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Education / Training Umarex SA 177 – Part 3

Umarex SA 177 – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier
Testing and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

The SA 177 looks modern.

I’m going to finish this report today. From the comments, I sense that you guys are tired of BB pistols. But this SA 177 is such a great performer that its story deserves to be told in full.

You’ll remember from Monday’s blog that this gun gets 100 shots per charge. What Mac did was shoot targets with 20 shots per target from shot 1 to 100. I’ll show you the beginning, middle and ending targets and tell you about the others, because there isn’t a nickel’s worth of variation between any of them.

Mac used Daisy zinc-plated BBs for this test. The first target contains shots 1 through 20 and was shot as double taps. What that means is Mac raised the pistol, aimed and fired two shots in quick succession before lowering the gun again. Double taps test the influence that the trigger-pull has on accuracy. All shooting was done at 15 feet.

This is pretty impressive for 10 double taps. Obviously, the trigger-pull had little influence on accuracy.

Well, I guess the heavy trigger doesn’t affect accuracy one bit! The pistol grouped amazingly well for a double-action-only trigger. I’ve tested plenty of BB guns that couldn’t do as well with deliberate aimed shots.

More accuracy
Okay, shots 21-40 were deliberate and just as tight. I’ll show you shots 41-60, which were also fired deliberately — one shot at a time with a 10-second delay between.

These 20 shots were fired one at a time, but they still grouped in the same area as the first 20, which were double taps. Mac was using a 6 o’clock hold.

Final 20 shots
The final shots were 81 through 100, and they went to the same point of impact as the first 20. In fact, if Mac had left one target up for all 100 shots, the black bull would have nearly been removed.

The last shots (81-100) were the same as the first. Brilliant performance!

Mac continued shooting after 100 shots. These are shots 101 to 120. Same POI! This pistol is phenomenal!

Mac then changed CO2 cartridges and shot 20 more shots rapid-fire with no pause between shots. The group opened up a little, but remained centered on the target.

Mac let fly 20 shots at this target as fast as he could pull the trigger. The group opened a little, but this is still great performance.

A different sight
Actually, it isn’t a sight at all. It’s a laser designator. But at close range, it works just like a sight. Put the glowing red dot on target and shoot.

Mac mounted the Walther NightHunter combination laser and tactical flashlight on the rail the gun provides and proceeded to shoot more groups. This equipment costs as much as the gun, but if you want good results, use good equipment.

The Walther NightHunter adds a tactical flashlight and laser in a neat package.

Mac told me the shots on the right outside the bull were sighters as he adjusted the laser. The group in the bull came after that was accomplished.

Bottom line: the SA 177 is one heck of a BB pistol. It wants to shoot to the point of aim, and it’s as reliable as can be. If you’re in the market for a fast-action gun, keep this one in mind!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

41 thoughts on “Umarex SA 177 – Part 3”

  1. Good morning everyone!I have just been reading yesterday s post and noticed that CJr is sad! -Now how can he not be sad COUSE HE HAVE GREAT GUN,one more thing to contribute this tragical situation is that gun is 22 cal marauder it is tragical!!! 😉 -Come on CJr you are just making us jelaous,i am actually becoming yellow :/

  2. Tired of BB pistols!?!? No way!! Bring ’em! 🙂
    I’m very satisified with my SA177 purchased last month. There was hesitation at first (see comments from Part 1 of this series) but I’m receiving similar performance to that of Mac’s, although my powerlets don’t last nearly as long even with spaced and controlled firing. Does anyone have thoughts on that?
    All-in-all this is a great gun at a great price.

    Would anyone care to recommend an affordable holster that would fit this gun’s form factor?

  3. Great Good Morning All,

    Anyone else liking the way the Air Arms “Falcon” 7.33 are shooting in their lower power air guns?

    I weighed a couple tins, for my AA Alfa PCP pistol. I started shooting JSB 8.4 in it, and they were ok, but I wanted a flatter trajectory, so tried the JSB 7.33. But when I weighed them, they varied from 6.9 to 7.75 with only 70% in the 7.30 to 7.40 groups.

    The AA 4.52 7.33 “Falcon” accuracy plus (as they are called), didn’t vary much at all (95% 7.30 to 7.40) a few 7.25 and 7.45.

    I think I could shoot the AA 7.33 Falcons without weighing them, especially with the pistol at 35 yards and less.

