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Image: Chris Dumm for TTAG

With all the heated discussion of gun-grabbing politics, CCW ergonomics and wound ballistics that goes on around here, you’ll have to forgive us if we’ve overlooked some of the most popular shooting sports equipment in the world. Our Armed Intelligentsia may find it unnatural to use ‘ballistics’ in the same sentence as ‘pneumatics,’ but airguns are a huge business. They can be a great low-cost practice aid for powder-burning gun guys or a great sport in their own right. Modern break-barrel airguns can spit out .177 pellets with enough velocity to beat a .357 Magnum slug to the target, and a handful of monstrously expensive airguns can toss huge .357 and .45 slugs with enough grunt to drop a small whitetail in its tracks. We’ve recently hooked up with Pyramyd Air to begin bringing you the straight dope from the world of air-powered shooting . . .

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAG

The state of the airgun art has come a long way since my magpie-shooting BB gun days in junior high school, but this Crosman 1377 ‘American Classic’ has only seen a few minor changes. It’s got the same multiple-pump pneumatic action and rifled barrel,  but Crosman has replaced the sliding loading port and knurled cocking knob with a cocking chamber bolt that combines both tasks in one motion.

Sadly, the dovetail-grooved metal receiver is also gone, which makes scope mounting a real challenge. The pneumatic 1377 is among the few airguns that won’t immediately destroy a conventional rifle scope, because pneumatics don’t have the strong reverse/forward recoil impulse that spring-piston guns have.

Pyramyd sent us this one with a detachable shoulder stock for some non-NFA giggles. I’ll test it with the 1377’s reversible aperture rear sight. The attached chrono printout is a little too small to read in the photo, but it proves that Crosman isn’t exaggerating when they advertise 600 fps from this pistol. This whole kit from Pyramyd cost less than $140, including the pistol and stock, special oil, pre-shipment testing, and enough pellets (1300) to last for years of casual shooting.

How much fun can you have for $140 with a rig like this? I’m guessing tons. Stay tuned.

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  1. It would be even more fun if I could buy one in Michigan without first having to get a permit to purchase and then registering it.

      • Last I checked,Michigan required anyone purchasing an air or CO2 pistol able to fire a pellet to get a PISTOL purchase permit and register the pistol with their local police agency.

        • I may be corrected I have not purchased a bb pistol. In reality though you no longer have to have a permit. You go to dealer fill out nics check, and take your copy of the pistol registration to your local police/sheriffs dept.

        • The People’s Demikratik Republik of New Jersey also considers these to be firearms and require the same paper work as if you were buying a .44 magnum.

      • Not sure on all the current details, but as of a couple years ago, anything with a rifled barrel, regardless of propulsion, is a firearm in MI. Also, anything larger than .20 cal, if I remember right (so you had to get the background check for the Gamo shotgun.) There’s probably some kind of paintball exception, but I never had the interest to dig into that.

  2. I’ve a fifty-some year old Crossman .22 calibre single shot pellet pistol that clocks just shy of 850 FPS; I enjoy wascally wabbit stew wegulawly.

    • About 40 years ago, I had a Crosman single shot pellet gun in .22 propelled by CO2 cartridges in the grip. Power was adjustable (from death to small game (not very many shots) to a lot of target rounds), adjustable sights, and target grips. As I recall, Illinois (where I then lived) considered it a firearm that required a FOID to legally possess–that paperwork never did get filled out….

      • Heh heh heh…

        Now where did I leave that thar paperwork? The ol’ grey matter sure ain’t what she used t’ be…

    • Had one of those myself, pump. Made of steel, very heavy. Mine leaked air. It was pretty cool though.

  3. If were gonna do bb guns we may as well do airsoft and dart guns too…/sarc
    You can review that new m107ish looking Nerf dart sniper rifle…thing.

    • Airguns have been used in warfare by infantry and snipers, in crime and in hunting — they’re not just for plinking.

      They launch a projectile from a barrel with sufficient force and precision to kill, which is in fact the point.

      In a dodgy situation, they can bring down small game at a respectable distance without attracting unwanted attention, and a thousand rounds are the size of a maple cruller and there’s no shortage.

      They are guns, albeit not powered by exothermic chemical reaction.

      No doubt the article on railguns irked you as well.

      • Maple cruller? Need to look that up. But I think your saying that it don’t take up much space, as 1000 rounds of 22lr is in a pretty small box, so the pellets should be super small.

    • Actually I wouldn’t mind articles on high quality airsoft replicas during the current ammo drought. I use a m4 style plastic airsoft along with dry fire to keep the rust off.

    • I have a cheap break barrel springer .177 from wal mart. It will shoot through two 2 litre soda bottles without missing a beat. The leather E tool cover from an old surplus E tool. A rubber maid 44 gallon trash can. A phone book. An old cell phone. Scrap lumber. ETC.

      And it’s accurate. Ammo is cheap and plentiful and I have no doubt that I could supply pot meat for myself if needed.

      More articles about air guns, please.

