If you have a pest problem in your backyards and are looking for an inexpensive air gun at 100$ range to solve the problem, you have to dig very deep in the vast sea of information on the net because there is only a small number of quality guns that pack a heavy punch at this price range.

And Crosman Optimus .22 is one of them.

This economical rifle has solid quality beyond its cheap price tag, and you will find out why in this review.

Gun Type

Crosman Optimus .22 is a spring piston gun. As the name suggests, there are a coiled spring and a piston inside the chamber. When you cock the gun, you make the spring compress until the little hook of the rear of the piston engages into the sear. When you pull the trigger, you release the hook and make the spring decompress. The decompressed spring moves forward and applies pressure on the air inside. As a result, the pellet is pushed out of the barrel due to the propellant force from compressed air. Spring piston guns are simple to use, self- contained and have impressive accuracy. You can read more about spring piston gun’s pros and cons, and how spring powered gun compares to other types of air gun in this post.

Crosman Optimus .22 is a break barrel gun which means that you have to cock it each time you want to shoot. Break barrel gun is the easiest of all air guns to load because the breech is exposed when it breaks open. Besides, it gives you unlimited shooting capacity and easy to repair because it is simple mechanism. And finally, a break barrel gun is easy to clean since you have direct access to the barrel.

This gun is a single shot gun: you can only shoot one shot at a time. Single shot gun gives you control over ammunition and makes you a better shooter because you know you have to make your first shot count.

The barrel has a caliber (the internal diameter of the bore, measured in inches) of .22 (5.5 millimeters). While .177 is popular for target shooting, .22 is a go-to caliber of hunters and pest eliminator because it delivers lethal knockdown power for small game and pest control which is something that .177 cannot guarantee. Furthermore, the barrel is rifled with helical grooves inside so it makes the bullet spin before it goes out of the barrel, improves accuracy and enhances shooting range.

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Crosman Optimus .22 stock

The stock is made of hardwood so it can withstand stresses, shocks, loads , impact and abrasion in daily life. Moreover, hardwood can be refinished easily at any time so it has very long life span. Plus the stock is ambidextrous so you will have the same shooting experience whether you are left-handed and right-handed. Additionally, this stock has a rubber recoil pad to absorb recoil when you shoot.

Ammo

The Crosman Optimus .22 uses pellet as its only source of ammunition. .22 pellet is heavier and has a larger diameter than .177. It doesn’t have much velocity like the .177 pellet but it is more stable in the way towards the target. Besides, it also has lots of takedown power to finish an animal in one quick, clean shot so .22 is your best choice to protect your garden from pest or bring home some squirrels for dinners.

Cocking and Loading

Cocking the gun: Hold the pistol grip with one hand, place the stock on your hip, and break the barrel all the way down to its limit

Loading the pellet: With the breech open after you cock the gun, put the pellet into the chamber (with the pellet’s nose lying forward), pull the barrel up to its original position and you are ready to shoot.

Crosman Optimus .22 Sight

If you are a fan of open sight you going to love the Optimus’s sight. The front sight is fiber optic: it uses optical fibers for the dots and channels the ambient light to the rear sight in the way that it’s brighter than the dark surrounding. Fiber optic sight is great if you don’t have 20/20 eye vision or if you are shooting in the low-light condition. Besides, it provides fast target acquisition and more accuracy in normal condition. What’s more? The rear sight is fiber optic, too. It is fully adjustable for windage (allow you to adjust left and right) and for elevation (allow you to adjust the sight up and down). Having this handy fiber optic sight makes beginning shooters have more fun when they hit the target with high accuracy and more likely to stick to the shooting sport.

As if the fiber optic sight is not enough, Crosman has installed 4×32 scope in case you bored with shooting of iron sight. 32 is a diameter of the front lens, measured in inches. 4 is the magnification ability of the scope: It magnifies the picture 4 times bigger than the image you see without it. This scope is good enough for backyard shooting or for pest control but I suggest you upgrade to better scope if you want to go hunting.

Velocity, Accuracy, and Power

The Crosman Optimus delivers up to 950 FPS with alloy pellet. This is high velocity compared with other .22 air guns on the market and we can expect a serious hitting power at this level of velocity.

In Chrony tests, this break barrel rifle produces 854 FPS and 15.91 FPE with Gamo PBA 9.8 gr, 707 FPS and 13.23 FPE with RWS Hobby 11.9 gr, 671 FPS and 14.2 FPE with RWS Super H-point, 718 FPS and 16.37 FPE with Crosman Premiere Hollow Point 14.3 gr. Although the actual velocities are nowhere near the advertised number but remember that the average muzzle energy is more than 13 FPE which is more than enough to deal with ducks, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, groundhogs, etc.

