Crosman’s new M4-177 multi-pump air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Crosman’s new M4-177 is a smart-looking M4 battle rifle lookalike.

Here we are at accuracy day with the new Crosman M4-177 multi-pump air rifle that you steady readers also know as the M417. Speaking of that, Pyramyd Air sold out of their initial supply of guns and is now selling the second shipment of guns that are still marked M417. If you want one marked in that special way, the time to act is right now.

BBs and pellets
As you know, this multi-pump pneumatic will shoot both BBs and pellets, though not at the same time. Each type of ammunition requires a different loading procedure, so before you start shooting you have to pick one type. I decided to begin with steel BBs. I’ve been testing the gun with Daisy zinc-plated BBs, but during the velocity test I also tried Crosman Copperhead BBs. In the past, Daisy BBs have been more uniform and accurate, but in this gun the Crosman BBs are doing better — at least as far as velocity goes.

Sight-in
I decided to pump the gun five times for each shot. During the initial shooting, which I did at 25 feet, I found the gun shot very high and to the left. Elevation is adjusted at the front sight which, in this case, needed to go higher to bring down the strike of the BB. I had to adjust the front post an estimated eight full turns to lower the BB by the two-plus inches that were needed. The rear sight adjusts via a slotted screw on the left side of the sight, and to move the BBs by one inch required at least four full turns of the screw. As you’ll see, my final impact point is still off by a little, but it’s close enough.

I shot in the standing supported position, using a door jamb for support. While it’s not as steady as shooting off a rest, it’s much steadier than offhand. And the whole point of the test is to find out how well the rifle performs — not how good a shot I am.

Shooting for record
I shot 10-shot groups as always, and I think you will be glad that I did. The Daisy BBs went into a group that measures 1.594 inches between the two farthest centers. Throw out just one shot, and the other nine are in 1.046 inches. That’s very good shooting for BBs at 25 feet.


Ten Daisy BBs are grouped pretty tight for 25 feet. The center of the group is a little high and to the left, but I decided to leave it there.

Next up were the Crosman Copperhead BBs, and I wondered if they would also beat the Daisys at accuracy. After all, this is a Crosman gun!

Beat them they did, with a ten-shot group measuring 1.585 inches across the two farthest centers. This time, though, there was no single stray that enlarged the group, so in general, it was more evenly spread than the Daisy target.

Ten Crosman Copperhead BBs gave this well-distributed ten-shot group measuring 1.585 inches at 25 feet.

By this point, I was definitely in the groove, so I decided to keep on shooting at 25 feet. That’s arbitrary, I know, but I plan to visit this gun one more time, and perhaps then I’ll push the distance out farther.

The M4 on pellets
It seemed like the rifle enjoyed Crosman ammunition, so for the pellet test I used Crosman Premier Super Match wadcutter target pellets. I was still pumping the gun five times for every shot. I did not adjust the sights for the first group, and the results were so encouraging that I forgot to shoot the second five pellets. So, my five-shot group measures 0.449 inches between the two farthest centers. When I saw it I had to adjust the sights just a little more to try to center the group on the next and final attempt.


Five pellets went into this 0.449-inch group at 25 feet. Not a bad start!

The second time, I remembered to reload the clip after the first five shots, so this is a true 10-shot group with pellets from 25 feet in the standing supported position. This 10-shot group measures 0.519 inches between centers, so it’s ever-so-slightly larger than the five-shot group.


Ten pellets went into this 0.519-inch group at 25 feet. This is almost a screamer.

The sights
I find the peep sights on the M4 to be the easiest sights I’ve used in a long time. In fact they remind me of M1 Carbine sights. Yes, the peep holes are large, but that has nothing to do with their precision. All a larger hole does is pass more light, which decreases your depth of field. That makes it more difficult to focus on the front sight post and keep the bullseye in sharp focus as well. But you can light the range to compensate for most of that, which is what I did. The bottom line is that I like these sights a lot.

Trigger
The trigger, I don’t care for. It’s single-stage and has a long pull that, while at 3 lbs., 8 ozs. is not heavy, it’s also not light. It’s very consistent, though, I’ll give them that.

Bottom line
I resist the tempation of calling this rifle a tackdriver, but it’s surprisingly accurate. More so than any other 760-based rifle I’ve tested or owned.

We’re not done with this airgun just yet. I plan to mount a dot sight on it and give it one more accuracy test at a longer range. But from what I see thus far, it’s a no-brainer. This is one heck of a fine air rifle!

24 thoughts on “Crosman’s new M4-177 multi-pump air rifle: Part 3



  1. Tom,

    Might I suggest that you and your readers try the UTG carry handle with integrated rear sight.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_AR_15_Carry_handle/1328

    You can add a Weaver rail to the handle with this.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_M16_Tactical_Mount_Attach_to_Carry_Handle/822

    With this set up, I have found that even with low profile rings, any scope or dot sight will end up a bit high, making you use your chin on the stock rather than your check. Good for heads up close quarters, I guess.

