Home Blog  
Air Guns Crosman Precision Diopter Sight System: Part 1

Crosman Precision Diopter Sight System: Part 1

Crosman sight system
The Crosman Precision Diopter Sight System.

This report covers:

  • The plan
  • The whole story
  • Challenger PCP and Challenger PCP 2009
  • Front sight
  • Rear sight
  • Construction
  • Missed the boat
  • Summary

For some things BB is easy. Only one reader asked me for this report, but since it was already on my mind, it’s happening. Crosman has created a world-class precision 10-meter sighting system to go on their new Challenger PCP. That rifle has been out for 6 months already but it isn’t available at Pyramyd AIR yet. But this sight is available now, so today I start looking at it all by itself. Crosman calls it their Precision Diopter Sight System.

Challenger PCP
Crosman’s new Challenger PCP.

Challenger PCP detail
The new Challenger PCP deserved new sights of its own.

The plan

The plan is to test this new sight on a Challenger 2009 PCP. What the heck is a Challenger 2009 PCP? Well, there is a story. Yes, today’s report is about Crosman’s new Precision Target Sight System, but you gotta know the whole story!

The whole story

Back around the turn of the Millennium, Crosman made a 10-meter junior marksman target rifle that was based on — wait for it — a Benjamin 397! They called that one the Challenger 2000. Its sole purpose in life was to carve out some of the market share Daisy enjoyed with their Avanti 853. Until that time Daisy was the only company with their hand in the cookie jar that the NRA revealed at a SHOT Show Airgun Breakfast in the late 1990s was closing in on a MILLON junior marksmen each year, in 75,000 clubs across the US. Yepper, Crosman was asleep at the wheel. Everybody but Daisy was asleep, and Daisy wanted them to slumber peacefully!

Now, the Benjamin 397 was a fine multi-pump air rifle, but it warn’t no 10-meter target rifle — not by a long shot.  It was about like giving a cigar box guitar to Jimi Hendrix and asking for a riff. So the Crosman Challenger 2000 didn’t meet with wide acceptance. As a result, not too many of them are around.

Challenger 2000
I tested the Crosman Challenger 2000 CO2 target rifle for you in 2007.

The Challenger 2000 ran on one CO2 cartridge and got about 75 good shots per fill. The trigger was better than the one on the 397 and broke cleanly at 2.5 lbs. The stock was ambidextrous and the cocking was via a T-handle, much like the AR-15. In many respects this rifle beat the Daisy 853 but its barrel let it down. It was that same 397 soldered barrel going up against Daisy’s Lothar Walther barrel that was hard to beat. In target rifles, accuracy is everything and the Challenger 2000 just didn’t have what it took. Crosman took notice and changed it, resulting in the Challenger PCP that then morphed into the Challenger PCP 2009.

Challenger PCP and Challenger PCP 2009

The Challenger PCP was the CO2 Challenger that was updated in a couple important ways. Number one was the barrel. It was now and shall ever be a Lothar Walther barrel. I say ever, but if Crosman learns to rifle barrels better than Lothar Walther that could change. I will tell you all a secret right now. Airgun barrels are one of the hottest topics for improvement in this hobby today.

Crosman Challenger PCP 2009
Challenger PCP 2009.

The Challenger was taken off CO2 and given high pressure air. Air is more consistent than CO2 and enables the use of regulators that further stabilize the pressure behind each pellet. Plus they can have gauges that can be read, rather than pins that pop out as long as there is gas remaining like some CO2 guns do.

The good things like the trigger and the stock were retained, but the stock was enhanced and the Challenger PCP 2009 was a target rifle capable of holding its own with the 853 that was very long in the tooth by this time. Even Daisy was trying to get rid of it, which they now have.

And all of that led to the development and launch of the latest Challenger PCP, which is quite far from the original rifle 22 years ago. It’s the one pictured above that has the sights we are now looking at. Crosman tells me that it’s been out all this year but Pyramyd AIR has not gotten any yet, so I think Crosman is marketing it in a different way — by direct sales. When it becomes available I will test one for you, but today I’m looking at just the sights.

