Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle
Crosman MTR77NP air rifle

Today, we’ll test the velocity of the .177-caliber Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle. This rifle has a Nitro Piston, which is Crosman’s gas spring, so it should be interesting. The advertised velocity is 1,200 f.p.s., which we must assume is with a lightweight, lead-free pellet.

Blog reader John asked me if the front sight base is on tight or does if it rotates around the barrel. The one on this rifle is firmly in place, but I thought it would be good to show you how the front sight base is attached to the rifle. It’s part of a synthetic sleeve that goes over the end of the barrel, and I assume it’s held in place by epoxy. That would be the most cost-effective method of doing it. John mentioned the possibility of a splined barrel and jacket, but that has a number of problems. It involves extra manufacturing steps (the cutting of the splines); plus, it runs the risk of being installed in a not-perfectly-straight orientation that would cause a lot of problems with sales and returns. Epoxy has none of those problems and costs very little.

Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle barrel jacket
With the barrel broken open, you can see the front sight base on the barrel sleeve. This is what John wondered about.

Cocking effort
The advertised cocking effort is 45 lbs. The test rifle cocks with 42 lbs. of effort as measured on my bathroom scale.

Crosman Premier heavy
The first pellet I tested was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier heavy. Because this rifle comes in .177 caliber, I had a choice between these and the lighter 7.9-grain Premier lites. I chose the heavier pellets because of the rifle’s power potential; but as you’ll now see, that wasn’t necessary.

Premier heavys averaged 675 f.p.s. through this rifle. The first measured shot from the gun went 705 f.p.s.; but after that, nothing went faster than 681 f.p.s. with this pellet. I threw out the first shot and ran the string from the second shot forward. The high was 681 f.p.s., which happened at the beginning and near the end of the string. The low was 665 f.p.s on the final shot. The spread of shots in this string is 16 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet produces 10.63 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

RWS Hobby
Next, I tested the RWS Hobby pellet that’s used for all legitimate velocity comparisons. It’s not a super-lightweight pellet and is made of pure lead, so the lubricity in the bore is what you want in a diabolo pellet. In the test rifle, Hobbys averaged 866 f.p.s., which is a good velocity for accuracy but a little slow for a rifle that hopes to see 1,200 f.p.s. with super-lightweight pellets.

The spread for this pellet ranged from a low of 856 to a high of 872 f.p.s., for a spread of 16 f.p.s. At the average velocity, Hobbys produced 11.66 foot-pounds of energy.

H&N Baracuda
I tested the H&N Baracuda Match next. Normally, a rifle shooting this slow would be considered too weak for Baracudas, but I thought their all-lead content might speed them ahead of the Premier Heavys that are hardened with antimony. And it did! In spite of being 1.15 grains heavier than the Premiers, Baracuda Match pellets averaged 685 f.p.s., which is 10 f.p.s. faster. The range went from 677 to 692 f.p.s., for a total spread of 14 f.p.s.

I think this pellet might surprise us with its accuracy. I certainly intend to include it in the test.

Crosman SSP hollowpoint
The final pellet I tested was the lead-free, super-lightweight Crosman SSP hollowpoint. If anything is going to go 1,200 f.p.s in this rifle, it’s this 4-grain pellet.

They averaged 1094 f.p.s. in the test rifle, but the velocity spread was huge! The slowest pellet went 1018 f.p.s., while the fastest went 1142 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 124 f.p.s. After seeing how this pellet did for accuracy in the Fusion, I’m temped not to test it in the MTR77NP; but if I do a 10-meter test to start with, I could risk it.

Trigger-pull
Now that I’ve had some more time to assess it, I can make a better report on the MTR77NP’s trigger. It’s a 2-stage pull that feels more like a single-stage pull that has some slack before it engages. Stage 2 is very long and has some creep, but not a lot. For you newer readers, trigger travel is when you can feel the blade move and creep is when it stops and starts (is gritty or jerky) throughout the movement. Movement by itself isn’t bad; but with too much creep, you never know what’s happening. The MTR77NP trigger is not too creepy for good trigger control.

Evaluation thus far
I remain optimistic about the MTR77NP. I like the fact that the velocity is not over the top. Perhaps that explains the slightly easier cocking effort of the test rifle. Whatever it is, it fits my idea of what an air rifle should be.

I’m not a fan of gas springs, but there have been a couple I really liked. The Benjamin Legacy and the Benjamin Trail NP with lower velocity are 2 rifles that satisfied my criterion for what a decent air rifle should have and be able to do. Will the NTR77NP follow in their footsteps? We shall see.

