• Jefferson State Airrifles
  • Air Gun Web - Expert Airgun Reviews
  • Hajimoto Productions
  • Airgun Angie - Backyard Shooting
  • Nielsen Specialty Ammo
  • Dynamic Air Rifles
  • FX Airguns
  • DonnyFL - When silence is a priority
  • Airgun Archery Fun
  • Pyramyd Air
  • Saber Tactical
  • New England Airgun
  • Umarex Airguns
  • Contact us
  • Utah Airguns
  • SEKHMET Airgun Accessories
  • Freedom Gun Targets
  • Evanix Airguns at Airgun Pro Shop
Jefferson State Airrifles
Air Gun Web - Expert Airgun Reviews
Hajimoto Productions
Airgun Angie - Backyard Shooting
Nielsen Specialty Ammo
Dynamic Air Rifles
FX Airguns
DonnyFL - When silence is a priority
Airgun Archery Fun
Pyramyd Air
Saber Tactical
New England Airgun
Umarex Airguns
Contact us
Utah Airguns
SEKHMET Airgun Accessories
Freedom Gun Targets
Evanix Airguns at Airgun Pro Shop


Author Topic: Basket-case Benjamin 317  (Read 513 times))

Offline TerryM

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • yes
Basket-case Benjamin 317
« on: September 13, 2021, 10:10:07 AM »
  Was looking at it in a local pawn shop a couple of days ago.  It had (originally) the older, straight bolt handle which is missing.  Pump linkage is in pieces and pretty much worn out.  Hole in tube for the pivot pin might be seriously wallowed out.  I'm going to take a closer look at it today, see if it cocks and try to get a look down the bore.  Might bring it home if I can talk them down a few bucks.  If so, it will be the most extensive restoration I have attempted so far... will never be a collectors piece but I'd like to see if I can make it a shooter again.
  • TX
Crosman model#
101, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114 (x3), 118,
120, 140, 180 (x3), 187, 400, Mark II, 1377, 1322, 150, 122CG, Sears 126.19311, Ted Williams Match Rifle (2nd variant 160)
Benjamin model#
312, 342, 237, Discovery
Sheridan:
Blue Streak (x2: '64, '67)
F model CO2 Blue Streak (converted to bulk fill)

Offline Pellet Fun

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • yes
  • Real Name: Gary
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2021, 10:53:53 AM »
Good luck on the deal $. Not many would be willing to take on the challenge. If you pick it up promise to take a lot of before photos. I'd like to find a decent basket case too.
  • Tidewater Virginia
Sheridan Model A - 1949
Sheridan Blue Streak - 1955
Crosman 102 - 1938 with Rubber Forearm
Sheridan Silver Streak - 1972 Vintage
Sumatra 2500 Carbine .25- Neil Clague pickle
Benjamin Marauder .22
RWS Diana 45 West Gemany .177 (Oct 88 Leather seal)
Benjamin Trail NP .22

Offline Goose

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 244
  • yes
  • Real Name: Jeff
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2021, 01:41:46 PM »
  Was looking at it in a local pawn shop a couple of days ago.  It had (originally) the older, straight bolt handle which is missing.  Pump linkage is in pieces and pretty much worn out.  Hole in tube for the pivot pin might be seriously wallowed out.  I'm going to take a closer look at it today, see if it cocks and try to get a look down the bore.  Might bring it home if I can talk them down a few bucks.  If so, it will be the most extensive restoration I have attempted so far... will never be a collectors piece but I'd like to see if I can make it a shooter again.

If you can make inserts for the wallowed pump pivot-points the gun can probably be saved.  It's sorta heart-rending to see a gun like that...

I passed on a '72 Crosman 760 a week or so ago because it was just too far gone.  Someone had even managed to break off the pump lever near the pivot.   How does that even happen?

Good luck,

J~
  • Western NC
"There are two types of people.  Those that are interested in controlling others and those that aren't." - R. A. Heinlein

Offline TerryM

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • yes
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2021, 01:59:08 PM »
  Well, here it is.  It was priced at 70 bucks, I got it for 55.  To much probably, but, I wanted a project so it looks like I got one.  Aside from the aforementioned issues, the gun is in pretty decent shape.  None of the screw heads are bunged up.  The piston was actually compressing air when pushed into the tube.  Cup is a different type than I've seen.  I have linkage from an 80s vintage 342 I parted out a while back, I think it will fit right in.

