I did a complete tear down of my Crosman 1322, so I could rebarrel it with an an 18 inch Barrel, achieve more power and greater precision. Before the teardown and rebarrel, I was able to get the Crosman 1322 to shoot 14.3 grain pellets at 615 feet per second with the stock 10.25″ barrel. Thats 12 foot pounds of energy. I achieved that performance by adding a steel breech, increasing airflow through ports, increasing the valve volume, and polishing internals.
The steel breech and larger air volume allow the 1322 to be pumped in excess of the recommended 10 pumps for the stock plastic breech. With the stock 10.25 inch barrel, the 1322 was wasting a lot of air. There was an obvious opportunity to squeeze out more performance by utilizing the air being wasted.
After the first round of mods the 1322 required more pumps to pressurize a larger volume of air to the same pressure. With a couple more pumps I was able to achieve the same performance. With additional pumps, I was able to achieve a lot more performance. The report from the barrel became louder as a diminishing return on the pumps became obvious. After 16 pumps the chronograph didn’t show any increase in velocity, the muzzle blast just got louder.
My assumption was that the louder muzzle blast was due to wasted air, and the increase in loudness meant I could build much more air pressure than was being used. The wasted air could be used to accelerate a pellet even more with a longer barrel. So I purchased an 18 inch Barrel | Steel Breech Kit | Flat Top Piston | Barrel Band
The teardown was a good opportunity to add a more rigid barrel band, meant for a Crosman 2289, without dropping a ton of cash on an alloy one. I also used the tear down opportunity to recondition seals, clean and lubricate, and swap stock hardware for hardware that uses hex keys.
I also fabricated a suppressor to reduce muzzle report, and fixed it to the new barrel. I still need to get the 1322 back on a chronograph, but penetration tests on pine boards showed an obvious improvement with the longer barrel. With the 18″ barrel and previously done mods, the 1322 shooting a 14.3 grain domed pellet, deeply penetrated a 3/4″ pine board, and are almost exited.
The 1322 is a good air gun in its stock state. With a few mods its a great gun. With a longer barrel and an improved valve, its and impressive air gun, and devastating on a lot of small game. Short of stepping up to a PCP, or a much larger and heavier springer, you probably can’t find a better platform to squeeze this kind of performance out of.
You may be wondering, why would someone buy a Crosman 1322 for $65, a steel breech for $45, a flat top piston and valve for $65, a 18 inch barrel for $32, and a barrel band for $15, when they can buy an entry level PCP. My all up cost, with a DIY valve job, drill bits, grinding bits, and hardware, is about $160. Buying a flat top piston would make the 1322 a $200 pump air gun. Great budget PCP options like the Diana Stormrider II, or Beeman Chief II are about $190 and an HPA pump can be purchased for as little as $50.
The 1322 provides weight, size, and practicality benefits over more powerful and larger air guns. My 1322 is a backcountry gun, that I can easily fit into a backpack. Scoped, with a steel breech, longer barrel, and suppressor, it weighs in at 3 lbs. 6.8 ounces.
Compare that weight to the Diana Stormrider at 5.0 lbs un-scoped, or the Beeman Chief at 6.8 lbs. un-scoped. Both of those are sub $200 PCPs that will put out 100-200 more fps than my 1322, but would require carrying a pump in addition to a heavy gun. Pump air guns are the ‘survival’ or ‘SHTF’ option, of air guns so to speak. They don’t rely on C02 performing properly at different temperatures and elevations, and don’t require a heavy external pump, they also weigh in at a 1/3 of the weight of air guns that provide comparable performance.
When I want to plink or small game hunt, I use the Crosman 1322, Beeman Chief II, Diana Stormrider II, or a Ruger 10/22. When I hike into the back country I take the 10/22 or a 1322 depending on weight requirements, and how discrete I want to be. It’s just not practical to carry a heavy PCP, when a more capable .22lr rifle weighs less, or a much lighter more compact 1322 is nearly as capable as a PCP, but less of a burden to carry.
If you are new to the hunting world, its easy enough to get a hunting license. And if you want to start with small game, without having to buy a real firearm and ammo, an air gun is a great option. I’ve used mine to harvest many rabbits, squirrels, doves, and grouse, as well as dispatch quite a few pests.