by B.B. Pelletier
Back in November 2006, I tested a Crosman 2200 Magnum I had just picked up at the Roanoke airgun show. The gun appeared unfired, but after testing it for velocity I learned that the pump seals were hardened with age and disuse. I said at the time that that test was a good reason for owning a chronograph.
How did I know what the problem was?
How do I know the pump seals had hardened? How would you make that same call with a rifle you owned? Well, I researched the 2200 online and found that the expected velocity with .22-caliber Crosman Premiers was between 550 and 600 f.p.s. on 10 pumps. My rifle wasn’t coming close to that. I oiled the pump cup to no avail. The pump was pumping, but not as efficiently as it should. From past experience, I knew that these synthetic seals harden with time and disuse, so I guessed that was what had happened this time.
A pump cup or piston head seal expands as it encounters air pressure. As it expands, it seals the compression tube even tighter. A hardened pump cup does not expand as readily, thereby losing some of the air pressure it would normally compress. That was the symptom I was seeing with my rifle.
I had promised to look at the accuracy of that test rifle, but the test results discouraged me and I never got around to it. Then, in March 2008, Joe G. from Jersey reported on his 2200. His rifle was performing nicely and was able to give readers a better showing than mine had. I was glad for that.
B.B. takes his own advice
You probably know that I send readers to various repair stations to have their guns modified and repaired, and I thought that maybe it was time I reported on the success of this first-hand. To get on my list, these places have to rank high with me, but this time I thought I’d go the extra mile and give you a report on a gun someone fixed for me.
I used Rick Willnecker practically the entire time I published The Airgun Letter. A lot of what I tell you guys about CO2 I learned from him. At that time, Rick was located in Maryland about 25 miles from my house. He moved over the Pennsylvania border and was then about 80 miles away. I still used him, though, because I had faith in his work.
Rick was a leader in remanufacturing certain vintage seals and critical repair parts for vintage airguns. After Crosman purged their inventory of all their vintage parts, Rick bought out most of what they had and started finding small manufacturers to make the parts new. Today, he’s a vital source for vintage Crosman, Benjamin and Sheridan parts. About the only American line he doesn’t support is Daisy.
This is Rick’s contact info:
When I contacted him for the 2200 repair job, I learned that he has continued to expand the line of vintage parts over the years, so that today he is a leading supplier of hard-to-find repair parts for pneumatics and CO2 guns. But I was more interested in his repair job than parts–I thought. As it turned out, when the rifle arrived at Rick’s, the plastic butt stock was broken, so a new one had to be purchased. At only $8, I couldn’t complain. So you see, sometimes we may not think we need repair parts, but when our luck changes suddenly we do.
The entire repair job cost me about $39 with return shipping, and was turned around in one month. That includes the cost of the new buttstock. In the next report, we’ll see what a fresh 2200 rifle is supposed to do, but for now let’s examine the gun itself.
2200 has the same powerplant as the 2100
Of course, the .22-caliber Crosman 2200 is no longer made, but the .177-caliber 2100B is still in production. The powerplants of both rifles are identical, but the 2100B shoots either BBs or lead pellets. It has a magnetic bolt tip to hold the smaller BB in place until the blast of air hits it. The 2100 has an onboard BB reservoir and a small BB magazine that’s replenished from the larger reservoir.
BBs are smaller and lighter than lead pellets, so they produce higher velocities. But BBs are not stabilized by the rifling, which has no affect on them. They fly randomly after leaving the muzzle, where lead pellets are engraved by the rifling and spin in flight. They’re quite a bit more accurate than BBs, and they perform much better on very small game. If you want to eliminate small pests or shoot targets with your 2100, lead pellets are the only ammunition to use. BBs are just for general plinking–when a pop can at 20 feet is all the accuracy you need.
2200 is the .22 version
The 2200 is .22 caliber and shoots lead pellets only. The rifle I have is a variant called the 2200 Magnum. There were three versions of the 2200 Magnum, and I have the first one–made from 1978 to 1982. It’s distinctive because the receiver is chrome-plated, and yes, I do mean chrome, which is very unusual on a gun of any kind. Nickel is the usual bright plating metal, but sometimes chrome is used, and the 2200 Magnum is one of those.
Crosman’s 2200 Magnum was a great .22 caliber multi-pump of the 1980s.
Chrome receiver looks sharp. You can see the scope rail at the top.
Rear sight adjusts for both windage and elevation. Rear screw is loosened and sight pivots in the direction you want the pellet to go.
Both the 2100 and 2200 allow up to 10 pumps per shot, so that’s how I’ll test the gun for velocity. I will also show the velocity with a lesser number of pumps so you can see the performance curve. I’ll also pump the rifle and wait 30 minutes before firing to see if there’s a velocity drop. We’re fortunate to have Joe G. from Jersey’s report on his 2200, so there’s another gun to compare to. This should be an interesting report on a fine vintage multi-pump.