by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

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.

Today, we’ll look at the power of the Crosman 2240 as well as some subjective things like loading, handling and trigger control. This pistol sure has hit the hot button of shooter’s passions! The response to the first report was quite heavy, even for a weekend. It seems that a great many readers have one or more 2240s in their collections, and some of you are even wild-eyed modifiers of the 22XX-series of Crosman guns.

Powered by CO2
The powerplant of the pistol is based on CO2 gas, using a common 12-gram cartridge. The gun uses a single cartridge, from which it gets a reasonable number of powerful shots. How many shots depends on exactly where you stop loading and firing. For some that may be around 45 shots, but for most I suspect it’s closer to 60 and more. If the target is a tin can at 15 yards, the loss of a little velocity is of no great concern. However, the hunters want every pellet to go exactly where the sights say it will. And those are the things that determine the useful shot count.

Unlike action pistols, the single-shot 2240 does not suffer from power loss during normal operations on a reasonably warm day. Cocking and loading the next pellet takes long enough that the gun has time to recover from whatever temporary power loss due to a momentary temperature drop.

Loading the 2240 reminded me of a couple of things. The brass bolt that comes standard in the pistol fits the receiver loosely, which results in a slightly jerky motion when the bolt is retracted. To compensate for that, I place the thumb of my right hand on the back of the receiver and squeeze my hand together. That brings the bolt along smoothly. The steel bolts found in the 2300 T and S models seem to cock more smoothly than this one, which is due in part to their longer bolt handles.

There’s a hex head screw at the bottom of the loading trough that causes most pellets to hang up and want to flip. The knack to loading a 2240 is to let gravity do the work. Let the pellet fall into the breech and use the bolt to push it past the gas transfer port once it’s in there. If you try to load this pistol like a British SMLE Mk IV bolt-action battle rifle (i.e., try to slam the pellet into the breech with the bolt), you’ll be sorry.

That hex head screw and the slight divot it creates in the loading trough catches the noses of most pellets being loaded.

Velocity with RWS Hobbys
The average velocity with the RWS Hobby pellet was 482 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 473 to a high of 490. The average muzzle energy was 6.14 foot-pounds. Loading Hobbys was difficult because the front lip of the wadcutter nose kept hanging up in the depression for the screw head. That was when I remembered to just let them fall into the breech on their own and forget trying to push them with the bolt. Point the muzzle at the ground and hold the bolt back with your thumb. Then, let the pellet fall straight into the breech and it should enter smoothly.

For comparison, the Crosman Mark I averaged 472 f.p.s. with the same pellets. And their spread was from 464 to 479.

Velocity with Crosman Premiers
The 2240 averaged 448 f.p.s. with Crosman Premiers. The spread went from 444 to 454. That’s much tighter performance than the Hobbys, but even the Premiers had loading problems unless they were dropped into the breech. The average muzzle energy works out to 6.37 foot-pounds.

With the Mark I, Premiers averaged 431 f.p.s. The velocities of the two guns are close, with the 2240 just shading the Mark I by a little.

Velocities with RWS Superdomes
The 14.5-grain RWS Superdome averaged 455 f.p.s., and the spread went from 448 to a high of 458. That’s an average energy of 6.67 foot-pounds, which was the highest energy seen in this test. I didn’t test the Mark I with Superdomes, so there’s no comparison to make.

The trigger
In truth, the 2240’s single-stage trigger is very simple, and no amount of gunsmithing or aftermarket parts will turn it into a target trigger. But, it’s reasonably light and not too creepy, letting off at 3 lbs., 12 ozs. If you need something a little better, there’s no shortage of options available from third parties.

Well, here we have an air pistol that generates slightly more than 6 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. For the money you pay, it’s certainly hard to imagine getting any more than the 2240 offers.