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Education / Training Crosman 38T Target revolver: Part 6

Crosman 38T Target revolver: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 38T.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Grips & tips
Part 4
Resealing the Crosman 38T revolver: Part 5

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • No description
  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • The grip
  • Velocity drops
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Discharge sound
  • Double action
  • Summary

Today we are going to look at the velocity of the .22-caliber Crosman 38T that reader 45Bravo resealed. This report should be interesting because we saw the reseal and now we get to see what it did. 45Bravo did test it after he finished, of course, but he held off telling you so I could write this test. 

No description

I’m not describing the revolver because it is identical to the .177 version that we saw in Part 1. And we saw a lot more of it when it was apart for the resealing. Let’s get right to the test.

The test

I shot 6 shots for the record. That’s because 6 is the number the revolver accepts when you load it. Also, this one may not get a lot of shots per CO2 cartridge. The first three tests will be fired single-action.

RWS Hobby

The first pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby wadcutter. They are the lightest lead pellet I have and I wanted to know just how fast this revolver would shoot. But when I saw 389 f.p.s. on the first shot I was amazed! But the next shot was 343 and the one after that was 329 f.p.s. When shot 4 was also 329 I knew the pistol had settled down after receiving a fresh CO2 cartridge. The first couple shots on a fresh cartridge are usually much faster, because liquid CO2 gets into the valve where it flashes to gas and boosts the velocity. After that the gun settles down and starts to become consistent. So I dropped the first two shots and recorded the next ones. However there was a problem.

The Hobby pellets had tremendous difficulty loading. They wanted to turn sideways in the loading trough after they dropped in. So to get all six shots for the velocity I had to fire 12 shots.

The average velocity, once the gun had settled down, was 328 f.p.s. The range was from 320 to 335 f.p.s., so a spread of 15 f.p.s. At the average velocity the Hobby generates 2.84 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

The grip

I noticed that the left grip that was repaired  kept partially separating from the pistol. It wasn’t much and a squeeze would click it back in place. But it kept happening, so I had to keep an eye on it.

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Velocity drops

As the gun is fired the velocity drops in the same way we have seen with some other CO2 guns. I found it best to wait 15 seconds between shots for the velocity test.

JSB Exact RS

Next to be tested were JSB Exact domes. They weigh 13.43 grains so they should be slower than Hobbys, which they were. Six averaged 311 f.p.s. That made the muzzle energy 2.89 foot-pounds. The low was 305 and the high was 322 f.p.s.

These pellets loaded perfectly, though the first one had to be smacked into the chamber a second time. But they loaded perfectly and will be a pleasure to shoot.

RWS Meisterkugeln

The RWS Meisterkugeln wadcutter was the last pellet I tested. At 14.2 grains you know it’s going to shoot a little slower. But not that much. The average for six shots was 306 f.p.s. and the spread ranged from 299 to 314 f.p.s.

This wadcutter also loaded perfectly. And they all went into the chambers of the cylinder like they were made for it.

Discharge sound

In Part 2 I tested the discharge of the .177 revolver and got 100.4 dB. This time the discharge sounded quieter, so I tested it. It was 96 dB, so I guess that’s enough to tell the difference. Remember, the last time I tested the discharge was about a month ago.

38T discharge

Double action

At this point in the test the gun  had been fired 25 times. Now I loaded 6 Hobbys and tested them in the double action mode, waiting 30 seconds between shots. They were just as difficult to load as before, so that wasn’t imagined. Three shots were lost in this test. Six shots averaged 291 f.p.s., with a low of 273 and a high of 313 f.p.s. So the pressure was definitely falling off. That’s a shot count of 34 shots on a cartridge. I need to know that for the accuracy test that’s yet to come.


Well, the .22 revolver is performing well after the reseal. But I think it goes through gas much faster than the .177. I’d like to hear from readers about their experiences with these revolvers.

Accuracy testing is next, and from what I have heard the 38T in .22 is quite accurate. We shall see!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

35 thoughts on “Crosman 38T Target revolver: Part 6”

  1. When I function tested it after the reseal, I used Crosman Premiers, (about 40 shots) I never quite got the hang of loading them smoothly.
    Toward the end, it seemed best if I pointed the pistol up a little, retracted the loader with my right thumb, and just slid the pellet down the rounded face of the loader into the trough.

    Any details/input you can give me about the grip problem will be appreciated, if it is a change I need to make, please send it back after your test I will correct it.

