Crosman 1322: A Complete Review

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Introduction

The Crosman 1322 is a single-shot, pneumatic pump-action pellet air pistol with a .22-caliber that was first introduced in 1977.   

The 1322 model was designed to be an all-purpose air pistol for small game hunting and target practice. Various separate versions of 1322 were manufactured up to 2004 when it was no longer sold in the US. In 2012 Crosman reintroduced the air pistol. 

Shooting the Crosman 1322

Design and Operation

Model 1322 integral pump lever system is positioned beneath the barrel, in the middle of the forearm. This pump lever can be cycled several times (up to ten strokes) to accumulate progressively more pressurized air in the chamber.

When you pull the trigger, an air valve channels the pressurized air into the transfer port, which is in the breech. Consequently, the pellet is forcefully discharged from the barrel. According to Crosman, the air pistol attains up to 440 ft./s (130m/s) as the maximum velocity with standard 14.3-grain .22 pellets. The 1322 also comes with front fixed blade sights and an adjustable square notch rear.

The Crosman 1322 is a predecessor of the early Model 1300 Medalist II that Crosman produced from 1970-1976. In 1977, the first version of Model 1322 was launched. Over the decades, three distinct variants of the 1322 were produced: Type I, from 1977 to 1981, Type II from 1978 to 1996. Type III from 1998 to 2004. Crosman then reintroduced the 1322 in 2011. 

Type I is manually cocked using a manual three-right external cocking button. It also comes with a metal breech cover and a Crosman 1322 steel breech. In Type II, Crosman replaced the original steel breech with a plastic version. In Type III, the breech cover and the external cocking button were replaced with integrated cocking and loading functions and a brass bolt action system. 

The pistol was not designed to be a competition-level target air pistol, but with the long-rifled Crosman 1322 barrel, it’s exceptionally accurate. Besides, you can enhance its accuracy with modifications and precision sights.

My Experience with the Crosman 1322

Great Design

The 1322 weighs 2lbs 1.5 oz. and measures about 14 inches. At the back end of the Crosman 1322, you’ll find ambidextrous grips made of black polymer. The grips are cast and textured to make it easy for shooters’ to hold the pistol. When shooting, you can rest your thumb or forefinger on the groove at the top part of each grip. In front of the pistol’s grip, you’ll find a safety push button which displays a red stripe whenever the safety is off. 

Safety

Moving forwards, a metal trigger is guarded by a metal grip frame that stems from the pistol’s lower grip frame. Ahead of that, you’ll find a black polymer forearm that pumps up the Crosman 1322.  

At the edge of the forearm, there is the pumping arm’s pivot point. Above that, there is a blade-type polymer front sight and a barrel. Along the barrel, there is a polymer breech which encases a gold-colored bolt together with a bolt handle. Finally, at the receiver’s back end, there is a rear sight.

The sight’s main body is cast from black polymer. A screw that’s atop the sight, when loosened, allows you to shift the sight sideways for windage adjustments. There are lines carved into the sight’s front edge, and there is a small line at the top part of the receiver. These lines allow you to gauge how much you’re adjusting the sight.  Here are some of the best pistol sights.

You’ll find another screw at the rear end of the sight. Loosening the screw allows for these to happen: you can shift the metal tab up and down to adjust for elevation, and you can shift the metal tab at the back of the sight to choose either a peep sight or notch rear sight. 

Adjusting the 1322’s rear sight feels ticklish, a click-adjustable rear sight would be much more ideal. But, I, like many Crosman shooters, have had a tremendous shooting experience with the 1322 in stock configuration. 

How to Operate

If you want to install a better aiming system, you can clamp PC77 intermounts to the barrel, which will allow you to mount a scope and a red dot. 

To prepare the 1322 for shooting, lubricate it by putting a few drops of Crosman Pellgun Oil to the pump cup and pumping arm. The manual that comes with the 1322 will guide you. An excellent alternative to Pellgun oil is a dab of 30 weight Non-detergent motor oil.

Next, put your 1322 on safe and then pump it 3 to 10 times. Open the breech by cocking the bolt, insert a pellet, lock the bolt, and then pull the trigger. At around 6 lbs, the shot will be shoved out.

At ten pumps, Crosman 1322 shoots 14.3 Crosman Premier .22 pellets at about 420 fps. This amounts to around 5.6 foot-pounds of power at the muzzle, which is effective in controlling pests at short range and small game hunting. With a suitable pellet, you can take out nickel-sized groups at about 10 yards. 

I’m pleased with my Crosman 1322. There is plenty to like about this air pistol, which has a stunning all-black look.

Outstanding Aspects of the Crosman 1322

Appearance/ Exterior Features

With the 1322, Crosman seamlessly blends retro with modern. The pistol’s sights are a testimony of that; they are simple- no-frills ramp sights and blade with no fiber optics.  

