Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets
HAM has carried a couple of stories already about the Crosman 362 Limited Edition air rifle. But now we have one in our hands – and on the workbench! – we can really see that there’s a number of secrets about this gun that the manufacturer has not yet revealed.
So, let’s look at the Crosman 362 Limited Edition secrets…
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 1. It’s NOT Just a 362 in a Wood Stock!
In common with (I guess) most people, I thought that the limited, anniversary edition Crosman 362 was basically a regular 362 in a wood stock. Oh, plus the fancy packaging.
Well, I was wrong!
The clue is that this air rifle actually carries the Crosman model number CR2023. This indicates that – in Crosman engineering terms – that this is not actually a 362, but something significantly different.
The company’s marketers have highlighted this airgun as a collectable that celebrates the company’s remarkable 100 year history. But – in the background – the engineers have been at work with some changes and improvements that make a big difference to the regular 362.
Let’s find out what they are…
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 2. The Breech.
Firstly, let me say that I first shot the Crosman 362 that HAM had reviewed back in January 2022. This was the basic model, to which I had – like many owners – fitted the company’s steel breech as an essential upgrade.
Also I had come to tolerate the pellet-loading foibles of all Crosman airguns with a similar breech. Generations of owners will know what I’m talking about…
You know, that recess in the breech for the pesky little screw head (Part Number 1322B027) tends to catch the pellet skirt and causes a fumble in loading. Not to mention possible skirt damage and the resultant possible impact on accuracy.
So I was amazed when I then loaded the CR2023 and the pellet pushed straight into the barrel!
What had happened? Amazingly there’s no 1322B027 screw any more in the limited edition 362’s breech. WOW!!!
Looking further, it was clear that there was a flat machined in the rear left side of the breech for the Williams rear peep site.
So what we have here is a new and different breech that provides much-improved pellet loading.
It will also require a different method of assembly in the gun and – probably – other associated changes inside the action. I have not examined that further (yet)…
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 3. The Trigger.
Having enjoyed loading pellets into the CR3032, I was also struck by the improved trigger pull.
The 362 I tested has a trigger pull weight averaging 4 Lbs 15 Oz.
The trigger of the limited edition model felt perceptibly lighter and “sharper”. So out came the Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge.
Yip, the trigger pull for the CR2023 averaged 4 Lbs 8 Oz. That’s a pleasant improvement and I guessed it wasn’t coincidental. So the stocks had to come off…
As a reminder, here’s the traditional Discovery-type trigger that’s fitted to the 362.
Now let’s look at the trigger on the new CR2023. Yes, the trigger box is the same, as is the sear. However there’s a completely new trigger and sear spring (it’s painted blue for identification).
A close look at the CR2023 trigger shows that it’s made of metal – many will rejoice! – but also that it’s actually a completely different design.
Below, let’s take a look at the 362/Discovery-type trigger for comparison.
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 4. The Safety.
The CR2032 safety is of the push-across type familiar to a generation of users. It has a gold finish that looks good.
But – when you pop out that safety – you see that it also has been the subject to a redesign. In the photograph below, the new CR2023 safety is above the previous version from the 362.
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 5. There’s a Special Version.
The anniversary edition, wood-stocked Crosman 362 is marketed as being individually serial numbered as part of a collectible limited manufacturing run of just 2,023 units.
While this is true, there’s also a secret batch of a very few guns that were marked “Team Edition”. These were intended to be given as recognition for key players in the development team who worked on the new model.
The gun we’re looking-at is one of these secret “Team Edition” guns.
That makes this specific gun a collectable model of an already-collectable air rifle. Don’t phone Crosman for one, there’s none left. Sorry…
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 6. The Stock.
Well yes, OK, maybe the wood stock is not actually a secret, but there’s still some interesting design changes compared to the 362’s synthetic stock.
The stock is manufactured from Turkish walnut. Unlike previous Crosman pumper wood stocks, it was NOT made all in one piece and then sawn in two. It’s made from two separate pieces of wood.
The join between the pump handle and the buttstock is figured in an “S shape”, as can be seen from the above photograph. This is different from the “straight” edge found in the synthetic stock (below).
Then it’s interesting to note that the pump handle incorporates a felt(?) pad that absorbs the shock at the end of the pump handle’s travel.
This is a change from the steel washer fitted to the 362’s synthetic stock.
The result is that the CR2023 limited edition makes a lower-pitched sound when pumping. It’s more of a “clunk, clunk”, rather than a “clack, clack” that you find with the synthetic-stocked 362 model.
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 7. Power.
In my testing, I found that this CR2023 produced almost identical muzzle velocities to the 362 model I tested some time ago. That means up to a very healthy (for this type of air rifle) of close to 15 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy with 19.0 Grain pellets at 8 pumps per shot.
This level of consistency is impressive and a strong indicator of very consistent manufacturing performance in the Bloomfield, NY plant.
I didn’t make an accuracy comparison.
Well my trifocal glasses indicate that my eyesight is no longer able to accommodate a rear peep sight as they once used to. Getting old sucks!!!
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 8. Instruction Manual.
The CR2023 is supplied with a very nice printed instruction manual that’s streets ahead of the usual Crosman “broadsheet” version. This is another improvement that I hope will be carried-over to other models in future.
The only downside is that it’s in English only – at least with the gun I have for testing.
Crosman 362 Limited Edition Secrets 9. What Next?
Crosman has a long and honorable history of parts and sub-assembly re-use in their airguns. This makes excellent engineering sense and helps to keep prices down.
The new breech, new trigger and associated engineering changes we have seen in the CR2023 obviously required engineering time, planning, tooling and testing. All that costs money.
So I’m guessing – and this is purely my personal opinion – that the “secret” improvements we have discovered here were not made just for a limited run of 2,023 airguns. I would expect this new breech and trigger to appear in other Crosman designs in future.
Which ones? Well – and again I’m speculating – maybe a 362 “Gen 2”. Then there’s that forthcoming 3677/3622 PCP air rifle that is shown on page 16 of the Crosman 2023 product catalog.
What’s your guess?