Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 600
Crosman 600 CO2 pellet pistol.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • First up — Crosman Premiers
  • Hobbys are next
  • Adjusted the sights
  • JSB Exact RS pellets
  • Where does that leave us?
  • Conclusion

tom at bench

Me shooting a Crosman 600 CO2 pellet pistol at the Pyramyd Air Cup. Photo courtesy of Bryan Lever.

Today is accuracy day for the Crosman 600 semiautomatic pellet pistol. Before I get to that, however, let me tell you about my experience with one at the Pyramyd Air Cup a few weeks ago. Bryan Lever brought one for me to try and we were virtually alone on the range while the competition was ongoing. We both got to shoot as much as we wanted.

Bryan’s 600 is much like mine except it had a knob on the safety switch that I had never seen before. It turns out this knob is supposed to be there, but it’s one of the first things to fall off. It does make operating the safety a lot easier because you can both feel and see where it is.

Crosman 600 safety
Sorry about the poor quality but this is an enlargement of an image off the web. That button is small and is missing on most of the 600s out there.

Bryan’s pistol performed much like the one I am testing for you. We got 3 magazines of 10 rounds each, but the final few shots were very weak. So it really got about the same 25 shots per CO2 cartridge that I’m saying mine gets. His gun was shooting very high at 15 yards, but we held off the spinners and managed to connect. That led me to wonder where my sights would be in today’s test. Let’s see.

The test

I shot from 10 meters with the pistol rested across a sandbag. Since the 600 is a gas gun, there is little recoil and vibration, so resting on a bag will work.

I shot 5 shots per target at first, hoping to find one or more pellets to test further. I had no idea of what to expect, as far as accuracy was concerned, because the 600 pistol varies so much from gun to gun.

First up — Crosman Premiers

The first pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier. In the 600’s day we shot the “flying ashcan” pellets that Crosman made, and I have always tried Premiers in every vintage Crosman gun that I test. With some airgun makers it isn’t as important to match the gun with the maker’s pellets, but with Crosman I’ve found it a good place to start.

Crosman 600 ashcan and Premier
Two oxidized Crosman “flying ashcan” pellets on the left and Premier pellets on the right.

The target shows 5 pellets in 1.632-inches at 10 meters. Three of the shots are clustered in a tight 0.396-inch group, but I don’t attach much value to it. It just shows why 5 shots are more realistic than 3.

Crosman 600 Premier group
Five Crosman Premier pellets went into 1.632-inches at 10 meters. I don’t think I will try these again in this pistol.

Hobbys are next

Next up were RWS Hobby pellets. When I saw that 5 of them went into 0.636-inches at 10 meters, I knew this was the pellet for this gun. I would return and try 10 of them.

Crosman 600 Hobby group
Five RWS Hobby pellets made this 0.636-inch group at 10 meters. This is the pellet to beat!

Adjusted the sights

You have noticed that the pellets are hitting the target low and to the right. My aim point is 6 o’clock on the black bull, but I want the pellets to climb into the center of the bull. So I adjusted the sights. A small flat-blade screwdriver is all it took. Remember to move the rear sight in the same direction you want the pellet to move. I didn’t know how far to move the notch, so I guessed.

JSB Exact RS pellets

Next up were JSB Exact RS pellets. These showed such promise during the velocity test, but alas, they are not that accurate in this pistol. Five of them grouped in 1.583-inches at 10 meters. The only good thing was my sight adjustments appear to have been about right. But the pellets are not worth pursuing.

Crosman 600 JSB RS group
Five JSB Exact RS pellets went into 1.583-inches at 10 meters. Not the pellet for this pistol.

Where does that leave us?

At this point we have to ask whether this 600 is accurate or not. If it is not accurate you can always put a different barrel on it, though it’s not exactly a simple thing to do. But the machining isn’t too challenging, so you can end up with a gun that’s accurate and smooth-shooting, if that’s what you want.

For me, though, the Hobby group of 5 is enticing enough to try a 10-shot group — just to see what I get. So, that’s what I did. Now that the sights have been adjusted the pellets hit higher on the target. Nine of them landed in a 1.294-inch group, but a lone stray landed off to the left, opening the group to 1.515-inches between centers. Given that I was shooting all of this with my bad right eye, I am satisfied with the accuracy the way it is.

Crosman 600 Hobby group
Ten RWS Hobby pellets made a 1.515-inch group, with 9 pellets going into 1.294-inches. This will do for me.

Conclusion

The Crosman 600 semiautomatic pellet pistol is an all-time classic. It is one of the few truly semiautomatic pistols that are not blowback, and it features an exceptional trigger. The sights are adjustable and the gun can be very reasonably accurate with the right pellets.

The grip is form-fitted to your hand and allows the pistol to be pointed as naturally as a Luger. The pellet feeding of my personal test pistol is flawless.

Like the other classic airguns, the 600 is a pistol you should try to experience, if not own.

43 thoughts on “Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 3

  1. BB,

    It sounds like you have found you the perfect air pistol to help you thin out the pack of feral soda cans around there, most especially since you have said this pistol needs to be shot on occasion to keep it operating properly.

