Crosman 2100B multi-pump air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Crosman’s 2100B is a full-sized multi-pump that hopefully delivers power and accuracy with a few economic concessions.

I’ve been reviewing some basic and even classic airguns and air rifles for the past month, and today’s Crosman 2100B multi-pump is one of them. It was initially my plan to get all these at least started by Christmas 2011, but I didn’t even make that date. Next year, I need to start in early October, because other things do get in the way.

I know many of you are 2100 fans because you’ve said as much in the comments.

I may be the last guest to come to the party where the 2100 is concerned. Only Crosman’s smoothbore 760 Pumpmaster is more popular; and, of course, with the release of the rifled M4-177 late last year, that will be a tough act for any airgun to follow.

Think of the 2100 as the 760′s older brother, though there are a couple very important differences. For starters, this powerplant is completely conventional. You can pump the gun and leave air in the reservoir without cocking it first. That’s a big plus in my book. And the piston stroke in the 2100 is longer than that of the 760, so the power is greater, as well. Best of all, the 2100 has a rifled barrel!

The power level is elevated over that of the smaller multi-pumps. Crosman rates the rifle at 755 f.p.s. with steel BBs and 725 f.p.s. with lead pellets. Naturally, I’ll test both numbers for you, and Crosman Copperhead BBs will be involved. So, this is a more powerful airgun than most of the others in its class.

Sights
The sights are a fiberoptic bead in front and a plain notch in the rear. The rear sight is adjustable in both directions, though the adjustments are crude. There’s an elevator wedge for elevation, and the entire sight can swing in either direction for windage. A screw then locks it in place.

The stock and forearm/pump handle are plastic, but the rest of the exterior of the gun seems to be metal. Only the bolt handle and barrel band are plastic, while the exterior of the barrel is jacketed in some metal around a soda-straw steel barrel. This barrel is rifled, as mentioned, yet the rifle can handle steel BBs if you’re so inclined.

Cocking
The bolt retracts to open a funnel-shaped loading port, similar to what we saw in the review of my vintage Crosman 2200 multi-pump rifle back in 2009. I’ll wait until I’ve loaded the gun several times before reporting on how easy it is to load. Naturally, this time, there are also steel BBs to be loaded from an internal reservoir, so I’ll cover that later as well.

The effort needed to cock this gun is considerable, and buyers should know that before they buy. This isn’t the gun to pick to train your 10-year-old. Think of it as more of an adult pneumatic. I compared it to my vintage 2200, which is much easier to cock, so there’s a possibility that this will wear in with time and use.

Most people love the 2100!
I looked at the owner reviews of the gun, and only one of them was really negative. Apparently, the buyer expected a $125 rifle for $60. He said the barrel is plastic, but it isn’t. It’s metal, but as noted, it’s just a jacket around a soda-straw steel barrel. He was terribly upset about the construction of his gun. So much so that he forgot to report how it shot.

There were 32 others, however, who gave the gun five stars, and I think what they say is a lot closer to the truth. I’ve tested Cannon multi-pump air rifles from Indonesia that are all metal and wood, but don’t shoot worth a darn until their valves are rebuilt by their owners. Even then most of them don’t even perform to spec, and only after they’re made to work at all do the owners discover that the barrels are often less than accurate. I expect more from this Crosman rifle and will be shocked if I don’t get it. A little plastic where it doesn’t matter (and, no, Michael…the one person who gave this a negative review, the bolt handle will not break when you cock the gun — even 10,000 times!) is not a detractor if the performance is there. That’s what this report will determine.

The rifle
Weight-wise, the 2100 is light, but not overly so. At just 4.8 lbs., it lays light in your arms but it doesn’t float the way many similar smaller multi-pumps do. For many people, that’s a good thing. The length of pull is an adult 13-3/4 inches that will work for older kids, as well. The molded plastic stock and forearm are both checkered with large, sharp diamonds that really do grip your hands. Overall, the rifle feels pretty good in the offhand position.

