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Education / Training Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 2

Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 600
Crosman 600 CO2 pellet pistol.

A history of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Feeding problems?
  • Crosman Premiers
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Shot count
  • What we have

Today is the day we discover the health of my new/old Crosman 600. Since I first filled it I have been keeping it filled and shooting several shots each day to keep the mechanism in good working condition.

Feeding problems?

Crosman 600s can be fussy about the pellets they will feed. I’ve had a few that would swallow anything put into them and others that only wanted one or two pellets. When that happens you’d better hope the pellets that feed are also accurate. Let’s get started.

This particular gun wants to be cocked before the CO2 cartridge is pierced. That is due to the design of the valve. Most guns need to be cocked first but some don’t don’t. It’s a good habit to get into with a 600. Slide the cocking button back until the sear catches and you’re good to go.

Crosman Premiers

I loaded 11 Crosman Premiers first. They drop one at a time into the front of the magazine tube with the follower pulled back and locked. Tilt the muzzle up and they slide back. Ten pellets will fit, but with some pellets like Premiers you get one extra.

Premiers fed fine except for one pellet fourth from the end that jumped out of the mag and jammed the feed. Once I pushed it back in, it fed fine. There were no other feeding problems with this pistol.

RWS Hobby in pistol
This is what the pellets look like in the magazine. These are Hobbys.

Eleven Premiers averaged 390 f.p.s. the low was 385 and the high was 395 f.p.s., so only a 10 foot per second spread. This is about the velocity I predicted for the pistol. I waited at least 10 seconds between shots to keep the gun from cooling too much.

JSB Exact RS

Next up were the lighter JSB Exact RS domes. Like the Premiers, 11 of them fit in the magazine tube. At 13.43 grains I expected them to be faster than the Premiers but they weren’t. They averaged 376 f.p.s. and the spread went from a low of 354 to a high of 402 f.p.s., so a 98 f.p.s. spread. That’s not very impressive.

RWS Hobbys

The next and last pellet I tried was the lightweight RWS Hobby. These have always fed well for me in 600s and this time was no exception. But the gun was also running out of gas. I loaded 10 pellets but had to drop 2 out of the magazinewhen I saw the velocity dropping fast. I will explain why.

Instead of giving an average velocity for the RWS Hobby, I will show you the velocities of each pellet in succession, from 1 to 8.

Shot Vel
8…………..250 dump

Whenever you see a linear velocity drop like this you know the gun is out of liquid CO2 and running on residual gas. In a 600 that’s dangerous, because this gun will jam in a heartbeat. Someone asked me about the steel rod in the box with the gun — with the 600, you need it!

Don’t play around like I just did. When you see the velocity falling off, or hear it, stop shooting immediately and unload the magazine. It isn’t easy, but it’s easier than unjamming the mechanism when pellets get stuck.

Incidentally, the word “dump” after the eight shot means the pistol automatically dumped the remaining gas after that shot. In a typical Crosman 600 fashion, it went full auto for a couple shots and was out of gas. This pistol is notorious for going fiull auto when the gas pressure drops.

Shot count

The Crosman 600 is a gas hog because the semiautomatic mechanism goes through gas fast. Just to demonstrate that I’m right about the gas pressure, I installed a fresh CO2 cartridge and fired another Hobby pellet. This one went out at 408 f.p.s., which is about where it should be.

Based on these results, I would say there are 25 good shots in a single CO2 cartridge with this gun. Shot number 4 in the string above was the 25th shot for the first cartridge.

Trigger pull

The single-stage trigger has a lot of travel, but breaks at 2 lbs. 5 oz. If you ever feel one you will be amazed!

What we have

This Crosman 600 is performing exactly as expected. It gets 25 good shots that are mostly in the high 300 f.p.s. range. It feeds many pellets well.

I will continue to test it exactly as I received it. Yes, it is possible to boost the power and, yes, you can run the gun on bulk CO2 for a lot less money, but there is nothing wrong with the gun the way it is now.

I will leave the gun under pressure at all times, because that is what a 600 wants. I will put it somewhere I can quickly grab it to fire off a couple shots now and then. A 600 needs to be used regularly to stay in top condition.

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.

