I received my replacement NP2 just a few days ago. I finally got the chance to take a look at this example of the second manufacturing run. I opted for the synthetic version as I preferred the original synthetic Trail NP to the wood stock version.
Initial look out of the box.
The first thing that I noticed was that the box had been opened previously. When I checked with the folks at Airgun Depot, they said that they had opened it up and checked it before sending it out. They did not want a repeat of the last NP2 that came in damaged. While there was still a little damage to the box during shipping, everything seemed to be OK inside the box.
After a cursory inspection I decided to give it a closer look. Its very light, lighter than I expected it to be. The thumbhole stock has the typical hollow sound when you tap it, but does not seem to sound hollow when you take a shot. The original synthetic Trail NP had a little better feel in my opinion and seemed to be made from solid material, but it was a lot heavier too. This new model seems to have shed a few ounces and in the process, but also given up some of that “high end” composite feel.
Anticipated new and improved features.
There are a few key improvements that airgunners are waiting to hear about so Im going to jump right in with the most anticipated change of all, the trigger. The trigger in the NP2 seems to be a version of the trigger from the old Remington NPSS. The NPSS Trigger was much improved from the standard Crosman trigger so Im hopeful that it will translate into something special with the new NP2. Im happy to say that the trigger in the NP2 it better than I expected it to be. Theres a significant first stage followed by a very short 2nd stage that breaks cleanly. This is a major improvement over the standard Crosman trigger. (more to come on this later)
Another anticipated feature is the reduced cocking force. Comparing the NP2 to other rifles in the shop, it seems very easy to cock. It’s a tad longer which provides more leverage and reduces the cocking force. Having shot a lot of magnum springers and NP powered airguns, this one seems to be one of the easiest given the projected power output.
The shooting cycle is promoted as being extremely smooth, to the point of revolutionary. So far I havent experienced anything revolutionary. The cocking stroke is very smooth and what you’d expect from an NP equipped breakbarrel pellet gun. When it comes to the shooting cycle, theres a good bit of recoil and a loud ping at the end of the shot. I have a couple of the original Trail NPs here in the shop and they seem to have less recoil and less mechanical noise as well. To be fair, they have hundreds of shots through them and are well broken in. This gun is brand new, so I need to get through the break-in period before I make any final determinations.
Lastly, the NP2 is supposed to produce higher than average velocities. Out of the box it seems that things are still wearing-in, as Im getting an average of 820.4 FPS across 10 shots with the 11.9 grain RWS Hobby pellets with an extreme spread of 31.2 FPS. Thats not really ideal, but that may be partly due to pellet choice and partly because this is still pre-break-in. Ill know more once I get 200 or so pellets down range. To get a comparison, I tested my original Trail NP and it averages around 785 FPS with the RWS Hobby pellets. So, the velocity is a bit higher than my original Trail NP.
Whats next in the series?
I know that a lot of you are wanting a really in-depth Facts not Fluff review of this gun. I wanted to document things right from the beginning so that you can follow along with me step by step of the process. The next thing will be to mount the scope and start getting through the break-in period. From there Ill start looking for the best pellet and then move right into accuracy tests. Once thats all done, Ill do another chrony test and compare it to the out of the box results from today. Theres a lot of work and information still to come so definitely keep an eye on the blog for the upcoming segments on the new Benjamin Trail NP2.