Pellets are loaded singly, but the BBs are poured into a 200-shot reservoir that’s accessed through a discreet hole in the bottom of the pistol grip. Just slide the grip cap to the rear and pour in up to 200 BBs. Pull the BB magazine follower to the rear and lock it in place, then, while holding the muzzle down, shake the rifle from side to move BBs into the 17-shot visible magazine on the left side of the receiver. Finally, release the BB follower. Every time you cock the gun, a magnet on the bolt tip will grab a BB until the BB magazine is empty. It’s possible to have BBs in the larger reservoir and not in the magazine and to shoot pellets single-shot without BBs getting in the way.


The 17-shot BB magazine is located on the left side of the receiver.

Trigger
I measured the trigger-pull with my Lyman electronic scale. The trigger is two-stage with a very short first stage. It’s not adjustable. Stage two breaks very consistently at between 4 lbs., 10 ozs. and 4 lbs., 12 ozs. — as long as the squeeze is slow and consistent. Yank the trigger, and the pull goes over 5 lbs. on the test gun.

Pump effort
I have to comment on the effort it takes to pump this gun, because it could surprise some buyers. Where the 760 Pumpmaster and its derivatives all pump easily, the 2100 does not. It pumps as hard or even harder than a Benjamin 397 multi-pump. I may need to measure this for you. I checked it against my 2200, and it’s close to the same effort for both, so this is probably not going to change.

Hunting?
Yes, and no. Yes to the five percent who can reliably hit a quarter at 30 yards offhand five times out of five. And no to the rest who can’t, but just want an extra-cheap airgun to do what it isn’t made for. And the five percent are also the ones who know better than to try to hunt with such a light air rifle.

Yes, this airgun probably has enough power to take very small game humanely at close range. Unfortunately, too many shooters will try to stretch the distance well beyond what the gun can reliably do. So, please, think of the 2100 as a plinker and not as a hunter.

Overall
This will be another enjoyable rifle to test, because it has so much going for it. No wonder it’s a classic — it feels and handles right!

60 thoughts on “Crosman 2100B multi-pump air rifle: Part 1

  1. This is the rifle that I got for my father-in-law to help with a pigeon problem. I found it to be very accurate, with sufficient power. The only issue that I had with it was with loading pellets. Very clumsy, in my opinion, and his.


    • That may be so , but it is a whole lot easier to load this one than one of the Daisy 880′s. You can load the longer, heavier pellets too.


      • Robert from Arcade,

        I’ve not tried the Daisy 880. My father-in-law has very large clumsy hands, so he keeps flipping the pellets, causing them to load backwards. To help with this issue I got some thin straws, just larger than a pellet diameter, and snipped one end diagonally, so that he can just drop the pellet through the straw, and it will fall in with the proper orientation.

        Again, this rifle is surprisingly accurate, considering it’s price tag. Because he lives in the suburbs, having variable power is a real plus. Except for the loading issue, it’s the perfect gun for him. I would have given him my 760, but it’s way to small for him, and it’s definitely not as accurate. The 2100B is a good size for a man of his stature.

        Victor


        • Victor: You also might have found the Daisy .22 cal SG version of the 880 type powerline series to have been a good choice. Easier to handle the bigger pellet and no bb res. to deal with , and even came with a good 1′ tube 4X scope. I have one and it is easy to pump and much quieter than the 2100. Sadly it appears that Daisy in their zeal to produce more of the low quality and cheap under powered MSPs have discontinued it.


          • Robert,
            Yeah, it was a tough choice for me. I had to choose between between a Daisy and the Crosman, deciding with almost a toss of a coin. My father-in-law is not a “gun enthusiast”, so my mother-in-law advised me not to spend too much, or get fancy in any way. I already had a few extra scopes, so I gave him one of those. He says that he’s only spotted 3 pigeons, after installing spikes where they use to collect, and all were one shot kills. I’d say it was a good choice.
            Victor


  2. B.B.

    I had one that looked about like this a very long time ago. Did they make one in .22 at one time? Seems to me that I had one in .22, but it has been a long time.

    twotalon


  3. B.B.

    Speaking of multi-pumps, at the Roanoke show you hinted at Crosman making a new multi-pump. Can you tell us a little more about it?