55 thoughts on “Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle: Part 2


    • That is exactly what I was thinking. With these numbers, I would be expecting a cocking effort in the high 20s or maybe low 30s.

      I like the APR1 better.


      • Hello RR. Fred suggested i ask you for advice on a good, flat shooting, hunting spring rifle. If they still made the uk webley tomahawk i would have opted for that. I appreciate anything you could share. Thank you.


        • Well Pop’s, just remember that you asked for it.

          Personally, I am not much of a sproinger fan for hunting because most just will not give the accuracy that I desire (sub MOA). Having said that, most PCPs won’t do that either. I am the kind of guy who will not settle for anything but head shots, so to me accuracy is far more important than power. It doesn’t take much FPE if you hit a squirrel in the head.

          Lately, I have been giving very serious consideration to getting a sproinger that could be used for hunting. I would go with .22 as there are some top shelf pellets out there that can give you a pretty good chance of hitting what you want, where you want with enough energy down range for a clean kill.

          The fixed barrels top my wish list. I have been drooling for a TX200 HC or MKIII. Another one I have been seriously considering is the HW 97K. One I might think about is the RWS 54, though it does not have as nice a trigger as the other two.

          Now if you just had to have a break barrel, I would go with one of the Beeman/HW models. BBs favorite, the R1, would be a good choice. Fred has nice things to say about the R9.

          One I have been giving serious thought is the RX2. It has a solid laminated stock that looks sharp, the Rekord trigger and a Theoben gas piston. You would be hard pressed to top all that in a break barrel sproinger.

          Speaking of Theoben, you might take a look at what they offer.

          There is one other break barrel sproinger I have been thinking about that is a lot easier on the wallet and that is one of the RWS 34s. They are not quite up to the HWs, but they are pretty good.

          Forget any of the Wang Po Industries sproingers. You will spend more trying to get one of those things up to snuff than they are worth.

          Now you have been graced with my humble opinion of hunting sproingers worth owning. Sounds pretty much like something BB would have said. ;o)


          • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your time. I was thinking about the HW 80 and HW 95. I have never shot either, i like to walk the woods so the 95 gets extra consideration, but having the R1 kitted and seeing 820 fps in .22 sounds great. I got started in this a year ago. My dad passed on and I inherited his safe queen, a Theoben SLR 98. Bench rested it consistently puts out sub 1 inch edge to edge 7 shot groups at 50 yards. It is, however, very nice, seemingly too nice. I hesitate to hunt with it. I do not have a chrony, but with a 27 yard zero(one ragged hole) with FTT’s, my poi is 8 inches lower at 50 yards. I would like to flatten it out with a slightly more rugged, flatter shooting gun. There is a nice HW 95 .177 on the yellow classifieds i am considering. You opinion has helped me. Thank you so much for your time. I hope you find yourself a tack driver sir.


            • I would stay away from .177 for hunting. Generally speaking, after 25 yards .177 energy and accuracy drops off dramatically.

              The Beeman R1 and R9 are HW rifles. Exactly which I am not sure at the moment, but if you compare them, you can figure it out. I believe the R1 is the HW80.

              I will find my tack driver. I already have a couple that are not too bad. I have a 46M and an Edge that I use for plinking and I am in the process of building a Talon SS carbine that I hope will give me the power and accuracy I desire for hunting.

              I will likely end up with an HW sproinger before too long though a walnut stock TX200 HC would sure be nice.

              You really should pull that Theoben out some and give it a little exercise. I have a feeling that if you do, you will find you do not need to be spending your money on something else.

              Or better yet, you should pass it on to someone like me. ;o)


            • Seriously, you need your head examined. You have one of the finest sproingers made and you are asking for advice on which substandard sproinger you should buy.


          • Can’t speak for the TO5 or TO6 triggers… But once I realized the TO1 trigger on my m54 had been shipped in lawyer-safe mode (NO first stage, long creepy second stage) and cranked the screws around I discovered I could set it to a long light first stage [I have the first stage screw set to just take out the free-play, but not enough to actually reduce the trigger stroke length], and a short high [haven't measured, suspect I can take out a few micrometers more] second stage with no noticeable creep.

            Turns out for my taste I didn’t even need to the modification found on-line of cutting a bit of the trigger off under the first stage screw; decreasing the length of first stage wasn’t needed…



      • I’m in the “too heavy” camp. Just too much for a gun aimed at the recreational shooter. I was all excited until I saw the 45 pound cocking effort.