    I am also not surprised that the Hobbys did so well. A lighter domed pellet might do well also, however that usually means it has a thin skirt and that may be damaged easily with this type of feed system.

    All and all, I find this to be a very interesting air pistol. Though I am not into CO2, I would have to give this one some serious consideration.


  2. Hi Tom, I can remember lusting after guns like these when I was a lot younger (65 now). So good to see them in print and photos. I’m currently woking up a load for my .338 Lapua rifle but I still fondly remember my Daisy 1894 Spittin, Image rifle.

    Be Well
    Kevin in CT



      • Tom, it actually kicks less than my Savage 110 HB in .308! It’s a Sako TRG 42 with a Richard Near muzzle brake and a Premiere Reticle scope. I’m thinking that the muzzle brake with it’s reward ports ala the Barret type combined with the weight of the gun make it very easy to shoot. The only problem is that the muzzle blast for the guys on the sides is severe, it literally knocked over a 1/2 empty paper cup of coffee on the next booth to me so I try to do my shooting when the range is empty. I’m in a private club so most weekday mornings it’s pretty much just me 🙂

        Kevin in CT



  3. BB—Kevin— Do you remember Martin and Osa Johnson? They wrote the book “I married adventure” (1940), and made films about their travels hunting in Africa in the 1930,s. Osa looked like she weighed 110 pounds. Their ” arsenal”of 20 firearms included a .470 double, a Rigby .505, Winchester 95 in .405, Jefffries .404, 12 gauge shotguns, etc. And Osa shot all of them. She didnt need no stinkin muzzle brake! ——Ed


  4. Hi BB and fellow shooters. Thought you would enjoy the following. This past Wednesday at our 25 Yd bullseye league , we had a second competition for single action 6 shooters. Not having a sa firearm, I convinced the league president to let me use one of my CO2 air pistols. I chose my S&W 78G. At 2t yards, it was on paper and shooting to POI. However, it was shooting well left of the aim point. No biggie. We all shot 20 rounds and between the laughs and guffaws (since there was a noticeable time delay between my shooting and the sound of the pellet hitting the target “are you throwing rocks at the target?”), we all had a good time. For myself, I was surprised the pistol was on paper at 25 yards with no change in elevation needed on the rear sight. I was aiming to the left of the bull but at center height. The others stopped laughing when I was awarded a second place in this fun competition!

    Fred DPRoNJ


  5. Kevin in CT—–If you are going to be at the show in Matamoras PA on Oct. !, I will loan you my copy of “I Married Adventure”. —Ed PS— If any of the members of this blog are going to that show, we should try to get together. I plan to be there around 10 am.


  6. Pingback: Crosman 600 air pistol: Part 3 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  7. B.B.,

    The 600 is one classic I have never had the pleasure of shooting, but perhaps I will have to do something about that. :^) I know the Crosman 400 rifle is supposed to be pellet jammer, but I have never, ever had a jam with mine, and the magazine looks similar to the one on the 600. Does the 600 have a similar, probably undeserved reputation? I recall in Part 1 you wrote a little about this, but using only wadcutter and domes, have you ever had a mis-feed?

    Michael


    • Michael,

      The 600 doesn’t have a reputation for jamming like the 400 rifle does, but some guns do seem prone to feeding problems. This is the Achilles heel of the pistol.If it jams often, the cam that operates the feed arm can break, or the feed arm itself. When that happens parts are not available for replacement.

      The 400 rifle has a removable magazine that moves when its in the gun. That can cause alignment problems that the 600, with its integral magazine, doesn’t have. That would be the big difference between the two.

      B.B.


  8. Well you all know I been raving about the Air Venturi regulated 1200psi 16 cubic inch bottle that fills to 3000 psi with high pressure air (HPA) and the bulk fill adapter for the Steel Storm that replaces the 12 gram co2 cartridge.

    Well this Crosman 600 might be a good candidate for the HPA conversion all. It would for sure increase shot count. It would speed the gun up velocity wise also. And maybe make it feed more reliably too.

    That could be the good points about the conversion. But maybe there is a bad point also. Maybe it would break the cam or feed arm more easily with the 1200 psi instead of the normal 900 psi and lower that co2 operates on. BB just mentioned above that’s the weak link in the guns system.

    But boy oh boy if it did work on the HPA conversion the 600 would definitely be a fun gun. And I bet it would get a 150 or more shots out of the 16 cubic inch Air Venturi bottle. I would add it to my co2 pistol collection I’m getting.


    • Correction: I said 16 cubic inch bottle. It is 13 cubic inches.

      Here’s the link to the bottle and bulk fill adapter and the adapter that can be purchased separately that replaces the co2 cartridge if you have the other stuff already.
      https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Venturi_Tank_Valve_Set_13_cu_in_Aluminum_3_000_psi_Black/7456

      https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Venturi_Steel_Storm_CO2_Bulk_Fill_Adapter/3442

      https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Venturi_Bulk_Fill_Adapter_Fits_Umarex_Steel_Force_Steel_Storm_and_Winchester_M14_Airgun_Magazines/5206

      The diameter of the 5206 adapter will have to be turned down smaller on a lathe to fit through the threaded hole on most co2 12 gram cartridge guns. The set screw or piercing screw would need removed. Then slip the adapter in and thread it till it seats on the guns seal. Thread type would be a factor also. I need to check some of my guns to see if they use a generic size thread diameter and pitch. If so a pretty straight forward application.


