This report covers:
- Not a Beeman Chief II
- First test — RWS Superdome
- Discharge sound
- RWS Hobby
- Single-shot tray
- JSB Exact RS
- Bolt handle flies up
- Back to RWS Superdomes
- What to do
- Trigger pull
I have a lot to report today. This is the day I test the velocity of the Crosman Icon, but some other interesting things cropped up, and this should be an interesting report.
Not a Beeman Chief II
Reader RidgeRunner said the following.
“Well, what TCFKAC has done is what they typically do. They repackaged the Beeman Chief 2 and call it their own. The packaging is kind of expensive also.”
Sorry, RidgeRunner, but I looked it over and the Icon is not a Beeman Chief II. It has some similar features like the bolt and the magazine/single-shot tray. Heck, the mags probably interchange. My Wilson Combat 1911 can use Colt 1911 magazines, too. It would be silly not to make it that way. But you can’t call my pistol a Colt.
The Icon’s trigger and safety are completely different, the rear sight and air tube hanger are different and more. The Icon has a threaded muzzle.
Companies are prone to use existing designs that have worked for them in the past. Look at Weihrauch. There is a lot of similarity among their springers. Or Diana. Remember the 34/36/38, and the 48/52? But it’s too much of a stretch to say the Icon is a repackaged Beeman Chief II.
Today I am testing the Crosman Icon. Believe me — there is plenty to consider here!
I got an email late yesterday from Ed Schultz of Crosman. What he told me about the mag and single shot tray was incorrect. Only one of each will be packaged per gun.
First test — RWS Superdome
I filled the reservoir to 3,000 psi and started the velocity test. First to be tested was the RWS Superdome pellet. I’ll show each shot and also give you the average.
2…………..did not register
This was a strange string. It had me guessing until later in the test. I shot 13 shots just to get a string of 10, because I could see that the velocity was increasing. I know what happened now, but at this point in the test it looked like the Icon was breaking in. It wasn’t and I will get to that later.
The average for this string was 947 f.p.s. At that speed the 8.3-grain Superdome generates 16.53 foot-pounds of energy. The velocity spread from the string went from a low of 927 to a high of 965 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 38 f.p.s. We will see large velocity variances in the strings throughout this test.
The Icon discharged with 99.4 dB when fired as it comes from the box. It really isn’t that loud.
When the DonnyFL Ronin silencer was installed the discharge dropped to 86.6 dB.
The Icon is advertised as a thousand foot-per-second air rifle in .177. I wanted to find out if it is. So I tested it with 7-grain RWS Hobby pellets that often are the fastest in an airgun.
Hobbys averaged 1004 f.p.s. for 10 shots. The low was 989 and the high was 1012 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 23 f.p.s. It’s the tightest spread of the test. At the average velocity Hobbys generated 15.67 foot pounds of energy.
I found the single-shot tray difficult to load. Unless I held the rifle level when loading the pellets often slid back into the bolt channel behind the single-shot tray and jammed the bolt, making me take the tray out and turn the rifle upside-down to dislodge the pellet.
JSB Exact RS
The next pellet I tested was the 7.33-grain JSB Exact RS dome. I won’t give you an average. Instead I will show you the whole string.
7…………..click! The rifle didn’t fire.
8…………..click! The rifle didn’t fire.
I won’t give you an average for that string because the velocity spread was 173 f.p.s. That’s a bit broad. Since I was loading singly there was no chance for a double feed.
Also, the rifle failed to fire twice on shots 7 and 8. I pulled the bolt all the way back to cock the hammer and the rifle just went click. Then shot 9 went out at 806 f.p.s. I was starting to understand what was happening, but just to be sure I fired another string of 10 RWS Superdomes.
Bolt handle flies up
The bolt handle flies up on every shot. During the velocity tests I held it down to see if there was any difference in velocity and there didn’t seem to be any. It’s bothersome, but not a real problem.
Back to RWS Superdomes
The Icon has now been fired 33 times since it was filled to 3,000 psi. The onboard gauge now read 2100 psi remaining in the reservoir. Half of the green zone of the onboard gauge was still available — down to 1000 psi.
Let me show you the final 10 shots with Superdome that averaged 941 f.p.s. on the first string.
Do you see what’s happening? Can you see that the Icon is running out of air? Do you now appreciate why having a chronograph is so important?
The Icon is running out of air. It fell off the power curve when I was shooting the JSB Exact RS pellets — maybe on the third shot. That would give it 25 full-power shots on a fill. There could be more if you accept a larger variance in velocity.
I have no idea what the two dry-fires were in the string of JSB RS pellets. They were just there.
Now, what am I talking about that the first string should have shown me that I missed? Well, the velocity went up and then came down again in string number two. This is exactly like many Korean PCP valves, where there really is no flat spot in the power curve. When the valve is like that you have to accept a wider velocity spread than normal, though in the fourth string I think everyone can see that the gun is running out of air.
What to do
I’m not sure of what to do next. I am leaning in the direction of conducting a second velocity test and watching things more carefully, now that I’ve seen the results of this test. One thing I will do next time is watch the onboard pressure gauge more closely.
I promised a report on the trigger today, but the velocity test threw me off track However, let me tell you where the trigger was as I took the rifle from the box.
The Icon trigger is definitely two stage. And stage two is reasonably crisp. Not as crisp as a glass rod breaking, but crisp enough to do good work. Stage one pulls with 2 lbs. 5 oz. And stage two releases at 3 lbs. 9 oz. I will adjust it for you but not today.
Where does this leave us? Well, it’s too soon to tell. I think after the second velocity test and the first accuracy test at 25 yards we will know more.
As for RidgeRunner comparing the Icon to the Beeman Chief II with synthetic stock, yes, the Icon costs $70 more, but look what you get for that. Once again, I think it’s too early in the testing to make up our minds.