48 thoughts on “Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 2”

  1. Hi BB and the group. What a beautiful pistol. Since it is not blowback, I do not understand why the shot count is so low. As it fires, does some co2 escape from other then the barrel ?
    You mentioned that it could be fired using a external supply. That brings up another question, that I am sure you have answered several times in your blogs. Why doesn’t any pellet or bb pistols use green gas or propane like some of the airsoft guns use. Been reading your blog for over 2 years and I am still learning. Thank you for sharing your expertise !

    • Harvey,

      Actually it is blowback. It is just that everything is contained inside and you cannot see it. When you fire it, the CO2 propels the pellet out of the barrel AND cocks the striker for the next shot. That is what is using so much CO2. Technically this would be considered an open bolt, gas operated semiautomatic pistol. The reason it goes automatic is it does not have enough gas pressure to force the striker back far enough to engage the sear.

      As for propane, it might work. You probably should not have mentioned it though. Now some of these guys might start tinkering around to see if they can ignite it so as to boost velocities and end up blowing their fool heads off. CO2 is probably cheaper and most definitely safer.

    • Harvey,

      While the Crosman 600 is not a semiautomatic that relies on a slide blowing back to cock a hammer, it does use some of the CO2 gas to operate the semiautomatic action, which is the feed arm I mentioned in Part 1.

      I never said it could be operated from an external supply of gas. What I said was it can be converted to operate on bulk CO2, but that gas is still contained inside the modified gun.

      Green gas has a pressure of about 115 psi at room temperature, where CO2 has a pressure of about 850 psi at the same temp. CO2 has a lot more pressure, which results in higher velocity, or in more shots for the amount of gas used.

      I hope that helps you understand the 600 a little better.


      • B.B. –

        Like you, I was lucky enough to find a Crosman 600 early this year, and in good operational condition. Although it’s been a hoot to shoot from the beginning, the low velocity and inefficient gas usage called out to me to be improved. Mine cycles well with Premiers and Premier Hollow Points, but only made it over the chrono in the mid 300’s, and I was changing out powerlets after 20 shots. Accuracy was good, but not what I would call excellent. Since I had no problem with modifying the gun, it was time to get to work.

        The first issue to be addressed was increasing the CO2 supply. Extension tubes are available, but I chose to go the tethered route in order to keep the weight down and preserve the excellent balance of the gun. I was able to put together a workable tether system with a bulk fill cap and a microbore line. The line is long, straight and very flexible. Almost all of my shooting with the pistol is done from a seated position, so I can just set the 20oz. Paintball tank next to me, and I don’t even notice that it’s there. How does 1,000 shots per tank sound as an improvement on the shot count?

        The next issue on my list was power. I didn’t want to mess with the valve or hammer spring. My gun was reliable, and I didn’t want to mess that up. So, I ended up replacing the barrel with one twice as long. That could be done without adversely affecting the reliability or balance. Longer Crosman barrels are available, but I was fortunate enough to find a free breech end cut-off from a Lothar Walther match barrel blank. A machinist friend did the lathe work for free, and viola… Problem solved. The 600 is now sending CPHs down range in the mid 400s, with hardly any deviation. Because the volume of CO2 is greater, and separate from the gun, any cooling effect from rapid shooting is unnoticeable. Oh, and guess what happens to the accuracy when you put a Walther barrel in one of these things. Wow! You can absolutely vaporize the center of 10M targets in just a couple of seconds. When I take my time and shoot over a steady rest, ten pellets can be sent through a single .30 cal hole. Now THAT is what I was looking for.

        At this point, the project is nearly complete. I’m still toying with the idea of drifting out the original front sight, and replacing it with the front sight assembly from a Crosman 1701 Silhouette, in order to increase the sight radius. However, it’s hard to get motivated to make that change when it shoots like it does with the issue sights. Every week, I shoot with friends who bring FWBs and IZH-61s. On most days, my Crosman 600 can keep up with them. However, I do go through a LOT more targets!

