Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The QB78: A copy of the Crosman 160/167

by B.B. Pelletier


QB78 is a good copy of Crosman's famous 160/167 air rifle. It is available in both .177 and .22.


Many airgunners are fond of saying they wish such and such an airgun was remade. "If they would just remake the Crosman 600, I'd buy one!" Well, in 1986 Daisy remade a very accurate copy of their pre-1920 No. 25 pump BB gun, and I didn't buy one - despite being one of those who was most vocal about wanting it. Years later, I had the privilege of paying nearly twice what Daisy had asked when the replica was new.

The Crosman 160
Not long after Crosman quit making the 160 rifle, the same cry went up from the airgunning crowd. Used gun prices escalated and everyone said they would buy a replica if they were made again. So, a man named Henry Harn did just that. He had Tim McMurray build a custom 160 with several of his most popular modifications, and Harn took it to China to have it copied. The resulting rifle was called the QB22 in .22 caliber and the QB77 in .177. The price of the new rifle was apparently so high that sales were not as good as anticipated, and within a few years the gun was becoming hard to find.

The QB78
By then, the Chinese came out with their own version of the gun, a rifle they called the QB78. This rifle exists in both .177 and .22; the model remains the same for both. It sold for less than half what the other copies retailed, and sales were brisk from the start. A QB78 looks like a QB22/77 that hasn't been given the same attention to finishing. At its heart, it is a rather faithful copy of the original Crosman 160/167 in its most-evolved form. A discussion of those features follows.

Trigger
The final Crosman 160 trigger was adjustable, and a very nice one for the price. The QB78 also has an adjustable trigger with a manual safety. To adjust it, the action is removed from the stock, and then a sideplate is removed from the unitized trigger. You can adjust pull-weight, sear engagement and overtravel - very sophisticated for this under-$100 price range.

Barrel
The 20" barrel is the one shortcoming of the 78. Not that it is inaccurate, because plenty of them are very accurate. But quality control hasn't been as good for the QB78 as it was for the Crosman and QB22/77 rifles that preceded it. If you get a good one, you can rejoice. Most of them are good, I'm sure, but there always exists the specter of a bad barrel.

Power source
Power source is one area where the Chinese have surpassed Crosman. The basic rifle uses two 12-gram Powerlets to get a good number of shots. I've heard up to 80 shots reported from a set of Powerlets, though I would rate it more conservatively at 60 shots. The old Crosman 160 got only 30-35 shots per set of Powerlets, so things have advanced pretty far. Once a shooter gets the QB bug, Powerlets soon give way to bulkfill. The original Crosman also had a bulk adapter option, but the technology has advanced way beyond where Crosman left off. The target version of the gun even has a lever to exhaust the remaining gas and chill the gun to receive a full fill. That's to prepare it for a 60-shot match.

The gun has also been adapted to operate on paintball tanks - sort of a People's AirSource cartridge. So, the filling options are many, and shooters can operate this airgun quite inexpensively.

Sights
The QB78 comes with adjustable open sights. More importantly, it has an 11mm dovetail rail for scopes. That's something the old 160s lacked. The target version of the rifle has optional aperture sights from China. They copy an old version of the FWB 300 sight and are very useful for match shooting.

Modifications
This is the 78's real strength. Because it's so affordable, a great number of people are offering modifications. Many airgunsmiths learned their trade of this rifle and are now pleased to pass it along.

Performance
Because of all the modification possibilities, the only performance I can report is what the factory rifle gets. The .177 rifle gets somewhere in the mid-700 f.p.s. region with lighter pellets, and the .22 gets about 600 f.p.s. That's just under the final Crosman 160 power level; but, as I said, modifications are everywhere, so you can change things if you want. The biggest change in today's guns is that the majority are .177, while .22 was preferred in the past.

Accuracy
On a calm day, a stock QB78 should keep all its shots on a nickel at 20 yards, or a quarter at 25. Shoot Crosman Premiers and JSB Exacts for best results. It's a good idea to clean the barrel of a new gun, but you must be careful to keep bore paste out of the transfer port (located in front of the loading trough). If you have a fresh charge in the gun, you can blast a few shots of gas to clear the transfer port, but be sure to thoroughly clean the barrel and breech afterwards.

The QB78 is one of those good ideas whose timing was nearly perfect. Had Crosman stayed with the gun, it probably would have increased in price by this time, while the Chinese copy is well under $100. As long as you understand the quality crapshoot, this is a hard bargain to pass up.

22 Comments:

At November 07, 2006 7:21 AM, Blogger mike said...

You can avoid the quailty problems by buying from an after market tuner, There are a number of these folks out on the net, just have to look. The quoted velocities are a bit high for an out of the box rifle, 600 for a .177 and 500 for a .22 is more realistic.

 
At November 07, 2006 8:23 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

mike,

You make a good point about the tuner, however, the numbers came from actual tests on factory guns. Maybe they were just hot ones.

B.B.

 
At November 07, 2006 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chinese quality control is always an interesting concept, one has to ponder whether or not all of the Q/C checkers are working from the same rulebook.

I'd like to see some reviews on darts and dart pistols. I've always been interested, but can never find enough information on them. Will darts actually work in most single shot pistols and rifles? Does it have to be a smoothbore?

 
At November 07, 2006 3:46 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

The brass or steel body of a dart necessitates a smooth bore.

Be sure to read tomorrow's blog!

