Crosman Challenger PCP 10-meter target rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman Challenger PCP
Crosman Challenger PCP.

Edge Part 1
Edge Part 2
Edge Part 3
Edge Part 4
Edge Part 5
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 1
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 2
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 3
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 4
AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 5
Airforce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 6
Challenger PCP: Part 1

This report covers:

  • Held for 11 years
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed.
  • Gamo Match
  • JSB Match Heavy Weight
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Shot count
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I check the velocity of the Chrosman Challenger youth 10-meter target rifle. In 2009, the last time I tested the rifle, I adjusted it to get lots of shots with H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets. They were 7-grain wadcutter pellets that are no longer available. Back then they averaged 545 f.p.s. for 116 shots on a fill. We will see where they are today — 11 years later.

Held for 11 years

By the way, I didn’t mention in in Part 1 but this rifle has been holding air since I last shot it 11 years ago! That’s for those who think that pneumatics have to leak.

The test

I filled the rifle to 2,000 psi and began with the pellet I had tuned it for last time — the H&N Finale Match High Speed. 

H&N Finale Match High Speed.

Ten pellets averaged 565 f.p.s. The low was 555 and the high was 570 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 15 f.p.s. I will use 555 f.p.s. as the cutoff velocity for the end of the test.

Gamo Match

Next up were Gamo Match pellets. Ten averaged 570 f.p.s. the spread ranged from a low of 566 to a high of 574 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 8 f.p.s.

JSB Match Heavy Weight

I tried JSB Match Heavy Weight pellets next. At 8.26 grains they are much heavier than either the Finale Match High Speed or the RWS R-10 Pistol pellets, both of which weigh 7 grains. But still they averaged 560 f.p.s. for 10 shots. And the spread was an incredible three feet per second — from 559 to 562 f.p.s.! And this was done without a regulator!

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The last pellet I tested was the old reliable RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. They averaged 581 f.p.s., with a range that went from 577 to 586 f.p.s. — a difference of 9 f.p.s.

Shot count

At this point in the test there were 44 shots on the fill. Four pellets had not registered on the chronograph. Now I started shooting blank shots with some Finale Match High Speed pellets at certain intervals.

Shot 51 went out at 574 f.p.s. Shot 60 was also 574. Shot 70 was 580 f.p.s. Shot 80 was also 580 f.p.s. Shot 90 went out at 570 f.p.s. And with shot 100 I started recording each shot’s velocity.

111…………..552 end

I said I would stop shooting when the velocity of H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets dropped below 555 f.p.s., because that was the lowest velocity recorded in this string for this pellet at the beginning. That means that we got 110 good shots from this Challenger on a single fill. In 2009 this pellet got 116 shots that averaged 545 f.p.s. Now, eleven years later the same pellet got 110 shots at an average of about 560 f.p.s. on a single fill. In 2009 the maximum spread for all shots was 29 f.p.s. In this test the maximum spread was 25 f.p.s. What I’m telling you is the Challenger is holding up surprisingly well over the 11 years it has been operated.


Those who are afraid of going to precharged pneumatics should pay attention to this test. You are seeing a PCP perform over a timeframe of more than a decade.

Those who believe that a regulator is needed to get lots of shots, pay attention. The Challenger has no regulator, yet gets 110 shots within a 25 f.p.s. power band.

Those who wonder if a PCP can be made to work with a hand pump pay attention. We are getting 110 shots on a fill of only 2,000 psi.


I am now ready to test the accuracy of the Crosman Challenger PCP. I hope you are as excited as I at the opportunity.

31 thoughts on “Crosman Challenger PCP 10-meter target rifle: Part 2

  1. The whole concept with Crosman in introducing the Discovery, Marauder and Challenger was to make the world of PCPs not so “Dark” anymore. They were quite inexpensive compared to their rivals. You do not need expensive filling equipment. The quality was good. With proper care they could be enjoyed for a lifetime.

    “What I’m telling you is the Challenger is holding up surprisingly well over the 11 years it has (not) been operated.”

    • Brent,

      I will second B.B. on storing PCPs at full working pressure. I have been on the Dark Side for over 30 years and SCUBA Diving for over 60. The cycling of pressure is what EVENTUALLY work hardens a metal cylinder/tube not a high working fill pressure. I store all my PCPs and cylinders at full WORKING pressure. Also don’t ever store a completely empty cylinder/tube as water vapor can then enter and cause corrosion. They can be professionly ROLLED with a media to clean the insides. I still have my pair of original Sherwood 110 that fill to 3600PSI; they have at least 12 hydro date stamps, Lol!


      • Shootski

        I leave my CO2 rifles with gas until depleted at 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Only once I had a minor problem with a stuck cartridge. I always make sure they are not loaded, not cocked, safety is on, and out of reach of a child. I am not aware of any that leak so far.


        • Decksniper,

          I was actually referring to every gas but CO2 in my response.
          CO2 can attack more materials than plain high pressure air and other inert gasses; with refillable CO2 cylinders or tubes the danger is getting water as condensate or vapor in the container which forms Carbonic Acid that attacks seals and metal.
          I have kept CO2 in my 20lb cylinder for years at a time but it also needs to have a current hydrostatic test in order to get it refilled. My CO2 bottle guns don’t get that much use these days running on CO2 since hpa is so much easier to get these days then 30+ years ago. I’ll add that hpa regulators have gotten substantially better than even just ten years ago. Powerlets/cartridges store well for years as long as they don’t get way overheated. They are convenient but can be expensive unless you buy them in really big bulk quantities.

          I agree with your safety intent Deck: “I always make sure they are not loaded, not cocked, safety is on, and out of reach of a child.”

          But I have stated a number of times in the past here that Dennis Quackenbush taught me that Pressurized airguns of any sort should be considered as being loaded even if no pellet, bullet or other projectile has been intentionally loaded. Those blanks we laugh about can do serious harm or death if the barrel isn’t pointed in a SAFE DIRECTION. So with (most) kids around (or uninformed adult) i agree with your safety steps fully.

          I’ll climb down of my Soapbox!


  2. BB ,

    You will have to test one of these sometime . Made for Hunter Field Target in the world class . This is why it is a true 12 ft lb. gun . It has a ball trigger which is pretty nice and we know how consistent Air Arms guns are especially at 12 ft lbs.

    Gene Salvino

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