The Sheridan air rifle comes in more than one configuration.
I am partial to the .20 caliber, but this pellet gun also comes in .177 caliber, as well as the .22, but under different names..
The Sheridan Air Rifle company was bought out by Benjamin many years ago. Benjamin air rifles were also popular then. I remember friends during the fifties that had these pneumatic air guns, and compared to my lowly Daisy Model 25 BB gun, they were high powered indeed.
My Daisy shot at about 350 fps, and the Benjamins probably shot at least twice that. Plenty adequate for rabbits and squirrels and pigeons.
When in the sixties, I bought my Sheridan Blue Streak, I was ready for that kind of firepower and I was not disappointed. Later, Benjamin itself was acquired by Crosman, who now makes the 177 and the 22 in the Benjamin lookalikes modeled on the Sheridan.
For all practical purposes, these newer models of pellet rifles are about identical to the older Sheridan guns, and shooters would be hard put to find much difference in performance.
The Benjamin 392 is the 22 caliber model, and the Benjamin 397 in 177.
Both these air rifles are multi-pump, single -shot guns with adjustable sights. Velocities are similar to the older Sheridan Blue Streak (around 675 to 700 fps) and all feature handsome hardwood stocks.
The only drawback to a multi-pump gun of this type is that a young person might find the pumping a bit strenuous, but to a teen boy or grownup, this is a small consideration. Eight pumps is the recommended maximum for top velocity, although some folks do some beefing up and get higher performance. This is not recommended except for those with technical skills who know what they are doing.
For target shooting within 30 or 40 yards, it is not necessary to put in eight strokes. 3 to 5 pumps is usually adequate for accuracy.
For best accuracy, mount a scope on your Sheridan/Benjamin (using an intermount), and you can try for half inch groups. These babies are tack drivers.
For hunting small game, the 20 and 22 calibers make more sense. Packing more punch, these are much more likely to anchor that rabbit or squirrel right where it is, resulting in fewer chances of wounding them, only to see them dash away. For truly responsible hunting, it is best to try for head shots and instant kills.
If you seek an original Sheridan Blue Streak in good condition, like in the video at the beginning of this post, you will pay 300 dollars or more. (Last time I looked, Amazon offers it) But you can get the more recent version as made by Crosman Benjamin, which looks very much like the 1960′s model and is comparable in performance, for much less.
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