Top Value Guns

Tim Fin­ley’s fas­ci­na­tion with the Wild West is awak­ened by a Cros­man Cow­boy

Airgun World - - Contents -

Tim Fin­ley’s off to the vir­tual Wild West with a Cow­boy – from Cros­man

I’ve been look­ing for­ward to get­ting my hands on this month’s Top Value Gun. It looks like an old-time, Wild West six-shooter, but – and here’s the very big BUT – it has some fan­tas­tic and very mod­ern fea­tures. It’s a CO2 12-gram, bulb-pow­ered pis­tol made by the US air­gun gi­ants, Cros­man, un­der the Sheri­dan brand name, and to top it all, they’ve called it the ‘Cow­boy’; based upon the Rem­ing­ton 1875, sin­gle-ac­tion re­volver, it’s a real hand­ful. The 1875 was based upon a black-pow­der pis­tol, but up­dated to fire metal­lic car­tridges. The cylin­der was re­mov­able and it had a seven-inch long bar­rel, and be­cause it was sin­gle-ac­tion, the trig­ger did not cock the ham­mer – you had to pull back the ham­mer man­u­ally to cock the ac­tion and ro­tate the six-shot cylin­der.

The Sheri­dan Cow­boy is pre­sented in an eye-pop­ping sil­ver fin­ish with an ivory-coloured plas­tic grip and boy does it look the part! You feel like shout­ing ‘yee-haw’ ev­ery time you pick it up.


The re­ally cool thing about this CO2 plinker is the 12 brass-coloured metal, faux car­tridges – six for car­ry­ing 4.5mm BBs and six for car­ry­ing 4.5mm lead pel­lets. Yes, this gun can fire both. It has to have a smooth-bore bar­rel in or­der to do this, but as we will see it doesn’t ruin the ac­cu­racy. To load the six car­tridges with ei­ther the pre­scribed BBs or pel­lets, they both have a syn­thetic insert in their base. The pel­let ver­sions have a handy pic­ture of a pel­let next to the hole in the base and the BB ver­sion just says ‘4.5mm’. I no­ticed if you try to use cheap BBs, they might fall out of the car­tridge, but any de­cent lead pel­let fits okay in the pel­let ver­sion.

As you would ex­pect, the CO2 bulb fits in the butt. There’s a nail nick at the base of the grip frame, which lets you pry off the scale, and then hey presto – there’s a hid­den, short­ened Allen key clipped into the scale. You can then use this to tighten the pierc­ing screw to charge the Cow­boy.


To load the gun you have to half cock the ham­mer to ro­tate the cylin­der to align it with the load­ing gate on the right-hand side. Once all six car­tridges are in, the load­ing gate can be shut and you are good to go, or you can ap­ply the man­ual safety catch which is a slid­ing but­ton right in front of the trig­ger guard. Slide it back to­ward the trig­ger, and it locks off the ham­mer, which in turn, locks off the trig­ger and stops the cylin­der from ro­tat­ing. This means that you can­not load the Cow­boy with the safety catch on ‘safe’. Once on ‘safe’ you can­not reach it with your trig­ger fin­ger so have to take it off with the sup­port­ing hand; you’ll see a white dot when it’s set on ‘safe’. Slide it for­wards to the bar­rel and a red dot ap­pears – you can now cock the ham­mer, and you can even re­set the safety once the ham­mer is cocked.


The Cow­boy op­er­ates with a hugely sat­is­fy­ing se­ries of clicks, sound­ing like a Swiss watch, and there are three clicks to the point when it’s ready to fire. Over the chrono­graph with 7.9 grain pel­lets it gave me 1.7 ft.lbs. Mov­ing on to BBs, it went up to 2 ft.lbs. Num­ber of shots is su­perb; I got 72 shots or 12 full cylin­ders’ worth, and shot-to-shot vari­a­tion was also good. You can press out the car­tridge with the slid­ing rod on the side of the bar­rel if you want, but the car­tridges just fall out as you ro­tate the cylin­der if you hold up the Cow­boy bar­rel – the rod is a throw­back to the orig­i­nal 1875 pis­tol and a nice touch.


An ad­di­tional nice touch is an­other copied fea­ture of the orig­i­nal – you can re­move the cylin­der from the body of the gun by push­ing in

a black, slot-headed but­ton on the right-hand side and pulling out the cen­tre spin­dle to re­move the cylin­der from the frame. It’s eas­ier if you half cock the gun and open the load­ing gate be­cause the cylin­der comes out the same side. The sight base is 215mm long and the sights are all 1875; the rear groove is 60mm long, but is just a groove – i.e. there are no ad­just­ments for the rear sight, ei­ther for windage or el­e­va­tion. The shooter has to make their own ad­just­ments. This is done by aim­ing in a dif­fer­ent place if the pel­lets or BBs are not hit­ting smack on the sights at your given shoot­ing dis­tance. It’s not a bad thing be­cause it teaches you how to aim off – a skill lack­ing in a lot of shoot­ers th­ese days. Shoot­ing at six yards with BBs, it gave me a 40mm av­er­age-sized group, which shrank to 30mm with pel­lets. The grip felt good, too.


This is a very cool-look­ing, very ca­pa­ble plink­ing pis­tol and well worth the money, in my book. I love ev­ery­thing about it. It’s not a ‘fast fire fun’ gun , but the Cow­boy has pure class, in spades, and not only is it won­der­ful to use and shoot, but the added trick of ei­ther BB or lead pel­lets takes your po­ten­tial plink­ing to a whole new level, too.

Thanks to all at ASI for help in the pro­duc­tion of this ar­ti­cle.

“the added trick of ei­ther BB or lead pel­lets takes your po­ten­tial plink­ing to a whole new level”

The Sheri­dan ap­pealed to Tim’s in­ner cow­boy.

Fully cocked and ready to go.

A 12 gramme CO2 cap­sule fits into the frame here They even give you a tiny Allen key in the grip. Nice!

Tak­ing out a car­tridge.

The safety set on ‘fire’ show­ing the red dot.

The rear sight is a long shal­low groove.

The low-pro­file fore­sight.

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