Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

Overview

Testers: Doug Rogers, Stephen Archer

Caliber: 0.177

Model Number: CPP2RS

Test Date: June 21, 2024

Serial Numbers: 823X25698

Source of Supply: Supplied by Crosman

Condition: New

We Like

Traditional all-metal construction

Accurate with many pellets

Good number of consistent shots

We Don't Like

Somewhat “soulless”

Trigger pull could be better

Sidelever could be “grippier”

HAM RATING

  • Value for Money
    90%
  • Speed and Accuracy
    80%
  • Trigger and Cocking Effort
    70%
  • Comparison to Makers Claims:
    100%
  • Consistency
    90%
  • Noise Level
    80%
  • Sights
    90%
  • Shootability
    80%
  • Appearance and Finish
    80%
  • Buying and Owning
    100%

85%

HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS

The Crosman Prospect air rifle is a perfectly good airgun. It’s accurate and shoots well with a variety of pellets. The feature set is comprehensive and it’s definitely good value for the selling price.

The traditional, all metal, construction will appeal to many and gives a definite solidity to the feel and handling of the Prospect. The action is efficient, giving a good shot count from the relatively low capacity HPA tube.

So, yes, the Prospect earns a HAM Gold award for its performance on test. It’s definitely dependable and would be a fine pesting tool, although we didn’t find it exciting. But maybe you might…

VALUE FOR MONEY

Well, we didn’t intend to run a full, comprehensive test review of the Crosman Prospect air rifle. It was covered in an informal, unstructured story in May 2024.

To be honest, before picking up the gun I felt the Prospect would probably rate a HAM “Meh” Award. But, the more I shot it, the more I realized that here was a really good airgun trying to escape from a somewhat anonymous look and the lack of “personality”.

So we decided to go for a full HAM test and we’re glad that we did. Don’t judge a book by its cover!

For a selling price of $369.99 the Prospect is actually a very nice air rifle.

Five years ago the Prospect’s feature set – a PCP with sidelever action, regulator, shrouded barrel, magazine feed, adjustable transfer port and hammer spring, Picatinny scope rail, adjustable comb, 5-year warranty – would have been outstanding at this price. Today these features are expected.

But combining the price and features with the performance and feel, the Crosman Prospect air rifle is actually very good value for the discerning shooter!

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

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Crosman Prospect PCP Air Rifle 0.177

SPEED AND ACCURACY

The Crosman Prospect air rifle tested by HAM achieved a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 1,042 FPS shooting 5.0 Grain Predator GTO alloy pellets. The maximum with lead pellets was 965 FPS with 7.0 Grain RWS Hobby ammo.

Muzzle Energy peaked at 17.67 Ft/Lbs with the heaviest – 10.65 Grain – H&N Baracuda match pellets.

PelletAverage Muzzle VelocityAverage Muzzle EnergyAccuracy
Predator GTO 5.0 Grain1042.60 FPS13.28 Ft/LbsExcellent.
H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain1030.88 FPS13.12 Ft/LbsVery Good.
RWS Hobby 7.0 Grain965.20 FPS14.48 Ft/LbsPoor.
Crosman Premier HP 7.9 Grain945.38 FPS15.68 Ft/LbsExcellent.
JSB Exact Diabalo 8.44 Grain930.82 FPS16.24 Ft/LbsPoor.
H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain921.92 FPS16.31 Ft/LbsExcellent
H&N Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain864.38 FPS17.67 Ft/LbsExcellent. Best Tested.

Should you want to adjust power output, the Crosman Prospect air rifle has a power adjustment capability by means of the transfer port restrictor on the side of the breech.

Unlike many such devices, this is not provided with a set of detent positions, it rotates freely, if heavily when turned. Most shooters will just leave it in the full open position.

In addition, the Crosman Prospect air rifle has a hammer spring tension adjuster in the conventional position at the rear of the action. This gives another method of power adjustment that’s easy to do with a 5 mm Allen (hex) wrench that’s included with the gun.

 

TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT

The Crosman Prospect air rifle has a two-stage trigger that’s adjustable if you really want. Out of the box, the pull weight averaged  3 Lb 10.5 Oz.

It has to be said that the first stage is rather long. Also that the second stage has some travel in it too. This is not exactly a “glass break” trigger! However, for the price, it’s not bad at all.

After about 200 shots, “muscle memory” kicked in and I was able to take up the first stage right to the sear break point without too much trouble for a fairly smooth release.

