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Education / Training Crosman Outdsoorsman 2250XE: Part 1

Crosman Outdsoorsman 2250XE: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, we’ll start a look at an unusual airgun from Crosman. It’s getting to be summer around the country, and the summer guns are CO2 guns, so today’s choice of the Crosman Outdsoorsman 2250XE is just in time. This .22 caliber CO2 carbine wouldn’t exist if Crosman hadn’t reinvented itself at the beginning of the 21st century.

Dennis Quackenbush and I sat on both sides of Crosman’s former president and CEO during the Airgun Breakfast at the NRA Annual Meetings in Kansas City, back in May 2001. We were all chatting about the airgun business, and I happened to mention that Dennis made a good living making and selling upgrades and accessories to what was at that time a $39 Crosman CO2 pistol. The executive was surprised, thinking that no one would want to spend money on such a cheap airgun, but Dennis floored him when he said, “You sell them the gun for $39 and then I sell them $125 worth of accessories for it.” From his facial expression, I don’t think he really believed me.

Fast-forward a few years, and Ken D’Arcy took over the top spots at Crosman. It took him a few years to get his new house in order, and then the Crosman Custom Shop was created. To make a very long and encouraging story short, today’s airgun is a direct benefit of that move. Crosman no longer pursues just the high-volume discount-store sales anymore. They also keep their corporate eye on the ball by making and selling guns for hardcore airgunners. Today’s offering is just one example.

Basically, the Outdoorsman 2250XE is a descendant of Crosman’s classic 2240 .22 caliber, single-shot pistol. But look at what they’ve done with it! It’s so prettied-up that it’s sometimes hard to see the family resemblance.

The 2250 XE is also a single-shot, bolt-action .22 rifle that’s powered by a single 12-gram CO2 cartridge. But this gun is different in so many ways. First, because it has an 18-inch barrel instead of just a 10-inch barrel, you get optimum performance from each CO2 cartridge. Airgun hobbyists who modify Crosman pistols know that an increase in barrel length gives the CO2 gas longer to push on the pellet and produces higher velocity. However, there’s a point of diminishing returns, which happens to be somewhere around 16 and 18 inches of barrel. After that, the pellet looses some velocity from friction. So, the barrel length on this carbine is anything but an afterthought!

Grand opening
Edith knows what I think of airgun marketing. I believe that the moment the box opens the customer forms an opinion of the gun inside. Pack a beautiful airgun in a cheap, flimsy cardboard box and you cheapen the customer’s first impression of his or her new airgun. On the other hand, if the packaging is superior, it conveys a sense of pride that attaches to the customer in an instant. Top car salesman all know this, as do successful realtors. Why don’t more airgun manufacturers?

Well, Crosman is one company that knows what first impressions are all about. When I opened the box of the test rifle, Edith told me she thought I ought to show you what we saw. So, here it goes.

The box has eggcrate foam protecting the gun, scope, mounts and ancillary things. It’s a sturdy container that you can use to store the gun, as the foam is closed-cell.

I’ve seen many hundreds of new airguns come from their boxes in my time, but this one was too tempting not to pick up immediately. Once in my hands, it invited a check of the trigger-pull after establishing it was unloaded and not charged.

This carbine feels very small in my hand, though the 14-1/4-inch pull length is adult in every way. Perhaps it’s the light 3.6 lbs. of weight that seems to float in your hand. I remember once owning another CO2 carbine like this that seemed just as nice and compact. The Sharp UD carbine I had years ago was a nice little shooter that’s extremely hard to find these days, and it felt just like this 2250 XE.

While holding the carbine, I couldn’t resist trying the trigger a couple times and was surprised by the best factory trigger I’ve ever felt in a Crosman pistol on this frame. Don’t misunderstand me, now, because I’m not comparing this single-stage trigger to the new Marauder pistol trigger, which is stupendous. This one isn’t as nice as that, but with the installed trigger shoe, I found the release nice and pleasant. More on that in Part 2.

