Benjamin Franklin Model 317
- 83 Comments
- Last updated: 30/01/2017
I’ve always had a penchant for self contained airguns; be they single, or multi stroke pumps. The second hand gem in the spotlight here is the classic Benjamin Franklin model 317, and this one comes into the latter category.
Visually neat with the outward profile more akin to a pump-action shotgun than an airgun, but the streamlined, rather simple profile holds great appeal. Manufactured in St.Louis, in the USA around 1965, this model hails from the original Benjamin factory, founded by Walter Benjamin in 1899. In 1977 Benjamin acquired the Sheridan airgun company; then in 1991, both Benjamin and Sheridan operations were acquired by the Crosman Corporation, who to this day remain big players where airguns are concerned Stateside.
Benjamin’s long history of manufacture gives this model added desirability, and it’s certainly a rifle that would look good on display. Construction of both the barrel and main compression cylinder are of brass, and this really gives the 317 a distinctive look.
Apparently, all the metalwork would have originally been treated with a black nickel process, but this coating seems to have rarely stood the test of time, considering the few examples of this rifle I have come across over the years. That said, I reckon the visible brass surface looks really attractive, begging the question why Benjamin chose to cover it up in the first place?
This particular specimen seems in great condition, with no real marks to speak of. Thankfully, no one has tried to refinish the metal surfaces, which would not only ruin the aesthetics, but mark down any residual value into the bargain - the kiss of death to many a vintage gem! Given its age of course some natural wear shows on the bolt handle and cylinder end
PUMP IT UP!
As mentioned, this model is a multi pump pneumatic, which means that an integral pumping system sits at its heart. With no heavy mainspring and piston to worry about, unsurprisingly, the model 317 is a super lightweight, and that to many, can be a selling point.
Where it falls down is the ‘energy in for energy out’ routine, often meaning a healthy physical input is required to generate a decent level of power! In this case, five pumps produces around 490 fps with Accupell pellets, but the system can take up to ten cycles apparently, with correspondingly greater effort and higher velocities the reward.
One thing to bear in mind is the pump handle needs to be drawn forward to its full extent each time, to ensure that a consistent amount of air is compressed on each stroke. Consistent velocities and therefore better accuracy should, in theory, result from such careful operation.
In the case of the integral pump, some resistance on the operating stroke at least proves the seals are all in order too, which is another possible area to consider when buying this type of gun second hand.
As for the firing cycle, a characteristically quick snap of the recoilless action, and a pleasantly light trigger, all add to the civilized feel of this neat little Benjamin. Indeed another gun that would look good in my collection! For the record, the asking price for this piece of airgun history, is £375.
Many thanks to Andrew and Craig at MGR Guns.
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I’ve was given a model 317 however it doesn’t have a serial number stamped above the "benjamin franklin" on the upper. Anyone know how old it is, or how to identify when it was manufactured?
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So I was recently given these Benjamin Franklin BB guns. I’m not really familiar with them. I have 7 of them all different models.
Model 22 carbine
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If anyone has information on how much these are worth or know anything about them feel free to shoot me an email. Also all of them work.
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I got one for sale 317 Benjamin
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My dad is interested in buying a vintage Benjamin Franklin Air Rifle and their pistol if anyone is selling them or know where to direct me please.
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kneeque07 Jul 2020 at 01:08 PM
I have 4 to let go for my fathers elder care. 1- Crosman with metal gum butt. Only numbers I could find is on the pump action area -#912590. Any idea on model and year. Has scope
2-Benjamin -312 on metal circle stamp on stock ?? Caliber. Not brass barrel?
3-Benjamin 177 caliber-metal circle stamped with 317
4- Benjamin 22 caliber model 312
5-Benjamin-22 caliber model 342. Has a wooden inset with “pledge” statement and little boy holding gum in butt of stock
Any help would be fantastic
Lynn30 Jun 2020 at 10:03 PM
Discovered in back of my closet. My old Benjamin model 317 .177 cal air rifle. The serial is H128750 which according to your chart was made in 1959. In excellent condition.