   

   


  • TX
Crosman model#
101, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114 (x3), 118,
120, 140, 180 (x3), 187, 400, Mark II, 1377, 1322, 150, 122CG, Sears 126.19311, Ted Williams Match Rifle (2nd variant 160)
Benjamin model#
312, 342, 237, Discovery
Sheridan:
Blue Streak (x2: '64, '67)
F model CO2 Blue Streak (converted to bulk fill)

Offline Pellet Fun

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • yes
  • Real Name: Gary
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2021, 02:36:55 PM »
It looks like a lot of fun. That's not a bad deal for that rifle. Sure, cheaper is always better but you won't be upside down on value when it's done. Good find.
  • Tidewater Virginia
Sheridan Model A - 1949
Sheridan Blue Streak - 1955
Crosman 102 - 1938 with Rubber Forearm
Sheridan Silver Streak - 1972 Vintage
Sumatra 2500 Carbine .25- Neil Clague pickle
Benjamin Marauder .22
RWS Diana 45 West Gemany .177 (Oct 88 Leather seal)
Benjamin Trail NP .22

Offline Tack Driver 10

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1106
  • yes
  • Real Name: Ron
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2021, 03:05:54 PM »
Well worth $55 for that gun.
If you loose interest you can always part it out for a lot more than that.
You can get $20 just for that safety lever.

I modded a few 317s, a 312 and a 342 awhile back.
Fun guns to work on.
I thought about making one into a PCP.
Need to find a good donor.
  • Oklahoma

Offline TerryM

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • yes
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2021, 05:39:11 PM »
  A quick and ugly , temporary "fix".  A machine screw for a bolt handle.  (Seems vaguely familiar, somehow...)  The 342 linkage fit perfectly, practically jumped in there by itself.  I peened the brass around the pivot pin holes just a bit, had a new pin on hand.  Cleaned the rear tube and hammer, front tube and piston, reinstalled with the old pump seal.  Amazingly, the gun pumps up and shoots.  Not like it ought to, but it shoots.  A little past 500 fps with RWS Basic 7gr and 5 pumps.  Leaks down if not shot right away.  I'll give it a thorough cleaning and a proper reseal soon.  I'll have to thread some holes for the old pump handle, which goes on with screws.  I have to say, this gun isn't really the basket-case I thought it was.

  • TX
Crosman model#
101, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114 (x3), 118,
120, 140, 180 (x3), 187, 400, Mark II, 1377, 1322, 150, 122CG, Sears 126.19311, Ted Williams Match Rifle (2nd variant 160)
Benjamin model#
312, 342, 237, Discovery
Sheridan:
Blue Streak (x2: '64, '67)
F model CO2 Blue Streak (converted to bulk fill)

Offline eeler1

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1054
  • yes
  • Real Name: Jon
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2021, 09:01:48 PM »
Is that pump cup synthetic or leather? 
  • West Sacramento, CA

Offline TerryM

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • yes
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2021, 10:23:43 PM »
  I described it to Rick Willnecker this afternoon and he informed me it is leather.  So this is likely a pre-1950 gun.  I plan to replace the piston with one from the same 342 that the linkage came from.  I just finished mating the old Tootsie Roll pump handle with the replacement linkage, funny how the pin/screw holes lined up perfectly.  It's coming together...
  • TX
Crosman model#
101, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114 (x3), 118,
120, 140, 180 (x3), 187, 400, Mark II, 1377, 1322, 150, 122CG, Sears 126.19311, Ted Williams Match Rifle (2nd variant 160)
Benjamin model#
312, 342, 237, Discovery
Sheridan:
Blue Streak (x2: '64, '67)
F model CO2 Blue Streak (converted to bulk fill)

Online bantam5s

  • They might sound like a lot of work till you realize you only need 3-4 pumps for plinking.
  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 6539
  • yes
  • Real Name: David
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2021, 01:45:07 AM »
  I described it to Rick Willnecker this afternoon and he informed me it is leather.  So this is likely a pre-1950 gun.  I plan to replace the piston with one from the same 342 that the linkage came from.  I just finished mating the old Tootsie Roll pump handle with the replacement linkage, funny how the pin/screw holes lined up perfectly.  It's coming together...
The little bullseye style head on the safety, the threaded bolt handle, and the fixed rear sight are a good indicator of it's age.
I'm not an expert but what you were told sounds about right.
30's would not surprise me.

Btw I say you got a good deal, and it's really not a basket case at all.