    This adapter is also useful. The top rail is almost 3/8″ lower making for a better cheek weld, and it has the side rails for lights and lasers.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_Deluxe_Weaver_Tri_Rail_Riser_Mount_See_Thru/2798

    I now have two of these guns that the Grandkids and I use for shooting matches. My accuracy results are the same or better than yours. I’m using RWS Meisters (rifle) in mine with amazing results.

    Kind regards,
    Michael Chavka


    • Michael,

      Thanks for those suggestions. I think that next I will try the gun with an optical sight. I don’t know that I will shoot it enough to warrant buying the carry handle, but it’s nice to know I can and it will fir.

      B.B.


  2. I forgot to mention that having both rear and front sights adjustable for elevation is nice in its own way. Lots of adjustment.

    Michael


  3. BB,

    Wow, good looks and accuracy too!, nice. Uh, the gun that is. :) Too bad I’m strapped for dough, cause this one would be sitting in the midst of my collection of 760′s.

    ka


  4. Please Crosman detune it for us poor little Canadians…
    Seems like a fun little rifle with better looks than the 760.
    It would have been fun if they had used the rear bolt like on the real thing instead of the small one used on 760 but I’m nitpicking they could also have used a more authentic mag release button… maybe in a “deluxe” version one day?
    The carry handle that Michael suggested seems like a very good idea, PA should offer it in the packaged deals they make.

    J-F


  5. BB

    Is the Crosman 2100/Remington Airmaster based on the 760? If so, they would probably make better comparisons to the M417 than the 760 by virtue of their rifled barrels.

    I agree with you about the sights. Stock peeps are rare on rifles these days, and not only are they adjustable on this gun, but they are very stout. Not a hint of flimsiness. They mount to their relative picatinny rails with ease and speed. Not to mention there are 4, count em, 4 picatinny rails on this gun. I wouldn’t mind seeing an accuracy test with a bug buster or some such mounted. My own long range tests have been hampered by rain lately.

    Having to manually advance the clip is not as horrible as I thought it would be. There are very positive clicks to ensure proper alignment with the barrel. The clips also hold pellets securely without worry that they will fall out. If you have to cock the gun, pump the gun, and operate the safety, what is one more step? I find that when I am shooting by myself all these steps get old. When shooting with others, you hardly notice it, because you can do it at your leisure while others take their turn shooting.

    I really appreciate the design of the adjustable stock. It operates with a simple lever and locks into 6 different lengths.

    Considering the adjustable stock, the 5 shot clip, and the price, the IZH61 comes to mind as competition. The M4 is higher powered, variably powered, and can be dry fired. The IZH has a better trigger, and easier/faster cocking. If the M417 were made out of the same polymer plastic the IZH is….well, words escape me to describe how cool that would be.

    Looking forward to Part IV. I think Crosman will sell about a billion of these.


    • SL,

      Wow! Now THAT is a customer review! I wish all the reviews were as thorough as yours.

      I promised to mount a dot sight next, si I want to stick to that, but I don’t know whether I mentioned it or now but I bought the gun I’m testing. So it is here to stay and I could always come back for another test after the holidays are over. I say that because I’m scrambling to get as many products reviewed as possible before Christmas, plus I want to write at least one Christmas recommendation report.

      B.B.


    • Agreed, if Crosman made the M417 out of the similar quality polymer as the IZH-61, it would be an incredible gun and I wouldn’t be able to stop grinning. The plastic they used is decent, but nothing special and a little bit of a let down. It has a soft-ish feel, and feels good enough, not super cheap – but nothing close to the materials used in the IZH-61.

      I’ve been shooting the M417 with my daughter shooting the IZH-61. Your comments are right on, the IZH is much faster shot to shot; Fire, Cock, Aim, Fire (there is NO safety). The same cycle on the M417 consists of: Fire, Safety on, Pump X times, Pull Bolt back, advance clip, push bolt forward, Aim, Safety off, Fire. It sounds like a lot, but it is easy and I became second nature quickly, so much so that I don’t even think about it. I wish the detents for the clip were more positive, but that’s a minor quibble. There is a certain peacefulness in not being in a rush and tuning into the rhythm of the steps. Don’t let the steps worry you, they’re not a problem.

      The biggest disappointment with the M417 is the trigger, it has a huge travel and lacks any shred of crispness. It’s long, mush and lacks feedback.


