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- Last updated: 23/07/2019
CO2 as a power source often means fast fire fun shooting and the Iceman pistol from huge American manufacturer, Crosman, offers just that. For what we have here is an eightshot repeating pistol, that can fire either BBs or pellets, can be fired single action or double action, has a manual safety catch, and even has a Picatinny rail built in.
Okay, open the box and pick up the Iceman, and the lack of weight, does rather give things away, but, that super easy handing is actually a bonus when you think about it, once you consider that this pistol is all about stress free fun. Construction is nearly all from synthetics, but again, consider many modern live ammo side arms are now extensively constructed from ballistic polymer, and what once may have looked a bit cheap and crude, now passes for semi authentic looking in the firearms world.
Yes, we are talking a ‘nononsense’approach here, since the Iceman sports a relatively plain exterior, and fairly simple construction; however, accept its limitations, and it’s then difficult not to enjoy the experience. Time to get a closer look then and see what we get for approximately £80 asking price.
Of course, as the Iceman relies on a diet of 12g CO2 capsules to keep it running, we need to get inside, to fit a fresh capsule. This is done by getting a finger under the indent on the base of the grip and snapping off the two sides of the plastic grip. These are a simple snug push fit; so, with them removed, we now have full access to the folding wing nut at the base. Use this to unscrew and slacken off pressure, if removing an old capsule. Then, insert a new one headfirst, and gently nip up the wing nut, until the pressure created pierces the top of the capsule. Gently tighten to stop any hiss of escaping gas, fold the nut away, snap the grips back on, and the pistol is charged. A cautionary note at this point, as if you’ve never used CO2 before, you need to bear in mind that the capsules themselves can get extremely cold in use, and especially on removal, as any residual liquid inside quickly turns to gas.
Next, we need to fill the magazine clip, which is exposed by pulling forward the tiny catch on top of the frame and letting the mag assembly spring upwards. The eight-shot clip can be pulled from its spindle and pellets pushed flush into each chamber. Push the clip back into the action, snap down the top assembly and the Iceman is ready for action. That’s the prep done, and it’s all simple stuff, completed in seconds.
As mentioned, Crosman specify the Iceman as able to shoot BBs as well as pellets, but when given the choice, I would always recommend sticking to pellets, given the propensity for BBs to cause dangerous ricochets. Wear safety glasses regardless, since the fast-fire style of shooting that this type of pistol encourages, is invariably shot at fairly close range, and again, ricochets are that bit more likely. An appropriate back stop that absorbs the pellet’s energy makes sense; you only get one pair of eyes at the end of the day, so why risk it?
My aim was to test the Iceman over a ten-yard range, but my first stop was the chronograph. Of course, with this grade of pistol, consistency figures are fairly irrelevant, but for the record, a typical firing cycle, using Umarex flat headed wadcutter pellets incidentally, saw velocities starting in the region of 323fps, and then drop to around 160fps over the course of 45 shots. 1.8ftlbs, down to around .4fl/lbs if you insist on such detail.
Billed as double or single action, I obviously tried both and, whilst pre-setting the silky rear hammer for single action, felt the right thing to do, I did experience some sporadic failure of the magazine clip to rotate in this mode, missing the odd shot. Shooting the Iceman in double action mode however, where the trigger is pulled through from start to finish, worked faultlessly, despite the trigger pull being that bit harder.
Accuracy wise, we aren’t talking match grade here, but if we remember the emphasis is on the eight-shot mag and repeating action, then groups of a tad over two inches over the 10-yards, are perfectly acceptable. The size of the base of a drinks can basically, and that sounds like an exciting competition for a start and a measure of what the Iceman is really all about.
So, there we have it; easy to handle use and maintain, the Iceman is a great example of just why the CO2 market has exploded, and given the combination of that lightweight body, fast repeating mechanism and effortless operation, all for a reasonable asking price, it should find many fans.