Our last article talked about how we turned up the regulator pressure to around 2400 PSI and added weight and energy to our hammer spring to get up to a stable 54 FPE and 850 FPS with JSB MKII Heavy Pellets. This puts us right in the sweet spot for 75-yard and possibly even 100-yard accuracy. It’s time to see if numbers on paper equal lead on target.
Why We Love the Gunnar So Much
Before we jump right to the field tests, let’s go over why we did this project in the first place. The Gunnar represents a swing for Benjamin airguns who, outside of a couple of exceptions, such as the Armada and Bulldog, have mostly focused on traditional wood and steel airguns. The Gunnar is a bottle forward, regulated, AR chassis style gun, not at all in the normal “Benjamin” style.
While certainly higher on the price scale at around $1000, the Gunnar brings a lot to the table in the way of fit and finish, ergonomics, shootability, consistency, and solid 50-yard accuracy. If it were a house, you might say that it had great “bones.” Unfortunately, what it was lacking was a little more power.
What Turning Up the Power Delivered
Once we were done tuning the regulator and tweaking the hammer spring, we achieved a net increase of about 12 foot-pounds and over 100 FPS. Where we had 50 shots per fill from our stock setting, we now have 30. That’s a trade-off we are pleased to make for the extra power.
At 50 yards, we get sub 1” groups with great consistency. We also get groups under .75” with some regularity. That’s a general improvement of about .25” to .5” at 50 yards. We never shot at 100-yards with the stock Gunnar but decided to give it a go with our new tune. The results were really exciting. With generally good conditions and only a mild breeze with minimal gusts, 1.5” groups at 100 yards are very possible.
First group at 100 yards
2nd group at 100 yards
More Power is Not the Only Benefit
In our first looks at the Gunnar, we noticed the power adjuster. Because we found the Gunnar essentially on the lower end of the power curve to start, it seemed unlikely to ever need such an adjustment. However, now that we have pushed the power level upwards, it makes the power adjuster more practical. The ability to dial in the power and velocity for close-range target practice or lighter pellets makes the Gunnar a more desirable option for those that want it for more than just a “range” airgun.
Can the Gunnar Shoot Slugs?
So we have more power for long-range accuracy with pellets. We have more power providing more headroom for adjustability with the built-in power adjuster. Is there more we should be considering? Sure, and it’s airgun slugs. Airgun slugs are generally much heavier than pellets, requiring more power to propel them downrange. Additionally, they need greater velocity to achieve stability in flight. With more power on tap, we now have the option to shoot some lighter-weight slugs with our .25 cal Benjamin Gunnar. We are excited to give that a go. Expect an update to this article once we’ve had more trigger time with our modified Benji Gunnar.
Let’s Wrap It Up
We’ve spent a lot of time with the new Benjamin Gunnar .25. But it’s not the only airgun that has similar capabilities. The Air Venturi Avenger, FX Impact, and many other guns can also be adjusted and tweaked to perform a wide range of shooting tasks. From light pesting and plinking to serious hunting at 100+ yards, there are now airguns that can do both in the same afternoon with just the turn of a couple of screws. This is pretty awesome, and it makes airguns even more appealing to shooters looking for more trigger time.
Outfit your Gunnar with the best accessories. Learn all about the Benjamin Gunnar in our definitive guide. If you want to know more about just how flexible airguns have become and which may be the right fit for you, just give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to help you put together the right package for your shooting needs.