Crosman Vigilante CO2 Revolver: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Vigilante dot sight
Crosman Vigilante.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 
Part 4

This report covers:

  • BB cylinder
  • The test
  • Crosman Black Widow
  • Air Venturi Smart Shot
  • The trigger
  • Marksman BBs
  • Beeman Perfect Rounds
  • Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision shot
  • Get a good dot sight
  • Summary

Today we shoot the Crosman Vigilante CO2 Revolver with BBs. Some real surprizes are in store!

BB cylinder

To shoot BBs we have to use the BB cylinder that holds 6 BBs, instead of the ten pellets we have been used to. So the groups today will be 6 shots.

The BB cylinder is loaded outside the gun from the front. The rear of the cylinder is too small to accept a BB of any size.

Vigilante BB cylinder
The Vigilante’s BB cylinder is loaded from the front. Three plastic “fingers” apply tension to hold the BB in place. These are 6 Marksman BBs.

The test

I loaded a fresh CO2 cartridge for this test because I plan to shoot a lot. I shot at 5 meters seated with the revolver rested on the UTG Unipod. I shot 6-shot groups so I could test more BBs.

The Vigilante has the UTG Reflex Micro Dot sight mounted, because it did so well in the pellet accuracy test.

Crosman Black Widow

First up were Crosman Black Widow BBs because the Vigilante is a Crosman airgun, after all. And we have learned through testing that Black Widows are premium BBs that usually test among the best in any gun.

Six Black Widow went into a group that measures 0.923-inches between centers. I watched the group grow and I knew this test was going to turn out well.

Vigilante Black Widow group
Six Crosman Black Widows went into 0.923-inches at 5 meters when shot from the Crosman Vigilante.

After shooting this group I adjusted the dot both up and to the left. 

Air Venturi Smart Shot

Next up were six Smart Shot copper-plated lead BBs from Air Venturi. We know that these are on the large side for BBs, measuring about 0.173-0.1735-inches in diameter. And they are lead, so we are safer from rebounds than we would be from steel BBs.

Six Smart Shot went into 1.496-inches at 5 meters. Three of them went into the same hole that looks like two BBs instead of three.

Vigilante Smart Shot group
The Vigilante put 6 Smart Shot lead BBs in 1.496-inches at 5 meters.

The trigger

The Vigilante trigger breaks at 5.5 lbs. in the single-action mode. This is a bit too heavy for such a light revolver. Even though I was steadied by the monopod, the dot was dancing all around the bull, and sometimes it was outside.

Marksman BBs

The Marksman BB is a steel BB that we don’t know what to do with. They measure 0.176-inches in diameter, which is super-large for a steel BB. I tried them because the Vigilante has a rifled barrel for lead pellets, so it should be fine with these. And, it is! Six of them went into 0.841-inches at 5 meters. I was impressed!

Vigilante Marksman group
Six Marksman steel BBs went into a group measuring 0.841-inches between centers.

Beeman Perfect Rounds

The next “BB” I tested isn’t really a BB. It was supposed to be shot in rifled pellet guns and H&N made them for Beeman. Perfect Rounds measure 0.176-inches in diameter, like the steel Marksman BBs, but these can take the rifling of the barrel. The Vigilante put them into a group that measures 1.04-inches between centers at 5 meters.

Vigilante Perfect Round group
Six Beeman Perfect Rounds went into 1.04-inches between centers at 5 meters.

After the Perfect Rounds I adjusted the dot up another three or four clicks. The Perfect Rounds landed lower because of their weight, but the Marksman steel BBs had also landed low on the target.

Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision shot

The last different BB I tried was the Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision shot. The Vigilante is shooting so well that you guys would have been after me to try it if I hadn’t. And they were great! Six of them went into 0.907-inches at 5 meters.

Vigilante Avanti Match BBs group
The Vigilante put 6 Daisy Avanti Match Grade Precision BBs into this 0.907-inch group at 5 meters.

This revolver can really shoot — BBs. And that’s my recommendation. Buy the Vigilante for BBs and be pleased that it can also shoot pellets. But it’s perfect for BBs.

Get a good dot sight

And get a dot sight that works! This Reflex Micro Dot is expensive; I understand that. But ASG, Crosman (Centerpoint) and UTG all make less expensive reflex dot sights that should work as well. They may not be as small as the UTG Reflex, which is one of its chief selling points, but these don’t cost more than the Vigilante.

