Posts Tagged ‘Crosman MK-177 multi-pump pneumatic’
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• What is a scout scope?
• The test
It’s been a long time since we looked at this UTG 2-7X44 Scout SWAT scope, and I want you to know that it isn’t because the scope isn’t interesting. It’s very interesting. But other questions and products always seemed to get in the way of this third report. Today that ends, as we’ll take another look at this great scout scope.
What is a scout scope?
Scout scopes are scopes that have very long eye relief. Where a normal long eye relief scope might allow you to position the eyepiece 4-5 inches from your eye, a scout scope lets you get back 9-11 inches. This scope we’re looking at today has an eye relief of 9.5 to 11 inches, so it spans almost the entire length that all scout scopes provide.
You use scout scopes when there’s a reason. Either the rifle’s action has parts that get in the way of a scope being mounted in the normal place — such as the Mosin Nagant bolt-action rifle family whose straight bolt handles rise 90 degrees when the bolt is opened, or there needs to be some clearance for cartridge ejection — such as with the M1 Garand and Winchester model 94 rifles. While there are other ways of mounting scopes on these guns, with the left side mounts being the most popular, a scout scope allows you to look straight ahead, so there will never be a problem adjusting the side angle of the scope’s optical axis to coincide with the bore.
If the scope can’t be mounted above the receiver, such as on this Winchester model 94 lever-action rifle that ejects straight up, a side-mounted scope has been the traditional solution. The scout scope puts the scope above and in line with the bore, making alignment issues less critical.
Scout scopes typically don’t have much magnification. That’s their weak spot. I guess it’s technically difficult to provide such a long eye relief and also magnify the target image, or perhaps they don’t do it because of how much the field of view diminishes as the scope goes out farther from the eye. What I do know is that Leapers gives us 2-7 magnifications with this UTG scope, which puts it at the top end of today’s scout scopes.
A second big plus with this scope is its brightness. I was able to see the target clearly and make fine aiming adjustments at 7-power. That comes in very handy when you’re putting the thin mil-dot reticle on the target. This Leapers scope has reticle lines fine enough to shave with.
On top of that, this reticle is illuminated; so if the black lines are hidden by the target, they can be lit. All things considered, this is one fine hunting scope. I’ll say more about that in a bit, but let’s now test it at 25 yards.
The scope is mounted on a Crosman MK-177 Tactical multi-pump pneumatic rifle. While that rifle doesn’t need a scout scope, it’s one of the few airguns that has a Picatinny rail long enough to mount such a scope at the correct distance from the eye.
I learned in the last test at 10 meters that this rifle does well with Air Arms Falcon pellets, so I used them exclusively in this test. Since I was shooting from 25 yards, I decided to begin with 6 pumps per shot. That should give a muzzle velocity of about 600 f.p.s. With multi-pumps, I’ve found that 5 or 6 pumps are sufficient for good accuracy at 25 yards indoors.
The first group was shot with the scope as it was left adjusted after the 10-meter test in April. The pellets landed high and to the right, with the group’s center being 2 inches high and .75 inches to the right. The first 10 pellets went into a group that measures 0.837 inches between centers. While that isn’t a wonderful group for most air rifles, it’s pretty good for an inexpensive multi-pump like the MK-177.
The first group of 10 Falcons went into 0.837 inches at 25 yards.
Following this group, I adjusted the scope 6 clicks to the left 6 and 14 clicks down for the second group. This was also shot with 6 pump strokes per shot. Ten pellets went into 1.063 inches. Again, not the best group but still pretty good for one of these rifles. Note that the pellets did hit lower on the target following the adjustment.
Following a scope adjustment, group 2 put 10 Falcon pellets into 1.063 inches at 25 yards.
I adjusted the scope down 6 more clicks and shot the next and final group. This time, I decided to pump the rifle 8 times for each shot — just to see what difference it might make, if any. Ten more shots went into 0.958 inches. The group was lower but also moved to the left. I must not have the scope leveled on the rifle. And that also makes me wonder if a scope level would help decrease the size of the groups. Several times, I found myself wondering if the gun was canted. The MK-177 doesn’t have the clues that a conventional rifle stock would have. It’s like holding a plank in your arms.
