Crosman Triple Threat Part 5

Crosman Triple Threat Part 5

From Target Pistol to Pocket Pistol

By Dennis Adler

From the 8-inch barrel down to the 3-1/2 inch barrel, the Crosman Triple Threat goes from being a 10-meter pellet pistol to a snub nose close range pistol that technically bumps heads with the ASG Dan Wesson pellet cartridge firing CO2 model.

You’d need a pretty good sized pocket to carry the Triple Threat with the 3-1/2 inch barrel, but back in the Old West pockets were pretty big and short barrel Colt Peacemakers with 2-inch and 2-1/2 inch barrels were considered pocket-sized. Today, even the Dan Wesson 715 with a 2-inch barrel would be a hard fit because of the combat grips, and the Crosman Triple Threat is even leggier, but with the 3-1/2 inch barrel it is still technically a snub nose revolver. And how great is that when you are still talking about the same $70 gun we started out with last week? read more


Crosman Triple Threat Part 4

Crosman Triple Threat Part 4

Changing barrels and increasing accuracy

By Dennis Adler

Samuel Colt knew there was no one handgun that was perfect. He began by making Pocket Pistols, but even after producing the large .44 caliber models (beginning in 1847), he still offered small caliber Pocket Pistols for concealed carry in a coat or trouser pocket. With modern day manufacturers, the same type of choice in caliber and barrel length remains the standard established by Sam Colt more than 150 years ago. There is still no one handgun that is perfect for every situation. Interchangeable barrels, does, however, present one interesting solution.

Those of us who are sport and recreational shooters have experienced the differences that varying calibers and barrel lengths have upon accuracy and the effectiveness of handguns. This is a historically proven fact that goes back to the early days of Samuel Colt, who started in the 1830s by making 5-shot, small caliber, Pocket Pistols years before his famous .44 caliber Dragoons and the Civil War 1860 Army. Both the Dragoons and 1860 could be fitted with shoulder stocks and used as revolving carbines. Colt still made .32 and .36 caliber Pocket Pistols as well, with barrels as short as 2-1/2 inches. There was a caliber and barrel length suitable to every need. With the design of Colt’s early open top pistols, if you had a spare barrel you could have it cut down and actually have interchangeable barrels on a Colt revolver. read more


Crosman Triple Threat Part 3

Crosman Triple Threat Part 3

Shooting with the 6-inch barrel

By Dennis Adler

Most people have a holster for their handgun, but this gun, if you want to draw it from a holster, needs three different holsters depending upon the barrel installed. You normally need a Dan Wesson Pistol Pack to face this dilemma. For the 6-inch barrel, I used my old Bianchi Phantom shoulder holster. This normally carries an S&W Model 29.

Choices are not common to revolvers. You pick a barrel length and that’s the barrel on the gun, period. In the late 19th century it was possible to easily change barrels on topbreak revolvers, not all, but some, including various Smith & Wesson models; others were quite complicated to change. In 1968, Daniel B. Wesson II, the great-grandson of Smith & Wesson founding partner Daniel B. Wesson, made that a simpler proposition with his interchangeable barrel system. We’ve yet to see that implemented as a CO2 model, and that would fall squarely on the shoulders of ASG, which makes the most authentic Dan Wesson CO2 models but all with fixed barrels (however, they look like the interchangeable Dan Wesson barrels right down to the front barrel locking bushing). Until ASG steps up, if you want to change barrels on a CO2 revolver you have the latest version of Crosman’s solution, the modern topbreak Triple Threat. read more


Crosman Triple Threat Part 2

Crosman Triple Threat Part 2

Basic CO2 pellet revolver

By Dennis Adler

“I know what you’re thinking.” ‘Did he fire 10 shots or only 9?’ “Well, to tell you the truth, in all the excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself….” Ah, the wonders of a higher capacity rotary pellet magazine in a CO2 revolver!

