So what is a PCP? A PCP is a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle. This means is propels the pellet with high pressure compressed air. In this case with the Benjamin Maximus the maximum air pressure is 2000 pounds per square inch or psi.
There is a lot of information out there on this new PCP by Crossman if you want to read about the specifics on the gun. I’m writing this blog as a review about this little gun. I ordered the .177 caliber as I wanted a smaller caliber for the speed of a light weight pellet and I thought it would be a great gun for my 9 year old grandson. But as it turns out the gun was to long (stock length to trigger pull for him) and it is to heavy a gun for him to hold up and aim without some sort of support such as a bench rest or shooting sticks.
The gun itself runs about $199 without a scope or without the hand pump or some sort of air source. This gun comes with a front and rear sight but I highly recommend a scope of some source. Unlike regular type springer air rifles those that you have to cock to compress an internal spring to create the compressed air to propel the pellet from the gun. There is very little recoil so there is a wide range of scopes that you can use on this air rifle. The scope I have it a simple Leapers UTG 4x16x40 that costs about $125 and comes with rings but will not work on the gun as it has a 11 mm weaver rail so you will need a set of medium to high rings for the gun and scope. I sight in all my guns at 10x power and seldom move it to a higher magnification.
PCP air rifles are expensive as you will require an air source in the form of a hand pump which you can get for around $150 or so. I have both a Crossman hand pump and an SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and also I have a high pressure pump to fill my tank. That will be in a future blog. Or you can purchase a scuba or SCBA air tank but those are very expensive and you will need a dive shop or somewhere to have them refilled. The gun for me shoots best at around 1800 psi instead of the full 2000 psi with a 8.5 gram pellet shooting about 950 feet per second (fps).
Putting it All Together
After I mounted the scope and rings on the gun I was ready to shoot a few pellets through the gun I found that the gun was a bit loud for what I wanted. It is about as loud a a .22 short cartridge. It is loud because the fps is approaching the speed of sound and that’s where the crack comes from. I ordered a TKO muzzle break for the gun to quiet the gun now it is very, very quiet. The TKO muzzle break was about $55 with the shipping.
Now that the gun has been quitened I’m ready to see how accurate the gun is. I set up my Digital Pro chronograph to determine the pellet speed. I need the average pellet speed of the spread of 15 shots to get the best accuracy out of the gun. I’ll do another blog on accuracy and software in a future blog. There are a few things that you can do to get the best accuracy out of you gun and the two most important ones are a clean rifle barrel and shooting a lot of different pellet brands and weights to see which are the most accurate for your rifle barrel. All barrels are not exact so you will need to find the best one for your gun barrel.
I started out at 20 yards to get on paper and so I’d know if I was shooting high or low. I use a shooting table and a bench rest for sighting in my guns. After sighting in at 20 yards I moved the target back to 30 yards as I wanted this to be the distance best for me for hunting squirrels.
After shooting a lot of different brand and weigh pellets through the gun I determined that the JSB Match Exact Express Diablo was the one this barrel liked the best. So now that I know that the gun likes I’ll fine tune the gun sighting in to see what are the best groups I can get with the gun.
As you can see from the target above the gun is very accurate! That is 15 shots at 30 yards with the Benjamin Maximus and the JSB Match Exact Express Diablo pellets.
Again you can see the accuracy of this pcp air rifle, this is 25 shots at 30 yards. Those pellets spread out are what we call flyers. Sometimes defective pellets bad pellet mold etc. By the way those are a different JSB pellets called Monster and are a heavier pellet.
Here you can see the Benjamin Maximus in .177 has enough power to down a squirrel. This Fox squirrel was taken with a head shot at 31 yards. This would be a great gun if you live in town and have a problem with pests IF you add the TKO muzzle break. Your neighbors will probably not even hear the gun when you shoot it.
So wrapping up this is a great starter PCP if you are considering getting into the pcp hobby. But if I had to reorder I’d probably order the .22 caliber if I were going to be hunting or pesting with the gun. But if I lived in town I’d stay with the .177 since it will be a little quieter. But a warning, PCP air rifles are a addictive hobby with some pcp’s costing thousands of dollars.