Crosman MAR177 test report: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Crosman’s new MAR177 upper is big news!

Today, I’ll document the build of the AR-15 lower receiver that was required for the test of the Crosman MAR177 upper. This was a fascinating and somewhat scary project, because I was venturing into waters that, for me, are uncharted. On one hand, I know that the AR-15 is a popular firearm, so I expected to find all the information I needed to build the lower receiver on the internet. On the other hand, how good that info might be was completely unknown. I was scared because it has been over 30 years since I have had an AR apart, and even then it was only to clean the rifle after firing. I never had to build one.

After seeing my level of expertise with woodworking (the ill-fated Bronco article in which I destroyed the stock to mount a peep sight), you might feel some concern for my abilities as a gunsmith. Fear not. I used to make a nice part-time income from tuning single-action Colts, and I’ve tightened and accurized several M1911A1 pistols with demonstrably good results. Though I’m no craftsman, I can gunsmith metal parts when I need to.

It’s not that hard!
I needn’t have worried. The lower receiver of an AR-15/M16 is a very uncomplicated design and goes together without a lot of trouble. You do have to take some care with certain parts, as the receiver is made of aluminum and will break if handled improperly. Besides that and a couple small springs that fight to escape, there’s really nothing that’s too difficult if you take your time.

Step one was to photograph the parts that Rock River sent for the lower receiver. This soon proved invaluable when one of the smallest parts went missing for several minutes during the assembly. When I got to the place where I needed the part, a wee-teeny pin called a bolt catch buffer, but couldn’t find it, I assumed that Rock River had failed to send it. That infuriated me, because how was I supposed to know I needed one, since this was my first lower to build? This was the greatest fear I had about building this lower receiver.


The Rock River Arms lower receiver and the parts kit that goes into it.

I searched everywhere, even to the point of getting down on the kitchen floor (yes, I actually did do all the work on the kitchen table), where I found a small black beetle about the same size. He was dead, plus he didn’t have the same internal dimensions as the part I was searching for, so I kept looking. I even called Edith in on the hunt, since she has a better record for finding escaped parts.

After a while, I was certain Rock River had omitted the part from the kit they sent, so I checked the photo I had taken earlier of all the parts, and there it was. I had it when I took the picture, but not now, when I needed it. I then started putting all the parts back into their plastic baggie, thinking the build would be delayed until I got another part. And that’s when the part I needed fell out of another hollow part that was ever-so-slightly larger!

I had found a great website with step-by-step photos of the assembly, so everything was straightforward to a certain point. I was warned that certain small springs would try their best to escape, so I made a cloth-cushioned backstop to catch them when they flew. It was used about five times, so the warnings were well worth heeding. I also swept some small parts off the cloth work surface with the cuffs of my shirt, but fortunately Edith’s better eyes found them right away.

Hangup!
And then things came to a halt. I had ordered the National Match trigger and the internet instructions I was following were for the single-stage standard trigger. The parts I had didn’t match the instructions. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any specific instructions for installing a Rock River National Match trigger online, and Rock River had only sent instructions for a person swapping a trigger in a lower that was already built up. At this point, I was on my own. Fortunately, this trigger/hammer combination installs on the only two pins that fit through the lower receiver, so it’s hard to mistake where they go. And the National Match trigger incorporates the disconnector — a part that’s separate and installed separately on the standard trigger. That caused me to stop and ponder a few more minutes, wondering if I was missing yet another part. But I used to write manuals for the Army and have seen inconsistencies like this before, so I figured it out after a short breather.


The Rock River Arms National Match hammer (left) and trigger. The instructions failed to note that the disconnector is part of the trigger assembly and doesn’t look like the one for a standard trigger. The hammer spring was also installed backwards, but proved simple to switch once the problem was identified.


Small parts and springs dictated a slow approach and a safety backstop (just out of frame to the right) to catch the parts when the springs launched them. It was put to the test!

Rock River had installed the trigger and hammer springs on those parts when they sent the kit, but unfortunately they got the hammer spring on backwards. So, there was another short delay while I figured that out. In the end, though, everything worked out fine and the lower receiver went together easily.

