The .22 Remington NPSS

Monday, October 17, 2011

The .22 Remington NPSS in digital camo.

When I reviewed the Crosman Airgun and Pellet Capabilities Chart discussed in last week’s blog, I was struck by the fact that, aside from the .25 caliber  Benjamin Trail NP XL 725 (which I had written about a while back), only one of the breakbarrel air rifles listed on the chart consistently offers the longest estimated effective maximum range.

That rifle is the .22 caliber Remington NPSS. The chart suggests that it is capable of taking pigeons and squirrels at 42 yards, prairie dogs at 45 yards, raccoons at 15 yards, and turkeys at 30 yards. That’s quite a resume. And while I had reviewed the original Crosman NPSS in .177 a couple of years ago, I decided I needed to have a look at the Remington version in .22.

The Remington NPSS comes with a 3-9 x 40 scope and one-piece mount.

The good folks at Crosman were kind enough to send me one, and here’s the skinny. The Remington NPSS, which proudly displays “Made in the USA” on the receiver, stretches 43.75 inches from end to end and weighs 9 lbs exactly with the 3-9 x 40 CenterPoint scope mounted. Physically, the Remington NPSS is identical to its Crosman-branded predecessor. It has a weatherproof ambidextrous polymer thumbhole stock that features a soft rubber cheek piece and “nubbly” texturing at both the pistol grip and the forestock. It’s available in a digital camo finish (on the sample I tested) and a carbon fiber look, neither of which affect the performance of the gun.

The Remington NPSS is fitted with a soft rubber butt pad and cheek piece.

What really sets the Remington apart from other breakbarrel air rifles you may have shot is the NPSS powerplant. That stands for Nitro Piston Short Stroke. Unlike conventional breakbarrel air rifles, it has no spring. Instead it has a gas ram – much like the gas strut in the liftback of an SUV. When you break the barrel of the Remington NPSS to cock it, instead of compressing a spring, you’re driving back a piston which compresses gas in a cylinder. When the cocking mechanism latches, it holds the gas under pressure until you pull the trigger, allowing the piston to shoot forward, compressing air in front of it and launching the pellet down the barrel.

It works exactly the same as a conventional “springer,” except there is no spring, and that gives the NPSS some advantages. For example, you can leave it cocked for long periods without worrying that the spring will take “a set” and weaken the power of the air rifle. In addition, cocking is generally smoother, and there is no torque or vibration when the shot goes off. Crosman also claims that the NPSS powerplant is quieter than a conventional springer. From the shooter’s position behind the receiver, that is difficult to prove, and I’ve found that trying to measure the relative loudness of various airgun powerplants can be fiendishly difficult. Bottom line: if the NPSS didn’t seem especially quiet to me, it didn’t seem particularly loud either, which in my mind works out to “average” loudness.

Getting the Remington NPSS ready to shoot is straightforward. Grab the barrel near the muzzle and pull it down and back until it latches. This takes about 23-24 pounds of effort, according to Crosman. The cocking stroke is incredibly smooth, with no spring noise or creaking. Insert a pellet into the aft end of the breech and return the barrel to its original position.

Take aim. Flick off the safety (The Remington NPSS has a lever-style non-automatic safety inside the trigger guard). Squeeze the trigger. At 3 lb, 15 oz, the first stage comes out; at 6 lb, 8 oz, the shot goes down range. That’s heavier than I would like, but the trigger seemed very consistent and didn’t appear to interfere with accurate shooting.

With .22 Crosman Premier pellets, which went down range at about 850 fps and generated around 22.9 foot-pounds of energy, I was able to shoot essentially one-hole groups at 13 yards, but the groups opened up to 1.25 inches (edge to edge) at 30 yards. I also noticed that the point of impact would shift if I moved from sitting position to shooting off a rest to shooting offhand. It seems to me that the big trick with this air rifle is either (a) to learn where the point of impact will be from various shooting positions or (b) shoot consistently from only one position such as offhand.

In the end, I liked the .22 Remington NPSS. It seems to me to be a solid, workhorse air rifle that would serve many shooters well for pest control and hunting duties.

Til next time, aim true and shooting straight.

–          Jock Elliott

18 Comments

  1. Ken says:

    Wow, with that kind of power and the fact that it weighs 1.5 lbs less than my scoped RWS 350 Pro Compact, it could make a good hunting gun. First I’d want to tighten the 30-yard groups a bit, which may be accomplished with some pellet experimentation. I’m wondering if a lighter trigger pull weight would help with the consistency from different shooting positions. In my experience, heavier triggers force muscles in the forearm and shoulder to come into play (instead of allowing the shooter to isolate the trigger finger as easily), and if those tensing muscles are contacting the stock slightly differently from each shooting position before the pellet leaves the barrel, POI may change I think. Just my 2 cents, but I have found that focusing on isolating movement of the trigger finger is super critical with magnum springers. I don’t know how much this may apply to a nitro piston gun however, since I have not had an opportunity to try one. Gonna check out your pumpkin target next!

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Ken,

      Thanks for the comments. Let me know how you make out with the Remington and the Great Pumpkin target.

  2. Paul Canting says:

    Hi Jock:

    What would be the Max killing effective range for a .22 Cal Benjamin trail Np XL?

    FPE?

    Thanks,

    Paul

  3. Stan says:

    I just recently purchased a Remington NPSS .22. The force to cock seems unpridicable and biding at times. Also, shoots from left to right at quite a spread. The barrel wiggles from left to right in the un-cocked position. Just seems like something is wrong. Any comments?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Stan,

      That sounds like an issue for Crosman/

  4. Frank says:

    I have a benjamin 22 np trail hardwood and a remington 22 cal. Npss. The benjamin has more power it is more accurate and it is quieter than the remington. I have shot a least 500 crosman hollow points threw the remington and it still sounds like it is slamming shut. Does this rifle ever quiet down?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Frank,

      Unfortunately, I test so many guns that it is rare for me to put a lot of rounds through any particular one. Bottom line, I don’t know if the .22 Remington NPSS mellows with age. Perhaps another reader knows . . .

  5. John Stacy says:

    I need a new air rifle for hunting and I’m considering the benji trail np or remi npss. Which one is better or are there any other good np guns in that price range?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      John,

      I suggest that you use the search function on the blog and look at the other reviews of Nitro-Piston and .22 air rifles that I have done.

  6. John Stacy says:

    Oh and im looking at the .22 versions of both these guns by the way so if there are any other good hunting guns you know of I’d prefer that they come in .22

  7. Kiyoshi says:

    Hi, I been looking all over the internet and i can’t find the answer. How do I adjust de cheek piece?? How do I remove the pins?

  8. Frank says:

    Kiyoshi

    I have the remington 22 cal. Npss and I raised the cheek piece by using a small screw driver that would fit in the hole where the pins are and I pounded the pins out with a hammer. It will only raise the cheek piece about three quaters of an inch, but it helped me a lot. Good luck

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Frank,

      Thanks for your comment.

  9. Ron says:

    Can you put open sites on the .22?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Ron,

      Not very easily.

  10. Jefferson Sock says:

    I have been shooting the npss for about a month and a half, and I believe that the issue with accuracy belongs to the scope that is supplied with the gun and not the gun it self. Get a new half decent scope and get used to it. Happy hunting/shooting.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Jefferson,

      I don’t have the NPSS in my possession any longer, but most gun/scope combos supplied by the factory will benefit from an upgrade to the scope.

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