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Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

Fire rifle
Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Nitro Piston
  • Description
  • Safety
  • Silencer
  • Trigger
  • Barrel
  • 1,200 fp.s.?
  • Scope
  • Summary

I have something different for you today, and since it’s a weekend you get to talk a lot! Today we’re looking at the Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle.

This is different because it’s an inexpensive spring-piston rifle. You know darn good and well that for a retail of $140 with a scope this one has to be made in China, which it is. The question we all want answered is — how good is it? How good can it be? Well, that’s what we are about to find out.

Nitro Piston

The Fire has a Nitro Piston which is Crosman’s name for a gas spring. So the rifle is light, at just 7 pounds and I’m assuming that is with the 4X32 scope mounted.

Description

The rifle is 46-inches long with a 14-inch length of pull. Given the size, the weight of 7 pounds seems all the lighter.

The buttstock is cut out and shaped to resemble a modern sniper rifle I guess. There is a benefit to that because there is no large hollow void to fill. So there is no sense of hollowness or cheapness.

The pistol grip is reasonably vertical and the distance to the trigger seems about right for my hand. The safety is a Gamo-esque lever in front of the trigger blade. It pulls back for safe and forward to fire.

The Fire also has a slim forearm that I really like because it allows the rifle to sink into my hands. The forearm is contoured ahead of the triggerguard for a perfect hold. I have to like that!

Safety

Glory be — the safety on the Fire is 100 percent manual! In other words, Crosman trusts the shooter to know when to apply it. That’s a feature I really like.

Silencer

There is a built-in silencer that Crosman calls QuietFire technology, and the claim is a 70 percent reduction over a comparable spring-piston rifle with a coiled steel mainspring. Well, I don’t know about all that. I’ll just let the sound meter speak for itself.

I did fire the Fire (pun intended) a couple times, just to see what it was like. I could give you a whole report on the results of that right now, but I’m not a-gonna. I will just say that I was actually surprised by how quiet it sounded. Of course we know that most of a spring-piston’s noise comes not from the muzzle but from the powerplant. I have to say I think Crosman has done a good job on this one. More in Part 2.

Find a Hawke Scope

Trigger

The trigger is two-stage and adjustable. In the instructions Crosman says that the LENGTH of the stage two pull can be increased and decreased by the one adjustment screw. Excuse me — the length of stage two??? Stage two is not supposed to have any length. Stage one has length and stage two is supposed to break crisply like a glass rod. Well, apparently this trigger moves in stage two like a single stage trigger. I will report on that in Part 2.

Barrel

The barrel is encased in a synthetic shroud that houses the baffled silencer at the front. The entire outside of the barrel measures 20-3/4-inches overall, with the rifled steel barrel stopping 5-inches short of what looks like the muzzle.

Yogi, here is a picture of the barrel broken open. I will guess the barrel breaks past 120 degrees when it’s all the way down

Fire rifle cocked
Fire with the barrel broken open.

What a long cocking stroke like this, coupled with a long barrel does, is reduce the effort to cock. As long as you grab the barrel out at the muzzle I think you will find that the Fire cocks easily for the stated power. The specs say that it cocks at around 35 pounds, which seems light for the stated velocity of 1,200 f.p.s.

You only get a long cocking stroke like this with an articulated cocking link. That keeps the slot in the forearm to a minimum and that, in turn, helps cancel vibration.

1,200 fp.s.?

Yes, that’s the stated velocity. It’s in the online description, and all over the lithographed box. We know that speed still sells, so this is probably a wise choice, especially at this price point. But 1,200 f.p.s. with what? I’m guessing with lightweight pellets that are not lead but tin. I’m thinking we will see 10-grain pellets down in the low to mid 900s. Naturally we’ll find out in the velocity test, but before we get there I have something to say. Given that the Fire is a fast-y, I will start out with heavier pellets, because I don’t want that kind of velocity. Pellets going that fast will break the sound barrier, negating all the good work done by the QuietFire silencer.