B.B.

 
At November 07, 2006 4:51 PM, Blogger dbarr said...

B.B.

In the process of purchasing a Spare Air tank, I discovered the answer on hydro testing small tanks. Small tanks are not hydro tested, but they will do a visual inspection.

Is visual inspection really enough to make sure a small air tank is safe without a hydro?

Is visual inspection required for PCP air tanks and how often?

Thanks,
.22 multi-shot

 
At November 08, 2006 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your velocities for the QB78 seem accurate. My stock .22 clocks in between 585 and 600 fps with 14.3 grain CPs at 72 degrees, and gets 50-60 shots for 2 powerlets.

 
At November 29, 2006 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thing you can do with the "tanker" version of the QB78 (QB79) is add an hpa tank instead of CO2. My modified .22 cal QB79 shoots over 800 fps with 14.3 gr pellets.

Keith

 
At November 29, 2006 2:17 PM, Blogger dbarr said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At November 29, 2006 2:45 PM, Blogger dbarr said...

It looks like I jumped the gun [pun intended :-)] about hydro testing. The tank I purchased was an 1800PSI SCUBA Spare Air tank, not a 3000PSI tank.

.22 multi-shot

 
At December 01, 2006 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have both a 78D .177 and a 78D .22, they get 611 fsp with Gamo Hunter 7.4gr and 512 fps with Beeman Trophy dome 14 gr. Both the QB78D's I received were spotless inside and out, including a shiny barrel. I see hardly a flaw in either the metal or the wood. Reminded me of German quality. They shoot as good as they look. You can tell I really like them, such a joy to shoot.. Frank

 
At December 01, 2006 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention above the foot pound ratings. the .177 gave 6.35 with Premier Match 7.9gr and the .22 gave 8.5 with Gamo Hunter 15.4gr. These readings were when the rifle's were fairly new... Frank

 
At February 18, 2007 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem as far as i see is the barrel to reciever fit. its NOT good. you need to add a second set screw to stop the barrel from moving all over the place.Other wise its very accurate.either dont bump the barrel or add the set screw.

 
At August 19, 2007 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

Not sure if you did the calculation. But it seems like it's cheaper to use the 12gr co2 cartridges than using the airsource on qb78.

 
At November 23, 2007 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B,
Can the 78 take a peep site or is it necessary to install a breach kit from archer arms for that to work?

 
At November 23, 2007 9:44 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Of course the QB 78 can take a peep sight. The Crosman 160 it copies had a peep sight. The sight just has to attach to 11mm grooves, which the QB 78 receiver has.

I think what you meant to ask was whether the rifle needs a breech kit FOR A TARGET APERTURE SIGHT. That is a larger, taller rear sight and may not align with the front sight easily.

So they type of aperture sight you plant to install makes a difference.

B.B.

 
At June 03, 2008 5:56 PM, Anonymous slugbird said...

kind of off topic, but what do you have more of , .22 air rifles ore .177

 
At June 04, 2008 10:05 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Slugbird,

I own more .177 air rifles.

B.B.

 
At July 06, 2008 6:30 PM, Anonymous Gargster said...

I was looking for a way to get better velocity from a Co2 rifle. My 1077 has too much "leakage" around the mag clip, so I modified its air source adaptor to use with the QB-78. I then added black anodized heatsinks to the side of the Co2 cyl to keep it toasty on a summer day. I then added a thumb ball/check valve to eliminate the inherent gas bubble just prior to firing. The pellets were left to dry after dipping in a silicone/polymer mixture my nephew chemist made for me. Before the mods: Chrony: 600+ fps. After the mods: 960-980 fps. I'm now a believer!

 
At July 07, 2008 6:16 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Gagster,

980 f.p.s. with a Crosman 1077 is pretty remarkable. I don't believe I have ever heard of an improvement as dramatic.

B.B.

 
At July 07, 2008 10:30 PM, Anonymous Gargster said...

B.B. That velocity from a 1077 would be remarkable! As I said above, there is too much leakage in the 1077 because of the way the mag clip mates to the gas flow channel. The mods were done on a QB-78. The only fallback is having to rely on a hot summer day, and the appendage hanging from the rifle.
Cheers - Gargster

 
At March 16, 2010 4:12 AM, Blogger Shroker (Ghost) said...

Although this post is rather old now. Like 4 years.
I recently bought a QB-78 deluxe. Which features a nice optical sight.
I bought a .22 version and it is rather impressive for the price you can get out of it. Although the money spent into it for the extras you could but probably a different gun but you loose out on some features. One company has made a rotating index magazine for this gun. 8 shots for 22. 11 I think it twas for 177.

Doing my research and reading your article and also Archer Airguns and few others. I decided to pick it up. 100~ it was. (CAD Currency. : ) ). Quality feels good and seems to shoot well.

I must say, for those that love bolt action rifles and cannot seem to find one under $150. This is definitely one to go for. (Although the powerlets will cost ya.)

I must say though. The cleaning kit that you can buy from the same company doesn't seem as appetizing. But what'd I expect for 9.99.

It has great feel on the trigger and I have already recommended it to few others.

If only I had a high-pressure air compressor.. Could use a bulk fill or paintball tank of some sort.

 
At March 16, 2010 6:45 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Shroker (Ghost),

Yes! Come join us on the current blog. You don't have to stay on topic on this blog. You can talk about almost anything!

http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/

B.B.

 

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