For the third group, I adjusted the scope again and also pumped the rifle 8 times for each shot. It put 10 into 0.958 inches at 25 yards.
Okay, that’s today’s test. Remember, I was really testing the scope and not the rifle. I found it to be clear, sharp and very easy to use. The adjustments moved the reticle positively every time. Maybe a scope level could help accuracy, but that remains to be seen. I don’t think I’ve done this wonderful scope justice, yet.
I will now look into mounting this same scope on one of my firearms, so we can continue to look at it. This scope can take some of the budget-priced firearms like the Mosins and SKS/AKs and turn them into useful hunting arms for a fraction of the cost of a new rifle. If you’re in the market for a good scout scope, I think you better look at this one!
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
I’m on the road today to Ohio to Pyramyd Air and the Flag City Toys That Shoot airgun show this coming Saturday. If you plan to be there, please stop by my table and introduce yourself.
And while I’m gone on this huge road trip (there’s more driving ahead before I return home), I would ask the veteran readers to help answer the questions posed by the newer readers. I will only have about 3 hours each evening to exercise, answer emails and write the next blog — and I usually get 150-200 emails a day.
Today, I’m testing the UTG 2-7X44 Scout SWAT scope for accuracy. It’s mounted on the Crosman MK-177 multi-pump pneumatic that I tested for you awhile back. So, I have the data on that rifle using open sights.
I selected the 3 best pellets from that first test for today’s test. The distance was 10 meters because the groups I got before were not that small. Had they been small enough, I might have tested the rifle at 25 yards.
The first pellet I tried was the RWS Hobby wadcutter. In the previous test at 10 meters with open sights, 10 Hobbys gave me a group that measured 0.858 inches. With the scope mounted, I got a group that measured 0.928 inches at the same 10 meters. So, no improvement.
Ten Hobbys fared no better with a scope than with open sights at 10 meters. In fact, at 0.928 inches between centers, this group is larger than the one shot with open sights. But, the scope was much easier to use.
I found the scope’s thin reticle quite easy to pick up and hold on target. The optics seem clear and bright, although my test conditions were perfect. I would like to test this scope in the field under variable lighting.
H&N Finale Match Pistol
Next, I tested 10 H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. In the last test, they gave me a 1.299-inch 10-shot group, but 9 of those went into just 0.399 inches. I suspected at the time that the one pellet was somehow off, so I decided to try this pellet again.
This time, using the scope, 10 pellets went into 0.548 inches. That’s better than the last group and not much larger than the 9 pellets that grouped so well on the other test. Up to this point in the test, the scope hasn’t improved my results — but it has been much easier to use! My shooting went much faster because I wasn’t guessing where the top of the front sight was.
After this group, I adjusted the scope to center the group in the bullseye. It’s easy enough to do, and the locking ring means there’s no fear of anyone messing up the settings.
Air Arms Falcons
The final pellet I tried was the Air Arms Falcon dome — a lightweight dome that has proven very accurate in a number of different airguns. This time, the results were better. Ten Falcons went into 0.839 inches in the first test with open sights and just 0.425 inches in this test. Nine of the 10 pellets went into just 0.154 inches — rivaling a 10-meter rifle!
Impressions of the scope thus far
I’m thoroughly impressed with this scout scope. It’s clear, sharp and easy to use. I want to test it on something else — maybe a firearm. This is a scope I can recommend if you’re looking for a good scope.
The benefit isn’t better groups, but a clearer picture of the target. On a rifle with real precision, that can mean something!
I do plan on another test with this rifle ay 25 yards. The Falcon pellets have earned their way into that test, and perhaps some similar premium pellets, as well.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll begin testing the accuracy of the Crosman MK-177 multi-pump pneumatic. Because this rifle shoots both pellets and BBs, I’ll test both, but not at the same time and not in the same way. Today’s test of lead pellets was done at 10 meters, using the iron sights provided with the rifle.
