UPS picked up the Synthetic .22 Cal Benjamin Trail NP2 just the other day. Fortunately I had already received the replacement NP2, this time in wood vs synthetic. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge already about this new line of airguns from Crosman and Im eager to see the similarities and also the differences I get with the wood stock version.
Let me start with what’s the same. Mechanically the wood stock version is identical. It cocks very smoothly, has the same great trigger, the scope mounts securely and has a good sight picture even at 10 yards. So far so good.
It’s noticeably heavier. That’s not something that is a concern to me as I prefer my springers to have some weight on them. It usually helps control the recoil. It only took a few shots across to appreciate the contrast even further. The wood stock is far denser than the synthetic and that definitely translates into a more solid feeling shooting cycle. Gone is the “ping” sound at the end of each shot. There’s still a good bit of recoil, but it feels about half what it was with the synthetic version. The cost to this is the added weight. There’s about a 3 DB difference between the synthetic and the wood. The synthetic measured about 103 here in the shop while shooting into a silent pellet trap. The Wood Stock version measured 100 DB. The sound is more of a “thud” than a “clack+ring.”
Function is not all that’s different. The average velocity is up by a good 40+ FPS on this gun vs the previous model which was averaging 820 FPS across 10 shots. This replacement Wood Stock .22 cal NP2 is averaging 865 FPS with the 11.9 grain RWS Hobby Pellets. Thats probably got nothing to do with the wood stock, but it’s a point that deserves mentioning and a nice improvement. The extreme spread between the two was almost cut in half. It leads me to wonder if there wasn’t something else besides the wobbly barrel joint going on with the original sample.
Looking at Performance
At 865 FPS, and as compared to the original Trail NP thats getting about 785 FPS with the RWS Hobby pellets, the NP2 powerplant is producing about a 9.7% increase in power with less cocking effort. On the box the NP2 promises up to a 15% increase over standard “gas piston” airguns. I guess that’s relative and will depend on the particular airgun, caliber, and ammo choice. A 10% increase with less cocking effort is certainly a win in my book.
Unfortunately the gun falls short of the advertised “up to” velocity of 950 FPS. It is off by about 9.3%, which is about par for the course when comparing “advertised” and “real world” performance numbers. There are very few guns that actually hit the manufacturer’s advertised specifications across all calibers reliably. It’s a fact that most seasoned airgunners have grown to accept. These numbers are all “out of the box” and before a proper break in period. There’s still more shooting to do and more data to collect. For now, these are my baseline numbers that Im going to be working with. I will be very interested to see if there’s much of a change at the end of the review.
What about the accuracy?
When I started my basic tests things were better but not yet great. One really noticeable difference was the breach. The previous model had a very tight breach, to the point that you could not properly seat the pellets all the time. Undoubtedly that caused the skirts to get damaged and contributed to the consistent inconsistency. This new sample NP2 does not have that issue at all. I would prefer to see a little bevel to the breach which this does not have, but pellets are loading reliably and completely. That’s what I like to see.
I have saved the best for last. There’s a real ray of hope when it comes to how this sample is shooting. The Crosman Premiers are still a bit wild as are the Field Target Trophy pellets, but the 14.3 grain JSBs put in several consistently tight groups some in the sub .25″ CTC range. This is something I was not able to do at all with the previous gun. Looks like I might be on the right track.
There’s still a bit of break-in and testing that needs to be done on my new NP2. So far things are looking really good. Keep an eye on the blog as I start posting some shot groups and more performance data!