Monday, October 31, 2005

Air shotguns, part 3: the Crosman Trapmaster 1100

by B.B. Pelletier


Crosman made a shotgun! The Trapmaster 1100 was a CO2 shotgun that copied Remington's popular 1100 autoloader. That strange thin rod sticking out from the forearm cap is the powerlet piercing lever.



It all began with instinct shooting
On October 26, I reported on the Fire 201 air shotgun, so today I'll cover the Crosman Trapmaster 1100. This is a special shotgun because it was made by America's leading maker of CO2 guns. The Crosman 1100 was produced from 1968 through 1971, so the run was relatively short. It was also the final result of an interesting development that began in 1954, with a man called Lucky McDaniel.

From civilian to military in one decade
Lucky taught instinct shooting for many decades. He was the creator of the program Daisy sold as Quick Skill and the U.S. Army copied during Vietnam, changing the name to Quick Kill.

Lucky had many important students, but Floyd Patterson, the world heavyweight boxing champion, was the most famous. In 1957, Floyd fought an unprecidented match with Pete Rademacher, the 1956 Olympic gold medalist. Pete wanted to win the title in his first professional bout, so he convinced Patterson to give him a shot. It didn't turn out the way he had hoped, but Pete became interested in instinct shooting after learning that Patterson credited much of his success to the instinct shooting training.

Floyd Patterson wasn't the only boxer interested in airguns!
In the late 1950s, Rademacher was selling his own instinct shooting system with a Parris BB gun and a spring-powered trap to throw special breakaway aerial targets. Pete's trap and reusable plastic targets were so interesting that Crosman arranged to manufacture them. They created their own gun to shoot the targets; instead of a BB gun, they made an entirely new .380 caliber CO2 shotgun called the Trapmaster 1100. It copied the Remington 1100 autoloader and was huge. It needed an extra-long 28" barrel to get the velocity with CO2 (I mentioned this relationship in previous blogs).

You might be able to guess the velocity of the Trapmaster
The Trapmaster had two power levels, selected by cocking to the first stop or going all the way to the second. In factory trim, the high-power setting delivered about 450 to 500 f.p.s. for a tiny pinch of shot - just over half what the Fire 201 used. That velocity is interesting because it's very close to that of the Farco, which is also a CO2 shotgun. Are you starting to see some similarities among airguns with similar powerplants and features?

This gun is a gas hog!
The Trapmaster needs two 12-gram powerlets to function. You'll get about 30+ shots on high power with the gas from the two. You can try to economize and use just a single fresh powerlet (with an empty one inserted to give the necessary length), but you'll cut the number of shots by more than half. Some owners convert it to bulkfill, which reduces the gas cost to about 10%, though you get fewer shots per fill unless you extend the length of the gas reservoir.

The eternal quest for power
Hobbyists soon added stronger hammer springs to boost the power, and I have heard reports of guns shooting over 600 f.p.s. on high power. Before you get excited, there's also a mention in the back of Airgun Digest (the first edition) where a Trapmaster 1100 was converted to a .20 caliber rifle that reportedly got over 1,600 f.p.s.! After reading this blog, you should be able to spot the error in that. I don't believe that any CO2 gun could EVER get a pellet up to 1,600 f.p.s.!

When it fired, it sounded like a ladybug sneezing!
The shot was held in red plastic shotshells that were reloadable. The gun fired about 62 grains of No. 8 chilled lead shot, or just over half the load of a Fire 201. It made a 14" pattern at 40 feet. It wasn't much, but it would pop the plastic aerial targets apart, which was the only reason the gun existed. I think collectors like the Trapmaster more for its size and good looks than for its performance, which has to be the most anemic of all air shotguns.

Looks good in person
As much as I pan its performance, the Trapmaster still gets me whenever I hold one. It's a large, good-looking shotgun, and you just wish it could shoot as good as it looks. Expect to pay $150 to $200 for a nice example today. Most of them will be in nice shape, because their owners take good care of them. It's the kind of airgun that inspires pride.

29 Comments:

At October 31, 2005 8:26 AM, Anonymous Denny said...

I always thought it would have been fun to shoot grasshoppers or locust out of the air with one. Never got to try it.

 
At October 31, 2005 8:33 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Denny,

That's a perfect application for this airgun.

B.B.

 
At October 31, 2005 10:02 AM, Blogger airgundoc said...