I decided to use 5 pumps per shot for the entire test. That was both easy to do and was also pretty quick. According to the velocity test we did last time, Crosman Premier lites were averaging just over 500 f.p.s. on 5 pumps.
It took five shots to sight in the rifle. The first shot was 3 inches high and 2-1/2 inches to the right. Crosman supplies a sight adjustment tool with the MK-177, and I had to use both ends of it. One end is a flat-bladed screw driver that moved the rear sight to the left. The directions are printed on the sight, so there’s no confusion.
The front sight had to be raised because the rifle was shooting too high, so I unscrewed the front sight post several turns. Shot 2 was about three-eighths of an inch too high and three-eighths of an inch too far to the right. The hole was in the black bull, but it wasn’t centered. So, I made small adjustments to both the front and rear sights and fired again. This shot cut the 9-ring, which was close enough for me. I fired the other 2 shots, and they landed near the third shot. Sight-in was finished.
Crosman Premier lites
This is a Crosman rifle, so the first pellet I chose to test was the Crosman Premier lite. The first pellet hit the 10-ring of the bull, so I stopped looking through the spotting scope and just shot the gun. After the 10th shot, I looked at the target and saw a disappointing horizontal group that measured 1.173 inches between centers. None of the shots had been called as pulls (meaning the sights were off target when the gun fired), so this group surprised me.
Air Arms Falcons
Next to be tried were the Falcons from Air Arms. They’re domed pellets made by JSB and weigh 7.33 grains. Once, again, the first shot cut the 10-ring, and I never looked after that. This time, the group was much better, measuring 0.839 inches between centers. It’s also much rounder than the Premier lite group, leading me to think the rifle likes this pellet better.
The rifle’s behavior
At this point, I’ll comment on how the rifle performs. Shooting for accuracy I found the left-mounted cocking handle to be less of a problem than it had been when I tested the velocity. My procedure was to cock the bolt, advance the magazine, close the bolt, then pump the gun. This became a routine after a few shots, and it went surprisingly fast.
I rested the rifle on a sandbag for the shooting. Though it’s very light, the rifle was dead calm on the bag. The sights did not move one bit. And the MK-177′s trigger is so light and smooth that I found it very easy to shoot this way.
Pump effort identical to the 760
A reader asked me last time how this rifle compares to the 760 Pumpmaster in pumping effort. Silly me! I should have realized that the MK-177 is a 760 in another skin, but I tested my 40th Anniversary 760 just to make sure. The pumping effort is identical; or if there’s a small difference, the 760 is slightly harder because the MK-177 pump arm is a little longer.
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Hobby. These fit the clip a little tighter, and I could feel some resistance when the bolt pushed them into the breech. Again, I checked the target after the first shot then never again until I was through. I noted that this pellet moved over to the left side of the bull with no change to the sights. There’s a lesson to remember!
Hobbys grouped very close to Falcons, with the difference being due to measuring error more than any real practical difference. Ten Hobbys went into 0.858 inche…again, the group is fairly round.
Ten RWS Hobbys made this 0.858-inch group at 10 meters. This is so close to the Falcon group that it’s too close to call. Hobbys are wadcutters which cut cleaner holes, and may have lead to their group measuring slightly larger.
H&N Match Pistol
At this point, I was ready to declare the MK-177 to be an accurate multi-pump, but I had one more pellet on the table to test. And that one was the H&N Match Pistol pellet — another wadcutter. I’ve had remarkable results with H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets in some target rifles, but the straight Match Pistol pellet has never done better than average. Until this test!
Ten pellets went into a group that measures 1.239 inches between centers. No record there! But look at the tiny group that 9 of those 10 pellets made! It measures just 0.399 inches and is very round! Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner!
