Crosman TitanGP Nitro Piston (Lower Velocity) – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Happy Thanksgiving!

Part 1
Part 2

The TitanGP with lower velocity is a smooth shooter!

Today is accuracy day! Finally we’ll get to see what this special lower-velocity version of the .22 caliber Crosman TitanGP Nitro Piston can do downrange. First, I’ll address the scope since so many people have commented on it.

The 4×32 CenterPoint Optics scope that comes with the rifle is not adjusted for parallax at close range. When I aimed at the targets 25 yards away, they were slightly out of focus, even at only 4x. That can really drive you nuts, so I have to agree with those who have said you should think about replacing the scope. That being said, however, I don’t think it had a great influence on the outcome of this test. The low magnification probably affected my aim more than the slight focus issue.

The 2-piece scope mount isn’t a name brand, but it’s adequate. The biggest detractor is the caps, which are held on with Phillips screws that tend to strip out when they’re tightened if you’re not careful or if you use the wrong screwdriver bit. But they have a proper scope-stop pin, and you’ll be able to use them for a long time because the rifle doesn’t put much of a strain on them. Being 2-piece, these rings can be positioned to accept almost any scope.

I’m still impressed by how easily the rifle cocks, and shooting it is very quiet! The action of the Nitro Piston is much quieter than that of a conventional coiled steel spring-piston powerplant, and the rifle sounds like a tuned airgun.

Shooting conditions
I shot the rifle from a rest at 25 yards. I used the artillery hold, as this is a breakbarrel and is therefore sensitive to how it’s held. However, once the right pellets are found, the hold becomes far less of an issue

Pellets that did not work
I tried three pellets that didn’t want to group. Crosman Premiers, RWS Hobbys and Gamo TS-22s were only mediocre in the rifle.

Then, I switched to 14.5-grain RWS Superdomes, and everything turned around. Superdomes are very accurate, plus the rifle needs far less care in the hold when shooting off a rest. They’re my pellet of choice for this rifle because of the accuracy and also because of the extreme velocity stability they displayed during the chronograph test.

Once I switched to Superdomes, the rifle started lobbing every shot where I wanted it to go. These 10 pellets grouped in a spread of 0.825″ at 25 yards.

I enjoy shooting when something like this happens, because it makes my job so much easier. No longer is it all up to me. The rifle is now helping get the job done, too.

Oh, make no mistake, the TitanGP Nitro Piston is no tack-driving field target rifle. But, it wants to lob all its pellets into the same general place without much fuss on the shooter’s part. And that’s what we’re after at this price point and feature set.

Kodiak Match and JSB Exact domes were inconclusive
I tried Beeman Kodiak Match pellets and JSB Exact Jumbo Express domes next. While both pellets gave good 5-shot groups, they had some outliers that opened the 10-shot group up too much. The JSBs were especially tantalizing, as 6 of 10 went into a quarter-inch, but the other 4 opened the group up past one inch.

Finally, I tried Air Arms Diabolo Field Plus pellets and got similar results to the RWS Superdomes. Of course, this pellet weighs 1.6 grains more than the Superdome, so it’s going slower, but the accuracy and freedom from hold sensitivity is definitely there.

Like Superdomes, the Air Arms Diabolo Field Plus domes are also accurate without a lot of fuss. Ten shots in 0.959″.

Bottom line
I found the heavy, creepy trigger didn’t hinder grouping nearly as much as people might think. If Crosman had only attached the barrel with a through-bolt, that could be tightened instead of a plain crosspin, I would have added the TitanGP to my picks list. I like this rifle a lot and recommend it to anyone as a medium-powered, smooth-shooting breakbarrel that has enough power for some hunting.

Crosman TitanGP Nitro Piston (Lower Velocity) – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

The TitanGP with lower velocity is a smooth shooter!

Okay, today I’m going to shoot the Crosman TitanGP with Nitro Piston through the chronograph. Boy, did we have a lot of discussion about this rifle in Part 1, and a lot of folks surprised when they realized that I was talking about an entirely different air rifle than the one they were commenting on. I tried to explain in the report that this is a very different rifle, but quite a few shooters were confused by the more powerful rifle that goes by the same name.