  4. The 2200 which was the .22 version was similar but had a squared off receiver . The 766 was the earlier .177 version of the 2100. The bolt and inner barrel assembly of the 2200 can be subsituted in the 2100 to change it to a .177. On my example of the 2100 ,I found that you want to watch the front receiver screw that holds the receiver halves together, and clamps around the barrel pump assembly. It gets loose from pumping. Then the front end can develope a slight side to side play . If you use a one piece scope mount on this one it stiffens the receiver and helps prevent that from happening. Put a good 1″scope on it and break it in ,and the accuracy will suprise you. Mine likes the ram jet pellets that Beeman used to sell and that are similar to the H&N ones that PA carries now. It is not a squirrel rifle as BB mentions, but then again it does have about the same swat that a R-7 does, and some folks hunt with those too. Mine has been used to wack starlings and has the same practical field accuracy of my 12 ft/lb .177 springers at a fraction of the cost.


    • Correction to my reply above: the bolt and barrel from the 2200 can be used to change a 2100 to a .22 cal. if you like to tinker.


      • hi robert i have a 2100 and i find it to be an amazing rifle it does a real number on the flying rats but i wonder if has any tried to change it to a .20 cal (5mm) that way you have the best of both then dont you any comments on that ?


  5. My 2100 has to be one of my most accurate air rifles that I’ve ever used. I bought mine years ago from Dick’s in the bundle that included a cheapie scope.

    I used it to handle an heavy squirrel problem (around 20 that needed to go) at the time and it did it’s job, but I don’t think I’d use it again for that. My opinion of the rifle has changed over time. At one point I was pretty die hard that it was the perfect small game rifle- not so sure about that any more.

    The one fault it shares with it’s bretheren 2200- what a pain in the rear they are to load. Fine shooting rifles though.


    • Al,

      I’m getting the same comment from several people about the loading. My 2200 shares this problem, so I understand.

      B.B.


  6. Ahh…Memories! The first air rifle that was ever *mine* (not my dad’s) was an old Crosman 766 that I got for Christmas when I was about 11 or 12. I can’t imagine how many thousands of pellets and BBs went through that rifle. Most of them hit cans, plastic bottles, pine cones, or little green army men; a few were used to shoot things I won’t list here for fear of giving today’s kids bad ideas (not that they won’t come up with their own). I still have the rifle, and recently re-sealed it so my own kids could shoot it. I do have to disagree with BB’s review on one point: In my opinion (and my kids’), it is much easier to pump than a 760 because of the longer lever-arm on the pump. The only thing they prefer about the 760 is that it is shorter and easier for them to handle.

    Cosmetically, this 2100 looks exactly like my old [third variant] 766. Does anyone know for sure what the differences are?

    Neil in VA


  7. Good day!

    So, I finally got the time to fix my recently purchased, non-functioning FB124. I replaced piston and breech seals, and the main spring. It all went fairly easily (maybe about a total of 4 hours) with the help of BB’s writings on this subject. Mind you this is the first time I do this type of replacement work in an air rifle. So, thank you again BB for your clear explanations. I have shot it only a couple of times and it is still detonating. I guess it will self correct after 10 shots or so. Then I will look at velocities, etc. As an interesting note, the Mosin Bayonet is also a really good tool to remove the pieces of seal from the chamber…

    This experience now encourages me to tackle a perhaps more difficult fix. About two years ago, the Gamo Whisper ceased to function. When I described the problem, a couple people said it was a broken spring. I will now open it to figure out what’s wrong. Does anyone know where to find a spring for this rifle (not the gas spring) and parts in general. Maybe something else broke, not the spring, plus I may want to replace some parts.


    • TE,

      So your 124 is back up and running again. Good for you!

      Now the Gamo is more difficult to work on, so don’t get cocky.

      B.B.


    • Tom@Buzzard Bluff,

      thank you for the useful information! I did replace the trigger in this rifle a while before it broke. I got the GRTIII (name?) from CDT, and it did transform the rifle.
      I will look for those parts and see how it goes. I did fashion a spring compressor using a 3 ton hydraulic jack, so it should not be a problem on that end.

      Thanks
      T.E.


  8. On the 766, slid over the barrel shroud there is a short section of tapered tubing just in front of the receiver that the rear sight is fastened to. On the current 2100 the rear sight is just screwed to the barrel shroud. BTW, those screws are sometimes to long and they press against the barrel inside the shroud and affect accuracy.


