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Air Gun Home Forum Index » Rifles » Crosman Vantage NP improvements Goto page Previous  1, 2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:41 pm Reply with quote
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Joined: 02 Jun 2013
Posts: 207
Location: Sadly, New Jersey
Sorry for the long winded-ness...

Fast forward a few months: I put the whole .22 thing on hold, and instead ordered what parts I would need to put the old Vantage back into service. I added a .177 trail barrel to the list, as my Vantage barrel was already living on my home built Trail. Oh, I also finally ordered that CDT trigger, and so ended up with a really nice Vantage dressed like a Venom Dusk, and wearing a Trail shrouded barrel. Oh, and none of the accuracy problems or lowered velocity I had with the .22 barrel. So by this point, I had finally eliminated every other component as "the problem," and so ordered a second .22 barrel. Same improperly cut breach face angle, lousy crown, low Chrony numbers, and absolutely atrocious groups. The second barrel was even worse than the first. Unfortunately it took me too long to figure all this junk out, so no returning this barrel either.

I pushed several pellets through both barrels, and found that they only engaged the rifling for the first third or so of the barrel length. Once past this point, the pellets would just drop down to the muzzle. Feeling salted out about Crosman barrels (I had just bought my Benji Discovery, and it needed a crown and some material removed from the transfer port just to feed a pellet without damage!), I put my dreams of a .22 NP to rest, and either hunted with .177 or used my .22 Disco. Another hunting season passes, and I move into spring...and start dreaming about a .22 NP again...sigh!

I resolved (just a few short weeks ago) to order one more .22 trail barrel. I confirmed with Crosman Customer Service that if this barrel came like the last two, I would immediately return it and then see how much of their inventory I would have to run through before finally getting a good one (if ever I did!). It's funny how things work. I no sooner order the new barrel than I figure I'll check the old ones one more time. I guess I just wanted the prior faults fresh in my mind for when I checked the new one. So I start pushing pellets...yep, just like I remembered. I don't know why I didn't think of this before, but on a whim I started pushing pellets from the muzzle end, and was surprised to find that the pellets were engaging the rifling pretty well, until a little past mid way to the breech. In one barrel I found 3 REALLY tight spots, all in the first third of its length, starting at the breech. I figured: "this barrel is already crap, I can't really make it any worse..." and out came the valve lapping compound, J&B bore paste, and my cleaning rod (now marked and measured to show where the tight spots began and ended).

Lapping a barrel is a pain, and you have to take your time. These tight spots are likely no more than "hundredths of a millimeter" tight, so I didn't want to get too aggressive and totally hog the bore out. You can always remove material, you usually can't put it back once you've removed too much. I started just doing the tight spots with my fine valve lapping compound, about 40 passes total each spot. Then I used the J&B for about 150 passes at each tight spot. I finished with the J&B for about 100 passes from breech to muzzle. In between changing compounds and doing toght spots, then doing the total length I cleaned the holy crap out of the barrel, and tested with more pellets. By the time I was finished, I could easily push a pellet from breech to muzzle, engaging the rifling the entire time. Was/is it perfect? Nope, but I felt it was worth installing and shooting again. So what did I find? CP Domes and RWS Superdomes averaged in the 740s, and CPs and H&N FTTs will shoot 1 inch groups at 30 yards. When I have a flier, it is usually my fault, not the gun grouping like a shotgun (which is what it used to do).

When the new barrel arrived, it had a breech face that was cut at the proper angle, and had a decent crown, but a 7 inch tight spot from the breech forward, plus another couple spots that needed lapping. I lapped the hell outta that barrel, opened up the pellet leade a tiny bit, and polished the crown. Now I am the proud owner of two .22 caliber NPs that can shoot accurately to 30 yards. I suspect both will do well at greater ranges, I just haven't tried them yet. Additionally, the barrel riding on the Vatage/Venom/Vant-om...whatever shoots really well with at least three different pellets, all having significantly the same POA/POI. I haven't chronied the second (newer) barrel yet, but it looks promising. Here are my two .22 NPs that look like they may (finally) be ready to hunt!

So what is the point of all this? 1-I think Crosman has barrel quality issues that aren't limited to the old .22 Mrod complaints, but I'll take that up with them. 2-if you own a .22 Crosman/Benjamin springer with really bad accuracy problems, it may be the barrel, and it's easy to check and not so difficult to fix. 3-I'm just so thrilled that these two guns finally seem to be shooting well in .22 I just had to share. I really hope someone out there reads this, and maybe fixes that "closet gun" instead of trashing it! Thanks for reading.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:16 am Reply with quote
I just wanted to mention that the Vantage/Venom killed the Optima scope in 60 shots over the crony...I never even zeroed it! Oh well...I have since mounted a Centerpoint 3-9x32 IR (fixed objective) scope, using a UTG 10 degree (barrel droop compensator) Weaver adaptor. With everything tightened down, it is actually kinda nice to shoot now (finally!).
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