The Crosman 180: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 180
My .22 caliber Crosman 180 is the second variation.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Plywood
  • The test
  • Crosman Premier
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • RWS Superdome
  • Summary

Today I’ll test the Crosman 180 for accuracy. I’ll shoot it at 10 meters, rested. I don’t expect great accuracy because this was always intended to be a plinking rifle, but it’s probably not too shabby, either. There is no easy way to mount a peep sight or a scope. This is a, “Stand on your hind legs and shoot like a man!” airgun.

Plywood

I mentioned in Part 1 that the stock is made from a plywood product. Chris USA had a difficult time seeing that, so I promised to show him in Part 2. Well, I forgot. So, before I start today’s test, I took a photo of the stock.

plywood stock
Here is the best photo of the plywood glue lines I can show. As you can see, the wood grain in the plies runs on an angle to the glue lines. Also — no tree I know of has rings that are spaced as regularly as those glue lines. The spacing only changes as the shape of the stock changes. Also, the glue lines are not level with the rest of the wood. They are open and porous, where the wood grain has been sealed by Tru Oil.

The test

I shot from 10 meters with the rifle rested. It was rested directly on the sandbag, since it doesn’t recoil. This is where that great trigger really pays off. I am also using low magnification reading glasses (1.25 diopter) to help me see the front sight, and I used eyedrops just before the test.

Sight-in took 5 shots because the 180 rear sight adjusts for windage by loosening 2 screws and pushing it sideways. The first shot was off to the right and I had to fiddle a bit to get the shots in the bull. I got it to group with the first pellet and just left it where it was for the other two.

As I said in the last report I shot this entire test on the low power setting that is the second click out on the cocking knob. The first click just sets the trigger and 3 clicks get full power.

Crosman Premier

First up were .22 caliber Crosman Premiers. I didn’t mention this before but when the Premier pellets came to market in the mid 1990s they changed the performance of many of these older Crosman airguns. They went from being mediocre to quite accurate — just by changing the pellet!

I said I would test the 180 with some old Crosman “ashcan” pellets, but when I checked all I could find is a stash of the .177s. The 180 rifle is a .22, so you will have to take my word that those pellets were not that accurate. You can read about them in the report titled, Crosman pellets — they weren’t always Premiers!. I do have a 187 coming, so perhaps we will see them perform then.

Ten Premiers made a pleasing 0.424-inch group at 10 meters. It’s reasonably round and smaller than I expected for 10 shots.

Premier group
Ten .22 caliber Crosman Premiers went into 0.424-inches at 10 meters. This is pretty good for what is essentially a plinker!

JSB Exact Jumbo

The next pellet tested was the JSB Exact Jumbo. I had no idea what these would do, as they weren’t around when I first acquired the rifle. Ten of them went into 0.741-inches at 10 meters. This group is a little vertical, which is why I’m glad the Premier group was more rounded.

JSB Exact group
Ten JSB Exact Jumbo pellets went into this somewhat vertical 0.741-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS Superdome

The last pellet I tried was the 14.5-grain RWS Superdome. I don’t think I have ever tried these pellets in my 180, so this is as new to me as it is to you. Ten Superdomes made a 0.686-inch group that was very horizontal. If this was the only group I might suspect something was wrong with the rifle, but that first group of Premiers disproved that.

RWS Superdome group
Ten RWS Superdomes went into 0.686-inches at 10 meters.

Summary

There you have it. I have now tested for the first time an air rifle I have owned for over 30 years. Took me long enough to get to it, I suppose.

I like the small size and light weight of the rifle. I like the materials it’s made from. The trigger is wonderful and the power is stable, once I played with the adjuster.

As we have seen today, my old 180 is also pretty accurate. All in all, it’s a wonderful heirloom that continues to provide enjoyment.

90 thoughts on “The Crosman 180: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    That’s the kind of airgun that can be enjoyed by anyone. At my Father’s age of 80 he dislikes heavy rifles. He is still a crack shot at the ranges we shoot at often hitting the target 3 times before calling it quits. He remembers us having one before and having to let it go when we couldn’t get the parts to repair it (we are half a world away and it was the ’70s the internet wasn’t around yet and correspondence was slow). Oh the airguns of yesteryear.

    Siraniko


  2. BB,

    That Premier group looks pretty good, especially for a guy shootin’ with rudimentary iron sights wearing his old glasses with his eyes full of drops. I think you’ll agree that gettin’ old sucks, the only worse thing being when it suddenly stops. 🙂 Are those old .177 Crosman pellets that you have labeled as Superpells, like this…



    • Halfstep,

      Thanks for the pictures of the old pellets – sure brings back memories!

