by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This is Part 9 of an ongoing guest blog from reader HiveSeeker. He continues to research this subject that fascinates both him and many other readers.
This is about the air rifle he really enjoys. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now, over to you, HiveSeeker.
Crosman 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle – Part 9
The 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle is only available directly from the Crosman Custom Shop. The cost of this custom gun, the HiveSeeker II with 14.6-inch Lothar Walther .22 barrel and shoulder stock, was $128, not including the scope and rings. The scope is a Leapers 3-12X44 AO SWAT Compact.
This report covers:
- My love affair with the 2400KT
- The Crosman Custom Shop (CCS)
- Review session
- My new HiveSeeker II 2400KT — Accuracy
- My new HiveSeeker II 2400KT — Velocity
- Valve swap
- The Crosman Custom Shop “black box”
- By the numbers
- What’s next?
My love affair with the 2400KT
It’s been over two years since my last report on the Crosman 2400KT from the Crosman Custom Shop. I fell in love with this gun when my Crosman 1377 died and I wanted a replacement that didn’t require pumping. I discovered the 2400KT to be a very accurate and powerful CO2 pistol. Since then I’ve purchased several more 2400KTs, tried my hand at the modding these guns are famous for, and learned some new things along the way.
The Crosman Custom Shop (CCS)
The Crosman Custom Shop is a wonderful, wonderful place. Crosman listens to its customers and is constantly innovating. Recently the CCS added the 1300KT Pump Carbine (based on the Crosman 1377), new Lothar Walther barrels, and a custom regulated Marauder is slated for 2018! There have also been significant name changes that you need to pay attention to: the 2400KT Carbine from past blogs has been renamed the 2400KT CO2 air rifle that continues to be our topic of discussion here, and the 2300KT pistol is now the 2300KT CO2 carbine. The 2400KT offers longer barrels and more velocity than the 2300KT, so if you have the need for speed make sure you keep these two straight!
For a brief refresher on the previous blog series, or if you’re not familiar with the Crosman 2400KT, I suggest that you look over at least Parts 1 and 2. My first 2400KT (the HiveSeeker) had an 18-inch Crosman .22 barrel and shot midweight 14.3-grain Benjamin Domed Magnums at 558 fps. My wife’s 2400KT (dubbed the Sassy Sandy) had a 10.1-inch Lothar Walther .177 barrel and shot midweight 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers at 557 fps. Note that these velocities in .177 and .22 are nearly identical — we will spend some time discussing that here and in the next part of this report!
Here’s a look at the original guns from previous reports — my HiveSeeker 2400KT with 18-inch Crosman .22 barrel (left), and the wife’s Sassy Sandy 2400KT with 10.1-inch Lothar Walther .177 barrel (right).
My new HiveSeeker II 2400KT — Accuracy
The original HiveSeeker 2400KT proved to be quite powerful, rivaling most non-PCP .22 air pistols in velocity — thanks in part to its long 18-inch barrel. My only disappointment was accuracy, which was very good at 10 yards but only fair at 20 yards. So I was pretty excited when Crosman added a 14.6-inch choked Lothar Walther barrel to the CCS! I immediately placed my order for the HiveSeeker II, which was a twin to my HiveSeeker except for the new barrel and color. Well, let me tell you — this barrel can shoot! Just take a look at this target:
Fifty shots, five holes! Here’s a close-up of my new HiveSeeker II and my very first 10-yard accuracy test. This gun shoots better than I can! Note that I overlaid the target on brightly colored paper to highlight the groups. The numbered groups were (1) Benjamin Discovery Hollowpoint, (2) Air Arms Falcon (you may need to squint!), (3) RWS Meisterkugeln, (4) RWS Hobby, and (5) H&N Sport. Note that some of the groups reported in the accuracy table below are smaller than the groups shown here.
At 10 yards I got the accuracy listed below. All groups were 10 shots, measured center-to-center (CTC). The scope I used is a Leapers SWAT Compact 3-12X44 AO which worked quite well, though it is heavy and some shooters (especially female or youth) will probably prefer a lighter scope on this compact gun. Everything except the Gamo Match and 5.53 mm H&N Field Target Trophy grouped under half an inch, and several pellets — the Air Arms Falcon, boxed Crosman Premier, and 15.89 grain JSB Diabolo Exact Jumbo — grouped smaller than a single pellet diameter! As a refresher, my wife’s 2400KT with 10.1-inch Lothar Walther .177 barrel was also very accurate, posting groups down to 0.246 inches at 10 yards. If you want to hit what you’re pointing at, the Lothar Walther barrels are worth every penny!