One more time

The Markman BBs were the best thus far, so I fired a second group of them. Now that the sight was adjusted they should go into the bull, or close. Six BBs went into 0.693-inches at 5 meters. It is the smallest group of the test!

Vigilante Marksman BBs group2
The last group of 6 Marksman BBs was the smallest of the test. Group size is 0.693-inches between centers.

Summary

I always wanted to shoot a Crosman 357, and with the Vigilante I feel I have done it. The revolver is red-hot with most BBs and okay with pellets. If a lookalike CO2 revolver is what you want, this is one I recommend.

59 thoughts on “Crosman Vigilante CO2 Revolver: Part 5


  1. Hello! Another update on my Gamo CF-S monster…
    Changing up from the 2.3 mm wire spring to the 3mm wire spring has been a bit of a shock. Kept getting my nose hit with the dioptre sight. It was not fun after a while! Pellets definitly fly much faster but the TWANG and rifle kick/wobble is remarkable. The 2.3 mm spring is really quite nice, but slow. The .177 pellets are going through 1/3 inch pine plywood with no concern at 20m. For a giggle I swapped out the dioptre for the 4×32 scope, eye relief means I don’t get hit in the nose. ouch. A relaxed shoot with a friend and we were having a laugh. Lots of banter and very little serious shooting. Fun! But we got a few 10’s!
    Here is a pic of the rifle with the scope ( still no cheek rest yet… I know I need to make one…) and the best looking target. I was shooting sitting in camp chair ( best way I reckon…) and trying not to laugh at my mates balderdash. ( he kept claiming all my good shots as his own… the cad. ) Hope you are all good and things are fine! Robert.

    PS. It was windy, and the Sun was going down and we were getting blinded! Talk hilarity.




      • Thank you, we did have fun. Ha, my pal looks at the target and says, “I think the pellets are going through the board..” turn back board over and it’s completely shredded….I say ” Yup, I reckon they are…”
        That old we need a proper pellet trap moment. : – ) Robert.


    • RobertA,

      Maybe adding a little preload using some washers to the 2.3 mm spring might bring the power up to what you would like without the kick of the 3mm spring. Alternatively you might consider reducing the preload of the 3mm spring by cutting a few coils or collapsing them if you don’t want to cut. Your rifle is looking good with the scope.

      Siraniko


      • Siraniko. My good man, good idea. Hmm…. I have three springs. 2.3mm 3mm and gas ram. ( 60Kg) , The 2.3mm is smooth and silky. Hardly notice it and it will shoot out to 20m with pellets sticking in ply. 3mm is a tawng shaker and goes through ply at 20m. the gas ram is insane. It goes off with a CLANK! and the shock is diabolical. I fear it is hammering the soft transfer block into a bad shape. ( If the transfer block was solid steel, I might be ok with it but it’s some alloy gunk…) .
        If I preload the 2.3 till it is as stiff as the 3.mm, when puting the “end cap” on the main tube, what does that really mean? It can’t be the same power… or can it? I guess with the wire being thinner I can preload more. it has more travel before being coil bound. ergo more preload. I am interested to see how this works out. I really like dioptre sights and the extra power of the 3mm spring. I am pretty sure my scope is going to fall apart soon. The worst thing is the dove tail that Gamo cut in the main tube is literally left of centre. So the scope is never going to shoot true. It’s always pointing in a touch. Considering all things this is still fine! I think in the shooting stakes what has to happen next is bench shooting and pellet testing. And possibly source some different springs. Maybe try for different dia wire. With the aim of hitting the max FPS with the least thump twang shake. If only that gold darn gas ram was not so strong…. that really is a disappointment. : – ) Robert.




          • BB and Chris. : – ) In to the garage soon to build a safety so I can take the monster to the Range. ( no safety = no range.) Will post a pic of my springs and dimensions. – Robert.


            • Robert,

              In short, I think you need to go back to the weaker spring. GF1 took a TX200 (top end springer) and shortened the spring to ? free play. Lost 0 (zero) fps. So even a TX200 could do with less spring. Oh,… the fit of the spring to everything around it,… too.

              Pretty sure he said that he could set a pellet on top, fire it,.. and the pellet would not move.

              We shall see what BB brings in the AM.