  9. BB,
    Do you know if the Katana Discovery stock is still in production?

    Finally saved enough cash to buy myself one for Christmas… unfortunately it is still on back order. Just wondering if it is still in production.

    Mach-1


  10. Edith,
    I have been having trouble leaving comments over the last several months. I type the comments then after doing a spell check I hit the OK button and the comments vanish into cyber space nevermore to be seen again.
    I wont do spell check this time so hopefully it will get to you.

    Thanks
    Pete


    • Pete in the Caribbean,

      Looks like there’s an issue with your browser & spell check.

      If anyone else has the same issue, please respond to this thread. I’ll take it up with the IT department if it’s not an isolated case.

      Thanks,
      Edith


      • For my spell checking needs I use the firefox browser to write comments. The browser recognizes misspellings as you write them and underlines them with a squiggly red line. Right clicking a red underlined word pulls up a list of suggestions. It is a very elegant method in my opinion.


  11. Good morning B.B.!

    I have an off-topic question and a fantasy… Has anyone ever used an airsoft Green Gas/propane system in a steel bb or pellet gun?

    I’m wondering specifically if this could be used in a Walther PPK pellet pistol. I love this little GBB pistol and I have three of them: the black, the tuxedo, and an airsoft version. I’d love to see a rifled bbl lead pellet version of this gun that used propane or even CO2. Even more, I’d love to see a pkg deal that offered the gun with a skeleton shoulder stock and a fake silencer that was a rifled extension for greater power and accuracy. Perhaps in .22 and even .25 pellet calibers as well.

    Ah well, I suppose this is just fantasy but still, hope springs eternal. For instance, I have a Nikkor 28-300mm FX lens that once upon a time was considered impossible to build, and yet here it sits on my D700, a reality at last.


    • Joe B,

      Green gas operates at about 115 psi at room temperature. CO2 operates at 850 psi at room temperature. To move a projectile as dense as a steel BB out of a short barrel takes more pressure than green gas can generate. You could dump the entire reservoir — it just would not have the energy needed for the job. Now if the barrel were 25 inches long, perhaps it would work.

      B.B.


  12. Happy New Year. I’ve been in the land of firearms and now must rebuild my finer skills back on my airgun range. But I can say that I’ve increased my appreciation of airguns after the amazing hassle and expense of transporting my stuff by plane and to the shooting range back home. There were few range screw-ups so I’m getting better. One was when I moved from 50 to 100 yards with my Anschutz rifle. I had the Centerpoint scope zeroed at 50 yards, but when I moved to 100 yards, the point of impact had dropped over a foot. I cranked the elevation to maximum and was still low by several inches. And anyway, my blog-trained mind shouted “floating erector tube.” What was especially baffling was that the rifle scope combination had worked perfectly before at this range and nothing was loose. Back home, I checked everything, and it was fine. The next time out, I still had a considerable drop in point of impact but was able to zero to correct it. I have no explanation for this. Does a strong crosswind also cause an elevation drop? Did I have some flawed lot of ammunition?

    More disturbing was working with my reloads for my M1. I was not crimping the rounds in and darn it after one jam, the cartridge came apart as I ejected it spraying gunpowder all over the shooting bench. To my horror, an examination by tactical flashlight revealed that a bunch of powder had fallen down into the action! The sensible thing to do would have been to disassemble the rifle, but I don’t know how to do that and cannot anyway because it would ruin the modifications that have been done. So, with flashlight in hand, I went in with a Q-tip and fetched out every single particle of powder. In spite of this, the trip was a success. I finally reached the recommended high pressure load for my rifle, and it worked flawlessly and blasted out tiny groups at 100 yards. In the process, I came to a new understanding of the Rifles of Genius (like the M1). Somehow these mechanisms achieve higher-level design nodes that combine aesthetics, function, accuracy, ergonomics all together, and shooting them is pure joy. I’ll be on the lookout for more guns of genius.

    I also discovered the secret to shooting the 1911. Shoot lighter bullets!

    Not sure if I’ve missed a discussion thread on this, but I noticed that some kid went crazy and was brandishing a pistol pellet gun in a school until he was shot dead by police. Of course the tragedy is primary, but I shudder to think about the misguided legislation about airguns that will be coming down the pike because of this irrational act.

