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Education / Training Nothing new under the sun!Crosman CG-series CO2 rifles

Nothing new under the sun!Crosman CG-series CO2 rifles

by B.B. Pelletier

Crosman’s CG was a standard 101 pneumatic with a CO2 tank hung below the action. It held CO2 for hundreds of shots!

The longer I study airguns, the more I’m convinced there are precious few new ideas. No doubt that you are aware of Crosman’s 88-gram AirSource CO2 cylinder introduced a few years ago. It holds enough CO2 liquid and gas to power a gun for hundreds of shots. But, the AirSource isn’t a new idea. There were Crosman guns with massive CO2 tanks in the 1940s, just after World War II. Today I’d like to share one with you.

Military surplus
The popular story (which sounds true) is that the military had thousands of brass CO2 tanks left after the war. They had been used to inflate life rafts. When someone from Crosman located them, they thought it was too good to leave alone. Before the war, Crosman had been working on some shooting gallery rifles that were tethered with hoses to large bulk gas tanks. These small 4-oz. tanks seemed ideal for making an autonomous gun, so that’s just what they did.

The Silent makeover
Taking the Silent pneumatic (the model 100 and 101 from 1924), Crosman tweaked the valve to run on CO2 and hung the tank down from the gun. This also wasn’t a new idea, since ball reservoir airguns had done pretty much the same thing with a spherical air reservoir since the middle 18th century. The new gun was called the model 100/101CG, for compressed gas. None of the guns had model numbers marked on them, as Crosman wasn’t doing that at the time.

Other than how the gun is powered, the rest of the rifle is the same as a 1940s 101 pneumatic…the same maple and walnut stocks, the same peep sights and the same painted finishes. My rifle has a steel barrel, which I think was more common than brass in that era.

Besides the rare .177 and the far more common .22 caliber rifles, they also made a ball-firing .21 caliber rifle. The idea was that a proprietary caliber would force shooters to come to Crosman for ammunition. That caliber was somewhat scarcer than .22 but a lot more common than .177. No ammunition is available today, except in collections.

The slanted tank
The straight vertical tank shown here is the most common variation of the CG rifle. There was also a version in which the tank slanted backwards on an angle. It’s somewhat scarcer but not at all rare.

The CG guns were powerhouses for their day. The one shown above gets 575 f.p.s. with .22-caliber Crosman Premier pellets. The valves in both the rifle and the tank were refurbished by Rick Willnecker about eight years ago to bring them up to specs, and the CO2 tank has never been allowed to run dry since then. It will probably hold for the next 40 years.

Compare that performance to a modern Benjamin AS392T, which gets 610 f.p.s. with the same pellet. Accuracy is equivalent to a Crosman pneumatic of the same period, which is almost the same as a Benjamin 392 pneumatic today. The trigger is lighter because there were far fewer worries about product liability in those days.

You’ll pay $250 and up these days for a CG in working condition. I find it a pleasant rifle with funky looks and a reminder that there are seldom completely new ideas.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

29 thoughts on “Nothing new under the sun!Crosman CG-series CO2 rifles”

  1. Can you recomend a good pistol for informal (local matches) 10 meter. I shoot rifle (10m Olimpic both .22 and Ansultz PCP) in high school in St. louis. I’m looking into getting into pistols on my own time. I own a couple rifles but no pistols. I’m pretty expereinced. I was looking at the Marksman 2004, IZH 53m, Crosman 2300T(nice review), and Daisy 747. How is the Crosman 1377, though it’s not on my list (not a fan of pumping in a 60 shot match!). Which is the most accurate, best bargain (I’m sort of broke), and best sights. Keep up the good work.


  2. Hi B.B.,

    Cool, I really like the looks of that CO2 airgun. Sometimes your history ‘lessons’ don’t draw many on-topic comments, but I really enjoy them. Thanks for sharing your collection! Just how many airguns do you own anyway!? {grin}

    So, here’s my off-topic comments {grin}: Whenever anyone posts a comment to one of your past topics/articles does the blog software automatically show you those comments, or do you have to go hunting for them?

    The reason I ask: I have a couple of questions directly related to the “Spring gun tune” series you started back in June and finished in August, 2006. I’m thinking about posting a question directly to the comments section of one of those articles.

    It seems like a good idea, to post comments/questions with the topical articles you write. That would keep articles and their related comments closely tied… on topic, for your future readers.

    But, I’m wondering if that’s useful or effective, with regards to your daily and frequent readers. For one thing I’ve yet to figure out how to use the blog’s search feature, to find particular text within reader comments much less find reader comments posted on a particular day.

    I’d find it interesting and even useful, to be able to perform that kind of search. Is it me or is it the limitations of the blog software/Google search that apparently prevents using such a search criteria?


  3. From a rest, how would the 2004 group at 10 meters. How is the trigger and ease of cocking and sights. Also where could I find local matches in the St. louis area. Most clubs support sillowete, which I enjoy, but only in high power, pistol,etc. all fiream. Thanks again HB

  4. this is off topic…i recently bought a remington spring airgun, really good looking, but i could feel the power seep out of it, as well as the accuracy. i have been looking at the New gamo varmint hunter w/ bull bore, what do you think? can it be more reliable?