    Hopefully the old girl will give us a good show in the accuracy portion.


    • ” it seemed best if I pointed the pistol up a little, retracted the loader with my right thumb, and just slid the pellet down the rounded face of the loader into the trough.”
      Ian, every now and then I would still get a pellet that I’d have to shake out and do a redo; but I pretty much used the same loading process you described here; thank you. =>

  2. B.B. and 45Bravo,

    I don’t think there is going to be a satisfactory fix to the left grip panel short of somebody 3D printing a new shell to attach a new spring clip to. The clip has also aged and is only a thin piece of spring steel and is becoming brittle over time so that bending it to let it hold onto the CO2 cylinder better will lead to either it breaking or worse the plastic underneath.


    • Siranko I agree with you,
      A customer has sent me his grips for repair while his revolver is out being treated with Cerakote, so I have a little time to research other repair options.

      A few weeks ago, I searched THINGIVERSE (it is a website where people share 3D printer files of their projects).
      Currently, there are no 3D designs for the 38T.

      I have a couple of friends that have 3D printers, but don’t know if they have a laser scanner to help with the duplication process. I haven’t reached out to them about duplicating a set yet.

      A big part of a replacement 3D printed part would have to be the strength of the material used.

      I have been testing a couple of 3D printed scope mounts for the Crosman MKI/MKII, and S&W 78/79 pistols.

      While the mounts look good, and the design is sound, the printing material the eBay seller uses is pretty soft, and either cracks easily, or the set screws strip the plastic before the mount holds even a micro dot sight securely.


      • Ian,
        I know 3D printing is all the rage but some older technology might give better results.
        Vacuum formed Polycarbonate? I remember creating model aircraft canopies and model automobile Windscreens (windshields) and boat hulls with a hobby vacum forming machine. My mom hated it because i used up all her new vacuum leaner bags to get the best vacuum draw.


        PS: micromark.com has a smallish one that looks interesting.

        • I don’t know about vacuum forming polycarbonate with the thickness or rigidity needed for the grips.

          I wonder if Kydex like they use on holsters might be a better material?
          Its tough, its rigid with some flex, hmm……


          • 45Bravo,

            I remember some really rigid results with polycarbonate.

            Most of the Kydex turns brittle at low (right around freezing) temperatures! The CO2 CHILL may do a number on it over time….

            My post was mostly about vacuum or thermoplastic molding as an alternative to 3D. You could use an existing pair of grips to create mold/mandrel for blow, vacuum, or drape molding.


        • Shootski,

          Years ago I worked at a place that did all sizes of vacuum formed domes,…. then went on to be mirrored,.. which is also a vacuum process. Pretty cool stuff.

          I had not heard of hobby stuff.

          Bending plastic (like for clear display stands) is pretty cool too. Position over a heated wire/element and bend at just the right time. Flaming a cut edge with a torch is neat too,… to make it go from cut to clear.


          • Chris USA,

            They build custom sea kayaks with polycarbonate sheet. The stuff is really interesting. You can get patterns to include woodgraining to look like various species…just doesn’t have the feel of the real tree provided stuff!


          • My dad taught me to work with some plastics when I was young.
            But not molding or vac forming.

            We would use ethylene dichloride to bond the pieces together to make clear waterproof radio boxes for RC boats and custom enclosures for our ham radio hobby.
            (Maybe breathing those fumes when I was young is what’s wrong with me now…)

            On this pistol the alignment post are both broken off almost flush, so they present a special problem with minimal area to adhere to.

            I have been considering trying some of the UV setting plastics to build up a new alignment post inside a plastic straw, to give it the correct shape, then cut the straw away, and adhere the new post to the existing grip.

            Since it will be a few months before the pistol is back from the coating place I will have some time to experiment with different ways to repair his grips.


            • Ian,

              That UV epoxy is some crazy stuff. That is what they use for dental fillings now,.. if not mistaken. There might be some real promise with that and with the old school stuff/fixes you have been doing.

              Yes,.. that grip would be tuff to do with vacuum form. You might get the shell fine,… but the details might be another whole story.


                • Ian,

                  Yea?………. not sure about all that “technical” stuff. Hey,.. you are the brains of this outfit! 😉


                  Either way,… UV, vacuum and melting might have something to offer.

                • One other idea re how to possible repair a damaged original 38T grip.

