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Crosman Vigilante CO2 Revolver: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Vigilante dot sight
Crosman Vigilante with the UTG Micro dot sight mounted.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 

This report covers:

  • What has changed?
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • What does this prove?
  • Crosman Premier Light
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Norma S-Target Match
  • Is it me or the pellets?
  • Summary

Today I believe you will be surprised. I sure was! This is the second accuracy test of the Crosman Vigilante CO2 revolver.

What has changed?

Today I mounted the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight on the revolver, to see if a better sight would improve my accuracy. I tried the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy target pellet and I also introduce a new pellet that I will begin testing for you today, plus the two best pellets from the last test were chosen for today’s test. Those are the only things I did differently in today’s test.

The test

I shot 5-shot groups at 10 meters with my arms rested on a sandbag. I have to tell you, that dot sure jumps around when the revolver is held in the hands!

Sight-in

The dot sight was not on target to begin with, so I moved forward to 10 feet and started the sight-in. I shot 4 pellets before getting them where I wanted. Then I backed up to 10 meters and refined the sight picture with 4 more pellets. Now I was ready to shoot.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

The first pellet to be tested and also used for the sight-in was the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle wadcutter.  The Vigilante put five of them into a 0.684-inch group at 10 meters. I was astonished! In the last test using open sights I was able to put five of these same pellets into 1.828-inches at the same 10 meters, with everything else being exactly the same. 

Vigilante dot Meisterkugeln rifle group 1
The Crosman Vigilante revolver , with the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight mounted, five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets into a 0.684-inch group at 10 meters.

Take me home, mother, and put me to bed! I have seen enough to know that I have seen too much. That group, my friends, is a result! The Godfather of Airguns may say that sights don’t improve the accuracy of an airgun, but in this case — they do! That little green dot may have been wobbling around the bullseye as I watched it, but apparently the pellets all knew right where I wanted them to go. After this group I didn’t adjust the dot sight again for the remainder of the test.

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What does this prove?

What this proves is this pistol can be just as accurate as its owners claim. I don’t doubt that goes for the Crosman 357 that preceded it, as well. It isn’t a precision target pistol, but for what little you pay, you get a whole lot of value!

Crosman Premier Light

The next pellet I tried was the Crosman Premier Light dome. Five of them went into 1.853-inches at 10 meters, with four of them in 0.867-inches. I didn’t call that lowest shot a pull, but it’s directly below the other four pellets and you have to remember that this revolver has a very heavy trigger pull.

Vigilante dot Premier Light group
The Vigilante put five Crosman Premier Light pellets into 1.853-inches at 10 meters. The upper four pellets are in 0.867-inches.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Next to be tested was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet. I just wanted to see what they could do, because in many airguns they are so accurate. The Vigilante put five of them into 1.982-inches at 10 meters. There is nothing in this group that gives me any hope that the Vigilante likes it, so this one is out.

Vigilante dot Sig Match Alloy group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 1.982-inches at 10 meters.

Norma S-Target Match

The final pellet I tried is one you haven’t seen before — the S-Target Match from Norma. It’s an 8.2-grain wadcutter, which puts it into the target rifle pellet class — along with the Meisterkugeln Rifle. The Vigilante put five into a 1.892-inch group. I will be testing this new pellet more very soon, but from these results and the open group I can tell it isn’t the one for the Vigilante.

Vigilante dot Norma target group
The Vigilante put five Norma S-Target Match pellets into 1.892-inches at 10 meters.

Is it me or the pellets?

At this point in the test I was getting tired. Concentrating on the dot with that heavy trigger pull was making me very tired and I wondered if the last few larger groups were the pellets or me. So I shot another group of five Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets that had opened this test. This time the group was larger than the first time, at 1.309-inches between centers. Four of the five pellets are in 0.932-inches and they landed in the same place they did in the first group. This is the second-smallest 5-shot group of the test and it was shot at the end.

Vigilante dot-Meisterkugeln Rifle group 2
The second group of Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets measures 1.309-inches between centers, with 4 in 0.932-inches. The second smallest group of today’s test.

I think the Meisterkugeln Rifle pellet is a good one for the Vigilante and I also think I was partly responsible for the openness of the last few groups. The bottom line is — the Vigilante can shoot!

Summary

In my experience this is one of the very rare times that a different sight has significantly improved the accuracy of a pellet gun. I will still say that different sights don’t usually matter that much, but clearly they can, and sometimes they do.

Next I will test the Vigilante with BBs, and I think I will leave the dot sight installed.

29 thoughts on “Crosman Vigilante CO2 Revolver: Part 4”

  1. I’m not sure that one good group can make it an accurate shooter. Especially when it cannot repeat itself, even with the help of a sighting device that costs more than the gun…
    Good day to you all.

  2. B.B.,
    You apparently were far more tired than you believed!
    Three things best I can tell and perhaps the distraction of an item of underclothing?
    Last sentence in: What Has Changed “Those two (three) things are the only “thongs” (items or elements) I did differently in today’s test.
    Photo Captioning of 2nd roup of Miesterkugeln: The second group of Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets meqsures (measures)

    Not a bad group improvement for this price blister pack shooter but….

    shootski

    • Hey RR,

      Do you ever shoot a rifle instinctively?

      As kids, our competitions always involved speed shooting – the guy to hit 5 bottle caps the fastest won. There was no time for precise aiming and you shot the moment the cheek weld happened. With practice, snap-shooting bottle caps out to 20-25 feet was no problem.

