For a screaming good deal on a powerful .177 caliber air rifle that’s selling for a tad over 100 bucks, there’s hardly a better deal going right now than the Crosman Optimus .177 Caliber/1200 FPS Break Barrel Pellet Air Rifle in hardwood stock. But let’s take a closer look at what this rifle brings to the table, and whether this value is real or merely perceived. Please keep reading for much more information and our concluding thoughts & opinions.
This is a .177 caliber spring rifle that uses a breakbarrel cocking action. It’s well balanced in size/weight with a total length of 45 inches and a 7-pound heft. The barrel is rifled steel and this model uses a front fiber optic sight and fully adjustable rear site for greater flexibility. This particular rifle does not come with a scope but a combo that is equipped with a 4 x32 mm scope is available. If you plan on getting your own scope, the Optimus uses a 3/8″ dovetail optics rail.
In addition to these basic but very solid specifications, the Optimus comes adorned in a very nice hardwood stock, which certainly does not look like the type you’d expect on an air rifle with such a modest price tag.
Muzzle Velocity and Power
The Optimus is a great example of how powerful even inexpensive spring air rifles are today. According to Crosman, the Optimus can generate a muzzle velocity of 1000 FPS with lead pellets and 1,200 FPS with alloy pellets. Although we can’t be sure of the actual pellets used, if we assume that the lead pellets tested were a typical 7.9 grains in weight, by plugging this and the reported 1000 FPS into our FPE calculator, we arrive at an air rifle with 17.5 FPE at the barrel!
This is outstanding power for any air rifle, much less one in this price class. Consequently, this is not only enough power for field target shooting, and plinking, but it easily meets the 12 FPE minimum requirement we like to see in potential small game hunting air rifles.
Price & Value
At the moment, the Crosman Optimus has a list price of about $165 but is on sale for roughly $106 – this is simply an outstanding deal given this air rifle’s features and specifications. And as we discuss below, it’s unusual value is one of the reasons why it’s received so much praise from consumers.
Crosman Optimus .177 Air Rifle Reviews
As of the date of this writing, the Crosman Optimus has a nearly perfect average user satisfaction rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on amazon.com based on 21 reviews. This is extremely high user approval, a score we rarely see in any air rifle with a decent number of reviews. But let’s dig deeper into these reviews to find out exactly what people liked and didn’t like. Here are the pros/cons as actual Optimus owners characterized them:
- Lots of Power – users were consistently impressed by the power of this springer, with several reviewers noting that this rifle broke the sound barrier when fired, especially if heavier pellets weren’t used.
- Great Accuracy – although some reports indicated that it took some time to break in properly, many reviewers praised the fiber optic sighting and the overall precision of this air rifle.
- Relatively Easy Cocking – a powerful springer like this is never too “easy” to cock, but most people indicated that it was far easier than they expected, particular compared to other rifles with this much power.
- Great For Air Rifle Hunting – with its power and precision, several owners stated that they were successfully using this rifle for small game hunting.
- Not Too Loud – spring rifles are notorious for being loud, but the consensus was that the Optimus was “not too loud” and therefore quite tolerable relative to others.
- Great Overall Quality & Value - beyond everything else, the big theme among the reviewers was their amazement at how well-made, powerful, accurate, and attractive this air rifle is – especially for one in it’s price range.
- Noise? – with only 5 and 4 star reviews, there were really no “cons” per se; however, one reviewer stated that he brought the rifle back because it was too loud. Of course, this was a minority view, since the other reviewers reported that noise levels weren’t that bad. In any event, spring-piston rifle are always going to result in some noise, particularly if you are breaking the sound barrier with fast alloy pellets.
Concluding Thoughts & Opinions
Like those who have purchased it, we too are extremely impressed with the quality and unbelievable value that the Crosman Optimus .177 Caliber Breakbarrel brings. Not only does it have small game hunting power, but it’s fiber optic sighting and overall construction make it a very accurate air rifle as well. Furthermore, it’s also a very handsome rifle, with an attractive wood stock that will last for years with only minimal care. As a result, this would make a great target shooting, plinking or small game hunting air rifle for both new users and more experienced air rifle enthusiasts alike.