Crosman 105/106 multi-pump pistols

by B.B. Pelletier

Here’s another blast from the past. If you own the new Blue Book of Airguns, or if you attend an airgun show this year, you’ll see one of these curious retro-looking air pistols. They weren’t well-publicized in their day. Even if you’re in your 50s or 60s, you may never have seen one before now. While the Benjamin pistols were included in almost every ad they ran, Crosman didn’t advertise these pistols as much.


Crosman’s 106 pneumatic pistol looks very retro.

The 105 is the .177 model, and the 106 is the .22. They were made from 1947 to 1953, which was a time when .22 caliber was far more popular in America, hence the 105 is the scarcer gun. But neither model is particularly rare. You won’t believe how inexpensive they still are today!

Scissor-pump mechanism
Crosman pioneered the underlever scissors pump for air rifles in 1924. Until then, multi-pumps had used either a front pump rod or a more elaborate butt-pump that dates back to the 1700s. Benjamin was going great guns (pun intended) when the 1924 Crosman scissors pump hit the market, and within just a few years they had a major competitor on their hands. The competition was so intense that they had to come out with a scissors underlever pump of their own.

The 1924 Crosman rifle evolved into the “Silent” model rifle of the 1940s. Unlike Benjamin, though, they had no pistol to go with their rifle. After World War II, Crosman got into CO2 guns in a big way, but they didn’t forget the pneumatic market because people still wanted them. Perhaps this was because CO2 was a new method of propulsion to many shooters, while they had been living with multi-pumps since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1947, Crosman brought out the .177 caliber model 105 pump pistol, followed by the .22 caliber model 106 a year later.

The pistol looks remarkably similar to the Crosman model 111/112 CO2 pistols from just a few years later (1950-1954). It’s obvious that the pump pistol inspired the CO2 pistol. There are small differences, as you can see, but it’s obvious the two guns shared a lot of parts.


The 106 looks very similar to Crosman’s 111/112 and 115/116 CO2 pistols. Shown here with a .22 caliber 116 that has a shorter barrel. The larger 112 also has an 8″ barrel like the 106.

Pump mechanism
This was the first multi-pump pistol Crosman made. The pump mechanism was a finger-lever that was a little too small for adult hands. Most people can get three fingers through the lever, but some will find it hard to get even one, as the hole is too narrow. The linkage parts are very narrow and small, compared to pump pistols of today, and the swept volume of the pump also seems small. All of this adds up to a relatively weak air pistol.


The pump mechanism is almost dainty. It was not up to the task of pumping a lot of pressure.

Power
With pellets of its day, the .22 caliber model 106 was a 350 f.p.s. gun at best. With today’s better pellets and a fresh valve, that might increase to 375 f.p.s.; but I would be surprised to ever see 400 from one of these guns. In .177, the velocity would increase another 50-75 f.p.s. The power isn’t up to today’s Crosman 1377C. The 1377 also has a pump handle that’s grasped externally (they learned that the finger lever design doesn’t work). Of course, the 1377 is made by modern design with modern materials. The Benjamin HB17 is the gun to really compare to, because it hasn’t changed that much in the 60 years since the Crosman 105/106 models were new. The velocity for the HB17 is lower than the 1377, but still higher than the 105 could achieve, which demonstrates the airgun design advances that have been made in the intervening half-century.

Accuracy
I’ve not found the Crosman pneumatic pistol to be as accurate as their CO2 pistols of the same era. Perhaps that’s because the CO2 guns are significantly more powerful. For me, the pneumatics group in 1.5″ to 2″ at 30 feet.

Where can I get one?
These are available in non-working condition for around $50 and working for about $90-100. They are found at airgun shows and regular gun shows. Don’t pay too much more than these prices, because the guns are very available. If you can’t get to an airgun show and just have to own one, search the internet by model number. Just to prove that statement, I searched just now and found one on Gun Broker in working condition going for $50 plus $10 shipping. They’re out there!

37 Responses to “Crosman 105/106 multi-pump pistols”

  • Bryan Says:

    BB what is your personal opinion of the XS-B5-10?

