The Benjamin discovery kit is not something that we’re going to be able to cover in just one or two segments. Because this rifle, in my opinion, is the perfect “first airgun” for anyone moving over from firearms, I want to be as thorough as necessary.
Let’s take a closer look…
The Benjamin Discovery weighs in at only 5.13 pounds before you put on a scope. Put that next to a magnum springer and it comes in at almost 1/2 the weight, but generates more power and probably a lot more accurate. This is one of the major benefits to the Benjamin Discovery. It all starts with a very utilitarian design for the Walnut stock. This ambidextrous stock is “just right” as it’s not too long and not too short for most airgunners that put it to their shoulder.
Most of the rifle is metal with a few parts made of high quality plastic. While some may really dislike the use of plastic in the trigger guard and the trigger blade, I’ve never had a single issue with it over years of use. It serves two purposes, it keeps the weight down, and the overall costs down as well. As a tip, if you are industrious and don’t mind tweaking things, the original Marauder trigger assembly will bolt right to the Discovery, giving you a really nice match grade trigger. There’s a bit of work that you’d have to do to the stock and you’d have to make your own trigger guard, but it’s nice to know it can be done if you really find it necessary. Personally, I don’t mind the trigger at all. It’s a bit spongy, but it’s perfectly acceptable for a field gun.
The Discovery comes with open sights, but I’ve never really found them terribly usable. For our first stage of testing I’ve mounted a very simple but effective Hawke 4×32 AO Mil-Dot scope. I’m using a set of Hawke Match Grade high rings so that I’ll have all the necessary clearance, not for the objective of the scope, but rather for loading the pellet, which can be a chore if you have large hands and the scope is too close to the receiver. This setup is perfect for quick small game acquisition and target shooting out to 50 yards or so. It also keeps the weight down. The AO feature is really a must have for airgunner. It allows you to “focus” (focus is not really the right term, but it’s the best way to describe the function of an AO) your scope at any range within the useable AO adjustment range. The mil-dot reticle is also critical as all airguns shoot on a curve. Where some firearms may shoot “flat” from 100 to 400 yards, airguns only have an effective range of about 100 yards and the design of the pellet bleeds velocity very quickly. If things are setup correctly, you may be able to shoot “flat” from say 10 yards out to 40. I’m defining “flat” shooting as keeping the projectile in a 1″ kill zone on the target. Closer than 10 yards and beyond 40 yards will require you to use your mil-dots for hold over and under. They are extremely useful.
If you’re new to airguns, you might wonder what that big tube is under the barrel. That’s the air reservoir which can be filled up to 2000 PSI. A full fill will give you about 20 good shots and then you’ll need to pump it back up to 2000 PSI. We’ll get to that in our next article when we take a look at the included Benjamin hand pump. As we look under the rifle you’ll find the built in pressure gauge. The rifle is very effective on high pressure air from 2000 PSI down to about 1000 PSI. Fortunately it doesn’t take much to get it back up to full charge. Again, something that we’ll take about in the next article.
As we wrap up this overview of the Discovery’s features, I want to point out that the barrel only has 1 barrel band and the muzzle is left to float rather than being secured to the air cylinder. There’s been a lot of discussion over the years as to if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I’ve never had accuracy issues with any of the Discovery’s that I’ve ever owned and they were all stock. I remember reading a test some guys did. One person used a stock discovery, the other secured the muzzle. In the end, there was really no discernible difference in the accuracy. So my advice would be to stick with the stock configuration and address things IF there’s an accuracy problem. My bet is that you’ll be just fine.
So that wraps up our basic overview on the Discovery. In the next article we’ll look at the bundled hand pump, filling our Discovery rifle, and getting ready to take that first shot. Remember, if you have questions or comments, please use the comments section below. We want to hear from you!