Crosman Outdsoorsman 2250XE: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


The Crosman 2250 XE is a fine example of what the Crosman Custom Shop can do.

Well, today is accuracy day for the Crosman Outdsoorsman 2250XE, and this was one time that I didn’t read the owners’ reviews before testing. I just mounted a scope and went to work.

The scope
Because I thought the 2250 would be a tackdriver, I mounted a Centerpoint 8-32×56 scope. It’s obviously too much scope for the gun, but I didn’t want people telling me afterward that I should have used a better scope. Nobody could say that this scope isn’t enough to do the job! The 2250XE does come with a 3-9x32AO scope that should be plenty good for all situations. I just wanted to stretch the limits.


The scope overpowers the smallish carbine, but it also leaves no doubt that a quality glass was used to test this airgun.

As you’ll notice, the scope sits high on the gun, but with the raised comb that wasn’t a problem. The problem came with the eye relief. I had to shove the scope far forward because of how far back the scope came when mounted. It looks cumbersome but I was able to get it to the spot where the target image was bright and clear.

Sight-in with Premiers
I sighted in the gun at 25 yards with 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers that I thought would be the most accurate pellets of all. However, they surprised me by shooting a 10-shot group that measured about 1.338 inches between the centers of the two farthest pellet holes. I had expected something in the quarter-inch to half-inch size at this distance. Okay, so Premiers are not the right pellet.


Ten Crosman Premiers made this 1.338-inch group at 25 yards.

RWS Hobbys
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Hobby. In .22 caliber, it weighs 11.9 grains. They went to the same impact point as the Premiers, which preserved my aim point, and they also produced a 10-shot group measuring 0.889 inches between centers. That is an improvement but still not as good as I had hoped.


Ten RWS Hobby pellets made this group, which is better, but still not as good as expected.

Other pellets tried
Next, I tried 15.9-grain JSB Exact dome pellets. They grouped over two inches for ten shots. They were followed by RWS Superdomes that grouped about the same. RWS Superpoints went over 2.5 inches for ten, as did H&N Baracuda Match.

Just for grins
Then I tried 5.6mm Eley Wasps and Daisy Max Speed pointed pellets, a pellet that hasn’t been in the Daisy lineup for some time, but which resembles the current Daisy Precision-Max pointed pellet more than a little. I tried the Eleys just to see if the bore was oversized, but from the difficulty I had loading them I’d say it isn’t. Three shots went to over two inches and I gave up. The Daisys went into a group of over 2.5 inches, just like many of the others.

This was frustrating! I had a fine scope mounted on the gun and I was shooting indoors where wind isn’t an issue, and still the gun refused to group. So, the Hobby group turned out to be the best group of the whole test.

Customer reviews
Then, I read the customer reviews. While a couple of them cite good groups at shorter distances, several others allude to the same accuracy I was seeing in my test. And, I think they were all shooting five-shot groups, not the ten I was shooting!

Which leads me to wonder what’s happening. I know Crosman can rifle a good barrel, so I wonder what’s wrong with this one that it cannot deliver even Chinese air rifle accuracy. If it was just a question of pellets I would say, fine, don’t shoot the bad ones. But when the best group I can get out of eight different pellets tried is 0.889 inches, I think something is wrong.

What to do?
It could just be that I got a gun with a bad barrel, I suppose. There could be something fundamental that I haven’t as yet figured out. One possible clue is that I was using adjustable mounts and I had the scope set for a lot of barrel droop, yet in spite of that the point of impact was still very low. So, I had to crank in a lot of elevation to get on target. I suppose I could adjust the mounts for even greater droop and get the scope adjustment back toward the center of the range to see if that’s causing a problem. Besides that, I can’t think of anything else to do.

At one point with the Daisy pellets, I got two distinct groups about an inch apart. One of them was three pellets into the quarter-inch group I had believed that this gun would produce, which was reassuring until additional pellets opened the group too far. That would indicate an erector tube that is bouncing around.