    Probably won’t keep it stock will do seal mods, is this worth getting?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Bryan,

    Well, they don’t come much cheaper in steel, do they? Learning how to mod a gun is one of the best uses for a Chinese airgun.

    B.B.

  • jandj_davis Says:

    I was waiting for another pistol review to ask this: When are you planning on posting the “Best for the money, Pistol Edition” blog? Ever since reading the Rifle series I have been eagerly waiting for you opinions on pistols. Hopefully it is coming soon.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    jandj_davis,

    Yes it is. Give me two weeks and it will begin. Thanks for reminding me.

    B.B.

  • .22 multi-shot Says:

    B.B.

    Is part 3 for the Mendoza RM-2000 in the works?

    .22 multi-shot

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    .22 multi-shot,

    Yes it is in the works. There hasn’t been one good range day (that I was able to use) since the last report.

    I will get to the range as soon as the thunderclouds depart

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB
    Very off topic, but do you ever change the power setting on your Condor? If so, do you have to re-sight it in, or change pellets, change hold…? I guess my real question is, how much does it change the charactertic of the gun? I’m sort of thinking about getting a PCP and wondering if the adjustable power setting is important. Thanks for your help.
    MCA

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    MCA,

    Power adjustability is more theoretical than real. I adjust a gun to one setting where the accuracy is best with the pellet I’m using, then I leave it there.

    If you adjust the power you do have to re-verify your zero.

    The benefit to a Condor is you can go from low to high to set your one point. Later, if the task changes (woodchucks instead of squirrels), you adjust the power, rezero and go to work.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    hi bb
    i noticed today that bsa has a 3-12×44 for only 80 bucks. i have heard some things that lead me to believe bsa isnt the best scope maker out there. would this scope be ok for target shooting at 50 yards on a recoiling airgun. thank you so much.
    Nate in Mass

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Nate,

    The BSA is a little dary and muddy, but usable.

    If you buy it for a recoilling gun, make sure there’s good warranty.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Hey bb
    I was just wondering if you were going to test out the tac 77 or if you felt it’s outcomes in testing might be to similar to the remington genesis.I felt that it was the same gun by looking at.
    Thanks,
    Jake

  • Anonymous Says:

    B.B.

    Best scope and mount for 22 cal HW77?

  • Vince Says:

    Jake, I suspect you’re right about the Tac 77 and the Genesis being the same action. At first I thought it might be another Quest-based gun, but the trigger safety curves the wrong way to be a Quest action.

    Which also means it’s the same (mechanically) as the Legacy 1000.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    I am glad this gun is available because it would just be cruel if you talked all about somthing we cant have. I have a freind that has a BSA airgun from 1906. In tom gaylords “Let’s go to an airgun show” article there is a gun that looks just like it in the top picture one gun over to the right. In PERFECT UNFIRED condition how much do you think that gun is worth? I would guess 300$ but i am clueless so i would like to hear your answer. Thank you for the report.

    -sumo

  • Dave Says:

    bb,

    can i use the b-square adjustable scope mount on firearms, or can it not handle centerfire recoil?

    Dave

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Jake,

    Yes, I doubt I will test the Tac 77.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Best scope,

    I like the Leapers 3-12X44 full size:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=702

    and the Accushot high rings

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=791

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Sumo,

    In unfired condition this gun in a box might bring $200.

    Be VERY careful, as many have been expertly restored! They would be worth what I quote here.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Dave,

    The B-Square mounts should handle recoil up to about the .270 level okay.

    Of course you have to use the Weaver bases, as firearms do not use 11mm dovetails.

    B.B.

  • Dave Says:

    bb,

    yea, i was going to use an adaptor…unless you know of an adjustable mount that already comes with fitted for weaver mounts. i wanted to use it with my friends .243, so it should work fine recoil-wise, if you feel confident in it handling a .270. but i think ill get one for my .22 lr, and .22 magnum. it really is a great mount.