From the results seen here, I think the MK-177 is a very accurate air rifle. It’s worthy of a 25-yard test with an optical sight. I’m thinking the red dot sight I’m using on the TX200 Mark III would be good for that. Before I do that, though, I’ll test the rifle with BBs at 25 feet.
So far, the MK-177 is a real winner! I enjoy the ease of use and the accuracy. If I didn’t already own a 760 and an M4-177, I would, perhaps, buy this one.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Happy New Year! 2014 promises to be a wonderful year for airguns, and we all will have a lot to celebrate. Edith and I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Lots to cover today, so let’s begin. This is the day we test the velocity of the Crosman MK-177 multi-pump pneumatic.
First things first
There’s a storage compartment in the butt, but Crosman doesn’t tell you how to access it. The black rubber buttpad is just a rubber cover with a lip that goes into a channel on the buttstock. The cover comes off like a jar lid. Don’t try to pry it off with a knife or a screwdriver because you’ll mar the plastic. Instead, grab the whole buttpad sideways and roll it off the butt. It was too difficult to do with my hands at first, so I used a pair of channel-lock pliers and it rolled right off. After 3 times though, I could roll it off at will. Be careful not to crush the plastic buttstock when doing this.
Next, I was wrong when I said the bolt handle is okay on the left side of the gun. Because you have to manually advance the magazine, which is on the right side, having the bolt on the left does make cocking and loading the gun clumsy. However, if you look at where the BB magazine is located (on the right side) Crosman put the cocking handle on the left because they had to. This is something that I think could stand some attention.
Next, I told you the pump handle is hard to pull away from the gun. Several readers agreed with me, but one reader told me to shift my pumping hand so it wasn’t so close to the end of the pump handle. When I did that (held the pump handle in about the middle), the handle easily came away from the rifle and the problem was solved. It does come home with a very loud clack, though.
And, finally, I forgot to mention that when you shoot BBs you have to leave the pellet magazine installed. It doesn’t have to be advanced, but the bolt uses 1 of the 5 pellet slots as a guide to push the BB through when you load a BB.
BBs have been put into the gravity-fed BB magazine and you can see them though the slots cut into the right side of the receiver. The pellet magazine must be installed (but not moved) to guide the BBs into the barrel.
Velocity with Crosman Premier lite pellets
The Crosman Premier lite pellet is a domed lead pellet weighing 7.9 grains. That makes it a medium-weight .177-caliber pellet. Instead of giving you averages for the various numbers of pump strokes, here’s a list of the velocities per pump stroke from 3 to 10 strokes.
After the final shot, I cocked the bolt and fired the gun. No air was exhausted.
Then, I shot 5 shots of Premier lites with 5 pumps each. The average was 499 f.p.s., and the range went from 491 to 503 f.p.s.
Crosman SSP pointed pellet
Next I shot the 4 grain lead-free Crosman SSP pellet. Again, I’ll give a string of velocities as the number of pump strokes increases.
After I fired the last shot, I cocked the bolt and fired the gun again. No air was exhausted. So, I did something that I don’t recommend, just to show what happens. I pumped the rifle 12 strokes and achieved a velocity of 762 f.p.s. with this lightweight pellet. Then, I cocked again and fired. No air was exhausted.
You can see that the velocity increases start to get smaller after 6 pump strokes. Those last few strokes (9 and 10) don’t really add a lot more velocity, making them hardly worth the extra effort.
Next, I filled the BB magazine with Crosman Copperhead BBs and did the same test.
Following this test, I pumped the rifle 5 times for each of 5 shots and got an average velocity of 564 f.p.s. The low was 560, and the high was 567 f.p.s.
It seems obvious that BBs will go faster on fewer pump strokes; but when the number of strokes increases, the lead-free pellet goes even faster. It’s more than a full grain lighter; and, of course, it seals the bore better than the BB.
The last thing I’ll comment on is the trigger. I said I thought it was a good one in Part 1. Well, that was confirmed in this test. Though it’s only single-stage and the pull is long, it’s free from creep and is light enough to be a delight. It fires with 2 lbs., 8 ozs. of pressure.
