Vintage Crosman 600 .22 caliber CO2 pistol, $15.

Vintage air rifles and pistols like this Crosman 600 are outstanding examples of the 'fringe collector' area that can be such an opportunity for you. Although other brands of pellet and BB guns can also be collectable, it seems that more people are after the Crosman brand than any other. And don't forget - you'll have to sell these old pellet guns on gunbroker.com!

I want to discuss a very important topic here before we proceed with this entry. As you may already be aware, the 'Bay won't allow the selling of guns anymore, even the air powered ones. So, what can you do? Well, you can go to the world's biggest and best gun related online auction site, Gunbroker, conveniently located at gunbroker.com. I cannot overemphasize how accommodating and friendly these folks are.

I've sold on Gunbroker, and I have a good friend who uses their site exclusively. And in case you think you may be missing out on traffic, just remember - there's an auction website out there dedicated to the sale of nearly every type of item whose sale is prohibited on the 'Bay. And when it comes to anything related to guns, it just doesn't get any better than Gunbroker! Now, back to the Crosman 600 pistol....

If you've read my Gallery entry on the broken Crosman #106 pump pellet pistol, you're already aware that collecting vintage air-powered guns is a very popular pastime. Let's take a quick look about the basic types of pellet guns you're most likely to run across.

In the world of air guns, there are three primary ways that air is used to get the pellet or BB out the barrel - pneumatic, CO2 and spring. In the pneumatic or 'pump' style gun, a handle is pumped numerous times to to move a piston that compresses air into a small chamber, much like a bicycle pump is used to pressurize a tire. When the gun's trigger is pulled, all that air from that chamber is released right behind the pellet, pushing it out the barrel. The pneumatic gun's power can be controlled by simply varying the number of pumps. Note that one disadvantage of the pneumatic is that you have to do lots of pumping to prepare for a shot. Our little model 106 is a pneumatic pistol.

The spring type gun uses one stroke of a long lever to compress a powerful spring-loaded piston that's located right behind the barrel, right behind the pellet. The lever may be on the side of the gun, under the gun, or in many cases the lever may even be the barrel itself. When the barrel serves as the lever, it's simply hinged at the rear and is pushed down to compress the spring.

When the trigger is pulled, the compressed spring is released, pushing the piston forward in its cylinder and compressing the air in the chamber right behind the pellet, pushing it out the barrel. Spring type pellet guns are renowned for their power, and all of the highest powered pellet guns employ the spring piston as their power source. Spring piston guns operate at one power setting - high.

The CO2 gun uses a small disposable cylinder of compressed CO2 gas to provide the pressure to get the pellet out the barrel. Depending on the gun, one 12-gram cylinder will usually last from 20 to 40 shots. Although CO2 offers the advantages of convenience and quick semi-automatic shooting, it's hampered by the expense of the cartridges and by the fact that CO2 guns are the least powerful of the three main types of guns discussed here. Some CO2 guns employ a type of screw valve that allows you to regulate the power of the shot, but many do not.

As you already know, you can find lots more about the various types of pellet guns in numerous places on the Internet. I just wanted to give you a little information before discussing our Crosman 600, which uses CO2 as its means of propulsion. Now, let's talk a little about this little pistol and why you should keep an eye out for it.

The model Crosman 600 was in production from 1960 through 1970, and has always been a total blast to shoot. The shooter loads a dozen .22 caliber pellets into the magazine located along the side of the pistol, and with each shot, a little arm swings out to grab another pellet and pop it into place. As you should already know by now, collecting vintage air guns is a very popular hobby, and among collectors, the Crosman 600 is one of the most sought-after examples.

But there's yet another side to the popularity of the 600, in that it lends itself really well to all kinds of modifications and customizations. There are shops where people can send their 600s to make them more powerful and more accurate. Owners can have their guns fitted with modified valves, longer barrels, higher capacity magazines and all sorts of unusual modifications. But remember that the 600 was discontinued over 35 years ago, which means that parts for these guns are becoming just about impossible to find. So, if you're one of those guys doing all the crazy modifications to these guns, you have to have parts, don't you? Sure you do, but where do you get them? Right - you get them from the existing pool of 600s still in existence.

So, there you have it. The Crosman 600 is sought after by people who want to collect it, who want to modify it, who want it for parts and who just want to shoot the darned thing. This is why even beat up, inoperative, scratched up, gnarly examples of this pistol will sell for well over $100, and better examples will bring $200 to $300. Of course, since eBay doesn't allow intact BB or pellet guns, you'll have to pick a site dedicated to this sort of thing, like gunbroker.com. It's as easy to use as eBay, and the folks there are great to deal with. And since the site is full of people who are looking specifically for guns, you stand to get the most money for your gun!

So, did our model 600 actually work? Well, after I replaced the O-ring at the very end of the pistol where the cap screws down over the CO2 cartridge, it works like a champ. But I really wouldn't have cared either way, because the people out there snapping these pistols up sure don't!

Photo of Crosman 600 co2 pellet pistol