But it’s fair to record that Doug Rogers was less impressed with the trigger. He felt that the travel was waaaaay too long and the sear break too rough.

(Note that the Prospect’s trigger is adjustable. However – as always – HAM testing was undertaken in the condition that the gun was supplied to us).

The manual safety is of the push-pull type within the trigger guard. When engaged, it covers much of the trigger blade from finger pressure, providing clear indication to the shooter that the gun is not ready to fire.

It’s also a fully-ambidextrous safety, so left-handers will be pleased.

As with the trigger, the HAM testers have encountered smoother and more satisfying sidelever actions. The cocking action is rather heavy and my finger tended to slip off of the end of the lever (raising the potential for double feeds) until I was used to it.

However again it’s not bad for the price. Practice lead to improved operation!

But – if this was my gun – I would find a short length of suitable-sized rubber tube and fit that over the end of the cocking lever. That should provide additional friction and stop any tendency for my finger to slide off of the lever during the cocking operation.

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

Important Note. Given the results of the shoot down test (see below), the Prospect was filled to 3,000 – not the full 3,600 PSI – before shooting each test target. This was to give an “average” performance for regulated shooting.

While this gives realistic and comparable results for our performance data, it does not give maximum power numbers, as the first 15 shots showed an average Muzzle Velocity of approximately 10 FPS higher. This is important when comparing the tested performance against the manufacturer’s claims.

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

So, the manufacturer claims 1,000 FPS as the maximum Muzzle Velocity with lead pellets. The HAM test shows 965 FPS with RWS Hobbys. We need to add 10 FPS to that number, making 975 FPS. Very close.

Likewise with the Muzzle Energy. The 864 FPS recorded on the test target with Baracuda Match pellets equates to 17.67 Ft/Lbs. Add 10 FPS and the Muzzle Energy becomes 18.07 Ft/Lbs, very slightly above the claim.

 

CONSISTENCY

In this Crosman Prospect air rifle test review, the HAM Team found very consistent performance. The Standard Deviation across the complete suite of standard HAM test pellets averaged just 2.68 FPS. That’s an outstandingly low figure!

Likewise the trigger pull weight was very consistent. It varied by just plus or minus 1.5 Ounces either side of its 3 Lbs 10.5 Oz average. That’s a pretty-well imperceptible difference for any shooter to feel…

The shootdown test demonstrated good consistency too, as can be seen in the chart below. From a full 3,625 PSI fill of HPA, 67 shots were achieved before the regulator set point was reached.

Using 7.9 Grain Crosman Premier Hollowpoint pellets, regulated Muzzle Velocities stayed consistently between 950 and 926 FPS. There was a clear tendency for the velocity to fall steadily, however.

This indicates that the test gun was set-up to maximize Muzzle Velocity rather than shot count.

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

The chart below clearly shows that the regulator pressure (set to about 1,600 PSI) was reached at shot 67. The Muzzle Velocity fell rapidly after this, of course.

The Prospect tested by HAM was not “pellet picky” either. It shot very well or better with five out of the seven standard HAM test pellets. Only the RWS Hobby and – surprisingly – JSB Exact pellets – threw a couple of fliers outside the main group.

For fun, we also tried the .177 caliber Benjamin Match Grade Single Die pellets. These actually gave the best accuracy of all. Even beating-out the H&N Baracuda Match pellets for accuracy, as you can see from the test targets shown here.

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

 

NOISE LEVEL

The Crosman Prospect air rifle is fitted with a shrouded barrel. This makes for a fairly “backyard friendly” report, particularly with relatively heavy .177 pellets (or in .22 caliber, of course).

True, the report does not match that of HAM’s “Gold Standard”, the Benjamin Marauder. However the barrel has a threaded muzzle so that a dedicated airgun silencer can be fitted if desired and where legal.

 

SIGHTS AND SCOPE

The top of the breech has a full set of Picatinny “teeth” machined in it. This provides plenty of flexability for scope mounting. Even with an unconventional scope like the AirMax Touch with it’s “almost zero” eye relief caused no issues with installation.

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

We installed the Hawke Airmax 30 Touch 3-12×32 scope for an experiment. (It’s rather too expensive to be a recommended combination with the Prospect). As a “close to zero ” eye relief scope, it is designed to work best with PCP airguns and provides a 37-degree, super wide angle field of view.

