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Definitive Guide to Crosman 2240XL

The Crosman 2240 was introduced in 1956 and remained fairly close to the original design for much of its glorious life. It's been the foundation of custom builds for decades and continues to be a favorite starting ground for airgun hobbyists year after year. The raw simplicity along with the availability of 3rd party add-ons ensure its place as an airgun every airgunner will probably own, and tinker with, at some point. With its decades-long pedigree, it would make sense that Crosman would simply keep cranking out the same model without change. Or would they?
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Detailed Review

The Crosman 2240XL is a CO2-powered .22 caliber, bolt action air pistol. The standard 2240 comes with a plastic breach and basic open sights. Often the first mod made to the standard 2240 is the addition of a steel breach that secures the barrel more aggressively and adds a dovetail mount for optics. The 2240XL incorporates this significant upgrade as standard equipment. It also removes the front sight replacing it with a 1/2 UNF threaded muzzle for standard airgun accessories such as muzzle breaks. With this new starting point, airgun enthusiasts have a jump start on the various things they can do with their new airgun.

The Crosman 2240XL has the same frame as the original. The grips are slightly different, both in texture and shape. The original 2240 grips felt a bit more plastic-ky than the newer style grips. The new grips are also brown vs the original black.

The trigger appears to be the same with a pull weight of 1 pound 12.6 ounces. It's not factory adjustable, but there are many mods available for those who want to incorporate a fully adjustable trigger. The CO2 is loaded the same way and the valve seems to also be the same as the original.

As mentioned above, unlike the original 2240, the new XL version does not come with any sights. The new steel breach is the "long" version which provides exceptional stability for the 7.5" barrel. A common upgrade would be to add a longer barrel, increasing velocity and accuracy. Shooters will need to add an optic to the 11mm dovetail before heading to the backyard or to the range. For our tests, we'll be using a 30mm Hawke Optics Red Dot Sight. It's very affordable while delivering a clean 3 moa red dot for aiming.

Loading the CO2 can be a bit tricky for those who don't know the 2240 or anyone who has not fully read the manual. You simply remove the endcap on the CO2 chamber and install your 12-gram CO2 cartridge. It's a good practice to add a drop of Crosman Pellgun oil to the tip of each cartridge to help maintain the valve and the o-rings. Once the CO2 is installed you can replace the end cap. Here's the tricky part - you do not need to crank down on this end cap. The valve has a pointed end that punctures the cartridge the first time the hammer hits the valve stem.

With the CO2 installed and ready to go, you'll need to cock the gun by pulling the bolt back until the hammer engages the sear. Manually load a .22 caliber pellet and push the bolt forward, which inserts the pellet into the breach and creates an air-tight seal. There's a cross-block safety integrated into the trigger system. To fire you need only push the safety to the left, setting the pistol to "fire," and then gently squeeze the trigger.

Accuracy, Power, and Shot Count

Performance with the new 2240XL is on par with the original - we're getting about 40 good shots per CO2 cartridge. It's important to remember, like all CO2 airguns, performance will vary based on many factors such as ambient temperature, how quickly you take follow-up shots, etc. But we did not notice any measurable difference between the standard 2240 and the new 2240XL.

Lightweight lead pellets like the 15.89 Grain JSB pellets, which are about as heavy as we'd recommend, travel around 418 FPS. While certainly not a "powerhouse" of an air pistol, it's more than enough for 10-meter target shooting or light pesting up close. I'm sure there are many rats and squirrels that wish they had never been introduced to the Crosman 2240.

To see what kind of maximum velocity we could get, we shot a few alloy pellets as well:

  • The 11.75 grain .22 caliber GTO pellets shot 460 FPS
  • The Gamo Platinum PBA pellets at 9.7 grain shot around 500 FPS
  • The 12.35 grain H&N Baracuda Green pellets shot at 430 FPS

In the end, the extremely affordable simple wadcutter may be the best option for general target practice and plinking. One last point before we move on to accuracy would be that the wide-open, single-shot loading system allows for a wide range of pellets. So don't just take our word for things. Have fun and experiment with all kinds of options. You may find that perfect pellet that we never thought of!

The Crosman 2240 has always been a very accurate pellet pistol. It's one of the reasons it's so popular with enthusiasts worldwide. The 2240XL continues to live up to that high standard.

We tested 4 pellets, all at 10 yards, while using our Hawke Red Dot scope. We shot from a bench to maximize the pistol's potential and take as much of the human factor out as we could. The first pellet was the RWS 11.9 grain hobby pellet. They delivered a 5 shot group of .76" CTC.

Our next pellet was the 15.89 grain JSB domed pellet. While they do shoot more slowly, they still delivered exceptional accuracy coming in at .9" CTC.

Just to see how it would perform, we shot the 15.89 grain Hades from JSB and Predator International. The .22 cal Hades shot really well, delivering our most accurate 5 shot group measuring .52" CTC.

Lastly, we shot the lead-free GTO pellets from Predator International. Lead-free pellets are a necessity for some parts of the country, so it's important to know how they will shoot. While not shooting as well as our lead pellets, they delivered a 5 shot group measuring 1.2" CTC. It could be with more practice or testing with other lead free options we'd get better results.

In all our tests, the 2240XL performed exceptionally well.

Summing Up

The 2240XL takes an awesome airgun pistol and adds the most requested mods out of the box. The steel breach is a must-have add-on and just having that as a starting point makes a lot of sense. While we would have preferred Crosman kept the open sighs, adding a threaded endcap sort of makes up for its absence.

In the end, the newer version of the 2240XL doesn't just live up to the original but adds real value and performance as well. It's not only a great airgun out of the box for 90% of the shooters out there, but it also gives the real enthusiasts a better starting point for their custom airgun builds. We want to extend a thank you to Crosman for taking things to the next level with their 2240XL.

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