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Author Topic: Basket case 397  (Read 407 times))

Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Basket case 397
« on: November 22, 2022, 11:33:23 PM »
A coworker of mine recently mentioned that he had an old Benjamin air rifle that wouldn’t hold air.  He said he had taken it apart and couldn’t get it back together again.  I told him if it was a Benjamin it was probably worth fixing and could he make me some photos of it?
Well today he brought a basket case 397 in to work in a plastic bag.  Just a bag of parts missing the stock.  He couldn’t get the valve out of course but it looked like all the rest of it was in there.
Now this fellow is a master mechanic who can fix anything and I know if I can put him on the right track that he can do a better job of fixing it than I can.  Obviously the valve needs rebuilding and I don’t have the tools for that but I know that you guys know about this stuff.
To start with I thought I’d try to find out what year this thing was made.  It’s marked “397PA” and the serial number is 299702214.  I don’t know much about Benjis but I think this one is from the mid to late nineties?
Can anyone recommend some good YouTube videos on 397 repair?
  • Fire base Bert.  The last outpost on the Sopchoppy river.  Florida
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Offline DanD

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2022, 12:51:04 AM »
A '99 PA is a cartridge valve model and super easy to work on. It doesn't require special tools. I hope your friend didn't lose the wood- it was real walnut.
Here's a vid I found but I haven't watched it.
Here's the parts diagram https://support.crosman.com/hc/en-us/article_attachments/201590860/B397-EVP___PL2.pdf
Have fun!
  • USA, upstate NY

Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2022, 01:14:31 AM »
A '99 PA is a cartridge valve model and super easy to work on. It doesn't require special tools. I hope your friend didn't lose the wood- it was real walnut.
Here's a vid I found but I haven't watched it.
Here's the parts diagram https://support.crosman.com/hc/en-us/article_attachments/201590860/B397-EVP___PL2.pdf
Have fun!

Thank you!
He didn’t know it wasn’t there until he showed me the bag and I noticed the only thing missing was the stock.
He said he would try to find the stock but even without it the gun is worth repairing and finding a replacement.
I’ve never worked on a Benjamin and I thought you needed a special tool to pull the valve.  I think I’ve got every tool Needed.  I’m thinking a Mac1 rebuild kit unless someone has a better recommendation?
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Offline DanD

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2022, 02:25:52 AM »
The older guns prior to 1995 need the special tool.
It's least expensive to order direct from Crosman over the phone- you just need the part numbers. If you go that way, you might as well get extras so you have parts on hand for the next gun and it will still be cheaper than one aftermarket seal kit.
Have fun!
  • USA, upstate NY

Offline Matchstickshooter

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2022, 06:47:57 PM »
 I have a 392PA (cartridge) and was surprised... it is so much easier to work on than the Crosman 1400.

  • USA, VT, Lyndon

Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2022, 09:02:44 PM »
I have a 392PA (cartridge) and was surprised... it is so much easier to work on than the Crosman 1400.


well that’s good to know.  I’m a bear for 1400’s!
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Offline Ronno6

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2022, 09:19:58 PM »
E-Z peesey.........

Crosman MAY have the stock.
I will check tomorrow.
Do you have the forearm?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 09:22:54 PM by Ronno6 »
  • USA, Stone County, MS
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Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2022, 09:31:28 PM »
E-Z peesey.........

Crosman MAY have the stock.
I will check tomorrow.
Do you have the forearm?
Got the forearm.  Looks like it may be missing one roll pin.  I haven’t messed with it what with the thanksgiving holiday and all.

I did put a roller bearing in one of my Crosman Fires.  Very nice trigger now!  Short and crisp.  Thank you for the bearing.  I hope some of that junk I sent you turns out to be useable.
  • Fire base Bert.  The last outpost on the Sopchoppy river.  Florida
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Crosman 1400 .22.  2nd model
Crosman 1400 .22.  1st. Model
Crosman 2240XL 14.5” Carbine .22
Crosman Shockwave   .22
Crosman Summit Ranger .22
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Offline Ronno6

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2022, 09:53:20 PM »
Sho 'nuf........

I have coil springs en route for the 2 Rugers.....
Gonna put a wood stock on the Crosman when I get a trigger guard.
I gotta dig into my box o'scopes.....
I LOVE to tinker........
  • USA, Stone County, MS
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Offline TennX

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2022, 04:16:42 PM »
I just put a 392 back together …as mentioned Crosman had all the parts…including barrel and tube…good luck
  • USA, TN, Memphis
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Offline eeler1

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2022, 11:08:25 PM »
You might check with this guy for a stock;

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/spo/7561346397.html

  • West Sacramento, CA

Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2022, 08:37:34 PM »
Allen (my coworker) dropped off a bag O’ parts today and here’s what we got.
The valve is still inside the tube and the stock screw is in the mortise in the stock.  Does it look like I’m missing anything?
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Offline DanD

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2022, 09:26:58 PM »
I think it's all there except for one of the little cam cover screws. But it might be screwed into the bolt. You might be able to match something up at the hardware store or just order one from Crosman when you get your rebuild parts.
  • USA, upstate NY

Offline Ronno6

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2022, 09:35:55 PM »
I don't see the guide for the hammer spring...
A 1/4" dia or so pin maybe 1" long with a flange head

You can push the valve our the rear with a long dowel
  • USA, Stone County, MS
You can lead a man to water, but you can't keep him from urinating in it.

Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2022, 09:51:37 PM »
I don’t see a hammer spring guide on the parts list for this gun Ron.

I’m going to have a go at removing the valve.

Wish me luck!  ;D
  • Fire base Bert.  The last outpost on the Sopchoppy river.  Florida
My Battery
Hatsan Striker  .25
Hatsan Mod 125  .25
Hatsan Mod 125  .22
Hatsan Mod  95.  .22
FDAR Xisico XS60c .22 
Crosman 1400 .22.  3rd model
Crosman 1400 .22.  2nd model
Crosman 1400 .22.  1st. Model
Crosman 2240XL 14.5” Carbine .22
Crosman Shockwave   .22
Crosman Summit Ranger .22
Crosman Summit Ranger .177
Crosman Fire (two) .177
Crosman 2100 .177
Crosman 1377 .177
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Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2022, 10:06:47 PM »
The valve is out!  Man that was easy!  Pushed it right out with a plastic coated ram rod.  Disassembly from here looks pretty much like a Crosman 2100 valve.
  • Fire base Bert.  The last outpost on the Sopchoppy river.  Florida
My Battery
Hatsan Striker  .25
Hatsan Mod 125  .25
Hatsan Mod 125  .22
Hatsan Mod  95.  .22
FDAR Xisico XS60c .22 
Crosman 1400 .22.  3rd model
Crosman 1400 .22.  2nd model
Crosman 1400 .22.  1st. Model
Crosman 2240XL 14.5” Carbine .22
Crosman Shockwave   .22
Crosman Summit Ranger .22
Crosman Summit Ranger .177
Crosman Fire (two) .177
Crosman 2100 .177
Crosman 1377 .177
Industry B-3 .177

Offline Ronno6

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2022, 10:21:43 PM »
I don’t see a hammer spring guide on the parts list for this gun Ron.

I’m going to have a go at removing the valve.

Wish me luck!  ;D

I recon that one dunna have one.....
  • USA, Stone County, MS
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Offline DanD

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2022, 01:23:09 PM »
I think it's all there except for one of the little cam cover screws. But it might be screwed into the bolt. You might be able to match something up at the hardware store or just order one from Crosman when you get your rebuild parts.

If it is the black cam cover screw that I see in the bolt, you'll need the actual "Bolt Locking Lug" p/n 397-044 for the bolt, then you can use that screw where it belongs on the cam cover. But you'll need to look closer and verify that. It's hard to tell from the pic.
Have fun!
  • USA, upstate NY

Offline Ronno6

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2022, 02:20:47 PM »
I think it's all there except for one of the little cam cover screws. But it might be screwed into the bolt. You might be able to match something up at the hardware store or just order one from Crosman when you get your rebuild parts.

If it is the black cam cover screw that I see in the bolt, you'll need the actual "Bolt Locking Lug" p/n 397-044 for the bolt, then you can use that screw where it belongs on the cam cover. But you'll need to look closer and verify that. It's hard to tell from the pic.
Have fun!

Looks like the Bolt Lug to me...much too tall to be a cam plate screw...
  • USA, Stone County, MS
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Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Basket case 397
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2022, 07:34:17 PM »
The missing screw is in the cam plate.  Just not real visible in the photo.

The valve disassembly was a cinch.  No tools needed. Inside the valve was bone dry.  No trace of oil.  I think this gun was running dry for a while.  I believe that I will reassemble the gun and give it a good juicing and see what happens.  It might not need a reseal after all.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2022, 07:39:59 PM by Blowpipe Sam »
  • Fire base Bert.  The last outpost on the Sopchoppy river.  Florida
My Battery
Hatsan Striker  .25
Hatsan Mod 125  .25
Hatsan Mod 125  .22
Hatsan Mod  95.  .22
FDAR Xisico XS60c .22 
Crosman 1400 .22.  3rd model
Crosman 1400 .22.  2nd model
Crosman 1400 .22.  1st. Model
Crosman 2240XL 14.5” Carbine .22
Crosman Shockwave   .22
Crosman Summit Ranger .22
Crosman Summit Ranger .177
Crosman Fire (two) .177
Crosman 2100 .177
Crosman 1377 .177
Industry B-3 .177