For years I had been hearing about the Crosman 600 pistol, how neat it is, how it is a classic. I had seen pictures of the 600, and I had read rave reviews of them in the online forums, but I had never shot one until just the other day.
The good folks at Airguns of Arizona had picked up a 600 as part of a massive buy of vintage airguns. This particular 600 had some seal problems that needed to be sorted out. When the repair was completed, AoA asked me if I’d like to give it a try before it went on to its rightful owner.
Sure, I said, and a few days later Brown Santa delivered a box containing the Crosman 600. The 600 stretches about 9.l75 inches from muzzle to the end of the receiver and 5.5 inches from the top of the receiver to the bottom of the pistol grip. The sample I played with weighed 2 lbs 10 oz unloaded. The entire 600 is amazingly solidly constructed out of metal. The only plastic that I could detect are the target-style grips.
The 600 was introduced in 1960, and, according to DT Fletcher’s book, 75 Years of Crosman Airguns, was produced until 1970. A flyer or advertisement from 1960 reproduced in his book calls the 600 “the world’s most advanced pellet pistol. . . Revolutionary! . . . 10 shots in less than 3 seconds . . . with match target accuracy.”
It goes on to say: “Patented, fast, boltless Swing-Feed loading . . . Gun holds on target; no lag, no sticking, no jump . . . Top target accuracy.”
Having now shot the Crosman 600, I can only say that it lives up to the marketing material. To get it ready for shooting. Unscrew the cap on the end of the air tube under the muzzle. Insert a CO2 powerlet with the neck facing outward. Screw in the cap which has a piercing pin. Next, push the slide on the built in magazine all the way back and lock it in place. Carefully feed in 10 .22 caliber flat nose pellets (I used Beeman .22 H&N match wadcutter pellets) so that the head of pellet faces toward the muzzle. Release the magazine slide and pull back the cocking slide just below it until it latches.
Now you’re good to go. Ease the first stage out of the trigger. Squeeze a bit more, and at 2 lbs 3 oz, the shot goes down range with a solid “Pop!” In the same instant, the action cycles, readying the next shot and cocking the action. Squeeze the trigger as fast as you like, and the pellets go effortlessly down range. This is quite simply the fastest, easiest rapid-fire air pistol I’ve ever shot. (Although, of the modern crop of repeater air pistols, the Beretta PX4 Storm acquits itself very well. I’ll be writing about it in another blog.)
The Crosman 600 truly is a classic. If you are luck enough to own one, take good care of it and enjoy it often, because it is absolutely a pleasure to shoot.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott