by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Vigilante
Crosman Vigilante.


This report covers:

  • Come on, Crosman!
  • The Vigilante
  • Dual ammo
  • Pellets?
  • Breakopen
  • Adjustable sights!
  • Overall impressions
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the Crosman Vigilante CO2 revolver semi-auto. The what???

Come on, Crosman!

Is this a revolver, or a semi-auto? Or, has Crosman resurrected the Webley-Fosbery semiautomatic revolver? A semiautomatic revolver has to somehow advance the cylinder to the next round and also cock the hammer for the next shot without any input from the shooter. The revolver does all the work. The Webley-Fosbery is recoil operated to accomplish these things.

Webley-Fosbery
The Webley-Fosbery is one of the very rare semiautomatic revolvers. Prepare to spend five figures for one, if you can find it!

This Crosman revolver is just that — a revolver. In no way is it semiautomatic. Pyramyd Air wisely avoided the Semi Auto portion on the pistol’s title when they put it online.

Vigilante semiauto card
Yes, Crosman really says the Vigilante is a semiauto!

Come on, Crosman! You make airguns, and that requires a modicum of knowledge of the shooting sports. Sure, you hire young men and women to work for you, but someone in the know has to oversee them.

The Vigilante

Rant over. So, what is the Vigilante? Is it an update of the iconic Crosman 357? I wish I could answer that question with authority, but the Crosman 357 was an air pistol I never tested. I’ve read plenty of raves from owners who love them, but I never got my hands on one. Looking at the design and the specs of the Vigilante, though, I have to think that’s exactly what it is.

The Vigilante differs from the 357 in one exciting way. It has a single Weaver groove on top of the barrel for a dot sight. I’m thinking I have to test it that way and I hope the UTG Micro Reflex dot sight will attach, because it is small enough for the job.

Vigilante sight groove
The Vigilante has a single Weaver groove on the top rail of the barrel. It’s perfect for a small dot sight!

Dual ammo

The Vigilante shoots both BB and pellets in two different circular clips. I uncharacteristically loaded the test pistol (I usually don’t shoot the guns in Part 1) with BBs, because I didn’t want to be embarrassed when someone told me the revolver really is semiautomatic. In doing so I learned that the two clips load differently, depending on the ammo they use.

Vigilante clips
The Vigilante comes with two circular clips. Pellets on the left and BBs on the right. They load differently, so read the manual!

Pellets?

Yes, this revolver does shoot pellets. In fact it is made to shoot them and it even has a rifled barrel! The 357 was the same, so this comes as no surprise to their owners, but over the years I have read their stories about how accurate this revolver is and now I plan to find out!

Vigilante rifling
The Vigilante barrel is rifled in the conventional way. I hope it’s accurate!

Shop Benjamin Rifles

Breakopen

The Vigilante breaks open to load clips, in the same way that many revolvers of the past did — going all the way back to the first Smith& Wesson .22 in 1856. The 357 did the same and there were no problems that I know of from this. The placement of the circular clip behind the barrel ensures a short jump into the barrel, which is required for good accuracy. One of my most accurate firearm revolvers is a .455 Webley Mark VI that was made in 1916, and in 104 years its breakopen joint hasn’t suffered in the least!

Vigilante breakopen
The Vigilante breaks open to load and this design has been in use since the dawn of cartridge revolvers.

Adjustable sights!

Yes the sights are adjustable for both windage and elevation. The directions are not marked on the revolver because of space constraints, but they are clearly shown in the manual.

Vigilante rear sight
The rear sight adjusts both ways.

Overall impressions

This is a large air pistol. It fills my hand and then some. It is both single and double action, and I plan to test the velocity both ways. The accuracy I’ll test single-action only, but I will report on the double-action trigger pull.

The Vigilante is synthetic all over and at this price nobody minds. Does that mean it will eventually wear out? All things do and of course it certainly will over many years of use, but this synthetic is quite strong, and as long as you don’t abuse it you should get many, many years of good use.

Summary

This will be an interesting report. I have long wanted to explore this pistol and now I get the chance!