      • GF1,

        Slow down and take a breath. 😉

        Most people who would pick up a 600 would not dream of converting it. Besides, it was not too long ago you were whining about how slow it was to reload a Steel Storm or a Steel Force. Now listen to you. Just think how frustrated you would be reloading this puppy.

        What you really want is one of these and convert it.

        https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/SIG_Sauer_MPX_CO2_Rifle_Black/3716

        I am certain you would be much happier with how this would perform than butchering a 600. You would definitely need to pick up a few magazines though.


        • RR
          I think your a little confused. How is loading the 30 round spring loaded magazine on the Steel Storm something to complain about. That’s why I like the Storm and also the Daisy 74.

          What I don’t like which would be me complaining right now is loading the belt with pellets on the gun you listed or the mags for the 1077 or Python or Brodax with pellets.

          And if you read BB’s reply above the 600 is basically trash if the gun breaks with lack of repair parts. Well maybe not that bad. It could be used as a parts gun to repair others. So not all is lost if it breaks.

          So here’s that magical question. Could HPA help or hurt the 600’s mechanisms? Sometimes things can benefit from a modification you know.

          And screwing that HPA adapter in place of a 12 gram co2 cartridge would no way be butchering the 600. It would just unscrew and would be back to original in a blink of a eye. You would never know I used HPA in a 600 if I didn’t tell ya. Comprende buck a roo.



            • BB
              Yep understand that. So there is nobody out there that makes parts for them?

              Well at least maybe the parts that you mentioned that break. I guess if a person gets one of these 600’s they should probably try to buy 2 of them just so they have at least one shot at getting there gun back up and running. That’s probably what I would try to do or maybe see if I could make the parts.


          • Gunfun1,

            Even at 1200 psi might be too high a pressure for this old mechanism. Dropping it down to 800 psi might help with longevity if you do plan to go through with it.

            Siraniko


            • Siraniko
              That’s true. It would be nice if the regulator on that Air Venturi bottle was adjustable. Because that would be the way to do it.

              Run the gun on only enough air pressure that’s needed to operate it. That would allow for more shots per bottle fill at the lower 800 psi verses the higher 1200 psi that the bottle is set at.

              To bad the regulator is not easily adjusted with a knob or set screw. That would be the next thing I would like to see on the Air Venturi regulated HPA bottle in the future. Or maybe it’s there already and I don’t know it. Haven’t looked to be honest. I will have to see.


          • GF1,

            I was not aware of how it connected. I thought you might have to do some modification to the frame, etc. to connect.

            As for reloading, with the 600 you have to stop and reload every 10 shots, one pellet at a time. With the Sig you can quickly slap in a spare mag and keep on going. Also, you will be shooting pellets and not BBs.

            Also with the Sig, if one of the adapters do not screw directly in where the 88 gram cylinder does, I am certain one could be made. Then the HPA cylinder becomes the stock instead of a dangly aroundy thingy.

            That is where my head was.


            • RR
              Here look Air Venturi has this bottle available for the MPX. Remember when there was talk about them making a HPA version of the gun available. Well maybe this is it. And thats how I got the idea of getting the HPA bottle for my Storm.
              https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Venturi_Tank_With_Stock_Adapter_13_cu_in_Aluminum_3_000_psi_Black/7466

              And also the MPX has a belt fed 30 round magazine that you would have to load 30 pellets in.

              The Daisy 74 and Storm is still way faster to load the bb’s. Just pull the spring loaded pusher back and latch it then shake bb’s from the guns resivoir then in latch the pusher. Only takes about 10 to 15 seconds to load. I bet that MPX belt probably takes 60seconds or more to load.

              Plus the MPX doesn’t have the full auto burst mode like the Storm. The MPX is like a semi-auto. One shot per trigger pull. I myself would have to say the Storm would be way more fun to shoot and easier to load.


              • GF1,

                No, the Sig does not have full auto, but neither does the 600. Plus you are shooting pellets. Now if you just have to have full auto, there is the SMG 22 from Auto Ordinance.


                • RR
                  Yep done looked at it a while back. Matter of fact I posted a link back then too.

                  But here’s my main point of why I’m liking the bb guns better in semi-auto and full auto is the ease and quickness of reloading. Way simpler and less time consuming than load pellets. Plus bb’s are much cheaper than pellets. And a good thing since you can go through so many with the types of guns I just mentioned.


                  • GF1,

                    LOL! OK, so now we are back where we started. You started talking about tinkering around with a 600 and I knew it really wasn’t what you would have been happy with so I tried to take you there and you said that is not where I am wanting to go and it turns out all along that the real issue is you just cannot help yourself with the fact that you are a tinkerer who just cannot leave anything alone. Whew! That was a mouthful.

                    I’ll take the 600 and you take the Steel Storm and we will both merrily kill feral soda cans.


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