Crosman Challenger 2009 Target Rifle – Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Happy Thanksgiving to all our U.S. readers, wherever they may be.

Blogger is still hosed, but Edith is finding ways around it. The Blogger support team, in contrast, hasn’t done anything to solve the issue, which affects not just this blog but also many others around the world. Edith has been in touch with people from all over, and they’re sharing tips on workarounds.


Crosman Challenger 2009 target rifle has awakened a large segment of shooters!
Today is adjustment day for the Crosman Challenger 2009. Can you believe the last report was back on October 1st?

I mentioned in Part 4 that I would return and adjust the rifle for a specific pellet. And in Part 3 I mentioned that my test shot string of 100 shots had a 34 f.p.s. deviation. That’s important to remember, as today I’m going to try to stretch that just a bit.

Trigger adjustment
Before I get to the velocity adjustment, though, I first want to cover the trigger. Back when I did the Benjamin Marauder test, I didn’t adjust the trigger because it was already so good from the factory. But the Challenger 2009 is a target rifle, and it’s pretty important to have the trigger adjusted well on a target rifle.

There are four adjustments on this trigger. They are the location of the trigger blade, first-stage travel, second-stage travel and the weight of the trigger-pull. When adjusting the first stage travel you affect the second-stage travel as well, so adjust those two together.



Crosman Challenger 2009 trigger is very adjustable.
My trigger felt light but had an extremely long second stage pull. When I put the trigger-pull gauge on it, it measured 3 lbs., 2 oz. That’s quite a bit heavier than I imagined it would be. I adjusted the weight of the pull to go down as low as it would go and got a 1 lb., 12 oz. pull. Then, the adjustment screw and the trigger-pull-weight spring fell out, and the trigger still measured 1 lb., 12 oz. So, Crosman has adjusted the rifle so it will never go below the sporter-class mandatory 1 lb., 8 oz. limit.



When I adjusted the trigger-pull weight, the screw fell out of its hole, along with the spring that controls the pull weight. The trigger still had a legal amount of pull.
I turned the second-stage screw counterclockwise until the second-stage pull had no perceptible movement. During the trigger-pull, the trigger blade stopped at stage two and then broke cleanly without any sense of movement. Following the release, the spring pressure on the trigger increases to such an extent that it feels like a positive trigger stop when you’re squeezing off the shot. You can still pull the trigger blade backwards if you try, but the heavier weight after the sear releases feels like a positive trigger overtravel stop. At this point, the trigger was adjusted perfectly to suit me.

Velocity adjustment
You can adjust the length of the hammer stroke and the tension on the hammer. The shorter the stroke, the less air that escapes and vice-versa. The greater the tension on the hammer spring, the harder the hammer hits the valve and the more air that escapes. And vice-versa!


The knurled knob adjusts the hammer spring tension. Long Allen wrench adjusts the length of the hammer stroke.
Oh, my! You can control BOTH the length of the hammer stroke and the tension on the hammer spring. And each one affects velocity. So, which one do you adjust first?

What do you want to do?
I wanted to increase the number of usable shots by decreasing the average velocity. But how much did I have to drop to get a good long string with the least velocity variation?

The manual gives guidance for default settings of both adjustments, but that doesn’t answer my question. And nobody can answer my question, because these are two interrelated but separate adjustments that affect one another. You may adjust either one or both adjustments and get an initial velocity change, but how do you know if that change is what you really want? There’s only one way to know. You have to shoot the gun from a fresh fill until it drops in velocity below your minimum criterion. And YOU have to pick that criterion! If you’re reading this report the way I intended, you are now seeing that this process is practically infinite. Yet, getting through it isn’t nearly as cumbersome or confusing as it sounds. You just have to turn off your brain and stop trying to guess what will happen.