The trigger shoe really helps with the trigger-pull!

Another nicety I noticed was the 6-inch steel breech with 11mm dovetails cut into the top. You get a scope with the carbine, so you’re expected to shoot it that way, but those who refer a peep sight will like the fact that Crosman also supplies a post front sight. I’ll scope the rifle for the accuracy test.

Yes, that’s a steel breech that will accept a scope mount or a peep sight.

Want open sights? Crosman provides this front post that won’t get in the way if you use a scope.

You cannot overlook the outrageous skeleton stock. Carved out of beech, it adds very little weight to the rifle, yet brings your sighting eye up high to intercept the exit pupil of the scope. I can’t wait to try it!

Put it all together, and it’s a beautiful gun!

The rated velocity for this carbine is 550 f.p.s., but I expect it to go a bit faster than that — especially with lighter lead pellets. I’d be surprised if RWS Hobbys didn’t get up close to 600 f.p.s. That 18-inch barrel is not to be ignored.

What do YOU expect?
Let’s be honest. This is a $270 CO2 airgun that started life as a far less expensive model and got modified to this high price point. I want to know what to expect from a gun like this. I’ve already compared it to a rare Sharp carbine that you can’t buy used for less than $600, but that isn’t going to satisfy most people, especially those who aren’t collectors. I want to know what performance you think a gun like this should have.

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.

39 thoughts on “Crosman Outdsoorsman 2250XE: Part 1”

  1. Do you think the forend is carved out of the piece of beech that came out of the skeletonized buttstock? 🙂

    All in all, it looks like worthy successor to the 2250, which was one of my first airguns. Let’s hope it performs!

  2. Kevin…
    Got it fixed.
    Had a devil of a time getting the cocking shoe out of the slot. Had to drive it out.Yes, the linkage pin was removed.

    I polished the cocking link, slapped on some moly, and put it back together. The cocking shoe fit easily even though I did nothing to it. Don’t know why the cocking link was jammed up so bad in the first place, but has some play now.
    The tightness and bumps are gone.


    • twotalon,

      Sometimes I get lucky on my guessing. Glad to hear it worked out. I think we’re similar since that ratcheting during the cocking stroke drives me crazy and I have to fix it rather than let it wear in.


    • TT and Kevin,
      Those bumpy/ratchety places on sliding parts bother me, too. Especially if am applying force through that motion. I am usually compelled to get out a little file or stone and fix it, pronto.

  3. On an earlier blog posting, someone asked if Pyramyd AIR is going to carry the HW98/Beeman R11, again. I just found out that the R11 is coming back in stock.


  4. B.B.,
    There is a lot of depth behind the first 3 paragraphs of today’s blog. It really is a formula for success in any niche market, isn’t it? Thanks for giving us that story.

  5. B.B., so the Crosman Custom shop sounds like the S&W custom shop in that it produces very high-level versions of the inventory. They don’t make guns for individual customer specs do they? This one looks like a Broomhandle Mauser on steroids.

    Chuck, that’s a novel way of showing groups and very convincing. I’m going to have to ask Mike what he did to my rifle because it is shooting like a house afire. Get away with your metal-receivered IZH 61s; I don’t need or want any better than what I’ve got now! This gets back to one of my very first questions for the blog which is whether a tune-up improves accuracy. The answer I’ve gathered has been kind of equivocal but leaning towards “no.” The main benefit seems to be a smoother shooting cycle. But both of Mike’s tunes have resulted in improved accuracy for me. The first time was because some part that looks like a cylinder which guides the spring was very loose according to Mike, and I’ll have to find out the story for this second time.