B.B.,
Very interesting post today! These are fascinating comments about something I knew absolutely nothing. Somehow, however, I don't think I can ever think about an airgun as a ligitimate shotgun. The power and overall masculine appeal of a 12 g firearm is a difficult act to reproduce in an airgun. I suspect I'm just too old to change my attitude.
CWI

 
At October 31, 2005 12:19 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

CWI,

Yep! I don't think an airgun made can hold a candle to a 12-gauge. But in the 19th Century, they had air shotguns that could kill birds on the wing, though the lead was super-large.

B.B.

 
At October 31, 2005 3:02 PM, Blogger turtle said...

That grasshopper hunt idea sounds like fun. what the heck if they dedicate a scope to bug busting why not... no doubt it would wreak havoc on the soap bubble population too.

The .22 balls I found came in way heavier than the advertised 7.5GR (ad was probably copy for a .177) .22's are around 15Gr...you were right again BB. two will probably be max. They don't look like the highest quality, some flat spots and such...we'll see how they fly.

 
At October 31, 2005 6:49 PM, Anonymous Jimbo said...

I just wanted to toss my two cents in and say how much I enjoy these posts on older, rare and collectible air guns. Please keep it up. I read your blog every day. Thanks.

 
At October 31, 2005 7:29 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Jimbo,

Thanks for the feedback.

B.B.

 
At March 15, 2006 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,
I have three Trapmaster 1100's, two were modified by MAC1 in S.CA, He installed bulk tube adapters and modified the valve's, you can use the spent shell for shooting 380 lead balls, the power is up there, the 380 ball will flatten like a quarter on a block wall.

 
At March 17, 2006 8:01 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Trapmaster,

Yes, the Trapmaster is a popular gun for the modification you describe. That makes it an early modern big bore, I suppose.

You can actually determine the impact velocity of your gun by splatology. Check it out on Tom Gaylord's web site.

http://www.airgunwriter.com/articles.html

B.B.

 
At March 21, 2006 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i would like to have more info on the valve modification of the Trapmaster if possible. see mine att www.luftvapenbladet.com.
Kenth

 
At November 10, 2006 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey B.B.,
I appreciate your commentaries and reviews on firearms! Keep it up man. I was wondering if the Trapmaster 1100 uses the standard 12 gram CO2 powerletts that you can buy at wal-mart? How much does the Trapmaster cost?

 
At November 11, 2006 7:14 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

The trapmaster uses two 12-gram powerlets.

A nice Trapmaster would sell for $150-200. With the box, trap and reloading kit, expect to pay $350 or more.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 5:05 AM, Anonymous Kenth said...

Plz see http://www.luftvapenbladet.com/ny_sida_7.htm

for more info on this lovley co2 shootgun/bigbore. In english of course

 
At April 20, 2007 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When doing the changes I had opportunity to weigh the valve, the original made of brass was a heavy hitter of 32 grams, and the baby plastic only 6 grams. All the difference in speed is the delicate tuning between the power of the hammer, stronger/weaker spring in the body valve, weight of the valve etc. More testing will be undertaken, but the figures that is written in numerous airgun books, magazines, saying that the Trapmaster can produce around 600-650, ( with a heavy load of around 80 grains) is far from what I have achieved so far.

Want to read some more
http://www.luftvapenbladet.com/crosman_1100_trapmaster.htm

 
At March 03, 2008 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi i just wanted to say its nice to see other folks that like airguns i had (2) sheridans and a fwb but my bro has the sheridans in parts now and the fwb went to the big airgun graveyardi think but today i found a trapmaster 1100 and a 400 repeter in nice cond in my step dads old stuff couldent find manuals for them online yet but i will keep up the good work
thanks john jcarlin62@aol.com

 
At September 23, 2008 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will find manuals and exploded diagrams for almost all crosmans range at http://www.crosman.com/site/manual_nav

PS - I have a few SA6s, a 622 and a trapmaster plus a few oddballs like a HAHN BB gun and have had a great time with all of them.

 
At November 18, 2008 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1968 I was about to turn 13. Here in Houston the outdoor shows run right after the new year. Crosman had a thrower set up in a clear sided trap and they were allowing kids to shoot 4-5 targets with the new shotgun. If you broke all of them you were entered into a drawing for the whole outfit. I broke them all and was entered, I couldn't wait for the day of the drawing because I just knew that I was a winner, unfortunately it never happened. I got over it and went back to real shotguns, but I remember the experience like it was yesterday.

