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If you have a pest problem in your backyard and are looking for an inexpensive air gun in the $100 range to solve the problem, you have to dig very deep as there is only a small number of quality guns that pack a heavy punch at this price range.
The Crosman Optimus .22 is one of them.
This economical rifle has quality beyond its cheap price tag, and you will find out why in this review.
Table of Contents
Crosman Optimus .22 is a spring piston gun. As the name suggests, there is 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 spring decompresses. 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 the compressed air. Spring piston guns are simple to use, self- contained and have impressive accuracy. You can read more about spring piston guns’ pros and cons, and how spring powered guns compares to other types of air gun in this post.
The Crosman Optimus .22 is a break barrel gun which means that you have to cock it each time you want to shoot. Break barrel guns are the easiest of all air guns to load because the breech is exposed when it breaks open. Besides, it gives you an unlimited shooting capacity and is easy to repair because if its simple mechanism. Finally, a break barrel gun is easy to clean since you have direct access to the barrel.
This is a single shot gun. Single shot guns give 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 for hunters and pest eliminators because it delivers lethal knockdown power for small game, 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, improving accuracy and enhancing the shooting range.
Crosman Optimus .22 stock
The stock is made of hardwood so it can withstand stress, shocks, load , impact and abrasion in daily life. Moreover, hardwood can be refinished easily at any time so it has a 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.
The Crosman Optimus .22 uses pellets as its only source of ammunition. .22 pellets are heavier and have a larger diameter than .177. It doesn’t have as much velocity as the .177 pellet but it is more stable in its direction. 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 pests.
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 sights you’re 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 so that its brighter than its surroundings. Fiber optic sights are great if you don’t have 20/20 vision or if you are shooting in low-light conditions. Besides, it provides fast target acquisition and more accuracy in normal conditions. What’s more, the rear sight is fiber optic, too. It is fully adjustable for windage and elevation (allowing you to adjust the sight up and down, left and right). Having this handy fiber optic sight allows beginner shooters to have more fun, and when they hit the target with high accuracy, they’ll be more likely to stick to shooting!
As if the fiber optic sight is not enough, Crosman has installed 4×32 scope in case you grow bored of shooting with iron sights. 32 is the diameter of the front lens, measured in millimeters. 4 is the magnification ability of the scope: It magnifies the real picture 4 times. This scope is good enough for backyard shooting or for pest control but I suggest you upgrade to a better one if you want to go hunting.
Velocity, Accuracy, and Power
The Crosman Optimus delivers up to 950 FPS with alloy pellets. This is a 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 problems in your garden.
The audibility test shows that this gun has 100 Decibels of noise output, making it a relatively loud break barrel gun compared to other Nitro Piston gun. Some customers say this gun is loud, too. One shooter 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 ought not to get into any trouble with the police. For the neighbors, it depends on how sensitive they are — If they are easy-going and kind then you can take it outside and have fun on your property.
With the pull weight of 4 lbs 10 oz., the trigger of Optimus is quite heavy and there is a long pull required in the second stage. However, 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.
There are lots of customer reviews on this Optimus .22. Positive reviews show that people love its cheap price, say its great value for 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 complaint that this gun deserves is the trigger. There are so many guns at this price range has better triggers like the Beeman series with RS2 trigger or Ruger Air Hawk.
Overall, customers find that this gun is a great gun for the price. The scope and the trigger could be better but for the price range, they couldn’t ask for a better gun. Many buyers believe this is one of the best guns under $120.
- Handsome hardwood stock
- Fantastic fiber optic sight
- Hit like a tank
- Superb accuracy
- High-end velocity
- 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
The price for Optimus .22 is just slightly more than 100 dollars. It’s a damn cheap price for a gun that gives you small shooting groups, hits very hard and can handle common pests such as squirrels, crows, chipmunks, etc.
There are a couple of different listings online with different prices but the listing I found is the cheapest price among online e-commercial sites like Amazon, PyramydAir, Walmart,etc.
The Optimus .22 is straightforward rifle. It doesn’t have anything fancy, but it wasn’t built to be 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!