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Ammo Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part Six

Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part Six

Fire rifle
Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Review
  • Different pellets
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50 mm
  • A pellet I didn’t finish
  • Rethinking the approach — Crosman Premier 7.9-grain
  • Next group
  • One more group of Premier lights
  • Is there no hope?
  • The Air Arms 8.44 grain dome
  • Back to BB
  • Summary

I have a great one for you today on the Crosman Fire. It should help a lot of newer airgunners. But before we get to it, let’s review.


I’m doing this test in the person of a new air rifle owner who has stumbled on this blog and is trying to apply the principles he has read. The Fire was all he could afford and since it came with a scope he thought it was a deal. But in shooting it he found that the scope that came bundled with the rifle didn’t focus at the distances he wanted to shoot, so he was fortunate to be able to upgrade to a UTG Bug Buster 3-12X32 scope. He mounted it on the rifle, sighted in and shot in Part 5. From that he was able to back up to 25 yards.

Up to this point he has been shooting Crosman Premier 10.5-grain pellets. He did that because he read that when you break in a new rifle you should stick to one pellet until you know the rifle. Only then should you consider changing. The last 5-shot group of 10.5 Premiers that he shot in Part Five  went into 1.215-inches — his smallest group at the 25-yard  distance to date. Now we’ll get started. I’m going to assume the character of the newbie.

Different pellets

Now that I have a good handle on the Fire I thought it was time to try some different pellets. I certainly have a lot of groups to compare them to.

I’m shooting off a sandbag rest at 25 yards. I’m using the loosey-goosey hold that BB Pelletier calls the artillery hold, though with the Fire’s thumbhole stock it’s hard to hold the rifle completely loose. To pull that heavy trigger I have to hook my thumb around the back of the pistol grip or the rifle pulls backward.

I started with a 10-shot group, but I switched to five shots again. I will tell you why as we go.

H&N Baracuda Match 4.50 mm

The first pellet was the H&N Baracuda Match 4.50 mm that BB often finds to be the best. I felt that after the 10.5-grain Premier it was a good choice.

At first I thought I had found a winner, but as I went the group kept growing. The last shot is the highest and opens the 10 shots to 1.84-inches between centers. That wasn’t what I was hoping for.

Fire 25 Baracuuda 4.5
The Fire put 10 Baracuda Match with 4.50 mm heads into 1.84-inches at 25 yards.

A pellet I didn’t finish

I tried the H&N Field Target next but the pellets went so wide I just quit. And, if I showed you the group above, you know how bad this one must have been.

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Rethinking the approach — Crosman Premier 7.9-grain

Up to this point I have been shooting heavier pellets. I wondered what would happen with lighter pellets. So I switched to 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers that are now obsolete. I decided to go to five shot groups until I found a pellet that worked. The first group with this pellet landed lower on the target and is sized 2.205-inches between centers. But in the center of the group three shots are in 0.427-inches.

Fire 25 Premier light
The Fire put five Crosman Premier lights into a group that measures 2.205-inches between centers at 25 yards. The centers of three of the shots are 0.427-inches apart.

Next group

Those three shots were enough to give me hope. So I adjusted the scope up five clicks and shot another group with this same pellet. This time five went into 1.272-inches, but look at the four that are in 0.363-inches. That gave me even more hope!

Fire 25 Premier light 2
Five Premier Lights are in 1.272-inches between centers, but four are just 0.363-inches apart!

One more group of Premier lights

I adjusted the scope up another five clicks and shot five more Premier lights. This time they scattered everywhere! The group did rise, so I know the scope is working, but five shots are in 1.625-inches at 25 yards.

Fire 25 Premier light 3
Oh, pooky! Five Premier lights went into this 1.625-inch group at 25 yards.

Is there no hope?

What did I do, buying this Crosman Fire? Was it a complete waste of money? Even when I do the things BB Pelletier says work I can’t seem to shoot that well. Oh, well, I know I’m tired but I will shoot one last pellet.

The Air Arms 8.44 grain dome

BB says this 8.44-grain pellet is made by JSB for Air Arms but that it is different from the 8.44-grain JSB Exact. It’s supposed to be a good pellet, so I will give it a try. I’m tired because the Fire is so sensitive to how it’s held. My off hand is at the rear of the cocking slot and I’m holding the rifle as light as I can, given the heavy trigger pull.

When the second shot went next to the first one I thought wouldn’t it be nice if this pellet was the one? Shot three went a short distance to the left but the group was still looking good. Then shots 4 and 5 went into the same hole just below the first two shots. At the end there were five shots in 0.537-inches at 25 yards. That was what I was hoping for!