Supersonic velocities do not destroy accuracy as we once thought and as I probably wrote many times. I proved that in the 11-part Pellet velocity versus accuracy test. Read Part 10 to see accuracy at supersonic velocity.

Scope

The Fire comes packaged with a 4X32 scope and mounts. There is a recoil stop pin hole at the top rear of the receiver tube, so I’m hoping the mounts will have the right pin for it. I know this is a budget optic, but I’m testing a budget rifle and the scope fits right into the package. Should the Fire prove to be a tackdriver I might mount a higher quality optic, but let’s get there before making that decision.

Summary

I am testing the sort of air rifle a first time buyer might purchase. I’ll try to set her up right and we shall see what $140 buys these days. Stay tuned.

48 thoughts on “Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1”

  1. B.B.

    Thanks for that cocked picture. It would probably bang into my knee when shooting off a bench. You have no idea how great an invention the compound cocking link is/was. Right up there with the Archimedes’ screw. Why don’t they all do it?

    -Y

  2. I wonder about the decision not to include open sights.
    Shame that black is still the most popular colour among manufacturers.
    And plastic, to me, means use it now (before it goes brittle, ie no heirloom).

    However, light weight, good power, scope-worthy accuracy (?), easy to cock, low maintenance and possibly backyard friendly (low sound) at a reasonable price are a lot (!) of positives.

    I look forward to more introduction… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • hihihi,

      Wood weighs a lot more than hollow plastic. Also, the plastic stock can be made from a mold a whole lot faster. The shape of this stock dictates that it must be plastic as the butt would break off very easily.

      If you go over to the PA dealer site and look at all of the Crosman gas sproingers, you will notice almost all of them are the same sproinger wearing a little different outfit. This is what Crosman does to get so many different models. Is this bad? That will depend on whether the base sproinger model is worth a diddley.

  3. BB,

    I try not to be a trigger snob, but I have never, ever met a TCFKAC sproinger trigger I liked. They really need to turn Ed Schultz and the rest of their engineering team loose on that and let them come up with something better.

    Now, as for that scope, power wise it is about right. I never have understood why anyone would put a 10-60X60 scope on top of something like that. Most anybody shooting something like this will be doing good to get 2 MOA at 50 yards (about one inch) with this thing. Odds are it will be much worse than that. I do not recall you mentioning the caliber, but it is likely .177, which means you will be doing good to hold one inch at 25 yards.

    You do not need those monster scopes. I have shot a fist sized object at about 500 yards with a 12X Weaver. I have finally bought something with a little more power for my HM1000X, mostly because it has a bubble level inside it. On the assumption that this thing does not shoot around corners and the trigger is worth pulling, this would be an ideal candidate for a BugBuster.

      • The Company Formally Known As Crosman spring piston trigger, otherwise known as junk.

        Crosman/Benjamin has been pursuing a decent trigger in their spring piston (gas or metal coil) forever. They know what it takes. They will not make a decent trigger, because of the cost. You and I enjoy sproinger triggers from airgun companies that do not worry about the cost of the trigger, they worry about how well it works. Their air rifles are not found in Wally World.

  4. It’s .177 only. I agree to the comment above on triggers. How many new airgunners buy a Wallyworld rifle only to find they can’t shoot it accurately, or worse, the gun is not inherently accurate, then leave the hobby for good? Savage learned to innovate a safe trigger that is adjustable. Why can’t TCFKAC?

  5. BB,

    I think that budget airguns are great but only if they meet requirements of reasonable cost, functionality, accuracy and power.

    IMHO, a well designed product has a proper balance of its features. It’s the old triangle thing eh. Accurate, Fast, Cheap …choose two ๐Ÿ™‚

    Curious to see how the Crosman Fire works out.

    Happy Friday all!
    Hank

    • FM,

      I do not know if this will be a winner for a beginner. I bought an HW30S for my grandson when he started out. I bought it used and it was not much more expensive than this. I think with a beginner, most especially a child, it is very important that the instructor has an idea of what is going on.

      There is too much flash here. As BB has pointed out before, this is designed to catch the eye of the purchasing agent at a place like Wally World and that purchasing agent will work out a deal with Velocity Outdoors and purchase a shipping container filled with these.

  6. Will you be reviewing the Barra 400E? It is a .177 steel bb shooting AR style AEG. Also have you ever heard of an airsoft gun called the APS-3 made by Maruzen, it is the official pistol for APS cup style shooting competitions in Japan.

    • tomashi,

      I just might review that one, though how they can lay claim to being the first full auto BB gun I don’t know. Unless this model is 10 years or older? Full auto steel BB guns are old news.

      At $400 this one must be special.

      BB

      • The Barra 400E interests me because it uses AEG system like in airsoft guns but shoots steel bb’s. Maybe a more available replacement for the drozd bb machine gun. On that APS-3, it uses special sorted 5.97mm airsoft bb’s c0mpared to the typical 5.95mm bb’s. Its a single stroke pneumatic modeled after one of the hammerli match air pistol. They are claiming sub 20mm groups at 5m and sub 30mm groups at 10m. They are available for $250 with a hefty shipping cost of $50-$70 from hong kong airsoft dealer, red wolf airsoft.

        • tomashi,

          That pistol looks interesting and sounds interesting. The price really is not that bad when you consider a similar pistol like the AV-46M is $600. That might be a good pistol to see if a youngster is interested in 10-meter pistol target shooting.

      • That Barra is electrically powered by a rechargeable battery. No CO2. Apparently it’s a well known battery used in airsoft guns. Good for a whole lot of shooting between chargeups.. But, yeah, $400 for one. Barry also has a break barrel with swappable .177 and .22 caliber barells.

  7. Tom, though you state early in this piece that it is a nitro piston, a bit later you wrote it is an inexpensive spring piston gun. I have had a Crosman F4 for a few years now. It is based on this gun, but mine is older, so doesn’t have any sound quieter on the barrel. I found that the “cheekrest” rise is glued on, not cast on, when I was trying out the RWS Supermag pellets, and that section of the stock came flying off. There are four little pins on it that mate up with four little holes, then they glue it on. One of the pins was broken off in assembly on mine. If I stick to normal weight pellets, it stays on after I popped it back in place. No open sights is fine with me. I can’t use them anymore. This is my first gas piston gun, and it has a totally different sound than my spring pistons. My spring pistons are much louder. My F4 has no “sproing” noise, but just a lower end “whump”. I find I can shoot this gun without alarming any neighbors. I have no chrony, but it makes good power. The gun shoots pretty well for me, but I find it throws one low for no apparent reason too often. Could this be caused by piston seal maybe having an imperfection? The breech seal seems fine. This gun makes a good one for shooting pests like rats and wild roosters who come onto my acre and make trouble. I think the F4 may only be sold at Walmart, but it is a Crosman Fire just the same. Not available in .22 caliber. I got mine for around $70-$80, and consider it a bargain. My F4 likes RWS Basics, 7.0 grains, and RWS Meisterkugeln rifle pellets, I think they are 8.2 grains. In fact, if I could only have two pellets for all my airguns, these two would be my choice. Both are hard hitters in the F4, and are plenty accurate for my purposes. I am very interested in your velocities and accuracy tests on this air rifle. If you shoot any heavy pellets, watch out for flying pieces of your stock! I have no wood stocked air rifles, and wouldn’t mind getting a wood stock from a Vantage or Optimus if they would fit this gun. Thinking of getting a new Vantage NP in .22 caliber some day.

  8. B.B. I came across a little BSF 30 in a local shop. Missing the sights on it but otherwise seems solid. Awfully small for me, but I thought it might make a good Birthday gift for my 8 yr old granddaughter. I can’t find much on it and I know you say we all need a Blue Book which I have ordered finally, but media mail is slow. Any idea on value on it and how difficult it would be to find sights for it? I would rate the condition at about 40-60%.