              Chris


              • Chris.
                Yip, the weaker spring actually is super smooth. It’s really nice. The stronger spring has oodles of punch but is disturbing, to the point where I realised I was flinching, the dipoter sight was hitting me causing pain ( very much like and ice cream headache in the bridge of the nose…) and I am not sure the pellet is on it’s way before I react to the violent waggle ( my nose is beside the sight but the sight still hits me… go figure ).
                Just rang the range and they said I do not have to have a safety to use the range and they have a “sight in” session where we can fire at will. 25yards. and it’s 5 min drive away.
                I really think we need to do some high speed video to study how the rifles are reacting to all the forces involved. weak springs, strong springs, fwd and reverse springs, gas rams, co2, HPA etc. Would an interesting study. Lock time etc. I am sure my gamo with the strong spring has an excessive wobble. Will now look at preloading the weak spring. – Robert.



                  • Chris, I guess that all depends on what you might be tuning for really. Just got in from the range and I am bushed. We shot 4 positions and then free fire. I must have shot 100 rnds in less then 3 hours. That’s starting to be a really good arm work out. I tried an Air Arms under lever and wow that lever was terrible. short, heavy, grinding !?! I went back to my awesome Gamo and it’s so smoooth. ( custom nylon bushing! ) .
                    I shot with the dioptre sight, no one else had iron sights… wow. I am stuck in the ’70’s… man. I need some flares now. I did good I think. Did better than some guys who had .22LR and scopes…. the top air guys were dynamite. But they were shooting HPA and really flash guns. – 15mm groups at 25yards. Must go to slpee slep. Robert.




  2. I’m glad you found the Vigilante to be good. I get a lot of negativity on the UK forums when I recommend it because “it’s plastic” or “it has a fake cylinder” (it doesn’t have a fake cylinder, it has a short one!). I’d much rather have something which shoots well over how it looks, and this punches way above it’s weight for the money.
    Be nice to see a review of the “triple threat” (yeah, stupid name) 3 barrel set which has styling similar to the old 357. Even in rip off Britain this goes for a ludicrously inexpensive $160.
    By the way, I’m not a fan of the new blog format which displays the whole thing. Far too much scrolling involved to get to previous articles.








            • Ade C,

              Is the Triple Threat a 3 barreled version of the Crosman 357? Are you interested in velocity figures and accuracy with the different barrels? If those things are true for you, I may be able to help you “a little”.

              I have a 8″ 357 that I just resealed and my sister-in-law recently asked me to repair a 6″ 357 that her son, my nephew through adoption, used to shoot as a kid. I have the parts ordered and when I get them and complete the repair, I would be glad to shoot those guns with 5 or 6 pellets at 11 or 12 yards for accuracy and to check the velocity with the 2 barrels. If you would be interested in the data, I’ll post it here.

              If the answer to my first questions is “no”, then forget the rest of this. ( I really don’t know what a Triple Threat is, but it looks very similar to my 357 ) I realize that this will only be two barrel lengths and that it will be from 2 different guns and that’s not the same as a kit of barrels and one frame. I also assume that the 2 guns I’ll be testing are from different production periods, since one has the serial number under the grip and one has it on the right side of the fake “cylinder”. Both of these barrels are shrouded in metal and I think the TT may have plastic over steel barrels. The more I think about it, the less helpful or informative this may be to you, because of the differences in the guns I have to work with.

              I’m probably gonna do the tests anyway for my own edification, so if you think they will inform you, say the word and I’l post the results. Should I switch the barrels between the two frames? It would be easy to do and I guess that’s the essence of the kit anyway, if it’s even the same gun (357).

              Half


  3. To add to Ade C above,… I did a search of the 2021 Feb. blogs and they are (fully) there. Before, they were just the very top portion of the blog,.. so scrolling was much quicker. Not that it matters in the overall big picture,.. but just thought I would mention it.


  4. Just in case someone is wondering what to get RidgeRunner for Christmas this year, I would really appreciate a ‘pup sproinger such as a Gem, Britannia, or even a metal receiver Baikal 60.

    If you should have trouble finding one of these, I am certain I will not turn away a Giffard from moving into RRHFWA. In fact, a Giffard is a good way for one of you guys to turn me onto CO2.

    To help you with your Christmas shopping, you might take a look at this site.

    https://vintageairguns.shop/

    😉




        • RidgeRunner,

          You need to pay for a seat on one of the Panhandler Express Vans and come to the Northern Virginia Monied Wasteland! I understand some are able to pull down in the high five figures; before they pay taxes of course!