I’ll definitely do a part 4, where I’ll mount the scope that came with the gun, and we’ll test my theory.

44 thoughts on “Crosman Outdsoorsman 2250XE: Part 3

  1. Wow, this is the first time I have ever read this and not seen comments. Of course this is the first time I have had the opportunity in many months to do so. I’m sure all out there know how it goes.

    I have been keeping up with this page (even though I have little time to read the comments) and have yet to be disappointed. Even the guest articles are of the best quality. I was wondering if you were able to have a db meter around when you test the Benjamin Rogue. I have read many times how quiet it is but have yet to see any numbers or even rough comparisons. I will admit I may have missed something here, as my schedule unfortunately only allows me to only read things here once a week, but having an estimate would be nice. And in the coming weeks I’ll be able to read the comments more often, and am looking forward to it!

    I also have a question for those out there in the community. My son got his first pellet gun, a seemingly ubiquitous Crosman 760, and has been having a blast! This was the first one I had, and it brings back fond memories of the backyard and many popcans, plums, and animal crackers showing signs of defeat. I got good enough to out-shoot a neighbor using iron sights against him with a 4X scope at the 7 yards we had. The thing is, it isn’t the same as I remember. I know that the 760 was changed to a smoothebore some time ago, but I had expected better than what I am seeing in my somewhat smaller yard now. I don’t think I have gotten better than a 3″ group at 5 yards. Is this the norm for them now? Or is it that my IZH61 has spoiled me and ruined something in the basics of shooting a smoothebore?


    • Superlube,

      Since a sound meter that isn’t equipped to read the A, B and C scales is inaccurate for this kind of work, I don’t mess with them. A real sound meter for this kind of testing costs thousands of dollars. I’ve been researching them for years. The meters you can buy at Radio Shack are worthless for this work. They are for steady-state sounds like office background noise.

      The Rogue makes more noise than a Sheridan Blue Streak on 8 pumps. It is about as loud as a Career 707 on full power, or just below a .22 long rifle cartridge fired in a rifle.

      B.B.


      • Thanks for the info, and I dont blame you for not getting the Radio Shack ones. The good meters are a bit pricey, so I can’t blame you for not getting one of those either. But the comparison is useful to me, thank you.


  2. B.B.

    Do the pellets snap into the chamber, or do they smoothly press in? Manufacturers have a bad habit of leaving sharp edges at the transfer port and at the rear edge of the rifling. It does not take much of a snag to blow the accuracy..

    twotalon


  3. B.B.

    Another thing that could be a gremlin here…

    On my 2300, the end of the bolt does not fully seat the pellet. The back edge of the bore is just beyond the transfer port by just a hair. The bolt only pushes the pellet far enough that the head is in the bore, but the skirt hangs over half of the transfer port (with FTT). This can’t do any good.
    Then you get to the question of how the shape of the front of the bolt(truncated cone) is going to fit into the base of any partuicular kind of pellet. This would affect seating depth with different kinds of pellets.

    Having a truncated cone pressing into the base of a pellet should square it up as it is seated, but having it seated not far enough to get the skirt clear of the transfer port really bugs me. This gun would be interesting to try with a small probe on the end of the bolt to get the pellet where it belongs.

    twotalon


    • twotalon,

      The pellets fed smoothly into the breech, except for the Eley Wasps, as noted. If the pellets do not pass the transfer port, that would be a reason the gun is inaccurate, because a pellet with a damaged skirt would not fly straight. That would take a heck of a lot of engineering to correct I’m afraid.

      You may be onto something here.

      B.B.


  4. Like twotalon said, the transfer port is notorious for burrs on the 22XX guns. An extended bolt probe is a common mod on these guns. Beyond that, I’d look closely (with a loupe) at the crown. Crosman generally makes very good barrels, but then again, they do make A LOT of them.



    • Just want to interject a thought about the crowns being the “culprit” I have fired at least 50 different air guns in my life and examined the crowns. Never a bad one!