      For close-in, fast shots, I use the sights for (unconscious) reference to confirm that the rifle was mounted properly and focus 100% on the target. Glow-thingy sights are poor for precise work but are actually very good for fast snap-shooting – much better than the red nail polish that we used to put on our sights.

      I’m looking to get a HW30 or HW50 specifically for snap-shooting,

      Hank

      • Hank
        That’s what I’m talking about.

        I have to say that kind of shooting is what helped me. Glad I got to do it growing up as a kid and throughout time.

        I had some things go on last week and over the weekend and this week. I have only took like three 10 shot groups each day since last Thursday.

        I got back to normal today with the semi auto Marauder and the Air Ordinance SMG. Believe it or not I was a little rusty today. I wanted to blame the wind but its calm today. And I’m talking making the can dance kind of fast action shooting.

        Yes fast action reflex shooting will make you a better target shooter in my mind no doubt.

        And yep those sights are good for something for sure as well as dot sights.

        And I’ll tell ya. I was actually getting crabby because I didn’t get to do my daily shooting routine. Needless to say I didn’t like it.

        At all.

      • Hank,

        I never tried snap shooting. I grew up with firearms. I was not allowed to have a bb gun because my dad had a bb gun when he was a kid. He bought me an Iver Johnson Mark X .22 rimfire when I was three. I did not discover the world of airguns until I was in my fifties.

  3. I said before that this thing can shoot. Mine likes H&N field target trophy which are a very snug fit in the magazine and need seating with a pen. I have the older 357 which is pellet only so presume this has a different barrel.

  4. BB

    Shooting 10 shot groups single action at 5.5 meters (18 feet) bench rested, my 357-6 prefers RWS Meisterkugeln Pistol, RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle, RWS R10 Match, RWS Supermag, H&N Finale Match Pistol, and H&N Finale Match Rifle. Using open sights, I got 10 shot groups of 1″ or less with them.

  5. BB

    Those are better than expected results from a very inexpensive airgun, making this a very attractive product for someone starting with this type of gun.

    The only negative I see It is that the trigger is not optimal, but this is not unexpected in a product at this price point, more so considering the legal perspective. Sometimes I have been able to improve a not-so-great trigger by adding an over-travel stop but I do not know if it would help here.

    In your comments I read something that caught my attention: “that dot sure jumps around when the revolver is held in the hands!”. Those were exactly my thoughts when I mounted a similar UTG sight (mine is a red dot) on my Crosman 1701P. Obviously the movement had been there all the time but I had not noticed the extent of it, in spite of having excellent iron sights.

    I suppose that for everyone, but particularly for those with aging eyes, a good dot sight helps see the alignment of the gun with the target. In my case – and assisted by the excellent trigger – it caused the effective accuracy of 1701 to jump noticeably.

    Henry

  6. B.B.,
    It’s nice to see this “son of the 357″ doing so well with the dot sight on it; it makes me wish I had tried a dot sight on my old 357 (before I gave it away to my grandson); that old all-metal 8” brass-barreled revolver was a cool gun, and I do miss it some days…but I love my grandson, and there’s no way I would ever ask for it back, LOL!…like not even if he got tired of it. Yet it’s nice to know that I can get a Crosman of comparable accuracy for a decent price.
    Thanks for another great report. =>
    Take care & God bless,
    dave

  7. B.B.,

    This: “…that dot (GREEN) sure jumps around…” and Henry’s comment about his RED dot; triggered a memory of my earliest encounter with a REFLEX SIGHT! It was really frustrating after years of trying to get the most stable TOTAL sight picture with handguns. After a few horrible sessions on the STEEL targets I bought some COACHING and the word was: “Just keep your TOTAL focus ON the DOT staying on the TARGET nothing more – nothing less.” It was another uff da moment! After years of keeping the PIPPER on the other aircraft in Dogfights I had not cross-decked that to a DOT SIGHT on a handgun!

    So FREE of Charge: Forget about holding the dot and the frame of your DOT SIGHT still “Simply” focus on keeping the DOT on the POA, X, Bull, • or whatever it is you want to hit.
    Simple…try, try, try, and try again to not worry about holding the sight picture still! Just go MENTAL on the DOT staying ON the target!

    Works for scopes that are way lower power than most folks use these days!

    Good shooting,

    shootski

  8. BB,

    I think the design of this gun, rather than any issues that you may have with open sights, is responsible for the improvement in accuracy. This gun has a hinged barrel attachment to the frame and has half the sighting system (the blade) mounted on the barrel assembly and the other half (the adjustable notch) mounted on the the frame assembly. In an inexpensive spring piston rifle this arrangement sometimes causes accuracy issues when a scope is mounted on the spring tube, if there is a poor barrel lock up. As we know, Sig has done a lot to advance barrel lockup for that reason. Mount open sights on the barrel above the loading port and the accuracy can improve because the sighting system is now a part of the barrel assembly. If your gun is like my 357, then the lock up is far from rigid. When you mounted the dot sight, based on your photo, you made it part of the barrel assembly and poor lock up between barrel and frame wasn’t an issue any longer.

    One other thing could be the relatively short sighting radius of a handgun. Do you know if a dot sight might give you a sight radius that essentially runs all the way down to the target? If so, that would have to contribute to accuracy as well.

    Just my thoughts

    Half

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