Past Perfect Crosman Model 1377

Past Perfect

Crosman Model 1377

By Dennis Adler

 

Somewhere there’s an old photo of me with one of my very first air pistols, it was taken in the late 1970s and it was only my second air pistol since I was a kid. Back then I was an automotive journalist and editor of a now long forgotten magazine titled Custom Vans. It was in the days before gasoline soared to almost .50 cents a gallon (and those were the good old days), vans were very popular, not as family vehicles for moms to haul the kids to baseball practice (this is before soccer practice), but rather for single guys to cruise around in. These were not tradesmen’s vans with tools and shelves and storage compartments, but customized vans with interiors designed like mobile homes, well not the entire home, just the living room. Others were decked out like lounges, some had rear sunroofs, there was even one I wrote about that had a full bar inside. I’m not sure how that worked with open container laws in California, but I’m digressing. What I want to do is set up a time period in America, a time when service stations still had attendants that pumped your gas, cleaned the windshield and checked under the hood. Imported cars were in the minority and Detroit’s Big Three, (actually Big Four because back then there was still AMC/Jeep) all ruled the automotive roost, on road and off.

My old Crosman Model 1377 has the original brass bolt action, which is now black, and there is a second version of the gun today that has an all-black finish instead of the wood-colored plastic grips and forend. This example was made in 1998 but the original goes back to 1977.

Even though I was more interested in cars than guns back then I still had an affinity for air pistols and a .22 caliber semi-auto I had purchased in the early 1970s; a now rare 12-inch barrel length Erma Navy Luger. To get to the point of this whole trip down memory lane, when I decided to get a new air pistol in 1979, I went with one that also had a long barrel like my Navy Luger, a Crosman Model 1377. There was no such thing as a CO2-powered Luger semi-auto with blowback toggle action back then, and air pistols were almost all single shots, though Crosman was pretty innovative in the 1970s offering a revolver styled after the Colt Peacemaker (Crosman Model 36 Frontier) and an S&W-style double action, single action (Model 38C Combat), but their strong suit with air pistols was the traditional single shot pneumatic pump. The Crosman Model 1377 I bought was also known as the “American Classic” a design that had evolved over time since 1947 with the first Crosman Model 105. The Model 1377 was introduced in 1977.

The bolt action cocks the trigger when it is opened and pulled to the rear (you can feel the cocking action). The pellet inserts at the breech and that O-ring seal is still as good as it was 20 years ago. That’s quality manufacturing and why Crosman has been around since 1923.

Remarkably, all these years later the Crosman Model 1377 is still manufactured, now as the Model 1377C, which was introduced in 1998. That’s the gun you see here. I bought it from Pyramyd Air at a time when I was deeply involved with writing about air pistols and black powder pistols, the topics for two books that came out in 1998 (Colt Blackpowder) and in 2000, the (1st Edition Blue Book of Airguns).

The thumb rest pistol grip is ambidextrous. The air pistol has a crossbolt trigger safety and polished brass trigger. It’s not a target trigger; it has a little creep in its short take up but a light pull of 4 pounds, 2.0 ounces average. The rear sight is both elevation and windage adjustable. The windage hash marks (index scale) are on the front of the sight and align with a single line on top of the barrel. You loosen the top screw to make adjustments. The rear notch is positioned with a set screw that allows it to move up and down. It can also be rotated 180 degrees to use the peephole sight on the bottom of the rear sight blade. This gun is perfectly adjusted to 10 meters.

Evolution has many faces

As many of you have no doubt read in some of Tom Gaylord’s articles, the evolution from black powder cap-and-ball pistols (which had their beginning in the 1830s) to the very earliest metallic cartridges, including the Smith & Wesson patented .22 caliber rimfire, c.1855-1857, have a very significant overlap with the development of early air rifles and gallery guns (shooting galleries at amusement parks and fairs). Air rifles are actually much older than percussion (cap-and-ball) arms; Lewis & Clark carried a .31 caliber air rifle that resembled a traditional flintlock on their famous 1804-1806 Corps of Discovery Expedition from the Mississippi to the Pacific Northwest.

Airguns have as long and as interesting a history as handguns and rifles, which brings me back to the Crosman Model 1377 which remains one of the most popular air pistols ever made after 41 years. Even to this day it is still listed among the top 10 most popular and best-selling air pistols on the market!