        – Jim

      • BB and RidgeRunner, thank you very much for your replies and thoughts. Wow, there is a tremendous difference between CO2 and Green Gas/Propane pressures . Regardless, the 600 certainly appears to be a great collectable.
        Thank you

          • Thanks for the reply , I’ve read that before but never knew why . I guess it’s sort of like the pneumatic pump guns that should all ways have 2 or 3 pumps of air in them to keep the valve closed . While I have your attention , Is there any chance you could/would do a write up about the crosman 400 and 700 ? As you can tell , I love the Classics .
            Thanks Chuck

              • I have been using K&N Sport wadcutters . with Great results . I had read that back in the 1960’s wadcutters were the most popular pellet available . And that all the old classic Crosman airguns work best with this type of pellet . I have been using the K&N Sport in my 400 , 600 , & 700 with great results . I have been using dome pellets with my 180, & 160 . I have read that RWS Meisterkugein also work well , but have not yet tried them .

                • Sorry , That should be H&N Sport pellet . I was thinking of K&N air filter that I had just cleaned on my truck .
                  As long as I have on the phone so to speak . I have a few questions for you . I purchased my Crosman 400 a couple of years ago off GUNBROKER . When I received it , It still had two old “bottle cap” Co2 cartridges in the tube . About what year was the last time they made the old bottle cap cartridges ? And as far as I can tell , my 400 is still running on the original seals , Is that possible ? 50+ year old seals and still shoots great ? I have an old 700 that is still running on original seals ? The 700 is a real fun gun to shoot .And it’s all about fun .
                  Thanks Chuck

  2. B.B.,

    Very nice. It is interesting to see the little “quirks” it has. Looking forward to the accuracy phase of testing. I hope you had a nice time at the P.A. event and made it back home safe and sound.

    Will you be doing anything on that, or do we need to rely on P.A. for the re-cap?


    • Chris,

      You were missed at the Pyramyd AIR Cup. I thought for sure you would drive up, since it was only about 90 minutes away.

      If you had, you would have been able to shoot a Crosman 600, because the husband of one of the Pyramyd AIR sales team brought one for me to play with. On Sunday we shot it quite a lot.


      • B.B.,

        Thanks for the kind words. I would have like to have gone but would have wanted to stay for the duration. (coin)

        As a “consolation” prize to myself,…. I did order a .25 Pelletgage yesterday. So look forward to some testing reports on that. I will be doing 70 yards for testing, so that ought to produce some good visible results. 70 is what I shoot 99% of the time so I have lots of targets to compare to.

        Matter of fact, I can not recall anyone here using one and reporting on the results,… other than you. If people here have one, I would be interested to hear their results. ?????? Anyone?

        A side note,…. I E-mailed GF1 the other day and he is fine and is just getting settled into his new job and different shift. His words were…. “I’ll Be Back”!,…. with a bit of an “Arnold” accent thrown in. 😉


        • Chris U
          How did you know I used that accent when I said that. 😉
          But yep been a crazy few weeks. Riding mower breaking (internal governor on engine), clothes dryer (positive wire got plastic insulation scraped off and burnt wiring up), and some other little issues here and there. Guess that’s what they call life. But settling back down finally. Happy about that. 🙂

          And I did order a new gun over the weekend from Pyramyd AIR. It shipped out today. So should have it around Wednesday or Thursday. But here’s a few links of what I got. And BB’s report on the 600 kind of gave me the kick to order it. Had one some years ago and ran it on co2. This time it will be on a tethered HPA bottle. Check it out.



          • GF1,

            Who would have guessed,….. again,….. that Mr. Mega Long Range would be hooked on bb’s? 😉

            Got to say it ,…. again,…… get a 499 for the indoors. 1 hole groups all day. 3/8″~1/2″ at 24′,… or smaller.

            Good luck and have fun with the new “toys”,……. Chris

            • Chris U
              I will probably get a 499 eventually. Probably when the colder weather sets in. But got to say it again those Daisy’s 74’s are a blast. Me and the daughter’s love shoot’n em. One cartridge per gun lasts a long long time. Matter of fact got to plan when to shoot them. I don’t like to leave a cartridge stored in it. Just me. But yep you got to have plenty of time in front of you so you can empty the cartridge out. They get crazy shot counts for a co2 gun.

              And I do got another project that will be happening after payday gets here. Found a place that sells a 18-7/8″ long .25 caliber barrel that will fit the Crosman steel breech like the ones for Discovery’s or 1322/77 and 2240 guns.

