2300T from Crosman’s Custom Shop!
Hello and welcome back to Airgunweb.com. My name is Eric Eikenberry and, thanks to Rick, I’ve been given the opportunity to review my new Crosman 2300T Custom for the site. While I’m not new to airguns in general, this is my first experience with a CO2 power plant. Past airguns of mine include a Daisy 880 rifle in my youth, an IZH-46M, and ever so briefly, a Chinese-made Beeman S1 spring-powered rifle. This Crosman pistol is definitely a departure from my norm.
While you can find the normal version of this pistol at every online retailer, I honestly didn’t know it existed until a little over a month ago. I’d never seen one in a store before. While I was searching for an affordable and fun pellet pistol I don’t need to whack small rodents. If the chance presents itself, there’s a small, burrowing ground squirrel under my house I’ll take out though! Most pistols available at places like Wal-Mart or Cabella’s aren’t powerful enough to do the job. The Crosman 1377 would be, and I was all set to order one when I discovered the Crosman Custom Shop!
Tucked away deep in their website there’s a place where you can “customize” a 2300 or 2240 (which shares the same platform, but different breech, barrel, and trigger) with a wide variety of options. For the .177 model, there are four barrel choices (7.5”, 10.1” standard, 10.1” Lothar-Walther match-grade, and 14.5”). I chose the 10.1” standard barrel, thinking I could swap to a longer barrel later. You can select a Short Steel Breech, or a Long Steel Breech (the long one is cheaper), a standard front sight or a muzzle-brake with a sight, and six different rear sight or scope options (the steel breeches are grooved with an integrated scope rail). You can add a trigger shoe in a variety of colors (I chose red), and there’s even a selection of custom wood grips in maple, walnut, and cocobolo. As I was looking to keep the price down, I stuck with the stock black plastic wood-grained grips for now. When it came time to plunk down the money on my order, I was delighted to discover that ordering a Custom done “my way” saved me $15 over the cost of a regular production 2300T! With a trigger shoe and long steel breech! The trade-off is it typically takes three weeks for the Custom Shop, located in New York State, to complete your pistol. If you order a 2300T through Pyramidair.com, you can have it inside of three days. I was willing to wait if it meant I could have just the features I want.
Fast forward to December 17, 2008; I eagerly met the UPS driver on my sidewalk. I’m a patient man, but not that patient! I tore open the shipping carton hoping to fine a nice storage box inside. No such luck. It comes in another cardboard box with eggshell foam clamping it in place on two sides. The rear sight hadn’t been installed so I had to start from scratch. Unfortunately, the manual was originally intended for the 1740/2240 twins, with a sticker from the Custom Shop placed over the title page. This meant that there were no instructions for the rear LPA MIM sight, or for the adjustable trigger my 2300T was supposed to have. Until I found Rick’s review of the 2300S, I didn’t know how to adjust it (the threaded spring-on-perch adjuster is located inside the right side grip). I shot the entire first Powerlet with a 4-lb trigger pull, which highlighted another concern; the edges of the trigger shoe are quite sharp. Without that adjustment, which can take the trigger pull down to around 1 pound, the trigger shoe will quickly wear a callus on your finger! At the minimum setting it becomes tolerable. This isn’t a match trigger like the one on the IZH-46M, but it’ll do.
Unlike most pistols these days, it’s an all-metal design. This is one of the main reasons I wanted one. Plastic is fine for toys, but a pellet pistol, even one in the 500 FPS range, shouldn’t be considered a toy. Besides, I wanted something I could customize myself, and there’s a boat-load of aftermarket parts (like high-flow valves, bolts, breeches, barrels, and grips). Metal construction gives me that option. Plastic pistols do not. It does bring up an interesting concern. This pistol is a bit top-heavy with the plastic grips. When held it wants to shift nose-down and it tries to lay over on its side. As you go through the motion of squeezing the trigger, it wants to wobble. Possibly the long steel breech contributes to this imbalance, but it allows the barrel to have a much deeper set, which improves rigidity, and hopefully, accuracy. More on that in a bit.
The overall weight of the pistol is fine, but the grips do move around a smidgeon. There’s just one small pin which positively locates each grip, and one screw which clamps each side to the frame. It’s doesn’t appear to affect the shooting at all, but does leave an unsightly lip at the edge of the grips. In spite of the overwhelmingly solid construction, the stock ambidextrous grips are perhaps the biggest disappointment. On the other hand, they are easy to replace! Several sites offer Grips by Rick, and it’s likely I’ll soon end up with a “target” set for my big right hand. I have to mention here that the finish on the pistol can be scratched easily. I’ve already done so twice. Be careful where you lay it down! I’d expected the finish to be tough, and perhaps it is, but the underlying metal is soft
Once I’d installed the rear LPA sight, and read far enough into the manual to determine I needed a tube of Crosman Pelgunoil, in order to put one drop on the top of the Powerlet, it was back to my town’s single sporting goods store. I would have liked to see Crosman include a small starter tube of Pellgunoil, or at least tell me in advance on their website. After acquiring the pink mystery oil, I loaded up my first-ever CO2 Powerlet, cocked the pistol, and pulled the trigger to confirm the CO2 was loaded properly and was charging the valve as it should. I currently lack any 10 meter airgun targets, so a Pepsi can with a bright red dot on it stood in as a sacrificial substitute. The LPA rear sight comes with a small flat tool which can be used as a flat-head screwdriver for the purpose of adjusting windage and elevation on the micro-click screws. The dual white dots at the rear make sighting a breeze, but the front blade lacks a corresponding dot. It could use it; at times it’s difficult to pick up the top of the front blade against a dark target.
About eight shots into my adjustments, I was happily annihilating the can, and to my surprise, also shooting through the 3/8ths inch plywood backstop I’d hastily constructed! This is the same board which had faithfully stopped every pellet I’d ever fired from my IZH-46M. The next day, after adjusting the trigger, I expended another Powerlet worth of pellets (approximately 55 full-power shots even on a cold day in California), and happily destroyed a Diet Coke can, and another section of the plywood. I didn’t expect at only 520 FPS that it would be able to do that. Looks like my next purchase will be a pellet trap and some quality paper targets so I can find out just how this pistol will group. The standard 10.1” barrel has 10 lands and grooves, while the better Lothar-Walther barrel has 12 of each. Hopefully Rick will allow me to add an update later, once I’ve bench-tested this little gem for accuracy.
In summary, this is a quality, US-made pellet pistol (no BBs ever), available in .177 or .22 caliber, which can serve as a great jumping-off point for an even wilder creation. Airgunartisans.com has pages of photos which illustrate just how flexible this design can be with the right combination of parts. Better grips should be considered a necessity for anyone other than the most casual plinker. The 2300S does offer a more accurate barrel, an aluminum muzzle weight, a Williams notch sight with target knobs, and an adjustable hammer spring to limit the output of the CO2 valve. It also costs far more money, and in today’s market, might be more than what most folks will want to spend on a limited-use pistol. At $129 shipped to my door, the Custom Shop 2300S represents a screaming value, and one I’ll be happily shooting for years. Now to get those targets and construct a proper pistol rest…
Options as Ordered:
10.1” standard Crosman .177 caliber barrel (10 lands and grooves)
Standard front sight (press on plastic unit with integrated barrel crown protection)
Rear LPA Micro-click rear sight marked with white dots
Long steel breech with scope rails
Red trigger shoe
Stock black plastic grips
No custom text (says “Crosman Custom 2300T