  5. First time writer and not sure about the correct way to pose a question to you. I recently acquired a Beeman 1100 ??? I cannot find either the rifle or a review on this rifle anywhere. Online research reveals only (by my own conclusion) that this is really an SS1000, however the box clearly indicates “Model 1100” and above the USP it says “Beeman 1053”.

    In any case I am wondering if you could address this rifle. I quite like it in looks, and power but don’t have the expertiese to actually rate it.

  6. The Beeman number 1053 is a SKU used by everyone in the industry to track that model. It does identify the model but it’s not the model number.

    Beeman has has a number of 1000-series guns. I couldn’t find SKU 1053, but SKU 1050 is the regular SS1000, so we’re very close.

    These rifles are made in Spain, and are similar to the Gamo guns like the Shadow 1000. They have okay accuracy and as breakbarrels require a hold that allows them to move and recoil as much as possible. Do not grasp the stock with your fingers; let it rest on the open palm of your hand.

    Spanish spring guns are generally not quite as accurate as German rifles, with the exception of the Gamo CF-X. They are, however, accurate enough to keep all shots on a quarter at 30 yards.

    What else would you like to know?


  7. I recently aquired a 101 CG slant from my grandfather’s estate. It needs to be refurbished and is missing the tank. Any recommendations on tech and also where to get a tank(s)?

  8. I don’t know what you mean by “information on tech.”

    You can get your rifle resealed by the following

    Rick Willnecker Contact him at airgunshop@aol.com or call 717-382-1481.

    This man can make you an adaptor to use a 3.5-ounce paintball tank instead of the proper tank for your rifle

    Jeff Meier jmdesign3@verizon.net

    An original tank will take some searching. I recommend you watch the classified ads on the American Airguns website.



  9. I read with interest your comment regarding the “Beeman Model 1100” posted November 10th.
    Three of us, all avid shooters have just purchased, from Wally World, this same air rifle.
    The markings on mine are as follows: Beeman Mod 1100 SN6100XXXX Cal 4.5(.177) “F” (with a pentagon stamped around it) Made in China. The stationary barrel portion has stamped on it: Sportsman 1000 Series.
    We all paid around $125.00 for the air rifles which included a 3-9 x32 scope which seems to be a very nice piece of equipment. It hefts the weight of a 50 cal. BAR but seems to be highly accurate … AHW

  10. i am a memeber of the bayou airgun club here in louisiana. i personally use several air guns, all in .177 cal, i use a steyr arms pre charged pnumatic, a beeman r1 which is pro tuned. and finally a beeman model 1100 bought from wal mart.. i recomend the 1100 to anyone, both experianced and un experiancedalike. this rifle is very forgiving in it’s accuracy and shoots at around 1000 fps. the actual velocity is 1032 fps thanks to my laser speed finder.. however, after around 10,000 to 15,000 shots the spring will fatigue and accuracy and speed will drop quite severely. however a new spring is only around 15 bucks and any gun shop can install it for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.. so go have fun shooting and maybe i’ll see you one day at the championships

  11. After searching the web for a week and could not find any info on lightening the trigger, I disambled it this afternoon, and found that the 2 screws on both sides of the gun (hidden by plastic covers) were TOTALLY loose! I also added some lub to the auto-safety slide, tighten the side screws, and the trigger is very ligth now, about 3 lb

  12. Keith,

    We don’t gert into anything that will void warrantys or cause product liability problems, as a rule. There have been a few exceptions, but triggers are generally not among them.

    However, if you do decide to proceed, the trigger is straightforward and will respond to most conventional trigger work.


  13. BB, thanks for the info on the trigger.

    Another question: Do you know of any “on/off valves” (likely the wrong description) that would allow me to disconnect a partly full airsource bottle from my Benjamin AS392T?

    After searching the net, I was hoping to buy one of these (http://www.cooper-t.com/airguns2.html – see SKU #5800) but they appear to have gone out of business – their email bounces, their phone and fax is disconnected.

    Any ideas? Thanks! Keith

  14. BB Pls help me out. I have just obtained a 101GC just like the picture except the bottle has the angle adapter. I have as yet to locate the bottle, still looking.

    Where could one be obtained in case I cant find the original.

    Do you know what size and type threads. Can it be adapted for air from a scuba tank … what about hand pump? How much pressure is required to fire ?


  15. Cal,

    A CG tank is going to be hard to come by. You need to go to an airgun show to locate one. The “bottle” you mention is a 10-ounce tank that refills some other Crosman guns, but not the CG. You can see one in my video article about Roanoke 2008:


    This guy MIGHT be able to help:

    What guys do is adapt a 3.5 ounce paintball tank to the gun. Contact this guy for help:

    Mac-1 http://www.mac1airgun.com/

    I’m sorry but I don’t know about the threads. Either of those two resources should know. The CG is not suited to high pressure air without a lot of modifications. CO2 produced 853 psi at 70 degrees F.


  16. I own one of the Old Crossman CG air rifles with the slanted tank. I found it in my grandfathers closet in Ohio. He thinks he took it from my dad as a child but can't recal. It's not in great shape like the one in the picture but it is still nice. The wood has great patina and all the parts are there. What is this air rifle WORTH? I've heard maybe 500$ or more, but probably not in so so condition like mine…Thanks All

    • nibstools,

      The bulk 10oz. tank is attached by screwing it into the inlet port and then opened. The tank is refilled this way: /blog/2006/03/working-with-bulk-fill-co2-guns/?swcfpc=1


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