    Okay, to defeat the gun-coloring scheme someone just needs to write to the instigators and paint a picture of criminals painting their guns and then mowing down unsuspecting policemen. This will probably have more of an effect than the 2nd Amendment arguments which gun control activists are probably numb to. But on the subject of the 2nd Amendment apart from this particular law, I think it is useful to consider the issue of an armed militia and its function in light of historical evidence. The successes of the militia in American history that I’m aware of were in defending the pre-Revolutionary colonies against Indian attack, starting the Revolution with Lexington/Concord, Bunker/Breeds Hill, the Battle of New Orleans under Andrew Jackson…that’s about it. The point is that except for having superior generalship and the right circumstances a militia is no match for a professional army. Here is George Washington on militias at war:

    “To place any dependence on the Militia, is, assuredly, resting upon a broken staff. Men just dragged from the tender Scenes of domestic life; unaccustomed to the din of Arms; totally unacquainted with every kind of military skill, which being followed by a want of confidence in themselves, when opposed to Troops regularly trained, disciplined, and appointed, superior in knowledge and superior in Arms, makes them timid, and ready to fly from their own shadows…if I was called upon to declare upon Oath, whether the Militia have been most serviceable or hurtful upon the whole, I should subscribe to the latter.”

    I guess Washington would know…. Elsewhere, he describes the militia as “here today and gone tomorrow.” They drove him nuts. What really won the Revolution on the battlefield were the American regulars trained by Baron von Steuben. And wasn’t the Battle of Cowpens dramatized in the Mel Gibson film Patriot won with a strategy based on the militia running away? During the Mexican War, the behavior of the militia was so appalling with their drunken, raping of the Mexican population that the Mexicans were fleeing into the hands of the regular American Army. The same is true of militia behavior on the frontier as illustrated by their atrocities against fleeing Indians in the Blackhawk War. And this brutality was not tied to military effectiveness since it was the trained regular army under the leadership of West Point officers that won the Mexican War. In the Warsaw uprising in WWII, the Poles were rolled over by the Nazis. I guess Vietnam would count as an example of an indigenous population resisting a professional army (us). However, this was only at the price of a million casualties and a decade of war at least and only because the U.S. military was severely held in check. The point is not that the militia is a myth but that it is a tool that has particular uses like any other. These uses seem to be agitating for citizen rights in transitional periods when the social structure is in flux like the Revolution or like the rebellions in the Mideast (at least Libya) now. That is actually consistent with 2nd Amendments about preserving the rights of citizens. Otherwise, you are looking at very protracted guerrilla warfare that has a harassing function but which, by itself is not really capable of deciding conflicts. But I think the notion of citizens pulling out their rifles and handguns and spontaneously resisting a professional military force is just not realistic. It would be nice if it were true, but I don’t see that it is.

    Well, I have gotten myself in a real fix with rc helicopter parts strewn about all over the place. And to get the thing flying again will require SOLDERING. My first impulse is to blame B.B. for getting me into this with his helicopter blog. On the other hand, one could see this as an opportunity to enter the world of machining. Soldering is refashioning metalwork after all. Also, having the helicopter taken apart reveals to me what a Rube Goldberg set-up this is. I can’t believe anyone actually puts themselves in the air with this thing.


    • Actually the custom shop https://www.crosman.com/custom_store/ will make a standard pistol or carbine based on the 2300 or the 2250 and add semi custom features from a list of about 6 choices including barrel, receiver, muzzle, scope, and grip.

      I got a 2250XE on sale about 6 months ago when Crosman had their 30% off sale on selected guns.
      But you can get the $270 2250XE built with the same exact configuration for $265 and change plus a free laser inscription at the Custom shop, today. (just “built” one). The custom shop is fun even if you don’t buy. You can quit at any point before oirdering. The best thing is you don’t buy parts in a standard gunand then have to throw them away when you customize it, at least to this starting point.

      As for the gun, it’s been a real nice, accurate shooter, It’s not as powerful as my Gamo CFX but its a whole lot lighter. BB’s review s pretty much right on. IT’s great to look at, too, although the finish could be prettier on the wood.

