by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman V-300 BB pistol
Crosman V-300 BB pistol.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • I’m learning, too
  • The poppet valve
  • How it works
  • Velocity — Crosman BBs
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Somebody recently thanked me for admitting I don’t know everything. Guys, if the truth be told, I don’t know more than most of you. Some of what I know is just because I’m old, and other stuff is because I’ve had a lifelong fascination with guns.

I’m learning, too

I learn from this blog just like most of you. A lot of that comes when I research things, but every so often you readers tell me things. That happened in the comments to Part 1 of this report. Reader Kevin told us that he believed those three detents in the V-300’s cocking mechanism were for three different power levels. I immediately went to my pistol and tried it and found he is right! We will see that today.

The poppet valve

Also, another reader named Charles responded to my request to see the special poppet valve. He had a V-350 valve (from a long gun, but the vale is essentially the same) apart when he read my report, so he sent me some pictures to share with you. Let’s look at them first.

Crosman V-300 BB pistol valve 1
Our first look at the V-350 poppet valve.The pistol valve is similar.

Crosman V-300 BB pistol valve 2
V-350 poppet valve taken apart. The poppet (arrow) is shown clearly.

Crosman V-300 BB pistol valve 3
V-350 poppet valve face. The piston pushes compressed air through the three holes to force the poppet back.

Crosman V-300 BB pistol valve 4
When the valve is inside the rifle, the rubber o-ring seals the compressed air from blowing past the valve body. The yellow felt wiper keeps the o-ring lubricated, as long as the gun is oiled frequently.

Crosman V-300 BB pistol valve 5
This is the assembly of the V-350 piston (right) and the poppet valve assembly outside the gun.

How it works

When the gun fires the piston moves forward compressing air. The piston forces that air through the three small holes in the head of the valve. The compressed air then pushes the poppet back against its spring, allowing air to flow around its head and enter its hollow body (look at the second picture). As the poppet moves, its back end pushes against a BB that is sitting in line with it in the breech of the barrel. That starts the BB moving. When the poppet reaches the end of its travel, the BB continues moving and is now being pushed by all the compressed air that’s flowing through the hollow poppet.

In essence, this valve is very similar to the mechanism (no valve involved) in a Daisy Red Ryder powerplant. It’s just more refined, and I suspect it is also the reason the V-350 is as powerful as it is. My thanks to Charles for these fine photos. Good photography, by the way!

Velocity — Crosman BBs

Okay, let’s now look at the velocity of my pistol with a couple different BBs. I oiled the gun before the test. Since this is a Crosman gun I’ll start with Crosman Copperhead BBs. On high power, which is three clicks, this BB averaged 258 f.p.s. The spread went from 252 to 270 f.p.s., so 18 f.p.s.

On two clicks, which is medium power, the Copperhead BB averaged 171 f.p.s. The low was 170 and the high was 173 f.p.s.

On one click, I had a hard time getting the BB to register on the chronograph. Many shots went through before the chrono “saw” them. With Copperhead BBs on 1 click the average was 54 f.p.s..

Air Venturi Steel BBs

On max power Air Venturi Steel BBs averaged 254 f.p.s. The spread went from 247 to 261 f.p.s., so 14 f.p.s.

On two clicks the same Air Venturi Steel BB averaged 159 f.p.s. They ranged from a low of 139 to a high of 166 f.p.s. The spread was 27 f.p.s.

On one click this BB averaged 49 f.p.s. The spread was 48 to 50 f.p.s. This is almost too slow to chronograph, and I probably fired twice as many BBs that didn’t register as those that did.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

Hornady Black Diamond BBs averaged 258 f.p.s. on high power. The low was 255 and the high was 261 f.p.s., so a spread of 6 f.p.s.

On two clicks Hornady BBs averaged 159 f.p.s. They ranged from 134 to 180 f.p.s. I don’t know what happened to that string, but the spread was 46 f.p.s. The next result may explain why.

On one click I fired 20 BBs without getting a reading. Several of the BBs hung up in the gun and had to be removed by dumping them out the fill hole. I only got one Black Diamond to register and the velocity was 49 f.p.s. I think Hornady Black Diamond BBs are slightly too big for the V-300 pistol and should be avoided. That also tells me to avoid the even larger H&N Smart Shot lead BBs.

Cocking effort

Cocking the backstrap lever to the first click took 13 lbs. of effort. Click number two took 16 lbs., then, going towards the last click, the effort remained at 16 lbs. for a short while then dropped back to 6 lbs. as the cocking lever went over top dead center and the force was multiplied by the mechanism.

Trigger pull

The single-stage trigger is not adjustable. It breaks with some creep at 5 lbs. 12 oz.

Summary

Yes, there are three cocking stops on the Crosman V-300, but I think only two are useful in the pistol I’m testing. The lowest power is too slow to do much of anything. The BBs bounced off the cardboard backer on my BB trap.

It looks like my pistol is a little tired. That’s understandable, since it is more than a half-century old. I have no desire to open it up for a rebuild, though Charles shows us that it is possible.

Accuracy comes next, and, unless I am surprised by the outcome, this V-300 will quietly retire to my collection.