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Education / Training โ€บ Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

Fire rifle
Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • H&N Baracuda Magnum
  • Qiang Yuan Training
  • Trigger pull
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle. The specs rate it at 1,200 f.p.s. and that speed is no doubt obtained with lightweight pellets. If it does shoot that fast it’s going to break the sound barrier, which means a lot of noise. I will sample the discharge sound with both subsonic and supersonic pellets to show the difference. Today should therefore prove to be an interesting test.

H&N Baracuda Magnum

I wanted to test the rifle with a heavy pellet to be certain of subsonic velocities, so I picked the H&N Baracuda Magnum that weighs 16.36 grains. In .177 caliber that’s a super heavyweight! But that pellet doesn’t fit the breech of the Fire barrel very well.

Fire breech
This is as far as I could push the H&N Baracuda Magnum into the Fire breech.

I deep-seated the first three pellets with a ballpoint pen, but after that I discovered that it made no difference to the velocity. Ten pellets averaged 580 f.p.s. with a spread of 21 f.p.s. — from 569 to 590 f.p.s. At that average speed this pellet generates 12.22 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Since the pellet was clearly not breaking the sound barrier, I recorded the discharge sound on the third shot. It registered 97.5 dB on the sound meter. That’s in the middle of the loudness range — not silent but also not very loud. I can tell that the silencer on the end of the barrel really works.

Fire discharge 1

Qiang Yuan Training

The second pellet to be tested was the Qiang Yuan Training wadcutter. At 8.2 grains I didn’t expect them to be supersonic either and they weren’t. Ten pellets averaged 953 f.p.s. with a low of 945 and a high of 962 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 17 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generated 16.54 foot-pounds of energy. It points out something I need to say about the Baracuda Magnum pellet.

It wasn’t just the weight that kept the Baracuda Magnums so slow. It had to be the poor fit of the pellet in the barrel, as well. There will always be some difference in muzzle energy between pellets, but when it’s this large — 4.32 foot-pounds, which is more than a 25 percent difference — something else is at work.

Trigger pull

There is one more pellet to test, but I want to discuss the trigger pull at this point. Remember what I said in Part 1 about the second stage of the trigger having length? Second stages of triggers aren’t supposed to have lengths. What this trigger feels like is a single stage trigger that has a slack part to the start of the pull. Because when the pull gets heavy the trigger blade moves through a long arc, just like any other single stage trigger.

Ask reader RidgeRunner what a smooth single-stage trigger feels like. The Webley straight grip Senior pistol I traded him has a long smooth trigger pull that is almost as good as a two-stage. When you get used to it you can almost guess when it’s going to release. It’s not crisp but it sure is smooth!

The Fire trigger pull measures 4 pounds 8 ounces, so it’s not that bad. And there doesn’t seem to be a lot of creep in the trigger blade as it moves through stage two. The manual says I can reduce the amount of stage two travel by turning the one adjustment screw behind the trigger blade clockwise, so let’s now see what that does.

Well I turned the screw in several turns and stage two does seem a little shorter. There’s not much difference, but maybe there’s a little.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Okay — time for the lightweight pellet test. For this I chose the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet. Ten of them averaged 1201 f.p.s., so the velocity claim was right on the money. The low was 1195 and the high was 1204 f.p.s., so a spread of 9 f.p.s. across ten shots. At the average velocity this 5.25-grain pellet generated 16.82 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. In spring-piston airguns we expect lighter pellets to generate more muzzle energy. And the Fire is performing classically

The discharge sound spiked up to 106.7 dB, which is a huge increase. The rifle cracked like a .22 rimfire when it was shot.

Fire discharge 2

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Cocking effort

The test rifle cocks with 34 pounds of effort. As long as you don’t rush the cocking stroke it becomes quite easy when the midpoint is passed.

Summary

That’s what we are working with on this Crosman Fire air rifle. For the price it seems well behaved and quiet. The powerplant feels smooth. But the accuracy test that comes next will tell us everything.