The exterior has a rustic look; you can see that with the bluing. I think the gun looks hardy. Its mainframe and the trigger are steel-made while the exterior features are cast from plastic. This includes the original beech, front cap, pump handle, grips, and sights

The choice of material is most likely because Crosman wanted to lower the price without compromising the performance. But despite the use of plastic, the pistol feels solid and doesn’t look cheap.  

Shootability

Shooting this Crosman air pistol is incredibly fun. The bolt works as it should, it doesn’t flop around, and it’s not overly loose. Besides, the bolt gives audible clicks when it’s first engaged and once it’s fully engaged. At shorter distances, the gun is exceptionally accurate. But even at top speed, the 1322 doesn’t do very well in long-range shooting.

Because of the power adjustability of the Crosman, you can shoot it indoors without needing a backstop. A good backstop is, however, still recommended.

The only issue I have with the gun is that it’s rather loud, especially in indoor settings. But if you want to shoot rodents inside a building, this air pistol will get the job done. The caliber is more than adequate, and the adjustability of its power helps minimize risks from ricochets. 

Customizability

In 1981, Crosman introduced model 1399, a skeletonized shoulder stock that effectively transforms it from a pistol to a carbine. In 1985, Crosman came up with a mount and pistol scopes that fit the 1322 and 1377 models.  

The 1322 model is renowned for its ease of modification and versatility. Numerous aftermarket and factory Crosman 1322 mods are available, including steel breeches on which you can mount optical sights, custom-length. You can also get match-grade Crosman 1322 barrel upgrades, receiver- and barrel-mounted scope rings, wide triggers, high-output, and custom air valves, composite and wood stocks and grips, and other parts and accessories.

The 1322 also shares some parts with other guns like the Discovery, Benjamin and Crosman 2240 and 2300. It’s also extremely popular among air gun enthusiasts.

You can get the Crosman 1322 for $60, so price won’t be a barrier of entry into the air gun tuning world. Besides, the model 1322’s design is quite simple, which isn’t surprising given it was first built in 1977, in an era of basic design. So even if you’re not mechanically inclined, you can modify the 1322 to suit your needs. 

In a nutshell, the 1322’s basic design, reasonable price, adjustable power, and customizability make it one of the most versatile air pistols.

The Cons of the Crosman 1322

The 1322 model is a fantastic gun to tinker with, but it does come with a few issues. Here is what I didn’t like.

Safety

The 1322’s safety is functional. One can quickly arm and disarm, it’s simple, rather quiet, and ergonomically positioned.  So why didn’t I like it? When I tried to shoot with the left hand, it realized it stood in the way of the trigger finger. While I’m not left-handed, I realized the safety could easily be pushed when left-handed shooters are using the pistol.  

Recoil

When it comes to multi-pump air pistols, recoil typically is not an issue. So the problem with the 1323 isn’t recoiling per see, but it’s the unusual twang that’s heard and felt when shooting the gun.  The twang likely emanates from the hammer spring bouncing once it has struck the valve to discharge pressurized air.

Feel

The Crosman 1322 comes with a quite comfortable grip even though it’s about 14 inches long. However, when shooting the gun, the grip rubs between the forefinger and the thumb. This won’t be an issue if you’re shooting only a few times, but if you’re taking numerous consecutive shots, you’ll eventually notice this issue. 

Everything else about this gun is excellent. You’ll have a great time shooting at the range for a full day. The rubbing problem likely has many solutions, but the easiest is getting the carbine stock. Once you fix the issue, you have a fantastic gun that you’ll shoot for hours.

Crosman 1322 vs. 1377 Pellet Air Guns

The Crosman 1377 is a younger brother of the 1322 model. See the full review of the Crosman 1377 here! The guns look strikingly similar, with the only difference being that the 1322 comes with a black forearm and grip while the 1377’s grip and forearm are brown. 

Both pistols are multi-pump single shot. Model 1322 shoots .22 pellets with a 460 fps maximum velocity. Conversely, model 1377 shoots .177 caliber pellets with a 600 fps maximum velocity. The physical construction of the pistols is almost identical with similar pneumatic (air pressure) capabilities. 

The Crosman 1322 is chambered for heavier 0.22 pellets though, and so under similar air pressure, they’d be propelled at a slower speed than the considerably lighter 0.177 caliber pellets that the 1377 shoots. 

Most Popular Air Gun Accessories for a Crosman 1322 Air Pistol

Final Thoughts

At its price (about $60), Crosman 1322 provides tremendous value. You’ll certainly get more value than you pay for. It’s super-fun to shoot, and it’s exceptionally accurate. While it has a few issues, they can be fixed, and you can learn to live with some of them. The pistol is also versatile and customizable.

With the Crosman’s traditional reliability embedded in it, you’ll enjoy shooting this piston for many years. It’s ideal for plinking, hitting paper targets, popping paper targets, and killing tins cans. While it now has a new pump-lever configuration and grip, it remains the same great pistol. 

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