Front sight

This is a sight system that includes both the front and rear sights. Most target front sights give you inserts, and this one is no different. In this one you get a range of front aperture inserts that go from 3.8mm to 4.4mm. That’s good BUT you also get a SECOND set of the same apertures that can be ROTATED in the front sight from side to side to adjust the sights for CANT!

Now you might ask, as I did, how can a round aperture be canted? Well — it can’t! Ha, ha! However the horizontal bar that holds the aperture can be tilted or canted and that is what Crosman is talking about. If a target shooter sees that bar rotated against the target time after time, it wears on them. This system allows both front and rear sights to be rotated the same to appear level when the rifle is held comfortably (canted).

Crosman sight inserts
The straight sight inserts are on top, the cant-able ones are below.

The front sight inserts are straightforward to install and remove.

The rear sight can also be canted to match whatever is done to the front, so the shooter sees the sights as level with the target even though he or she is holding the rifle on a cant. Genius!

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

Rear sight

The rear sight is also cant-able. It is a conventional target rear sight with click detent adjustments in both directions. The detents are not audible but they have great tactile feel when adjusted. There are index scales on both adjustments, but no numbers on the windage knobs.

Crosman sight cant
To cant the rear sight to match the front, loosen the Allen screw and rotate the sight that’s a tube held in a frame at this point.

Crosman sight cant 2
And here is the opposite side of the sight that shows the frame and shows more clearly how the sight rotates.

Crosman sight index
Here is the rear sight’s windage index.


Crosman also packs a white plastic blinder in with the rear sight. The blinder allows the shooter to keep both eyes open which is essential for accurate shooting, yet the non-sighting eye sees nothing to confuse the brain. There are shooters who close their off eye and will swear that it’s more accurate that way, but I have demonstrated several times in this blog why that can’t be. Both eyes must be open for the best sight picture. The blinder makes it easier for shooters who get confused with both eyes seeing different things. And of course it is ambidextrous like the sight itself.

Crosman sight blinder
Crosman sight blinder.


This sight is constructed out of good materials that make sense in the 21st century. And now the peanut gallery is clutching their collective breast and shouting, “Oh, no! Plastic!” Well, hold your horses, guys. There is exactly the same amount of plastic on this rear sight as can be found on a Feinwerkbau target sight made for the FWB 300S! That’s correct — the adjustment knobs on both sights are plastic. The rest of the parts are aluminum and steel.

Missed the boat

The one place where I was concerned that the designers may have missed the boat is the thread pattern of the eyepiece in the rear sight. The eyepiece has male threads that don’t seem to conform to anything old or current that I can find on the market. I emailed Ed Schultz and he found that a Hammerli rear sight peephole did interchange with this sight, so apparently some thought was given to it.


This target sight system was well thought out and well executed. Yes it was manufactured in China, but it’s Crosman’s design and it shows innovation that makes me proud. 

My plan is to mount these sights on the Challenger 2009 PCP target rifle and give them a test. And, if a newer version of the Challenger becomes available and I still have the sights I will test them there, again.

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.

45 thoughts on “Crosman Precision Diopter Sight System: Part 1”

  1. B.B.,
    This new sight looks to be pretty darn cool! But as for the old Challenger 2000 (“The Challenger 2000 ran on one CO2 cartridge and got about 75 good shots per fill.”), I don’t see why they made it as a CO2 gun instead of a single-stroke pneumatic. As an engineer, that’s the way I would have leaned…but what do I know? Hahaha! 🙂
    Take care & God bless,

  2. BB,

    I was curious about how this sight might be fitted to a number of multi pump rifles and that lead me to the Dragonfly Mark 2 blog. I selected Part 9 so that I could go back through the parts one at a time to sus out how the barrel brake and front sight was attached. Unfortunately, pointing at the various other parts and clicking doesn’t take you to that part. It doesn’t do anything. Just wanted to give a heads up and to say I hope Pyramyd hasn’t paid anyone yet for this most recent “update” to the blog.