    So, simple math is required to post now! So far so good. :-)

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      Yes, a strong crosswind does cause an elevation drop, but that is a function of the rifling twist direction as well as the direction of the wind. In the case of your Anschutz (if I recall correctly), a left-to-right crosswind drops the bullet, while right-to-left causes it to rise. I’d imagine that elevation as a function of crosswind strength forms a diagonal line across the center of the bull.

      However, I suspect that the issue that you experienced is something else.

      Victor


  13. this looks like Crosman’s answer to the Daisy 880 and I love my 880.

    Yes, the pellet loading can be clumsy. I lay the pellet on the ramp then “roll” it in with the tip of my thumb.

    I’ve sure changed my mind on multi-pumps these days.


    • I should gush more about it: The scope it comes with is trash – get a Crosman 4X “Targetfinder Superscope” or really, a 4X Bushnell Banner. I’m hoping to come across a nice old Weaver K4 or some sort of classic metal small-tube .22 scope at a gun show and now that I have wheels again, I may be able to visit some.

      The guns is plastic-fantastic, but the pumping arm seems plenty strong enough, the plastic-handle bolt does what it’s supposed to do, and the plastic receiver seems to hold the scope rings OK.

      The styling is pure 1970-ugh. Good thing I got it to shoot, not look at. And it *does* look fitting, on its two-nails-in-the-wall-covered-with-aquarium-tubing “gun rack” in my “trailer shaped object” dwelling. Yee-haw!

      The trigger can be described as, “Squdge”. However there’s worse than squdge, far worse: Creep, grate, rocky-road. Squdge is good enough and maybe I’ll attempt a trigger job someday.

      I recommend, look at the Crosman 2100B because my impression from this review is, it’s a hair better than my beloved 880.


  14. I just learned something very interesting.

    Airguns and tractors are similar in that there isn’t a airgun or tractor that can “do it all”. Most men need several of each. Most women will never understand this and question the purchase of yet another airgun or tractor.

    Colin J King (General Manager – NSP Eng Ltd/Air Arms) has been a key designer of several Air Arms pellet guns (most recently the EV2) AND he designed tractors!

    This helps me understand Josh Ungier and Tom Gaylord a little better. They’re certainly in good company.

    Although I haven’t been able to verify this yet, I have information that Josh Ungier keeps most of his tractor collection on his property while Tom Gaylord stores his tractor collection off site.

    kevin



      • Tractors …. yet another project. We’ve got a Ford around here that a friend comes over and does the mowing with once a year, but now that the friend’s got a girlfriend, it looks like I ought to become The Keeper Of The Ford.

        The thing around here is, maintenance is put off on things until it’s an emergency, or until the item is needed and then it’s a frantic scrabble of Slime’ing and filling up tires, and me, sticking a finger up into the carb on the tractor like the Little Dutch Boy while someone fabricates a gasket. Same lack of timely maintenance goes for the car; I got in under there and changed the oil and the old stuff looked like Love Potion No. 9.

        Unlike this fearsome machine of a motorcycle I just got, and that literally I will have to build up to riding any real distance, using a tractor does not require a lot of physical strength. It needs some work on its hydraulics since it has arms on it for some sort of a scraper blade, but that’s pretty easy stuff.

        There are actually a *lot* of neat toys around here. In fact, there was a bright red, “bitchin’ camero” here that I was offered free, but at the time my cash flow was too low and then it was given to a friend. Oh, well!

        Advise to Tom: Get 5 acres and scatter machinery and junk all over, you’ll never be bored.



          • A noble reason!

            I’ve got work, once a week right now but I think they’ll put me on more hours, up in the santa cruz mountains – and flea markets coming up – so I looked around at the various vehicles sitting around here and …. most have rat-eaten wires or have been poached for too many parts. So I harbor a similar attitude toward the order Rodentia.




    • Kevin: I have a couple tractors, and I have been known to wax them, but my trucks and van are lucky to get washed. As far as women understanding our love of tractors my wife actually has her own and loves them . So some ladies do understand. However, she doesn’t shoot anything and is at a loss as to why I do. BTW, if anyone is in need of tractor literature, I have several years of the Ford 9N ,2N, 8N ,& 600 news series magazine just gathering dust here. Maybe trade for something?