Once the lower receiver was completed, I installed the A2 buttstock I’d purchased, and that completed the project. The Rock River buttstock is colored medium gray, but they advised that a wipedown with a oily cloth would deepen the color. In time, it will turn to a matching black.


The lower is complete and the stock is attached. Wiping the stock with an oily cloth deepens the color.

I suppose I spent about three hours doing what might take 30 minutes for someone who’s familiar with the process. The proof of the project was that the trigger and hammer work as they should, and the safety is finctional. And never dry-fire an AR lower without an upper installed, because the hammer will crack the receiver’s walls.

With the lower receiver complete and functioning as it should, it was now the moment of truth. Would the Crosman MAR177 fit properly and function on what I’d just built?

Anyone who has ever learned to clean an M16 or AR-15 knows how the upper fits to the lower. Two captive pins at the front and rear of the lower hold the two assemblies together. When you clean the gun, you typically only remove one of the pins so the lower hinges away from the upper. That gives you access to the bolt carrier and all the parts that require attention. Connecting the lower I’d just built with Crosman’s upper took about 30 seconds. The hammer was already cocked, so I pulled the trigger — and nothing happened!


The MAR177 is very realistic. And the firearm lower means it can be the perfect low-cost trainer for your AR.

Once again, I had butterflies in my stomach. Since I’m not that familiar with the AR guns, I wondered what might have gone wrong. Then I remembered my time at the range on Media Day in January, when I first got to shoot the MAR177. It has to be cocked by pulling back on the charging handle! Once I did that the gun functioned as it should! Now, I am ready to test the MAR177.

The MAR177
If you look closely, you’ll see where the MAR177 differs from a regular AR. For starters, there’s an air reservoir underneath the barrel. And the shiny silver thing at the end of the forearm is the side of the built-in pressure gauge. The rifle operates on 3,000 psi pressure and looks easy to fill from a hand pump. As small as the reservoir is, it shouldn’t take too much effort.

The muzzle has an air compensator to strip off the high-pressure air turbulence for better accuracy. What looks like an AR magazine is a solid metal slug for additional weight. The MAR177 comes with a 10-shot magazine (a single-shot tray is optional, but Crosman sent me one to test) taken from the .177 Benjamin Marauder. The carry handle is split at the bottomfor easier loading. The forward assist on the right side of the receiver is just a casting; it does nothing.

The selector switch is attached to the lower receiver, so of course it’s standard. It is right where your thumb expects it to be if you’re right-handed, and after 35 years I had no problem remembering what to do without looking. Of course, an AR-15 is semiautomatic, only, so there are just two positions — Safe and Fire. If you want to rock-and-roll, you have to raise your right hand and swear the oath.

The rifle weighs 9.5 lbs. on the nose when set up as shown. That’s a hair less than a Garand and a touch more than an 03A3 Springfield. Under the rules, a two-stage National Match trigger is allowed to break at between 4.5 and 5 lbs. and here’s how mine went. The first measured shot, which was about the tenth shot since assembly, measured 6 lbs., 9 ozs. As I kept measuring shot after shot, the pull weight kept decreasing until it hit the 5-lb. level. There, it stabilized — and that’s where it’s breaking now. I will lube the sear contact points with some good moly grease and expect the pull weight to drop by a couple more ounces as the rifle gets used more.

The trigger is completely crisp on stage two — as a National Match trigger should be. It works well with the weight of the rifle, and I expect to have more to say about it when I start accuracy testing.

Notice that the pistol grip I chose is a conventional one. You can get all kinds of wonderful grips for your AR, but this is the one you must use in a match — so I went with it.

I’ll try the 10-shot magazine, but right now I have the single-shot tray installed so I can switch from one pellet to another as I learn the gun. The way I shoot airgun matches, I would probably keep the single-shot tray installed, but the magazine could be used, as well, by those who prefer it.

There’s much more to tell you about the MAR177, but I’m going to do that as we progress through the other parts of this report. When I left the Army in 1982, I never thought I would have one of these in my hands again, but Crosman has made the impossible happen.

68 thoughts on “Crosman MAR177 test report: Part 2

  1. FYI the carry handle is mounted wrong it needs to be one more notch forward on the picatinny rail so that it is flush with the uppers opening.



