Crosman Silhouette PCP pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


This is the new Crosman Silhouette PCP pistol. It’ll send those light little airgun silhouettes into orbit.

Today is velocity day for the Crosman Silhouette PCP pistol, and there’s much to report. For starter…what a little sweetie this pistol is! This is one of those every-so-often-they-make-a great-one guns. The trigger seems to make all the difference in the world, but the power it generates is an additional benefit.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, I filled the gun to 3,000 psi, as indicated by the gauge on my carbon fiber tank. The onboard manometer read about 100 psi less. But no matter, as I only watch one gauge during the fill, and the larger one on the tank is very reliable.

Let’s shoot!
Then, I just started shooting. Since this pistol is for airgun silhouette, domed pellets are fine, and I selected Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets. The shot string is presented below.

Shot…Vel.
1……458
2……464
3……473
4……470
5……472
6……477
7……469
8……474
9……473
10……476
11……476
12……479
13……476
14……476
15……481
16……479
17……477
18……476
19……483
20……486
21……481
22……479
23……477
24……479
25……484 (avg. 1st 25 shots 476)
26……485
27……484
28……484
29……479
30……487
31……483
32……484
33……482
34……487 (fastest shot in string)
35……482
36……484
37……483
38……482
39……481
40……485
41……482
42……480
43……481
44……479
45……484
46……478
47……475
48……476
49……483
50……474 (avg. for shots 26-50 482)
51……479
52……470
53……475
54……475
55……473
56……475
57……473
58……475
59……471
60……469
61……467
62……468
63……465
64……469
65……466
66……465
67……465
68……464
69……461
70……458
71……460
72……458
73……458
74……457
75……455 end

The string shows that this pistol is well above the advertised 450 f.p.s. mark. It also shows that there are more than the claimed 50 good shots in the string. Whether you start with the first shot or drop 100 psi from the fill and start with shot number 6 (that’s a guess), you’ll still get over 60 good shots. We’ve discussed shot string analysis enough by now that you understand all too well how to look at this string and evaluate it. If you’re new to this blog and would like to see that analysis in greater detail, look at this report on the first Crosman Silhouette PCP pistol to see how a long shot string should be analyzed.

Foot-pounds of energy don’t matter that much in the silhouette game, because it doesn’t take much energy to send these little metal targets flying. Even the big rams that sit out at 18 yards will be bowled over by the energy that starts out at around four foot-pounds.

In centerfire rifle silhouette, the ram is at 500 yards and a light strike by a small caliber like the .243 Winchester is likely to turn the target sideways on the stand, but not knock it off. That’s a bad thing, for the target must be knocked off its stand to count. In airgun silhouette, it takes a really poor shot to not knock it off the stand. The real problem is finding those tiny chicken silhouettes on the dirt and grass after they’ve been launched 10 yards by a pellet. So, the power of this pistol is more than adequate.

They’ve come a long way
Five years ago, Crosman couldn’t even spell PCP, and now they’re one of the world leaders in the technology! That says a lot about the company and the resolute vision they have of the future. The valve in this test pistol seems to defy belief, getting so many powerful shots from such a small reservoir. It shows that Crosman knows how to design a valve and also how to build precharged pneumatics. Twenty years ago, the world would not have believed that such efficiency could be gotten from an air pistol.

Okay, so let’s test the pistol with some more potential pellets.

RWS Hobbys
I won’t put you through the agony of the shot strings for these pellets. RWS Hobbys averaged 483 f.p.s. The spread went from 478 to 491 f.p.s. over a 10-shot string. The average muzzle energy was 3.63 foot-pounds.

RWS Hobbys aren’t used for shooting silhouettes, but they are a legitimate lead pellet that people really shoot. They demonstrate that Crosman’s advertised velocity of 450 f.p.s. is extremely conservative.

Gamo Match
The next pellet I tried was Gamo Match. This is another lead wadcutter that no one will use to shoot silhouette, but they showcase what the powerplant can do. The website says they weigh 7.71 grains, but mine must be older because they weigh 7.5 grains. They average 484 f.p.s. in the Crosmann Silhouette with a spread from 479 to 490 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they generate 3.9 foot-pounds.