    Do you remember if the front sight and brake/silencer slides off?


  3. BB,

    I can’t quite get what you mean by the rear sight can also be rotated to match the cant of the front sight. Isn’t the rear sight just a round hole?


    • Siraniko
      First thing is I’m pretty sure I’m getting one of these sight sets.

      And what it’s all about is you shoulder the gun. Put the front sight insert in that looks level. Then you mount the rear sight with its cant adjustment centered.

      What you will find is the open holes on the front and rear sight won’t be centered to each other. So now you rotate the rear sight to match the front sight. If you don’t you will find yourself trying to rotate the gun to make both sights centered to each other but they won’t. So you will be fighting your natural gun hold. You will not have repeatability if you don’t cant your rear sight to match your front. Remember the dove tails are suppose to be level with the breech. So now with this sight setup you can match the front to rear sight for how you hold the gun.

      I think it’s a good thing. Some may not care. Some will. But at least now it’s a option with this sight system Crosman has made.

      Oh and a question what gun’s will the Crosman front sight clamp on? And what front sights will the canted inserts fit? The Crosman back sight is cool but means nothing if you can’t use the canted Crosman front sight or insert. Well sort of.

    • If you are shooting at a known distance all the time as one does in 10 meter cant with elevation changes would not matter. Even with apertures windage will change when making elevation adjustments if your front and rear sight are not on the same plane. I like this feature. i had to adjust a Parker and hale target sight on a Palma rifle(Sportco Canadian International match edition) to not have windage shift when adjusting elevation. Had to heat and bend the staff, pucker factor was high.

  4. That sight system reminds me a lot of the Air Force TS1 Adaptive Rear Target Sight which I have been eyeballing for some time as a replacement for my Suhl 150 rear sight, I like that at least with the Air force sight one can clamp the rear sight in a one inch scope ring, options are great as we all know the gyrations we sometimes have to perform to get sights to work on different rifles. The Crosman sight seems to be the same.

    I have a condition in which my dominant eye changes without preamble or forethought. When I was a kid my Father and older Brother attempted to teach me to shoot with both eyes open, when I did I saw two front sights and this later translated into seeing two cross hairs when using a scope so I would always shut or at least squint my left eye. Around the age of Forty I needed glasses and my Optometrist diagnosed this, big word cannot remember but it is a known condition with no cure. I began using a blinder(Hyscore,glasses mounted) leaving both eyes open and my scores in Service Rifle and 3P Smallbore went up dramatically.. I recently had Cataract surgery and had “Bionic” lenses installed after removal of Cataracts . I quizzed my Surgeon about this condition and he confirmed all you can do is deal with it.
    For what it’s worth the Airforce sight set is listed on Pyramid Air for $35.00 less than the Crosman, BB, would you please d a companion for us ?

    • The AirForce Rear Sight will accept any of the “standard” threaded rear peep sights. This one is apparently proprietary. The AirForce Front Sight is proprietary and will only accept AirForce front iris’s. Is this?

      • singleshotcajun,

        I might just do that. The “problem” with the AirForce sight is availability. They don’t make them all the time and the wait can be long.


  5. Nice looking sight! Will the front sight accept either the 18mm or 22mm clear iris?

    Let us see now. AirForce rear sight. Anshutz or Gehman 22mm front sight. That is the big question, is it not? Are the 3P shooters restricted to which sights they use?

  6. BB, thanks for covering this sight. Hard to believe that at this price point they’re using a non-standard aperture thread. If it can’t swap apertures from Gehmann, Anschutz, etc… that would be a deal breaker. for some people. Aside from that, it looks like a really nice set!

      • If most of the high end diopter sights use an M9.5×1.00 thread size, what size is the Crosman thread?

