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Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle

Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle

Crosman, in the United States, is a huge concern, and the famous Benjamin brand has now been part of their portfolio for some while. On test, is one of their new breed of break barrel airguns, and it definitely comes packed with features, and plenty of character.

The Benjamin NP2 Steel Eagle is a traditional break barrel design, yet built around the company’s NP2 power-plant. An ultra-modern synthetic sporter stock, two-stage trigger, safety catch, Picatinny style scope rail, full length barrel shroud/ moderator and sling swivels, is enough to raise eyebrows, yet there’s more. As with several models in their product line-up, the Crosman Corporation supply the Steel Eagle as a package deal, complete with a scope and mounts. Their catalogue lists a 3-9 x 32 Centerpoint scope as the deal, but confusingly, my test rifle came with a 4 x 40 AO version and mounts. Either way, with everything you need supplied, the action can start the minute the gun comes out the protective box.

NP2 Spec

NP2 stands for Nitro Piston Mk2, and for those unfamiliar, that’s Crosman’s own version of the gas-ram system, where the conventional mainspring inside the cylinder, is replaced with a sealed chamber of air or, in this case, nitrogen. When the action is cocked, the contained volume of gas is compressed. When the gun fires, the gas rapidly expands and powers the piston, which in turn compresses the volume of air ahead of it, powering the pellet in the usual way. A succession of manufacturers have tried to recreate a version of Theoben’s original design, but with varying success. How a gas-ram model shoots can therefore vary enormously, and we’ll come to how the Steel Eagle performs in a moment.

As mentioned, my test gun came with the Centerpoint 4 x 40 AO scope already sitting in the split ring mounts. The action is fitted with a Picatinny style rail system, so the mounts just need to be slightly loosened, then the small cross-bar from each mount can be located into the rail. When all is sitting straight and in the right position, gently and evenly tighten up the side bolts. Picatinny spec can be overkill on an airgun, but the scope certainly can’t move on the gun!

Build

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Pick up this rifle, and that black synthetic stock immediately feels at home. In keeping with current trends, it’s fully ambidextrous, but the extended and flared fore-end, complete with those soft touch grey inserts, is both attractive and really comfortable in the aim. The grip itself is nicely raked, and also gets soft touch panels, and with a defined cheekpiece, and that angular integral trigger guard, this is a bold attractive design, that handles as good as it looks. The synthetics are a bit ‘plasticky’ and hollow sounding just towards the rubber butt, but overall, feel satisfyingly well made.

Action-wise, the breech block and main compression cylinder all get treated to chemical bluing, which, whilst not overly lustrous, is robust and smart. The fulllength shroud is fitted over the barrel, and under a lamp I could make out an expansion chamber and a couple of baffles just past the muzzle, which all helps tame any noise. Finish to the shroud isn’t quite so impressive, and my review period was enough for my test model’s barrel shroud to develop a small scratch on the exterior. Closer inspection revealed a very thin black paint finish, which was clearly not that durable. Of course, deterioration in the finish largely depends on how well the gun is looked after, but I don’t envisage that shroud staying smartly black for too long after extended use long term.

Performance

As for the internals, I was impressed with Crosman’s NP2 development in its original form, and this latest incarnation is definitely among the best performers, in terms of firing cycle characteristics for a gasram, that I have encountered. Cocking the Steel Eagle is wonderfully smooth and fairly easy, once the breech has been jolted open. There’s obviously no ‘twang’ from a spring, and the resultant firing cycle is as it should be; more of a quick snap, and super smooth. The kick from the recoil is modest too.

Benjamin specify the twostage trigger fitted to this rifle as an ‘enhanced Clean Break’design, and whilst it’s no super sophisticated unit, the addition of a pleasant wide blade, and a reasonable breaking point, means that it is above average for this grade of rifle. Yes, you have to pull gently through the creepy sears, but it’s no great obstacle to accurate shot placement, and the subtle nature of the action just adds to the enjoyment.

Over the chronograph, a 10fps total spread over 10 shots, using JSB Exact Jumbo, was pretty impressive, and groups just shy of an inch c-t-c over 30-yards, were the norm. I would expect to probably close that down a little further, with more time pellet testing, but it’s a reasonable starting point.

Conclusion

In a competitive market, and at the price point listed, this model is up against some classy hardware for sure; scope included or not. That said, the Steel Eagle is a really nicely presented rifle from the Benjamin stable, with one of the very best gas-ram systems available. So, if this style of rifle appeals, then the Benjamin Steel Eagle NP2 is well worth consideration.

  • Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle - image {image:count}

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  • Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Benjamin NP2 Steel eagle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model: Crosman Corporation Benjamin NP2 Steel Eagle
  • Type: Break-barrel gas-ram
  • Calibre: .22 only
  • Weight: 8lbs
  • Length: 45.8-inches
  • Barrel: 17.5-inches
  • Stock: Ambidextrous Synthetic Sporter
  • Trigger: 2-stage
  • Velocity: using JSB Exact Jumbo Diabolo High 565fps Low 555fps Ave 562fps Spread 10fps
  • Energy: 11.2ft/lbs
  • Price: £425 including 3-9 x 32 Centerpoint scope & mounts
  • Contact: Anglo Spanish Imports. a-s-i.co.uk

1 Comments

  • Information about NP2 steel eagle you share very well. I appreciate this weapon.
    fnaf

    Default profile image
    ducklife
    08 Mar 2019 at 08:58 AM


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