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The Benjamin Discovery – Field Tests

One very windy day in the desert...

We are going to wrap up our core review on the Benjamin Discovery today. I think I’ll twist someone’s arm over at headquarters about holding on to it for a while, indefinitely really. There’s always something new you can do with the Benjamin Discovery! In any case, let me go ahead and set the scene.

I get out of the shop around 10:00 AM and it’s sunny and calm. I’m thinking “this is going to be perfect…” And then, about 25 minutes later I arrive at my favorite shooting spot just south of town. It still wonderfully sunny, but not so calm. I’m looking at multi-directional gusting winds up to 20 mph, not exactly what I’d call ideal conditions for our .22 Discovery.

Improvise, adapt, move the target closer…

There’s no sense to try and shoot 50 yard groups in these conditions. So, I moved the target into 25 yards and started my testing. Again we are testing 6 different pellets, but I’ve substituted in a couple of new ones, just to see how they do at range. Initially, the Benjamin Hollowpoints were the best shooting of the bunch. My hypothesis was that as we increased our range, the advantage would change over to a domed pellet. That’s the first thing we’re going to test.

Here’s our first shot card.

Benjamin Discovery 25 Yard Shot Groups 1 through 3

Benjamin Discovery 25 Yard Shot Groups 1 through 3

Group 1: I’m testing a couple of things here. I’m testing how well a particular pellet will group, and I’m testing where it will land relative to the mil-dots on my scope. In this first group, I’m shooting the Benjamin Hollowpoints and aiming the crosshairs dead center on the middle target. I’m landing about 1/2 mill-dot low at 25 yards. It’s not a bad group given the conditions, coming in at .773″ CTC

Group 2: My next pellet I’m testing is the H&N Baracuda Match. This is a much heavier pellet and I was hoping that it would handle the conditions a bit better. I adjusted my hold over and put the first mil-dot dead center of the 2nd bullseye. At this range, the mil-dot in this Hawke 4x32AO scope almost completely obscures the .5″ grey bullseye. After 5 shots, one of which I pushed high left, I shot a 1.25″ CTC group.

Group 3: The last pellet on this card is the Crosman Premier in the cardboard box. Again I aimed using a 1 mil-dot holdover. The POI (point of impact) was about .5 mil-dots high. A 1/2 mil-dot scope like the Hawke Varmint Side Focus may prove really handy with this rile. As you can see, this pretty much wraps things up on the domed vs hollowpoint discussion, at least in this gun and in these conditions. This group came in at .381″ CTC, EVEN I these less than ideal conditions

Second Shot Card:

Benjamin Discovery 25 Yard Shot Groups 4 through 6

Benjamin Discovery 25 Yard Shot Groups 4 through 6

Group 1: Seeing that the Crosman Premiers in the cardboard box did so well in our last group, I tried the 3 more domed pellets starting with the H&N Field Target Trophy pellets. Before I started, I adjusted the scope slightly so that our 1 mil-dot hold over would be pretty close to the bulls-eye. The H&N FTTs yielded a 5 shot group of 1.041″ CTC.

Group2: The next pellet was the JSB 15.89 Grain Match Exact Jumbo Diabolo Pellet. I think this pellet would prove out to be one of the best in our Discovery. While the .931″ CTC group may not support that theory on paper, I know that I pushed a shot to the left that opened the group up considerably. These definitely need to go on your short list of “best” pellets for the Discovery.

Group 3: I stepped up the pellet weight for the final test of the day. The JSB Match Diabolo Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets weigh in at 18.13 Grains. They landed pretty much right on that .5″ grey bullseye at 25 yards. I don’t think I pulled any shots in this group so I think the .765″ CTC is going to be pretty typical.

Let’s wrap it up.

So that wraps up our “initial series” on the Benjamin Discovery. (see how I worked in that “initial series” reference). The Discovery continues to be one of my all-time favorite airguns. For this price point, I’m not sure that there’s anything out there that will compete with it for ease of shooting, accuracy and power. If you are making the switch from rimfire and center fire, and looking for a way to get your feet wet into the world of high powered airguns, the Benjamin Discovery .22 caliber rifle kit really needs to be at the top of your list.

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