You should see the vintage Benjamin my uncle got a while back.
A plumbing client begged him to take some of the pile of old guns he was trying to get rid of, and for $50 he ended up with 4 rimfires ( one being a JC higgens model 29 he let me take ) and this old Benjamin.

It's missing 90% of the black, the wood is in terrible condition,  the barrel is half separated, missing a couple of parts,  you name it.
He's capable of doing most of the work the gun needs, but I don't think it's something he will likely ever do.
It will probably just get displayed or something.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 01:47:11 AM by bantam5s »
  • USA CA Arbuckle
some days you kill it and some days you choke, some days you blast off and some days you just smoke

Offline Phillip

  • Shooter
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • yes
  • Real Name: Phillip
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2021, 02:51:59 AM »
I was at a yard sale about 15 years ago when one of the guys running it offered me a 312 in such poor condition that even at a $2.00 asking price I initially refused it.

$2.00...

It was that bad.

Parts of the barrel had had become unmoored from the original solder, there was an obvious and serious crack in the compression tube near the cocking lever slot, the stock had been squished between the very aggressive jaws of a vice, and, of course, most of the finish was non existent. It was an awful mess.

But then I thought for two bucks I'd be willing to try to bring it back to life. And believe it or not, I worked on it and fixed the darned thing so that not only does it work again, it also looks great.
  • California

Offline TerryM

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • yes
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2021, 09:52:32 AM »
  It's a little incongruous, the condition of this rifle.  I believe it was well cared for for many years and then abused by a different owner.  I still don't see how most of the gun can be in such in good condition and the pump linkage totally wrecked.  Even the wood is very good for it's age, I don't intend to refinish it.  Not nearly as dirty inside as some I have seen and the bore looks good.

  I ran into a problem a couple of years ago, resealing a 312 for a co-worker.  The pivot pin holes had been wallowed out similar to the ones on this gun.  It allowed all the force from compression to bear on the tiny plug retaining screws and they sheared off.  I ended up reaming out all four holes and using a 342 plug, with roll pins.  Hope to avoid that with this gun.

  The rear sight is drift adjustable for windage.  Does that help any with narrowing down the age of this oldster?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 10:11:41 AM by TerryM »
  • TX
Crosman model#
101, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114 (x3), 118,
120, 140, 180 (x3), 187, 400, Mark II, 1377, 1322, 150, 122CG, Sears 126.19311, Ted Williams Match Rifle (2nd variant 160)
Benjamin model#
312, 342, 237, Discovery
Sheridan:
Blue Streak (x2: '64, '67)
F model CO2 Blue Streak (converted to bulk fill)

Offline TerryM

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • yes
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2021, 04:25:48 PM »
  Tore down the gun and cleaned it up, inside and out.  Gently rubbed the tube and barrel with oily 0000 steel wool.  Spot cleaned the wood with window cleaner, then rubbed it down with a walnut half.  Looks pretty good but still needs a bolt handle.

  Still not performing up to par.  Something's not right with the check valve, the pump handle will spring back when starting the opening stroke, after putting in a pump or two of pressure.  I used one of Rick's Sheridan kits, put in both new springs.  Guess I'll have to pull the valve again...

  • TX
Crosman model#
101, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114 (x3), 118,
120, 140, 180 (x3), 187, 400, Mark II, 1377, 1322, 150, 122CG, Sears 126.19311, Ted Williams Match Rifle (2nd variant 160)
Benjamin model#
312, 342, 237, Discovery
Sheridan:
Blue Streak (x2: '64, '67)
F model CO2 Blue Streak (converted to bulk fill)

Offline Goose

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 244
  • yes
  • Real Name: Jeff
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2021, 04:56:44 PM »
It looks good! 

With a little more work you'll have a nice shooter to hang on to.

Ride on,

J~
  • Western NC
"There are two types of people.  Those that are interested in controlling others and those that aren't." - R. A. Heinlein

Offline Pellet Fun

  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • yes
  • Real Name: Gary
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2021, 05:35:21 PM »
I enjoy seeing these finds and salvage work. I keep looking for a tootsie roll shooter and have never seen one.
  • Tidewater Virginia
Sheridan Model A - 1949
Sheridan Blue Streak - 1955
Crosman 102 - 1938 with Rubber Forearm
Sheridan Silver Streak - 1972 Vintage
Sumatra 2500 Carbine .25- Neil Clague pickle
Benjamin Marauder .22
RWS Diana 45 West Gemany .177 (Oct 88 Leather seal)
Benjamin Trail NP .22

Offline TerryM

  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • yes
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2021, 09:34:13 AM »
  Whenever I think I've got these things figured out, I find what a rank amateur I actually am.