So far, I like the rifle a lot. It takes some getting used to — expecially that bolt handle location and finding the proper method of grasping the pump handle so it operates smoothly. I don’t like the loud clack when the pump handle comes home, but I bet a small piece of rubber padding could take care of that rather well.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Here’s an air rifle I’ve been waiting to test since this year’s SHOT Show last January, and now it’s Christmas Eve and I’m just getting started. Where do the days go?
There are 3 versions of the Crosman MK-177 multi-pump pneumatic. The one I’m testing is dark earth-colored with non-optical sights. There’s also a black version with non-optical sights and a dark-earth-colored kit gun that’s packaged with a dot sight instead of the non-optical sights. All 3 variations are pneumatic versions of FN’s Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) in Close Quarters Combat dress.
This is both a pellet repeater and a BB repeater; and, yes, the barrel is rifled. Pellets are fed from a plastic 5-shot harmonica-style clip that’s inserted on the right side of the receiver. BBs are fed from an internal reservoir that holds up to 300. To shoot pellets, the rifle must not have BBs in it, or a jam might result. So, it’s one type of ammunition or the other. Not both at the same time.
I will shoot the rifle with both BBs and pellets, but it’s the pellets that I’m most interested in. They offer the opportunity for accuracy, and I hope the rifle delivers on that promise!
BBs go into an internal reservoir through a covered hole located on the right side of the breech. Then, a sliding switch on the right side of the receiver is pushed forward, and the rifle is pointed straight down and shaken from side to side. This fills a small visible BB magazine that works by gravity.
The gravity-feed BB magazine is on the right side of the receiver. Push the black switch forward and shake the rifle side-to-side with the muzzle pointed down to fill this magazine from the internal BB reservoir. The BBs are visible through the slots cut in the receiver.
The 5-shot pellet clip is just a carrier. It stops in place for each pellet to be pushed into the breech by the bolt. Once the last shot has been fired, a light push in from the right ejects it out the left side of the receiver. Be careful outdoors, or you’ll lose the small clip when it pops out. Any time you want to unload the rifle, you can just pull the clip back out or push it through — nothing prevents it from moving.
Speaking of the bolt, the handle is located on the left side of the gun. This accommodates right-handed shooters best because your off-hand is free to work the bolt. In reality, it makes no difference since the gun must be pumped for each shot, which means it has to be manipulated anyway.
The forearm is the pump lever, and the rifle uses a short-stroke pump similar to Crosman’s 760 Pumpmaster. Pump the gun from 3 to 10 times maximum, depending on what you’re shooting. The pump strokes are light and easy, but the forearm/pump handle sticks a little when its stored. That may change as the gun breaks in.
I intentionally asked to test the rifle with open sights, and am I ever glad that I did. I thought the sights would be plastic like the rest of the gun, but they’re both made from aluminum and built to last. The rear sight has a flipper with 2 aperture sizes, while the front sight is a simple post.
A sight adjustment tool comes with the gun. The front sight adjusts up and down for elevation (remember to do it in reverse of what you want on to target), and the rear sight adjusts side to side.
This air rifle is made of a lot of plastic, and I know that will upset some shooters. But you can’t get a metal air rifle at this price point today. The shape is very realistic, but none of the conventional firearm controls work. They’re simply cast into the shell of the gun. And the buttstock doesn’t extend, making the 12-inch pull something you must live with. The buttpad is soft black rubber and sticks to your shoulder very well.
The trigger is surprisingly good. It’s so good that I think they designed it during the lawyer’s vacation! I’ll report the specifics in Part 2, but I wish their Benjamin multi-pumps had triggers this nice.
Finally, Crosman has managed to eke out a tad more velocity from this valve in a redesign. They rate BBs at 800 f.p.s. with maximum pumps, which is screaming fast for steel BBs! Naturally, that’ll be tested in the velocity test to come.
In all, I think we have a nice air rifle to consider!