For Optimus .22, various shooting tests have been conducted by various hooters with positive results. The common shooting groups are: 0.509” at 10 yards with RWS Super H-point 14.2 grains, 0.44” at 10 yards with RWS Super H-point 142. gr, hit bull’s eye at 10 meters, dime size at 25 yards, quarter size at 15 yards, 1” at 25 meters, 1” at 50 meters with Crosman Premiere Hollow Point pellet, 1.25” at 20 yards, 2” at 50 yards. Furthermore, it can pack a good punch clearing through 6/8” plywood at 20 yards, kill pigeon in 30 yards, shoot bird at 60-70 yards, kill bird at 75 yards, shoot through 1/2″ plybacker, put the pellet through 1” wood board, kill a crow at 25 yards with the pellet exit animal’s body completely, penetrate a  piece of a quarter inch plywood, penetrate a 55-gallon barrel at 27 yards, kill duck at 40 yards, punch through a license plate at 100 feet, shoot through 5/8” plywood at 50 feet. To sum up, this air rifle is extremely accurate up to 50 yards and gives you lethal stopping power to solve pest problem in your garden.

Noise

The audible test shows that this gun has 100 DB of noise output, making it relatively loud break barrel gun compared to other Nitro Piston gun. Some customers say this gun is loud, too. One shooter has asked a local law enforcement officer if there would be a problem shooting it in his fence in the backyard and was told it would not be a problem. Therefore, you definitely will not get any trouble with the police. For the neighbors, it depends on how sensitive they are with the shooting noise: If they are easy-going and kind then you can take it outside and have fun in your property.

Trigger

With the pull weight of 4 lbs 10 oz., the trigger of Optimus is quite heavy and long pull of the second stage but given the price of this gun, it’s adequate.

Crosman Optimus .22 Specifications

  • Caliber: .22
  • Velocity: 950 FPS
  • Loudness : 3- Medium
  • Overall Length: 43.0”
  • Shot Capacity:
  • Cocking Effort: 30 lbs
  • Barrel: Rifled
  • Front Sight: Fiber Optic
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable for windage and elevation
  • Scopeable: 11mm dovetail
  • Buttplate: Rubber
  • Suggested for: Small game hunting/plinking
  • Action: Break barrel
  • Safety: Manual
  • Powerplant: Spring-piston
  • Function: Single-shot
  • Body Type: Rifle
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • One thing I found interesting is this gun only weights 6.5 lbs, a lot lighter than other adult-size guns so you can carry it around all day long without feeling fatigue.

Customer Reviews

There are lots of customer reviews on this Optimus .22. Positive reviews show that people love its cheap price, great value of a solid .22 rifle, accurate and hard-hitting. The main problem with this gun is the scope: plenty of negative reviews complain that the scope is junk and not screwed tightly. The manual is very specific about mounting the scope, so make sure you mount the scope properly and use Locktite on the screw to stabilize the gun.

The only complain that this gun at this low price level deserves is the trigger: because there’s so much guns at this price range has better triggers like the Beeman series with RS2 trigger or Ruger Air Hawk.

Overall, customers find this gun is the great gun for the price, the scope and the trigger could be better but for the price range, they couldn’t ask for better gun. Many buyers believe this is one of the best guns under $120.

Pros

  • Handsome hardwood stock
  • Fantastic fiber optic sight
  • Hit like a tank
  • Superb accuracy
  • High-end velocity

Cons

  • Heavy trigger with long pull on second stage
  • Loud but it cannot get you into trouble with local laws
  • Scope is not screwed tightly but you can fix it the ways I said earlier in this review

Price

The price for Optimus .22 is just slightly more than 100 dollars. It’s damn cheap price for the gun that gives you small groups, hits very hard and can handle common pest such as squirrels, crow, chipmunk, etc.

There are a couple of different listings online with different prices but the listing I found with the lowest price is the cheapest price among online e-commercial sites like Amazon, PyramydAir, Walmart,etc.

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Conclusion

Optimus .22 is straight forward rifle. It doesn’t have something fancy, but it wasn’t built for fancy – it’s built for high quality at the lowest price possible. This rifle is the best solution for your backyard problem. And don’t forget to have fun in the varmint-controlling process!

Filed under: ReviewsSpring Piston

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