Here’s what I did
I decided to adjust both the hammer stroke and the hammer spring tension at the same time. Since I didn’t know what I was doing, I put a full clockwise turn on the hammer stroke screw and a full turn counterclockwise on the hammer spring tension adjuster. I didn’t know what the whole outcome of my adjustments would be. The owner’s manual specified what each adjustment would do, but nothing can tell you what the whole shot string will do. That takes experience.

The challenge
Following a fresh fill to 2,000 psi, I chronographed the first shot from the rifle with H&N Finale Match pellets at 560 f.p.s., which was very close to the average I’d gotten in an earlier test (556 f.p.s.). In that test I had gotten 72 total shots within 18 f.p.s. from Gamo Match pellets, and I guess I also got a 100-shot string that had 34 f.p.s.total spread but I don’t know which pellet that was. But that was what I set out to beat. I wanted to get better than 100 shots in a string, or a 100-shot string with a variation lower than 34 f.p.s.

After the first adjustment (one turn in on the hammer stroke, one turn out on the hammer spring tension) the velocity was 540 f.p.s. I thought that was still too fast, so I adjusted the gun a second time. This time it came out with a shot at 532 f.p.s. That was just a trifle above what I was looking for, so I took it. The test was now underway, and the first two shots were included.

Mind-numbing!
I don’t have the ballistic printer for my Chrony like I told you about yesterday, so when I record any shot string, I have to write all the numbers down. A 100-shot string is mind-numbing, to say the least.

The Challenger 2009 went on and on–far longer than I thought it would. Remember, I was getting 72 shots at 560 f.p.s. before adjustment. How much more would come from dropping the speed by a paltry 28 f.p.s.? I had hoped for over 85 shots when this test began, but the rifle was still pumping them out at shot 100. Finally, shot 117 dropped below my criterion of 29 f.p.s. total spread. So, there were an amazing 116 shots in the string that averaged 545 f.p.s.

How did I select the criterion of 29 f.p.s.? I didn’t. The gun did. After that first slow shot of 528 f.p.s., the velocity started increasing. The increase was slow but inexorable, until, at shot 64, the velocity climbed to 557 f.p.s., which was as high as it would go. At that point, 29 f.p.s. separated the high from the low, so I decided to keep on shooting until the velocity dropped below that of the slowest shot–528. Had the top number been higher, I would have accepted it and had a larger total velocity variation. Can you see that I am not controlling anything at this point? I’m just keeping a record of what’s happening.

If you’re very sharp, you also picked up on the fact that the starting velocity of 528 f.p.s. is not the average of this string. It was actually 545. So, I didn’t actually lower the velocity of the gun by 28 f.p.s., as I said earlier. I lowered it by just 15 f.p.s. And that was all it took to increase the shot string from 100 shots with a 34 f.p.s. variation to 116 shots with a 29 f.p.s. variation. I accomplished both my goals on the first try.

Do you think I could do even better than that? Probably. But I’ll leave that chore to you guys. Each of you wants something different from his gun; and as long as you keep it reasonable, the Challenger 2009 can deliver. Remember, it does all of this on a fill of just 2,000 psi.

I’m currently testing the AirForce Edge, which is within a week or two–at the most–of coming to market. As soon as I know when the gun will be available, I’ll start reporting on it.

23 thoughts on “Crosman Challenger 2009 Target Rifle – Part 5








  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    I see little stacks of miniature pumpkins around to mark the season, and it would be just the thing to pick them off with an airgun, one at a time, without disturbing the ones below.

    B.B., always glad to hear about the Challenger and the Challenger/Edge match-up will be one worthy of the holidays. How is that t-shaped bolt working for you? It does look cramped under the rear sight and like it would be difficult to work.

    I'm surprised to see that there is a steady increase in velocity in a shot string. I guess I never paid attention to the strings of chrony numbers. I thought you had valve lock, then steady velocity, then decline. The increase in velocity adds undesirable variability, but maybe at 10 meters–especially with the slow rate of increase–it doesn't matter. 100+ shots per fill is a pumper's dream.

