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Education / Training Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 5

Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 5

Fire rifle
Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • My birthday gift!
  • Mounting the scope
  • Sight in
  • 10 meters
  • Group 2 at 10 meters
  • However
  • 25 yards
  • Trigger
  • Discussion
  • Back to BB and summary

Today is the culmination of the last two days — where we apply what we have learned about setting up a rifle to shoot accurately. Remember, I’m writing this as a newbie to airgunning who has purchased the Crosman Fire air rifle. Okay, I now transition into character.

My birthday gift!

Well, guys, my wife gave me a spectacular gift for my birthday yesterday. She gave me a UTG Bug Buster 3-12X32 scope. Remember I told you that the Crosman Fire with its 4X scope was all I could afford. This Bug Buster scope cost 40 dollars more than the whole rifle! I know that’s a lot of scope to put on an inexpensive air rifle, but golly! She told me she talked to some of my airgun buddies who told her what I wanted.

I now owe an apology to all the guys who told me I needed a better scope. I just didn’t know! They told me not to shoot away my aim point, but since I couldn’t exactly see it through Crosman’s 4X scope that came with the Fire, that wasn’t a problem. Now I can clearly see the dot in the center of a 10-meter air rifle target! Wow! Who knew?

Mounting the scope

The scope came with rings but they only fit a Picatinny or Weaver scope base; they don’t fit the 11 mm dovetails that are cut in the Fire’s spring tube. I know there are adaptors to make them fit these dovetails, but that’s more money and besides this scope is small and light and so I think the Crosman scope rings will work. Both scope tubes are one inch so the Crosman rings fit. And I did shim the new scope because of what I learned before.

Sight in

I am still shooting the same Crosman Premier 10-5-grain dome that I have shot from the beginning, and that is what I will shoot all this day. I sighted in at 12 feet. The first shot hit the paper two inches low and three-quarters of an inch to the right. BB said the pellet would rise when I went back to 10 meters, so for now I left the scope’s adjustments alone.

10 meters

I went back to the bench at 10 meters and shot off the sandbag. Last time I did the same but I never said where I rested the forearm of the rifle like BB usually does. This time I started by resting the forearm on my open palm just in front of the triggerguard. This is BB’s artillery hold but I call it the loosey goosey hold. It’s hard to do with the thumbhole stock, but I will work on it. Let’s see what happened.

The first shot went almost two inches above the aim point, which is now the dot in the center of the bullseye that I can see, thanks to my new scope. BB said my 10-meter shot would rise from the sight-in shot and rise it did, though I’m not certain that it should have gone up that much.

I adjusted the reticle down many clicks and also a little to the left and shot again. This time the pellet went into the bull. That was good enough. I then shot four more pellets. They didn’t go into quite the group I had hoped for — with five in 1.066-inches at 10 meters. Yucky-poo! Now that I could see the target sharply, it wasn’t as much fun as it had been before. Was seeing it clearly too much of a distraction? Actually it opened my eyes to several things that were happening and needed to be controlled.

First was where I rested the forearm of the Fire. Remember me saying I rested it on my open hand just ahead of the triggerguard? Well, for the last two shots on this target I slid my off hand forward so my hand could feel the rear of the cocking slot. See the two shots that are close together at the top of the bull? They were shot with my off hand in that position. That seems to work.

Fire group 1
The first sight-in shot is below the bull. Shot two from 10 meters is above the bull. The next five shots went into 1.076-inches at 10 meters, with the final two very close to each other.

Hunting Guide

Group 2 at 10 meters

For the second group I tried to hold the Fire like I did on the last two shots at the first bull. The first shot went to almost the same place in the new bull, but then I rushed things and shot a 0.599-inch group at 10 meters. It’s better than the last group, but I was rushing things too much.

Fire group 2
For the second group from 10 meters I tried to hold the rifle the same as I did in the last two shots on the first bull. Five shots in 0.599-inches.

However

I wanted to say “However” that way like BB often does! However, because I was now seeing the target so clearly I was distracted by so many things. So I decided to back up to 25 yards and confuse the issue even more.

25 yards

The first shot from 25 yards hit the target above the bull and also to the left. But I kept shooting and tried to hold the rifle like I did for the end of the first target. And the last two shots of this five went into the same hole! And they are very close to where they were at 10 meters when I held the rifle right. This group measures 1.463-inches between centers at 25 yards. It’s not a good group, but look at those last two shots in the bullseye!

Fire group 3
From 25 yards the Fire put five shots into 1.463-inches. But the last two shots are in the same hole in the bullseye!

This new scope is so clear that I can still see the center dot in the bull at 25 yards. And seeing the target is giving me a lot to think about. One thing is the trigger.

Trigger

The Fire trigger has a long second stage that starts and stops wherever it wants to. BB calls that creep and it is very distracting. I never know when the rifle will fire. Now I finally understand what people are saying about triggers. The Fire trigger isn’t the best, but I have learned to pull it quickly and get it over with.

I worked on all of these things and the second group from 25 yards measures 1.215-inches between centers. It’s smaller but I have a long way to go. And, no, those two shots at the high left were not shot together. That was the first and last shot. I’m getting tired.

Fire group 4
The last 5 shots are in a group that measures 1.215-inches between centers.

Discussion

Boy — is there ever a lot to understand about shooting these spring rifles! The first thing I will say is that when you can see the target clearly, you can see what you are doing. That may unnerve you, but it will also allow you to concentrate better and make those subtle changes that will make all the difference.