JSB Exact 8.4-grain domes
The 8.4-grain JSB Exact dome averaged 469 f.p.s. in this pistol. It’s a pellet that might be used for silhouette. The spread went from 456 to 475 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they generated 4.1 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Trigger-pull
I said in Part 1 that I would report on the new trigger and this is it. As it came from the factory, the trigger had a 1-lb. first stage, then a definite second-stage stop and it broke at 2 lbs. on the nose. Because there’s an overtravel adjustment that’s set perfectly, the trigger is the paragon of crispness. If you’re a 10-meter pistol competitor, you’ll be used to pulling through stage one and stopping at stage two, waiting for the opportune moment for the break. Then, the trigger becomes like a 1-lb. trigger because the first stage has been removed from the equation. Don’t try to over-think it. It just works that way, and you need a precision trigger to learn that. This one certainly is.


Well, there it is and that’s how it works. It’s very sophisticated, yet not very complicated. If you like good triggers, you’ll like this one. (From Crosman’s owner’s manual)

A good day of testing and promise for a great finish for this latest release. Of course accuracy matters, so we still need to see that.

50 Responses to “Crosman Silhouette PCP pistol: Part 2”

  • Joe B in Marin Says:

    There was an International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association place just down the road from my home when I was in my 40-50s. I loved shooting and then hearing the big rams clang and fall sometime later. 7mm IHMSA handloads from a T/C Contender dropped them with authority. When I saw my first Contender in Gun Digest I thought it was the ugliest pistol I’d ever seen…until I actually got my hands on one at a contest and fell totally in love. In the winter, when the downrange turned into a mudhole, we switched bbls and shot .22 rimfire silhouettes closer in.

    At home I had a 44 foot-long side porch where I shot miniature silhouette targets with my Crosman 600 and my SSP250 (the SSP250 with its longish interchangeable barrels in .177, .20 and .22 calibers always struck me as Crosman’s version of the Contender). I put a large box behind them so I didn’t have to leave the porch to recover the targets.

    This looks like a nice little pistol, but I’m still not quite ready to lay out money to get into PCP guns, with their requirements of carbon fiber fill tanks, etc. (at 64, I don’t get enthusiastic about hand pumps). Sounds like a lot of fun though. Someday….

    • g. austin Says:

      Carbon fiber is certainly the smallest, lightest, and best psi capacity of the tanks out there – BUT don’t overlook two things:

      (1) A 80cuft or 100cuft 3500psi steel SCUBA gets many fills for a larger rifle… for a little reservoir like the Silhouette you’ll last all year. (2) the small reservoir means a hand pump will be very little work, and possibly a great alternative to a SCUBA.

      Finally, you may not fill to 3000psi, maybe 2900psi or 2800psi reducing your workload and extending the usefulness of a 3500psi.

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      Joe B, nice memories on the IHMSA shooting and your “porch range” .

      Gotta love airguns!

    • pcp4me Says:

      Joe,

      I shot a TC .22 magnum in rim fire competition. The ranges on those targets were I believe 100 yards. No problem to take those down.

      I shot a 6.5 mm TCU in the big bore pistol category, and those dropped every time I did my part. Obviously if you hit too far to one end or the other you will just turn the target. I went with the 6.5 mm TCU over the 7 mm TCU for the (much flatter) trajectory!

      And the TC pistol was by far and away the most accurate pistol I have ever owned. I had many barrels in addition to those mentioned. A 5 mm rim fire, a .44 magnum, a 45 Colt/410 shot gun and several others I can’t even remember the calibers.

      I had to sell most of my guns to pay medical bills when I had cancer and was being treated for it.

      The TC and it’s associated barrels and the Model 41 S & W 7 3/8″ ported barrel are the ones I miss most now as they were heads and shoulders above most pistols for accuracy. They made me look good when I shot them!

  • J-F Says:

    If the accuracy testing hasn’t already been done and you have a 1399 or similar shoulder stock could you test it’s accuracy with it?
    If it’s shooting on par with the pics I’ve seen (but I sadly don’t know the source) this little thing is amasing.

    I heard there was an adjustement on the 1700 that could have brung tue pistol over our 500fps limit and now dealers won’t touch the thing with a 10 foot pole is the adjustement still there on the 1701?

    J-F

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      J-F,

      There is a fill-pressure adjustment, but not a real power adjustment that I’m aware of. Since the fill-pressure adjustment does involve the hammer, perhaps people are confused and think it’s there for power.

      B.B.

      • J-F Says:

        Are you serious!?! So we’ve been robbed of this marvelous gun for strickly nothing!
        That’s so dumb it’s not even funny.