    Matt61


  2. Hi Kevin,

    I've just never understood why people get so excited when you bring a gun into the grocery store. Where do they think all those turkeys come from, anyway?

    Anyway, HAPPY TURKEY DAY to all. We've got about 65 people coming here for dinner in about 45 minutes. Time to get back to making the smashed potatoes.




  3. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

    When I shoot my Discovery indoors I adjust down to 10-12 ftlbs and get about 120 shot. Do I have a chrony? No. But the target will tell me if I have chosen the right pellet and velocity. I always keep a journal of what pellets I use, the adjustments I make and the performance outcomes.




  4. Can anyone tell me what was supposed to mount underneath the forestock on my FWB 150?? It has about an 8 in. long recessed dovetail groove designed to recieve an accessory of some sort.The rifle is from the late 60s if that helps and was bought in Germany… Frank B




  5. B.B,

    Leapers makes a 4x32AO Bug Buster Compact Rifle Scope but UTG also sells another scope with the same specification and even the same model# SCP-432AOMDL2 but a bit cheaper.

    Thanks,
    Buggy



    • Earl,
      I just got done reading about sprung gauges due to overpressurization so I would say that’s one area of concern, who knows what else people have had happen and aren’t willing to tell others why? Your Disco should be OK because they’re able to go to 3000 but if I had a Challenger(Nice gun!) I wouldn’t take the risk.



  6. Below are my Challenger velocities with shot #1 at 2300 psi.
    This Challenger and my Discovery have not been modified.
    The Challenger has a “sweet spot” from 2300 to about 1300 psi.
    The Discovery has a “sweet spot” from 2500 to about 1600 psi.
    The Discovery velocities are on the Discovery site.
    I was concerned about filling them to more than 2000 psi but they seem to work best starting at 2300 and 2500 psi. The psi readings are from the Benjamin pump gauge which seems to be correct.
    The accuracy is excellent. The Challenger groups are too small for me to measure at my 54 feet inside range.
    What do you think about this?

    Crosman Challenger on 2-17-2015
    Model CH2009 .177 cal.
    Knob=0.164″, wrench=2 turns in from stop
    JSB RS 7.33 gr pellets
    Shot FPS
    1 626 3 —-pump=2300
    2 629 3 0 gun in white 1mm
    3 630 1 -1
    4 633 3 -4
    5 629 -4 0
    6 632 3 -3
    7 629 -3 0
    8 629 0 0
    9 631 2 -2
    10 626 -5 3 high end of red
    11 630 4 -1
    12 630 0 -1
    13 629 -1 0
    14 627 -2 2
    15 628 1 1
    16 627 -1 2
    17 628 1 1
    18 625 -3 4
    19 626 1 3
    20 627 1 2 low end of red
    21 626 -1 3
    22 625 -1 4
    23 623 -2 6
    24 624 1 5
    25 623 -1 6
    26 628 5 1
    27 621 -7 8
    28 622 1 7
    29 622 0 7
    30 623 1 6 —gun=2000
    31 623 0 6 1-30=10 psi/shot
    32 621 -2 8
    33 620 -1 9
    34 620 0 9
    35 619 -1 10
    36 617 -2 12
    37 614 -3 15
    38 617 3 12
    39 617 0 12
    40 617 0 12
    41 617 0 12
    42 614 -3 15
    43 621 7 8
    44 614 -7 15 oil bolt & O-ring
    45 622 8 7
    46 620 -2 9
    47 621 1 8
    48 621 0 8
    49 622 1 7 average 1-50
    50 619 -3 10 624
    51 620 1 9
    52 618 -2 11
    53 614 -4 15
    54 616 2 13
    55 615 -1 14
    56 611 -4 18
    57 617 6 12
    58 616 -1 13
    59 615 -1 14
    60 610 -5 19
    61 609 -1 20
    62 612 3 17
    63 611 -1 18
    64 612 1 17
    65 608 -4 21
    66 609 1 20
    67 609 0 20
    68 605 -4 24
    69 607 2 22
    70 608 1 21
    71 605 -3 24
    72 605 0 24
    73 602 -3 27
    74 600 -2 29
    75 598 -2 31 about 1400 psi
    76 597 -1 32
    77 594 -3 35
    78 597 3 32 618
    79 593 -4 36 average 1-78
    80 592 -1 37
    81 594 2 35
    82 588 -6 41
    83 591 3 38
    84 586 -5 43
    85 586 0 43
    86 582 -4 47 about 1300 psi
    87 581 -1 48
    88 579 -2 50
    89 579 0 50
    90 578 -1 51
    91 572 -6 57
    92 571 -1 58
    93 566 -5 63
    94 565 -1 64
    95 565 0 64
    96 563 -2 66
    97 558 -5 71
    98 556 -2 73
    99 553 -3 76
    100 553 0 76
    101 550 -3 79
    102 545 -5 84
    103 546 1 83
    104 542 -4 87
    105 540 -2 89 —gun=1000 psi
    106 536 -4 93 105 shots 2300-1000
    107 533 -3 96 =12.4 psi/shot
    108 531 -2 98
    109 526 -5 103
    110 524 -2 105
    111 521 -3 108
    112 515 -6 114
    113 515 0 114
    114 509 -6 120
    115 506 -3 123
    116 502 -4 127
    117 496 -6 133
    118 494 -2 135
    119 485 -9 144
    120 481 -4 148
    121 479 -2 150
    122 473 -6 156
    123 468 -5 161
    124 464 -4 165
    125 456 -8 173
    126 454 -2 175
    127 446 -8 183 bottom of green


