The Crosman 1377 American Classic Part Three
In Part Two of a recent interview by HAM Publisher Stephen Archer, Crosman CEO Bob Beckwith elaborated on how the company views the ongoing debate over airgun Pellet Velocity vs. Energy:
Bob Beckwith: “In my opinion, FPS will always be important to customers and the whole airgun industry. But hunters, in particular, understand that Ft/Lbs is a far more significant number and that will make Muzzle Energy more important going forward.
That’s why Crosman gives equal prominence to FPS and Ft/Lb numbers for our air rifles that can be used for hunting. Of course, accuracy is hugely important “
Those comments got me to thinking about appropriate ammunition for a handgun/carbine hunting gun with moderate muzzle velocity and somewhat limited range.
What pellet weight and style would optimize the hunting utility of the Crosman 1377 American Classic? The answer would most likely be found in the ballistics of the gun. So I headed for the gun club next door and set up my Oehler 33 Chronograph on the small bore range.
The numbers I found for the current version of the Crosman 1377 American Classic are better than those reported by others on earlier versions.
Testing Crosman Pointed Pellets
Briefly, the Crosman Premium Pointed Pellets (7.4 Grain) originally sent to me as the most accurate pellet for the Model 2300T (CO2 Power) recorded a velocity of 378 FPS with 3 pumps. It made a whopping 512 FPS with 7 pumps!
I assumed most shooters would not be charging their 1377 with 10 pumps of air for target use, 500+ FPS is more than adequate for targets at and beyond 10 yards.
I then switched to the Crosman 7.9 Grain Match Grade Premiers with the Crosman 1377. I was testing the wadcutter/target version, but Crosman’s Round Nose Premier produces very similar short range ballistics.
With three pumps of air power, the Crosman 1377 delivered a reproducible velocity of 371 FPS, and with ten pumps the gun topped out at 545 FPS. You can easily round this number off to 550 FPS since the velocity was recorded a full yard beyond the muzzle.
Crosman Copper Magnums
Crosman included a tin of 10.6 Grain copper clad premium hunting pellets with the gun they sent me. Turns out, HAM reviewed these pellets recently, as you can read.
The stated advantage of this heavy hunting pellet is a high ballistic coefficient (0.022) which carries more energy down range, and a 20 % improvement in accuracy over Crosman’s standard uncoated pellet. I weighed 10 pellets and the average weight was 10.67 grains.
The head diameter in my tin of pellets was 0.177, and the skirt diameter was 0.180. The dimension and weight was uniform from pellets to pellet. Shot group size was 0.275-inch at 5 meters using the Crosman 1377 American Classic. Certainly respectable performance.
So after testing the Crosman 7.4 Grain Pointed Pellet, and the 7.9 grain Match Grade Premiers, I switched to Crosman Premier Copper Magnums. I made an educated guess than no one would shoot these with less than 6 pumps…
The six pump air charge delivered 401 FPS, and the maximum 10 pump charge delivered 448 FPS velocity.
I wasn’t surprised that the additional mass of the Copper Pellets dropped the Muzzle Velocity by 100 FPS compared to the 7.9 Grain uncoated pellet. What did surprise me was the reduction in down range Energy compared to the 7.9 Grain Premiers.
According to the Airguns.net trajectory calculator, the 7.9 Grain Premiers left the muzzle at 550 FPS with energy of 5.25 Ft/Lbs. At 17 yards, it should still be traveling at 500 FPS, with energy of 4.4 Ft/Lbs and a trajectory drop of 1.8 inch.
By comparison, the 10.6 Grain Copper Magnums exited the muzzle at 450 FPS and commensurate energy of 4.75 Ft/Lbs. At 17 yards the Copper Magnums dropped an inch more than the 7.9 Grain premiers, had slowed to 409 FPS and would only deliver 4 Ft/Lbs of energy.
Hunting Pellet Performance Criteria
There are at least three criteria we can use to compare the performance of Hunting Pellets. At the top of my list are Accuracy, Energy and Trajectory. The latter two are directly tied to Muzzle Velocity.
Given the fact that the Match grade, 7.9 Grain Premier Wadcutters were more accurate, delivered a flatter trajectory and greater Pellet Energy down range, I’d have to give the nod to this pellet in the Crosman 1377 American Classic.
That being said, if a hunter is more interested in deep tissue penetration at moderate handgun ranges, the Copper Magnums might be a better choice.
Field Targets With The Crosman 1377
In Part Two I promised to test the Crosman 1377 American Classic on field targets. My friend Ron Keller was a willing participant in the test, having spent the majority of his adult life shooting handguns. That’s Ron, below…
I’m here to tell you that if you haven’t tried shooting field targets in the woods with a pellet pistol – IT’S A BLAST! For anyone contemplating hunting small game with an air powered handgun, shooting Air Venturi Field Targets in a similar environment is great training.
We set our Rat On-the-Run and Rat On-a-Stick targets at 8 and 15 yard range. That turned out to be ideal for simulating hunting conditions with open sights in the woods. Ron had no problem repeatedly knocking the center out of the 8 yard target, but resetting the 15 yard target was more of a challenge. What we learned is this:
When the reset paddle on the Rat on-a-Stick has been struck multiple times, the bright yellow color chips off of the metal paddle and becomes extremely difficult (nearly impossible) to see with open sights. Regular maintenance to restore the color is required to make it visible in an overcast, wooded environment.
The fixed (no micro-click adjustment) open rear sight on the Crosman 1377 American Classic shot at different points of impact depending on the lighting conditions and the person shooting the gun.
The gun shot dead “flat” for me off of a padded rest in my Sportsman’s Room. It shot ½ inch high under the more subdued lighting of my Gun Maintenance Room, and shot a full THREE inches high for Ron under outdoor field conditions. We proved that on a bullseye target we set up at 10 yards in the woods.
Ron could not resolve this, because the rear sight blade was already set at the lowest possible setting. A Custom Shop Upgrade is in order for anyone encountering this issue.
The Crosman 1377 Custom Shop
Pyramyd Air offers the Crosman 1377 American Classic with accessories which many will find useful. The 10 inch barrel is long enough to convert the handgun into a Carbine with a Crosman skeleton shoulder stock available for $25.00. The basic gun does not accept dovetail scope mounts, but a special Crosman Mount (459MT) can be combined with the Crosman 0290 Red Dot sight for better optics.
I recommend you buy the gun sans accessories and shoot it for a while. If you are as thrilled with the experience as I have been, you should consider going on-line to the Crosman Custom Shop.
Look for the Model 1300KT. You can then explore a multitude of options guaranteed to convert your gun into a totally unique family heirloom. In addition to multiple stock upgrades, there are Crosman and Walther barrel options in varying lengths, an all steel breech replacement kit and high end micrometer adjustable sights. There’s even custom trigger shoes.
The web sight shows you exactly what your gun will look like after adding each option and the total cost of the custom upgrade. Have your name engraved on the gun after you’ve made the upgrade, then put it in the “Cart”. Have fun!