by B.B. Pelletier
Crosman’s new M4-177 is a smart-looking M4 battle rifle lookalike.
Today, I’ll start a look at an airgun that has many of us on this blog buzzing. The Crosman M4-177 multi-pump air rifle is a Crosman 760 Pumpmaster that’s been re-skinned to look like an M4 battle rifle. Crosman has a history of doing this. Back in 1966, they took a V350 BB gun and turned it into a very credible M1 Carbine. As a lover of that military arm, I feel that owning the Crosman BB variant is a necessity. Perhaps something similar will happen with this new M4 among the millions of black-rifle aficionados.
From this point on, I will refer to this airgun as the M4 for the sake of brevity. Being offered right before Christmas is sure to give a tremendous boost to the sales of this little dual-ammo airgun. In fact, Pyramyd Air has included it in their Christmas Gift Guide, which is found on the home page of the new website. The gift guide is only on the new website, so don’t look for it on the old site. It’s a fast and streamlined way for people to buy their special airgunners gifts this season.
So, what is the M4, really? Well, it’s a multi-pump pneumatic that fires either BBs or pellets through a rifled steel bore. I’ll be very interested to see how the accuracy turns out. The rifle comes packed in an attractive multicolor box with the sights removed. At just 3.75 lbs. and an overall length of less than 34 inches, the M4 is ideal for kids (of all ages).
The rifle is entirely synthetic on the outside, yet the dimensions are large and beefy. It doesn’t feel cheap. To their credit, Crosman put a thin soft rubber pad on the butt so you can stand the gun almost anywhere without it slipping to the floor.
Like the firearm, this M4 has an extending shoulder stock that collapses for transport. When it’s fully extended, the length of pull is one-sixteenth inch under 13 inches, so it’s very short. But the flattop action has a full-length Picatinny rail, allowing you to position the sights or any optional optics as far from your eye as needed; so the short pull can be overcome. The thin tubular extendable stock takes some getting used to for a cheek weld, but it isn’t that bad.
With the stock extended, the pull length is just under 13 inches.
The M4 shoots either BBs or pellets, but only one type at a time. There’s a 350-round BB reservoir in the receiver that holds the BBs. They’re poured in through an opening that’s exposed when a sliding cover, that looks something like the selector switch on a firearm M4, slides to the rear.
Swing the cover aside and pour up to 350 BBs in the reservoir.
Loading a BB for firing requires the shooter to have the empty five-shot pellet magazine installed. BBs are transferred from the large reservoir to a smaller BB magazine that’s controlled by another button called the BB retainer button. This also requires shaking and twisting the whole rifle with the muzzle pointed down, because the BBs move into the magazine via gravity. From there, they’re picked out of the magazine one at a time by a small magnet on the tip of the bolt. It sounds involved; but like tying a half-hitch knot in a rope, once you get the hang of it, everything goes fast. The owner’s manual does a good job of talking you through the process.
The M4 is a five-shot pellet repeater via a plastic clip that’s inserted into the right side of the receiver. The manual fails to describe this procedure well, but essentially the magazine has to be manually indexed for each shot. You can feel a hesitation when the magazine gets to the right position, but it takes care to do this. Blunder ahead and you probably won’t be able to push the bolt closed, as the chamber will not be in line. The magazine only holds the pellets in position for loading by the bolt; the gun doesn’t shoot the pellets out of the magazine directly. Since the pellets are loaded directly into the breech, there’s a chance of good accuracy. We shall see.
My objection is that the gun has a magazine to begin with, and I’ve objected to it ever since the 760 got one years ago. I guess Crosman feels the need to make their gun a repeater for marketing reasons, but the idea of a multi-pump that’s also a repeater is similar to putting belt-feed on a flintlock. There are still lots of other things that need to be done before the next shot can be fired!
The front and rear sights are adjustable. The rear adjusts for left and right (windage), and the front adjusts up and down (elevation). The rear needs a small flat-bladed screwdriver, which is as good a reason as any to carry a pocketknife with a screwdriver blade. The front sight requires the typical AR front sight tool, only this one is actually a small socket wrench that fits the flat-sided configuration of the front sight base. That’s so much easier to use than the real M4/M16 tool that requires a lot of downward tension as you turn. If you lose the tool — and what soldier doesn’t? — you can always screw up the tip of a bullet in one of your cartridges doing it the old-fashioned way, one click at a time. Oh, for the days of the Garand and sights that were easy!
The rear sight is adjustable for windage. It also has two different aperture sizes.
Front sight is adjustable for elevation. Both front and rear sights are removable.
There’s a Picatinny rail on the underside of the forearm; but because the forearm is actually the pump handle and moves as you fill the gun, there probably isn’t enough clearance for mounting anything very substantial there. Certainly not a monopod or tactical flashlight, unless the latter is miniaturized.
How it pumps
This is what you’ve been waiting to see. I know, because it was also what I wanted to see. The pump handle is the entire forearm, and it swings down and forward just like any other multi-pump with an underlever. The 760 action is what I call a short-stroke action, which moves through a smaller arc than the pump handle of, say, a Benjamin 397. That made it a convenient platform for projects like the M4, because the pump handle doesn’t have to move that much.
