by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 102
Crosman’s 102 is a .22 caliber multi-pump repeater.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The rifle
  • Test 1
  • Rebuilt
  • Examine the power band
  • Trigger pull
  • Surprise!
  • Test 2
  • Magazine capacity
  • Feeding
  • Label
  • Summary

Today we look at the power of the Crosman 102 bolt-action repeater that we are testing. This test went in a different direction than I expected because of the rifle’s design. I will explain as I go.

The rifle

You know that I just finished the test of the Crosman 100, and I’m getting confused between that rifle and this one. I re-read Part 1 for this rifle to familiarize myself with its operation, and good thing that I did. I had forgotten one thing that turned out to have a huge influence on today’s test. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Test 1

The first test I did was one I like to do for all multi-pumps. I tested the power of the rifle with different numbers of pump strokes. Let’s look at that. I used the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier pellet for this test.

Pumps……Vel. avg…Total spread…..Energy ft. lb.
3……………391………14……………4.86
4……………431………32……………5.9
5……………506………08……………8.13
6……………527………30……………8.82 no air left
7……………535………10……………9.09 no air left
8……………536………24……………9.12 no air left

Okay, that was an eye-opener! I own a Crosman 101 which is the .22 caliber single shot and it is much more powerful. On 8 pumps it shoots the same pellet at 635 f.p.s. — a difference of 99 f.p.s. Why is this one so slow?

Rebuilt

The rifle was just rebuilt by Jeff Cloud who has rebuilt many multi-pumps, so I think it’s as good as it can be. There may be some parts that are worn from use, and that could affect the power level. Jeff rebuilds the rifles to stock specifications. My 101 was rebuilt years ago by another guy who made it hotter than stock. In fact, in the test I did years ago I pumped it 10 times and there was still no air remaining in the reservoir. But 10 pumps puts a lot of strain on the pump linkage, and I don’t want to subject this rifle to that kind of abuse.

Examine the power band

Now let’s turn our attention to the power band of the rifle that’s shown above. Notice that it stalls out at 6 pumps. I tried shooting it dry after 6, 7 & 8 pumps and there was no air left in the gun. But clearly 6 pumps are all you need, and 5 are even better, when you consider the return on your effort.

Trigger pull

The single-stage trigger pull is very repeatable, which is a welcome change from the Crosman 100 I recently tested. It breaks at a consistent 3 lbs. 15 oz.

As I mentioned in Part 1, this rifle also cocks easier than the 100. That is entirely due to the cocking knob, which has a wide knurled band that makes it easy to grasp. I think I will look for one of those for my 100, as well. It won’t be correct for the rifle, but it will cock easier and, as accurate as that 100 seems to be, I am thinking I will hang onto it.

Surprise!

This is the point where I wanted to test the rifle with lightweight and heavyweight pellets. That demonstrates the limits of power, because a pneumatic is almost always less powerful with a light pellet and more powerful with a heavy one. And that’s when it hit me!

Remember that little cutout in the gravity-feed magazine tube I showed you in Part 1? Let’s look at it again.

Crosman 102 mag port open
The hole the pellet must pass through limits the pellets that can be loaded into the magazine.

Here’s the deal. I don’t own that many lightweight pellets in .22 caliber, and the ones I do have — the Gamo Raptor and the Gamo Luxor — are both 9.8-grains, which is pretty light for a .22 pellet. Unfortunately both are also far too long to fit through that wadcutter-shaped loading hole, so no dice.

Test 2

Okay, I went to the other end of the spectrum and tried a H&N Baracuda Match pellet. Same thing! They are also too long to fit through that hole. So this test will end with a shot of an RWS Hobby lead pellet that is the lightest pellet I have that will fit through the hole. I gave it the full 8 pumps to give it the best chance to excel. It went out at 602 f.p.s., which for this 11.9-grain pellet generates 9.58 foot-pounds. That makes what I just said about lightweight pellets wrong! Oh, well. You try your best and let the chips fall where they may. At least I was smart enough to use the modifier “almost.”

Magazine capacity

This time I managed to affirm that the tubular magazine does hold exactly 20 Crosman Premier pellets. That was left in doubt in Part 1.

Feeding

I have to comment on how well this rifle feeds! I have owned 2 Crosman 400s, which is a bolt-action CO2 repeater. Neither one fed worth a darn. Their magazines came off the rifle, which may have lead to a misalignment problem, so no more 400s for BB!

I also used to own a Crosman 118, which is another CO2 bolt action repeater — this time bulk-fill. It’s an older design than the 400 and the magazine is integral. I don’t remember it feeding as well as this 102. As I recall, sometimes the bolt would hang up because the linkage would go over-center and refuse to advance.

But the 102 is bulletproof. If the pellet will fit through the hole it will feed! I like that!

Label

I’m putting this in because one reader asked for it. The label on the forearm is mostly gone. I’ve had full labels in the past and if this one was any good I would have shown it in Part 1.

102 label
The label on the forearm is mostly gone.

Summary

The 102 is certainly a different air rifle! It’s so quirky, with pellet pickiness combined with smooth feeding. Pumping is smooth and easy. I just like it! I hope it’s accurate.