The second thing I will say is that the trigger is extremely important to success. You have to master it to do your best. Of course we all know this, but this Crosman Fire trigger pushes that right back into your face so that you can’t ignore it. You could throw up your hands at this point and say that this rifle is inaccurate and no amount of work will make it less so. Or — and this is my point — you can master the trigger so you are in full control and make the rifle do your bidding. That’s what I plan to do because right now this is the only air rifle I own.

And finally I will say that the Crosman Fire is extremely hold-sensitive. BB says some rifles are and others aren’t This one is — a lot! So my job is to learn how to best hold this rifle so I can repeat it every time. I have danced around it in today’s test but I have to do better. There may even be some other things I need to do that I haven’t tried yet. Like Hank on Monday, I need to learn my rifle. In his case it was adjustments. The Fire doesn’t adjust, so I need to adapt. Like BB said yesterday, the cheapest thing to change is me, and that’s what I plan to do!

Back to BB and summary

Okay, guys, that’s it. This is a detailed, close look at an air rifle that’s accurate but is going to make me work for everything it gives me. I thought my groups at 10 meters would get smaller with this scope, but they grew larger.

This series is more than just a test of the Crosman Fire air rifle. It’s a tutorial on how to get used to any new air rifle. I hope it helps you.

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.

22 thoughts on “Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part 5”

  1. B.B.

    Does the stock allow for a “thumbs up” trigger pull. Thumbholes have a way of upsetting the trigger pull on springers. You pull across the stock and not in-line with your index finger.

    -Y

    • I had been using a rest on my air rifles that is just a short piece of 2×4 with some folded cloth stapled over one end. It works just fine for my multi pumps. Tried it with my F4, and I’d get a decent ent group or two, or often, two shots tight together, then it would drop one quite low. Taste day, I went back to what I used to do. My son had left some kind of exercise gizmo at our house. It’s a high density foam “roller”. Maybe 16″ long. I set it on my shooting table, then put the palm of my left hand on it, palm down, 4 fingers to the front, and just my thumb to the rear of the roller. I then rest he friends my most nose of the stock onto my thumb. The stock doesn’t touch the roller, it just rests only thumb lightly. This way of shooting has brought back some decent accuracy. It also reaffirms what pellet it likes, as in earlier shooting. Tried 3 pellets, all by RWS. Meisterkugelns go into the breech easy, but o legit a 1/2″ group. Hobby’s have always gone in with some interference, but shot a 1\4″ group. Then the Basics, which feed nicely in the breech, did a 3\16″ group. It has norma!My liked this last 7.0 grain was cutter the best. But, the best thing is, in shooting these groups, there were none of the nasty fliers I had been getting. I was getting frustrated with the uncalled fliers way out of the groups. On this gun, finding a hold that works, can be a challenge. But, I just saw either Pyramid or Crosman selling new F4s for $64.00!

  2. B.B.,
    I’m really happy that you are testing this rifle with the UTG Bug Buster 3-12X32 scope. The next time I hear myself crying about how “I’ve got two UTG Bug Buster fixed 6X scopes, but I can’t get any more because they’ve been discontinued…wah, wah!,” I’ll remind myself that I can just get one of these and be happy. 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave

    • Dave-
      I kick myself all the time for having missed the UTG 6x scopes before they stopped making them. That is about the perfect pesting scope, and on a springer I want the fewest variables when it starts throwing shots from spring thump and vibration. I don’t know of anybody making one like it. Hang onto those babies. Unless you want to trade a 3x12x32 for it…

  3. BB-

    Sounds like Newbie is learning the importance of consistent placement of the offhand. I would advise Newbie to try the Lobster Claw- only use the thumb and forefinger to release the shot. Once the butt is rested against the shoulder pocket for proper shooting position, sight alignment and sight picture, let go of the pistol grip. By this I mean middle, ring and little fingers are no longer touching the pistol grip. I would even support wrist with a padded block so thumb and forefinger are in ideal position-
    Thumb- end pad of thumb is directly behind trigger resting on the back of the grip.
    Trigger finger- middle of the end pad resting on the lower end of the rigger for best mechanical advantage.
    Curl the other three fingers tightly to your palm. Trigger finger is now ready to do its job- to pull the trigger towards the thumb without the rest of the hand torquing the stock.

    • PAC

      Yep, to your trigger pull. An even steadier trigger pull is possible for heavy triggers using two fingers from both hands. However this obviously means the rifle has to be rested directly on a bag the same way every shot. Some rifles allow it and some don’t.

      Deck

    • I call this the ‘trigger pinch’ technique and have previously described it here in past blogs. I’ve even gone as far as applying a small, self-adhesive, rubber bumper dot on the back of the wrist, on the centerline of the stock, on some of my springers. I dubbed it the ‘accuracy button’ and it gives my thumb a consistent resting point.

      Paco, I rather like the ‘lobster claw’ moniker, as it fairly accurately describes the shooting hand posture.

      You can practice the technique with the rifle rested and uncocked and watching your crosshairs move as you pinch the trigger. When you have the grip and finger placement correct, the crosshairs don’t move far off of your aim point.

  4. If only all newbies were this methodical!
    The usual way these things seem to go on forums are for all the ‘experts’ to advise that he’ll never get good results with such cheap equipment and should go out and buy several hundred’s worth of new stuff!
    I think that with a bit more tuning of his technique, the ‘newbie’ ought to be getting around half inch groups at 25 yards

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