    • Dave,

      There’s only one notch forward of the loading trough. The carry handle is mounted in the only position it can be.

      B.B.


      • Take a look at the picture again the carry handle is half way into where the magazine needs to fit. Maybe it was only wrong during the picture, but in the picture it is wrong.


      • I just looked at the rifle as it was photographed. What appears to be an obstruction was caused by the angle of the lens. In other words — parallax. The loading trough is entirely open and accessible.

        B.B.


        • I own a MAR177 and I’m also a amature photographer – not a lense angle. If you look at the photo the opening in the handle should be flush with the opening in the upper. You can clearly see that it isn’t. In the picture you have the sigle shot sled mounted which would have no problems but the 10 shot mag would not fit.


          • Dave,

            Edith just looked at the rifle and confirms that the loading port is open. And if you own a MAR 77, you can confirm that there is but a single cross slot for the crossbolt.

            What you are seeing is parallax. It’s the same process by which you can cover a full moon with your thumb held at arm’s length.

            I will show the port in the next report so everyone can see it in detail, but for now you’ll just have to trust me. If you hold your rifle on an angle you can create the same view, though with binocular vision it won’t be as pronounced.

            B.B.



            • B.B. Are you looking at the same picture on the websight? The photo is a straight on side view, the shot is almost centered above the area we are talking about. NOT parallax. In looking more closely the bolt on the front mount is in the opening and not forward enough it looks like the clamp is catching 1/2 way but the bolt isn’t in the picatinny slot.


  2. safety is finctional.

    I’m sure that was supposed to be “functional”, but it’s only one letter away from “fictional”

    I’ll have to second the comment that the carry handle does /look/ to be a step to the rear, compared to the enlarged direct sideview at http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Crosman_MAR177_AR_15_Upper_PCP_Conversion_Kit/2703;jsessionid=052A5832E1EF88DBEA36AF1257887FA0.app03

    Your assembled sideview looks like the cross-bolt on the front clamp is behind the top of the receiver section.


  3. Don’t feel bad everyone has trouble keeping up with those small parts. Those small springs and detents seem to blend in with everything and I mean everything. Overall looks like you did a good job and the gun looks good as well. The only disappointment is it seems to be a little on the heavy side, but 9.5# is still manageable.

    Look forward to seeing how it shoots.


    • Bub,

      Me too!

      You know, I should have mentioned that hi-power shooters spend thousands of dollars converting FWB target rifles to sit in Garand stocks so they can train. This setup allows them to train with their actual trigger and stock — not such a bad thing!

      B.B.


  4. B.B.,

    Your assembly procedure was flawed. You had the wrong drink to assist you in this process. Based on my experience an adult beverage works much better.

    The pistol grip you chose looks very similar to those that are typically found on the Mac 1 USFT’s. You mentioned that although many different grips are available “this is the grip you must use.”

    As usual, I’m confused. What shooting discipline is this gun designed for? You also mentioned a trigger weight requirement of 5+ lbs. so this can’t be a 10 meter ISSF rule?? Is this a National Three-Position gun that must conform to the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council governing rules? Is there some other National Match Air Rifle competition shot at Creedmore with some other governing body making up the rules?

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      I was saving this for a later report, but the sport is called National Match Air Rifle. CMP conducts it and it is shot at Camp Perry.

      Here is a helpful link:

      http://www.odcmp.com/competitions/NMAR.htm

      Other rifles like Daisy 853s may be used, but AR-style rifles are at the top of the class for this sport. As I mentioned in Part 1, Scott Pilkington was the driving force behind this sport.

      As far as I know this sport is limited to the U.S. at present. Perhaps some day it will expand to the Olympics.

      With 70 million ARs in circulation, the firearm lower was an obvious choice, according to Crosman.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Thank you.

        I just had another AHA! moment. Where have I been? I had no idea that this program created a new AR Clone Class for shooting airguns. Now the MAR177 makes sense to me. Very neat. Great time to be involved with airguns.

        kevin


        • Kevin.

          And that only scratches the surface of what Crosman has done! This is the smartest thing in airguns in the last 50 years. But it will take time to see if it unfolds as they expect.

          B.B.