              I got a 1322 and a steel breech with a 1399 stock it’s going to go on. The barrel is $45. Baker Airguns is who’s got it. They sell some other stuff for Crosman guns too. And the Bugbuster scope is waiting and ready too. Nothing like taking out bugs with a big .25 caliber pellet. Less chance to miss. 🙂

  3. BB,

    I was just browsing some airgun shops when I stumbled about the GSG PR900W.

    That’s a PCP repeater with a 9-shot magazine and it’s supposed to sell for around € 230, which is what you normally pay for a high-quality breakbarrel (e.g. Diana 31, Weihrauch HW50S) in Germany.

    If this thing works well and is accurate, it would be a tremendous value.

    It looks like mounting a scope might be somewhat difficult because of the protruding magazine. I also wonder if the magazine is going to obscure the iron sights.

    The muzzle velocity is 170m/550 ft per second since it’s an [F] gun. No idea if they are going to make a more powerful variant.

    Anyway, this might be an interesting gun to review…

    Kind regards,

  4. B.B.,

    Just an observation, not a criticism of this classic air pistol, but 25 shots per Powerlet is not a lot, probably in Umarex Desert Eagle Territory. Obviously because this is a true semi-auto, the gas has a lot of work to do in the mechanism, but nevertheless, that 25 is a number that might raise some eyebrows.

    You once discovered the Crosman 2260 got as many or more shots with one Powerlet than the venerable old Crosman 160 did with two carts. Might the 600, like the 160, suffer from being designed before more efficient valve mechanisms were designed?

    On the other hand, how many air pistols advance the ammunition with gas? :^)


  5. BB
    Before I sold that 600 to you, I had shot the Meisherkugeln 14.0 grain, the Daisy Precision Max 13.69 grain. Hobby, and if I remember correctly, the Gamo Match 15.43 grain pellets. They all fed just fine. I never tried the RWS Superdome in them. For some reason unknown, I never ran any of them over the chrony, either that 600 or the one I kept. I guess I always just figured that if the 600 was operating correctly, the velocity was good enough for me. Kinda of a silly reason, but glad to see the velocities you are getting. Still don’t plan to chrony the one I have. I have started shooting it a couple of times once a week like you say to do with the 600. Never did that before.

  6. BB

    Reading about the Crosman 600 makes my heart ache. I had one as a teenager and may have thrown it away years later due to a damaged rear sight assembly. While I didn’t measure groups then I believe it was accurate even with the Crosman lubricated Super Pells in the black box with red cap which I still have. It was fun to shoot and thanks to RR now I know why it sometimes went full auto.

    Thanks for the memories,

  7. I think that the number of usable shots is dependent partly on the shooting distance. At 5 yards, I get 60 shots per powerlet out of my Crosman 10/77 and 80 out of my Walther Nighthawk. For the rapid fire shooting that I do with repeaters, the velocity is fine.

    I also had great satisfaction getting my knives to stick over the weekend. I think we need to modify the saying that only accurate rifles are interesting. The projectiles you are launching are interesting too, especially as they get larger and more complex. A knife is great, and a tomahawk is even more interesting. This is probably the same impulse behind people who throw large objects out of catapults like pianos and even, in one case, a live person. I think he landed in a river.

    But there were some disappointments over the weekend as well. I’ve found numbers of videos of people drawing a 120 lb. bow with apparent ease. They are of insignificant build and are not using any technique either. I don’t get it.


    • Matt61,

      I must ask,…. have you ever tried to draw a 120 bow? I know little of archery,…. so I am going WAY out on a limb here……. but maybe it is in the construction of the wood/shape/profile? Is there long bows that “act” like a compound?,…. in which the draw becomes easier and,.. easier to hold…. past a certain draw length?

      The videos you found would seem to lean towards that being an explainable theory. Just a guess.