      I have a couple of (sealed) cans of Superpells that I am keeping for when I get my Crosman 101 shooting again. I used to shoot the Webley pellets in the orange tin as that was all that was available at the time.

      Hank


      • Vana2,

        You’re welcome. I don’t know if I ever saw Webley pellets. I used Sheridans, Crosmans and Daisys mostly. I eventually bought some RWS that worked well in my RWS springers ( I have a couple of tins of Hobbys that are not tin at all. They are orange plastic.) I bought a few Beemans, but never had much luck with them. I still try them, sparingly, sometimes, as I get new guns. Haven’t found a gun that likes them ever 30 years latter. LOL I’m surprised by the quality of some of them. I have one pointed pellet that I think is a Beeman( I don’t have the tin. They are in a Tic Tac box) that looks like it was turned on a lathe it is so well made. ( It shoots like it was made with a hammer and chisel by a half blind apprentice electrician). It is one that I will be looking up in a minute on the data base you just posted.


        • Halfstep,

          From your description I am guessing that the pellet you are talking about is a “Beeman Silver Arrow Pointed Pellet”. The are beautifully made and have two grooves around the head of the pellet.

          I picked up a can of them for my FWB124 when I was on a business trip to California because they looked cool – not exactly the best criteria for selecting pellets eh?

          In a casual test, they didn’t shoot as well as the pellets that I was using at the time so I still have most of the tin left. To be honest, I haven’t given them a fair chance. Now that I have more time I might try them in my PCPs just to see how they do in a more powerful rifle.

          Hank



  3. At the same time (more or less) that Crosman was producing those crappy things Daisy was putting out these beauties… The .22s are great out of my Crosman Mark I, but I only have a hand full left. 🙁


  4. BB,

    Does the rear sight on the stormrider just slide off a snug fit on its dovetail or is there more to it? I’m going to be putting a scope on it today and the manual doesn’t really address the issue.


  5. B.B.,

    Thank you for the wood close up. Quite the amazing product. For others, I did some research on solid wood alternatives and the closest thing I could find was a product called PSL (parallel stranded lumber). I could find no good close up pic of the product though, so I’m not sure.

    Good Day to you, and to one and all,… Chris




    • Hey Chris,

      What you are calling PSL I would call “Chip Board”. It is used for sheathing houses and higher quality/density planks are used for structural construction.

      Think that the stuff is made from cut-offs and scrap wood that is not suited for milling into boards. Its not weather resistant on it’s own and needs to be protected from the elements.

      I have made lots of things from chip board (even a couple of stocks) as it is cheap and the different grains/colors of the chips create an interesting finish.

      Attached is a picture of a couple of high density structural PSL beams…

      Hank


      • Hank
        Would this also be called OSB (oriented strand board)? The OSB stands up to weather better than plywood, which can delaminate if gotten wet. Back in the day we used particle board for sub-flooring. That stuff was terrible. It had no strength and soaked up water like a sponge.



          • Geo791 and Hank.

            I believe that OSB and chip boards may be slightly different. I’ve gad a chance to tour a local OSB plant. For the OSB process that I got a chance to observe, they used forty layers of strands, with each layer going a different direction (the oriented part of the name). Each layer was glued with a proprietary glue. The sheets were 8′ X 24′ and were about 6″ thick going into the press, 10 sheets at a time. After pressing (If I remember correctly the press generated 31,000 PSI), the sheets came out the other side of the press 3/8″ thick. The big sheets then were then run through gang saws and cut into 4X8′ sheets. The whole line was controlled by one one person. It was impressive to watch.

            Jim


            • Thanks for the description Jim!

              The trades never differenciated and used the terms interchangeably so I always did the same.

              You can see/feel the difference between the joists and sheeting – the joists are much denser and harder.

              Hank


            • Jim
              I think you are correct in that OSB is not exactly the same as chip board. I think the glue in OSB is waterproof too. I’ve seen OSB out in the weather totally unprotected, no paint or anything and it still held together and did not delaminate like plywood.



          • Hank,

            I associate OSB with a plywood alternative. Both commonly sold here in the U.S.. OSB here has very course chips, maybe 1 -1 1/2″ in size and pressed together. Then there is particle board,.. pressed sawdust it would seem,… and pretty much crap even though a lot of cheap furniture is made with it, laminated with a thin plastic, wood looking, covering. Some of the best can be quite deceiving as it even has texture to the faux grain that you can catch a finger nail in.