        J-F

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          J-F,

          Not at all! If I were to shoot a Gamo Raptor in the pistol it would easily surpass 500 f.p.s. With trick pellets in the world and your laws tied to velocity rather than energy, you are not in a good position.

          B.B.

          • J-F Says:

            They recently changed the law to prevent super light weight pellets to enter the equation.
            It now has to be over 500fps AND over 4.2j of energy if I’m not mistaken.

            J-F

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              J-F,

              If that is the case, then sanity has prevailed. of course 4.2 joules is only 3 foot-pounds, so this pistol is clearly over the limit, but at least they are thinking.

              B.B.

            • Wulfraed Says:

              Wonder what their definition of light-weight pellet is…

              After units conversion (HP 48SX) (4.2J => 3.09776ft-lb) and running the equation solver for a velocity of 500fps, I come up with a 5.58gr pellet. Velocity would have to drop to 420fps for a 7.9gr pellet to pass.

  • g. austin Says:

    A another great report – I like this pistol and almost got it six months ago but decided on the IZH-46M instead. But your review of how good the new trigger has become has whetted my appetite. I suspect the marriage will take a knock on the next purchase ;-)

    • Matt61 Says:

      g. austin, good luck with your purchase. I went into a house once where a gaudy and expensive shelf for shoes was on display near the door. Someone told me that the husband had gotten himself an expensive pair of golf shoes for himself on a whim, so his wife had retaliated by purchasing an equally expensive shelf where he would always see it…. :-)

      Matt61

  • Matt61 Says:

    There are times when everything comes together for unclear reasons to produce great cultural creativity. There was Athens in 500 B.C., Elizabethan England, Berlin in the late 18th century and…the Crosman corporation in the early 21st century. They are doing a great job.

    Duskwight, forgetting to zip up is embarrassing at any age. There I was walking along the sidewalk with my eyes narrowed in intense concentration on something–maybe it was airguns. Then a bearded man walked past me and said, “Your fly is open.” Actually it wasn’t–I was wearing a style of rain pants–but I guess it may as well have been. I think you’re right about the need to exercise memory like a muscle. My martial art style places a great emphasis on memorizing extensive techniques. I had thought this was out-of-date and misguided, especially in view of modern teaching about instinct and gross motor control. But I finally saw that the memorization not only burned the techniques deep into the mind and muscles but also activated analytic faculties to help understand the techniques. Memory is fundamental no doubt about it. The word is that 85 year old justices of the U.S. Supreme Court work 15 hour days. Also, when we think about faculties that are being eroded by internet technology–like the ability to be reflective and deliberate and the ability to use good grammar–this is trivial compared to the loss of memory power with the advent of print technology and widespread literacy. I understand that medieval people had very sophisticated techniques for remembering by visualizing the cathedrals that dominated the landscape and attaching pieces of information to the elaborate architecture. Today we would call this the technique of retrieval by association or something like this. Hannibal Lecter makes use of this method…. Obviously it worked because a common devotion for Lent in the middle ages was to memorize the entire New Testament. Compared to them we would all be memory cripples.

    Victor, I like that about love being the source of all creation. And you’re right too that the big act of faith for a teacher is knowing that they will never see some of the good work that they do. I was far from an ideal student in many things and did not appreciate until much later the work and the patience of some good teachers who deserved much better. And I’m not able to tell them myself now. You just have to keep the faith as a teacher.

    Matt61

    • Victor Says:

      Matt61,

      I see Love as being synonymous to things like passion and inspiration. When we are passionate, or inspired, we do our best. Remember, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” We struggle when we allow ourselves to indulge in hatred, dislike, or discomfort in things we have to do, or deal with, including our jobs.

      “The Miracle Happens When We Change Our Attitude About The Problem.”

      More often than not, we really can change our attitude about things, we just have to realize that it’s worth it, and just do it.

      Victor

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        Victor,

        Problems are an opportunity for greatness.

        I just wish I could remember that thought when faced with problems :-)

        Edith

    • duskwight Says:

      Matt

      Yes, that also always fascinated me. However there’s a view from another side – Medieval people were always information-hungry, without the constant buzz of media around. They could dedicate their sences and their memory to a task. And they did have a purpose – to always carry Bible in one’s head is a good thing in those times.

      duskwight

  • Wildey Says:

    A very nice pistol, I hope that the Dutch airgun dealers pick this one up, it’s on my wish-list.
    Off-topic but still useful info……
    The hunters among us might be interested in the cap boxes/pouches shown on this page http://www.fcsutler.com/fcleather.asp instead of the crossman pellet pouch with it’s “noisy” Velcro closure……
    If not then I bet everyone (B.B. and Edith especially) will get a kick out of the top picture on the page.