    • The rifle has a shorter barrel than many other breakbarrels with similar power ratings. It’s a matter of leverage, shorter barrel offers the user less leverage during cocking, thus higher force is needed. I was worried that the effort would be too high to enjoy recreational shooting, but it isn’t bad at all. I’m a small guy, and I have no problem with it at all.


  1. The front sight assembly is pressed onto a spline on the barrel. There is no epoxy used to hold it in place. It can easily be removed by tapping it forward with a small block of wood.


  2. How wonderful, UK legal. There used to be a side lever that was styled on the old British army SLR called the Hi Power Jackal (became Air Arms), i could see this proving very desirable to some if the Crosman MTR77NP made it’s way to our drizzling shores.

    TTFN

    Best wishes Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe


  3. B.B.,
    After the relatively slow turnout for the heavy pellets, I’m surprised that you didn’t try a mid weight domed pellet like the premier lite or JSB 8.4. These should approach 800 fps and have given me good results in my .177 guns, especially the 8.4′s.


  4. B.B.

    I am with Feinwerk on this. This gun might be quite peaky, and might turn on with some pellets that are a bit more into the mid weight region ……something more like 8 grains or so.

    twotalon


  5. BB,
    Do you think the cosmetic portion of the design might have forced a shorter cylinder than necessary for the power target and that the heavy “spring” was an attempt to get it back into the velocity sweet spot demanded by marketing? If so, it may be accurate (shorter stroke usually is — we’ll see) but it would probably benefit from either a good detune for most uses, as it certainly isn’t a plinker. I’d be reluctant to carry that in the woods after squirrels, also, if I lived in a more densely populated area. The cocking weight is ~30% higher than a Diana 34, which is probably close to what your seeing with the tests from this one, right?


    • BG-Farmer,

      In other words, do I think the builders compromised performance for design? That’s a good question.

      This isn’t a short-stroke airgun. Look at the picture of the barrel broken open and you can see how long the stroke is.

      So why did they build it this way? It must be because they believe the styling is more important than the performance. It may not be to us, but to the general public, it might be. That’s the gamble the marketing department makes every time they launch a gun like this.

      B.B.


      • The specs say it’s a 15″ barrel. Not a lot of leverage for a gas spring. Does anyone make a cocking aid for it? The brake hanging out on my HW90 really helps with the effort and eases the strain on my hand when cocking it. I have myself blisters before installing it and a side benefit was “accidental” harmonic tuning so that the size of my groups shrunk.

        Cool looking gun, regardless. It’ll be good to see the accuracy report.

        /Dave


      • BB,
        /Dave has a good point about the barrel length, and that definitely contributes to cocking effort. I can’t tell from the picture how long the stroke actually is and how much is “just tube”, so I’ll have to trust you on that. I would say that all designs make compromises or they would never get produced, so it is always a question of what gets sacrificed for what… :)

        Incidentally, the customer reviews run toward enthusiastic, so maybe they know their demographic. It reminds me of one of my brothers recently; he liked the Diana 34 the best of my little collection BECAUSE it was hardest to cock!



  6. Thanks for showing the barrel. I still remain suspicious about the quality of the barrel and epoxying the barrel sleeve to the barrel. I was intending to use some flip open front and rear sights on this gun if I decided to buy it, which at the moment is rather unlikely since it was made in china. Is there a possibility of an iron sight accuracy test? I might think this would be a fairly decent trainer for my real ar15 for those days I can’t get to the range. Another question is, which is better? the MAR177 upper or this air rifle? I have a stripped lower here that I don’t really have anything planned for yet, so I’m thinking if I am going to have a trainer I might as well have the best trainer for the best results.


    • John,

      Michael Chavka Says:
      November 7, 2013 at 3:31 am
      The front sight assembly is pressed onto a spline on the barrel. There is no epoxy used to hold it in place. It can easily be removed by tapping it forward with a small block of wood.


      • Thanks for the info. That explains the video review I saw on this several weeks before where the reviewer grabbed the barrel and spun that sleeve. I’d be happier with this gun if they had pinned the sleeve in place similar to how a gas block is pinned to the barrel on an ar15. In that video it looked like the sleeve was pressed into splines and was stripped out. That is the reason I’m a bit leery about this chinese made gun. I’m just not convinced they know what quality is. I’ve been bitten by chinese lack of quality too many times.



  7. The other night, I took out my RWS 350 (after trading e-mails with Hawaiian Eye) and installed a bug buster scope. Removed the scope and then installed the UTG droop correction mount (my RWS 350 does have a drooping barrel and that mount is perfect in correcting it). I don’t know the cocking effort but it’s a heck of a lot more than 45 lbs so I don’t think the MTR77NP’s cocking effort would be an issue for me. Just another weight exercise to build up the shoulders. Hopefully, the MTR will be capable of 1″ groups at 25 yards. Plus, I do like the look.

