mid 60s.
    That’s called; CRAFTSMANSHIP.

  5. Paul Fiore says:

    I’m 68 and still own and shoot the Sheridan my dad got me back in March, 1967.

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