Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Crosman 2300T Improved Front Sight

Over the weekend I used my new lathe and my mill to make a nicer front sight for my Crosman 2300T. Details here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crosman 2300T Air Pistol

Back in January and February I posted a few times about using airguns for cheap, quiet indoor marksmanship practice. While I have a couple of suitable air rifles, I was lacking a good air pistol. My old Benjamin has mediocre sights and pumping it up 2 or 3 times between each shot gets old quickly. The Crosman 38T revolver that I bought back in the 80s and that I had hoped to use will no longer hold gas, and nor will the late 90s vintage RWS C225.

So, when I got a $100 Amazon gift card for Father's Day, I decided to put it towards a Crosman 2300T CO2 powered air pistol. I ordered it Monday morning and with Amazon Prime, it arrived on Tuesday, even though I did not pay extra for overnight shipping. This is a photo from Crosman's website:

The .177 (4.5mm) caliber 2300T is one of a series of CO2 powered pistols from Crosman. The .22 (5.6mm) caliber 2240 is on the low end, with the 2300S at the top. You can also order custom variants from Crosman's custom shop. The key features of the 2300T are:

  • .177 caliber
  • Single shot bolt action
  • 10.1" barrel
  • Single stage adjustable trigger, with overtravel stop
  • Adjustable rear sight and blade front sight
  • Steel breach, grooved for optics (as opposed to the plastic breach of the 2240)
  • Crossbolt safety mounted behind the trigger.
  • Weight of 42.5 oz.
  • MV up to 520 FPS
  • 40 shots or so per CO2 cylinder
The first order of business upon unpacking the pistol and verifying that it wasn't loaded, was to install the rear sight. To do so I had to turn in the large screw on the rear top of the breach, to provide more clearance for the rear sight, then slide the sight into a dovetail and tighten two set screws with a provided Allen wrench.

I then noticed that the front sight was canted a bit to the right. Using a pair of slipjoint pliers with a couple layers or duct tape padding the jaws, I was able to straighten it.

Before shooting any pellets I dry fired the gun and determined the trigger pull was adjusted too high. Following the instruction pamphlet, I removed one of the grip panels and turned the brass trigger adjustment dial to lower the pull. It's down to a couple pounds now with minimal takeup but a fair amount of creep. I haven't tinkered with the overtravel adjustment yet.

The ambidextrous plastic grips are comfortable for me, but I have fairly small hands. A shooter with large hands may want beefier grips.

The LPA rear sight is shaped a bit like the Novak rear sights found on many modern service pistols. There are white dots on either side of the notch. The front is a plastic blade on a barrel band. I'd rate the sight picture as acceptable for plinking but mediocre for target shooting. I plan to use a Sharpie marker to blacken the white dots. The rear sight notch is a little too wide, IMO. The front sight is too shiny, but since it's plastic you can't smoke it with a match or candle.

The balance of the pistol is neutral. It could use a bit more weight towards the muzzle. I am considering making a replacement front sight/muzzle brake unit out of aluminum to improve the sight picture and add a little more weight towards the muzzle end.

I put 10 rounds through the pistol Tuesday night, plus another 40 or so tonigh. The target below was shot from 25', one handed, with RWS Meisterkuglen pellets. Power was from an old Daisy CO2 cylinder. I put a drop of some Air Rifle Headquarters silicone spring cylinder oil on the tip of the CO2 cylinder before I put it in the gun; Crosman recommends using a drop of their Pellgun Oil. I received a tube of that today.

Point of aim was at 6 o'clock on the orange bull.

One oddity was that on shot number 6 the valve stuck open and gas started to leak. I recocked and snapped the gun, which stopped it. I regard this as a fluke and probably due to a burr.

Despite the canted front sight and the stuck valve, my initial impression is favorable. As long as no more mechanical issues arise, it should make a good pistol for indoor marksmanship practice. It's nice to shoot and accurate.

The Crosman 22xx series is sort of the Ruger 10/22 or AR15 of the air pistol world, in that they are modular, easily customizable, and there is a large variety of aftermarket and Crosman-branded parts for modifying the gun to your own preference. For example, Crosman sells a shoulder stock to convert it to a carbine. Longer barrels are available, including in .22 caliber, and even valves which enable more CO2 per shot for higher velocity.

Shooting a CO2 powered air gun isn't as cheap per shot as a spring piston or pneumatic gun, but at most it's on par with a .22 rimfire.

Overall, the Crosman 2300T is a good choice for target practice, but it can be made better with some modifications.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Updates to The Shooters' Bar

I made several updates this morning to The Shooters' Bar(SM), the Internet's oldest freely-available list of pro-Second Amendment attorneys. Today's updates are in CA, IL, MO, and MS.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Machine Shop Update

On Saturday I completed the installation of digital read outs (DROs) on my Grizzly G8689 mini mill. Previously, I'd installed a belt drive conversion from Little Machine Shop. The DROs will enable me to make much more precise cuts, while the belt drive conversion made the mill a lot quieter, smoother running, and increased the top RPM to 4300 should I ever need it. Both are worthwhile mods, IMO.

However, a lathe is still the basic machine tool to have in a machine shop. After much additional online research today I ordered a Big Dog 7x14 benchtop lathe. Unlike most of the benchtop hobby lathes on the US market, this one is made by Yangzhou Real Bull, rather than Sieg. Included feature and accessories are a digital RPM display, lever lock tail stock, a steady rest, a follow rest, tail stock chuck and a live center, 4" four-jaw chuck, and metal transmission gears. I still have the lathe tool kit that I ordered when I placed my original order with Grizzly, so I should be able to get up and running with it immediately.

Delivery should take 5 - 10 days, after which I'll post a review.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Home Machining Website

I decided that the format of a blog isn't ideal for documenting the work I'm doing in my home machine shop. So, I created a site using Google Sites, Dave Markowitz's Machine Shop. I will be documenting various projects there. So far, these include doing a belt drive conversion on my Grizzly Mini Mill, and adding digital readouts, which is currently a work in progress.

I hope you'll check it out.

Remington 550-1 Shell Deflector

The shell deflector for the Remington 550-1 that I ordered last week from Numrich Arms arrived today.

Here's a closeup of the receiver without the deflector:

And here it is with the deflector mounted:

As you can see, it covers up the ejection port well, and should keep unburnt powder granules out of my face when shooting the rifle.

Before installing the deflector I degreased the mounting hole in the receiver with some lacquer thinner that was sitting on my workbench, then put a drop of blue Loctite on the mounting screw to keep it in place.

Considering that the 550-1 has been out of production since 1970, I feel fortunate in that Numrich still has some spare parts on hand for it.

Musket at the Betsy Ross House

Yesterday I chaperoned my daughter's class trip to Philadelphia. Among the places we visited was Betsy Ross's House. In the basement, they have displayed a musket and information on how paper cartridges were made during the Revolution.

The musket is either a French Charleville, as supplied to the Continental Army during the Revolution, or a US M1795, which is nearly a direct copy. This page also has a good description of how paper musket cartridges were made.