Crosman Corporation, are you reading this? People don’t like it when you name two different guns the same, any more than you would like it if they referred to a Crosman Pumpmaster 760 as a Red Ryder. You drove airgun collectors crazy when you named a Chinese spring piston rifle the Benjamin Super Streak, but in light of the whole Benjamin Sheridan brand name mix, I guess that’s water under the bridge. The point is that different airguns need different names so people can refer to them without getting confused.

However, you’re to be praised for developing this rifle! It’s one of the smoothest-shooting recoiling spring-piston air rifles it has ever been my pleasure to test. I believe it’s almost the equal of the Benjamin Legacy I raved about in the last report, only you built this one with more power. How much more is what we’re about to find out.

Crosman Premiers
The first pellet to be tested was the .22 caliber 14.3-grain Crosman Premier. When you think of Crosman airguns, you probably think of them shooting Premier pellets, certainly the spring-piston guns and pneumatics they make, anyway. I know I do. So, Premiers were the first to be tested. They gave an average velocity of 677 f.p.s. in my test rifle. The spread went from a low of 668 f.p.s. to a high of 684, so 16 f.p.s. overall. That’s not too bad, especially for a brand new rifle. The average muzzle energy works out to 14.56 foot-pounds.

RWS Hobbys
Next, I tried RWS Hobby pellets. At 11.9 grains, these are about the lightest lead pellet around. They averaged 724 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 703 to a high of 742 f.p.s. That’s a 39 f.p.s. spread, but the one shot that went 703 was anomalous. The next-slowest shot went 715 f.p.s. That works out to an average muzzle energy of 13.85 foot-pounds.

RWS Superdomes
The final pellets I tried were RWS Superdomes. I have no axe to grind when selecting pellets to test, but I always try to test at least one of average or middle weight and one of very light weight. Only if the rifle is a magnum would I also test a real heavyweight, because I probably wouldn’t be inclined to use it in the rifle. This time I let Mac influence me. He’s been having such good luck with Superdomes, lately, that I had to include them in this test.

Those 14.5-grain pellets averaged 689 f.p.s., or 12 f.p.s. faster than the lighter Premiers. They also gave a super-tight 12 foot-second spread of 682 to 694 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 15.29 foot-pounds, which is very respectable! Remember, this gun cocks easier than a Beeman R7, so having this much power is a good thing!

Several people have complained bitterly about the trigger in the TitanGP. I have to admit that it isn’t a great one, but it isn’t that bad, either. It just has too much second-stage pull that the shooter cannot cancel out. This pull has a lot of creep, which puts people off. I don’t know what can be done about this trigger, but it’s quite evident to me that many shooters are going to want something done about it.

Next, I’ll test accuracy for you. I’ll do it soon because I have major surgery coming up the end of November and will be unable to cock spring guns for a while following that.

And, now, for something completely different. Edith found this amazing video on YouTube. Watch it all the way. She no longer has any excuse when she complains that it’s hard to load rounds into her Glock mag.

Crosman TitanGP Nitro Piston (Lower Velocity) – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I start, I want to let you know that there are new Airgun Academy videos online.

This past March was a very poignant time for me. I was happily working on a number of exciting airgun projects, oblivious to what was just around the corner. One of those projects was especially dear to my heart, because it took a great idea and went full circle to the best possible conclusion. It wasn’t anything I had a hand in developing, although I very much wish I had, because of what a wonderful result came out.

I am referring to the rifle that Crosman calls the Benjamin Legacy with Nitro Piston. There was an earlier Legacy with a coiled steel mainspring, but the gun I refer to has a Crosman Nitro Piston, a gas spring, if you will. But that isn’t what makes it great.

What makes this rifle unbelievably wonderful is the fact that Crosman set the gas spring to achieve just under 12 foot-pounds in .22 caliber. Unknowingly, they created the smoothest-shooting spring-piston air rifle of all time — a gun that makes even the legendary TX200 feel like it has recoil!

Crosman sent me one to test, and I absolutely loved it! I was writing them a three-part blog for their website when I suddenly had to go to the emergency room and the rest, as you long-time readers know only too well, is history. That blog never was written and, although I spoke lovingly of that gun any time I could, I never was able to share its greatness with you.

The TitanGP with lower velocity is a smooth shooter!

Until today. Because Crosman has done another very smart thing. They took one of their powerful rifles, the new Crosman TitanGP Nitro Piston, and they produced a second version of it called the Reduced Velocity version. It’s that rifle I’m testing for you today, and it’s that rifle that will make up for the lack of my report(s) on the Benjamin Legacy.

