Crosman 2300S target pistol- Part 1

by B.B Pelletier

Apparently, a few of you were as thrilled as I was about this new pistol, because I got comments to that effect right away. Today, I want to look deeper into the gun and explore some of the things advanced airgunners are going to want to know.

For starters, this IS NOT a 2240 with a .177 barrel
We got that comment, and I want to assure you all that this is a completely new airgun. To answer a comment from a couple of weeks back, the receiver of the 2300S is steel, and, as you can see in the picture, it is much longer than the plastic receiver of the 2240. The new gun’s receiver is also dovetailed the full length for a scope, unlike the 2240.

Until now, if Crosman pistol users wanted a steel breech for their pistols, they went to someone like Dennis Quackenbush, who makes them as aftermarket options that were retrofited to existing guns. The latest price of one of his complete guns with a steel breech but without the Lothar Walther barrel, the special target sights or the adjustable trigger, was $130. So, the price of the 2300S is right in the ballpark.

Not only is the receiver of the 2300S steel (top), it is also much longer than the plastic receiver of the 2240. The longer receiver holds onto more of the barrel, plus it offers a longer surface for the deep 11mm dovetails.

Ties to the 150
Another person mentioned that he enjoyed Crosman’s 150 pistol the most of all. Well, the 2300S has a LOT of ties to the 150, though none of the old parts appears to have been resurrected. The 150 has adjustable power and so does this one. The 150 has a movable piercing pin and, though I have only pierced a few powerlets at this point, it seems the 2300S does, as well. The 150 is all-steel and so is this new handgun. Like I said before, Crosman is making a bold statement with the introduction of the 2300S: they know what their customers really want and are ready to make it for them. I am so used to airgun companies getting all jazzed when they introduce a new line of packaging that this pistol caught me completely by surprise.

Velocity test 1
Because the power is adjustable, I decided to use a single brand of Crosman pellets and test the muzzle velocity at the high and the low ends to see what the limits are. I chose Crosman Copperhead pointed pellets. Because the weight of many of their .177 pellets is 7.9 grains, the numbers I got can just as easily be attributed to other shapes that weigh the same. On the lowest power setting, the first 10 shots gave an average of 422 f.p.s., with a spread from 414 to 428. Going to the highest power setting, the average was 484, with a spread from 475 to 492.

Velocity test 2
Then, I turned the power wheel down from full power one turn at a time, to see what kind of adjustment there was. The first turn yielded no appreciable change. The second turn also saw no measurable change. On turn three, the average velocity dropped to 462, with a spread from 458 to 466. That proved to be a sweet spot for the pistol I am testing. Four turns down showed another small velocity decrease and five did, as well. The average was now down to 444 f.p.s. and the spread was 438 to 450.

Velocity test 3
At this point in the test, the first powerlet had already fired 60 total shots – Crosman’s claim for the maximum from a powerlet. I turned up the power to high and got an average of 484 f.p.s. with a spread from 479 to 487. Compare that to the first test on high power, which was started at shot 24. The averages are the same, and the highest velocity is only five f.p.s. slower. At this point, the pistol had 70 shots on the powerlet and was still in the zone. I adjusted to low power and got an average of 415 f.p.s., with a spread from 411 to 425. The average and the high and low have now slipped a few f.p.s., but you are still in the running at 80 shots on the powerlet.

After shot 80, I noticed the classic decline in velocity that comes at the end of a powerlet’s life. On high power, shot 81 registered 480, but shot 90 was at 452. Switching to low power for the next 10 shots, the average was 403, but the spread opened up to from 385 to 411. Shot 100 went 385, so we know this powerlet is finished, but 80 good shots from a powerlet is more than anyone has a right to expect, especially when the pistol has this kind of power. What about the claim of 525 f.p.s. maximum velocity? It’s possible with lighter pellets, plus the gun should speed up a little as it breaks in.

Pellet feeding
I noticed the pointed pellets had the tendency to tip upon entering the barrel. Twice I had to rod out tipped pellets that were jammed crossways in the breech. The solution is to elevate the muzzle when loading. Once I learned how to do it, I had no more problems.

There is so much more to report on this pistol that I will have to come back to it soon. Tomorrow. I’m going to start my report on another airgun many readers have been waiting for, so I’ll give this a rest for several days. I also have a 2300T pistol to test for you, so this series is by no means over!