The upside of this close (approximately 1.2-Inch) eye relief is a very wide field of view – as much as  2x and 4x wider than a comparable conventional scope at the same magnification.

It delivers excellent performance because the H2 optics system has 16 layer fully multi-coated lenses, and the scope utilizes a 32mm objective lens and a 30mm aluminum mono-tube.

 

SHOOTABILITY

The first thing you notice when picking-up the Crosman Prospect air rifle is that it’s surprisingly heavy! At a time when synthetics are making an ever-larger contribution to the construction of “value priced” PCP air rifles and reducing their weight, the Prospect weighs-in at a chunky 8 Lbs 8 Oz.

With the Hawke AirMax Touch scope mounted for this post, the weight climbed to 10 Lbs 1 Oz.

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

The reason for this is that the Crosman Prospect PCP air rifle is manufactured in the traditional fashion from steel parts. Apart from the magazine and fill cap, the only synthetic part I could find was the stock – and that itself was very substantial.

So, if you like traditional feeling PCPs, the Prospect could well appeal to you. The weight balances quite well forward, exactly through where I instinctively placed my forward hand. Very good!

The stock is solid and comfortable to grasp. It has an unusual design with an aggressive pistol grip and “almost thumbhole” style. The look grew on me with familiarity and I definitely found it comfortable in use.

There’s an adjustable comb to the buttstock. I raised this a little to attain an ideal cheek weld for myself. It was easy to do, just loosen two screws…

The rubber buttpad was found to be very comfortable and grippy. It was not adjustable, but the HAM testers found no need for any adjustments.

The calibers available are .177 and .22. The mags hold 12 rounds in the smaller caliber, 10 in the larger.

These magazines provide a clear indication of the number of pellets remaining. However they do not have a block to prevent discharge after all the pellets in a magazine have been fired.

Magazine loading was another area where the HAM testers disagreed. Doug didn’t care for it. However I found it OK with practice, providing that I laid the mag on a table for loading and used a toothpick to set the pellets at the correct depth when inserting into the rotor.

At any event, once loaded, the magazines functioned faultlessly.

Should you prefer single-loading, a single shot tray is supplied with every Prospect, in addition to one magazine. Both mags and tray locate easily into place in the breech well.

 

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

The Crosman Prospect air rifle has an overall harmonious deign. At 41-Inches long, it’s reasonably compact and looks a well-balanced design.

Somehow the design is a little anonymous, that being what – stupidly – put me off the gun to start with. While I doubt that this will ever be a beautiful air rifle, it has grown on me – largely on the basis of “handsome is as handsome does”.

Machining quality and surface finish of the Prospect’s metal parts is very good. Certainly it’s well up to expectations for a PCP in this price range.

The stock looks well-molded with minimal seams. There’s not a great depth to the “gripping texture” areas, however the design has plenty of curves that make it apparent that care was taken with the design. But I did find that the stock tended to mark slightly from handling, although this wiped off easily each time.

Overall, finish is workmanlike, decent and practical. That’s pretty much what you would expect at this price.

 

BUYING AND OWNING

The Crosman Prospect air rifle is available from most all of the major online airgun resellers where you might expect to buy an air rifle of this price. So, it’s easy to buy…

Post-sales support is good too. As is the case with many Crosman products, the Prospect is provided with a 5-year warranty. This is good coverage, with support from the Crosman headquarters in Bloomfield, NY.

Crosman and Benjamin PCPs have long been noted for having simple, dedicated degassing capabilities. That’s an excellent safety feature yet it’s one that – surprisingly – is not shared by all airguns – even some expensive ones. That tradition is continued here.

For the The Crosman Prospect air rifle, the fill nozzle also provides the mechanism to de-pressurize the gun by using the supplied degassing rod and 1.5 mm Allen key.

The Prospect’s HPA tube accepts a maximum fill pressure of 3,625 PSI. With a regulator set pressure of 1,600 PSI, the regulated shooting pressure range is clearly indicated by the green area in the pressure gauge, even though the gauge plate has a somewhat unusual display.

As with almost all Crosman and Benjamin PCPs, the gauge is in a safe-to-read location in the underside of the stock.  You don’t need to “look down the barrel” to check the pressure with the Prospect. Very good!

 

TEST TARGETS

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

Crosman Prospect Air Rifle Review .177 Caliber

BUY FROM PYRAMYD
Crosman Prospect PCP Air Rifle 0.177

This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.