            Given your fine wood working skills, I will have to defer to you in all matters of wood though. 😉

            You are awesome when it comes to woodworking and I am hoping to see some new creations with all of that new found time that you now have. 🙂


      • Hank,

        Thank you for that. I do not think that I would ever mistake that outside for real wood. The inside sure looks different. As I read on, I see that there is still a bit of confusion with one person removing the butt cap to settle it,… at least on that gun. I am glad that I was not the only one (still?) confused.


    • Chris
      Just letting you know. My regulator got delivered today for my Maximus. I’ll be putting it in later. I’ll give a update on it when I’m done installing it.



      • GF1,

        Looking forward on you running it through the ringer. Before and after data would be sweet, but just your shooting opinion ought to be good. It will be interesting to see if you feel the shot count went up at all.


      • GF1,

        Just so I know, for when you start posting results, have you already done any mods to the Maximus that would change the velocity or shot count from factory standard. I already know from reading your comments for a year that a gun ain’t gonna’ remain cherry for long in your hands.



        • Halfstep
          Will post the results below in a bit.

          Only thing done to the gun is that double return spring mod I did to the trigger to give it a two stage feel and bent the sear spring for a lighter trigger pull. I also moved the barrel band clamp back closer to the breech. And got my scope mounted bipod on it. The striker spring and transfer port are still factory.

          Here’s a picture of it. The stock is cut from when I had that regulated Air Venturi bottle on it when I got it. Took it real quick. So not the best picture.



            • Halfstep
              Did you look at the picture. I took a picatinny tri-mount scope ring. Then milled off the bottom that would normally clamp to the guns picatinny rail. Then mounted in front of the scope ring on the scope tube. Then got these Stoeger bipod legs.
              https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Stoeger_Arms_ATAC_Suppressor_Air_Rifle_Bipod_Foldable/4951

              It works real well. The weight of the gun is below the legs. And the legs spread out wider. Very, very stable. I have them so the legs fold forward when not in use.

              Oh it don’t work on springers though. But nice on multi-pump, Co2 and pcp guns. Even a smooth shooting tuned Tx 200 bumps it too much.

              Been using that set up for about 3 or so years now on different pcp’s. Matter of fact I have it on my Savage 93 with my green laser mounted on top. What’s nice too is you can take the legs off if you want. Or put right back on.


              • GF1,

                I see now what you mean. I’ve never seen bipod legs like that until now. I suppose they’re for mounting on the piccy rails on a gun’s fore end ? Doesn’t the setup that you have risk flexing the scope off zero with the weight of the gun. Seems I’ve heard that its bad practice to carry a gun by it’s scope and this seems to be at least that stressful to the scope. Is this a common setup on PCPs ?


                • Halfstep
                  Check out my groups below.

                  I have been using this scope for the last 3 or 4 years this way. The scope is around 6 years old.

                  Never a issue with poi or group accuracy. You should try it. It’s super stable. Notice how the weight of the gun is more forward of balance. It also helps hold the barrel down.

                  Again check out my groups below.


                  • GF1,

                    I just looked. Great shooting. Obviously, no problems with the mount. Once again, “on paper” and “real life” don’t agree. BTW, you might want to install a zipper on that gun so you can get your mods done faster. 😉


                    • Halfstep
                      I don’t move as fast as use to when I was a young’n. 😉

                      Wouldn’t that be nice though if it was as easy as a zipper to add mods. Some mods ain’t bad. But others do take time.



                    • Halfstep
                      Know what you meant. Guess it was my poor attempt of being humble.

                      And I guess I just can’t kick that modding habit. I been that way all my life. It’s in my DNA. Nothing else I can say.


  6. BB—-” looked like it helped black pellet”? Did you mean looked like it held black pepper? Those were the pellets that I used in 1954. The container did look like a spice can. Ideal ship models used them for the capstan in their smaller ship model kits. —-Ed


  7. BB,
    I found a beat up Diana 25 in a Pawn shop. It has a post front sight, a sliding rear sight for elevation and a single stage trigger. The stock appears to be a dark walnut and it has groves on both sides for fingers. The Diana symbol appears to be small and it does not have made in Germany. Do you think this might be a Mibro Diana and if so, what years did they make them? I’m guessing sometime in the 60’s at least. Thanks for your help.
    Brent



      • BB,
        I reread your blog on the smoothbore Diana 25 and it describes my gun to a tee except mine has a rifled barrel. I can’t find any other markings anywhere. You mentioned that Diana’s that were not made for export did not have the “Made in Germany” markings. The gun looked as dry as a bone so I put 4 big drops of Pellgun oil down the compression tube to lube the leather seal? and also some Tune in a Tube on the mainspring. The Pellgun oil seemed to help because the gun is shooting pretty hard. The single stage trigger is OK but that’s as far as I would go to describe it. I will continue to update as I get more experience with the rifle. I was hoping for a Diana 16 because that’s what I had as a child but this 25 sure beats the pants off a 16.