    I thought I’d try a flatter trajectory in my 12fpe USFT#44 as well. Only a one hour test last evening, but it appears that I could have a similar holdover shooting the 7.33gr at 12fpe, as shooting the CPH 10.5 at 19.4fpe. I like that idea, and if Bob can get the power up to 12fpe on the Alfa pistol, like we plan, then I’d be a very happy camper.

    There was no wind, but they made a real nice 10 shot 1/2″ group at 50 yards. I wonder how much worse they would be in the wind. Anyone know??

    Wacky Wayne,
    Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • Wayne,

      I haven’t shot any Air Arms Falcon 7.33 gr pellets. I’m a big fan of the JSB RS 7.33 gr pellets though. Are the JSB RS 7.33 gr pellets the ones that had such a large variation in weight?

      I first started shooting the the jsb rs pellets earlier this year. I only weighed one tin and all but a dozen or so pellets weighed in at either 7.3 or 7.4 with the majority weighing in at 7.4. The jsb rs pellets along with some R10 pellets and h & n finale match are the only pellets I shoot straight out of the tin. I sort the others if I’m shooting for accuracy.

      As to your primary question about “..how much worse these lighter pellets will be in wind?” I would say much worse than the crosman premier heavies. Chairgun could probably answer the question with specifics. My answer is based on shooting the aa s410 rifle at long range (107 yards) with jsb 15.8 gr vs. jsb 18.1 gr pellets. With a steady breeze the 15.8 gr is blown twice the distance off poa. Although the percentage difference between my pellet weight and yours is close I have to believe that your lower powered .177 USFT combined with lighter weight .177 pellet even at lesser distances (55 yards max?) will amplify the affect of the wind to an even greater degree.


      • Kevin,

        Yes, it was the JSB RS 7.33 gr that varied so much for me. The AA version, were the ones that fit with your results with the JSB RS 7.33 gr. Go figure? I got mine recently, from PA, how about you. Now I’ll have to weigh another tin of the JSBs to see if that was a fluke. I still like the fact that the Air Arms are fatter… 4.5 JSB vs 4.52 for Air Arms version.

        Chairgun is great for the general idea of what’s going on, but without knowing exactly what the BC is of the pellet, in your gun, it’s just an estimate.

        Washing and lubing with the Coconut oil increases the BC, me thinks… So the real test is what your doing… shoot’em and see:-)
        and that’s what I’ll be doing real soon..

        Wacky Wayne

        • Wayne,

          Very interesting. I bought my JSB RS 7.33 gr from Pyramyd AIR earlier this year. Wish I would have known how much you like the Air Arms Falcon pellets yesterday since I place another pellet order with PA yesterday morning LOL!

          I only shoot these pellets in mid powered springers so no washing and lubing for me.

          Next to weighing, seating the pellet in most of my guns makes a big difference in consistent velocity (ES) and accuracy. Do you seat pellets in your USFT?


          • Kevin,

            I have been shooting the Air Arms or JSB 8.44 in 12fpe USFT #44, and they fit loose in the barrel, and I don’t seat them. But with 20fpe USFT #6, I’m using the CPH 10.5 and they fit so tight in the barrel, I can’t push them in with my thumb. So I have a beeman pellet seeter hanging by the breech, and push them in with that.

            Accuracy doesn’t seem to be lacking in #44, so it’s hard to compare 12fpe and 20fpe and know what’s do to seating or not seating. I think it has more influence in low power airguns.

            Wacky Wayne

    • Doug,

      Look at the pellet weight ranges on the Pyramyd AIR website to answer this question. Seven grains is definitely light for a lead pellet. Eight grains is in the middle range. Only about 10 grains do .177 caliber pellets become heavy.


    • Doug,

      Re: Difference between light, pistol and heavy pellets

      Some manufacturers print “Pistol” on their lighter weight pellet tins and “Rifle” on their heavier weight pellet tins. H & N makes the Finale Match Pistol pellet in 7.56 gr. They make their Finale Match rifle pellet in 8.18 gr. These are both wadcutter/target style pellets. H & N also makes a 8.09 gr wadcutter style pellet they call the SPORT. These are not to be confused with the H & N Spitzkugel that is similar style but is 8.64 gr.

      Other popular target pellet manufacturers/distributors only put the weight on the tin. The popular RWS R10 MATCH pellets come in 7.0 gr and 8.2 gr (tin is marked “Heavy”) but RWS R10 wadcutter/target pellets also come in 7.7 gr. The RWS Meisterkugeln is a classic wadcutter/target pellet and although Pyramyd AIR labels them Pistol and Rifle on their site the tins are merely marked with weights, 7.0 gr in blue and 8.2 gr in white respectively.