 

The Crosman Model 1377 is a big pistol with a 10.25 inch rifled steel barrel, overall length of 13.6 inches and weight of 2.0 pounds. The under lever charging handle (forearm) is very easy to use requiring no exceptional effort compared to more modern pneumatic under lever and over lever models. The latest Model 1377C is also available in a .22 caliber pellet model. These guns are famous for being modified with custom grips, adding a shoulder stock, optics mount, and more. 

Downrange with an Old Friend

With 20 years on the clock I decided to give my old Crosman Model 1377 a quick cleanup, a touch of Pellgun oil and then run chronograph tests with 7.0 grain Meisterkugeln lead wadcutters and lighter weight Sig Sauer alloy wadcutters, the first time this gun has ever fired an alloy pellet. The first test shots with the 7.0 grain cleared the screens at an average of 454 fps. The alloy pellets raised the average to 501 fps. This was all shot with five pumps per shot. If you want a little more energy, 10 pumps will give you around 550 fps with lead wadcutters and 600 fps with alloy. It will also give your hands a good workout.

Still holding on target with sights adjusted more than a decade ago, the Model 1377 delivered a good group for 10 shots with multiple overlapping pairs from 10 meters. It has been years since I last fired it and this was the first time it has ever been used with alloy pellets, which clocked an average of 500 fps with five pumps.

For my accuracy test I stepped back to 10 meters with the 10.25 inch rifled steel barrel shot a best 10-rounds measuring 1.65 inches in the 10 and bullseye, with a best five shots grouped in the center at 1.4 inches, including a trio overlapping through the bullseye at 0.68 inches. The adjustable rear sight was right where I had left it years ago and still holding at 6 o’clock on the target. So, when I go on about airgun technology, blowback action, authenticity to centerfire counterparts and how far we have come with the design and manufacturing of airguns, and as many of you lament, not far enough, or fast enough, let the Crosman Model 1377 remind us (including me) that just because something is old, and appears out-of-date, doesn’t mean that it is. Sometimes the past is perfect.  I’ve certainly changed since 1998, but the Crosman Model 1377 hasn’t.

12 thoughts on “Past Perfect Crosman Model 1377

  1. Still can hold its own today ,along with the newer piston pistols like the Trevox. Wouldn’t mind seeing the return of the Crosman 600, that was the king of pellet pistols back then. The custom vans are making a big comeback, why not a 600?



      • Nostalgia airguns. Unfortunately, I haven’t been an airgun hobbyist long enough to truly have a nostalgia airgun. My first CO2 airgun was the Crosman 357 revolver that I purchased in 2012. Despite it’s limitations, it was all-in-all a very good, reasonably accurate pellet revolver. I still have and it still works.


  2. My nostalgia airgun , no surprise, is the Crosman 22 Peacemaker. Not terribly powerful but a Peacemaker. Crude by today’s standards. No pellet containing cartridges, theco2 not in the grip frame, but under the barrel in lieu of an ejector assembly. Pellets pressed into the cylinder from the front . I had if resealed once , refinishedand rdplaced the plastic wood like grips with genuine fake stag. It still holds co2 and shoots straight. Old could meet new by combining the old Peacemaker with the new to create an 1860 Army . Co2 in the grip , pellets loading from the front like a like a black powder percussion pistol , seatedwith a rammer. Next up the 1872 cartridge Open Top





      • A few years ago, I bought walnut grips for my 2240 from Archer Airguns. I looked there for 1377 grips. I think they listed a pair of right handed wooden grips for the 1377, but not for the fore grip / pump handle.

        I also looked at the Crosman Custom Shop. Crosman does not offer wood grips for the custom 1300KT pistols, but they do offer brown plastic grips and pump handle if you want a 0.22 caliber 1300KT instead of the standard black 1322 pistol.

        The Crosman Custom Shop has several wood grip options available for the 2300KT pistol. All of the Custom Shop wood grips for the 2300KT are priced less than the current wood grips at Archer Airguns.

        All of this searching for wood grips has got me thinking about maybe adding a custom 0.22 caliber 1300KT or 2300KT. I can’t decide if I want the simplicity of the multi-pump pistol or the convenience of the CO2 pistol.

        Have you ever reviewed a Crosman 2300S or 2300T pistol?


        • No, but Tom Gaylord has. I have only skirted around the edge with single shot pistols in Airgun Experience. The main focus for this column is CO2 action pistols, rifles, and revolvers. But I may continue to explore comptitive target pistols as time goes on as I did with the Air Venturi V10 and Beeman models. I have seen solid walnut grips for the Crosman 1377 on eBay.


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