        Brent



  8. BB,

    Hate to spoil the notion of “high-tech” stocks on the old Crosmans, but this is not plywood. I’ve always considered the wood to be ash (given the hardness and coarse open grain) but some claim it’s elm. In any case it’s real wood. If you look at the end grain or the inletting there’s no indication of laminations. If you sand it to refinish, it’s just rather hard regular wood. The same wood was used on many Crosmans of the 50’s – 60’s era, though occasionally the stocks are other species including maple and a soft poplar type – likely depending on what happened to come from the wood supplier.

    Don R.



  9. Ok here’s the results with the Huma regulator installed in the Maximus. I was only able to fill it one time tonight. I was running out of daylight shooting.

    I set the regulator at around 86 bar which is roughly 1250 psi. Put it in and filled the gun up. Dead on 1250 on the gun gauge. Hand pumped it to 2500 psi. Decided to fill to that cause I was filling to 2200 psi anyway without the regulator.

    So the gun was getting 23 usable shots before poi started falling off at 1100 psi.

    Now the gun is getting 50 shots from a 2500 psi fill and shooting down to 1100 psi. Basically the whole time I was shooting the gun stayed at 1250 psi. It would drop a little below as the shot was fired then jump right back to 1250. So that’s that recharge or balancing of the regulator they talked about in the instructions I posted yesterday in part 2 of today’s blog.

    So once I kept shooting the gauge on the gun started dropping below the 1250. I shot down to 1100 like I use to do without the regulator.

    But I shot five 10 shot group’s at 60 yards on that same target I posted yesterday shooting at 60 yards without the regulator. I wrote info on the target paper so you will have to look at to see what I mean.

    But the first 3 shots fired were low and I think it was the regulator stabilizing like they said it would for it’s first time being used. They said that won’t happen no more. But I did have to put a few down clicks in the scope on my first group fired. But as far as I’m concerned the gun is very accurate now. It was accurate at 50 yards. But now it’s more accurate at 60 yards then it was at 50. I like it so far.

    But now I’ll have to hook it up to the hand pump tomorrow and pump it up till I hear the foster fitting click open and see if leaked down overnight. That’s the only way for me to tell now. Cause the gauge on the gun will always show 1250 psi unless it shot below it or leak down past it.

    Anyway here is target.



      • Coduece
        And that’s when it was starting to get dark. But I wanted to finnish out that shot string psi fill.

        This gun always has been good though. From right when I got it I was hitting bottle caps from 2 litre soda bottles all day long at 50 yards and in. Now it’s even more consistent.

        And one thing I forget to mention which they said on the Huma website that the gun will probably be quieter with the regulator. And it is. Probably cause it’s not wasting excess air like it was before the regulator.

        If it don’t leak down overnight I will be a happy camper.


    • GF1,

      Very nice. Minus the first few shots, it looks like the groups got tighter. I think I see one of these in my future. Please keep us posted as things progress and hopefully no leak down issues. Glad to know you went to 2,500 and it worked. At least you proved that. That also means that part of the 23 vs 50 boost you got is at least partially due to the higher fill.

      Maybe do a test at the old fill and see what the shot count is now. That will be a more “apple to apple” comparison.

      Nice job.


      • Chris
        I knew I was going to fill to 2200 because that’s what my gun was working at. So figured I would go to 2500 with this first fill on it just to see.

        I will do a 2200 fill though so we can see the shot count so we can compare.

        But yep if there’s no leak down today when I check I’ll be happy. So far I like what I’m seeing.


        • Chris
          I just filled to 2200 and shot down to 1100 psi. It lost 7 shots. So 43 shots is what I got filling to 2200 psi.

          Not sure what to make of that. I think I need to spend some more time shooting it to get a better feel of how the guns working now.

          Sounds like more shooting time to me. 🙂


      • Chris
        I just replied to myself.

        Read the one where I thought I was replying to you about my 2200 fill with the regulator today.

        Oh and no leak down. So happy about that.




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