By John C.
Groenewold and Rudolf A. Kullmann
Copyright John Groenewold, October
appeared in Airgun
News and Report
volume 1, Number 2, January, 1986
is the most sought after Crosman air rifle. To
date, very little has been written about this particular gun. It
is also the most interesting Crosman
Pneumatic rifle or pistol ever produced since it is the only one in
which the pump rod pulled straight out the front end of the compression
other Crosman pneumatic arms
have the type pump which pivots from the muzzle end of the compression
Model 1923 was also the first Crosman gun ever produced.
was designed by William McLean,
the Crosman familys chauffeur.
production of this gun lasted approximately one year and only a very
small quantity was produced.
19223 guns were recently examined by the authors. In
general, there is an obvious similarity between the Model 1923 and the
Crosman 100 and 101 which are familiar to most collectors.
operation of the bolt and
loading are the same as is the cocking procedure. Many
of the small parts are interchangeable.
which was repaired by the authors, was serial number 97.
gun had a walnut stock and a
machined steel receiver.
also had an
aperture rear sight, mounted in a dove-tail cut in the receiver above
the barrel in front of the breech. The
second and third guns restored by the authors were serial number 1227
were basically identical.
common differences between these later
guns and the serial number 97 were that the most recent guns had die
cast receivers with a Crosman logo on the right side.
stock s were not of walnut
but of some other hard wood.
sights were very similar to the early model 100 series guns in that the
aperture was mounted over the bolt on a bridge which accepted the rear
receiver of the Model
1923 was so narrow that the recess could not be deep enough to accept
the entire bridge; therefore, part of the bridge was inletted into the
front sight on these later guns
was also higher the on the serial number 97 gun. This
was because the rear sight had to be higher to accommodate the locking
pin of the bolt.
guns described go Oakleaf (The
airgun Journal, Vol. 2, No.1
Crosmans First Effort) and
Vol 2, No.1, Editors Note)
serial numbers 637 and 540
respectively, had steel receivers and walnut stocks a s compared to the
serial numbers 1227 and 1479 which had die cast receivers and hard wood
changes must have occurred
about serial number 1000.
receivers were thinner then the model 100 series receivers. This
was fine for the steel receivers;
however, their die cast receivers were prone to splitting and cracking.
The stock on the Model 1923 was one piece sans since the receiver was
inletted into the stock; their wood was quite thin in the receiver area. Both
hard wood stocked guns examined by the
authors had cracks in the stock where the receiver was inletted. These
problems probably contributed to the
design of the Model 100 series guns with their heaver receivers and
described by Smith (Smiths
Standard Encyclopedia of Gas,
Air, and Spring Guns of the World)
was identical to the ones
described by Oakleaf and Beeman. All
Model 19232 guns mentioned here had the same shape stock with only
minor differences in the shape of the Schnabel; barrel bands and front
sights machined from steel; nickel plated brass compression tubes;
blued steel barrels; and three screws for attaching the butt plate. All
except the serial number 97 gun had the
rear sight mounted on a bridge.
the serial number stamped on the top of the receiver (to the right of
the bolt) and the heel of the butt plate (the serial number 97 gun did
not have the serial number stamped on the butt plate).
can not yet be determined when
the pump knob was first grooved, but the serial number 97 guns pump
knob lacked the concentric ring grooves present on the serial number
1227 and 14779.
appears that these
rings were added to the guns after production had begun to minimize the
chances of the pump knob sliding off the surface it was being pushed
probably was done for the
convenience of the shooter or to reduce the possibility of bending the
Mr. F. Kunzler
(personal correspondence) brought a Crosman Model 1923 serial number
199, to the authors attention.
basically identical to the serial number 97 gun, except for the
receiver and rear sight.
199 receiver was machined for both, the dove-tail and bridge types of
sight on the gun was the
bridge type and the dove-tail was not used. It
is therefore, apparent when this change was made since the serial
number 97 gun was not machined to accept the bridge type sight and the
serial number 540 gun did not have the dove-tail. This
also narrows down the period in which other changes were made (i.e.
addition of the serial number to the butt plate and rings on the pump
serial number 199 gun had also
been fitted with a sling and swivels.
The model 1923
original produced must have be expensive to make, hense the change to
die cast receivers and hard wood stocks. Other
changes which occurred with the introduction of the Model 100 serial
guns include; the plating for the compression tube was change to paint
and the trigger was flared for comfort. The
model 1923 had flat springs for the trigger while their Model 100
series guns had coil springs.
Model 1923 guns had double flat springs for the trigger spring
possibly an improvement to eliminate malfunctions on earlier guns
(uncontrolled trigger release).
The valve on
1923 operates on the same principle as ton the Model 100 series guns. The
mechanism was almost identical.
small differences in the shape of the
check valve and the exhaust valve body gasket exist.
were no machined seats at
the bottom of the compression chamber, or in the exhaust valve body. Model
100 series parts can be used to repair
the Model 1923.
results were obtained
when all the valve parts were replaced with Model 100 series parts. The
only Model 1923 which had a complete set
of original parts was the serial n umber 1227 gun.
The Model 1923
were very difficult to pump up compared to the forearm pivot type guns. There
was no leverage advantage as in the
forearm pivot type mechanism.
definite power limiting factor.
having a usable and more powerful example of this style gun, the
authors built a CO2 facsimile.
from a standard Crosman 10 ounce CO2 cylinder. The
receiver was not reduced to the same width as the Model 1923 receiver
was salvaged from a
broken Model 101.
was also left higher
then the Model 1923 receiver.
compression tube was fabricated from scratch. Standard
Crosman parts form Models 101 and 113 were used. The filling head plug
screw was given the appearance of the Model 1923s pump knob. The
stock was made from American Black Walnut. It
was made thicker in the receiver area then
the Model 1923s stock to accommodate the heavier receiver. All
the external metal parts were chrome
97 and 1228 guns had different internal parts, the performance of each
was evaluated using an electronic chronograph. The
included for comparison.
1227 gun was completely original or used duplicated original parts
serial number 97 gun had a
model 100 series valve assembly.
Model 1923 came in a cardboard sleeve which was said to be original. The
box, however, pictured a Crosman rifle
which was not the Model 1923 and was not mentioned in any available
had a forearm pivot type
pump, Model 1923 receiver with the bridge type rear sight.
also exhibited a one piece
stock similar to the Model 1923 except the forearm had been cut through
and the barrel band moved closer to the receiver to facilitate pumping.