Entry-level is for beginners. It is the most gun for the least money that will introduce and instruct in the safe handling of a firearm, and what better way to begin than with a revolver. In my youth semi-autos were what the Army carried, police and lawmen still packed double action revolvers, Colt and Smith & Wesson models, and I learned to shoot a revolver long before I ever picked up a semiautomatic pistol. Even today, a goodly number of first time gun owners chose to begin with a snub nose revolver, rather than a compact semi-auto as a concealed carry pistol. Modern thinking (conventional wisdom not withstanding) is that first time gun buyers should purchase a semi-auto, while some older gun shop owners will still recommend a revolver. This has taken on an air of being condescending to first time buyers, but honestly, it is not; a revolver is just a good place to begin learning gun handling skills. For a CO2 pistol, the same is appropriate for this new Crosman model since it not only requires learning basic gun handling and shooting skills, including learning how to adjust sights, it affords the opportunity to experiment with different barrel lengths, and for a mere $70 investment. read more


Crosman Triple Threat Part 1

Crosman Triple Threat Part 1

Dan Wesson called, they want their gun back

By Dennis Adler

Well, not really, this isn’t their design, but it does just happen to coincide with Dan Wesson bringing back the famous three-barrel Pistol Pack set, which will set you back a cool two grand to own. That makes this Crosman Dan Wesson-inspired Triple Threat a really good buy at just $69.95. It’s an inexpensive, mostly plastic CO2 pistol (with a cast metal frame), that is more closely allied with the Crosman Vigilante CO2 BB/Pellet revolver, which, like the Triple Threat, uses 6-round BB cylinder clips and 10-round pellet clips. I normally wouldn’t test a gun at this price point for Airgun Experience, but the trio of interchangeable rifled barrels is irresistible at under $70. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 4

The XDM 3.8 Part 4

The 1:1 Shooting Test conclusion

By Dennis Adler

If you had to pick which one is an air pistol at a glance, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the .177 Springfield XDM 3.8 in my right hand (larger .45 ACP muzzle) from the 9mm XDM 3.8 in my left. For authenticity, the XDM’s with Melonite-type black and Bi-Tone polished slides are a perfect match for their centerfire counterparts in both the looks and handling department. But how does the CO2 model stand up against the 9mm for defensive shooting practice?

This last installment is really what practical shooting with a CO2 understudy is all about. What we learn from these shooting drills is the fundamental handling of the centerfire model, and in a 1:1 shooting test at practical defensive distances the lessens are almost entirely interchangeable from holster draw, aiming, and firing. What the photos don’t show is the difference in felt recoil and the sound of a 9mm pistol discharging. Otherwise, what you see with one gun is the same as the other, and that is the bottom line value in training with air. Even if you’re not training to carry concealed, or even considering a 9mm pistol for home protection, the total equivalence of the XDM 3.8 CO2 and centerfire models is beneficial for basic handgun skills, even for shooting air pistols. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 3

The XDM 3.8 Part 3

The 1:1 Shooting Test begins

By Dennis Adler

For the most part, all that separates these two Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 pistols is what comes out of the muzzle and how that round is propelled. With gun powder vs. CO2, Air Venturi and Springfield have mastered the art of building a 1:1 blowback action pistols.

Doing a 1:1 shooting test between a centerfire pistol and its CO2 blowback action counterpart is always exciting, at least for those of us who shoot both cartridge and BB/pellet guns for sport or small arms training. It is often a mix of compromises going from CO2 to centerfire, but with the recent crop of blowback action models beginning last year, it has become more of a level playing field, except for report and recoil between gunpowder and air. The Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 has brought the same level of handling and authenticity to the game as the Sig Sauer WTP 1911, Umarex HK USP Blowback, ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow, Umarex S&W M&P40, and to a lesser extent, the Umarex Glock 17, (however the forthcoming Glock 17 Gen4 CO2 will be field strippable, which puts the Glock in the very same league as the Springfield XD Series of air pistols that are 1:1 in every respect, including exterior design and markings. For the moment, and things are changing monthly as to which gun is the most authentic, the XDM 3.8 Bi-Tone is, in my opinion, the No. 1 CO2 model in this rapidly expanding world of blowback action air pistols. read more