    Edit: I should add that is not marked BSF but I was able to positively ID once I got home. What I found is that it is a roughly 400fps youth break barrel and at least one commenter said that they are not particularly desirable among collectors but that post was 20 years ago. If it isn’t worth much and the price is good, I will refinish it for her, but I don’t want to destroy a ‘FIND’ either. Thanks – Bob

    • Bob,

      A BSF 30 is a fine little breakbarrel like the Diana 23. But they don’t bring a lot of money because nobody knows much about them. Maybe a serious BSF collector would pay more but the average guy would be hard put to pay over $50 or so.

      Finding a front sight will be a chore, because there just aren’t that many of these guns around. That is a project for rebuilding with JB Weld or so. I checked but TW Chambers doesn’t stock them.

      BB

    • That could be another good entry-level break barrel for the price. A little off-topic; appreciate your suggestion on the shooting glasses. Yesterday shot the HW95 while trying different ways of sighting – both eyes open, left eye covered, left eye shut. Seems for FM what works best is left eye shut sighting, at least with open/fixed sights. Will retry with the red dot and the scope next, but suspect outcome will be the same. The left eye with macular damage tends to throw the vision off a bit as well as the depth perception. Not complaining, still better off than my legally-blind buddy who nevertheless shoots well and happily enough with his scopes and laser sights.

      • FM,

        Sometimes I can leave my off eye open and sometimes it needs a little squint. I made a little sight barrier for that Edge I traded off to BB. That thing was a little dandy. I wish it still lived here.

  9. Surprised to see a review on such a low cost rifle! Thanks!

    I bought this gun as Refurb and replaced the scope, together below 100 bucks. (It must be worse than crap, right?)
    Itโ€™s clearly why the original owner returned it: BARREL DROOP!
    I learnt how to compensate it with the โ€œBarrel droopโ€ page on Pyramyd Air Gun Blog.

    I think there is no clear criterion for being a Tack Driver, but I use this gun exclusively for pest control at 20-30 yards and I think itโ€™s very accurate (needed mostly one and rarely 2 shots) and powerful enough (used Gamo Red Fire) for a .177 break barrel in this price segment. Only my wife can hear the firing but not my neighbors who sit 50 feet away, so itโ€™s quiet enough.

    Of course itโ€™s better to have a large varmint caliber but this little thing is worth every penny. No pumping, no magazine, not heavy (not well-balanced due to the hollow stock though): For a minimalist this ugly and cheap plastic-looking rifle can be a w0rkhorse.

      • BB,

        so far I have been shooting mainly lead-free pellets that all perform well:
        1. Crosman Powershot Gold Flight Penetrators (most precise but cause a penetration wound)
        2. Gamo Red Fire (very precise and most deadly but deformed skirts may perturb the performance)
        3. H&N Barracuda Green (surprisingly underperforming in spite of high production uniformity)
        4. Crosman Fast Flight Penetrator (works like an armor-piercing discarding sabot with an impact injury similar to a nail gun wound) This one is deep-piercing but too light and I can see how the trajectory drifts on windy days due to its highly visible color.

        Itโ€™s more than just being cheap, similar to a Beeman P17. Weihrauch springers or upscale PCPs are for sure fantastic but for pest control or shooting paper the robust Fire is doing alright.

        FC

  10. The lighter side of the Dark Side
    Greetings Fellow Airgunners,
    Today, I promised to work on my wife’s truck; but a mysterious package from PA showed up.
    Hence, I had to take a bit of time to test my new Dragonfly Mark2 Air Rifle!
    It’s well over 100 with the heat index, so I just did a quick test: for 5, 10, and 15 pumps, I got 583 fps (10.1 fpe), 673 fps (13.5 fpe), and 699 fps (14.55 fpe) with the JSB 13.43 grain .22 pellets. Using the same 5, 10, and 15 pumps with the H&N FTT 1.4.66 grain pellets yielded 564 fps (10.34 fpe), 640 fps (13.32 fpe), and 674 fps (14.77 fpe.
    Considering that this gun’s not even broken in, I am well-pleased!
    Especially nice is that it was no harder to put in 15 pumps than it was to put in 5; this gun is crazy-easy to pump; basically, it’s giving me Sheridan power, but without the associated muscle to get it…exactly what I wanted!
    My first shot, at only 20 feet, hit the “hornet” on the can of hornet spray; and at just 5 pumps, the pellet exited the back of the can as well. Even with the big glowy thing on the front sight, I was able to plink down a row of cans on the 15-yard range. Tomorrow, I shall dig out my scope mounts from RidgeRunner, and find the old 4X UTG scope, and see how easy this rifle is to pump with a scope in place, as well as see what kind of accuracy she has. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wishing a blessed Father’s Day to all Dads,
    dave

