This is the text of an article I posted on the AIRGUN mailing list on 9/20/97 after I bought this pistol.

For some time now I've wanted a relatively-inexpensive pistol to practice the fundamentals indoors. I have a Crosman 38T, but I don't care for CO2. So, in anticipation of the bonus I'll be getting in next week's paycheck, I went to the Sports Authority in Montgomeryville, PA and bought a Benjamin-Sheridan Model HB17 for $89.99.

The HB17 is a multipump (up to 8) pneumatic single shot pistol in .177 caliber. It's also available in .20 (HB20) and .22 (HB22). The specs are as follows:

The pistol comes with a ramp front sight and adjustable rear. I discovered that it would be best to zero the windage first, then the elevation, since the elevation can be affected by how tight the screw locking the sight leaf in position is turned in.

n position is turned in.

The grip panels and forearm/pump handle are well-finished American walnut. The barrell and air compression chamber are made of brass, finished in what appears to be black paint.

The gun shoots well. From a benchrest at 25 feet, all shots should be touching -- as long as I do my part. I have been shooting RWS Hobby and Crosman pointed pellets with 3 pumps. I don't see the need for more than that, since it starts to get difficult to pump and the range is short anyway. (You don't have the same leverage as you do on a rifle with a longer pump handle.) Shooting from an offhand Weaver stance I can keep all my shots in the black of an NRA 25' pistol target.

As I see it, there are a couple factors limiting the gun's practical accuracy. First are the sights. The front sight blade is a Baughman ramp style, which tends to reflect light that hits it directly, making it hard to see. I would prefer a Patridge front sight. I'm going to have to try some sight black. The rear sight notch is also just a tad too wide. Second, the trigger pull is mushy, long, and too heavy. I may be able to partially remedy this by putting some grease on the sear engagement.

(Since I wrote the comments about the sights above, I've found that coating them in soot by holding them over a match kills all the glare.)

So far, though, I like the gun a lot, and look forward to putting a lot of pellets through it.

through it.



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