      Every one wants to blame the crown for poor accuracy, but I have only had a few that had poor accuracy and not one was traceable to the crown. I think that is a boogie man for accuracy problems because it is so hard to prove and so easy to use!!!

      In the case of this gun I really believe the use of a scope not suited for the gun is the problem and obviously so does BB.


      • pcp4me,

        Based on my limited experience you’ve been very lucky with good crowns.

        A bad crown is common in some guns and uncommon but not unheard of in others. A bad crown can’t always be blamed on the factory. One heavy hit to the muzzle by the owner can create a problem. Heavy handed cleaning from the muzzle with a metal cleaning rod can also cause enough damage to accuracy to warrant recrowning.

        The early batches of .22 marauders were very bad. Since crosman switched to green mountain barrels this problem is gone. I had a crosman custom carbine and have shot a bsa lonestar that had bad crowns.

        Since it’s usually the last thing I address it’s easy to determine if recrowning has an affect on accuracy. Many people crown (or even re-cut then crown) early on. Still easy to determine if recrowning has an affect on accuracy IF you shoot test groups between each potential accuracy “fix”. The waters of accuracy get muddy when someone does 2 or more things at once and see an improvement. Which one was responsible for the improvement? is a question that is then impossible to answer.

        kevin


  5. BB,

    Bravo that you are going to mount a different scope and try again. I would expect much better groups with any crosman 22XX series.

    But the shape of the “comb” on that gun keeps me wondering if you can even get a good cheek weld with that gun. One of the reasons I have not bought that gun.


    • pcp4me,

      The cheek weld is not a problem. The stock is remarkably comfortable in that respect. The closeness to the ocular bell of the scope is the problem. I will report how the other scope changes the shooting characteristics.

      B.B.


  6. Today’s article is the epitomy of shooting to me. Although some guns come “outta da box” shooting well even those can be improved upon. Climbing the accuracy ladder is what keeps me interested in the shooting hobby. Can I get to the top of the ladder with this gun I’m shooting? What have I overlooked?

    There’s already been some comments that I’ll add to my personal list for future accuracy improvements to certain guns. Thanks for those guys. Here’s my two cents:

    1-If it was any other shooter I’d say parallax especially since the eye relief was a struggle. I don’t think a consistent cheek weld or scope parallax is B.B.’s problem. He long ago mastered a repeatable cheek weld and long ago dialed all the parallax out of his leapers scope. Check this one off.

    2-A pellet not being seated deep enough by the bolt probe is a commonly reported problem like twotalon said above. Seating pellets deeper and/or trying shorter pellets, that fit snug not hard like the wasps, would be worth a try. Maybe a shorter pellet like the jsb rs/air arms falcon.

    3-Maybe the erector tube is floating. Dialing out the remaining amount of elevation adjustment in the scope would help determine if the adjustment was near enough to the end of its’ range to cause the floating.

    4-Personally, I think B.B. has already nailed it. The 18″ barrel from the crosman custom shop that is on the 2250XE (part no. 2400-006) is notorious for having coarse rifling and bad crowns. Many people report improved accuracy after a tin of pellets which indicates the pellets are slowly removing burrs. The two most prominent aftermarket modders of crosmans usually lap these barrels with mothers mag and then recrown with lapping compound or jb bore paste. Don’t think B.B. has the time, inclination or right to go this far with a test gun.

    5-Remove the muzzle brake. Not only would it allow closer inspection of the crown but it would allow you to shoot the gun without it to determine if there’s any pellet clipping. I assume the brake is epoxied on so this is probably not an option for B.B. either.

    kevin



      • BB,
        How about your own recommended technique of eliminating scope problems altogether and try a few shots with the open sights? It looks like it has a post front sight. Did they not include rear since it came with a scope? Perhaps you have a spare peep you could try?


