Review: Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol

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Recently, I had need of a quiet, lightweight, yet powerful option to dispatch a predator in my backyard. I quickly ran through my options, and came up with the Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol. I have a few air powered options to choose from, but this is the only pistol framed one I have, and for good reason.

The Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol offers 600+ fps out of the box. (At least for the U.S. version, I understand Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol

the Canadian version has a pressure relief valve to prevent those silly gun owners from hurting themselves. Even in Canada, the government know best!) Some simple mods can increase it velocity to 800+, putting the pistol into the realm of some decent pellet rifles.

I’ve owned several air powered guns, though none of them as great as the one I wrote about a while back, but the that particular rifle didn’t cost less than a day’s wages. The Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol runs about $56 right now at both Amazon and Walmart. Add in a pack of quality pellets, and you’ve got a more-than-adequate food getting handgun for your car, truck, or bug out bag.

I mention quality pellets, because, like most firearms, pellet/air guns usually perform better with better quality ammo. Finish standards, materials, and weight tolerances on the pellets all affect the overall performance of the guns.

Gamo Rocket .177 Cal, 9.6 Grains, Ballistic Tip pellets
Gamo Rocket .177 Cal, 9.6 Grains, Ballistic Tip pellets

RidgeRunner and I were shooting our Gamo air rifles, and found that the Gamo pellets outperform the inexpensive Daisy pellets, taking my 4 inch groups down to about a 1 inch group at 45 feet. This same performance results when firing the Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol as well. Mine seems to prefer eating the Gamo Rocket .177 Cal, 9.6 Grains, Ballistic Tip pellets. Handy since I have a lot of those on hand.

I have found that performance shifts based on the number of pumps as well as the pellet used. My best performance combo tends to be at 5-8 pumps, using Gamo Rocket .177 Cal, 9.6 Grains, Ballistic Tip pellets. More pumps does increase the velocity, but at an accuracy tradeoff, it seems. Using other pellets also widens my groupings. Like any other gun, you need to find what works best for you.

This brings up another point as I write this – ammo availability. Currently there is an “ammo shortage” for a variety of reasons. This has forced prices up, with .22 rounds costing as much as $0.10 cents per round for standard grade ammo. As a kid I recall paying less than a penny per round, and as recently as last fall, I have purchased 500 rounds of .22 for $22. Yet pellets and BBs are available everywhere, and not overly expensive.

The Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol also makes a great hands on tool for teaching gun safety. Operating with the same basics as any firearm using powder and bullets, it also requires the same safety precautions. Remember that, just as it says stamped on the barrel, this is not a toy.

Additional advantages to this gun include it’s low noise factor, the fact that no license is require in most places to own one, with proper safety precautions they can be fired inside, no CO2 needed, and its range of aftermarket modifications available. From hand grips to extended barrels and rifle stocks, you can take an off the self handgun and turn it into a tack driving silent hunting machine…at least as far as small game is concerned.

The Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol is capable of bringing down most birds, squirrels, and even rabbits out to 15 or so yards. While that may not seem like much range, try doing that with a rock in a survival situation, or in your back yard with a .22 and see how long it takes for law enforcement to be called. And since it is low velocity, the pellets do not carry far, limiting it’s down range damage potential in the case of a miss.

Missing won’t be because of the gun though. With a decent pellet, the gun is capable of shooting 1/2 inchGamo pellets groups at 15 yards. Personally, I can get it to shoot 1 inch groups most of the time, proving that the gun can shoot better that I can push it.


Overall, I find the Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol to be a great low cost option to practice shooting, for in town varmint control, and as an excellent resource to carry in a bug out bag or truck. With the less strict laws governing its ownership and use (be sure to check your local laws, as each country, state and town can have rules regarding them), and the overall great performance, I’d call the Crossman Pumpmaster Classic pistol a great asset for every home.


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    1. I hope you picked up plenty of ammo….

      If the ammo shortage doesn’t ease up, pellets and BBs will start to become hard to find as well!


      1. I have about 3500 rounds of .22 pellets, more or less in three shapes, cone-point, destroyer’ ie. hollow point wadcutters and round lead ball. I have about 4000 rounds in .177, dome top, destroyer and lead ball along with about 6000 premium BBs. Seven weapons, Ruger Black Hawk in .177, Crosman Optimus in .22, Browning break-barrel pistol in .22, Benjamin Nitro pistol in .177, the Crosman classic 1322, in this article, and a Crosman 2240 along with about a hundred gas capsules. The 1322 Pumpmaster Classic has the carbine stock attached, five of them have the Crosman reddot reflex sights. I’m old military and never got used to telescopes, but reflex sights are an improvement over iron sights for old eyes. The two Crosman pistols have the aftermarket field sights from Archer Air Guns.

        Last but not least is my Daisy 880, BBs and pellets from a rifled barrel. As I’m now 72, I expect my ammo supply to outlive me, but I do love eating small game for supper.

  1. I’ve been thinking about getting one of those and after reading that review I’m sold. Have you tried mounting a small pistol or red dot scope on one yet?

    1. I haven’t. I know there are two methods, on is a clamp that fits over the barrel and adds a scope mount, the other method (better but costs more) is to replace the receiver with an aftermarket one…adds functionality and improves several functions….but costs more than then pistol does.

      I find that for 10-15 yards, iron sights work well enough for me…and if you like those things, the rear sight can be flipped upside down to turn it into a peep sight.

      I’ve seen you shoot, RR…you don’t need a scope!

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