        Crosman may want to think about going to clear front sight inserts. They sure are nice to use.

        Finally, like the Air Force diopter, it looks as though the rear Crosman sight can also be removed from its base and installed in a 1″ (or maybe a 3omm) scope ring?

  7. finally somebody talked about barrel quality for the best accuracy cause all most people talk about is a good trigger never a good barrel. I got a CZ 634 with the worst trigger I ever saw but I got used to it and it is the most accurate springer that I shot. if a moderate priced air rifle can only afford a good barrel or a good trigger I will take the good barrel

  8. Good morning everyone.

    Still need to log in twice to post a comment.

    I’m confused. If you use a clear aperature front sight, there are no crossbars, and the rear sight is a round hole so cant seems irrelevant. However, perhaps some folks like the cross bar because it provides a reference to what appears to be “level” giving another indication of repeatability in one’s hold. So perhaps in some respects the crosbar provides an advantage?

    As for the rear sight, it makes me think of a rifle I have with a dovetail so misaligned with the barrel (or bore) that I was at the end of the windage adjustment on the rear peep. Some pellets shot even further to that side, so I could never get them in the black. Instead of bending that barrel, would this rear sight perhaps provide extra windage adjustment or help to align the rear sight with the barrel (bore) and the front sight?

  9. B.B.,
    another good blog. It’s not really the gun for me, but I find it interesting. Seeing the Daisy 853 and reading about the older Crosman Challenger running on C02, Well Daisy also had a C02 target gun in the Avanti 887. I never saw much written about it though. Looks like that gun is no more also now. But I went to Daisy’s site and saw a PCP Target gun (maybe a competitor for the PCP Challenger) Daisy Model 599 Competition Air Rifle. I don’t see that PA has that one, yet anyway. Neat battles going on.


  10. B.B.
    I am now proud to be an American. Finally we have a target sight comparable to the fancy, expensive Europeans.
    I like the Williams sights, I use them, these are better! After SIG, canned their Break Barrel, I thought us Americans were lost in the woods…
    Barrel improvements….Do tell.
    I know for PCP’ers the barrel accuracy is dependant on what velocity and what slug/pellet. For PCP’s there is no best tune, just different ones for different velocities and ammo.


  11. Something I noticed on the front and rear sights is the lines that are cast or machined into the bodies. They are probably there to give refrence marks as to how much you do have the front sight insert and rear sight canted.

    It looks like they are equally spaced. So if you cant the front sight insert one line to the left you can do likewise to the rear sight and get your front and rear sight aligned and have refrence marks so the front or rear can be fine adjusted if needed and you know where you started at.

    Also that’s probably why the front inserts that can be canted have that notch cut in the top of the insert. That way you can line the notch on the insert up with the lines on the front sight body.

    I like this sight system. Seems thought out pretty well. And on the threads for the rear iris if I remember right there are thread adapters available. But that don’t mean there is one available for this Crosman sight. Hope there is something available if the threads are different.

  12. Sight blinder like this one! Why did I not come to this idea! This is what I will do at this weekend for my FWB300s!

    Guys, I am proud to tell you that after 6 weeks training with FWB300s I finally started to generate a brain – finger connection in a subconscious level. Really, I never used diopter sight system, and this was dramatic experience to learn how to shoot again. With open sights I do not even think to pull the trigger, I think it pulled. Now the same started with diopter sights. Wow!

    • tomek

      I second your reaction to the sight blinder. The blinder is one of the reasons I ordered this set of sights. May be easy to make one for each of my 10 meter rifles.


  13. Pingback: MySurvivalTool
  14. Sorry about off topic Tom but I am new to the blog and just got a Bandle Zimmerstutzen would love it if you had some time to share some info with me – I have read all your articles and have just a couple questions… Thanks and again sorry for the off topic…

    • Thetailman,

      If you have read all my articles you know as much as I do about the Bandle. I have only handled a couple of them and I’ve never shot one.


Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.