A Look Inside The Crosman Airgun Factory in Bloomfield, NY.
For all those who have wanted to take a tour around the Crosman airgun factory in Bloomfield, NY, this is for you…
HAM Publisher Stephen Archer recently visited the Crosman HQ and here’s what he found. It’s vast, as you can see from this overview of the general airgun assembly floor.
But first a little history…
In 1923, Bertram Fenner, then the Operations Manager of the Crosman Brothers Seed Company, reached an agreement with William McLean to produce pellets and an air rifle based on McLean’s designs. In 1924 the Crosman Rifle Company was formed and, with several changes of name and ownership since, has become the company we know today as Crosman Corporation.
Over the course of time, Crosman has grown from a 6-person company in 1940, to the large corporation we see today. In 1992, Crosman acquired Benjamin Sheridan – another major US airgun manufacturer and cemented its position as by far the largest American manufacturer of airguns. Of course, the Benjamin name is now used as the brand for Crosman’s adult hunting and high performance models.
From the early days, Crosman specialized in multi-pump and CO2-powered airguns. This line of development has been pretty well unbroken to the current day, with the addition of PCP models and breakbarrel air rifles. You can see many of these models in the Crosman factory museum on the site.
In 1971, the company moved to a large new, purpose-built location in the village of East Bloomfield, NY. This has been the company’s headquarters and the home of the Crosman airgun factory ever since.
Below we see a small corner of a part of the assembly floor.
You also then need to add a huge, separate Finished Goods warehouse a few miles away that itself is certainly as large as any other in the airgun industry. Well over 200 people work at Crosman. Like many companies with seasonal swings in manufacturing, the number varies with manufacturing demand.
Crosman employees are very proud of the fact that the majority of its products are actually manufactured in the USA. You can read that as “not manufactured in China”. It designs most products in-house and manufactures many parts, too, including barrels, breeches and pressure tubes.
Yes, there some Chinese-manufactured Crosman (and Benjamin) airguns, mainly the spring/piston and gas ram breakbarrel models. But even here, the company has been steadily bringing assembly back to the USA over recent years, on a model-by model basis. This means that the Crosman airgun factory is really humming!
Crosman’s longest-running model – the 760 Pumpmaster multi-pump air rifle – has always been manufactured in-house in the Crosman airgun factory. Since 1966, 17 Million 760s have been sold in the USA and – incredibly – every one is test-fired before shipping to ensure quality control.
Below, great numbers of 760 tubes await assembly on the production line.
There’s not many airgunners in the US who have not owned a 760 in their youth and had their enthusiasm for airguns fired by it. Even more remarkably, the price has always been about $30 and still is at our local Walmart. I just don’t know how they do it!
The Benjamin Marauder – long the most popular PCP air rifle in the US – is also manufactured in the Crosman airgun factory at East Bloomfield. And again, every one is tested for accuracy and muzzle velocity before it’s shipped out.
All-in-all, Crosman produces about 1.1 Million airguns every year and claims to be the US market leader in numbers of airguns sold.
Below. The Benjamin 392 and 397 are still manufactured using the traditional brass tubes. Lots of them!
Although airguns are the sexy products in our world, there’s lots more going on at the Crosman airgun factory than that.
The company is a major manufacturer of airgun pellets: the Bloomfield plant pumps out around 3 Million pellets every day – seven days a week. That’s over a BILLION pellets a year and explains why Crosman pellets are found at just about every shop across the USA where you can buy airguns.
In addition, the Crosman airgun factory also bangs-out a massive number of BBs a day, too. In fact, you can make that ten times more BBs than pellets!
Crosman introduced the now-ubiquitous 12 Gram CO2 capsule in 1954. They’ve been making them ever since and currently produce around 140,000 12 Gram CO2 “Powerlets” every day. That’s a lot of gas!
Above, every Benjamin Marauder and Armada is tested for accuracy on the test rig above.
Crosman is also focussing hard on quality. The culture of continuous improvement at the Crosman airgun factory is very striking. On the production floor there’s great emphasis on parts quality and efficient manufacturing practices.
Although Crosman uses many automated manufacturing systems, it’s interesting to see that the airguns themselves are all still assembled by hand. The Crosman airgun factory is full of multiple small production cells, each one focused on a specific product (or range of products), with dedicated operators who take pride in their work.
Below we see another corner of the Crosman airgun factory with assembly taking place.
Like everyone else in the airgun world, I’ll be looking forward to see what the 2018 SHOT Show has in store on the Crosman booth!
Last, but not least, I’d like to tank everyone at Crosman for their help in compiling this story. They were all very generous with their time and information. And they gave me access to every part of the company I wanted to look at – and more.