Purchased some pellets and it works perfectly.
Anyone have any idea as to its value.
Mark24 Jun 2020 at 10:33 PM
Ihave a bejamin franklin modle310 be gun the serial#is H223628 i cant find the year can you help me
Matthew Hall08 May 2020 at 04:40 PM
I have a lovely one of these Benjamin Franklin rifles in .22 cal with beautiful woodwork and in perfect working order.
Anyone interested please contact me on 07748870007 and I can send photos.
Stuart Morris13 Apr 2020 at 10:31 AM
RIFLES Models: 310, 312, 317
Year Starting Serial Number Ending Serial Number
1957 H59440 H87277
1958 H87278 H109211
1959 H109212 H140087
1960 H140088 H160864
1961 H160865 H180815
1962 H180816 H210925
1963 H210926 H244653
1964 H244654 H280935
1965 H280936 H304704
1966 H304705 H329614
1967 H329615 H361783
1968 H361784 -
RIFLES Models: 340, 342, 347
Year Starting Serial Number Ending Serial Number
1968 T1000 T5529
1969 T5530 T61352
1970 T61353 T90263
1971 T90264 T113966
1972 T113967 T149534
1973 T149535 T180939
1974 T180940 T210499
1975 T210450 T247651
1976 T247652 T278399
1977 T278400 T298241
1978 T298242 T326699
1979 T326700 T359568
1980 T359569 T379500
1981 T379501 T426305
1982 T426305 T430000 &UP;
Mark09 Apr 2020 at 02:47 AM
I’m searching for leads/information/suggestions on the repair and the manufacture date of my Benjamin Franklin Model 317 / 0.177 caliber / Serial # H213166. My Dad gave it to me one day, no reason, nothing special, out of the clear blue sky. I was 10, 57 years ago. I would like to pull the same "nothing special stunt" on my Grandson.
Thank you for your time.
Les Harvey / Comfort, Texas
Les Harvey06 Mar 2020 at 11:12 PM
Johnny Thompson24 Feb 2020 at 12:54 PM
Johnny Thompson24 Feb 2020 at 12:53 PM
Trying to contact Chuck Fredieu (from a post-dated 17 Aug 2019 at 02:07 PM) I am in search of a replacement safety for a Benjamin Model 310. Finger tab broke from top side of safety. I have Chuck’s phone number but not his email address.
Johnny Thompson24 Feb 2020 at 12:51 PM
Anyone out there that needs a Benjamin or a Sheridan air rifle overhauled or parts I have them available. Contact me by Email or phone number
956-346-3323 any time.
Chuck Fredieu22 Dec 2019 at 01:57 AM
I have an old brass Benjamin Franklin it’s beautiful unfortunately it does not hold air what can I do to repair it or is there anyone I can send it to thank you
Stephen17 Aug 2019 at 02:07 PM
i need 1 part for the pump .
brian04 Jul 2019 at 02:41 AM
Friend has a Benjamin 317, old, old. NO SERIAL but marking on rear cap is perfect but NO date.
All there, walnut buttstock and grooved forearm.
Please help ID and value?
Friend will sell it.
Don Norton20 Nov 2018 at 07:14 PM
hi, just come across this website and your interesting article, i am in the uk, i bought my Benjamin Franklin .177 pump up rifle about 15 years ago, it is used so i have no idea how many owners it has had,it’s number is T366395.
i think they are a brilliant little air rifle, do you have any idea of a web site where i can find out any details about my own rifle
chris hinds13 Nov 2018 at 11:52 PM
I bought myself a pre-1957 Benjamin model 317 for $195 CDN last week 😊
It is the first vintage Benjamin air rifle that I have owned, and it didn’t disappoint me.
Cleaning it up will be enjoyable, especially since it holds air and shoots great already!
