Britain's biggest-selling airgun magazine
Tim reviews the Crosman Night Stalker - a neat little CO2 pistol with a blow-back action retailing at just £145!
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If you are a plinker looking for a no nonsense, CO2 recoiling blow-back pistol, then Crosman have got you covered with their Night Stalker model.
The blow-back top slide gives it realistic recoil and adds not only to the fun, but also the challenge of shooting a pistol. The Night Stalker also comes with a laser, and adding a laser as standard takes plinking to a whole other level. Both eyes can focus on the target and you simply place the dot on the target and fire. It has a removable 4.5mm steel BB single-stack magazine, and it runs off the industry standard, 12-gram CO2 bulb housed in the pistol grip.
Pulling off of the back of the grip exposes the aperture for the bulb – I do like the simple thumbscrew piercing systems – and you just pull the toggle up and screw it in tight to let the gas flow into the system.
Over the chronograph, the Night Stalker gave me three magazines’ worth of shots. Each drop-out magazine holds 18 x 4.5mm steel BBs, and loading is easy because there’s a spring-loaded follower and a catch to lock it down whilst you load the BBs in from the top.
The magazine release catch wasn’t where is usually is on a pistol, i.e. behind the trigger; it’s actually on the base of the magazine itself. It operates smoothly and easily, with your pointy finger on the front curved section of the mag’, your thumb pushes the ribbed button forward and the mag’ drops out. As for power levels, I didn’t get near the 420 feet per second as quoted on the blister packaging. It came in at around 370-380fps.
The pistol feels good in the hand, it’s weighty and the grip is very ergonomic. The stipple-like grip pattern, I like a lot, and it is ambidextrous, of course. It has a raised Crosman Logo picked out in red on each side of the grip.
The safety catch is on the right-hand side above the trigger, and for a right-handed shooter it comes perfectly onto the trigger finger. It looks like a horizontal sliding switch, but you have to press it in in order to get it moving back and forth. For left-handed shooters, you can use the index finger of the right hand if you are using a two-handed, tactical-type grip.
The forward position uncovers a red panel – red meaning ‘fire’, of course. Pulling it back shows a white panel, for ‘safe’. Crosman also give you arrows with an F and S to make sure you understand how it works.
The laser has an operating push-button switch just in front of the safety catch position, and it’s a perfect place for the trigger finger of a right-handed shooter. Push it in from the right-hand side and it comes on. It’s a red-dot laser running off three button batteries, and Crosman supply these in the blister pack, as well as an Allen key to adjust the laser’s position.
To do this, there are two Allen studs in the laser’s body at the front; one at the three o’clock position, and one at six o’clock. Turning these threaded studs moves the dot left and right, and up and down. Crosman gives you brilliantly clear and concise instructions for setting up the laser with the three LR41 3-volt batteries included. I was able very quickly and easily to zero in the laser dot to sit on the top of the front post at six yards, by using the Allen key on the two adjusting studs.
Shooting with lasers makes it easier to hit your short-range plinking targets, and the bright red dot really stood out in the loft range, but it worked just as well out in the sunshine of the back garden. The open sights are fixed, and the rear notch has two bright white dots, one on each side of the notch.
I found it a very accurate pistol. It made short work of my six spinning IPSC targets and the blow-back action is fun to shoot. The Night Stalker also has a 30mm-long Picatinny rail that the laser element fits into, so you can fit a light to have even more plinking fun with a light and laser combo.
The trigger on the Night Stalker measured at 3.3kg but it felt much lighter, and it has a very short reset, so that means the shooter has only a very short shot-to-shot time.
You know when the CO2 bulb is getting low because the hammer doesn’t stay down at full cock, which would indicate that it is ready to fire. You can still carry on firing, but you will have to cock the pistol manually. A good way to do this is just to pull back the top slide – Crosman gives you nine grooves on each side to make it easier. Shooting the Night Stalker is lots of fun, and the laser is very cool. It’s a fun gun that’s simple to operate and it gives a lot of feedback to the shooter.
Model: Night Stalker
Distributor: Range Right Ltd
Mechanism: Blow-back repeater
Power Source: 12-gram CO2 cylinder
Capacity: 18 shot
Overall length: 189mm
Barrel length: 100mm
Sights: Open. Laser pointer under the barrel (integral to the pistol)
Sight base: 144mm
Trigger weight: 3.3kg
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