Top Value Guns
Tim Finley’s fascination with the Wild West is awakened by a Crosman Cowboy
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.