By B.B. Pelletier

Yesterday, I covered an old classic, and some of you probably wish you had been around in the “good old days” to buy guns like the Crosman M1 Carbine. Well – I’m telling you right now – THESE are the good old days, too!

The best from Crosman
As proof, I submit the Crosman Challenger 2000. This CO2 target rifle was not made for the popular market but for serious NRA competition, but it became such a hit with airgunners (and right away, too) that Crosman had to make the gun for everyone.

Everything about the Challenger 2000 is designed for one thing – NRA Sporter-Class competition, and that’s exactly why adult airgunners LOVE this gun! It’s dead-on accurate, it feels great to hold and it has everything a shooter needs to punch the 10-ring out of a target at 33 feet.

Crosman and Daisy went separate ways
Daisy is Crosman’s sternest competitor in this market, but Daisy went a different way when they designed their equivalent competition rifle for the NRA. They made their Avanti 888 Medalist a bulk-fill CO2 gun instead of one charged by powerlets. Now, there’s nothing wrong or inferior about that, but the average shooter doesn’t have bulk-fill equipment at home.

The Crosman Challenger runs on conventional 12-gram CO2 Powerlets (from Crosman – who else?). That makes it more of an average shooter’s rifle than the Daisy, and, as such, it has a strong following among individual shooters (as opposed to organized teams). It’s a gun you can take out of the box and be shooting in a few minutes, yet it gives away no accuracy to do so.

Loading is a breeze!
To load, all you do is pull back on a T-shaped rod. It is SO easy that I’m surprised Crosman hasn’t yet used it on any of their sporting airguns. Since there is no magazine, the pellet lies easily in the loading trough, and a light push on the T-handle closes the breech for firing.

The rest of the gun has more great features
The stock is ambidextrous, as is the loading process. The stock also adjusts for length and the height of the comb. The trigger is good, but not an Olympic target-grade trigger, so there will be some creep. The sights are first-rate target sights, though designed to save you money.

The Challenger 2000 is not a magnum air rifle, and it does cost more than other Crosman air rifles – a lot more! But, it does what it was designed to do. If you’re considering an affordable target air rifle, you had better check out this one!