Because, you see, this rifle is very nearly the same as the Benjamin Legacy, only with just a bit more power! When I saw that Crosman was building such a gun, I knew immediately what they were doing. They were legitimizing the Benjamin Legacy and giving the airgunning world just a trifle more power to make it acceptable.

Why am I carrying on like this? Because I once owned a similar air rifle for which I paid plenty of bucks — perhaps four times what this rifle costs today! It was a Theoben Fenman, and it cocked with 42 lbs. of effort because it had a 7-inch carbine-length barrel that robbed the shooter of leverage. But Crosman had a better idea. They put a full-length, 18.5-inch barrel on this rifle to lower the cocking effort to just 21 lbs. That’s what their specifications read anyway, but being a doubting Thomas, I went to the scale and measured the test rifle straight away. The result? A cocking effort of 21 lbs. was all it took! I’m not kidding. On my bathroom scale, the cocking effort measured 21 lbs.

You can read about the Theoben Fenman rifle here, so you have something to compare this report to. I didn’t keep the Fenman because it was a .177, but this rifle I’m testing for you is a .22. Once again, it’s ideal, because the larger caliber is also the smoother shooter. I’m not making that up, either. Crosman engineers discovered it when building the Benjamin Legacy. There never was a .177 caliber version of the rifle, apparently, because only the .22 could be so smooth.

So, is this a smooth rifle? Well, did the little piggy go, “Wee! Wee! Wee!” all the way home? Yes, it’s smooth. As smooth as the Legacy? Nearly so, and with a couple extra foot-pounds at the muzzle added on for good effort. Finally, you guys get a crack at owning and shooting a super-smooth air rifle that will reinforce why you got into airgunning to begin with.

Fit and finish
The stock is solid wood with one of those enlarged thumbholes. You can see that in the photos. What you cannot see, but what I assure you is also true is that this stock is slim and slender. It doesn’t feel like a two-by-four stud in your hand. That’s why so many people are giving it five stars in their reviews. It’s one of those rare air rifles that fits a normal-sized shooter.

I do find the reach to the trigger to be a little long for my medium-sized hands. That’s caused by the location of the thumbhole stock’s pistol grip. Also, because of the shape of the thumbhole stock and the presence of a raised cheekpiece on both sides of the butt, this rifle is 100 percent ambidextrous.

The metal is blued evenly, but the metal isn’t shiny. Call it a matte finish.

As I write this first report, there are five reviews of this rifle on the Pyramyd Air website and all of them give five stars in all categories! That’s pretty incredible, because even the Air Arms TX200 gets a four occasionally!

The trigger has a long second-stage pull at this point. I adjusted the one trigger-adjustment screw that’s supposed to make the second stage shorter, but so far it hasn’t had any affect. However, one other thing Crosman did with this trigger that I heartily endorse. They made the safety manual! That way, the shooter gets to choose whether to apply the safety or not. And, I recommend against ever using a safety on an air rifle except under extremely special circumstances, since leaving the gun uncocked and unloaded is the safest thing of all. But hunters may need to apply the safety from time to time, so it’s a good thing to have, as long as you don’t come to rely on it.

Made in China
Let’s get that out of the way in this first report. This rifle is made in China. I won’t be cutting it any slack just because I like the way it feels when it shoots. If it isn’t accurate or if the power level is off from the advertised level, I’ll tell you, as always. But I also don’t plan to dump on it because of where it’s made, either. I will let the results speak for themselves.

The TitanGP comes without open sights, but it does have a 4x32mm scope and rings to be attached. Crosman drilled a vertical scope-stop hole in the top of the spring tube, so there are no worries about the scope mounts moving under recoil.

Gas spring!
This rifle has a gas spring. Oh, Crosman calls it a Nitro Piston to better define their technology, but it’s a gas spring just the same. And a gas spring:

1. Isn’t affected by temperature as much as a steel mainspring
2. Can be left cocked for hours without damage
3. Shoots smoother
4. Has lower powerplant noise
5. Doesn’t vibrate as much

This is one air rifle to watch very closely. I really hope it shoots well, because I love the way it feels when it fires. Think of Beeman R9 power with better than R7 cocking. Let’s hope the accuracy is on the same level.