A quiet yet potent .22 air gun
This gun is my second air rifle. My first was the very nice Gamo Whisper (reviewed elsewhere on this site). While my impressions of the Gamo were very favorable, a drawback to the spring-operated air rifles is that they can be a bit noisy during the pumping stroke, as the spring compresses within its chamber. This may not sound like a big deal, and for many of us it isn’t, but for those who use these guns to hunt rather skittish small varmints, it poses a problem. Fortunately, Crosman Corporation of Bloomfield, NY has introduced a line of rifles using the new Nitro Piston Short Stroke (NPSS) system. I reviewed a Remington-branded rifle using this new technology, and found that it sets a new standard for quietness, both before and while it’s fired.
The NPSS system
The NPSS is a self-contained high pressure gas piston that replaces the spring system on a conventional springer air rifle. Cocking a NPSS rifle takes a fair amount of effort, and may not be possible for small children, but considering the power of this gun, it’s probably appropriate that an adult assist younger shooters anyway.
The good news is that the NPSS action is virtually silent. You won’t spook crows or squirrels cocking this one. The loudest noise is probably the barrel latch when you lock the barrel, and it’s not loud enough to scare most animals. The cocking action is also as smooth as 30-year-old Scotch, and imparts a solid feel to the rifle.
The Remington rifle
The barrel on the rifle is also surrounded by a shroud. This greatly reduces any sound that would otherwise escape from a bare barrel. Crosman claims a 70% reduction in sound, and while I can’t verify this number, I can agree that it’s noticeably quieter and should help you avoid detection while shooting.
The Remington also features a two-stage trigger with an adjustment for the second stage. Adjustment of the second stage is done by a screw just behind the trigger. Remington’s instructions are to access this screw through the hole in the trigger guard, but I found the angle a bit difficult. To remedy this, I drilled a second hole in the trigger guard to provide easier access to the adjustment screw. (This isn’t really necessary, but I like making things easy for myself.) As I do on almost all my guns, I disassembled the trigger and polished the sear a bit. The trigger is a tad on the heavy side, but it has a nice, crisp feel.
The synthetic stock is light and fits the action and barrel beautifully. I particularly liked the wraparound grip for the shooting hand. The overall feel of this rifle is excellent and the gun is quite comfortable to shoot.
Included is a 3-9 power scope with surprisingly good optics that will help most shooters become considerably more accurate with shots beyond 10 yards.
Once I set the trigger to my tastes, I found the Remington NPSS a real pleasure to shoot. Like most air guns, it shoots some ammunition better than others. I found the most accurate ammo to be relatively heavy (around 18 to 22 grains), but this might be partly due to the fact that I was shooting at 25 and 50 yards, which is considerably further than many people will do. I was also shooting the .22 caliber version of this gun; the .177 caliber may well prefer lighter pellets. I recommend that everyone who buys one of these guns plan to experiment with several weights of pellet to find the one that best works for them.
The Remington NPSS is a great rifle overall, and a downright bargain at its street price of about $300-350 (remember, this includes a very serviceable scope). It has more than enough power for backyard varmint control, and its quiet operation makes it usable virtually anywhere that’s safe to shoot. It’s going to get a lot of time in my hands.