      As Pete Zimmerman pointed out your pellet testing does not end there. Many of these pellets and others are offered in varying head sizes (4.5, 4.51, 4.52 etc).
      You have a lot of different choices and I enjoy testing them all to determine what works best in my guns. Especially the target/match guns.

      In summary, pay attention to weight and head diameter and dismiss whether or not the tin is labeled Rifle or Pistol. When talking about mid powered match/target guns shooting wadcutter style pellets, “Pistol” (light weight) pellets may shoot best in your rifle/pistol and “Rifle” (slightly heavier) pellets may shoot best in your rifle/pistol. Try them all.


      • Hi Kevin and BB,

        I have shot H&N Match Pistol 7.56 gr, RWS Meisterkugeln 7.0 gr, and RWS Hobby 7.0 gr wadcutter pellets with my IZH-46M pistol. (I’ve also tried RWS Superdome 8.3 gr and JSB Match Diabolo 7.33 gr). To be honest, the gun shoots them all very well, although I do prefer the wadcutters to the dome pellets. I need more pellets (I’ve gone through 2,500 pellets) and thought I would try the RWS R 10 Match wadcutters because all the reviews of them are so good. I enjoy shooting targets at 10 meters but also have some targets placed in my woods at 30, 40 and even 50 meters out. So, I’m going to get the RWS R 10 Match wadcutters (because of the rave reviews) but I’m just not sure which weight to get, the 7.0gr or 8.2gr? I’m leaning towards the 7.0 gr because I would think a pistol that shoots under 500 fps would do better with the lighter pellet but I have heard that a heavier pellet can be more stable and accurate.


        • Doug,

          Here are my suggestions.

          1-Buy your pellets from Pyramyd AIR since the 4th tin is free.
          2-Buy a tin of meisterkugeln in 8.2 gr, a tin of RWS Match in 7 gr, a tin of RWS Match in 8.2 gr and a tin of your favorite domed pellets for longer ranges.

          I must assume from experience that at 50 meters your domed pellets are grouping better than your wadcutters.


          • Doug,

            I agree with Kevin. Test them all to the limit of your finances and patience; who knows what specific combination of weight, diameter, and brand will work best. Then remember that when you run out of pellets you have to start over again, as many pellets aren’t completely consistent from batch to batch.

            I would think that 50m is pushing it with and IZH-46M, both for accuracy and impact. You may find that a heavier pellet will do better than a light one at long range. The higher ballistic coefficient means that it is somewhat less affected by drag, and may wind up with more punch at long range than a lighter projectile. Any time you’re breaking paper targets a wadcutter will do better for you than a domed pellet. The dome doesn’t tear out a clean-edge hole, so it’s harder to score.

            DaveUK: Congrats; both US and England made it through Group to the Round of 16! And by the peculiar rules of football scoring, the US finished ahead of England. Is that a first occurrence in international play?


    • Doug,
      Everything that Keven,BB., and Pete makes sence to me. I hate to throw a monkey wrench in but… in my IZH46M the P. Beretta 7.7 gr. Ultra Match pellets shoot very well and you may want to take them for a rip too.

  4. I was reading about double taps which, I understand, were invented by the British SAS to make up for the lighter power of their 9mm pistols. The double tap seems to be a huge category of different techniques based on subtle distinctions about how rapidly you fire the two shots. There is the controlled pair, the hammer, two rapid aimed shots and on. I haven’t really been able to discriminate when firing my own double taps. The main challenge has been not to separate them but fire them as one. My one chance to fire a firearm pistol with double taps came at the place where I picked up my Single Six. So, I can say that I have fired double taps with a Glock and a Beretta 9mm. It was interesting but not perceptibly different from shooting my Walther CPSport.

    C-S, to respond to your comment a few days ago about the weather in Croatia, I understand that one of your coasts is quite the resort area that attracts tourists worldwide so the weather can’t be too bad.

    Slinging Lead, that was quite the story about your mountain biking. I would have quit. And I agree about the expense if the top-of-the-line bikes go for $5000. That would make my Anschutz rifle look insignificant. The mountain biking culture must be an interesting one too. I was watching a YouTube video of these guys out west. They were riding a tiny trail on the edge of a cliff and came to an area where a rock slide obscured the trail. Some of them urged a younger more experienced guy to ride over the rock slide but he resisted saying, “Look at the penalty for failure, dude.” Something changed his mind, and the next shot showed him mounting the rock slide. Sure enough, he toppled sideways and went rolling down the cliff accompanied by the cameraman’s narration: “Oh —-, oh —–, oh —–.” The last shot showed the fallen biker getting to his feet far below while the others on the cliff shouted for him to stay down and not move….


