When looking for an air rifle that contains updated technology while still retaining the look and feel of older classics, the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable comes to mind. American classic is a phrase that is thrown around more than warm apple pie, but stays true with this single stage .22 caliber multi pump pneumatic with Monte Carlo stock.
Crosman opted for a single stage trigger with a crossbolt safety, with a fixed front sight and adjustable rear sight. All of the usual suspects are here with this model, with the power to take down a fair amount of game while still maintaining the accuracy needed for target practice.
The recommended use is for target practice and small game hunting, but with a few modifications and the correct pellets this can easily be an all-purpose air rifle.
A few things to note are the missing scope rail and dovetail, a much used feature by many shooters. Intermounts can be easily purchased to remedy the omission, but a key missing feature is a bit peculiar from such a well-known brand as Crosman.
It may seem like fluff to some, but an American made air rifle is a well-used marketing tool for hunters that remember the old vintage favorites like the Daisy 880 or the Crosman 760. For any seasoned hunter that grew up on the old favorites, the design and feel of the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable should be familiar, and probably why Crosman opted for a single stage trigger. A limited number of air rifle manufacturers are solely US based, and the list is as short as being counted on one hand.
Keep in mind that even with US manufactures, some parts are from China even though it is American made. For the diehard purist this could be a buying decision, as even the Benjamin XL/Trail series can’t sport the US claim.
Most if not all Crosman springers are not US made, and are born in China. The quality of the air rifle does not degrade or improve in any way based on where it is manufactured to assembled, although some may argue otherwise. But many purchases are made with the comfort of knowing the origination of the product, and the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable is no different.
Crosman is a trusted brand name with years of experience behind its production, so even without the US label attached to this particular model, the quality is guaranteed to be top notch. However if the name is enough to sway a user to choose differently, then so is where the air rifle is manufactured, and that is where the marketing and look of this air rifle is genius.
They could have stopped at the label and name, but Crosman has managed to even get the actual feel of the classic air rifles down, and user have responded accordingly to the amount of work that went into making this feel like the old classics.
Single Stage vs Two Stage
Going with the single stage trigger was a correct choice, since the release is done smoothly enough to prevent a jarring movement. A single sage trigger is not as user friendly as say the two stage, where there is sort of a ‘are you ready’ pull before getting to the actual pull. By inputting a first stage trigger to the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable, Crosman further improves on the legend of this classic air rifle.
Now there are several ways to deal with a single stage trigger, with many suggesting using the ball of the finger, and squeezing straight back with the pad of the fingertip. Special holds are suggested when shooting, with some air rifles requiring a special hold in order to achieve maximum use. The important thing to point out is that no matter what others practice, every user’s mileage will vary.
What may be a comfortable hold for one shooter will not be a comfortable hold for another. Same applies to how the trigger is pulled and using which technique. By using a single stage trigger Crosman has taken out a lot of the extra nonsense that may have been associated with a two stage, and allows the shooter to get down to business. The resistance is a familiar one for anyone who uses the Crosman brand, and with some light practice an easy trigger to get used to.
The one feature that might be a surprise with the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable is that it is a pneumatic air rifle. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and on the contrary, it is a very welcome feature to this shooter. Well-crafted .22 calibers that are easy to shoot don’t drop out of the sky, and one that is easy to load and without the fuss of straining to cock it is an even rarer air rifle.
The story behind pneumatic air rifles remain the same, and as it stands they are the easiest type of air rifles to prep for either target hunting or game hunting. They’re just as sturdy as other air rifles, and with the only caveat being that a special pump is needed to recharge the precharged pneumatic versions (not this version). The on-board lever included with this air rifle is easy enough for the novice to get used to and makes it easier to judge just how much pop a shooter wants to put into their next shot. Even with the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable needing to be pumped up for every shot, the option of adjusting the power is a small price to pay for a little hard work.
Shooting at 685 FPS, this classic looking air rifle weighs only 5.5 lbs. but still gives the performance expected of air rifles within the same range. It is suitable for both beginners up to experts, and maintains great accuracy up to 15 yards, a statistic that can be improved with minor modifications and research.
This Benjamin is worth putting money into, even with the omission of a scope rail and dovetail. The single stage trigger is Crosman perfected and will be a welcome pull to those familiar with the quirks. Smaller and unknown additions include swelling in the forearm to make it easier to pump, and easy mount installation since the air rifle is lacking one on opening.
But the true icing on the cake and what stands out for this particular model, however, is its ‘American Made’ moniker.
There are no wrong choices to be made with this purchase, even if it is for superficial reasons. For an air rifle in the .22 caliber range its specs hold up pretty well, and the accuracy itself is surprising considering the caliber. With precharged pneumatic and Nitro at the forefront of Crosman technology, it is nice to see a classic still has reign in this day and age of air rifles.
The original pneumatic is no slouch and is not looked down upon by shooters, even years after its introduction to the industry. And with the way the Benjamin 392 Bolt Action Variable is selling, it will be around for a long time after.