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The Crosman 362 is a multi-pump pneumatic air rifle from a company that has been producing air guns for decades. It is light, handy, affordable, and reasonably accurate. With its multi-pump pneumatic power source and solid accuracy, the Crosman 362 is a good choice for adult shooters looking for a simple yet powerful air rifle.
Only available in a .22 caliber, the 362 is powerful enough when pumped to its max pressure (8 pumps) to hunt squirrel-sized small game. But only takes a few pumps to make it the perfect casual plinking rifle. This wide range of power and versatility make the 362 a do-it-all air gun. After shooting the air rifle over the course of a few months, I was pleased with its performance and user friendly design. Something I think other shooters will appreciate too.
Crossman 362 Specs
- Type: Multi-pump pneumatic
- Action: Single shot
- Caliber: .22
- Projectile type: Pellets
- Feet per second: 700 feet per second (lead pellets)
- Energy at muzzle: 17 foot pounds
- Sights: Front blade with rear peep
- Weight: 4 pounds, 8 ounces
- Required accessories: None
- Price: $113.99
Crossman 362 Overview
Multi-pumps, like the Crossman 362, share many of the same characteristics of pre-charged pneumatics (PCPs), which have become popular over the last ten years or so. They are quiet, accurate, offer adjustable power, and are essentially recoilless. The main difference between the two guns is that PCPs don’t have to be pumped before every shot. But, while they are slower to shoot, multi-pumps have the advantage of not needing external hand pumps or air bottles.
The Crosman 362’s forestock is the lever, with each pump increasing the amount of air into a chamber. Pulling the trigger releases the air, sending the pellet down range. Crosman recommends a minimum of two pumps and a max of eight pumps. The rifle features a single-shot bolt action. The bolt is metal, but the breech itself is polymer.
Without a shroud or suppressor, the gun does produce a bit of a snap upon firing but is still quiet enough for backyard shooting, especially at lower power levels.
How I Tested the Crossman 326
I put hundreds of pellets through the Crosman 362 over the course of a few months. Although it has enough power at higher pump levels to reach out to 50 yards, I did all of my target shooting at shorter ranges—a 10-yard range and a 20-yard range. I tested a wide variety of ammo, from light alloy pellets to heavy lead slugs.
The Crosman 362 features iron sights. The breech is not scope-compatible, but you can switch it out for a Crosman’s aftermarket metal breech—the same one that is a popular upgrade for the Crosman 2240 pistol. The metal breech has 11mm dovetail slots for mounting a scope or an aftermarket rear sight. Crosman provided a breech kit and a Centerpoint 4X32 scope for this test. I shot the 362 with both iron sights and the scope.
How the Crossman 362 Performed
Out of the box, the Crosman 362 features good build quality for a gun that doesn’t crack the $115 mark. The rifle is light, weighing just 4 pounds, 8 ounces. And at 35 ½ inches long, it is handy and maneuverable.
The foregrip on the Crosman 362 is nearly 14 inches long, which provides an important leverage advantage that will be appreciated on higher pump counts—which top out at about 30 pounds. A long shooting session, when continuously pumping to full power, will provide a decent workout. There is a bit of squeaking during the pump stroke and a solid clap at the end of the stroke. Something I noticed right away.
Crosman says the 362 maxes out at 700 feet per second for lead pellets. I hit that number with lightweight pellets, but the accuracy was poor. Shooting 18.13-grain H&N Baracuda Diablos, the Crosman 362 produced a 5-shot string with a high of 619 fps and a low of 596 fps for an average of 611 fps and a standard deviation of 9 fps. That’s 15 foot pounds of kinetic energy. The velocity for that same pellet dropped to an average of 527 fps with only five pumps. The spread was a much better 9 fps for a standard deviation of 3.6. The energy also dropped to 11 foot pounds with five pumps.
The two-stage trigger is surprisingly good for a gun at this price point. The back wall was solid, and the break was fairly crisp.
Many of my groups featured three or four great shots and a flier or two. Was that due to the gun or the shooter? As an experiment, I pulled out my only personal rifle with a peep sight—a vintage Feinwerkbau 124—and shot a few groups. I know from when I had the FWB rifle scoped that it’s very accurate for a springer. Sure enough, my groups with the iconic German rifle were similar, which tells me that the Crosman 362 groups would likely be better for shooters with better eyes than mine.
If a gun shoots like that with iron sights, how good would it be with a scope? Better, as expected. But the position of the scope, which doesn’t add significant weight, made loading pellets a little more difficult. I actually preferred the simplicity of iron sights. So I removed the scope and switched back to the stock breech and the built-in rear peep. If I owned the gun, I might put the metal breech back on and install an aftermarket rear peep. Or maybe not. Again, the rifle is pretty good straight out of the box.
Just like with many PCPs with adjustable power, accuracy varied depending on power and pellet type. Dome-shaped pellets in the 18- to 22-grain range performed consistently well at five to eight pumps of power. I had equally good results with 18.1 grain FX, H&N, and Air Arms Diablo ammo. Wadcutters also performed well, as did the polymer-tipped Gamo Red Fire pointed hunting pellets. I tried a couple different slugs and hybrid slugs at eight pumps, but the groups were awful. The accuracy sweet spot for me was five pumps, which isn’t surprising given how the power was more consistent than at eight pumps.
What I like about Crossman 362
The 362 provides a lot of the same benefits as a pre-charged pneumatic—decent power, no recoil, and good accuracy—and does so in an economical, standalone package with no need for external power sources. Sometimes it’s nice to just grab a gun and a tin of pellets and go.
The 362 is light, handy, and solidly constructed for a gun that costs less than $115. It is great for plinking, but be aware that the moderately snappy report at higher power might garner the attention of super noise-sensitive neighbors. It is a great gun for target shooting and plinking, but also has enough power for hunting small game.
What I don’t like about the Crossman 362
Due to the effort required to pump the Crosman 362 to full power, it is not the best choice for younger or smaller shooters. My young adult daughters couldn’t pump it without bracing the butt. Even for stronger shooters, a long session can be tiring. But the reality is that this was never meant to be a gun for two-hour range sessions.
While the Crosman 362 has plenty of power and accuracy for small game hunting, it is not ideal for situations where there’s a need for quick follow-up shots or where the unavoidable noise of pumping will spook game.
This rifle is a value-priced shooter that does a lot of things reasonably well. It isn’t an alternative to pre-charged pneumatic rifle, but rather a simple entry level air gun. The Crossman 362 is built for the casual shooter looking for a fun plinker that can also get the job done on pests or in the hunting woods. But even air gun enthusiasts will find a lot to like about this rifle, which would be a sensible and practical complement to a collection, including one that also features high-end rifles.
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