The Crosman American Classic Air Pistol, Part One
The Crosman American Classic air pistol had its origins back in the 1970s. Often known by its manufacturer’s model number as the Crosman 1377, it’s been manufacturer in huge numbers over the years. In this three-part review, Ron Jones takes a good look at this iconic air pistol and why it still has a place for today’s airgunner.
Take it away, Ron…
I just finished reading Stephen Archer’s interview with Crosman CEO Bob Beckwith. You’ll want to read that interview after you have finished digesting this story about the Crosman American Classic air pistol.
In that interview, Bob stated that one of the objectives of Crosman is to provide a product customers demand at an attractive price. Unless you are totally new to air guns, you no doubt know that the company has achieved that objective in the minds of most sportsmen who have had the pleasure of using one or more of their many fine products.
Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing Crosman’s CO2 powered target pistol, dubbed the 2300T. I had owned one of Crosman’s first CO2 pistols, the Model 111, circa 1953, and was anxious to see if the latest incarnation of that product was as fun to shoot as the handgun I remembered in my youth.
As it turned out, the model 2300 T was a step above my entry level gun…with accuracy and handling qualities you wouldn’t expect from a gun selling for $159.00. But CO2 has it’s shortcoming, and so the search was on for another Crosman gun without the limitation imposed by a CO2 power source.
As it turns out, Hard Air Magazine had never done a review of the Crosman American Classic 1377, variable pump pneumatic gun introduced, in spite of it having been introduced in 1977. We decided that there was no time like the present to correct that oversight!
If there is one word which best describes the Crosman American Classic, its “Versatility”.
This gun will shoot airgun pellets ranging in weight from 5.4 to 10.6 grains, at velocities ranging from 375 to 600 feet per second. And it will do it with a degree of accuracy normally equated with gun above it’s $60.00 price point.
Combine that with light weight (2 Lbs), portability and durable construction, and you have a gun with great utility. Basement target shooters, back yard plinkers and rodent hunters will find the gun perfect for their needs. Survivalists could certainly consider carrying the gun in areas where dangerous animals are not a consideration.
I would label the Crosman American Classic “field grade” in terms of fit and finish. Crosman has tastefully combined their rifled steel barrel and internal action with a polymer stock and synthetic sights.
UPS was not particularly kind to the carton containing the gun shipped to me by Crosman, so when I opened the shipping box I expected to see damage to the gun. Except for a rear sight which was slightly askew, the gun was otherwise unscathed.
My Leatherman style Multi-purpose tool quickly centered the rear sight…and the first pellets out of the barrel at 5 meters were right on target.
In a word, the Crosman American Classic is RUGGED! It’s pretty much as close to indestructible as you can get with any mechanical device. You can toss it in your duffel with an assortment of pellets and your travel gear…knowing that when you arrive at your destination the gun will be ready to join you on your trek into the wilderness.
Slip it in the game pouch of your hunting jacket and you’ll be prepared to pop that Grouse roosting in a conifer providing the season is open and you have a license.
This Crosman American Classic and a tin of Crosman Copper Magnums is going into my back pack the next time I head into the woods with the pups.
The cocking effort for the Crosman American Classic is light to moderate. It really depends on the number of pumps you choose for the shot.
Those with a strong grip can no doubt generate 10 pumps of power without breaking a sweat. Almost anyone can generate 3-5 pumps of pressure for repeat shots without stress.
I wanted to measure the pumping effort so that others could envision how hard it is to pump the gun. So I padded my spring -operated kitchen scale and used it to measure the pumping force. First pumps measured about 13 Lbs of force to complete the pump cycle. That compares to about 35-40 Lbs of effort for many spring powered, break barrel rifle.
The Crosman American Classic is equipped with standard post front sight and adjustable, open rear sight.
Horizontal and vertical adjustments are accomplished by loosening a screw, moving the rear sight and then re-tightening the screws. No reference scale is available to quantify the vertical adjustment, but small hash marks help in estimating the horizontal adjustment.
I used the universally accepted SWAG method to make my adjustments. It works!
The rear sight notch, adjustable vertically, can be rotated 180 degrees to offer an aperture sight for those who have converted their Crosman American Classic to a carbine. My sight shoots dead center targets at 5 yards with the rear sight perfectly centered horizontally at it’s lowest setting. Nice job, Crosman!
Until 2015, there were complaints among some owners that the grips were “loose”, and no amount of grip screw tightening would correct the problem.
The company’s web site states that the grips were improved in 2015. I can attest to the fact that the latest incarnation of the Crosman American Classic grip possesses favorable ergonomic and is firmly secured to the frame.
Despite the somewhat muzzle heavy design which results from the 10 inch barrel and elongated forend, I found the Crosman American Classic to be wonderfully stable during shot execution.
Particularly on those long sitting or kneeling shots at game or field targets, I found the balance of the Crosman American Classic improves accuracy over handguns with shorter traditional barrels.
Without a doubt, this is one of the quietest air handguns I have ever shot, particularly at the 4-5 pumps level. I could hardly wait to set up my Chronograph to make sure velocity levels were as advertised. They were.
After shooting some “1000 FPS” break barrel air rifles, this was a welcome surprise. On a hypothetical air gun muzzle blast scale of one to ten, I’d have to rate this a three. This makes the Crosman American Classic absolutely perfect for those who live in areas where a neighbor might object to gun noise.
Target Velocity Ballistics
We’ll talk more about sighting in the gun in part Two of this Three Part series, but I wanted you to have a Ballistic/Trajectory table to help you understand the limitations of the gun with 4-5 pumps of power using Crosman Premier 7.9 grain pellets.
Out to 10 yards, 400 FPS muzzle velocity will keep you in the Bull.
Caution: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OPERATE THE GUN UNTIL YOU HAVE REVIEWED AND FULLY UNDERSTAND CROSMAN’S OPERATIONS MANUAL.