    • Dave
      Got mine today. The Dragonfly 2.

      A long silence here. Where to begin. First off I’m not BB so I’m going to compare. And with what. But of course the Crosman 362.

      Right off the 362 is it. The Dragonfly 2 pump system is not easy. It’s hard to break loose from the closed position. The swing open is long. The effort to open is not even easy.. I already see the pump handle not aligning with the gun stock. The 362 is more precise to open and close. The 362 is easier to open and pump and close.

      The gun almost is a go back but I’m gong to keep it.

      Next it got accurate after I figured out what was going on. The front post sight was moving side to side. There is 2 knurled pieces up there.on the muzzle end. The knurled piece closest to the front sight post was loose. Before tightening I could move the front sight side to side about a 1/16th of a inch. No more movement after tightening up the knurled piece. Now I’m getting 1/2″ groups at 25 yards.

      And of course I’m going to scope the Dragonfly 2. And that knurled piece I talked about that holds the front sight in place. Well it needs to be tight even if you use a scope. It will allow the barrel to move if not tight also.

      Out of the box the only thing I see better for the Dragonfly 2 compared to the 362 is it has dovetails to mount a sight like a scope and such. And that could even be a problem with the Dragonfly 2. The way the rear sight is mounted and not much room on the breech for scope mounting.

      Going to put a red dot sight or scope on it tomorrow before the kids come over. Not sure which yet. Probably a scope.

      But I’m going to say this before tomorrow. The Dragonfly 2 is not a kids gun. It’s too hard to manipulate the pumping of the gun. More so than the 392’s I have had.

      More to come is all I can say for now.

      • Here is some more of the to come.
        Was shooting the Dragonfly 2 now and when I was pumping the gun I was bumping the rear sight around. It’s not solid at all in windage and elevation.

        Got to get a dot sight or scope on it. Soon.

      • Gunfun1,
        I forgot to mention that the linkage was DRY when I took the gun from the box; I had to use Crosman Pellgun oil on all the linkage points, as before I did that, the opening and closing were difficult; after oiling, it was much easier. Also, at the end of the opening stroke, it takes a second for all the air to get into the gun; so I pause for a second before I close it; I treat this gun like a blackpowder muzzleloader.
        I’ll let you know more about what I think after I scope it t0morrow.
        Happy Fathers’ Day,
        dave

        • Dave
          In my opinion my Dragonfly 2 was over lubricated when I got it out of the box on the linkage mechanism.

          What I’m talking about is when I open the pump handle from the closed position I have to give a pretty good bump to open it. You know how some break barrel guns need a slight hit to open the barrel. Well that’s what the Dragonfly 2 does when opening the pump handle.

          Oh and another thing you have to open the bolt and cock the gun before it can be pumped and hold air. But when the bolt is closed it still sticks out the back of the breech it’s in the way of your hand when you grab the stock back there to pump the gun (my hand is already rubbed sore because of it). If the gun gets a dot sight or scope you will have to hold the gun behind the breech to pump it. Or hold the scope to pump it. I will probably cut that excess of the bolt off so it’s a little below flush to the back of the breech when it’s closed. And to say I usually never hold a pump gun behind the breech. I usually hold around the breech and stock or the scope to pump the gun.