Pushing this gun out to 20 yards, I got groups down to 0.357 inches CTC. This was definitely an improvement over my first HiveSeeker which averaged over 1 inch with the pellets I tested — though not surprising considering the cost difference between barrels. You do get what you pay for! While this won’t compete with PCPs, I think it’s great for a .22 CO2 pistol at this price. I am pretty happy with the accuracy of my new 2400KT!
One final thing to mention here is that the Lothar Walther barrel is noticeably tighter than the Crosman barrels. From what I have seen so far, pellets with smaller diameters that did not fit too tightly in the original barrel seemed to be more accurate now.
My new HiveSeeker II 2400KT — Velocity
Accuracy is certainly important, but as you can tell I’m also pretty enthusiastic about the velocity of the 2400KT. Although my original HiveSeeker with 18-inch barrel ended up falling just short of the 12 foot-pounds recommended for hunting, it is still a very powerful pistol. While shorter barrels usually provide lower velocity in CO2 guns, some research I came across suggested that a 14-inch barrel might be optimal for this gun. So I had high hopes for my new HiveSeeker II with its 14.6-inch barrel!
I was getting an ample 60 shots per CO2 cartridge, but when I dropped my new gun over the Shooting Chrony velocity averaged only 434 fps with Benjamin Discovery Hollow Points. This was a full 124 fps below my original HiveSeeker with the same pellet. In my previous blogs I was baffled when my two 2400KTs posted almost exactly the same velocity in .177 as in .22, and I speculated that the Custom Shop assembled the .177 with Lothar Walther barrel for a moderate, stable target velocity rather than a high hunting velocity. That again seems to be the case here. Below are the velocity curves comparing the HiveSeeker and HiveSeeker II, two guns that were ordered functionally identical except for the barrel:
Here are the velocity curves for the 18-inch Crosman barrel HiveSeeker and the 14.6-inch Lothar Walther barrel HiveSeeker II. Would you guess these came from the same model gun?
Clearly the Custom Shop assembled my HiveSeeker II differently, and I soon realized the difference HAD to be the valve. While the 3.4 inch shorter barrel and the barrel choking might both reduce velocity, it should not be by this much. And those two factors certainly wouldn’t double the shot count! In fact, the velocity and number of shots are similar to what B.B. got when he tested the Crosman 2240, and that’s the ubiquitous Crosman valve that I suspect I have here.
I wanted more velocity from the HiveSeeker II, and based on my first 2400KT I knew I could get it. I got a valve identical to the one in my original HiveSeeker installed in the HiveSeeker II, and re-tested. The results were much closer to what I had been expecting all along: an average of 522 fps — a full 90 fps faster — and only 36 fps lower than the 18-inch barrel gun. This was more like it! (Note that all velocity testing was done at 84-88 degrees F. Velocity in cooler climates will be lower.)
This also made it obvious that the high velocity I was getting from my original HiveSeeker was not due solely to its 18-inch barrel, but due as well to a more powerful valve contributing at least 90 fps. We’ll discuss this in more detail in the next blog installment.
The augmented velocity in my HiveSeeker II, however, came at a very steep cost:
This is the velocity I expected for an identical gun with a shorter barrel. However, you can see that the new valve provides more velocity at the expense of half the number of shots compared to the original valve.
The Crosman Custom Shop “black box”
As you can see, you don’t have complete control when you order a custom gun. There are some choices that only Crosman decides. But looking at this graph, I understand why the Custom Shop selected a different valve when they assembled my HiveSeeker II. The power I want comes at the expense of about 25 shots per fill compared to the original valve — down by half! Another way of looking at this is that it will now cost me twice as much to shoot this gun. Most customers selecting a Lothar Walther barrel are probably going to be more interested in bull’s-eyes than bunnies, and for them the originally installed valve is the right choice.
This variability in construction also explains why Crosman does not give out velocities for their Custom guns (I tried gamely — but vainly — to get them). While I must admit that the Custom Shop made the exact choice I would in setting up this gun for the average customer, I also believe that many buyers would love to see the CCS offer an informed choice between a target valve and a power valve. I feel that the Crosman Custom Shop will be complete when a customer can choose not only how nice their gun looks, but how it will actually perform when they get it.
By the numbers
I like graphs, but numbers are important too. Here are the target and power valve data for the HiveSeeker II from the graphs above. You can also clearly see the price paid in shots per fill to achieve those higher velocities:
Despite having to expend some extra effort to end up with what I wanted, I am no less enamored by the Crosman Custom Shop and its fantastic 2400KT line. There’s one more topic I want to cover on the stock 2400KT next, and then my final blog on this gun will cover modding including what you can do to get that power valve if you want it! Stay tuned!