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.

Find a Hawke Scope

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.