Real world Airgun Reviews – "Facts not Fluff"

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Crosman Soft Air Sniper 38 Rifle

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve often wondered what the deal was with Soft Air products. I see them all over the place, and I know that they are used for paint ball like games. But never having put my hands on one, I’ve been very curious to see what all the fuss is about. Well, thanks again to Crosman, they have provided me one of their Soft Air Sniper 38s for review.

Crosman Sniper 38 with accessories.

The first thing that you notice is just how heavy this rifle feels. It has a really nice feeling stock. The accessories are, also, really nice. It comes with 2, 25 round clips, speed loader, rail mounted bi-pod, and 500 .20gram soft air 6mm pellets. This rifle does not have any open sights, so you need to add a scope before you can start shooting.

Seeing as this rifle has standard rail mount, I picked up some medium height scope rings at Wal-mart to try and mount my BSA 4×32 AO scope. Well, the mounts did not fit right, as the rail was just a little too small. Also, the mounts were not high enough, so make sure that you get high mounts for your scope and not low or medium mounts. I finally found that the sniper scope from my AR-15 fit pretty well, so I used that for the review.

Not knowing what to expect, I started the testing with my expectations rather high, hoping for accuracy on par with what I get from some of the air rifles in the same price range. The Crosman Soft Air Sniper 38 retails for about $109 putting it the same category as the TechForce? 97. What I came to realize in a VERY short period of time, is that you can’t compare Soft Air products to anything but other Soft Air products. You’ll see what I mean when we get to the shooting tests.

Loading, cocking, and firing the Crosman Sniper 38 is very much like loading, cocking and firing any high-powered rifle. There is a clip that holds the plastic bbs and a bolt that you pull back to cock the gun. The trigger is actually a pretty nice trigger and does not make you work to pull off a round. The gun is spring powered and very quiet. Follow up shots are fast and easy with a simple working of the bolt. After a little research I found that the Soft Air craze is more about getting the feeling of going through realistic motions than driving dime sized groups at 20 yards. This rifle mimics the motions and feel quite well.

Cocking bolt for the Crosman Soft Air Sniper 38

Bolt, fully pulled back to cock

Bolt returned and ready to fire

After firing a few shots I learned very quickly that Soft Air products are “accuracy optional.” You are shooting PLASTIC bbs down a SMOOTH bore barrel. The Crosman Sniper 38 does come with a “hop-up” system that puts a spin on the plastic bb and that does help. But, when it comes to accuracy, keep your expectations reasonable.

Adjustable “hop-up” system for additional accuracy

Before we look at the accuracy tests, here are some specs from our chronograph. We only had the Crosman 20gram bbs, so keep that in mind when looking at these tests. You may get better velocity and accuracy with different ammo. Crosman represents this rifle to propel a bb up to 400 FPS. It came very close. With the Hop-up system off, we got close to the 400 FPS. The results below were with the Hop-up engaged and adjusted for best accuracy.

Crosman Night Stalker 20gram BBs
High – 361, Low – 345, Average – 351, Difference – 16

Crosman Sniper 38, 25 shots from 20′, while adjusting Hop-Up

Crosman Sniper 38, 25 shots from 20′ with Hop-up
adjusted. Notice the occasional flyers.

Now the summary, the Crosman Sniper 38 retails for about $109 and it is an interesting rifle. I’m not sure that it is up my alley, but I bet it would be a good fit for some. I guess it would be really nice for a young shooter learning about proper gun handling and anyone that wanted to shoot indoors. I was able to get some accuracy and, maybe with more time and some different ammo choices, I could have gotten it even better. As a Soft Air skirmish weapon, I would leave it at home. If you could hit with accuracy at distance, then it may give you an advantage, but I’ve seen some fully auto Soft Air rifles that shoot at 300+ FPS with equal accuracy. Trying to re-cock and focus through a scope would leave you completely vulnerable. I know Crosman has some fully auto Soft Air rifles. At some point maybe we can revisit the line.

Written By,
Rick Eutsler
Editor / Owner
Copyright 2007 & Dog River Design, LLC.

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