  15. Oh wow. Tractors on the blog now. This is a very eclectic circus group of people. Also brings to mind of a Kubota two friends and me purchased NEW in 1980 to help clear 8 hectors of land in the West Kootany area of British Columbia. It had 4 wheel drive, a front end loader and a three point hitch for other accessories. When our partnership dissolved, we were all very distressed to see the Kubota go. For a measly $7000.00.
    As for the Crosman 2100B multi pump, I think it is a great air gun for a youth. Although the 13 1/2 inch pull seems a bit long for a youngster. Although kids seem to be growing bigger thees days. Owr local high school basketball team has 3 players over 6’6″. Unheard of in my day.
    Cheers Titus


    • I have been lucky enough ,and have worked hard enough to have been able to purchase four brand new tractors of my own. I still have three of them.IMO, There is nothing more exciting than waiting for that flat bed to deliver them. In comparison, buying even a new good car is anti-climatic, almost boring.


    • Kubota’s not necessarily a good word around here, apparently the land owner bought a sort of “grey market” Kubota for a mere $6 grand, and he can’t find parts of the darned thing. I should look at it, I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.


      • Flobert. I wouldn’t know about the reliability of Kubota. Ours was bright orange with a great 4 cylinder diesel.It had only 25 hours on it when it was sold. One of my less than mechanical partners almost did it in when he was asked to change the oil. He had dumped in 3 litres of Quaker State gasoline motor oil. Fortunately, his mistake was caught in time. Not too mechanical, but he is a good architect thees days.


  16. I have a friend that used one in .177 with a scope mounted to clear out his local infestation of red squirrels. We have a lot of them around here. (But not around my house, it took three years to thin them out.)

    Mike


  17. I would be interested in how this Crosman 2100 compares with a Daisy 880. I remember the 880 being easy to pump and load, and more slender too.

    You might be interested to see Ted’s review on this at Ted’s Hold-over YouTube channel. He says it will only shoot around 600 fps with real world pellets. I bet the 725 fps figure was measured with 4 gr. Crosman SSP pellets, which I’ve found to be wildly inaccurate in all of my guns. If the above is true, the Daisy 880 should easily beat this gun in most respects.


    • Smaug,

      Are you really a dragon? :D

      This is why we test these guns. I will use a variety of pellets in my test, and you’ll know exactly what the test gun can do.

      B.B.


  18. Are you really a BB? Hehehe.

    Cool handle though, right? Surprisingly few people know who Smaug is. (hint: read The Hobbit, by Tolkien. You can thank me later ;) )

    I’m anxiously awaiting the rest of your testing. I’ll bet you tin of .177 Exacts that it will not shoot 725 fps with lead pellets.

    Keep up the good work on your blog, and thanks for the prompt reply!

    -Jeremy (Smaug1 on The Yellow)



  19. I wish to order an Air rifle o.177 cal it seems to be 2100B will be ok for my target practice, Pls Let me know how can i order the product to get shiped to india.


  20. 880 has more power then the 2100,and the 880 has a shorter barrel then the 2100,as far as go,s the 2100 has better aim because the gun is heaver and if shooting off a rest it is more stable,the cure for the 880 is as follows take the stalk off and fill it with fast drying plaster,This gives the gun more mass and easier to control,second thing to do is take low expanding foam take your front site off and let some foam drip down between the barrel and barrel cover or shroud,do not use very much or you will ruin gun,let it dry,then pick off the excess,i use a popsicle stick or plastic spoon knife to remove excess,once you put the foam in you must put your front site back on right away so to position your inner barrel and shroud in alignment ,and never get it inside your barrel or have fun cleaning it out,let dry over night ,if every thing go’s right you will have a accurate killing machine that will make crossman 2100 look like a toy….. Cons and Pros of 2100,nice receiver made of metal,the power plant crosman screwed it up from day one it is just way under powered for a gun with that barrel length,the only thing you could do is if you had a lath turn out a longer valve with another half inch more in length,then you need to remove that half inch from you push rod on the piston,then foam the barrel to heighten things up,then the 2100 would smoke the 880 in power and accuracy.


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