Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison
Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc. 15 December, 2010

“The Stoeger X50 and the Benjamin Super Streak are ʻthe sameʼ air rifle, so which one is better?” This is the question this comparison aims to address. Summary: The Stoeger X50 is a better choice because it is superior to shoot, due to the following reasons: 1. Longer pull length (15-inches compared to the Benjaminʼs 14.25 inches). 2. Scope positioned for shooting without neck ache (Benjamin is painful to shoot). 3. Front sight does not hinder scope sight picture as Super Streak does. 4. Automatic safety (Super Streak is manual only). 5. Fiber optic open sights. 6. A far superior scope stop. Hereʼs a close-up of the Stoeger X50:

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

And this is the Benjamin:

Personal Prejudice: Let me start this review with a confession of personal prejudice. I think the Benjamin Super Streak is a beautiful-looking air rifle. In particular, I love the design of the stock. Conversely, Iʼm personally not excited about the RealTree “Advantage Timber” camo pattern on the X50 - although many are. And I certainly felt that the higher-specification scope supplied with the Super Streak would be an advantage over that on the Stoeger. But my prejudice that the Super Streak stock and scope were far superior to the Stoeger X50 was completely wrong. In fact, this stock and scope were actually the basic causes of the problems associated with shooting the Benjamin! Having conducted this objective review, I still think the Benjamin is a great-looking airgun. But the Stoeger X50 is the rifle I actually want to shoot! Overall: Both these air rifles are large - really large - spring-powered airguns. They suit taller/ larger people. Iʼm 6ft 2 inches tall and I still find them a handful. And both weigh (even) more than their manufacturerʼs specifications admit. As a comparison, letʼs compare them to the Mosin Nagant M1891/30 sniper rifle - the standard Soviet sniper rifle of World War Two. Wow! Did I mention that these are big, heavy air rifles?

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Benjamin Super Streak with Scope Length Claimed Weight Actual Weight 49.75 inches 8lb 8oz 9lb 13oz

Stoeger X50 with Scope 50 inches 9lbs 14oz 10lbs 6oz

M1891/30 with Scope 48.5 inches N/a 11lbs 5oz

Pricing: Both models reviewed here are the most expensive versions marketed by these companies. Pricing is very similar, so a customer buying decision will not be based on cost alone, but on specifications, appearance and functionality. Benjamin Super Streak, Nickel. Model B1500STM Stoeger MSRP Pyramyd “List” Pyramyd Selling Price Stoeger MAP N/a $390.99 $329.99 N/a Stoeger X50 RealTree Combo. Model 30031 $359 $400 $319 $319

Manufacturer: Both air rifles are manufactured by BAM in China. Both are based on the B22 spring/ piston platform and have similar specifications with many identical BAM part numbers. Unlike the Crosman Quest 1000X/Stoeger X10 comparison, there are very few differences in the detail specification and manufacturing finish of these air rifles. The SuperStreak and the X50 are just about identical in mechanical design, specification and manufacturing quality. Specifications: Benjamin Super Streak, Nickel Model Weight With Scope B1500STM 9 lbs 13 oz Stoeger X50 RealTree Combo 30031 10 lbs 6 oz

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Benjamin Super Streak, Nickel Scope Rings Length Barrel Length Pull Length 4-16 x 40AO, Mounted One piece mount 49.75 inches 22.5 inches 14.25 inches

Stoeger X50 RealTree Combo 3-9 x 40AO, Mounted One piece mount 50 inches 19.7 inches 15 inches