Because of the trigger I plan to test the rifle at 10 meters and then again at 25 yards. I want to get used to that trigger before I really test the accuracy.

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 Airgunsโ„ข for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

25 thoughts on “Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2”

  1. Not to worry, seems we have more late risers this morning. Or more Honeydoos tying people up – speaking of which, FM better check his list. Looking forward to the accuracy test for this rifle.

    • Siraniko,

      Since you asked the answer is yes. But why alloy pellets? They are made from tin and are even friendlier to the barrel than pure lead pellets. I don’t think they cause problems.

      But to give the Fire every possible chance to succeed I will clean the barrel.

      BB

      • BB,

        Hmm I might have conflated it with lead alloy pellets leaving a deposit in the barrel when fired at high velocity. Anyway I was really thinking that the pellets might perform better after you take a bore brush through the barrel.

        Siraniko

  2. BB-
    Is this the same trigger that is in all Crosman/Benjamin breakbarrels? There are a number of attempted hacks out there -Micro bearings on the roll pins, longer 1st and 2nd stage screws, etc.- but these triggers seem to be notoriously long, creepy, and unpredictable. I have one NP rifle that with a lot of work I was able to take from real bad to just plain bad. There are however many reviews of folks having success replacing the stock trigger with a CDT aftermarket trigger.

  3. Here in the UK a lot of budget spring rifles are thoroughly unpleasant to shoot even at our limit of 12 ft lbs so surely at nearly 17 ft lbs this thing is even worse?

    • It does not have to be, but then again we are probably leaving the world of budget sproingers. Something like this tamed down to 12 FPE could be quite pleasant to shoot, but I think the common way to achieve the lower FPE is to reduce the swept volume of air rather than reducing the power. The lengthened piston is likely cheaper than a different gas spring. Also, the lengthened piston is much more difficult to modify than dropping in a different spring.

  4. BB
    From the velocities you gave I’m thinking a 10 grain pellets will put the velocity around the mid 800’s to 900 fps. Which is not a bad velocity in .177 caliber from what I have seen.

    And the trigger on the semi-auto Marauder I have anyway, is very smooth but has a straight pull back with no feel of a second stage. It and me have ended up working out very good together. I can shoot it very accurate now. You get use to the distance the trigger moves. I can actually pull back on the trigger and stop my motion right at the spot where it’s going to make the shot go off if I move any farther.

  5. I have quite a collection of single stage triggers around here at RRHFWA. Most of these old gals have single stagers. Some of these are real nice and I would not trade them for any two stage trigger out there (and I have some real nice ones also). Some of these single stagers have a nice, crisp, clean break. Like BB has said, some have a beautiful, smooth pull. I have one that is so creepy, sticky, jerky I hate to pull on it. It really needs some work.

    I do hope that you will get in a Crosman Shockwave with the Clean Break Trigger to compare to this trigger. I am really super curious about it. It sounds like Crosman just may have invested some money in designing a new trigger and I would like to know if it is worth having. It has been a very long time since I have heard anything nice about a Crosman.

  6. I always thought that ‘plinking’ meant a casual target (excluding live animals and cards with concentric circles).

    I’m going to try to attach pictures of my various plinking targets. I’ve nothing new or pretty but maybe it’ll help motivate some to revisit the plinking hobby… ๐Ÿ™‚

    There’s one target that I can’t show because it’s random: I have an airsoft underlever long arm with which I enjoy shooting at anything that catches my eye while I’m wandering around my back yard.

    I particularly like to shoot hard objects because they shatter the plastic peas into pieces so small that they seem to have disappeared. Besides, they are supposed to be ‘bio degradable’, so, even the balls that remain whole, vanish after a while.

    ———-

    The first target picture shows my least used one – dunno why.

