The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz



Author Topic: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz  (Read 420 times))

Offline 45flint

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The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« on: February 10, 2019, 07:46:11 AM »
The fun part of vintage collecting is you can relive the past.  I was never into airguns till I retired so when I buy a vintage gun itís like Iím stepping back into time.  Iíve had the new to me 160 for only a week and itís too cold here to go outside and put it through its paces. But itís pretty easy to see the brilliance of the design and execution.  I can see why this is one of the few guns that has been brought back into current production with the QB-78.  Basically an exact copy, is there another example of this?  Rudy Merz was a genius really, he went from a classic pumper like the 108 to a totally different animal in the CO2 160 and never skips a beat.  The 160 may be the pinicle of his designs.  Just recreates a classic 22LR experience in a air gun and at a price that was affordable.  Wish I could have met him. 
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Offline eeler1

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 11:47:07 AM »
He was a co2 guy, and crosman was focused on getting people to buy not just the gun, but keep the customer coming back for co2 and pellets.  So a good fit.  The 600 pistol is probably the most glamorous and clever design, imo.   What impresses me is that he also designed the self cocking pumpers.  You wonder what he couldíve done if pre-charged technology were around then.
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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 12:27:13 PM »
He was a co2 guy, and crosman was focused on getting people to buy not just the gun, but keep the customer coming back for co2 and pellets.  So a good fit.  The 600 pistol is probably the most glamorous and clever design, imo.   What impresses me is that he also designed the self cocking pumpers.  You wonder what he couldíve done if pre-charged technology were around then.

He actually came in after WW2 and did a lot of manufacturing redesign on their current line of pumpers.  The 108 I believe was his first fully designed gun?  DT Fletcher said after his death the 108 was the gun most prevalent in his personal collection.  Yes CO2 was probably his shining moment when you actually take a industry in a entirely different and lasting direction, and the 600 was probably the high point. But personally I have such a hard time with die cast.  Even have trouble on the newer triggers on the 160, better trigger yes but always ugly paint loss on them and that safety?  I know I need help.  Lol
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Offline TerryM

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 01:11:59 PM »
  I don't like die cast parts on a firearm but I have no problem with it on an air gun.  Don't forget, the receiver on your 101 is die cast.  ;)
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Crosman model#
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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 02:38:46 PM »
  I don't like die cast parts on a firearm but I have no problem with it on an air gun.  Don't forget, the receiver on your 101 is die cast.  ;)

I hear you but somehow itís different cause it the receiver block, (kind of like the Sheridan SuperGrade receiver block?) and it can stay painted but the trigger assembly gets so much more wear?  I like airguns that look like firearms and donít remind me ďIím a AirgunĒ.
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Offline Wayne52

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 03:45:53 PM »
At the airgun show here in Kalamazoo I am going to keep my eyes open for a 160 myself, they're a really nice gun IMO.  There's quite a few that have converted them to pcp but my plans are finding a nice one a keeping it original.
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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 04:36:25 PM »
At the airgun show here in Kalamazoo I am going to keep my eyes open for a 160 myself, they're a really nice gun IMO.  There's quite a few that have converted them to pcp but my plans are finding a nice one a keeping it original.

I will probably see you there.  You should come to Findlay, Ohio in April.  Iíll definitely have a table there.  Itís actually my favorite show. 
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 04:39:21 PM by 45flint »
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Offline zipper

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 11:45:51 AM »
I have a Crosman Pell Master 700 that I found last year that has Rudy Merz signed in ink on the stock. I thought it was a previous owner marking his territory but now I'm not sure. The gun is in excellent condition and works great. Why would someone write that on the stock?
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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 12:05:33 PM »
I have a Crosman Pell Master 700 that I found last year that has Rudy Merz signed in ink on the stock. I thought it was a previous owner marking his territory but now I'm not sure. The gun is in excellent condition and works great. Why would someone write that on the stock?

Post a pic on the American Vintage Airgun forum.  DT Fletcher posts all the time there he could probably authenticate the signature, he wrote the book or I guess books on Crosman. I think the odds are good it may be real, who would forge Merz signature?  Not that many people would even know the history?
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Offline TF89

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 01:50:18 PM »
What is the link to the American vintage airgun forum?
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Offline zipper

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 02:13:55 PM »
Thanks I posted some pictures on that site and will do the same here.


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Offline 45flint

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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 06:50:07 PM »
Just used up my first CO2 capsules, kind of cool at the end how the rifle automatically vents the last bit gas so you donít have to keep dry firing it.  Read somewhere where it did that, like a regulator inside?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 06:21:08 AM by 45flint »
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Offline TF89

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 04:21:15 AM »
Thanks for the link Steve.
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Benjamin Discovery .22 now BNM breech/shroud quasi-carbine. (20" barrel) 
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Offline Wayne52

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2019, 04:43:55 AM »
The thing that's so nice about these early Crosman co2's is the way they pierce the cartridge which releases co2 everywhere from the tube cap up to the outer o ring on the valve. Being they're all steel warms things up inside and it really conserves on the co2 compared to many modern designs.  Basically the QB's are a Chinese copy of it.  I honestly think Crosman should have kept the design myself but I guess they figured that it had run it's course.  You won't get as many consistent shots from a gun that seals to the cartridge only before you have to let the cartridge warm back up.
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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 05:13:39 AM »
A testament to this design are the number of U-Tubes on the QB78.  Its one companyís primary gun, they sell.  I donít know of any design that has been brought back from the past with this kind of success.  Hy-Score was brought back in England but lasted a very short time, but they made some modifications. The QB78 is an exact copy.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 05:18:29 AM by 45flint »
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Offline Wayne52

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2019, 05:46:33 AM »
A oiled well sealed 150 or 160 Crosman can be put away with co2 in it for a year and be right where you left it with no harmful effects.  I've read where people let them sit for several years and still have the co2 pressure in them.
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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2019, 07:16:13 AM »
Thanks I posted some pictures on that site and will do the same here.




From DT looks like itís the real deal.  That is really cool.
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Offline avator

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 08:00:19 AM »
The Air Force saw the value of the 160. They used them for indoor training.
Thing is, you will hardly know if you have one the was used by the AF. Only the original box had "AF" stamped on the end of it.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 08:02:27 AM by avator »
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Offline 45flint

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Re: The Crosman 160 - the Genius of Rudy Merz
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2019, 08:20:46 AM »
The Air Force saw the value of the 160. They used them for indoor training.
Thing is, you will hardly know if you have one the was used by the AF. Only the original box had "AF" stamped on the end of it.

Read about that, may be the only Airgun in the US used as a military trainer.  Quite a few in Europe.
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