  5. BB,

    I cannot wait to read about the accuracy and number of shots per fill of this one!

    I finally got around to measuring velocity of the FB!24 I refurbished using Macarri spring, etc. It is very tight about 840 fps with a spread of +/- 5 fps in ten shots. The rifle feels really nice and has become my favorite after the TX200. Thank you again for your reports on this rifle.

    Also, a couple weeks ago I ran into an East German Makarov pistol at a gun shop. Really nice condition, and included a very large number of spare parts. Possibly about 50 parts in total (4 magazines, 4 hammers, 4 sets of spare grips of various types, barrel, several firing pins, and the list goes on). Less than $250. Has the world gone mad?

    Cheers
    T.E.


    • TE,

      You got a $100 savings on that Mak. I find these days if you just mention the hard economic times people crumble and give bargains like that.

      Congratulations!

      B.B.


  6. Really cool gun, enjoyed the read and look fwd to the next one. A couple questions come to mind though. Is this a MAR177 or MAR77? And I assume you did a reasonable amount of research, so why the Rock River? I have been peaking into the AR world a little bit and while not bitten by the AR bug, I am interested in building one and after 30 years a lot has changed and options seem endless, hence my curiosity with your choice of lower. Really cool gun. did I say that yet?

    ka


    • KidAgain,

      It’s MAR177. As far as I know, there is no MAR77. Crosman does have a new model called a MAV 77, but it’s a wood-stocked underlever rifle.

      When B.B. had written this article, he wrote the model as MAR77 instead of MAR177. I had to change it in all places when I proofed it. I see that he continues to write MAR 77 in his comments. I’ll go have a talk with him :-)

      Edith


    • KA,

      Sorry! I got MAR 77 in my head and it stuck. It’s the MAR 177.

      Rock River was chosen on the advice of a friend who is into ARs. He says it’s a good name and that’s what I wanted. Since then I have confirmed that many times.

      B.B.


  7. Using an AR lower is such a great idea. It seems to have so many possibilities. I would like to see the Marauder action modified to fit on the AR lower.

    One question though: Will using a AR lower classify this MAR177 as a firearm? I was thinking the lower was the registered part of an AR.

    David Enoch



      • BB,

        This raises an interesting question that I am curious about:

        Where I live, I can legally shoot airguns on my property as long as I don’t allow the projectile to leave the property. But I can not legally discharge a firearm in the city limits, even indoors. This is the case for most of use, and a big benefit of airguns over powder burners (or at least in addition to PBs)

        If the federal government considers the MAR 177 to be a firearm when on the AR lower, then it is going to be seen as a firearm by the law enforcement folks, especially here in Michigan.

        So is this now an airgun that I can not “legally” shoot anywhere other than at a range or on appropriate legal land? I know that nobody will know if I shoot this thing indoors at my house, but I’m just curious about the legal ramifications of it being on the AR lower.

        I’m not being negative about the idea – I think it is a really good one, and have been talking it up to my AR loving friends. But if it is not “legal” to shoot like an airgun, that kind of negates part of the benefit. I am aware that most police probably won’t treat it as a firearm, but you never know – especially when somebody complains about somebody firing an AR outdoors . . . and they really are!

        Did Crosman discuss this and reach some kind of a conclusion?

        Alan in MI


        • The AR lower is the only part of an AR you have to transfer using a FFL dealer, all other parts you can buy without a dealer, the lower makes it a firearm.

          How this would be applied to an airgun application is interesting. With an airgun upper I am shooting an airgun and I could sell that airgun upper without going through an FFL (as I could with an AR15 upper) but as soon as you add the AR lower to the mix it is clearly more complicated.

          Local law says I can shoot an airgun indoors, to me even with the AR lower, indoors – it’s an airgun.


          • Dave,

            I agree with you – especially the “to me” part. And I certainly would have no real worries about shooting it in my basement . . . .

            My question really deals more with the “to others” part of the equation, especially if I were to consider shooting it outdoors. While we may argue that only an idiot would go after somebody shooting this outdoors (where airguns can be legally shot), the typical person that does not like guns of any kind could use this little wrinkle to make life difficult for us. That is the context of my question.