  6. A few weeks ago I got a .22 cal pistol from the Crosman custom shop. I wanted something a little better than a standard 2240. So far so good. IMO The custom shop was a good option for someone like me wanting a somewhat upgraded 2240 without having to do the modifications myself.


  7. When I go to the range, even just to shoot my airguns, I often have to set next to someone shooting a high power rifle that literally causes my bench to rattle. More important, the noise is way too loud, even with a good pair of earmuffs.

    My question is, are “electronic” earmuffs better than non-electronic? Are they worth the extra money? Any recommendations?


    • Victor,

      Electronic earmuffs are so much better than non-electronic ones that there isn’t any comparison. With them on I can hear sounds I haven’t heard for decades, yet when the guns fire everything goes quiet. I supposed there are probably some with noise cancellation technology, too, but I’ve never tried them.

      Look closely at the muffs I’m wearing in the last Rogue article. They are Dillons and I love them!


      • B.B.,
        Much appreciated!

        Funny. I was at the range this weekend shooting a .177 pellet rifle, when this kid (couldn’t have been more than 12 years old) sat down next to me with his mother, to shoot a .308. Thankfully, he was only able to handle a few shots.


        • Let him try again in two or three years…

          I recall when my father bought a 12ga shotgun (Browning Auto-5)… No rubber recoil pad since the auto-load action was supposed to absorb some of the recoil.

          Hit the valley outside of town [I’m surprised no one called the police — this was outside of Ano Glyfadda, Athens, Greece]… Out of box of 25 rounds… My brother shot it once, my father managed between 5 and 10, and I finished off the box.

          My brother had a visible bruise on his shoulder; I suspect my brother hadn’t seated the butt tight, so got slapped by the recoil. My father reported some soreness…

          Me? Nothing. Apparently I not only had a good stock fit, but my 130lbs (5’11.5″, 29″ waist, 36″ inseam) swayed under the recoil like a reed.

    • When I go to the range, even just to shoot my airguns, I often have to set next to someone shooting a high power rifle that literally causes my bench to rattle. More important, the noise is way too loud, even with a good pair of earmuffs.

      Heh… On my trip, I was on the 25yd pistol range with the Diana M54, and had a group show up to my right with a few nasty handguns, initially commenting about how much noise I was going to make for them (only permitted rifles are air and rimfire)… THEN they realized it was an air gun.

      My question is, are “electronic” earmuffs better than non-electronic? Are they worth the extra money? Any recommendations?

      I’ll find out the next time I’m at the range… I bought a set after the last range trip (mainly since I needed a second set of hearing protectors; my original set [which had the tightest fit around the ears] had begun to decompose at the ear cups. Getting a solid fit around the ears isn’t that easy when one adds the required shooting glasses.

      Main feature of the electronic ones are that they amplify lower level sounds so one can hear range commands, conversation, but shut down the speakers when the input level exceeds a certain level. The electronics do take up some of the plastic shell, which could mean less sound suppression at the top (I think the new ones are rated “19”, whereas my non-electronic may be “20”) Granted, I didn’t buy the very top of the line… when one tends to make only about two range trips a decade, $300 muffs are costly, even if they have a rating of “25” (besides, it’s the person alongside me and the A-Bolt that needs to worry — the compensator on the BOSS unit puts a lot of sound to the sides).

      mainly bought this model for the behind the head band, fitting a top band over a baseball cap while keeping the cap rotated up so the brim doesn’t hit scopes is tedious.

      I may find I want to go back to the non-electronic… Or spend the extra $200+.

      • Wulfraed,

        I edited your comment by creating a hyperlink so the actual URL could be clicked but not displayed. Just a bit of tidying up 🙂

        I deleted the duplicate posting.


          • Wulfraed,

            I don’t like editing comments because I don’t want readers to think we would change what people say. So, I usually don’t do that. In this case, I thought it would serve everyone better if I did it.


