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Crossman 2100 air gun
29 May 2014, 08:46,
Crossman 2100 air gun
We recently added a new air rifle to our gun cabinet. Its low powered. Its rather plasticky. It was cheap (£58), but difficult to source. And we’re delighted with it. It’s a Crosman 2100 Classic.

The gun is a variable pressure, pneumatic pump, single shot, .177 calibre air rifle. It can shoot both bbs and conventional pellets.

Manufactured in USA. Hollow hard plastics are used for the stock and fore-grip, but are sufficiently rigid to do the job. After using it for a couple of weeks I am starting to appreciate that this is a good material choice. It appears that it’ll be very resilient to knocks and abuse. Breech, trigger, barrel, pump articulating levers and rear sights are all metal, with the breech/ receiver section resembling that of a Winchester auto shotgun. The barrel is a shrouded straw type of affair, with heavy rifling. Unusually, on this gun the trigger is cocked separately from the charging process. The trigger cocking lever is a curved plastic finger slider located on the right hand side of the receiver. The gun has a manual safety catch located within the trigger guard. Front sight is plastic with a high vis fluorescent bead. 11mm scope rails are cut into the top of the metal breech mechanism.

So, why did we choose it?
Firstly, we are not practicing enough with our air rifles. Mainly this is because they are noisy and we don’t want to draw attention to them. We wanted something quieter.

Secondly our existing air rifles take considerable effort to cock ( they are springers), and we wanted something that the less muscly members of our group could operate. ( in this respect the Crosman is not quite right, but getting better. See conclusions)

Thirdly we wanted something lighter and easier to shoot, the springers being quite heavy and of course having their own special recoil characteristics.

Fourthly, I wanted something lower powered for pest control in the lofts and barns.

After a good deal of research and getting opinion from friends with pest control experience, we homed in on the Crossman 2100. We’ve now owned it a couple of weeks. This is what we’ve found:

Good points:

It is very quiet. There is no appreciable difference in noise between lowest and highest power settings. The noise of the trigger release is around the same as the muzzle retort. Shots hitting target are twice as loud. Shooting it constantly for an hour did not leave me thinking the whole village was hearing me. Our Cocker barely noticed the shots being fired, and slept peacefully in a flower boarder alongside me throughout the session.

Recoil: Almost absent of any recoil. Very impressive.

Its accurate. at 15 yards, metal sighs were adequate, but the 3-7X scope made it even better. After an hour's plinking it was 90% dropping shots within a 5p piece diameter, and in fact quite often keyholeing. Accuracy is improving every shot. Getting accurate shots is very easy and I think even a novice could get passable results.
Its small but not too small and the stock is adult sized. Shorter barrel than our Gamos, so more manoeuvrable. I'm a 6'2 and long limbed, but its very shootable for me.

Its light. A lot lighter than the Gamos, but not so light as to affect loosing off an accurate shot.

Variable power: In a word, Brilliant. The fore stock is used like a bicycle tyre pump to pump air into the gun’s reservoir. Choosing between two and ten pumps determines the power of the gun. With two pumps, trajectory is very loopy. 3 pumps and its at least as flat as a .22. Four pumps and above its very flat indeed. 3 pumps at 65 feet range will embed pellets in the pine barn door. Not as deeply as our Gamos, but sufficient to give me confidence in the gun's pest control capability.

Bad points.

Barrel construction is somewhat flimsy, but does a good job accuracy wise, and cosmetically it looks OK too.

Pumping up: This process is slow, awkward, noisy and surprisingly hard work. This is not a gun for a child or weak adult for that matter.
The gun has to be held in exactly the right way, otherwise pumping it is a horrible experience. BUT after 1/2 hour's plinking, either the pumping action smoothed out, or my technique improved. Lots of room for damaging the gun, its sights, or giving yourself a nasty pinch during this process.

Cocking: This surprised me. Its HORRIBLE. There is a small finger lever that needs pulling toward the stock to set the trigger. So the trigger does not automatically set when pumping up as it does on a springer. The issue is that the little lever is plastic and not man enough to handle the trigger spring pressure. Nearly 24 hours after playing with the gun my forefinger is still sore from the fruitless effort of trying to cock the bugger. Problem is that just before the trigger cocks, spring pressure overcomes the tensile strength of the cocking lever which bends out of shape. I was only able to make the gun cock acceptably by fashioning a cocking aid out of a short length of paracord. This slips over the cocking lever and, with the aid of a large knot to give sufficient grip, it works acceptably well, even if a little Heath Robinson to look at.

UPDATE ON COCKING FORCE: I haven’t used the gun for the best part of a week, during which time it was left cocked. This has had a good effect on cocking force needed, and now the trigger can be cocked using strong finger pressure. I am going to leave it cocked to see if the spring pressure reduces further.

Note that leaving a gun cocked is dangerous and should not be done if there is any chance at all of the gun being reached by children, or persons not familiar with their workings. This gun is unlike springer air rifles, in that it can be cocked without charging air. So, even though left cocked, it is un charged and of course there is no pellet in the breech.

Receiver: 30% of pellets loaded ended up pointing the wrong way. This is OK if you are vigilant in daylight, but will be a PITA in darkness. Pellets are easily flipped to correct orientation with a small prod.... but you have to be vigilant.

Overall the re-load procedure is very cumbersome compared to a springer. Procedure after taking a shot is:
1. put safety on ( good safety BTW)
2. Manoeuvre the rifle to access the pumping fore-stock, and pump the required number of times
3. First stage pull the cocking lever
4. Second stage pull the cocking lever with the cocking aid
5. Carefully place the pellet in the receiver, and visually inspect.
6. Carefully push forward the cocking lever, which simultaneously pushes the pellet into the breech and closes the receiver port.

