|Industry||Air Rifles, Airsoft|
|Headquarters||Bloomfield, New York, U.S.|
Crosman Corporation is an American designer, manufacturer and supplier of shooting sport products, with a long-standing presence in airgun design and a tradition of producing pellet and BB guns. Crosman is also a producer of many varieties of airgun and airsoft ammunition and CO
2 Powerlet cartridges. In addition, Crosman sells branded, licensed products as well as a variety of airsoft guns.
Crosman was incorporated in 1924 as Crosman Rifle Company, after the sale of "Crosman Brothers" to Frank Hahn. The firm was based in Fairport, New York, a suburb of Rochester (from the print on the bottom of free vintage targets available as a pdf on the company's website). In 1960 it was acquired by Bangor Punta Corp.. In 1970, the company moved to a small town in the finger lakes region, East Bloomfield.
Crosman's first models were the traditional American multi-pump pneumatic design, where 3 to 10 pumps would pressurize a reservoir for each shot. Descendants of these original models are still made, in rifle, pistol and carbine form, and they remain quite popular. In 1992, Crosman acquired the Benjamin Sheridan company's assets.
From 1971 through 1989, Coleman of Wichita, Kansas owned Crosman. In 1989, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings of New York acquired Coleman and sold Crosman to Worldwide Sports and Recreation. In 1997, an investment group headed by Leonard Pickett purchased the company. Pickett was named CEO and held that position until his death in 2000. Ken D'Arcy served as CEO from 1997 to 2012.
In 2011 Wellspring Capital Management purchased Crosman and in August 2012 Phil Dolci was named CEO and served until May 2015. Brad Johnson was named as Executive Chairman and Interim CEO while remaining Chairman & CEO of United Sporting Companies, a separate company that is also part of the Wellspring portfolio.
In June 2017 Wellspring sold Crosman to Compass Diversified Holdings, INC (NYSE: CODI). Upon the sale of the company, Robert Beckwith was appointed the new CEO. Robert had previously been the CFO under Brad Johnson.
In 1882, Walter R. Benjamin of St. Louis, Missouri, introduced the first Benjamin air rifle. These Benjamin Pump guns were manufactured by the Wissler Instrument Co. of St. Louis under a U.S. patent that had been issued to Benjamin. Unlike many air guns of this period, the Benjamin was intended not as a toy, but as a high-power compressed air gun in which pressure was built up by pumping a built-in piston located beneath the barrel.
The Benjamin Air Rifle Company was formed in 1902 when Walter R. Benjamin purchased the patent rights from the defunct St. Louis Air Rifle Company. Production from 1902 to 1904 and from 1906 to 1986 was in St. Louis. In 1977, the Benjamin Air Rifle Company purchased Sheridan Products in Racine, Wisconsin. Benjamin and Sheridan were acquired by Crosman in 1992. By 2015, Benjamin was positioned as Crosman Corporation's adult hunting and high performance line and Sheridan had its name on one model: the Cowboy, a youth-oriented lever action.
In the 1930s, Crosman began to experiment with CO2 power. Like other CO2 guns of the day, they were bulk fill, which meant that liquid CO2 was loaded into a pressurized reservoir on the gun. Other manufacturers started to use 8 gram CO2 bulbs used in soda dispensers. Crosman capitalized on this in 1954 by introducing a new 12 gram CO2 bulb, called a Powerlet. The new Powerlet gave more shots per bulb than the soda bulb, and with the addition of a simple spacer, a Powerlet gun could use the shorter 8 gram bulb.
The 12 gram Powerlet, charged with CO2 and a tiny amount of lubricating oil to keep the airgun's seals conditioned, is used by nearly all manufacturers of CO2 airguns today.
In 2004, Crosman introduced a new disposable CO2 power source, the 88 gram AirSource.
- 766 American Classic 1-3
Crosman has manufactured and sold the Benjamin-Sheridan and Sheridan model airguns for many years. These models are still made to the higher quality standards of the originals, with wood stocks and primarily brass and steel components. The Sheridan line is strictly 5 mm (.20 caliber), while the Benjamin-Sheridan models are available in .177 (4.5 mm, .22 (5.56 mm), .25 (6.4 mm) and .357 (9.0 mm) calibers, depending on model.