  I put the old check valve spring back in along with a shorter, softer exhaust valve spring I had on hand.  The gun still pumps up without cocking.  I might be expecting to much from this old piece but, 500 fps with 5 pumps is a bit low, I would think.  Seems to top out around 550-560 with 7-8 pumps.  I tried 10 pumps a couple of times with no appreciable gain.  The non-adjustable piston I installed is about 1/8" shorter than the original, I decided the back pressure on the pump arm is resulting from that excess head space.  At any rate, I have a leather pump cup on the way that I will install on the original piston.  Perhaps that will bring the velocity up some.

  The gun does shoot well.  Even with the primitive sights, I can easily hit 2" bullseyes at 20 yards.
  • TX
Crosman model#
101, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114 (x3), 118,
120, 140, 180 (x3), 187, 400, Mark II, 1377, 1322, 150, 122CG, Sears 126.19311, Ted Williams Match Rifle (2nd variant 160)
Benjamin model#
312, 342, 237, Discovery
Sheridan:
Blue Streak (x2: '64, '67)
F model CO2 Blue Streak (converted to bulk fill)

Offline DanD

  • Nod and smile.
  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 3522
  • A solid maybe
  • Real Name: Dan
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2021, 10:04:19 AM »
I wonder if you might have a bit of debris stuck on your check valve seat that's causing the pump arm rebound and low velocity.
  • Binghamton, NY

Offline JoninMA

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • yes
  • Real Name: Jon
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2021, 04:30:10 PM »
Nice save. It seems like the worst beaters with yankee ingenuity repairs are typically Benjamin for whatever reason, IMHO.
  • United States, Bedford MA

Offline kelvinator

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • yes
  • Real Name: Kelvin
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2021, 07:18:33 PM »
Very nice work on that old Benjy Terry !!!

Excessive piston head space will just kill the the performance of any pumper.
You might consider a Mac-1 stainless adjustable piston head.
I installed one on my recent BS rebuild and it was super easy.
All ya need is a 1/4-28 die to thread the piston rod after cutting off the old piston head.
 
  • Hickory Creek, Texas
Benjamin 342 Racine
Benjamin 392 Limited Edition #354 of 500
1964 Silver Streak Mac-1 Steroid
1965 Blue Streak
Crosman 160 3rd variant
Beeman R1 Santa Rosa .20 Laser
Crosman MKI

Offline c801tfd

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 296
  • yes
  • Real Name: Elroy
Re: Basket-case Benjamin 317
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2021, 09:20:08 PM »
Contact Rick at Precision Pellets, Tim at Mac1 or Mike Baker they may have a synthetic pump rod assembly that you could swap the leather one out with. I have learned the synthetic cup provides way better performance over leather and have been told that many times.

I love saving the impossible save when I find them at affordable prices, this spring I purchased my first basket case pumper (1956 Benjamin 312). When it arrived at my house and I held it for the firs time all I thought was what was I thinking, well not anymore after restoring it to shootable condition. It is also the complimenting variant that resides with my 1940s 312, this one is untouched and still holds air for days.

Keep going your there and I am certain you will get the performance issue sorted soon.
  • Montana, USA
Springers:
.177 Beeman San Rafael FWB 124 Sport Deluxe JNC Stamp (77/78)
.177 Weihrauch HW55 MM
.177 B.S.F. Model 55N
.177 B.S.F. Model 35
.177 Marksman Model 70
.177 Diana Model 25 Late 20's early 30s Smoothbore
.20 Beeman R1 Santa Rosa
.22 Falke Model 70
.22 Winchester Model 427
.22 Diana/RWS Model 35
.22 RWS Model 34 T06
.22 Ruger Impact Max Elite

Co2:
.177 Crosman Model 113 1950-1955
.22 Crosman Model 99

 Pumpers:
.20 Sheridan Model C "Silver Streak" (53 or 54)
.20 Sheridan Model C "Blue Streak" (52or 53)
.22 Crosman 101 1947
.22 Crosman 101 1927/29 Disc Logo
.22 Crosman 101 - 1924/25 Straight Logo
.22 Crosman 102 - 1926/27 Checkered Stock
.22 Benjamin 312 1940's
.22 Benjamin 312 1956
.22 Benjamin 392PA 1995
.22 Benjamin 392S
.22 S & W Model 77A 
.22 Rochester - DT Fletcher