    Dave

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Dave,

    I have used a B-Square adjustable mount on my 10/22 for years. It works great.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,
    thanks for the info.

    when do you think you will be going over the career riffles?

    -sumo

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Sumo,

    Late this summer at the earliest. I think I’ll do the single-tank gun. Is that okay?

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Thats Great!!!
    If i buy another it will be a single tank so that is perfect. I cant choose between the infenity and the 707 so i may have to get both.
    what single tank gun would it be?

    -sumo

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    i said “what single tank gun would it be?”. Bu that i was meaning to ask you what gun you would be testing.

    -sumo

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Sumo,

    I think the lever action will be pretty much the same whether it’s one tank or two. So if I can get one, how about the Infinity?

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,
    It doesent matter to me as long as its an infinity or career 707 with the single tank. They should have the same accuracy and simaler power. I am just guesing on that so tell me if you disagree. I just hope the power is not to differant because its ads say the infinity is 40 foot pounds but the 707 is said to be 60 and rumors say 80. Thanks for everything.

    -sumo

  • Anonymous Says:

    sorry bb,

    i said the infinity was said to be 40 foot pound but its actualy said to be 53. Heres what pyramyd air realy said.

    In .22 cal., you’ll get about 40 ft-lbs of energy (with 12.3-grain pellets). The first shot from a full tank sends a 14.5-grain pellet screaming downrange at 1,220 fps. The tenth shot goes 1,036 fps. In .25 cal., a 24.7-grain pellet delivers almost 53 ft-lbs. The first shot from a full tank sends a 25.7-grain pellet roaring out the barrel at 1,056 fps. The tenth shot goes 879 fps. Since the gun has adjustable power settings, you can dial down the velocity for smaller game, closer shots or general plinking.

    -sumo

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Sumo,

    Before Alan Z. modified my old 707, I did get shots of 81 foot-pounds. They were just the first shot on a fill and the string always dropped fast.

    After the mod, the highest I got was about 56, but I could also get 100 consistent shots at 900 with CPs by dialing the power up as I shot.

    I’ll see which model I can get.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,
    thats realy cool. i have an old 707 but i have nevar tested its power. Its that one with the ugly hunt scene on the side and the rws logo. I guess my condor is not my most powerful airgun. thanks again, i can’t wait for this report.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    bought a 1377c, 4032 scope, and shoulder stock. being a new airgun user(used to airsoft guns) but a little bit afraid of lead poisoning. any suggestions?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    1377,

    If you worry about lead, take at least 1000 mg of vitamin C each day. It helps remove heavy metals from your body. However, if you have any silver fillings in your teeth, the danger of mercury poisoning is far greater!

    If you keep the velocity of your pellets below 600 f.p.s., they will not fragment when they hit the target. There will be no lead dust.

    Wash your hands after handling lead pellets and that’s about it. I am in my ’60s and I shoot a lot. I handle lead all the time, plus I cast bulles, which means I handle molten lead. My blood-lead levels are as low as a man in his 30s, because I take the simple precautions mentioned here.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    thx for that info on lead poisoning. Although I am an nonvice at pellet air guns, I am someone of an amateur at airsoft guns. I was wondering, since you’ve played with air guns for such a long time, if you can suggest a good pistol air soft gun. I have been through good ones and bad ones, usually their accuracy detererates within 5-6 months of use. I dont know if its becasue they are cheap or im choosing the worng ones, any suggestions?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I would choose either the Marui Hi Capa 5.1 or the HFC 190 gas pistols.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Can you do a review on the crosman T4?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I’m pretty backed up right now, and the T4 hasn’t been requested much.

    If you can find some support I can probably do it.

    Have you seen my other posts on all the other BB pistols?

    B.B.

  • J McNabb Says:

    For the small stated value of a Model 105, it was once worth a Crosman employee to de-base him/herself to stealing the brass barrel/pressure tube version my dad had a dealer send for unneccessary service. The Medalist 1300 sent as a replacement never held pressure from "Day One." I keep it to remind myself of how little I think of Crosman.

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