 
At November 28, 2008 4:25 PM, Anonymous r.fink said...

My brother in law bought A 1100 T.M. at A yardsail for 10 bucks. he wants to shoot it just for fun, but we dont know where to get shells for it. also I see there are up grades for it, where can we find info? it needs A "ring" kit it leaks A little. Info? to me at
finkfamily1@peoplepc.com

 
At November 28, 2008 5:34 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

r.fink,

We answer all questions right herte.

Contact this man for everything:

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
http://www.jgairguns.biz

Be prepared to pay for the shells as they are collector's items.

B.B.

 
At March 10, 2009 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm ... Under the heading of "When it fired, it sounded like a ladybug sneezing!" it is stated that the shotshells were reloadable. I have heard this is true, but when gun was "fired," it blew off a piece of the plastic that was molded into the shotshell. I have never come across a satisfactory method of reloading the shells ... (doesn't mean it doesn't exist - I just never came across it) That is why I closely guard the 6 boxes of unused shells I still have ---

Thanks for reading ...

j

 
At April 23, 2009 10:09 PM, Anonymous Mike B said...

Thanks for the great information. I had never seen one of these and now a friend brought over two of them for me to sell for him. I tried to make my Sheridan .20 a shotgun years ago, using small cork wads and tiny shot. But it never quite worked. Neat.
Mike B.
Irvine, CA

 
At May 03, 2009 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested I posted a Crosman 1100 shotgun in the box (never shot) with a skeet set also in the box (never put together) and a mint reloading kit (in original shipping wrapper) on airgunauction.com

Thanks!

 
At June 12, 2009 8:32 AM, Anonymous pablo said...

nice shotgun,but I would like to buy crosman .22 cal 622 repeater air rifles,If you know who has them,please contact me al pablito_817@hotmail.com,thank you.

 
At June 12, 2009 8:52 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Pablo,

622s are fairly common at the airgun shows. Watch the classified ads here:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/79574/

B.B.

 
At June 27, 2009 12:56 PM, Blogger JeffOYB said...

This post has been removed by the author.

 
At July 15, 2009 12:42 PM, Blogger JeffOYB said...

Hi! I just was bequeathed one of these airguns along with a case of shells for it. But no plastic pigeons. Anyone know where to buy one or a few? At first I thought the gun was jammed but I reviewed on the online manual. If the action is closed, you press the square ejector button on the bottom and the barrel pops forward, opening the action. Load a shell. Then grab the barrel and plunge it into the action, closing the chamber. Cock it by swinging the bolt forward until it clicks.

 
At September 14, 2009 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a posting here in May of someone with an 1100 still in the box with the trap and reloading kit. Since they were anonymous I have no way of contacting them. If anyone happens to know who this was or if there is anyone who has an 1100 or accessories for sale please contact me by posting here. I will try to keep an eye on this thread now that I've found it!

I purchased an 1100 in the box last week. Both it and the box were in excellent shape. The trap didn't appear to have ever been assembled but the box the trap came in was in pretty sad shape. I got 500 new shells, all in the box. 25 plastic targets that were still in the box, but again, the box wasn't pristine. What impressed me most was the reloading kit. I opened it and all of the hulls were still in the plastic and had never been opened! The reloading tool and the shot were all sealed as well! For me it was an excellent purchase but bittersweet at the same time since I can't really play with it.

I have another 1100 that has been deadly on baited crows. I was just as surprised as the posters with how quiet it is. Not a lot of lead being thrown down range but for close in shots I would have to say it's my most cherished airgun.

Does anyone have information on MO-SKEET-O? The boxes I have mention it several times and the trap even has different throwing arm that was designed for this but that's the first I've heard it mentioned. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 
At September 14, 2009 3:35 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Look for information on MO-SKEET-O in old shooters Bibles from the 1950s and maybe '60s. It was an idea that never quite took off, but quite a few firearm manufacturers made guns for it.

B.B.

 
At September 15, 2009 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the info. I'll start looking for one of the old shooters bibles at the library. I found one small bit of info on the internet earlier. It seems some manufacturers marketed .22 rifles for shooting it. There was even a reference made to a barrel mounted trap for throwing the targets.

 

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