    The 4 hanging paddles in 2 sizes can be quite the challenge to knock up, ie when hit, they swing back and up, where little tabs keep them out of sight, until the middle square is shot which resets the paddles by pulling them off the holding tabs to drop back down for the next round. This target is not designed to be very strong, thus ideal for low powered shooters such as handguns. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. With this, rather CO2 hungry, pistol I get to shoot one load of 7 rubber balls at full whack. Toward the end of the next 7, there is a noticeable drop in power.

    In the picture, it is loaded with rubber balls and a little 12 g CO2 bottle installed in the grip but dormant, ie not yet pierced.

    A slap up on the butt of the grip releases the CO2, powering up the pistol, which the hammer confirms by now showing a red dot.

    This so-called ‘LTL Alfa 1.50’ is meant to be a less than lethal (LTL) home defense handgun that can be kept charged (‘ish) and loaded for a long time, and always be ready at a moment’s notice.

    For that purpose I have added a torch- and laser light.

    The next 2 pictures show my target for it…

    • Here you see a big old washing basket (it happily stands on the ground but I prefer it elevated, hanging outside the shed) stuffed with foamy things and rubber mats. The idea is to prevent any rubber balls from bouncing back and from getting damaged so that they can be re-used.

      The actual target next…

      • Ok, this is what I actually aim at: a human shape printed onto thin card, taped onto some cardboard and bungeed on top of the old basket.

        This is very different shooting to anything else that I do. The purpose makes me somewhat uneasy but the action is fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • For whoever may be interested, here is an update on the LTL Alfa 1.50 self defence pistol : This pistol has shown me that is unreliable !

      If I load more than one rubber ball – it’s supposed to be a 7 shot repeater – the trigger jams. Likely something to do with the feeding mechanism…

      Regardless of whether the fault can be easily fixed or not, the thing is, it’s absolutely not suitable for any kind of defence (it’s selling point).

      Thought I would share this news because, when I was researching these Less Than Lethal weapons, I would have been interested in such.

  8. My most often used targets are outdoors and at up to 50 m distant. Typically, I will shoot benchrested. An old folding chair, plastic garden table, upturned bucket with a cushion on top and I’m good to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Closeups next…

      • I shoot airguns and black powder muzzleloaders at this old dishwasher inside of which is a heavy sheet of metal, again spray painted white and set at an angle to deflect the lead downwards, making it easier for me to collect (to melt down and cast into round balls).

        With airguns, once I’m happy where they impact, I then try to knock down the 4 boar silhouettes above.

        I always find it very hard to hit the reset disc in the middle, ie it often takes me more shots than for all the boars together. But still, it’s fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. This 14 cm square target card holder is funnel shaped to catch pellets. Maybe I should try shooting from greater distances because I have noticed that some try to come back out.

    But stuffing in more than one card at a time seems to prevent them from tearing through from behind. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (next target card backer / used card is ready, jammed in between wall and box)

  10. Here’s another metal target in a metal pellet catching box. But this one is a bit different because it’s a moving target.

    The metal disc appears on the left, moves across to the right where it disappears.

    Behind the lower box is a belt that rotates around 2 pulleys at either end. Attached to this via a hinges, so that they can fall backwards, are the target paddles. One of the pulleys is rotated by a battery powered electric motor.

  11. For shooting indoors or at close distances, I like to use this wooden box with soft putty inside. I stand it, carrying-handle up, leaning against something (it’s not balanced because the back is heavy).

    As you can see, it shows signs of use… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Here is an example of how I use the putty box: target shooting at various target cards, taped onto cardboard. Also, this box makes for a relatively quiet backstop when I want to chronograph an airgun indoors. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I made the box out of chip board and A4 size, because I wanted to be able to pin on an A4 page that I had printed with one of the various target images (now I just use a rubber band at the top and bottom to attach the page – it’s even easier).

      • Here is just one example of such an image, printed onto A4 paper. It’s a game of 9 hole golf, playable by 2 shooters (other games are hangman, noughts & crosses, pool, etc…)

        That concludes my plinking targets. ๐Ÿ™‚

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