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.

1 comment:

Jewish Marksman said...

You might like this guy's blog, which combines your new hobbies of machining and air guns:

I shot a number of olympic-style air pistols as practice for bullseye in my garage. I had a Steyr LP5 (charged from scuba tank), then a fwb65 (recoilless springer). I still have a czech co2 pistol. Also if you haven't tried a decent airsoft pistol, you'd be surprised how accurate some of them are. There is also a russian gun out there, the IZH-46m that is also very popular. I'm not sure the crossman is capable of holding the 10-ring of an official 10m target though....but you'll find out!