            I am careful to be a good considerate neighbor when I shoot mine outdoors – for example, I don’t do it at all when any of my immediate neighbors are out in their yards, even if “I was out there first” – and I am comfortable in the knowledge that if any one were to call the police, that I am in the right. With the MAR177, I don’t know . . . .

            Alan In MI


        • Alan,

          Crosman understands fully what this means. This is the first of many similar products that will be coming out. And when the lower is attached this is a firearm in every sense of the word.

          So if that violates laws, you can’t use it that way.

          B.B.



  8. Everyone,

    Dave is right. The carry handle is not mounted correctly in the picture above.

    You can’t tell by the loading trough, because that is parallax, but you can tell from the front of the carry handle that should butt against the forearm. In the photo there is a half-inch gap!

    What I did when Dave pointed this out was grab the gun and immediately remove the carry handle to see how many slots there are. There is only one, so I thought the handle had to be mounted correctly. Apparently I had the handle clamps above and behind the slot but still holding tight.

    I will reshoot this photo and update it some time when I have some time, but for now just know that Dave (and everyone else) was right and I was wrong.

    I’m sorry for the confusion,

    B.B.


    • No worries just trying to help. By the way I am looking forward to your complete review. I have my MAR177 mounted on the Armalite NM lower with a Geissele NM trigger I use for Sevice Rifle/HighPower competition. I really enjoy being able to go downstairs to get 30 minutes of training in, verses the 2 1/2 hours to go to the range and back. I went with the scuba tank and bought 10 extra magazines so by the time I get through all 11 mags it’s time to fill up again.


      • Dave,

        You’re saying you get 110 good accurate shots per fill to 3,000? I’ll use that as a benchmark when I test the gun.

        B.B.


        • Will you be doing any chrono testing? I’d like to know where the sweetspot is. From a total fill after about 11 mags its just below 2,000 (according to my gauage) and I fill then because I have to reload my mags anyway, you might be able to get more out of it than that.

          Accuracy, I only bench tested it initially to sight it in I haven’t really looked at group spread from the bench at all pressures, but haven’t seen any “flyers” in this pressure range. All my shooting has been offhand, sitting & prone.

          Oh I’m using Vogel pellets from CMP.


          • Dave,

            I have some Vogels, and since this rifle is designed by Scott Plkington, who makes Vogel pellets, they might be good. The barrel is Lothar Walther, so there is a good chance that R10s or H&N Finale Match are also good.

            I’m not going to benchrest over 110 shots, so I will try to bound the question with proof groups at key points along the usable fill spectrum.

            B.B.



        • The Armalite 2 stage was a very good trigger, but the Geissele trigger breaks like glass at just over the 4.5 lbs required for service rifle competition. I called it the NM version but it really is the Hi-Speed Service version. The Hi-Speed Match version you can dial down to < 2lbs. $pendy but worth it!


  9. The few friends I have that have AR’s also use the RR lower. Must be the way to go. I’m looking to build a carbine in 7.62X35. Getting the lower seems to be the easiest and yet somehow the hardest part! Gotta part with the $!

    ka



  10. I like this thing (even tought I’ll never be able to buy one unless I change countries). Could a similar process be applied to other firearms? Were you could use your own 1911 frame with custom trigger, grips, hammer and springs and remove the top part and slide an airgun top part and mag that would hold the CO2 and BB’s or pellets. It would allow a lot of basement practice for the firearm owners at a fraction of the cost. A member of the Canadian Airgun Forum who had just bought a SIG Sauer P226 firearm and wasn’t happy by his performance bought a Cybergun SIG Sauer P226 airgun
    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/SIG_Sauer_P226_X_Five_CO2_Pistol/2176
    and practiced with it at home, next time out at the range, same gun, same guy, same ammo he was able to shrunk his groups by more than 50% ! He also mentionned he felt much more comfortable with the firearm having handled the BB gun often and for a long time, all the buttons and switches were exactly where he was expecting them to be.

    If the MAR177 works good I don’t see why they couldn’t put out the MAR22 and MAR25.
    While we’re there the same thing is probably true with the MAV too MAV22 and MAV25 could be close to production.
    Don’t you love it when manufacturers name their products so it’s easy to understand?
    Crosman is great for this mather 1377/1322, 397/392, etc. You always know where you’re going.

