The Crosman 2300T bolt action single shot CO2 powered pistol
This story is about the Crosman 2300T CO2 pistol, but it begins back in 1952…
In that year, my parents gave me a Crosman Model 111, single shot pellet pistol for my birthday. This 177 cal. model was powered by CO2, but not the 12 Gram Powerlet source we’re all familiar with.
The gun came with a large bulk fill charging cylinder which had to be refilled, or when empty, had to be exchanged for a fully charged cylinder. The charging system worked great, but finding a local source for CO2, or an exchange cylinder was a problem.
Because of that, use of the gun was limited, but memories of the gun’s accuracy, and how much I enjoyed shooting it are still vivid in my mind. Memories of that positive experience prompted me to begin the search for a modern Crosman CO2-powered target handgun of similar design.
Crosman’s web site lists a Model 2240, which is an entry level, single shot 22 cal. pistol suitable for both target and field. But the gun which piqued my interest was the Crosman 2300T. I had to find out if this gun was as good as the Model 111 I remembered as a young man…
Below. The Crosman 2300T (top in photograph) and the Model 111.
Crosman was kind enough to send me one of the guns so that I could test it. While waiting for the gun to arrive, I concluded that the ultimate test of the Crosman 2300T should be carried out by a competitive handgun shooter.
It’s my good fortune that my Skeet shooting partner and grouse hunting sidekick has been shooting handguns for over 30 years. He has been shooting competitively for decades, and can hold his own against the best local competitors with both rimfire and center fire handguns.
When the Crosman 2300T arrived, I immediately called Ron Keller to ask if he would be willing to test the C02, single shot target gun in the basement range of our gun club next door. We agreed to meet but, as luck would have it, Michigan went into a deep freeze. Outside temperatures were single digits, and the temperature in the gun club basement range was in the low 50s. Manageable for firearms, but too cold to test any CO2-powered gun.
So we went with plan “B”. Ron came to the house, and we set up a temporary 5 meter target range in my Sportsman’s room. Here the temperature is a steady 72 degrees. Perfect for any CO2-powered gun. That’s Ron Keller featured in the photographs, not me!
I set up my Air Venturi Quiet Pellet Trap on a desk at one end of the room, and set up a temporary firing line 5 meters distant. We had asked Crosman to send us a quantity of pellets which they recommended for the gun.
A carton of 1,250 Crosman Premier Pointed pellets came packed with the gun. I opened the carton and spilled a few out on my work bench…
All the pellets were bright and shiny, there appeared to be minimal or no lead dust, and weighing a few of the 7.4 grain pellets revealed that the weight was exactly as indicated on the carton and very uniform pellet to pellet.
Below. Here’s my bench rest targets.
The rear sight is not installed on the Crosman 2300T, but an included Allen wrench makes instillation a no-brainer. The sight fits into a dovetail at the rear of the breech, and two Allen screws anchors the sight securely to the breech.
The design allows for additional windage adjustment should that be necessary. Another small, universal tool, is provided to adjust the click-calibrated windage and elevation. It can also be used to remove one of the grips if trigger pull adjustment is desired.
The front sight is a standard black square post, and the rear sight is a companion notch with white dots on either side for use in rapid sight acquisition. The receiver is grooved to accept after market sights.
I asked Ron Keller to evaluate the sights, and he confirmed my observation that they are very serviceable. I also asked him to comment on the feel of the grip, balance, barrel length and overall easy of operation.
His comments were favorable on all aspects of the gun. I personally observed that the Crosman 2300T weighed a full half pound more than my Model 111, giving it better feel and balance than my 1952 gun.
Our test of the gun was two tier. I tested the gun from a padded bench at 5 yards before Ron arrived. The purpose of that test was to sight in the gun and provide a benchmark for Ron to compare his off-hand targets. Both of us would be shooting 5 shot groups, but we wanted to know how well the gun grouped from a bench rest. We also wanted to establish whether a competitive shooter could duplicate that performance off-hand.
Ron Keller shot his initial target with a conventional one handed style, but it soon became obvious that the trigger pull was not conducive to accurate shooting unless both hands were used to stabilize the Crosman 2300T.
Both of us observed that the trigger was creepy. There were three distinct stages to the trigger pull and each stage had a gravely feel. So Ron K did his off-hand shooting with his two hand cowboy action grip.
Amazingly, he duplicated my best bench rest target with the Crosman 7.4 gr Pointed Pellet, and bested the target I shot with Meisterkugeln 7.0 gr Pistol Pellets!
Before Ron Keller arrived, I had tested the trigger pull with an accurate gauge, and found that the factory setting was actually 6.5 Lbs, not the 4 Lbs listed in the manual. So I removed the grip and adjusted the pull weight to the minimum setting.
According to the manual, that is one pound. But according to my trigger pull gauge that is 3.5 lbs. Ron confirmed that the trigger pull weight FELT like 4 Lbs.
After Ron Keller shot his targets, he took off the grip and examined both the trigger pull weight adjustment and the “over travel” stop at the rear of the trigger guard. He increased the trigger pull from 3.5 to 4.5 Lbs, and adjusted the “over travel” screw until there was minimal trigger travel after the sear was tripped.
Below. Ron Keller tests the trigger pull weight of the Crosman 2300T.
We both agreed that his adjustment made a significant difference in the “feel” of the trigger. There were now only two stages to the pull, the subjective feel was smoother, and the let-off was more predictable.
We didn’t re-shoot Ron’s target, but he was sure the adjustment would improve the overall performance of the gun.
I ask Ron to document his observations of the trigger pull after he made the final adjustments. Here’s what he wrote…
“The trigger has noticeable creep, but it is consistent from shot-to-shot. It comes in two distinct steps that precede a crisp release. After several shots the shooter knows what to expect and that reduces the distraction caused by creep”.
“The set screw in the trigger guard to prevent trigger over-travel is a significant feature” he continued. “Excess trigger over-travel at the instant of discharge has a negative effect on accuracy. This is much more noticeable in offhand shooting versus shooting from a rest.”
The Crosman 2300T is a good quality, mostly metal handgun possessing the accuracy Crosman barrels are known for. Velocity is not adjustable, but the factory specs of up to 420 FPS appears to provide optimum accuracy.
It is clear from our tests that the gun should be shot well with Crosman Premier, 7.4 grain pointed pellets. We didn’t verify the velocity, but the performance of the gun made that unnecessary. You can expect about 60 shots per 12 Gram Powerlet. That’s more than enough shooting for an evening of fun.
Ron’s last question as he headed out the door was “How much does that dandy little target gun sell for ?”