  7. Please use this corrected post to the above.
    I copied too many numbers from my spreadsheet.
    The extra numbers in the above post are
    1. the drop in fps from the previous shot
    2. the difference from the average of 629 fps.

    Crosman Challenger on 2-17-2015
    Model CH2009 .177 cal.
    Knob=0.164, wrench=2 turns in from stop
    JSB RS 7.33 gr pellets
    Shot FPS
    1 626 —-pump=2300
    2 629 gun in white 1mm
    3 630
    4 633
    5 629
    6 632
    7 629
    8 629
    9 631
    10 626 high end of red
    11 630
    12 630
    13 629
    14 627
    15 628
    16 627
    17 628
    18 625
    19 626
    20 627 low end of red
    21 626
    22 625
    23 623
    24 624
    25 623
    26 628
    27 621
    28 622
    29 622
    30 623 —gun=2000
    31 623 1-30=10 psi/shot
    32 621
    33 620
    34 620
    35 619
    36 617
    37 614
    38 617
    39 617
    40 617
    41 617
    42 614
    43 621
    44 614 oil bolt & O-ring
    45 622
    46 620
    47 621
    48 621
    49 622 average 1-50
    50 619 624
    51 620
    52 618
    53 614
    54 616
    55 615
    56 611
    57 617
    58 616
    59 615
    60 610
    61 609
    62 612
    63 611
    64 612
    65 608
    66 609
    67 609
    68 605
    69 607
    70 608
    71 605
    72 605
    73 602
    74 600
    75 598 about 1400 psi
    76 597
    77 594
    78 597 618
    79 593 average 1-78
    80 592
    81 594
    82 588
    83 591
    84 586
    85 586
    86 582 about 1300 psi
    87 581
    88 579
    89 579
    90 578
    91 572
    92 571
    93 566
    94 565
    95 565
    96 563
    97 558
    98 556
    99 553
    100 553
    101 550
    102 545
    103 546
    104 542
    105 540 —gun=1000 psi
    106 536 105 shots 2300-1000
    107 533 =12.4 psi/shot
    108 531
    109 526
    110 524
    111 521
    112 515
    113 515
    114 509
    115 506
    116 502
    117 496
    118 494
    119 485
    120 481
    121 479
    122 473
    123 468
    124 464
    125 456
    126 454
    127 446 bottom of green


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