    J-F


  11. Last night our 4H shooting club (The Platte Valley Sharpshooters) wrapped up their shooting season.
    We had an “open shooting” night.

    My grandson Nicky had the third highest score in the bb gun program. He won a medal and a purple ribbon. He also won a purple ribbon for the Fair Ribbon shoot.

    His sister Melanie came in 11th. She won two blue ribbons. I think they both did pretty well, and they are looking forward to next year’s program.

    I hope to keep them busy in the meantime shooting the Bronco Target rifle.

    I brought my Crosman XT, but was pretty badly outshot by the kids with the PCP target guns. Had a lot of fun anyway.

    Les


  12. My complaint with aftermarket triggers for ARs is the price. They must make a lot on them based on what is charged and what you get. This fact also applies to almost all AR upgrades. Charge all you can then add a little more. For myself, I just bought Wolff springs and reworked the GI trigger.

    But, that’s just me. They don’t seem to have a problem selling them.

    Mike


  13. BB,
    If this rifle ever get to the Olympics, it can’t be the only one. I can’t imagine any Russian, for instance, wanting to own one. What will have to happen is someone inventing an airgun upper that can be dropped onto one of the Russian models. Duskwight are you listening?
    -Chuck


    • Chuck,

      Obviously the Olympics would use a universal rifle. Or they might allow a military rifle that fits their specification, like they did for Hi Power competition decades ago.

      B.B.


    • I have trouble visualizing what one would have to do to convert a Kalashnikov for air… They don’t have an upper/lower… Heck, my HK-91 sure couldn’t be converted easily and it’s a delayed-blowback, rather than gas/piston actuated. On the HK-91, two pins hold the shoulder stock in place, sliding the stock off (to the rear) reveals the ~12inch long recoil spring which fits into the top of the bolt. With the stock off, the trigger group/pistol grip pivots down and off. In effect, the “modular” part of an HK-91 (and other derivatives of the CETME/G3) is the equivalent of the AR “lower” — pistol grip and trigger (the HK-91 had to have some strategic metal bars welded to ensure a G-3 selective fire trigger group could not be mounted).

      Lets see… Would need a .380Win to .177 barrel/chamber insert (possibly with an orientation marking so the barrel insert can be off-center at the ends to compensate for trajectory differences of the sights). Some magazine feed as one does not want to try loading pellets through the ejection port. The HK cocking lever is on the left, over the barrel, and near the front sight (flips out to the left, then pull back about 12 inches where a hold-open detent is located). Probably need to fit the air tank into the magazine (along with the pellet feed) — or replace the shoulder stock with an air-tank — wonder if an AirForce Edge bottle is small enough to fit inside… Though you’d need some moving air passage then to get to the bolt (unless you make a bolt replacement where the “bolt” is a non-moving air valve system, and you fit a mini-cocking lever into the ejection port for the real bolt.


      • They already make an airgun from an AK, it’s called a yunkers if I’m not mistaken and uses the firearm receiver which is probably why it was pulled from the market in the US and Canada (and other countries too I suppose). It’s a BB gun and the CO2 is housed inside a fake mag.
        I’m typing this on my phone so I can’t give you a link but if you (or anyone else is) interested I’m sure I can find it.
        I think BB reviewed it a long while ago if I’m not mistaken…

        J-F


  14. This was very entertaining. B.B., did you feel the joy of the AR owner in fiddling around with the various parts? One of the gripes I’ve heard about the AR design is that it is full of tiny parts and complicated shapes that are just not in the tradition of the robust and ingenious designs of Browning and Kalashnikov. Hard to tell if you’re being won over yet. We’ll keep you under observation….

