Crosman Phantom G1 Extreme Review
The topic of our review today is the Crosman G1 Extreme Kit. I want to thank the folks at Crosman for sending us this rifle to review, and for supporting our efforts. Our goal is to research products that are inexpensive yet deliver outstanding results. The G1 Extreme Kit from Crosman fits this role perfectly. This rifle easily competes with rifles in the $200+ range, and from my perspective actually outperforms many of them, including my Gamo Hunter 440.
The kit includes the rifle, 3x9x32 AO Mil-Dot scope with scope covers, storage sock and targets. On paper the rifle is rated at 1000 FPS with a reasonable cocking force that lends itself to all day shooting. The rifle does not have any open sights so the scope is your only option. Fortunately Crosman included an excellent CenterPoint range estimating scope. The optics are very clear and the AO option is adjustable down to only 15 feet. The fact that it has a Mil-Dot range estimating system proved very useful in the accuracy tests. While this rifle shot well with various pellets, each pellet had its own distinct point of impact. With some trigger time, you can easily adjust to each pellet and keep on target with out having to re-center the scope for each type of pellet you want to use. This should prove very useful to those hunters out there.
One final point about the Crosman CenterPoint scope. I've had the advantage of trying some fairly fancy scopes recently that were also made in China. While their optics are clear and they pack a lot of features, they feel "thin" to me. I don't know how else to describe them other than they feel like they lack something, like the materials used to make them could have been just a little better. So far all the Crosman CenterPoint scopes that I've used feel more like an expensive rifle scopes with substance. They just feel more rugged to me. As I put these other scopes to the test in the upcoming weeks, we'll see if my observation has any merit of if I'm just being picky.
The trigger system is typical for an inexpensive rifle and is really the only complaint that I had. Although it is stated as an adjustable two stage trigger, I found it to barely have any first stage with a long, unpredictable second stage. It took several hundred shots to get comfortable with its release point and there was still no guarantee that it was going to break when expected. With that said, after those several hundred shots, I noticed that it was improving. My guess would be that the more you shoot it, the better it will get and the more comfortable you will get with it. This really proved true in our accuracy tests. After about 400 or 500 pellets, everything tightened up and really started to perform.
Another unique feature of the Crosman G1 Extreme is its lightweight composite stock. Its shape and feel are excellent for a gun in this price range. There is a nice flat spot just ahead of the trigger that lends itself to the proper hold technique for a spring air gun. The designers must have know what they were doing when they finalized the design because it makes it easy for off hand shooting and field work. For the bench however, I found that my favorite accessory, the UTG Dragon Claw Bi-Pod, was the killer accessory for this rifle. At only about $20 it is a no-brainer for anyone that wants to shoot 1/4" groups at 20+ yards from the bench.
G1 Extreme with UTG Dragon Claw Bi-Pod installed.Finding the right pellet proved a challenge. Actually, finding the right shooting method proved to be more of an issue than finding the right pellet but once again the Dragon Claw saved the day. As for pellets, I found that the Crosman Field Points were best at all ranges, followed by the Gamo Rocket pellet, and Crosman Wadcutters respectively. As mentioned above this gun is rated for a maximum of 1000 FPS and while it may get that high with very lightweight novelty pellets, I got close to 900 FPS with everything but the Gamo Rockets. Actually just under 900 FPS is really the sweet spot that you want to shoot for as it is just under the sound barrier and the pellet remains more stable and thus more accurate for longer distances. After shooting some in the field as well as from the bench, I would be comfortable using this gun out to 50 yards or more if I was shooting from a bench. Yeah.. it is that good. Here are the velocities that we got from our top 3 pellets:
Crosman Field Point
High - 885, Low - 874, Average - 880, Difference - 11
High - 802, Low - 790, Average - 795, Difference - 12
High - 882, Low 874, Average - 879, Difference - 8
As you can see, the power plant for this rifle is rock steady with very little spread between pellets. A big part of accuracy is dependant on the consistency that your gun can produce. This gun defiantly has it.
Moving on to the shooting and accuracy testing. As I mentioned above, I had a hard time finding the best way to shoot this from the bench. My goal with testing any gun it to take as much of "me" out of the equation as possible. Some spring guns are notoriously difficult to shoot because they are so hold sensitive. The G1 falls in this category. It took several sessions at the bench to finally get the consistent groups that I knew this gun could produce. Persistence was the key and I would encourage anyone that gets this rifle to try and try again until you find the right technique for you. Once you find it, remember it because this gun will blow your socks off once you find it.
I started shooting at 15 yards and eventually found myself getting consistent groups like these:
Crosman Field Point at 15 yards
Gamo Rockets at 15 Yards
Crosman Wadcutters at 15 yards
For some reason the Wadcutters were always shooting to the right about 1 dot. This is where the Mil-Dot scope really came in handy. Once I knew how each pellet would perform, I could easily compensate for the pellet and distance.
Once I achieved consistent groups at 15 yards, I backed up to just beyond 20 yards, about 65". Here is what I got from just over 20 yards:
First Group at just over 20 yards, Crosman Field Points
Last group of the day at just over 20 yards, Crosman Field Points
By the end of the day, these were typical groupings using the Crosman Field Point pellets.
A note about shooting from the bench vs. field shooting, when using the Bi-Pod I found that a firmer grip proved better than a lighter one. When shooting off hand, the classic technique of resting the rifle on your palm just ahead of the trigger worked well. Depending on how you plan to shoot that day, you will want to either be very aware of your Point of Impact with the hold and pellet and take advantage of the Mil-Dot scope, or you will want to re-center your scope for that day's plans. The one thing that will really make this gun perform is the amount of practice time you are willing to invest. The more you shoot, the better it, and you will get.
My final thoughts about the Crosman G1 Extreme? At and average cost of only $120, this is a gun that just about anyone can afford. While it will take some practice to get used the trigger and consistent with your hold, it will pay off in the end with some remarkable performance and accuracy. I usually prefer a .22 for hunting and for distance shooting because my experience has shown that the added weight of the .22 pellet helps with down range consistency. However, I'll say that this rifle will be the exception to my rule as I made some 50+ yard field shots with deadly effect. The scope is a real bright spot for me. Crosman could have skimped on the scope but they didn't. It adds additional value not found on anything it this price range. The final, and also critical, point that I'd like to mention is about Crosman's customer service. If you have ANY problems with any Crosman rifle, I'd encourage you to contact their customer service department. They will make every effort to repair or replace the product. They truly want your shooting experience to be an enjoyable one and will go out of their way to make sure that the product you have is the best it should be.
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