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  #1  
Old 03-17-2003, 02:24 PM
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Post Benjamin Franklin air rifles?


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Hello everybody, Yesterday at church, I was shown a Benjamin Franklin model # 317, air rifle. full length outer brass sleeve, maybe not sleeved, full length brass air compression chamber. this elder did not know much about it. other than he has owned it for a very long time. can anyone tell me where I can find some information on this air rifle. I have tried a google search, and kept coming up empty.
Has another company bought out benjamin Franklin, it looks an awful lot like a sheridan blue streak. I sure would like to be able to tell this gentleman something about this air rifle.
any help you guys could give on this sure would help me put a smile on this mans face.
thanks john,
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2003, 02:29 PM
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Halfbreed,
I remember Benjamin air rifles, but i don't recall them being called Benjamin Franklin. If this is what you're dealing with, you can do a search on Yahoo/Google and you'll find some info.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2003, 02:42 PM
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KciH, man that was fast. the rifle says on the side Benjamin franklin, USA model #317.
I tried a google search, actually several. All I kept coming up with was another air rifle sight, and nothing about Benjamin Franklin air rifles.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2003, 03:55 PM
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Halfbreed,
from what I'm guessing, the "franklin" part may have been the town where produced. The Benjamin air rifles look like the Sheridans for a good reason. From what I can tell, when the Benjamins went away, the became the Sheridan. Do a search for just "benjamin air rifle" and you'll see what I mean. Those rifles had a unique look, unlike any other I'm aware of, that's why your comment about it looking like a Sheridan makes me think this is the case.

Click here and you'll see a reference chart for the Benjamin model 317 with a serial number range for the years of production.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2003, 05:20 PM
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KciH, thanks a bunch, you the man. The serial #'ers show that this pellet rifle was made in 1966. Now I will see if I can find an approximate $ value. But I am very certain he has no intentions of ever selling!
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2003, 05:37 PM
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The older Benjamins were marked Benjamin Franklin, not too sure when they stopped that marking, but it was there in the 1960's. When they combined with Sheridan, know the Franklin part wasn't stamped. The 317 was made for a good long time.

There are two main rear sights (and a little peep rear that could be oredered seperatly). One was about 1/2 down the barrel and mounted to the side of the barrel. The newer ones have a step-ladder type sight mounted near the breech of the barrel. Now that they are combined with Sheridan, they have adiffernt version of a rear sight (and ate tapped for a Willimans Reciever sight).

There are people who still work on rebuilding the older Benjamins...they are a pain to re-build, but with the right tools, lead seals, and valve parts it isn't a terribly expensive job.
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Old 03-17-2003, 06:26 PM
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Ribbonstone, thanks for the info. I dont know if this gentleman would be interested in having this one rebuilt or what his actual intentions are. I could see where it could use some work. But then I gathered it was more a piece of sentimental value, than anything else.
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Old 03-17-2003, 07:04 PM
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Are people who collect the old ones...have been making them a long time. Saw two at a gun show last weekend that were in good shape....one was a 312 (the .22 version of the 317) and the other one's number escapes me...but it was a 22 magazine repeater...had a 3rd tube over the barrel that carried .22 lead balls. From the stocks, both were made in the 1960's or early 1970's. Guess i noticed them becasue as a youngster, i used some much like them. Probably should have tried to dicker-down and bought them both as I expect they won't be losing value.
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Old 03-17-2003, 08:00 PM
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Somewhere I have the email address of a guy who rebuilds air rifles. Got some parts from him for a reasonable amount of money and rebuilt one for a friend a year or two ago. Holler if you need it......
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Old 03-17-2003, 09:05 PM
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Mike G, thanks for the notice, I doubt i holler, as I think this pellet gun is mostly sentimental value.
Ribbonstone, did you happen to notice the price tags on those benjamin franklin air rifles?
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2003, 11:20 AM
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Found the web site, in case anyone is looking to rebuild an air rifle:

http://www.mac1airgun.com/

Fast turnaround, reasonable prices, will answer your questions by email.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2003, 04:40 PM
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They were priced at $110 for the single shot and $125 for the mag. tube repeater...both were .22's (so the amg. tubed repeater used lead balls...they still make them). Should have seen if I could pick up the pair for less than $100 each. were in good shape, the stocks were a bit dull and scratched, but the metal color was still there (not "blue" as they are made of bronze...so has to be some kind of phosphate-gray).

I have an excuse...althongh after the fact, I wish I had stopped to dicker...I had just picked up a new O/U 12ga. and was heading out of the door.

Besides the .22 and .177 single shots, there were also .177 and .22 mag. tubed repeaters...and a smooth-bore (BB) .177 single shot. Go back farther and the pump system worked differently, pumping the same way, but rtunning a rod that when in and out of the front of the bottom tube.

Go back to the first ones, and there is not pump...just a t-ended rod that came out of the bottom tube...most people stood on the rod's handle and pumped the rifle up and down.

Those early ones had a different trigger system as well. For once the old joke was true: the harder (and faster) you pulled the trigger, the harder the gun shot. A slow squeeze would let the compressed air out slowly...so vow vel....a fast hard squeeze let it all out at once...so high vel.
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Old 03-18-2003, 08:04 PM
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Ribbonstone, Thanks, I beleive this gentleman will be quite pleased to hear this. However, Like I said before I doubt he will ever sell. there is more to the story than he has told me so far.But you can certainly tell the sentinental worth is there.
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