    Edith, well, I didn’t mean to upset you. And I certainly agree that things are bad now, and they can get as bad as earlier times. But whether in total it is as bad or even worse, I’m not sure. Yes, indeed, as Duskwight also points out, there are larger numbers of sufferers with bigger populations. But fractions will not be denied and that suffering proportion implies millions of people living much better than was ever possible in earlier times. As for punishment, yes, some people get away with murder now, but the problem with stepping up the punishments is that in a lot of cases, you cannot be sure if you’ve got the right one. In the French Revolution and Counter-Revolution, thousands of both sides were hauled before the guillotine, and I’m sure they weren’t all guilty. Severity of punishment is an interesting concept. You would think this would have a deterrent effect. It certainly would for me! But historically, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Humans, being as tough as billygoats and extremely daring, seem to be willing to risk torture. If severe punishments really worked as deterrents, I’m sure they would have remained in place, but the record seems to indicate that they have a brutalizing effect and make people worse. Medieval societies that practiced the most grotesque punishments were highly disorderly and full of violence and rioting. There is only one circumstance in which punishment really does shut down misbehavior, and that is when it is absolute. Show disrespect to a Mongol envoy and get your whole city razed and execute every man, woman, and child. Singapore does something similar with disproportionate responses: if someone spits on the street they get their butt caned in public. That is workable, but it is not a society that we recognize. I guess the only thing I can think of now that is uniquely terrible and unprecedented is the specter of nuclear war and total annihilation. But while the scale is new, I don’t know that the lived experience is different from before. Was it not true that in Old Testament times, it was the regular practice of armies to completely exterminate the enemy, killing every living person and every animal, then poisoning the wells and salting the fields so that nothing would grow there? This is in effect like nuclear fallout. I don’t think the dead people would have noticed the difference. The whole business of “total war” is not a new thing but a reversion to what went on through most of history. Dare I say that the current age is not that bad? :-) Or how about this? Is there a historical place and time that anyone would consider preferable to now? If it is some Acadian country paradise I doubt it. Early cities were awful, noisome places, but there has been a continual migration from the country to the city, and it’s not because people wanted something worse than what they had.

    Rimfire shooters, okay, I utterly missed the distinction between the .17HMR and the .17HM2 which I had never even heard of. Wulfraed, the sighting factors make sense, but they don’t account for the way the heavier bullet stabilizes itself better in the wind. I suppose the .17HM2 just hits one of those design sweet spots whose full parameters are not fully understood and which are discovered through experiment.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      That was my observation of thew AR. Tiny parts and complicated shapes. Not much steel, but it weighs the same as a Garand.

      Am I fascinated? Not yet, but I will give it a real chance like everything else. They can’t have gotten worse since I used them in the 1960s and ’70s.

      B.B.


      • BB,
        Is it possible to use the phony magazine, which you say is solid and adds weight, to vary the weight of the rifle by using different weight magazines, or is it not really that heavy?
        -Chuck


        • Chuck,

          Yes, it does have some weight. I’ll weigh it for you in the next installment.

          Most shooters use it as a hand rest when shooting offhand.

          B.B.


    • .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire was introduced first, as a necked down .22WMR. Standard load is a 17gr hollow point or ballistic tip at ~2550fps. It’s a varmint round — tends to fragment on impact, not something to use for filling a pot. They later introduced a 20gr soft-nose solid to reduce damage to meat (at least on packager uses the name “game-getter” for it).

      .17 Hornady Mach 2 is a necked down .22LR CCI Stinger; much slower — 2100fps; same bullets. (Regardless of whose name is on the ammo box, Hornady makes the bullets — or did; don’t know if anyone else has developed the machinery for the finicky things).

      Using the HMR data in ChairGun Pro, dropping the velocity to 2100fps, results in the 1″ kill zone (+/- 1/2″) to PBR 34 to 124 yards, zero at 110 yards


  15. I had another thought about AR’s. Why in the world do we need aftermarket triggers for these? Why can’t they come with good triggers from the start. Would people buy a new AirForce Talon SS or Savage Center Fire Rifle if they had to spend another $150.00 or more to get a decent trigger on it? I don’t think so. This may be the next step in the improvement of AR’s. It would only take one company to start the trend since they would sell rifles and the others would not.

    Mike


    • Economics of production… The basic trigger is probably direct from military service rifle parts.

      Same with the 1911, the M1A/M14… Ever price the difference between a service grade vs a National Match gun?

      M1A Nat. Match lists for $1800+, M1A Std grade (real “service” would be the selective fire M14) runs between $1300-1400.

