Crosman 362
Crosman 362

This report covers:

  • What is happening?
  • The rifle
  • The sights
  • Trigger
  • Bolt handle too short
  • ‘Merkun made
  • Power
  • Sadly
  • Summary     

Today I begin looking at the Crosman 362 multi-pump air rifle. Now this one has been out for a while and reader GunFun1 has told us a lot about it. But my look will be more basic.

What is happening?

With the 362 and the Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2 multi-pump we now have two delightful new multi-pumps that should appeal to many shooters. And it has already been predicted that this one spells the end for the Benjamin 392 and 397 that don’t really exist anymore anyway. They became the Variable Pump Air Rifles in a very subtle way, and with that change they got a stock with a cheekpiece that makes it impossible for a shooter to use the open sights they come with.

397 family picture
This “family picture” shows the old-style Benjamin 392 above the new synthetic 397. This 392 has been modified for the pump assist, but its wood buttstock remains unaltered.

After trying the new Variable Pump rifle from Benjamin I decided to see if the old wood stock from a conventional 392 would fit. It did, which gave me the idea to replace it.

397 wood
And there is the swap! Hallelujah!

Seriously — I spent money to have reader Vana2 make me a wood stock that lowered my face to the place where I could see those sights again. And that rifle costs $120 more than the subject 362. I don’t see a long life for the Benjamin. The 362, on the other hand, is Crosman’s red cape to the airgun world. They are saying, “Hey, we don’t always go to China for our airguns. Some we make right here in New York.” And, from what readers who have shot them have said, the 362 is a multi-pump to consider.

The rifle

The Crosman 362 is a .22-caliber multi-pump pneumatic air rifle. It is a dedicated single shot, which BB Pelletier applauds. Since it is a multi-pump, a single shot is the sensible way to go.

The rifle is encased in a synthetic stock, which tells me Crosman plans to make them by the hundreds of thousands. You don’t lay out the bucks for plastic molds for a run of 5,000 stocks.

When I picked it up to my shoulder I liked it. The stock is slender and gripping where it should be. The length of pull is on the short side for an adult, at 13.25-inches. The overall length of the rifle is 36.62-inches with a weight of 5 pounds on the nose. I checked it with my kitchen scale which said 4 lbs. 8.3 oz.

The thick butt pad is a ribbed black rubber that is very grippy. It gives a solid feel when the rifle is shouldered.

The sights

Okay, Crosman — please gather all your executives and have them bring their coffee cups as BB Pelletier is about to heap some praise on you! The front sight is a SQUARED BLACK BLADE! The rear sight is a PEEP! And, you made the peep both inexpensive and adjustable! Ain’t no fiberoptics to be seen on this rifle!

Wow! Somebody listened. Or everybody! These sights are exactly what real shooters want. Don’t you worry, we will school the newbies on why they don’t need fiberoptics to hit things. We will show them that at short distances with a plain post, rifles that are capable of hitting dimes will go up to hitting quarters with fiberoptics.

362 quarter dime
If dime-sized groups are possible when there is no fiberoptic dot, quarter-sized groups at the same distance would be the results of the fiberoptic.

Yes, the lead photo shows a green fiberoptic in the front. That is a stock photo and it’s wrong.

Crosman — you listened and took a chance on us. I believe you will receive your reward.

Now the rear sight also has a notch that can be substituted for the peep. But unless you hold the face way back on the stock the notch is too close to your eye to work. The peep is the way to go. 

The only shortcoming is the receiver is plastic, short and not grooved for a scope or dot sight. Now Crosman says you can use their 459MT adaptors that clamp to the barrel and provide an 11mm dovetail for scope mounts to attach, but that isn’t the way I wish to mount a scope. If Crosman had grooved this plastic receiver I would have tried mounting to it, but to the airgun world plastic is not good stuff.

I know you have all heard that the 362 will accept a steel breech and I think Hard Air Magazine has the best report on how to make the swap. I plan to follow it because I plan to purchase this rifle and make the swap. Y’all aren’t going to let me do anything less, I think. And yes, Y’all is an approved Texas contraction. Back to the 362.

Trigger

The trigger blade is plastic and the pull is single stage. Okay, on my test rifle the trigger does move back just a little when I pull. That’s against a spring. Then it stops and when I pull harder it breaks. I call that a two-stage trigger, but after my debacle with the Dragonfly trigger I’m not going there again. It’s a single-stage trigger with a definite breaking point — just like a two-stage.

Find a Hawke Scope

Bolt handle too short

The bolt handle is on the short side, as in “too short.” It could stand to be 1/2-inches to 3/4-inches longer.

‘Merkun made

The 362 is made in New York. That’s a good thing, because it’s made alongside the 1300 family, which means a world of options for “Those Who Tune”. I imagine reader GunFun1 is now going to take over the blog! More power to him. I plan to read his stuff right along with the rest of you. But I ain’t done yet.

Being a ‘Merkun-made multi-pump means you don’t have to cock the bolt to pump air into the rifle. I always leave at least one pump in the gun and I advise you to, as well, and the 362 allows you to just do it.

Power

Crosman and Pyramyd Air both tell us to expect 875 f.p.s. from this .22-caliber pellet rifle. Obviously that is with lightweight pellets, but still! If the 362 even comes close to that velocity BB Pelletier declares that the days are numbered for the Benjamin Variable Pump rifles. I can’t wait for the velocity test, which comes tomorrow because of the new blog format.

The manual says to pump the rifle between 2 and 8 times. The description on the Pyramyd Air website says 3 to 8. I plan to test 2 through 8 pumps.

Sadly

Okay, there is no wood stock. Guys like reader Hank can fix that, but for guys like Michael and me it either means spending bucks or living with what’s there. At this point what’s there feels okay to me.

The short bolt needs correcting because cocking the rifle takes a little effort. I bet with the steel breech a new bolt will be the right thing to do.

Beside that I can’t see anything that’s not to shout about. I sure hope this one tests out fast and accurate!

Summary

Guys we may be in on what could be the birth of an icon. Only time will tell, but this is where it starts.