Crosman 800x Break Barrel .22 rifle with 4×32 Scope – Part 2
We are taking another look at the Crosman 800x .22 break barrel rifle with 4×32 scope. We’ve made a few modifications for this testing. As I’ve mentioned before about the Crosman and Gamo triggers, they really don’t do it for me. I know that people say they “break in” over time, but I’m not sure that I want to take the 3000 shots to see that happen. So we’ve installed a GRT III drop in replacement trigger to see if it helps. Also, the first rifle we looked at had some accuracy problems and with the permission of the folks at www.AirgunDepot.com we sent it back to Crosman for their quality control department to look over. Crosman determined that there were issues and they promptly replaced the rifle with a new one.
Crosman 800x .22
There was an immediate difference with this new rifle. First, I was able to adjust the open sights fairly easily and it was near midpoint on the adjustments when I was done. Next, I was able to shoot .75″ groups with open sights at 10 yards. For me, that is pretty good as my eyesight is not great for open sights. When I added the scope however, I was disappointed to find that the scope was different than the one from the first rifle we looked at. It looked the same but the parallax was set for 50+ yards, or at least that is what it seemed to me. At 20 yards the focus was still off. This really bugged me because I really thought that we’d hit the jackpot with this 800x. Anyway, I have other scopes so this is not going to be a big issue.
To solve the trigger problem we’ve installed the GRT III trigger system that retails for about $32. I’m going to write an article about this trigger so I won’t spend too much time on it now. It took about 10 minutes to install and it made a dramatic improvement. I wish I had a trigger pull scale to say just how much it improved, but let me tell you it makes a HUGE difference
Crosman 800x with GRT III trigger installed.
The basic aesthetics and features of the 800x were covered in the first article so I’d really like to talk about how I was able to reduce the 2 and 4 inch groups at 20 yards down to .5″ groups. A lot of things had to fall into place to get these results and I will go through them one at a time.
First, as with any new gun, CLEAN THE BARREL. I read all the time how B.B., over at Pyramid Air, tells everyone about the J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. It really works. Take the time and get some and a slew of cleaning brushes and a single piece cleaning rod. All this makes life easier. The only difference with me and B.B. is that I LOVE using a bore snake for the final clean up instead of running a dozen patches through the barrel. They make them for both .177 and .22 as well as many other calibers and two passes brings the barrel to a nice shine.
Once the barrel is clean, check all the screws to make sure they are secure. When I’m shooting for accuracy, I’m trying to get .5″ groups at 20 yards. Loose screws will make that impossible, so make sure they are all tight. Be careful not to over tighten, as it can break the wood on some guns. Be sure to check all the scope mount screws as well, even on a premounted scope.
Now that the barrel is clean and all the screws are secure, it is time to do some shooting. Most of the time I set up at ten yards just to get the scope shooting on target. Then I back up to 20 yards. At 10 yards, a good gun should put all the shots in one ragged hole. If I can’t get a good group at 10 yards, then I basically pack it in and call it quits for the review, as with the first time around with the 800x. The best I could get at 10 yards was .75″ groups. The 20 yard groups were 2″ or more.
For take 2 of the 800x, I mounted a Daisy PowerLine 3x9x32 scope. This scope does not have AO, but I can set it on 6x and still have a clear picture at 20 yards so that was fine for this session. We also have the GRT III trigger in place.
Contrary to the advice of many springer shooters, I like to shoot from a rest. The reason that I like to use a rest, bipod or other help, is so that I can take myself out of the picture as much as possible and focus solely on the natural ability of the air gun. I’ve found the MTM Predator Shooting Rest to work well for most guns, once I find the best balance point and the best way to stabilize the rifle. I found that if I balanced the 800x just behind the front screws and place my left hand just behind the rest I got a very consistent point of impact. I also found that if I rest the rifle and use my opposite hand to hold the butt of the rifle in my shoulder, I got the same point of impact. Before I found these positions I noticed that even a subtle change in hold would cause a dramatic shift in the point of impact, up to 2 to 3 inches in various directions. This rifle is very hold sensitive. When it came to shooting at 20 yards, I found my faithful Dragon Claw Bi-Pod to be the ticket.
Now that we’ve got everything set up, let’s do some testing. I’ve found the RWS “Super” line of pellets to be exceptional in many of the rifles that I’ve been testing lately. The RWS Superdome, Super point, and Super H point all work well in the 800x with the Super H point the standout choice. The Crosman premiers (both standard and hollow point) do OK but they are not nearly as consistent as the RWS. I know the RWS cost a bit more but they are worth the extra money.
As with the first 800x, the power plant produced excellent power and velocity. What’s better is now we can add excellent accuracy to the list! Because this is a light rifle it will be highly susceptible to recoil, so consistent hold is VERY important. Any change in hold will throw your shot off target. With practice you can, also, get these results.
10 yards with RWS Super H Point
20 yards with RWS Super H Point
So let’s wrap this up. The Crosman 800x sells for about $120 over at www.airgundepot.com. It can shoot very accurately, but it requires that you do your part. While the first rifle we received was a little off, the replacement shot well and was quite accurate, out to at least 20 yards. I did not shoot it for accuracy beyond that but I have a soda can hanging in a tree 40 yards away and it was not a problem to hit it every time. If you are looking for a hard hitting, light weight rifle, the 800x may be right for you, especially if you like open sights. If you want a nicer trigger pull and better scope, plan on adding about $100 to your cost. Once you get near the $200 price point though, I’d have to say there are a lot of options out there, like the BAM B26, Gamo CFX, and others.