by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Vigilante
Crosman Vigilante.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • RWS Hobby single action
  • Circular clip doesn’t advance all the way
  • Hobby double action
  • Air Arms Falcon domes single action
  • Air Arms Falcon domes double action
  • RWS Superdome single action
  • RWS Superdome double action
  • Shot count
  • Discussion
  • BBs
  • Crosman Black Widow BB
  • Air Venturi Dust Devils
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we look at the power of the Crosman Vigilante CO2 pellet and BB revolver. I learned a few interesting things about the revolver’s operation during this test. Let’s get started.

RWS Hobby single action

The first pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby wadcutter. I shot the revolver single action for this string by cocking the hammer for each shot. The first string of 10 averaged 408 f.p.s. but the spread went from a low of 399 to a high of 440 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 41 f.p.s. At the average velocity this 7-grain pellet produces 2.59 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Circular clip doesn’t advance all the way

While shooting the pistol I discovered that the cylinder doesn’t advance all the way to where the pellet lines up with the barrel. The amount is small but there on every shot and it doesn’t matter whether I advance the circular clip with the hammer or by pulling the trigger. This will make a difference when it comes to accuracy and it could affect velocity, too, so I made sure to manually index the clip for every shot.

Hobby double action

When fired double action the Vigilante launches Hobbys at an average of 402 f.p.s. At that velocity the Hobby generates 2.51 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. The spread ranged from 395 to 411 f.p.s. — a difference of 16 f.p.s. So the spread was tighter but the average velocity was lower. I think that may partly be due to the fact that I was taking a little less time between shots in this mode. I will continue to check this for the two other test pellets.

Air Arms Falcon domes single action

The second pellet I tested was the Air Arms Falcon dome. They averaged 394 f.p.s. in the single action mode. The spread went from 385 to 402 f.p.s., which is a difference of 17 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generated 2.53 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Shop Benjamin Rifles

Air Arms Falcon domes double action

When I pulled the trigger to advance the clip and pull the hammer back (double action) the same Falcon pellet averaged 380 f.p.s. The spread went from 367 to 384 f.p.s. — a difference of 17 f.p.s., just like the single action mode. At the average velocity this pellet generates 2.35 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

RWS Superdome single action

The last pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. When I cocked the hammer for every shot Superdomes averaged 375 f.p.s. The spread went from 362 to 390 f.p.s. — a difference of  28 f.p.s. At the average velocity Superdomes generated 2.59 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle when fired single action.

RWS Superdome double action

I tested the Superdomes double action next. The averaged 360 f.p.s. with a spread from356 to 366 f.p.s. That’s 10 f.p.s. difference. At the average velocity Superdomes generated 2.39 f.p.s.

Shot count

At this point in the test there were 60 shots on the cartridge. I now fired another string of Hobby pellets to see how they did. I will show each shot

Shot..……….Vel.
61…………..428
62…………..416
63…………..407
64…………..391
65…………..379
66…………..366
67…………..359
68…………..352
69…………..360
70…………..330

An hour later after lunch I shot another 10-shot string. That gave the revolver time to warm up again.

Shot..……….Vel.
71…………..337
72…………..325
73…………..314
74…………..296
75…………..282
76…………..265
77…………..247
78…………..232
79…………..217
80…………..208

The Vigilante is definitely off the power curve now. I’m going to say it fell off around shot 63. If you were outside and just shooting it you would hear a difference in the report around shot 78 and know to stop. Given the power the revolver has, this is a lot of good shots on a CO2 cartridge.

Discussion

The Vigilante is clearly a little faster in the single action mode. Since that is how I’ll shoot it for accuracy, that’s how I’ll test it from this point forward. Now let’s look at BBs

BBs

I will test a standard steel BB, a Dust Devil and a Smart Shot. The circular BB clip holds 6 BBs so the test will be strings of 6. Here we go!

Crosman Black Widow BB

First up was Crosman’s new Black Widow BB. Six of them averaged 414 f.p.s. The spread went from 392 to 449 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 57 f.p.s. I noted that the BB clip also didn’t advance all the way and had to be hand-indexed.

Air Venturi Dust Devils

Dust Devils turned out to be too small for the Vigilante’s rotary clip. Two fell out as I was shooting. But I reloaded and did get an average of 427 f.p.s. for 6 shots. The velocity ranged from a low of 410 to a high of 438 f.p.s. That’s a 28 f.p.s. spread.

H&N Smart Shot

The final BB I tested was the H&N Smart Shot lead BB. They averaged 322 f.p.s. and the range went from 322 to a high of 344 f.p.s. That’s a 22 f.p.s. spread.

Trigger pull

In the single action mode (with the hammer cocked) the trigger is single-stage and releases with 5 lbs. 8.5 oz. Because the revolver grip fit my hand so well, it felt like several pounds less.

I said I would report on the double-action trigger pull but it is well beyond the range of my trigger scale. I’ll estimate it between 15 and 18 lbs. If you know firearms it’s approximately equivalent to a double action Colt revolver trigger of the 1930s to the ’50s.

Summary

The Crosman Vigilante is doing well so far, and I’m excited about the accuracy test. I think I will break that into two reports so I can take my time testing both pellets and BBs.