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.

38 thoughts on “Air shotguns, part 3: the Crosman Trapmaster 1100



  1. 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


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.



  5. 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.




  6. 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?


  7. 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.



  8. 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


  9. 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



  10. 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.


  11. 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



  12. 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


  13. 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


  14. 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!





  15. 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.


  16. 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.



  17. 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.


  18. Shooter's Bible 1940 edition was reproduced and republished Stoeger sometime at the end of the last century.

    MO-SKEET-O was a separate system sold under its own name and Mossberg sold the Targo trap that attached to the barrel of the gun. The MO-SKEET-O trap apparently stood alone.

    The Mossberg gun was model 42 TR.

    Look on pages 84 and 85 in this publication.

    B.B.


  19. I used my 1100 last year, no problem. Just now I loaded 2 CO2 cartridges and screwed the cap down and heard a big "sssss!". That didn't sound good. Then I toggled the toggle and heard a 2nd "sssss!" and so I had instantly emptied my 2 CO2s and never got to use the gun. What did I do wrong? Does the gun have to be in a certain load-condition for installing the cartridges? Maybe I had left some kind of port open. Ugh. I don't want to waste more CO2's without knowing what I did wrong. Thanks! JP


  20. Jeff,

    First question: are you putting Pellgunoil on the tip of each new powerlet? If not, you should be. That will oil all the internal seals and may fix your gun.

    But the big hiss usually means it's time to replace seals. If you will use Pellgunoil on all powerlets in the future and always store the gun with CO2 charged, you may never have to have it sealed again.

    This guy can reseal it for you:

    Rick Willnecker in PA. Contact him at http://www.airgunshop.net/ or call 717-382-1481.

    B.B.


  21. i was cleaning out a old boarded up home the walls in the closed were being ripped out and what did i find in it ? yes a trapmaster 1100 in great condition. and funny to me u have to push the entire barrow to lock in your load. wow never knew until now that a co2 weapon as a shotgun exist.


  22. I was cleaning out an old cupboard and found one of these Crossman 1100 C02 shotguns. The stock has a few scratches, but the rest of the gun looks good. If anyone wants this thingi'm asking $75.00 and shipping. Contact me at TWINFLEMS@AOL.COM




  23. I first learned of the trapmaster in the 90's when I was looking for a precharge air rifle . I fell in love with the idea of an air shotgun . I saw a precharged shotgun from MIT the manufacture of my precharge air rifle but never purchased one . Held a farco , bought a Gamo shotgun . When all was said and done I still dreamed of a Trapmaster being in my collection of backyard shooters. My dream came true this past Christmas when I found one on and auction site for a very reasonable price . My wife gave me the gun for Christmas my father came buy that day and I showed him the Shotgun even let him fire it he was hooked ! He started the search cause he just had to have one . Only taking him less then a month he found one with two boxes of shells and reloading kit . I have made a few of my own shells from plastic tubing caps I had laying around . I have used shot and lead balls and also 9mm eunjin pellets with 36caliber .005 patches with great results . Reloading is no problem a 3/8 leather punch and 1/4 cork makes excellent wads and a thin cardboard works fine for the top of the shell .


  24. Hello Trapmaster 1100 enthusiasts, I have a Trapmaster 1100 and loading kit in excellent condition that I am looking to sell. Anyone interested can contact me at martin.johnson@nypro,com. Thank you – Martin


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