          I’ll bet the NV Richie Riches would be confused enough to pull Fivers if your hand lettered cardboard sign said:

          Please HELP Support
          RidgeRunner’s Home
          for Wayward Airguns!
          Bless You!

          shootski





                • R.R.,

                  “How can they stand to live among such? ”
                  I was once proud to be able to tell folks I was a Virginian!
                  Some of us are Ordered to live here in the DMV! I guess we are the Duffel Baggers who find one another and the few remaining true locals. I could not bring myself to live in the District or even the disfunctional Kingdom of Maryland. Some of us stay to try to fight the Good Fight but soon They will win! I’m sad to report the impending Fall of the Constitutional Republic.

                  hootski



    • Ridgy….
      Biakal 60 , now I can read and write Cyrillic and speak a few Russian words without my Kiwi accent. So I feel a lot of empathy for the Comrades at Байкал ( BaiKal ), I am channeling my inner Slav here . So in this context I would to launch this following question/statment:
      – You thought my gun is ugly ( see Байкал 60 ) ???
      To recover, the Giffard looks very nice. I would go with that! : – ) Robert.



        • Ridgy. I reckon a clone is in order. Lend me a machine shop and I’ll make one. A donor barrel and air reservoir to get over the difficult hurdles. The rest is machine shop magic. Surly someone makes a clone ??? That is a darn good looking rifle. : – ) Robert.


          • Oh man, that would be nice except for one thing. I have thought about what it would take to build some of the antique air rifles I have. It would likely be cost prohibitive. I paid a little over $100 for my 1906 BSA. When it was new, it was too expensive for the average wage earner to afford. To build one exactly like it, the price would hit four digits.

            Most of the time it is cheaper to buy an original. That is how RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns came to be.


            • RidgeRunner,

              A-M-A-R-A-N-T-H effect!
              Also you do remember the cost of the Girardoni Clone project…even after the more or less theft of the cast Brass receivers!

              shootski


  5. BB,

    Did you check the lockup between barrel and frame to see if that accounted for some of the inaccuracy with pellets and open sights? I have two 357s that both have issues with that condition that results in basically, “Barrel Droop”. Over-tightening the screw that the barrel pivots on helps, but if anything presses down on the barrel it will shift and point downward. If you don’t push all the way up when you close the barrel it will stay at whatever elevation you released it at. Resting the actual barrel on a sandbag, rather than your wrists gives me the best result as far as vertical stringing. If you loosen the screw so the barrel will always flop down against the latch then you can get some side to side play and horizontal stringing. Your gun is newer than the 357s that I’m comparing it to and I’d like to know if the lockup has been addressed in the newer design, if you wouldn’t mind checking.

    Half


  6. Why coat a lead round ball, in copper?

    I’m aware that the Beeman Perfect Rounds are not unique here. H&N made a similar product. “Prazisions – Rundkugel” 4.45 mm copper-coated lead balls. These too, were meant for rifled barrels. Though now discontinued, they seemed to be made for old Haenel 33, vz.35’s, and other rifled barrels of slightly less diameter than the modern 4.50 size.

    My question is why the copper coating? Seems like the lead would be better to engage the rifling. Copper is a bit harder, I thought. Wouldn’t it be less successful in “sealing” against the lands and grooves?

    StarboardRower


    • StarboardRower,

      To sell to our firearm friends…!
      To sell to our airgun friends who are afraid of touching elemental Lead…!

      “But with the introduction of nitrated cellulose powders (smokeless) velocities climbed to the point that leading was becoming a significant problem, so the introduction of gilding metal, a copper-zinc alloy or copper washed mild steel jacket surrounding the lead core gave protection against lead fouling.”

      At pellet gun speeds there isn’t much Pb deposited but some folks still believe it helps. If you cut one of the Copper Washed pellets you will see it is an extremely thin layer; we are not talking a true metal jacket construction.
      It (the Copper) doesn’t matter to the bore obturation.

      shootski




      • Don,

        If I did not have a 101, I would give it serious consideration. If cost does not scare the tinkerer, you may be able to upgrade it close to a stock Maximus in performance. It is still a shame that no one has bothered to tell Crosman what they can do with their glowy thingy sights. Ah well, they can be fixed.


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