      • No, I sure have not drawn a 120lb bow. Your theory has a lot of advantages for me, but there are things in the way. First, I have a 30 pound bow and a 60 pound bow, and the 60 pounder is significantly heavier to draw, about twice as heavy in fact. 🙂 I’ve heard statements about how the force increases with draw. It’s not linear. I believe it increases exponentially the further you go, and there is nothing to suggest that things change as the weight goes up or the draw increases. As for the compound idea, the fact that the warbow is not a compound bow with its apparatus of wheels indicates that the warbow will not have those benefits. Finally, there is a concept in physics about conserved quantities, one of them is energy which is equivalent to work which is what we’re dealing with here–force applied over distance. Anyway, the conserved quantities are path independent. That is, it doesn’t matter by what path you get to the value or what shape your bow is, in our case. A draw weight is just a draw weight. So, everything is working against me here.

        It gets even worse as I realized. How the heck do you string a 120lb bow? Using the recommended bow stringer which involves bracing your feet against the ground and pulling up on the bow in the manner of a deadlift, I can barely string the 60lb. bow without straining my back. That would be the height of the absurd to injure myself just trying to get my war bow into operation. (That by the way was part of the revenge scheme of the Greek hero Odysseus/Ulysses. He showed up on disguise at a party of his enemies. Then, he strung a bow that no one else could bend and made an incredible shot with it. With this display of strength and skill, his enemies knew they were cooked.) However, I am meditating on a scheme where I tie a piece of thread to a chopstick and manipulate the string from a distance while bending the bow…


        • Matt61,

          Good luck on that last thought there,….. let us all know how that works out for you,….. 😉

          In (all seriousness) though,…. I admire your determination in overcoming the seemingly impossible.

          Far be it from me to point out something that you may have overlooked. I just thought that maybe a fresh set of eyes on the topic may yield a grain of useful information.

          After all, there must be a reason why persons of “insignificant” build can do it. I do not know, nor pretend to. I guess the bottom line is that I admire your passion and pursuits and hate to see you fight with what must be an obvious answer,…. based on the videos that you have searched out.

          That said,…. I have seen people,… in fact Ladies,.. and Men,…. with very “insignificant” build,….. yet were very strong. Far be it from me to explain that. I am sure however that you will figure that out… eventually.

          Best regards and best wishes,…..as always,…. Chris

  8. I paid $150. for my 600 off Gunbroker . Had Rick from Precision Pellet reseal it for $60. Shoots Great , Shoots Hard . Mostly shoot at the small 3 oz. empty cat food cans in my front yard at about 50 ft. (I live out in the country) It knocks them cans for a loop . Lotta Fun . Get 30 shots from one cartridge before it goes full auto after the 30th shot . I use H&N Sport pellets with Zero malfunction . The H&N Sport also works great in my Crosman 400 & 700 . I have read that back in the 1960’s when these airguns were made , most all pellets were wad cutters or flat point and that’s what would feed best in airguns from that time . Heard that RWS Meisterkugeln would work good too . Not sure why you should leave the 600 charged all the time ?

    • Ed,

      I did see that. In truth, I have little interest in archery,…. other than firing an arrow from a .25 M-rod someday. 😉 When I did play with that on a smaller 880,…. I did learn (had to learn) a lot on proper arrow construction and balance. I enjoyed the math aspect. That was fun. I do not need another hobby.

      I will leave it to you two “founts” to figure out. 😉 I do admire that. Chris

  9. Really enjoying the report on the 600. I have been shooting the Crosman 400 from the air gun show and it seems to do better all the time. It gets about 40 to 50 good shots from two co2 cartridges, about on par with the 600. The second set of powerlets started leaking when I fired the rifle to pierce the cartridge, but I just kept cocking and firing until itcleared the trash from the valve with a much stronger report. Only got about twenty shot from that pair. I cleaned the co2 chamber, added a few extra drops of pellgun oil, and pressured up the gun. It stays under pressure constantly now and has been fine since.
    Has anyone here had a Crosman 400 or the aftermarket magazine available online.

    • I have an old Crosman 400 2nd variation . Love to shoot it . Old School cool . I also have an after market mag. I don’t think I have ever tried the new magazine . I got it as a spare and never needed it ? As far as I know , my 400 is still running on the original seals ? Is that even possible ? When I first purchased it a few years ago , it still had two of the old “bottle cap” cartridges in the tube ? One of these days I’ll send it to Rick at Precision Pellet to have it resealed , but it runs fine now . I was shooting it this past weekend .

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