    Wildey

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Wildey,

      Well, thanks for taking a lot of my time that I don’t have!

      Great products. I wish I had more money.

      I missed the impression you mentioned the first time around. Thanks :)

      B.B.

      • Wildey Says:

        Oops, sorry B.B.
        I should have seen that it was the SECOND picture from the top.
        Still, I thought it was pretty funny.

        Wildey

  • pcp4me Says:

    BB,

    This is looking more and more like a really wonderful gun! If it can shoot as good as it looks and the velocity tests indicate, it is a real winner in my book!

    And I know I asked this before and maybe you answered it, but I cannot remember where I asked to try to find it. What is the distance on each of the four different silhouette targets used in IPHSA sanctioned matches. Also are those targets pictured with the pistol the ones used? I think I have several sets of them along with other sets for different silhouette disciplines also left over from my competition days.

    I did not do as well at silhouette competition as I did at combat type matches. Falling plate, bowling pins, IPSC, and just about any other type of combat discipline you could think of I enjoyed and did very well at them.

    Ah to have the days of youth and accomplishment back WITH the wisdom and knowledge I have now.

    “Too old too fast. Too wise too late!”

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    pcp4me,

    I only know the IHMSA rules.

    Chicken-10
    Pig-12.5
    Turkey-15
    Ram-18

    I got that from a Google search on IHMSA airgun distances

    B.B.

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,
    What a novel idea in air-gun advertising – Honesty! I had to go back to the PA website to confirm that they really were claiming 450 fps. This gun exceeded that, and with lead! How crazy is that?
    Victor

    • Victor Says:

      Another way of putting it is, I’m proud of Crosman for changing their focus towards high quality, value added, products, like the Shilhouette PCP, Challenger, and Maurador.

  • lloyd Says:

    BB,
    This seems like a really nice purpose-built air pistol. The shot count and consistency is very impressive.
    You know I always want to know, do you remember what the ending pressure was?
    Thanks,
    Lloyd

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Lloyd,

      It was an astounding 1,200 osi.

      B.B.

      • Lloyd Says:

        BB,
        From 3,000 psi all the way down to 1,200, that’s an 1,800 psi draw down! That is absolutely incredible!
        I don’t think I have ever heard of a PCP with that much draw down able to maintain that flat of a velocity output.

        I am even more impressed!
        Lloyd

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Lloyd,

          That was what prompted me to say what I did about how far they have come with PCPs. Most people don’t understand what a remarkable feat that is, which is why your Rogue will do so well.

          B.B.

          • Lloyd Says:

            BB,
            Yes, most PCPs stop producing usable shots when there is still plenty of air left in the reservoir. This pistol is tuned for low velocity, so it keeps giving plenty of consistent shots with maybe a 90cc reservoir?
            Lloyd

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,

    So let’s see here; good and consistent power, a fine trigger, good looking, good quality. Now all we need is good accuracy. This may be a gun that I simply can not do without. On with the accuracy tests!

    Victor

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Victor,

      It will take a few weeks, because I am about to travel.

      B.B.

      • Victor Says:

        B.B.,
        That’s OK, I’m not ready to buy at the moment. About to buy a much needed truck. But, this certainly looking to be a pistol that I’ll want.
        Thanks,
        Victor

  • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

    Off Topic…just a safety reminder about our ‘toys’.
    There’s a thread on the yellow today. One of their people had a brain fart with an IZH 46 (under 500fps) and shot himself in the thigh.
    The doctor unsuccessfully probed 3″ but couldn’t find the pellet…so as he states he has a permanent reminder of his misdeed.
    Yikes…3 inches.