Fire 25 Air Arms 8.44
That is the sort of group I was hoping for! Five Air Arms 8.44-grain pellets went into 0.537-inches at 25 yards. 

I’m going to stop right here because I am tired. But next time I’m going to start with this pellet and see if it goes to the same place and then, if it still does well, how will ten pellets do?

This experience has been overwhelming for me. I always thought you just picked up a rifle, sighted it and then hit the target again and again. I now see there is more to it than that.

Back to BB

Well, we finally may have found a good pellet for the Fire. Apparently the rifle is hold sensitive and also pellet picky. And this is what you have to do with that new airgun. It’s not always this hard but when you break though like this with a tough one you really feel it.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. We still have to shoot this pellet again and see what it does. I hope we have found a good pellet, plus how to hold and shoot the Fire. If you have followed along you have learned a lot!


I’m doing this for all the new airgunners who need to see how this is done. They need to see what matters and what doesn’t, and also how to test their new airguns. Stay tuned!

16 thoughts on “Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part Six”

  1. Newbie BB,

    When you do the loosey goosey hold where is your left hand in relation to the trigger guard? Could you gain an advantage by laying the fore end across a rolled towel?


    • Siraniko,

      In the Air Arms pelet section the Newbie says, “My off hand is at the rear of the cocking slot…”
      Prior to that the only hold comment the Newbie makes is, “I’m using the loosey-goosey hold that BB Pelletier calls the artillery hold, though with the Fire’s thumbhole stock it’s hard to hold the rifle completely loose. To pull that heavy trigger I have to hook my thumb around the back of the pistol grip or the rifle pulls backward.” which I think you are referring to above. The rolled towel might work but I have been experimenting with various gloves worn on my Off Hand, some with heavy gel padding and slippery leather palms with the ASP20s. With a more powerful scope than the SIG ASP WHISKEY3 bundled scope I am seeing my pulse on the target at 50 yards…not so much at twenty-five.


      • Shootski,

        I have never been a big fan of high-powered scopes, mostly because they are pretty much useless in the woods around here. When I hunted groundhogs, quite often I would be using either a 3-9X or a 12X. I was taking 500 yard head shots with the 12X, but I have to admit the reticle was very fine compared to many I see these days.

        As for those ASP20’s you are shooting, they are likely heavier and have much nicer triggers than this Crosman. I started with a Gamo CFX. I learned so much with that air rifle. I also learned about sproinger triggers and how to make some of them better.

        The slick palmed glove on the off hand is a great idea. You might consider a small stick on dot for your stock to help you place the thumb of your trigger hand in the exact same place every time. I learned with the CFX that where you place that thumb can have a remarkable effect on your shot grouping.

    • Siraniko, I like your thinking.
      How about starting with a resting point close to the trigger guard where the airgun is in balance (for maximum freedom of movement)?
      And then compare how those groups change when rested a little further forward (for tweaking barrel harmonics and whatever)?

      Finally, if I may play with your words:
      instead of “…a rolled towel”, I would try “…laying the fore end across a…” towelled roller. 🙂

  2. BB,

    Am I correct in that you have confirmed to us that the pistol grip on a sproinger is not a good idea? Being an old geezer, I myself have never been much for the pistol grip on a rifle, but I am aware there are many out there that have no experience with other types. The pistol grip is great for pulling a rifle in tight, but when your objective is to hold that rifle “loosey goosey” and let it move as it desires, a pistol grip does indeed make it difficult, most especially if you have a heavy trigger as you have stated this sproinger has.

      • BB,

        I ain’t never seen that afore!

        I guess some would say a FWB 300 has a pistol grip also. I guess it will depend on what your definition is. Neither has one as far as I am concerned. A Mattelomatic has a pistol grip. This thing has a pistol grip. I think you need to tighten up a bit.

  3. Siraniko,

    I tried that in Parts 4 and 5 and found that it made the rifle group worse. So I stretched out to the cocking slot. I mentioned doing that in Part 5


  4. Usually FM hates to be picky about typos given how much effort you already put into this work, Tom. However, you may want to change “years” to “yards” for the pic caption under the “Rethinking the approach” heading. Having said that, seems it may take FM 25 years to achieve decent 25-yard groups with the HW95…the solution is probably to find eyes which are 25 years younger. Or scope/”red dot” it.

  5. If I shoot he Crosman 20.5 grainers in my F4, the cheek rest comes off. Maybe if I mix up some kind of glue or epoxy? Howevet, if I stick to standard weight pellets, I don’t have that problem. It likes the 7.0 grain RWS Basically anyway. The gun certainly had enough power, and is not loud.

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