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Benjamin Discovery Air Rifle Test Review .177 Cal.

Overview
Testers

Stephen Archer

Caliber

.177

Model Number

BP1K77GP

Test Date

June 22, 2014

Serial Numbers

910120608

Source of Supply

Purchased anonymously at retail.

Condition

As new.

We Like

Low price for a PCP.
Very accurate with the right pellets.
Strong muzzle energy.

We Don't Like

Fiddly to load.
Heavy, plastic trigger.
It's loud!

HAM Rating
Value for Money
90%
Speed and Accuracy
80%
Trigger and Cocking Effort
70%
Comparison to Makers Claims
100%
Consistency
80%
Noise Level
30%
Sights
90%
Shootability
70%
Appearance and Finish
70%
Buying and Owning
90%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

It's hard to fault the Benjamin Discovery air rifle as an entry level PCP. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's a great air rifle for the money and it has an excellent RateAGun score of only 4.6, meaning it's very easy to shoot!

Although it's fiddly to load and the stock design is disliked by many, the Benjamin Discovery shoots well. It's accurate enough for field target shooting and powerful enough for hunting small game.

The Benjamin Discovery utilizes High Pressure Air (HPA) at the low pressure of just 2,000 psi. It also has a low capacity air tube. These factors make it easy to fill from a hand pump and give light weight. But being an unregulated design, the Disco gives relatively few shots per fill. Around 20 - 25 is typical together with a rather steep muzzle velocity curve. FPS starts falling rapidly as the gun is shot giving vertical stringing that is particularly pronounced with alloy pellets.

The gun we tested works best with heavy pellets - above about 7.9 Grain in .177 caliber. We obtained the best accuracy and highest muzzle energy with the heaviest pellets tested, 10.65 Grain H&N Barracuda Match round nose pellets. Light pellets under about 7.0 Grain weight in .177 cal showed significant vertical stringing giving poor practical accuracy and lower muzzle energy.

For its combination of quality, usability, value and performance, the Benjamin Discovery air rifle receives a HAM Silver Award.

80%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
SUMMARY

SUMMARY

HAM Test Rating80%
Value For MoneyExcellent - but you need to buy a scope and PCP charging equipment to use it.
Best ForHunting, target shooting.
Best Pellet TestedH&N Baracuda Match
Street Price at Time of Test$260 Plus $120 for typical scope and mounts.
Caliber Tested.177
RateAGun Score
Easy To Shoot Well

Disco-Full-Length-web

BUY FROM AMAZON
Crosman Benjamin Discovery Pre-Charged Pneumatic PCP Dual Fuel .177 Air Rifle and Pump
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
Benjamin Discovery Air Rifle

VALUE FOR MONEY

The Benjamin Discovery Air Rifle is excellent value for money. But remember that you will need to buy a scope and PCP charging equipment such as a pump or high pressure air tank in order to use it. This is true for all PCP air rifles, of course.

SPEED AND ACCURACY

The Benjamin Discovery shoots best with heavy pellets. Accuracy and muzzle energy both are best with the heaviest weight pellets tested. Performance with lead free and light weight lead pellets, with a weight of 7.0 Grains or less is poor, with significant vertical stringing.

PelletAverage Muzzle VelocityAverage Muzzle EnergyAccuracy
Gamo Raptor Platinum 4.7 Grain1126.14 FPS13.238 Ft/LbsPoor. Vertical stringing.
H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain1096.29 FPS14.842 Ft/LbsVertical stringing.
RWS Hobby 7.0 Grains1018.75 FPS16.136 Ft/LbsPoor.
Crosman Premier HP 7.90 Grain976.13 FPS16.719 Ft/LbsGood.
JSB Exact Diabalo 8.44 Grain951.46 FPS16.97 Ft/LbsExcellent.
H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain946.34 FPS17.186 Ft/LbsGood.
H&N Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain872.79 FPS18.019 Ft/LbsBest tested.
BUY FROM AMAZON
Haendler & Natermann Barracuda .22-Caliber 21.14 Grain Round Nose Match Pellets (200 Count), 5.52mm
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
H&N Barracuda Match pellets, .22 caliber

TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT

Bolt operation is very light with a cock on opening action. But loading pellets is surprisingly difficult. The pellets tend to turn around in the loading tray and can load backwards – with the skirt facing forward – if you’re not careful.

Trigger pull weight is quite high, averaging just under 4 lbs. The trigger blade is wide, but the plastic feel is less pleasant than that of a metal trigger.

COMPARISON TO MAKER’S CLAIMS

Crosman claims a maximum muzzle velocity for the Discovery of 1,000 FPS. In this HAM test, we exceeded this claim by 12% when using Gamo Raptor Platinum alloy pellets. Even with light lead pellets, the 7.0 Grain RWS Hobbys, our test gun passed Crosman’s claim with over 18 FPS to spare.