    • Victor Says:

      CowBoyStar Dad,
      Was it an accident, or did he deliberately shoot himself (as maybe some kind of stupid test)?
      Victor

      • CowBoyStar Dad Says:

        Really was a freak accident. The fellow had set the loaded gun on bean bag rest, downrange, just for a moment to close a door behind him that the wind had blown open. He bumped the table, the gun headed for a fall and he tried to catch it, touching the trigger as it fell.
        The kind of thing that could happen to anyone IMO

        • Victor Says:

          CowBoyStar Dad,
          It’s a shame, but it still demonstrates a “brain fart”. A loaded gun should never be left unattended, even for a second. It should either be discharged, in the case of an air-gun, where you can’t just remove the pellet and uncock it. While a safety might have helped, that is generally not the rule, as far as safe handling goes. Had this been a firearm, there definitely would have been no excuse for leaving a loaded weapon unattended, even for half a second. In small-bore competition, you are now required to put a flag in the chamber to make it clear that the weapon is not loaded. When I competed, failure to leave the bolt open and clearly visible that the gun is not loaded would get you kicked off the range. Safety is not just important, but critical to our community, as there are always those who are looking for any reason to label it “too dangerous”. Many ranges are very proud of the fact that they have a 100% “accident free” record.
          Victor

          • Chuck Says:

            I was in Phoenix the last few days and my brother took me to their gun range out by Carefree. I was extremely impressed with the way they run the place. Safety is paramount and the range masters make sure everyone follows the rules. A 7 minute safety video is required for first time visitors prior to using the range, too. When the range is declared cold no one is allowed to even get near their shooting tables until they declare hot. Rangers move down the line checking to make sure all bolts are open and visible before allowing anyone down range. Good job guys.
            -Chuck

            • Victor Says:

              Chuck,
              What you describe is what I saw at all California ranges where matches were held. They not only followed the same rules, but upheld them. A single infraction got you thrown out, no questions asked. These days, most ranges have a safety video (at least the ones that I know of). By the way, I use to stay at the Carefree Inn each year I competed in the US International Championships at Black Rock Canyon. That was a nice range! During the summer, when I was there, it was always above 110 F, and up to 118 F. You could feel any part of your body burn that was exposed to direct sunlight. In the case of shooters, that was usually the fingers of the hand extended out under the gun.
              Victor

          • Chuck Says:

            CBSD,
            I know how sensitive that trigger can be and is in my 46M and can see how easy it would be to set it off by grabbing it while falling. I wonder even if it is set too light. I’m using it as is from the factory but it seems light to me (but I love it). I always leave the breech open until I’m behind the gun, plus I think it’s easier on the seals to never close it until I’m ready to fire. And that way I don’t put it away for long periods of time with it closed putting pressure on the seals.
            -Chuck

            • Wulfraed Says:

              I still need to rasp/sand the grip down some more on mine, but yes… That trigger is sensitive. I don’t even feel the first stage as a stage in the pull; finger pad touches and the first stage is done.

    • Brian in Idaho Says:

      CBSD Ya, stuff happens, unfortunately. Safety on, action cleared, barrel down and away.

      That assumes safety could be practiced and that it wasn’t a “jackass” stunt or horseplay?

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    BB,
    How popular is silhouette for air rifle and/or pistols these days? I have a set of the Beeman animals that I’ve had a lot of fun with, but the standard distances aren’t super-challenging for the rifle — somehow it seemed a lot easier than the rimfire and centerfire variants. Sure is fun to watch them fly, though :) . I bet that it is harder with a pistol, even with the reduction in range.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      BG_Farmer,

      From what I can gather, air pistol silhouette is pretty popular. It’s nowhere near 10 meter, of course, but it’s well past field target.

      B.B.

  • Ken Says:

    Wow, what a shot string – and a great looking pistol. Seems to me the best way to maximize the value of a nice new Airhog CF tank is to have a collection of PCP guns to use it with! Meanwhile I’m deciding whether to add wood grips and maybe a couple other mods to my new 2240, or to sell it to a friend and order up a nice Custom Shop special. I critisized the 2240 for the extensive use of plastic, but I must say – now that I have it all untwisted (as it came from the factory) and sighted in…the soup cans in my neighborhood are running scared! Within 75 feet the thing just doesn’t miss. My 8- and 10-year-old daughters are rockin’ the soup cans too, at about 30 feet and a bit more. I came home to find the wife shooting it today!

  • Mehrshad Says:

    Hi,
    Off topic but please tell me your opinion about this:
    http://www.airgunforum.ca/forums/post274997.html#p274997

  • Mark Says:

    Did the Centerpoint scope you mentioned B.B. go onsale yet?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Mark,

      As I learned yesterday, it isn’t a scope. It’s a dot sight. Yes it is now available on the Crosman website.

      B.B.

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