                  If we had a couple of severely damaged left grips that could not be restored, one could do an experiment: Is it feasible to drill a small 1/8″ hole thru grip where the two damaged locating pillars are, and use a properly sized blued, slot-headed wood screw about 1/4″ long that is also slightly countersunk into the grip? (so it looks just like the faux grip screw heads on the right grip – but are actually real screws with a purpose?).

                  ***Assuming the plastic was thick enough to allow support for the very slightly counter-sunk screw without cracking,*** then one could simply thread a new ‘pillar’ material into the threaded wood screw on the inside of the grip and firmly glue it in place for extra rigidness. The pillar material could be polymer/plastic or possible even a hard rubber, as it only needs a small divot on the end to position the grip. After all, its the center spring around the CO2 cylinder that actually holds the grip to the frame.

                  In other words, could the grip be made to look like the two grip screws on the right grip – but with coarsely threaded screws on the left grip that hold a new pillar/location dowl on the inside of the grip? ***It all depends on the thickness of the original plastic grip in that area*** As an aside, it would also look more realistic if such a grip could be made with two blued screws on the left grip panel. My 2cts.

                  Unfortunately I think one would need a couple of spare/unserviceable left grips to try this experiment to see how thick the plastic is, and I don’t know where one could find such parts as left grips are apparently hard to find. Regardless I appreciate the effort by Ian to try and restore these old and damaged grips.

                  • Note the right grip and counter sunk holes for screws – they are the **same** location as the location dowl ‘columns’ (often damaged) inside the left grip, so it would still be “symmetrical” if one drilled two countersuck holes in the left grip…just say/n. (Screws could be same length, but instead of machine threads would need to be coarser threads.)

                    • Here’s the inside, and again, I think these are the two screws are in the same location as the internal positioning dowls in the left grip…In fact, if I can get a spare sacrificial right grip, I suspect the two dowls *might* be able to be cut away fairly flush with the inside grip surface, and re-glued into the left grip with the screws as suggested in my original post. That would restore the left grip with original materials, etc.

                      (Rebuilding the two columns/ dowls on the right side via the previously posted superglue-based method might be a more viable solution – as the right grips are hardly ever re-moved, unlike the left grip which is constantly removed. That’s my caffeinated, outside the box thinking this morning…..

            • Ian,

              As a side,… I saw a video awhile back that had a guy cutting up new 5 gallon buckets of different colors and melting them in a toaster oven,… a quick swirl now and then. He came up with the most beautiful swirled plastic you have ever seen. The end result was a block of plastic that could be machined.

              Fumes,…. yea,… gotta watch them fumes. 😉


              • In 2007 We relocated to Mississippi, i ran an inject molding machine for a few weeks until my new real job started.

                When we would change colors the swirls were unique as the new color mixed with the previous one.

                We would recycle the multi colored pieces.

                Just like the mixed plastic buckets, the patterns would be unique to each item.


    • Bill,

      Your wish is most certainly possible to do. There are however a few buts!
      4-5 FPE can be done BUT for the upper end of the shot count range! A shot count of 18 or fewer is possible but would take one or all of the following: First, a better CO2 loading method (typical lost gas for average owner) to stop loading loss. Second, a hotter valve for same barrel length. Third, a longer barrel with a longer open cycle valve. A fourth possibility exists and that would raise the price (plumbing changes) significantly; a liquid CO2 metering (experiments have shown that a liquid system is more power stable throughout the usable temperature range) system.

      But CO2 Capsules already costs US 0.015 to 0.02¢ or more per shot. The higher power would more than double the CO2 cost per shot. If potential manufacturers run the numbers I think they see a low selling product.

      In your mind what does doubling the FPE do for the replica shooter?


      • Shootski
        More or less I would see the use that the Crosman 2240 covers for so many people.
        But I would be willing to pay the higher costs if I could have the 2240’s performance in a Colt 1860 platform.
        The 1860’s long barrel length can help a valve to achieve the 5 fpe. And if a pellet could be loaded in an enlarged percussion “nipple” there would be an additional 2 or more inches length channel through the cylinder. That would also help the valve’s task and would shorten the way of Co2 from capsule. That’s my dream.
        In any case many people living outside the USA aren’t fortunate enough to keep and bear arms, so a powerful airgun replica can be the closest thing to real steel and are willing to pay the price for that. It’s probably one of the reasons that airgun market is still large in Europe and possibly in many other countries.