      • Never seen an entrenchment tool with a leather cover. Hmmm…

        ‘Phone book? You must live in a town that makes Vacaville look like Metropolis.

  4. I bought this exact setup from Pyramyd air appox. ten years ago. Lightened up the trigger a little. Absolutely love it!

  5. if you take the trigger out of the crossman 1377 and mirror-polish the brass engagement surfaces with flitz your jaw will drop the next time you shoot it.


  6. Would like to see some reviews of tight grouping pellet rifles and pistols that don’t cost as much as rim or center fire, $300 ish
    Besides low cost practice time, in a SHTF situation head shots on small game might make a difference with out the noise
    Grand kids started with pellet guns, minute of soda can is not that interesting
    If it isn’t accurate, it’s not interesting

  7. Many years ago I realized that shooting involved mucho time and expense. As an alternative to centerfire and even rimfire I picked up some airguns from Pyramid. The one that brings the most enjoyment for me is my IZH-46M. Well known in the airgun world as a heck of a price/performer for target shooting – PERIOD. When I bought it a while back it cost half of what it does today. But I can’t tell ya how many tins of match pellets I’ve shot in my own home. Quiet, finely made, fully adjustable, and much more accurate than I will ever be. I love it.

  8. I have found that a multi-pump air rifle forces me to slow the heck down and concentrate a lot more on my trigger work. Missing that shot just sucks after all the chicken-wing-flapping effort.

  9. The Crosman 1377 and similar models are great because there are a lot of high quality upgrades you can do ~ put a couple hundred bucks into it and you have a really beautiful weapon that will put protein on the table when needed… in the mean you can shoot in most backyards or even your basement. And outside of Michigan or NYC there are few, if any, pesky regulations.

    If you want to see the ultimate survivalist’s weapon, search for an “FX Indy”.

    • $2K, and it weighs 9lbs?

      I think I’ll go with pretty much any .22 bolt-action. A Chipmunk rifle weighs 2.5 lbs. That 6.5 lbs of difference will make for ~850 .22 LR rounds, and even more with .22 CB Short. And you can drop the weight of the rifle even further, all the way down to 1 pounds, with Ruta-Locura RPK.

  10. I bought one for $65 in the depths of the .22LR drought. Took it deer hunting and bagged a couple ptarmigan.

  11. I started shooting on a Crosman rifle. Pump it up, aim and shoot the pop can in grandpa’s backyard. It was a lot of fun and I was pretty much hooked on firearms from that point on. I think I was 5 or 6 at the time. My next airgun was a Crosman air pistol my great grandmother found in the road on her property. She gave it to me when I visited. I got into a lot of trouble after I shot the side of my dads steel storage building. It was fun until my dad came out! That pistol is still at my parents house but it needs rebuilt. Maybe next time I go home I will send it to myself and do that.

  12. Google up an outfit called Piper Precision. They make heavy full auto BB machine guns that put out 10,500 rounds per minute at 650 feet per second. They’re not as portable as one might like, being tethered to a scuba size propellant tank, and they’re pricey, but geeze! I’ve seen a video of one cutting down an eight inch diameter tree!

    • +1 on the Benjy MRod. Tune that sucker up, find the particular favor of pellet it likes, and better than MOA accuracy at over 850fps is very doable. And it’s a 10 shot repeater!
      It is, however, a PCP (per-charged pneumatic; I typically get at least 40 or so shots per fill before losing too much velocity), so you’ll have to spend some additional bucks on hoses and either a high pressure air tank (typically scuba or scba) or a specialized pump that can refill it to 2500-3000 psi. Still, with the right tuning and pellet, a good Mrod will stand with airguns costing 3-4 times as much.

  13. Moved to PA from the peoples republic of Maryland and was shocked to find out I can’t use my semi-auto rifles or my Beeman and RWS 1100 fps airguns to hunt with. They are legal in MD!
    I killed many squirrels and rabbits with those airguns, as well as some large groundhogs with head shots. I did get a “shall issue” carry permit in PA, which was hopeless in MD, but I am not happy with the trade off because I did not expect it.

  14. Good post, thanks Chris. I am a bit astonished to see the name of Chris Dumm and the word airguns in the same post. Decades ago, one of my high school friends had the Crosman model above. Let’s just say the pellets fired from it were effective at hitting the intended target and breaking things.

    • My friend, I really miss our occasional meetups at the Korean-American fusion restaurant. And I’ve only scored 150 rounds of .22 since you moved East!

  15. I have a PCP airgun that I love. $7 per 500 shots and makes 25ftp of energy using a 22 grain pellet.(20. something with the 14.3 grain crosman HP pellet) Benjamin Discovery in .22. 2000 PSI tank on it = 20 plus full power shots before refilling (using hand pump) Can put pellets on a 2 inch flipper target @ 100 feet with boring regularity. And it’s silent,like movie slient (TKO lead dust catcher) Perfect for small game and cheap trigger time. Mine is stock but if you like to fiddle you can do anything, larger barrel,springs, power adjuster,caliber change etc.

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