Crosman also claims a muzzle energy of up to 17.5 Ft/Lbs for the Discovery. In this HAM test, we achieved a maximum muzzle energy of over 18 Ft/Lbs with heavy, 10.65 Grain H&N Barracuda Match pellets.

So, Crosman’s muzzle velocity and muzzle energy claims for the Benjamin Discovery are realistic and honest, actually understated!

Note that – like most airgun manufacturers – they don’t make an accuracy claim for their air rifles. That’s a shame as the practical accuracy of the Discovery is excellent.

CONSISTENCY

The Benjamin Discovery tested gave excellent consistency in muzzle velocity.

Gamo Raptor Platinum pellets were the least consistent, with an Extreme Spread of 35.49 FPS in out 10 shot test, but even this represents a deviation of only 3% from the average muzzle velocity. The most consistent pellets were H&N Field Target Trophy with an Extreme Spread of only 11.19 FPS, this representing a deviation of just 1.2% – an excellent result.

But as the Discovery has a small air reservoir capacity of just 126cc (7.69 cubic inches) and is unregulated, the muzzle velocity does fall quite rapidly with an increasing number of shots. The result is vertical stringing. For best accuracy, HAM recommends topping up the pressure about every 20 shots.

The Discovery’s pressure gauge read 2,000 PSI when our standard high quality test gauge also read 2,000 PSI. Again, excellent consistency.

Trigger pull weight varied between 3lb 10 oz and 4lb 1oz in HAM’s tests. This is good consistency for a trigger of this type and price.

NOISE LEVEL

There’s no doubt about it, the Discovery is quite loud for an air rifle. The combination of strong muzzle velocity and no silencer means that there’s quite a strong crack when the gun is fired.

The noise level is normally nothing like .22LR firearms noise level, but light weight lead free pellets can exceed the speed of sound (approx 1,100 FPS) when fired from the Disco and the supersonic crack produced by these pellets can be very loud. Another reason to feed heavy lead pellets to the Discovery!

SIGHTS

Crosman obviously expects Discovery shooters to use a scope – and this is not an unreasonable expectation. The breech has rails milled into it for scope attachment.

No scope is bundled with the gun, so you need to make your own selection. Make sure that you have airgun/ 22 rings for your scope as the Weaver/Picatinny rings supplied with most scopes nowadays do not fit.

Although iron sights are fitted, with both front and rear sights having fiber optic inserts, the lack of any click-adjustable windage or elevation capability means that these are of very limited capability. Don’t plan on hitting much without a scope!

The HAM scoring for this section is based on our standardized rating structure. We assume a typical price for scope and mounts fitted to the Discovery at $120.00 and the score at 90%.

SHOOTABILITY

The Discovery is light and convenient to handle. Although the trigger is a little heavy, it’s not objectionable and the let off is quite consistent. Care is needed when loading pellets as they can roll around in the loading tray and it’s easily possible for one to enter the barrel skirt first.

The limited access for pellet loading is evident.

Disco-breech-close-web

Overall, this is an easy air rifle to shoot. There’s practically no recoil and no special hold is required to obtain accurate shooting. For this reason, the Benjamin Discovery earns a RateAGun score of 4.6 when a 3-9x40AO scope is mounted (as in this test report). That means it’s easy to shoot well.
RateAGun-4.6

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

The Discovery is not a specially attractive air rifle in most people’s opinion. The stock is often known as “the oar” because of its shape. The forend is rather short for most people and the comb is rather low for use with a scope. But it’s good enough.

Personally, I dislike the look of the “soda straw” barrel. It looks way too thin to be a good barrel, but appearances are deceptive and excellent accuracy can be obtained from the Discovery.

Finish is OK, with a mix of black powder coating and bluing on metal parts. The wood is varnished hardwood. The finish is that of a practical air rifle, probably somewhat below average for the price. If you’re looking for beautiful mirror finish to the metal and Grade 2 Walnut for the buttstock, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

BUYING AND OWNING

The Benjamin Discovery is widely available through online and physical stores. Like all PCP airguns, it requires a source of high pressure air and is often sold bundled with a Benjamin High Pressure Pump. Because the Discovery uses a pressure of only 2,000 PSI, it’s quite easy to pump by hand. About 110 strokes are required to fill from empty, but only about 30 strokes to raise pressure from 1,500 PSI to the full 2,000 PSI.

An easier but more expensive alternative is to use a high pressure air tank or scuba tank with suitable adapter.

Crosman provides a 12-month warranty and has a full range of spare parts available if required, together with downloadable parts diagrams and post-warranty backup support from the range of Crosman Authorized Repair Centers. This level of long-term support is a benchmark for the airgun industry.

TEST TARGETS

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BUY FROM AMAZON
Crosman Benjamin Discovery Pre-Charged Pneumatic PCP Dual Fuel .177 Air Rifle and Pump
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
Benjamin Discovery Air Rifle

This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.