  6. OT…well other than to say that when these become available in Canada I’ll be purchasing a couple for the boys ;-)
    Anyhoo…for your powderburner guys.
    I mentioned last week we were going to upgun…finally step up from air to .22. The gun I’d decided on (just because it’s so darn pretty) was the CZ455FS…the full length stock model. Well turns out, after checking with any gunshop within a 1000mi (in Canada) that stocks CZ that this particular model will take in the neighbourhood of a year to get…if I’m lucky.
    My boys are not the patient type.
    So we’re looking at the CZ Lux http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/455lux/ again partly because I really like the looks of the European stock. As well the CZ seems to get high marks for quality for the price. If my 631 is any indication it should be a fine rifle.
    My question…as pretty as the stock looks on this rifle, is there a downside. I’m thinking there is going to be an issue getting a good cheekweld if I decide to scope it because of the downsweep of the stock at the rear.
    Comments pro and con are most welcomed.


    • CSD,

      I’ve never shouldered a CZ 455 lux but from the pictures I think you have a legitimate reason to be concerned about the stock drop especially IF this purchase is really for your boys LOL! Isn’t there a gun shop nearby that has one in stock to see how it fits the boys? Length of pull would also be interesting to check.

      Maybe used isn’t an option for your Christmas gift but my almost 9 year old daughter fits her browning .22 take down very well. Petite and accurate .22 semi auto that’s easily scoped.

      kevin


      • In reality it’s for ‘us’.
        I’m kind of looking for a rifle that will last years. I know that the pull may be a little long now…but they’ll grow into it and then they can shoot if for the rest of their lives.
        Also the 10 year old is already and inch taller than his mom…gotta love those growth hormones in the beef ;-)


        • CSD,

          Understood. I have guns that were purchased for my daughter. It will be years before she’ll be able to shoot them so breaking them in has fallen to me. ;-)

          kevin


  7. You know how I feel about peep sights! :) This gun has real usable accuracy at 25 feet! Zombies, watch out!

    I plan on doing some experiments with the “Walking Dead” this weekend. I have a large collection of condiments (aka zombie blood) and zombie targets. I’m going to install the condiment packages behind the zombie body parts with duct tape, and then puncture little holes at the front side of the packets (zombie picture side) with a needle. I think that having the tiny hole will help direct the explosion forward, leaving maximum mess.



    • I built a new plinking range at my place in town. Erik and I christened it this morning. Shooting dum dum suckers, pieces of chalk and little clay balls on golf tees. They all make a cloud when hit but I was surprised at how the dum dum suckers exploded into about a 3 foot circle of sugar dust especially when hit by the pcp’s. About a two foot circle of sugar dust when hit with the R8.

      kevin


    • I tried what we we’re talking about this summer, two strips of duct tape with paintball in the middle, it looks like a chain of paintball ravioli, works like a charm, when shot they make a nice splat and ooze the green (or other color you choose) paint.
      Taped to a board it would probably work pretty well too.

      J-F


  8. I might have to wrap one of these up for myself for Christmas! Way better accuracy than I’m getting out of the smoothbore cheapo 760! (which I actually bought to see if some of the pump parts could be used in my old 760. If so, Great! If not, $25 isn’t a great loss and I’ll still have a whole, working gun to mess around with… :-) )

    /Dave




    • Pinky,

      Think about what you have asked and how the pump handle cycles. I showed in Part 1 why you cannot put accessories under a gun like this.

      B.B.


  9. I just recently found out about this air rifle. I have a few thoughts and questions about it. I personally like mutli-pumps (or single pumps for that matter). I have owned a few cheaper spring piston rifles and, while I got a few good groups with them, they seemed wildly inconsistent. Maybe I’m just not set up for this type of pellet guns. I get nice groups with my Remington Airmaster 77, my new Crosman Custom Shop 2400 CO2 carbine, and, when I can manage the worlds worst trigger, my Crosman 1077. These are all scoped.
    So I am now interested in this M4-177. I’m now 59 years old and don’t have the best eyesight. I have never used a peep sight. I find that with my rifle scopes, I can see best without my eyeglasses as far as keeping both the crosshairs and the targets in focus. I’m wondering how a peep sight would work for people with eyesight problems. I wear glasses for up close reading, and for far off vision.
    I have watched videos and read reviews of this M4-177 (and thanks, B.B., for your first rate writeup on this), and this rifle seems to have very good accuracy (I’m talking pellets here-I would most likely never send a BB down range with this gun), and accuracy is important to me. I know this is based on the model 760 smooth bore. I wish Crosman would make the 760 available again with a rifled barrel.


  10. jon,

    I wear trifocals and do very well with peep sights without the glasses on. When you’re using a peep sight, your brain automatically centers the front post in it. Basically you just look through the rear sight, put the post where you want the pellet to hit and squeeze the trigger. Isn’t that trigger on the 1077 awful, but is sure teaches you how to correctly use a trigger and rewards you with wonderful groups when you do.

    By the way B.B. writes a daily blog at http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog which is a wonderful place to learn about, exchange information with a bunch of wonderful people. Hope to see you there.

    Bruce


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