Reporting on the Crosman Challenger PCP: Part 2

PCP Challenger

I promised you I would check out the shot performance of the new Challenger right “out of the box”.

First, using the Benjamin hand pump, I charged the Challenger to 2000 psi – the factory recommended fill pressure. I used the gauge on the pump for all tests to maintain consistency.

Next, I chronographed the shots and noticed a close to 540 fps starting velocity with Crosman 7.9 grain Premiers. The factory claims a 530 fps velocity so it seems this one was set to shoot a hair hot.

I chose the 7.9 grain Premier pellet because it is what I will use later when I bring the power up to field target velocities. Beginning at 540 fps helped me decide where to stop, but I will take it further to see how the shot string looks.

My task was to chronograph each shot until the velocity came back to around 510 fps. I’m sharing the graphs with you so you know what to expect from an “out of the box” stock Challenger with a field pellet. Velocities are similar for a wadcutter match pellet.

Below is the complete shot string shooting from 2000 psi down to 1000 psi. This yielded a 50 fps spread with a 541 fps average velocity for 107 shots.

Shot String 1

The shot string indicates that a 2000 psi charge pressure brings you right into the sweet spot of the charge and not the beginning of it. My Challenger will require an adjustment (most likely slightly shortening the stroke), or a slightly higher charge pressure to find the start of the sweet spot which will yield more shots from the charge.

Keep in mind that most gauges are consistent but are not necessarily accurate. Although I charged the Challenger to 2000 psi on the hand pump’s gauge, it may have actually been 1900 psi and I might need to charge a little higher on that gauge.

I recommend that once you find the correct charge pressure for your particular gun, that you make a mark on the gauge of your gun. That way you will know where to fill it every time; whether with a pump, scuba tank or any fill assembly you choose to use. The gauge on your gun is the same no matter how you fill your gun. Incidentally, I charged the gun back up to 2000 psi with the Benjamin hand pump and it took 58 strokes. I also recommend that you mark your gun’s gauge so you know when to recharge it (once you decide the optimal spot). With your gauge marked in both places, any shot taken with the needle on the gauge between those 2 marks should be a good shot.

The next graph shows the shot string trimmed down to a 24 fps spread for 80 shots. Certainly enough for any 10 meter 3 position match.

Shot String 2

The following graph is for people like me looking for the tightest spread possible from their equipment. This string was trimmed down to a 19 fps spread and 70 shots. This would work very well for people that want to shoot longer distances at the factory stock velocity. Great for MiniSniping or even target class silhouette. For silhouette I would probably increase the velocity closer to 575 fps and live with the reduction in shot count. Those rams at 45 yards some times need a little more push to get them to topple. They will drop with the velocity from the Challenger as it is “out of the box”, but I like a little more just in case.

Shot String 3

The 70 shots yielded a total of 368.8 accumulated ft lbs.

When we power up the Challenger for 11 – 11.5 ft lbs of pressure, it should yield around 25 to 30 shots (368.8/11.5=32). We look forward to seeing how that will work out.

On another note, keep in mind that replacing any part of a Crosman gun, that did not come with the gun or was designed for that gun, voids the warranty. So when we go and power up the Challenger (even though we are using Crosman parts) we are voiding the warranty. Please be very clear in understanding that if you follow along with us and do the same things, you will be voiding your warranty. Just something important for you to think about….

I charged Hans’s Challenger to 2000 psi and fired through the chronograph. The first shots were a little low in velocity and quickly came up to the 530 fps velocity advertised by Crosman. Hans’s Challenger appears to prefer a 1950 to 1925 psi charge (on his gauge) at this time.

Hans mounted a scope to his Challenger and did some quick shot groups to see how it performed out of the box – with no preparations or adjustments at all. At 10 yards, his 5 shot group was 1 pellet hole. Not a one hole group mind you, but one pellet hole that would hit the 10 dot on a 10 meter target centered every time! At 25 yards in a little bit of a wind Hans grouped .25” ctc. At 40 yards Hans grouped .75” ctc. Remember this is benched, in an inconsistent wind at 530 fps with 7.9 premiers. Bringing the velocity up to WFTF levels will tighten those distant groups for sure. It’s very, very promising.

So there you have it. What you can expect from the Crosman Challenger right out of the box. If you are shooting to 10 meters, then you can get close to 100 shots once you find the best starting charge pressure for the gun’s sweet spot. If you plan on shooting longer distances you can get around 70 to 80 shots depending on your needs.

Visit our website (http://ateam.100free.com/Articles.htm) and print the “A” Team Parallax adj document. You can use these directions to prepare your scope for the Challenger.

Also on our website (http://ateam.100free.com/Crosman.htm) is our A Team PCP Tuning Procedures document.

Download and save or print each of these documents and become familiar with them.

Ray and Hans ~ The “A” Team

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