  3. B.B.,

    “In Part 2 I tested the discharge of the .177 revolver and got 100.4 dB. This time the discharge sounded quieter, so I tested it. It was 96 dB, so I guess that’s enough to tell the difference.”

    A reduction of 4.4 db is perceived by the ear and brain as roughly 70% lower volume. (Every 3 db decrease is 50% quieter.) Our hearing is logarithmic not linear.


    • I am now unsure of the 70 percent figure, but 3 db = 50% is a standard figure.

      I found this from Steven W. Smith, PhD.:

      “The difference between the loudest and faintest sounds that humans can hear is about 120 dB, a range of one-million in amplitude. Listeners can detect a change in loudness when the signal is altered by about 1 dB (a 12% change in amplitude). In other words, there are only about 120 levels of loudness that can be perceived from the faintest whisper to the loudest thunder. The sensitivity of the ear is amazing; when listening to very weak sounds, the ear drum vibrates less than the diameter of a single molecule!

      “The perception of loudness relates roughly to the sound power to an exponent of 1/3. For example, if you increase the sound power by a factor of ten, listeners will report that the loudness has increased by a factor of about two (101/3 ≈ 2). This is a major problem for eliminating undesirable environmental sounds, for instance, the beefed-up stereo in the next door apartment. Suppose you diligently cover 99% of your wall with a perfect soundproof material, missing only 1% of the surface area due to doors, corners, vents, etc. Even though the sound power has been reduced to only 1% of its former value, the perceived loudness has only dropped to about 0.011/3 ≈ 0.2, or 20%.

      “The range of human hearing is generally considered to be 20 Hz to 20 kHz, but it is far more sensitive to sounds between 1 kHz and 4 kHz. For example, listeners can detect sounds as low as 0 dB SPL at 3 kHz, but require 40 dB SPL at 100 hertz (an amplitude increase of 100). Listeners can tell that two tones are different if their frequencies differ by more than about 0.3% at 3 kHz. This increases to 3% at 100 hertz. For comparison, adjacent keys on a piano differ by about 6% in frequency.”


  4. B.B.
    I cannot find my records (lost in our last move) for the velocity drop off tests I did with the .22 Crosman 38T. But I do recall that, at the end of the day, I decided that 36 shots (6 cylinders of pellets) was what I would do per CO2 cartridge, and that I would change them out after that. Some people may think that’s a low shot count; but for the semi-fiddly way you have to load this gun (no drop-in reloading like with the Vigilante!), a 36-shot session always worked out for me; and for the accuracy and the realism of the gun, I was happy with that number of shots. =>
    Take care & God bless,
    P.S. My gun averaged 330 fps with .22 caliber JSBs at 13.43 grains.

        • Davemyster!

          The sights arrived today! They are awesome! I cannot wait until I try that front sight with the FWB rear aperture!

          I kinda like what you did with that insert. It makes for a much finer bead. I am not sure of the size, but I am going to see if a FWB clear iris will fit in there. My grandson is going to really like popping those feral soda cans with this sight setup on his HW30S!

          Thank you!

          • RidgeRunner,

            Don’t forget the Teddy Grahams! When they are fresh out of the bag most of them just turn into a puff of Graham dust. After they have been out in the humid air for a while you can drill them clean through, LOL!
            A length of 2×2 or 2×4 with a properly dimensioned lengthwise slot has them all standing waiting for the firing squad. No need to tie them to the post; but do be civilized about it…offer them blindfolds.


            • Shootski,

              I will not forget the Teddies. I was thinking thinking of a slot along a 2×4 would work great. I have plastic saw horses that will hold a 2×4 along the top nicely.

  5. Seems FM’s 38T can shoot out about 40 pellets on one CO2 capsule; would not hurt to replace the capsule after shot 36; last time I fired until the CO2 was totally exhausted, one of the “ashcan” pellets was still stuck in the barrel, the head maybe 1/16″ from the muzzle. The pellet shot out ok with a new capsule installed. Have some pellets coming from Pyramyd; let’s see what ORK does with non-Crosman ammo.

    Like the Teddy Grahams-for-targets idea; my friend who FM helps with his vending business has a bunch of expired soft drinks in plastic bottles he can’t sell. I’m thinking – always dangerous for FM to do – these might make great dynamic targets, specially if one shakes them up good prior to shooting. This should be good for the backyard grass as well. Unless the additives kill it…

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