    Fred DPRoNJ



      • Pop,

        I’ve been trying to sell mine for a few years. Most folks who buy it want it in .22 for the power and mine is in .177. Plus, I didn’t want to give it away so maybe my price was on the high side. I don’t know if I would say I enjoy it as there are more accurate rifles out there that have magnum power. For instance, I had sold my RWS 46 in .22 and after it had broken in, I was getting in excess of 15 ft. lbs of energy at the muzzle plus it was more accurate. The Beeman R7 is crazy accurate and gives great power for hunting. Very smooth and of course, the Rekord trigger, not that the Diana T05 is bad. The 350 does have a kick akin to a centerfire rifle, too. But it’s neat to have…..

        I’m trying to convey that I’m on the fence between liking it and loving it.

        Fred DPRoNJ


        • Thanks for the reply. I have heard very nice things about the R7. I did not realize it was an apt hunter. What do you take with it?



            • I have been eyeing the r9 for a while too. I am looking for a flat shooting hunter. The vortek kit r9 has been on my short list for a while. I hear the .20 is a nice option. Is this your walking hunter? Any suggestions for a hunting springer?


              • Pop,

                all of my hunting has been done from a second story window with my Discovery PCP. It was a “culling the herd of squirrels” kind of project. Now the local fox, hawk or cat keeps the squirrel population in check. However, there is this one darn chipmunk that ate one of my tomatos that I would love to nail. I’m really the wrong person to ask for a recommendation on a hunting rifle. The R-9 has the power and accuracy but there may be better and less expensive rifles to use. Let someone like Kevin Lentz or Ridgerunner or some of the others on the blog give you a recommendation for a springer hunting rifle. Price range would help them steer you to the right choice. Guys, a little help here?

                Fred DPRoNJ


    • Hi Fred,
      I also have a 350 mag in .22 cal. I put a Leapers 3-13×44 SWAT scope on it and had to install one or two spacers in the rear ring cut from a plastic soda bottle to correct for droop. Mine does best with the boxed premiers. I put a muzzle break from Straight Shooters on it for a nice grip. This is the LONGEST springer I have and I have to really stretch my arm out to start the cocking stroke. But it’s smooth and I have plenty of strength for it. Keeps my left bicep and lat in good shape! Sometimes I switch off and cock my springers with my right arm just to keep balance. My RWS 54 is the only springer I cock exclusively with my right arm.




      • B.B.
        Just wondering on your thoughts on my issue,Take out that .020″ and start from there, try and get adjustment back with my iron sight because my scope didn’t come back yet and we can discuss mounts later at this point it looks like I don’t need a drooper mount at this point
        Stan


        • Stan,

          Don’t focus on the measurement or you’ll never get it. Shoot a group at 10 meters with the sights adjusted as low as they will go, then adjust the barrel from there. Adjust and shoot until you have the barrel shooting where you want it. Forget the measurements, because they will break your heart.

          B.B.


        • Stan,

          some additional food for thought. When you get your new scope, see where the POI is when the scope is in the center of it’s adjustment (not optical center, just center of it’s adjustment). Ten yards should be a good range to determine all of this. That should be the way you received it from the factory. If it’s shooting low by quite a few inches and you have to adjust the elevation of the scope to practically the end of it’s range, then I’d say you have a drooper and should obtain the UTG drooper mount. If, on the other hand, the POI is way high and you have to adjust elevation way low and practically to the end of it’s adjustment range, then the barrel was somehow bent or installed with an upwards cant. It’s time to follow BB’s procedure to bend the barrel back to a useful position. I’ve done that with an FWB 124 and it’s really not all that difficult. I kept adjusting the barrel until the POI was almost coinciding with my POA with the scope set in the center of it’s adjustment range. Just my way of doing it. On the other hand, perhaps there was a problem with the first Hawke scope….

          Since the iron sight is on the barrel, the droop or elevation, if any, won’t affect things with the iron sights. Apologies if I’m telling you something you already know.

          Fred DPRoNJ


          • Fred
            after reading all the articles I’m learning as much as I can about scopes considering I didn’t know anything a month ago.I appreciate the input as I am still learning you lost me I thought center of the scope and optic center meant the same thing. I was thinking find optic center reset turrets to 0 mount on my gun then see how far it has to move to 0
            Stan


            • Stan…

              I went to doing something with springers quite a while back before mounting scopes. It tells me if I can expect a problem………
              I think you can visualize good enough to understand…..