Iron sights: Rear sight is extremely basic, front sight is one of those high viz fluorescent optics. It does the job but I don't like this way of aiming. Adjusting the rear sight as not easy, nor delicate. Really this gun needs to have an optical sight.

Great accuracy, ease of shooting, compact size and relatively light weight make this a great gun to use to teach shooting. It would be a good gun to teach a youngster under adult supervision.

View this as an Adult strength gun from a reloading point of view, but once loaded is easily able to be shot accurately by anyone over say 7 years old.

Low retort (noise) makes this very good for both Opsec, and also for not scaring off wildlife.

Variable power we are finding excellent. Low enough for confined space shooting, high enough for garden and outbuilding pest control.

Principal gripes are about the tedious and rather noisy reload process, and the excessively still cocking and recharging levers, however we are noticing that the force needed to pump up and cock the gun are starting to become more acceptable the more we use it….either that or we are gradually manning up to the task!

Reiterating, this gun is a shooting practice / pest control gun. It is not a defence weapon, although its appearance may have a deterrent effect on people who are not gun savvy. There are reports on the web of people using this model for survival hunting in bug-out scenarios. I’m not sure I’d want to rely on it to keep me fed, other than with very small game. Largest close range quarry would be squirrel sized. I’d not attempt to take rabbits with it. For sure its construction is deceptively robust and indications from others reviews are that we can expect a 15 to 20 year service life from it, even with abuse.
72 de



STATUS: Bugged-In at the Bug-Out
29 May 2014, 11:44,
RE: Crossman 2100 air gun
How have you zeroed it in......the biggest issue with shooting is producing exactly the same result time after time....I'm guessing you have zeroed using a fixed amount of pumps. Say 6 for instance then guessing the amount of hold over/under based on how many actual pumps you have made. Just an after thought can you cock it easier after one or two pumps then ad more pumps after youve cocked it?
Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool!!!!
29 May 2014, 11:47,
RE: Crossman 2100 air gun
Sounds good mate.

It's be cool to see some target shots for comparrison for the BB's and normal Pellets. Say at 10 yard or around that distance.

Also, a busted rat for the pile. That'd also be a good view.
Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
29 May 2014, 17:46,
RE: Crossman 2100 air gun
Here you go Scythe...

Jury's out on weather bbs damage the rifling of the barrel. Apparently the copper coated bb's are the best to use and do least damage. But combined with inaccuracy means I will our gin will only be spitting lead pellets.
72 de



STATUS: Bugged-In at the Bug-Out
29 May 2014, 19:21, (This post was last modified: 29 May 2014, 19:32 by Steve.)
RE: Crossman 2100 air gun
The only advantage I can see of using steel BBs is that they are re-useable, if you can recover them. Their accuracy and power will never be as good as a proper lead pellet. Quality lead pellets are so cheap it's not worth using anything else.

I just watched the video, he used hollow point and pointed pellets, neither of which are good shapes for accuracy, so I'd expect a quality domed head pellet to do better.
30 May 2014, 09:12,
RE: Crossman 2100 air gun
Maybe the cost advantage of BBs is not worthwhile either Steve.

Reusing BBs is bound to create more damage to the rifling due to contaminants.

More importantly for me, the 2100 recharge and re-cocking is a time consuming and awkward process. Its the same process for BB or pellet. Having gone to the trouble of getting the gun ready to fire, I want my shots to be as accurate as possible, and by a big margin that means using lead pellets... just look at the difference in accuracy on the video.
72 de



STATUS: Bugged-In at the Bug-Out
3 June 2014, 07:26,
RE: Crossman 2100 air gun
(29 May 2014, 11:44)Midnitemo Wrote: How have you zeroed it in......the biggest issue with shooting is producing exactly the same result time after time....I'm guessing you have zeroed using a fixed amount of pumps. Say 6 for instance then guessing the amount of hold over/under based on how many actual pumps you have made. Just an after thought can you cock it easier after one or two pumps then ad more pumps after youve cocked it?

Hi Midnight,

Please excuse me, I missed your reply and dealt with later ones without responding to you.

That's a good observation. Yes, exactly the same number of pumps between each shot. And it gets more complex too. According to some testing reported on the Web, the speed of pumping alters the power that is achieved.

So my zeroing was at range I expect to be using in the barn, and with 4 slow pumps. This gives good consistency, and is the quietest way to charge the thing.

Over time I will be trying to understand what range remains zeroed on the scope with 5, 6,7, 8,9 and 10 pumps.

Update: Leaving the gun cocked for almost two weeks now has reduced cocking spring pressure to a point that it can be cocked unaided.

Overall we are very satisfied with this gun. It meets our needs perfectly.
72 de



STATUS: Bugged-In at the Bug-Out
3 June 2014, 14:07,
RE: Crossman 2100 air gun
Not only does the speed of pumping cause variation in the power level, so does the time lapse between pumping and firing.

Rapid pumping causes heat build up and affects pressure. Waiting for varied times before firing allows dissipation of heat and changes pressure. It is one of the reason why people think their pumpers are "leaking" while they stalk game.

I grew up using pumpers and learned all the "problems" along the way. I would often pump my rifle and lay it aside to cool before starting out.

I also wonder about the "accuracy testing" shown on the video. It was never stated how many pumps were used during the testing. It was also a very shaky shooting rest setup.

Personally, for messing about with targets I never used full power. I kept the sights adjusted for full power loads, pumped only three times rather than ten, and simply shot for group sized in a cluster I knew would fall below line of sight. sometimes I used a double target, on to aim at and one to show strike.

I did discover that my old pumper was most accurate with three pumps, and that was my "target load".

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