      I’d look up 1911′s but most of them are no longer “stock”… Not to mention that I’m not even sure if the current owners of the “Colt” name still produce a 1911. Springfield Armory factory models run from a “GI” version around $650 to “Range Officer” (match grade barrel, some other features) at $850… And Cabela’s has an entry at $2400 (though they seem to have only the price but not the feature list). No price for the “Loaded” (I suspect that may be the price with no details previously mentioned) that has the adjustable trigger and lots of other fitted parts.


  16. B.B., I am throwing this one in just for grins. Earlier today I discovered that PSE Archery sells a crossbow upper to mount on an AR15 lower. It is called a TAC 15. The TAC 15i resembles the AR15 but is a crossbow only, not an upper.

    I like airguns and I like crossbows; I even like AR15′s but I don’t expect to be playing with any of these particular items. I actually am pleased I don’t really want them because I would have to consider the cost, which is considerable :)

    Ken


    • Ken,

      The TAC 15 (just the upper — not the i, which is the entire bow) is $1,300! I can get a crossbow for a lot less.

      B.B.


      • B.B., You said it! That’s why I had to say, “just for grins”.

        Gander Mountain actually had that Ten Point Parker crossbow with the CO2 cocking. I didn’t ask for a demo, though. I was left wondering if the CO2 is necessary, or could it work with a compressed air system. There is a lot I’m sure I don’t understand, at least not yet. I do know I’ll managed a big bore PCP before I worry much about it.

        Ken


      • I wrote that Gander Mountain had a Ten Point Parker crossbow. That was a Parker Concorde crossbow. I guess I’m old enough to get a little confused once in a while :)
        One thing I didn’t know about the Concorde is that it can be uncocked easily using the CO2 system.

        Combine the track wheelchair with a crossbow, firearm, or airgun and someone may be able to enjoy getting out. Of course, the price is a bit stiff. I have seen this in person and wouldn’t mind having one myself.
        http://www.trackwheelchair.com/

        Ken



      • twotalon, I haven’t done much sorting and cleaning on the pellets yet. I do get a little frustrated and television looks less interesting by the day. Fortunately, we have been able to visit a couple of near by nature parks for some nice walks. Today we visited a VA clinic for some lab work, went to the HAAM shop (the fellow had picked the wrong antenna connection for my wife; it worked but wasn’t solidly connected; they replaced it with the correct connection), then went adventuring through Sports Authority and Michael’s (hobbies and crafts).

        I will get an X-ray tomorrow and see the doc on Thursday. I hope I am doing as well as I feel. I know I have to be careful but I am pleased to say I have been feeling better.

        I’m not at all sure when I can safely cocky a springer and PCP looks like the future to me. In addition to Crosman Discovery and Marauder, I have added AIRFORCE to my short list. I will keep adding coins to the piggy and see how things shape up. I actually hope the Hatsan AT-44 PA with the pump action loading turns out to be a rifle worthy of consideration. I really like the idea of not having to open and close the bolt.

        Thanks for asking. I am glad to tell you I am doing reasonably well and I hope to return to work for April. I don’t need to do anything strenuous (although I do prefer to do my own lifting and moving) so I can do my job without excessive limitation.

        Ken



  17. B.B. et al,

    Would you (or any other owners) share any knowledge learned about performance tuning options that would benefit the MAR177 (i.e. improved air flow for higher velocity; adding a second stage regulator for more consistent shots; and any spring or other part swaps, etc)?

    I was also curious of which parts have been learned of that are interchangeable with other airguns? For example, the Crosman MAR177 and the Benjamin Marauder use the same pellet magazine; the Crosman Challenger purportedly uses the same Lothar Walther barrel; etc.

    I’m also interested in seeing if any other barrels are compatible to be swapped out, to help with improving accuracy. I’ve read of numerous examples where Marauder owners have added shroud extensions, some with internal baffles…and the others have used brakes and LDCs for reduced “report” levels (which helps with the neighbors while practicing) and less air turbulence.

    Thanks!!


    • SE401,

      I sure hope et.al. chimes in, because I don’y know of any, other than what you already mentioned. The MAR is a pretty well-built gun, and I doubt there is much that can be done to improve it.

      B.B.


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