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Education / Training Crosman air pistols: then & now

Crosman air pistols: then & now

By B.B. Pelletier

This posting was requested by a reader who commented on the S&W 78G posting on April 7. That post has received a lot of interest, and his request was that I compare the old Crosman pistols to a new model, such as the 2240.

This Crosman 150 has seen better days,
but it still holds gas and shoots hard!

Crosman’s 2240 is the grandchild of their model 150
The 150 was the first Crosman pistol to use a Powerlet, which was also invented by Crosman. It was available in .22 and .177, though at the time (1954) .22 caliber was more popular.

The 150 evolved into the 250, which became today’s 2240. As you can see, it bears a strong family resemblance. The 2240 is available only in .22, and its velocity of 460 f.p.s. is an honest number. When the 150 was sold, velocity was not commonly advertised, but I have seen speeds from the low 400s up to the low 500s with lightweight pellets. The 150 was a bit of a gas-guzzler, getting 45 to 50 shots at best. The 2240 probably does the same or just a little better.

For many decades, 150s have been modified into powerful carbines by the addition of longer barrels and shoulder stocks. The valve is very similar to the one in the Crosman 180 rifle, and rifle velocities of up to 700 f.p.s. are possible with a longer barrel.

The 2240 has also been modified by many airgunsmiths, with, perhaps, Dennis Quackenbush being the leader. He has converted many 2240s to .25 caliber and one special one to shoot 60-grain 9mm pellets! He has stopped producing 2240 parts, but there are several people who still offer mods in one form or another.

Oldies are goodies – but not necessarily more accurate!
Accuracy, then and now, was the big question our reader asked about, and here I go – out on a limb! The 150 is probably not quite as accurate as the 2240, though there is a lot of variation from gun to gun. The 150 was never as accurate as either the S&W 78G or the Crosman Mark I, but I do find that the 157 (the .177 version of the 150) is just as accurate as the .22/150, if not more so. I’ve seen a few bad barrels among the 150s I’ve examined, which may account for my experiences.

By contrast, the 2240 seems to have a consistently well-rifled barrel. This is probably due to better quality control built into the modern machines now making Crosman’s barrels.

A few other differences between the old & the new
The other big differences between old and new – the 2240 now has a bolt that both cocks and loads the pistol, and the receiver is made of plastic instead of steel. That causes people to long for the “good old days,” even though the new gun is more accurate and may get more shots. Enjoy it while it’s here because some day THESE will be the good old days!

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

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