    • victor,
      I bought an el cheapo electronic earmuff at Gander Mtn for $24. It is fantastic as far as allowing me to hear and even amplify sounds around me. It is also very good at attenuating gunshots. I would think if a cheapo muff like this works this good maybe a more expensive one would be even better. But you know what? I’m satisfied with this cheapo one. Other methods I’ve tried prevent me from hearing normal conversations or I’m talking like Forrest Gump.

      Now, the only complaint I have with it is that a rifle cheek weld is hard for me to get without the muff getting in the way or getting knocked about. It’s doable but annoying. For pistol shooting it is great. I also think it makes me look like Princess Leia, which is not great. I don’t have the body to back that up.


  8. So the Roanoke show is now at Salem, VA at the Moose Lodge? OK. Kevin and Lloyd, you shouldn’t be any competition to me. I saw a nice FWB with a Daisy stamp on it that I passed on last year. Maybe this year….

    Fred PRoNJ

  9. Hello B.B. Well, sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but up here in Canuck land, we have been enjoying Queen Victoria’s Birthday. Better known as the Victoria Day long weekend. This is a National holiday and statutory. So I was out of town at a family function, and couldn’t do the”dry fire” test on my new HW45 Black Star until this morning. Contrary to all I was told about dry firing spring guns, I did as you suggested and low and behold, there is just a small amount of smoke now. I have been using JSB Exact 8.44 grain 4.50 pellets before and after the test. I have noticed it was smoking more with lighter pellets too. e.g. 7.33 JSB RS Exacts. Thank you for your concern. I have learned more from this Blog in the last year than anywhere else. I find the people are genuine and truly want to help. Also, there really are no stupid questions. So I say this to all of you who are wanting to ask a question. Go ahead and ask. There is a lot of air gunning knowledge here. If B.B. hasn’t the answer, Kevin, Twotalon, and a host of others will give you the genuine goods. Thanks again B.B.
    Titus Groan

    • Titus Groan,

      First, Happy (Victoria’s) Birthday!

      Second, thanks for getting back on the HW 45. You know, Don Walker of the old Beeman company told me I could do that a couple times if it didn’t stop the detonations the first time. So don’t be afraid to try it again, if you think it isn’t solved yet.


  10. I was “UpNorth” with my Beeman RX-2, which I have not shot for at least a year and immediately noticed that it was “shooting low”. I adjusted the scope and then it seemed to get worse, and then I noticed the cocking effort was much easier than usual. It seems that there must be a problem with the air spring. How common is it for the spring to lose pressure or develop a leak? Will a recharge fix the problem or does it need a rebuild? The gun was purchased new about 10 years ago. Anyone out there with experience with this issue? Thanks for the help. KAH

      • Hi BB,

        This is a response to your 8/1/11 508pm blog comment — you can place it there or in the current comments, which ever you think is appropriate.

        ” B.B. Pelletier Says:
        August 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm

        No, for a small bore like .177 a 14″ barrel would be about it. In .22 it’s an 18″ barrel, but no caliber goes to 24″ on CO2 and that valve.


        FYI, the Crosman Custom shop will currently build a CO2 carbine in .177 in 10.1, 18, and 24 inches; and in .22 in 14.6, 18, and 24 inches. These are essentially the 2250XE, in 2 calibers, and 3 barrel lengths, with the black plastic stock that comes with the Marauder pistol.

        Also, until not too long ago, Crosman built a 1760 and a 1760SE, and a 2260 and a 2260SE, all in 24 inch barrel length, all CO2.

        The 1760 and SE were rated at up to 700 fps, and the 2260 and SE were rated at up to 600 fps.

        On a nice warm day, each SE shoots at the rated fps.

        I don’t know why Crosman stopped production; for fans of CO2, they are very nice rifles.

        Also, it’s my understanding that the 2 SE models, with the mods necessary for the addition of stored high pressure air, are essentially what became the Discovery rifles.


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