Performance: A sample comparison of one Benjamin Super Streak and one Stoeger X50 Combo (chosen at random) shows that, while this particular Stoeger provided a somewhat higher muzzle velocity, the performance of the Super Streak was within the range that can be expected from the BAM B22 platform. Effectively, the performance of both air rifles is the same. Test targets for these guns are reproduced on the following pages. The same pellets were used for both guns to make as fair a comparison as possible.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Note that the X50 was still dieseling a little while the Benjamin was somewhat drier (and more typical of most other X50s I have tested. This is a part of the reason for the difference in muzzle velocity, also for the better Standard Deviation shown by the SuperStreak. This table shows the results compared to typical figures achieved over dozens of Archer Airguns “Gold Service” tests on “dry” Stoeger X50 models. Both tested guns are fairly typical compared to the average spread of “Gold Service” X50 performance. Benjamin Super Streak Tested Muzzle Velocity Muzzle Energy Standard Deviation 1,083 fps 20.64 ft/lbs 7.87 fps Stoeger X50 Tested 1,119 fps 22.06 ft/lbs 15.90 fps Stoeger X50 Average 1,050 - 1,100 fps 19.5 - 22.0 ft/lbs 5.0 - 15.0 fps

The accuracy achieved by both tested guns was 0.25-inch CTC range for 10 shots using Crosman Premier Light pellets from the same tin. These guns are accurate! This is slightly better than my normal .375-inch CTC average for Stoeger X50s under Archer Airguns “Gold Service” testing. The 16x magnification of the CenterPoint scope was definitely useful in achieving the good target shot with this gun. Trigger pull weights were 4 lbs 15 oz for the Super Streak and 3 lbs 13 oz for the X50. Again, experience proves that the trigger pull weight reduces marginally as the gun is shot and the trigger parts have residual roughness worn away. So, I would expect the tested Super Streak trigger pull to fall with further use. Both triggers fall into the typical X50 tested range of around 4 to 5 lbs pull. The trigger pull is long and - although far from the worst found on low-cost spring air rifles - continues to be the weakest element of the basic B22 platform and the air rifles based on it. Both guns were fitted with the more recent, “solid” trigger blade thatʼs seen on BAM spring air rifles. But The Benjamin packaging calls this out with a sticker on the box proclaiming the trigger as “new and improved”. As with looks and scope specification, Crosman pulls the marketing levers more than Stoeger. But an aftermarket trigger such as the “GTXaa” will improve trigger performance considerably, providing a shorter take-up stage, combined with a much improved second-stage “break”. A more predictable trigger provides enhanced accuracy.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Scope and Rings:

Here, the Benjamin has a significant specification advantage, as the table shows. Benjamin Super Streak, Nickel Scope Reticle Illumination Minimum Focussing Distance Weight of Scope and Mount 4-16 x 40AO, Mounted Mil-dot Yes, Red and Green 6 yards 1 lb 11 oz Stoeger X50 RealTree Combo 3-9 x 40AO, Mounted Duplex No 10 yards 1 lb 7 oz

But that specification advantage is squandered in practice through issues associated with how the scope is mounted and with the front iron sights. Benjamin Super Streak, Nickel Distance from Scope Eyepiece to End of Butt Pad 8.75 inches Stoeger X50 RealTree Combo 10.5 inches

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Benjamin Super Streak, Nickel Front Sight Visible Through Scope Scope Stop Scope Screw Engaged in Scope Stop Very noticeable between 4x and 12x Screw hole Only Just!

Stoeger X50 RealTree Combo Slightly noticeable between 3x and 4x Milled slot Solid Contact

The Stoeger X50 scope is sharp, functional and un-exciting. The SuperStreak has a CenterPoint scope with “all the bells and whistles” and the increased magnfication is a benefit, but itʼs mounted too far back on the gun, causing this shooterʼs neck to be craned back painfully when shooting. In combination with the shorter pull length of the Benjaminʼs stock, this makes for a very uncomfortable air rifle to shoot. For me to achieve the correct scope eye relief to shoot the Super Streak, my cheek was almost off of the rear of the comb, with my chin resting against the top of the rubber buttpad. Not good. By comparison, the Stoeger X50ʼs longer pull length and greater distance from scope eyepiece to buttpad face provide a much more comfortable and satisfactory position for the shooterʼs head. And a comfortable hold promotes consistency - hence accuracy. This is a huge advantage for the Stoeger X50 over the Benjamin Super Streak!