    • Kevin
      I don’t believe you can remove steel burrs from a barrel with lead pellets, of course I supose I could be wrong.
      Loren


      • Loren,

        Water carved the Grand Canyon and Michelangelo’s Moses’ big toe is worn down to a nub by countless thousands of admirers and tourists having touched it for good luck over the centuries. Of course a hundred or a thousand pellets crashing into a burr will eventually wear it away. Just my humble opinion.

        AlanL


  7. HELP!!! I’m not sure what’s going on, but my beyond wonderful Eagle Talon SS is having troubles. The bolt will not seat smoothly (after loading a pellet for firing), and will not release easily (after firing). The top hat doesn’t seem to want to glide into the female part of the bolt and the bolt shows signs of wear on one side – like it’s hitting. Perhaps something is bent so they aren’t lining up perfectly anymore. I don’t know.

    I don’t want to continue to shoot it and damage it further. Anyone have a place to start? It’s never done this before, always has been smooth as silk. Not now. It hasn’t been dropped or taken any hits, so I’m not sure what could have happened. Please help. Thanks.


    • Bristolview,
      You didn’t say whether CO2 or air. I had a CO2 tophat go goofy and sent the CO2 adapter back to PA who replaced it. There was someone else on this blog who had problems like that on air but I don’t remember the solution. Have you talked to PA yet? Might be worth a try.


    • Bristolview,

      The Talon SS bolt has a lot of slop to accommodate a top hat that’s off center. But yours sounds pretty extreme.

      First, I want you to lubricate the two o-rings inside the bolt they way we show in the video.

      If that doesn’t fix the problem, the top hat may have worked loose and needs to be adjusted and tightened again. The correct clearance under the hat brim is 090″”. When it’s there, tighten both screws in the periphery of the hat brim.

      B.B.


      • Thanks BB, I’ll try that. Update: I replaced the tank with a CO2 tank that I use for indoor shooting in my basement 10m range. With the CO2 tank in place, everything works smooth as silk again. Putting the HPA tank on again and… problem returns. Argh! Ok, time to try what BB says.


      • BB – Lubricated the rings, but that isn’t helping the problem. It appears the Top Hat is actually striking the lip and inner side of the bolt. Yes, it appears the top hat is scrogged somehow (my CO2 tank works just fine on the rifle). The tank is pressurized at 2600psi, so I’m a little reluctant to mess with screws on the top hat. Do I need to depressurize the tank before trying to set the screws and top hat? Must respect high pressure.


        • You sure nobody got hold of it and dropped the tank, or fired it with the breech open? Sure sounds like a bent valve stem.

          twotalon


          • No drop that I know of. I didn’t drop it, and nobody else did that I know of. Ack. If it is a bent valve stem, what’s the cure? Does it need to head back to PA or Airforce to fix?


            • It would be best to send it to AF.
              I have heard of guys changing them out themselves, but have not tried it myself.
              I have one tank that has a bad stem (spare). The stem was not threaded straight and makes the tophat cockeyed, but does not bind up in the breech slide. Does not shoot for crap.

              If the tophat comes loose, the velocity and accuracy go to pot. Gets very erratic. Have had a loose one, but it did not bind in the breech.

              twotalon


            • A second thought…
              If the rifle and tank are still new and under PA’s warranty then I would send the tank back to PA for replacement. Otherwise stay with plan A…..send the tank to AF.

              twotalon


        • Bristolview,

          The tophat holds no air pressure. I used to adjust all of them with the valve under full pressure.

          But I like twotalon’s suggestion. Send that tank back and get a replacement. It’s easy enough to do.

          B.B.


          • B.B. and TwoTalon – It is within a year, so I’ll go ahead and send it back like you mention. I contacted PA to see what they say as well since I purchased it from there.

            On a side note – I’ve never really used the CO2 tank on it before. When will it run out of CO2? It seems to shoot and shoot and shoot…. and shoot. Holy smokes, it just seems to go on forever on CO2. I’ve shot a few times with it plinking, but never very much – I’m really impressed, may have to use CO2 more often.