Gerg Spinoza30 Sep 2018 at 02:12 AM
To Gildrado Vega on Benjamin Air Guns; Gildrado look up http://www.airgunshop.net or Precision Pellets - owned and operated by Rick Willnecker a service station for Crosman and Benjamin Sheridan. He has parts and knowlwdge for most Benjamin's [right now the site is down for maintenance]. Also try Mike Baker 503-706-9512 at [email protected] for fitting new parts to older guns - and knowledgable advice on old parts. Hope this help you.
John Brewer29 Aug 2016 at 08:22 PM
I'M AFRAID THAT GUN MART DO NOT STOCK OR SELL ANY PARTS.
Troll Hunter25 Aug 2016 at 06:59 PM
GOOD MORNING, EXCUSE ME DO YOU SELL PARTS FOR RIFLE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN???
GILDARDO VEGA25 Aug 2016 at 06:48 PM
Oops,Re Benjamin Franklin Model 317 - clutch slave cylinder to fit #310, 312 and 317 should have read Toyota, 1969 [or similar years] Corolla or pickup [same part] NOT Volkswagen. Sorry for the typo.
John Brewer27 Dec 2015 at 10:21 PM
-Re Benjamin Franklin Model 317: You can find the Hycar pump rod seal on ebay or here http://www.jgairguns - under Benjamin 310-312-317 parts. For felt seals I plan to use strips of felt furniture glides [self stick] just peel off the self stick, cut to size, bevel the ends so they over lap, fit in the groove and glue with 3M Black Weatherstrip Adhesive. Hints: lightly coat the felt with glue on both sides and let dry - then recoat, fit and wrap with rubber bands to dry, then oil [the oil can take days to soak in but will work immediately. If you are careful the seal will turn but if it is glued down just use it that way. Make sure you need the rod seal with a hole in it - if your seal is solid with a square base look at the seal for the Sheridan blue/Silver streak. Hope this answers your question - if not I've used a Volkswagen 1969 [or so] clutch slave cylinder pump cup for the pump rod seal - it's a bit too large so I just put it on a 1/4" rod and sanded [running it like a car tire but a bit sideways to scrub off rubber] removed perhaps 0.15" off trying to match the size and shape of the old pump cup.
John Brewer27 Dec 2015 at 10:11 PM
I have a model 317 ben franklin air rifle that will not pump up looks like the felt is worn out in the action can I purchase the needed parts anywhere
roland l daigneault27 Dec 2015 at 08:27 PM
You've got a Benjamin 317 from 1962, so a real classic!
All the best.
Troll Hunter23 Nov 2015 at 08:07 AM
I have a Benjamin mod 317. It is in 70% or better and still pumps and shoots. The peculiarity of it is the fact that the name on the side at the back side of the receiver is stamped upside down. I would like to find the approximate date of manufacture of this Air rife. The only serial# is hand etched 514122210 with an OK etched beside it. That number is below the air inlet hole.
Gary23 Nov 2015 at 04:19 AM
I have one with 99% of the original barrel/receiver finish. It needs a good home. Can you suggest a good direction? It's also 100% mechanically sound, but no box.
Dave Coffield18 Sep 2015 at 05:38 AM
Good review, I own three Benjamin pumpers, #317 [pre 1957 - .177] - #312 [bought new in 1963 - .22] and a #310 [1964 - marked BB - smooth bore shoots .177 pellets]. These guns were advertised at 750 FPS [.177/BB] in the 1960's. I've replaced the hard to find Hycar pump cup with a Toyota clutch slave cylinder cup [1969 model Carolla ] - direct swap about $3. The vibrations from break barrels and the high cost of PCP's make these old guns really desirable. The #310 [BB smoothbore] likes long heavy pellets - the rifled barrels like cheap Daisy flat nose Precision Max. My smoothbore will outshoot any springer because the springer hold [artillery hold] is so unpredictable.The rifled barrels group 1" or less at 60 feet - using the cheapest pellets made. Thanks and safe shooting.
John Brewer08 Jun 2015 at 08:01 AM
I'v e had my 317 sense 1950, my dad bought it for me when i was 10 years old and the gun still shoots fine it still set in my gun cabinet and will forever, LOL...
bill hamer06 Jan 2015 at 03:45 PM