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Iʼve been undertaking “Gold Service” tests on Stoeger X20 and X50 guns fitted with the same Stoeger 3-9 x 40AO scope for most of this year and have never noticed any interference from the front “iron” sight in the scope picture. Yes, it is there if you look hard, but only at the lowest magnifications from 3x to 4x. By comparison, the heavy-duty metal Super Streak front sight interferes significantly with the scope sight picture all the way from 4 x to 12 x. I find this really annoying as it distracts me from the target and, again, reduces my practical shooting accuracy with this air rifle. Given that this gun is sold only as a “Combo” with fitted scope, thereʼs no value in the open sights, even in the - apparently - interchangeable front sight element, which was so tightly locked that I couldnʼt even remove it for inspection. Another scope-related benefit for the X50 is that the Stoeger guns have a milled slot in the top of the receiver to receive the scope ring stop. This provides a completely solid solution to the fierce recoil of high-powered spring-powered air rifles - such as these and the pre-mounted rear scope ring is set with its scope stop screw engaging this slot. The Benjamin has a screw hole drilled and tapped into the top of the receiver. In principal, this should also provide a good, solid solution to scope creep, but assembly requires more precision and the tested Super Streak didnʼt receive it. The scope stop screw on the mount was not engaged properly and the pointed tip of the screw was beginning to disengage from its tenuous fit to the hole and scrape the top of the receiver. Again the Stoeger scope wins on points for practicality.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Safety: The Benjamin is provided with a safety inside the trigger guard, in front of the trigger. Itʼs easy to operate, but provides much less space for gloved fingers in Winter than does the X50ʼs larger trigger guard and safety location at the rear of the receiver. A very significant difference between the two guns is seen in how the safety operates. The Stoeger safety automatically sets every time the gun is cocked and has to be released before firing. This is an excellent safety precaution, particularly for novice shooters and the safety on the Super Streak simply does not work automatically in this way. The Benjamin safety is completely manual and only works if the shooter engages the safety him/herself. Thereʼs no automatic safety on the Super Streak and - in my view - thatʼs a big disadvantage compared to the X50 for many of the novice shooters who will purchase this air rifle from a “big box” sporting goods store on looks and specification alone.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Obviously the Stoeger automatic safety costs more money to manufacture and assemble, particularly as it positively blocks trigger engagement with a solid steel part, compared to the spring-operated manual safety of the Benjamin. Open Sights: The Benjamin is sold only as a combo with scope included. Although the X50 is sold mainly as a combo, itʼs also available without the scope, so a comparison of “iron” sights is justified (just!). Both models are fitted with slightly different robust, mainly steel, rear sight assemblies which adjust with positive clicks. The X50 sight has fiber optic inserts (as does the front sight), whereas the Benjamin has no fiber optic assistance.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

A bigger difference is seen in the front sights. The Benjamin is fitted with an enormous, cast metal tunnel front sight suitable for a precision target rifle with the - apparently interchangeable front post insert. This could be a good thing, but unfortunately this considerably obscures the scope picture, as noted above.

In contrast the front sight assembly of the X50 is a less intrusive plastic part, combining front sight and textured cocking grip. Itʼs additionally secured with a setscrew to the

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

barrel. I found the stippled plastic surface to be more comfortable for cocking than the Benjaminʼs ribbed metal grip, but I confess this as a personal preference. Both are perfectly satisfactory.

Stock: The stock is a major area of difference between the X50 and the Super Streak. Both are ambidextrous, both have a rubber buttpad (although of different designs). My preference is decidedly for the looks of the Benjaminʼs well-finished wood, thumbhole stock: but the pull length, at 14.25 inches, is too short for a gun of this size and weight. In combination with the scope positioning already mentioned, this beautiful stock is a big disadvantage if you actually want to shoot the gun, instead of just look at it.

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Inside, they look like this:

And around the trigger area:

Stoeger X50 and Benjamin Super Streak Comparison

Stephen Archer, Archer Airguns Inc.

Conclusion: So yes, both the Stoeger X50 and the Benjamin Super Streak are “the same gun”, as both are manufactured by BAM and based on the same B22 platform. Having conducted this objective review, I still think the Benjamin is a great-looking airgun. But the disadvantages associated with scope positioning and stock design rule it out for shooting. The Stoeger X50 is the rifle I actually can shoot comfortably, itʼs the one I would buy.

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