by B.B. Pelletier

Crosman’s 2240 pistol is a classic single-shot CO2 pistol. It has more potential than many airgunners realize, yet it sells at a rockbottom price.

The Crosman 2240 pistol is one of those bread and butter guns that have assured Crosman’s continued presence in the airgun world. It’s as simple as dirt, and thus has a following of tens of thousands of enthusiastic airgunners, many of whom are learning about guns through this very worthy platform. In fact, I have an interesting anecdote about such airguns to share with you.

In 2001, I was at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Kansas City, and the NRA hosted an airgun breakfast. Normally, the airgun breakfast was a SHOT Show event, but in the beginning they held it at both SHOT and NRA Meetings. Dennis Quackenbush and I were seated next to the then-current CEO of the Crosman Corporation. That was before Ken D’Arcy joined them.

We were talking about Crosman’s SSP 250 pistol and the 2240, and Dennis was telling the Crosman boss how his business had grown because of all the aftermarket add-ons he made for these guns. The Crosman guy seemed to be incredulous at what Quackenbush was saying, so Dennis summed it up for him in one simple sentence. “Yeah, you sell them the pistol for $39.95 (the 2001 price) and then I get to sell them $125 worth of modifications!”

Well, in two years, that man was gone and D’Arcy was the new head of the company. He had some things to fix right off the bat; but within five years, the Crosman Custom Shop had opened and they were starting to pay real attention to what their customers said they wanted. The result is that you can now buy many of those same mods directly from Crosman, though boutique shops like Quackenbush’s continue to make exotic parts.

This report will be an examination of the basic .22 caliber 2240 CO2-powered pistol and not an excursion into what modifications are possible. I still find the basic gun to be a wonderful value in an air pistol, as I believe I stated in the recent report on the Crosman Mark I and Mark II.

This is not the first time I’ve reported on the 2240. Back in 2005, I wrote a short report. Again in 2007, I wrote a report about modifying the 2240. The gun has appeared in a number of other reports on guns it has influenced and sired, such as the 2300T and the 2300S.

The 2240 is a .22 caliber single-shot pistol that operates via a bolt-action. The brass bolt is set into an engineering plastic receiver that’s the basis for many of the aftermarket mods. Quackenbush turned out solid steel receivers for many years, and now Crosman does the same, offering them through the Custom Shop. They also engineered the 2240 into their fine 2300T and 2300S target pistols, both of which come with a steel receiver.

The pistol might be seen as the descendant of the early model 150/157 CO2 pistols. There’s a passing resemblance between those early guns and the 2240, though time has changed many of the actual parts. The 2240 uses a brass bolt to both cock and load the gun. The 150 cocked via a separate knob located at the rear of the receiver tube, and loading was done by sliding a loading cover backwards. That cover was connected to the bolt that pushed the pellet into the breech and past the gas transfer port.

When I told Edith I was going to report on the 2240, she asked if we had one. I answered, “Of course.” Some pellet guns are just too fundamental to this hobby, and I hang on to them when I get them, because I know they’ll keep turning up over time. In fact, Crosman gave me this gun years ago. Crosman’s manufacturing director, Ed Schultz, sent it and told me to just keep it because I would find repeated uses for it. That’s exactly what happened. I keep the gun charged with CO2 all the time, and I know for certain that it’s been over a year since I last checked it. But it was still holding a full charge when I retrieved it for this report.

The gun is light, at 1.8 lbs., and with the 7.5-inch barrel it measures just over 11 inches. The ambidextrous plastic grips are raked back at the ideal angle for pointing. They discovered this angle back in 1950 and have held to it steadfastly for 60 years since. You pull the brass bolt handle up and straight back to cock the action. Here’s one place where Crosman has not yet fully listened to the market. Quackenbush discovered that right-handed shooters like the cocking bolt handle to be on the left side of the gun, but it’s on the right. So southpaws have a rare benefit with this airgun. What that means is that left-handers can hold onto the gun naturally in their shooting hand and still work the bolt, while right-handers have to take the pistol out of their shooting hand to cock and load.

I checked the blog archives for performance figures but couldn’t find any. In my feature article for Shotgun News, where I compared the 2240 to the Mark I and the S&W 78G, the 2240 came out the clear winner for power and accuracy. Maybe the S&W was more powerful, because I had Dave Gunter soup it up for me, but I remember being impressed with the 2240’s accuracy.

Plastic parts
We just had a guest blog from Brian in Idaho that explained the advantages of modern plastics in airgun manufacturing. So, where does plastic show up on this pistol? The receiver, front and rear sights, and grip panels are plastic. The barrel hanger looks like plastic, but it’s actually aluminum. These are the parts many buyers complain about, and the same ones that keep the boutiques humming. They’re actually stronger than they need be, but shooters want what they want and that’s what keeps the market lively.

The trigger is a simple brass-plated lever that a number of boutiques can improve upon. I guess TKO Airguns is the current flavor of the month for that part. They also have improved trigger internal parts to help with the trigger-pull.

Rear sight
The sights are fully adjustable, though only by sliding around. But so many shooters upgrade the gun with optical sights that I guess it doesn’t make any sense for Crosman to put more into them. One neat rear feature demonstrates the level to which Crosman has engineered this airgun. The rear sight is a square notch, but it’s also possible to flip it over to get an aperture. That’s for when you couple the pistol to a shoulder stock. Good job, Crosman!

Flip the sight leaf over and it’s a peep. Perfect for use with a shoulder stock. This gives an indication of how much thought has gone into this pistol design.

That’s my report for now. I’m sure I’ve missed a hundred details that our faithful readers will discuss for many days to come.