    • Matt you mean Dubrovnik!Dubrovnik is waaaay down by the seaside at the south Dalmatia!Here we have hot summer and very cold winter and Hungary and Serbia for neighbors 🙂

    • Matt61

      Mountain biking is for complete sickos that like to torture themselves for reasons psychiatrists strain to discertain. I could supply you with an endless stream of links to videos of these unfortunate souls doing unthinkable things and hurting themselves but… oh what the hell


      Anyone that is curious enough to click on this link do yourself a HUGE favor and mute your speakers beforehand.

      $5000 will buy you a darn good bike. Unless you want to do downhill, in which case that is the starting point. And you will destroy them, as I described earlier. Plus, you think one bike is enough?! HA! The answer is no. I would tell you how many bikes I own but I am too lazy to go into the garage and check.

      Analyzing the considerable cost and pain associated with this ridiculous endeavor, some might wonder “why bother?” The reason is that chicks dig scars and you will amass an impressive scab collection.

      BTW: I’ll trade you a ‘slightly used’ mountainbike for your Anchutz target rifle if you are interested.

  5. Edith
    I requested to receive all comments and I was wondering if you were seeing an increasing number of bogus emails supposedly from WordPress, Subject line re: (various blogs that have been posted). When opened the message appears to be in hieroglyphics. Of course I just delete them, but was wondering if you know of a way to filter them out before they hit my inbox. I think you must because they do not show up on the RSS feed. Thanks!


    • rikib,

      Yes, we’ve had a dramatic increase in spam. Fortunately, these get caught in our spam filter. Remember how several people complained about having to log in to post a comment? Well, that was done to stop spam. These spams are submitted by automatic programs, and they don’t have a problem making submissions because we don’t require logging in to post a comment. If we did, they would go away.


      • Edith,
        Why don’t we require some type of log in. I know I don’t normally, because my name is already prefilled. I would have no problem with logging in if that kept spammers off the blog. Maybe you should take a poll of the blog users.


      • Edith
        I really don’t understand why people are so opposed to logins to posting comments. If you want to make a comment then stand behind it. Just my opinion.


  6. Besides responding to your latest article, I didn’t know how to submit a question. I had corresponded with your group back last Fall and came to the conclusion that the Benjamin Discovery was what I “needed” (right Whacky Wayne?). You all gave terrific advice. Am assuming that gun is still a good choice. Was trying to search for those articles but had no success, particularly the advice regarding pellets for the Disco. Do you have any particular recommendation for Disco pellets? Am going to finally cut loose and order it. Seems like the Pyramyd folks are on vacation today when called. Thanks in advance.

    BTW, can you get search results from the replies given on your blog, and how?

    • Ccobbster

      What caliber Discovery did you get? Mine is .177 and it likes Crosman Premier Lights in the cardboard box. I lubricate the pellets with Whiscombe Honey, which is 2 parts Hoppes gun oil and 1 part STP oil treatment. CP heavies shoot good too, but not as good as the lights. Also I had to clean my barrel with JB’s nebcc before I got one hole groups.

      Some pellets just don’t load well in my Discovery. If you have to bend the pellet all to Heck trying to chamber it, it is not going to shoot well. As always, your experience may be different than mine owing to variance in tolerances between rifles.

      The Discovery is an excellent choice for an air rifle. I have many airguns and the Disco is one of my favorites.

      If sound is an issue for you, I heartily endorse the TKO muzzlebrake.

  7. I received my s.a.177 last week.this gun instantly became my favorite b.b. pistol.I put my gun through the same test that you guys have. Guess what? I am very pleased to say that I have come up with the same results!!!!!I also added a walther universal laser,and I have to say;”this is one sexy lookin’& straight shootin’ pistol.thanks for testing out this quality pistol from umarex,YOU’RE OPINION IS HIGHLY VALUED IN MY BOOK.now all this gun needs is spare mags,fake suppressor & a good holster…HELP….

  8. I screwed up and posted this on yesterday’s blog. Had too many windows open, wasn’t keeping track of where I was 🙁 .

    Any ideas for a pistol scope out there? I’ve search through PA’s site, not sure what I would really need a lot of scopes out there. I would be mounting it to a 2240 with dovetail mounts. This is a bolt action pistol so I need clearance. I would not be shooting from much more than maybe 35′, I don’t believe. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    rikib 🙂

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