            • Bristolview,

              An AirForce tank full of CO2 will last for many hundreds of shots. So many that I never bothered counting them. Even the most parsimonious owner could not complain about their economy.

              B.B.


              • You’re right. I tried to complain about it, but couldn’t. It’s truly spectacular how many shots it can get on a tank. The ability to refill it at the local paintball store for very little is a great thing. I knew this was a nice HPA rifle for reaching out and touching the target, but I hadn’t really explored it’s potential as a lower powered plinker. Very nice indeed.


  8. B.B. if the accuracy that you got corresponds to the comments on the PA site wouldn’t that indicate that this whole model is a dud? What a surprise from Crosman. I would say that you have enough glass on that gun. :-)

    Duskwight, that’s pretty cool to have your own farm retreat next to such an historic city. Sounds like Leo Tolstoy. I am so jealous of having distance to shoot in. There’s a field next door which would make the most ideal 1000 yard range but it’s public land. It’s only good for sneaking onto to fly my rc airplanes and yesterday’s outing is better off forgotten. So, you were right in the middle of the fires last year. I hope there’s something that can be done to secure the property this year just in case.

    Pete, I found tours of Russian battlefields online! About $5000 for the big battlefields in the company of fellow military history buffs which could be interesting I suppose. You travel by air between the sites which is about the only way to do it.

    Victor, so how did you manage the crush of wildlife? I gather it was not like Will Smith in the film Legend where he is chasing deer through New York in his sports car while trying to get a bead with his AR-15 equipped with a red dot sight. Kind of implausible. By the way, you and others have tamed my right elbow for offhand shooting, so I will just let it find its own preferred height.

    Reloaders, what if I use my new Frankford Arsenal bullet puller to pull a Sierra Match King bullet from a cartridge? Have I ruined the bullet?

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      if that’s a kinetic bullet puller, you won’t ruin anything. You’ll be able to use the bullet and powder over as the powder ends up in the chamber of the puller along with the bullet. Done it many a time with pistol ammo.

      Fred PRoNJ


  9. Surprised by the poor accuracy. I would have assumed these barrels would have been similar in quality to the Discovery barrels, which appear to offer good accuracy. Bub


  10. B.B.,
    I don’t have any experience with this kind of gun, but I wonder why you wouldn’t expect this kind of accuracy at 25 yards for a gun of this velocity range and barrel length?

    Also, you did note that others have experienced similar accuracy. If true, then you’re providing supporting evidence of its real potential, in which case we should expect the same from a different scope, I would imagine.
    Victor


    • Victor, The barrel length shouldn’t be that big of a factor with a co2 gun. As I understand 14-18 inch barrels are about optimum for co2 guns plus B.B. was using a scope for the test. At 25 yards velocity of over 500 fps should be enough for good accuracy. As I said before very disappointing results. Bub


  11. Slinging Lead is already privy to this info but:
    I just took delivery, yesterday exactly, of a Crosman Challenger. I tossed and turned and twisted in the wind for weeks but finally took the leap – therein creeps the dreaded resolve. I can’t add too much to what BB has already put in his 4 part series, to which he suggested a 5th part, but I can’t find it. Go here for an excellent review: http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/09/crosman-challenger-2009-target-rifle_30.html

    The only thing I can add is that I ordered it Sunday evening and received the rifle the following Wednesday at around 1pm. When I clicked on the tracking link PA provides I had a veritable jaw drop. No way! But Yes way! I showed up at my door step three days later! I didn’t have much time but to open the box, attach the peep sight, set up the chrony, and take 11 shots before performing the due diligence that creeps into my retirement life. Unfortunately, today is no better. Why, I ask, does everything have to happen on the same day? Tomorrow, I will shoot the socks off of Cheri.

    I will say that my results were soooo pleasing. When I get time, probably after tomorrow’s session, I’ll include target pics. Suffice it to say I shot two targets Wednesday, one first only so so, the second tantalizingly delicious.

    More tomorrow, I hope Wed wasn’t a Herb’s statistical fluke.




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