              I put the rifle in a gun vise, lay a torpedo level on the compression tube, then adjust the vise until the level says “level” . I use a cheapo level that has a groove on each side so it will sit on a curved surface.

              Then I move the level to the barrel. If the barrel tips up or down, I can see it on the level. If the level says it is quite a bit off, then I know that I can expect problems with mounting the scope.

              There can be glitches with this though…
              If the barrel is bored cockeyed , then the measurement is not worth much.

              twotalon


            • Stan or HE,

              I hate it when I impart advice to someone on the blog only to learn that they’ve forgotten more than I know. I’m glad I’m able to help a bit here. No, optical center is not necessarily the same as adjustment center. Many of us no longer bother trying to optically center a scope as we find it really doesn’t matter unless you go into competition and then, you’re getting windage dead on. That’s important as at 10 yards, you may be hitting your target and only be a hair right or left. At 50 yards, it will spell the difference in hitting the kill zone or just outside it.

              Fred DPRoNJ


              • Fred
                From reading the article you would have thought optical centering and centering
                the scope pretty much meant the same thing. To center the scope do I find out how many revolutions and click from Stop to stop, divide in half and start fro and start from there there?
                Stan


              • Fred
                From reading the article you would have thought optical centering and centering
                the scope pretty much meant the same thing. To center the scope do I find out how many revolutions and click from Stop to stop, divide in half and start from there ?
                Stan


                • yes – that will put the scope in the center of it’s adjustment range. That’s what I do so I have plenty of adjustment range. Optically centering a scope, which I am sure you’re read up on (you can do it via a mirror or the “v” cut in a cardboard box and rotate the scope till the image does not move out of the crosshair or reticle intersection) won’t necessarily have the scope’s adjustment turrets in the exact center of it’s adjusting range.

                  Fred DPRoNJ


                  • Fred
                    I’ll have to worry about that scope stuff later later. Tomorrow I’m going to attempt to straighten my barrel 20thousandth of an inch is a real small deflection. I know Tom said don’t pay attention to the number and focus on POA and POI. Just can’t help wondering about scope mounts dropped, non dropper. I have a 20 ton hydraulic press with hand pump and pressure gauge.
                    Stan


  8. BB
    In the top picture you have Crosman spelled wrong.

    No it can’t be. It looks like Crosman has now caught onto the high velocity sales strategy.


    • The velocity game is nothing new for Crosman. When i bought my Remington Vantage rifle three years ago the biggest print on the box read 1200fps(with alloy pellets in very small print under it). Though that did help with my decision, it was more the look, fit, and the fact it was only $80 that got me. I’ve worked on the trigger, and modded the front sight by removing that too large fiber optic pin and cutting the back stud holding it. now it resembles a more traditional post sight and i can actually see what i’m aiming at.


      • John E.
        Always the small print. I wish they would get away from that high velocity advertising stuff.

        What do they think when they advertise like that any way (other than sales).
        And are they really thinking about what people are using air guns for? And yep $80 is cool.

        And maybe it does still make enough FPE to hunt or pest control something small. But I would hope somebody ain’t buying that high velocity gun to hunt or eliminate a pest. Thinking it would produce the FPE that a .22 cal. LR round that has a average weight bullet of around 40 grns. and shoots 1200 FPS. That’s about 128 FPE for the 22 LR rim fire round.

        So BB said he averaged 1094 FPS with the 4 grn pellet. Well here is how much FPE that its making.
        About 11 FPE. That is a big difference from the 128 FPE that the 22 LR made at 1200 FPS.

        I wish they would go back to advertising craftsmanship, quality and reputation. And when people actually took pride in making a product.
        Oh well I guess I’m showing my age again. Who’s worried about that stuff now days anyway.


  9. Hawaiian Stan,

    I don’t think you should bend the barrel just yet. The reason is you have no reference point. I would wait for the scope to come in and base it on where the rifle shoots with the scope mounted. Of course, I don’t know just how talented a machinist or millwright you are. You may be more than qualified to measure these things. I’m not, I wouldn’t and having bent a barrel – can tell you you won’t have to use 20 tons of force. :)

    Fred DPRoNJ



    • I didn’t really give the correct info to search for the FX video. Sorry.

      Here is what you should search.

      airgun shooting-smooth twist at fx airguns-you tube.

      The video is about 21 minutes long but it tells about the barrel straightening in the first 5 minutes or so.


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