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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