      • The Lighter Side of the Dark Side, Part 2
        Gunfun1,
        Yes, these rifles have some issues that need to be addressed; the one thing I don’t like is that you can’t just put in a couple of pumps to seal the valves…like I can with my Sheridan, my Crosman 1322, and my Crosman 362.
        In my opinion, this Mark2 should operate the same way.
        Also, when using a full-length scope (instead of something short, like a BugBuster), you need to remove the front sight, and use its base as the position for your forward scope mount. Which would be fine, except that the dovetail on the front sight is NOT in the same plane as the rear dovetails (although it surely should be)!
        How far off is it? Try about 1/16″ of an inch! Yes, I had to use soft steel to make a 1/16″ shim for the rear scope mount in order to get the scope to shoot to point-of-aim. Initially, it was shooting 7 inches low (and it had been sighted in dead-on on my Sheridan) at 10 yards!
        Anyway, once I got the scope shimmed, I got one decent 3-shot group with Crosman Premier hollow points, so I backed up to 25 yards. at that distance, the Crosmans made a 4″ pattern…not the pellet for this rifle.
        So, I tried some JSB RS pellets; I put 3 in one hole at 25 yards…not bad, especially for me!
        But then, the 4th shot went low; next, the 5th shot went high. I was ready to write it off to me getting tired; so, I packed up my gear. When I picked up the rifle, I was like, “Oh NO! It’s just what Gunfun1 said!”
        Yes, the knurled boss on the front of the rifle was flopping around…no wonder it couldn’t hold a group!
        Anyway, I used alcohol to clean it and Blue LocTite to secure it. So, we’ll see how things go next time.
        Actually, I do still really like the rifle; it just needs a bit of tweaking.
        The pump is wearing in; and most importantly, with the butt on my hip, and my left thumb hooked over the rear scope mount, I can pump the rifle without putting any stress on either the rifle or the scope; so, that is working out as I had hoped. I definitely need to play with this rifle some more…
        …then again, isn’t that what “Gunfun” is all about? ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Happy Fathers’ Day to you,
        dave

        • Dave
          I never payed attention to the rear sight being mounted higher than the breech dovetail.

          I guess both scope rings can be mounted in close to the scope turrets. But can the scope be mounted correct for eye relief.

          And a note. Both of my daughters did not like pumping the Dragonfly 2 but had no problem with the 362. On the other hand my oldest daughters husband liked the Dragonfly 2. A note he shoots guns. Now on the other hand my younger daughters boy friend did not like the Dragonfly 2 but liked the 362. And a note. He is not a shooter.

          What I’m getting is the 362 is a easier gun to shoot then the Dragonfly 2. But I should mention everybody shooting the guns was having no problem hitting aluminum cans at 20 yards and out with open sights. And that was standing unsupported.

          I’m going to scope the Dragonfly 2 and put some more time in it and see what happens. And hoping the Dragonfly 2 will start breaking in with pumping. We will see.

          • “…the 362 is a easier gun to shoot then the Dragonfly 2.”
            Gunfun1,
            I concur with you 100% on that! The Dragonfly 2 requires a bit more technique; it’s a good rifle for someone who is already familiar with airguns, and doesn’t mind a bit of tweaking. It’s too bad they didn’t make the dovetail for the rear sight LOWER than the rear dovetails…that would take care of all cases of “barrel droop.”
            [Design engineers, if you are reading this, please take note; you could make a good rifle better! =>]
            I hope your scope mounting goes easier than mine (I’m looking to add a couple more soda-can shims on top of the 1/16″ shim…yes, it could actually use more lift at the rear end of the scope to keep it in optimal spring range).
            Please do let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚
            Hoping your Fathers’ Day was awesome,
            dave

  11. BB,

    This rifle seems to have the potential to be a two power rifle. A half cock position for low and the full cock position for high. This probably could be doable if the sear catches on the periphery of the piston. Since this is a nitrogen piston gun there is no room for TIAT in this one. For better control of recoil and vibration a wooden stock would be better but it will add to the cost and might make it less desirable as a knockabout gun. Will you be looking into the trigger in Part 2? I hope some pictures of the trigger may shed some light on it.

    Siraniko

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