Lasers and red dots and pistols – oh my!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Before we get rolling this week, a quick update: if you want to make your Crosman Nitro NPSS even nicer, install one of Steve from NC’s Nitro Custom Triggers. It reduces the trigger pull from over five pounds to less than two and makes a good air rifle even better.

On top, the S&W pistol with red dot. Below, the Crosman 3576 with laser.

Recently I tested a pair of air pistol and sight combinations that really put a grin on my face, and I suspect that a lot of airgunners will like them as well.

The first was a Crosman 3576 revolver. The second is a Smith & Wesson 6” revolver. Both are CO2 powered 10-shot single-action/double action .177 caliber revolvers; both use 12-gram CO2 cartridges that “live” in the pistol grip, and both launch 7.9 grain pellets at around 400 fps on a warm day. Likewise, both will exhibit significant drops in velocity (as much as 100 fps) if you insist on emptying the magazine as quickly as possible. In double-action mode, both have trigger pulls that feel heavier than I like, but put either of these pistols in single-action mode by pulling the hammer back, and suddenly you have a pistol with a nice, crisp trigger. And both, I’m happy to say, can be quite accurate.

The Crosman breaks open for loading.

Despite the similarities, there are differences between the two pistols. The 3576 grip and frame are made of plastic, but it has a rifled steel barrel. To load pellets in the 3576, you press a button on the top of the frame and pull the barrel downward. The action “breaks” open, revealing a 10-shot plastic magazine that can be loaded in place or removed for loading.

The 3576 is equipped with a front blade sight and an adjustable notch rear sight. But to make the pistol easier to aim, I decided to equip it with a Crosman Laser sight. Mounting the laser requires slipping the laser out of its mount, then slipping mount down over the rib on the top of the 3576 barrel, then tightening the mount just a bit. Having inserted the batteries into the laser, you slip the laser back into the mount, orienting it so that one of the black adjustment screws points up, and the other black adjustment screw points to the left (as the gun is facing forward). Next you finish tightening the mount on the barrel, then tighten the two black screws on the top of the laser mount.

To sight in the laser, turn it on, point it at your sight-in target, and shoot. If the point of impact is not where the laser was pointed, loosen the gold locking screw on the right hand side of the laser, and adjust the laser. Turn the top adjustment screw clockwise to raise the point of impact, and turn the side adjustment screw clockwise to move the point of impact to the left. Do the opposite to move the point of impact in the opposite directions. Once you get the 3576 shooting where the laser is pointed, tighten the gold looking screw.

A note: since the laser adjustment directions are somewhat count-intuitive, and since they require the use of two allen wrenches furnished with the sight, make sure you store the directions and wrenches someplace safe for the day you want to replace the laser batteries and sight in the laser again.

Although sighting in the Crosman/laser combo was a bit more difficult than I expected, shooting it was a lot of fun.

I found this combo a lot of fun. The laser actually projects a bright red dot on the target that can be seen by others. There are no brightness adjustments on the laser, just a simple on/off switch. I found the red dot to be highly visible on a white target even in bright sunlight, but on a variegated background, like the highly colorful printing on a spaghetti sauce can, it can take a moment to spot the laser dot. Nevertheless, I really got a charge out of this laser-sighted revolver. No need to look through or align sights; just put the dot where you want it and pull the trigger. What fun!

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott


  1. Dave C says:

    I’d like to know the part # for this sight, and where I can find it. I have the Crosman 3576.



    1. Jock Elliott says:


      I believe that is a Model CP0427. Try

Leave a Reply

17 − 13 =