When the pump handle is all the way open, there’s not much clearance for accessories on the rails under the gun.
The rifle pumps easily — just like the 760 it’s made from. When the gun first came from the box, I noted that although the action was generally well-oiled, the pump head itself was rather dry, so I put several drops of Crosman Pellgunoil on the pump head. The pumping force increased immediately. I would advise any buyer to do the same.
Like the Crosman M1 Carbine, the new M4 also has a dummy “magazine” in the conventional place that can be removed and filled with BBs, pellets or even your lunch, if you eat light. As mentioned, the front sight adjustment tool is stored there, and there’s foam packed around it to prevent it from rattling. Since the gun’s reservoir already holds 350 BBs, I think I’d leave this one as it is. That will keep the extra rattles down as you move around.
The phony magazine is out and the front sight adjustment tool is shown to the right. This view also shows the old model name that may become collectible, if Crosman updates their mold.
What do you do with it?
The 760 is one of the quintessential BB guns of all time. And because it has a rifled barrel and can also handle pellets, it’s even more of a winner. Crosman says on the box that the gun is recommended for pest elimination, but I must take exception to that. This gun doesn’t have the power needed to dispatch any but the smallest (field mouse) pests, so keep it for informal target practice, plinking and fun. Remember to wear those safety glasses, because this is a BB gun, after all!
A modern collectible?
Crosman renamed the model right after it came out. It was originally called the M417, which they changed to the M4-177. But they didn’t remark the plastic housing of the gun, nor did they throw away the first boxes — so both the gun and the boxes are marked M417. If that changes, and it should, then the early few guns marked with the original name will gain some value. How much remains to be seen, but back in 1955 you could buy an uncirculated double-die penny for five dollars. They sell for $2,000 and up today — mostly up.
Where do we go from here?
The Crosman 760 is that company’s most popular airgun by a significant margin. They run two shifts a day just to keep up with demand. This M4 is going to increase them by some margin, and I know they hope it’ll be significant. Therefore, I want to put this gun under more detailed scrutiny than I normally do, since it’s arguably the most popular BB gun on the market — even taking the Daisy Red Ryder into account.
87 thoughts on “Crosman’s new M4-177 multi-pump air rifle: Part 1”
B.B. is the consummate collector with highly experienced and honed skills so take note. Can you estimate NIB years from now? I know I’m intrigued.
They just held a contest on the yellow for build offs using the 760 as a foundation and the modders had to spend 3-5 times what this costs.
I’m not a collector by nature but I’m going to buy one of these if PA can guarantee the M417 marking.
With all the sophisticated expensive airguns I have collected……I have to come clean and admit I do have a metal reciever early 760 right next to the back door.This M417 could become a standard……I know I want at least one…..maybe 2 so I can keep one new.
The sight tool is actually for both sights. Turn the tool around to adjust the rear sight.
I see that, now that you mention it. But I have already adjusted the rear sight and it doesn’t move easily. I don’t like using a plastic screwdriver for a tight screw, so I’m going to stick with the pocketknife.
A pocket knife? That’s kinda redneck.
My toolbox has a drawer full of screwdrivers. I have too many for the drawer to hold. I have several bit/driver kits. Screwdrivers and bits all over the place. I have two bit sets, a small blade screwdriver, and two sets of allen wrenches (standard and metric) in my van in case I need them when I am out shooting. I know where my swiss army knife is, but never thought of using it on a gun.
I’m usually not next to my tools when I shoot. The pocketknife works fine.
First off, I use my Swiss Army knife all the time. So I guess I’m a redneck, too. Last words of a redneck: “hey y’all, watch this”. Second, I hope JTinAL and. Frankbc are ok. We had tornado warnings in AL yesterday, a first for me (down in Birmingham on business). So this year I lived through a quake, hurricane, flood, freak October snowstorm that took out power and trees in NJ and now a tornado warning. What next?
I have a Gerber tool on my belt at all times, pliers, scissors, 3 screw drivers, cutters etc… I get to use it at least once a week.
oops, I missed ‘quake in your comment! My bad.
Thanks for moving this gun to the top of your review list. Looks like Crosman has a winner here. Haven’t bought mine yet, as it’s pretty much the end of the shooting season in my neck of the woods, and with 8 cats in the house, I can’t convert my basement to a shooting range. I’m anxiously looking forward to the accuracy of this gun, though folks on the yellow and gta attest to it being fairly accurate for an inexpensive gun. I hadn’t realized Crosman changed the name already, probably more appropriate with the new model designation. Waiting for the next installment.
I’d think this would be any kid’s dream! I never had a Red Ryder, but the 760 is the one I spent a lot of time with. Mine was smooth-bore, not rifled and I’m glad to see Crosman has changed that! While my old smooth-bore was ok with bb’s, it left something to be desired in the accuracy dept with pellets. As a kid, I liked to shoot pellets more because loading them felt more like “real bullets”, so I was left wondering if my misses were me, or the gun. At the time, being young, I figured it must be me since I was the biggest variable and the gun stayed the same. Didn’t know much about ballistics and had no one in my neighborhood to teach me that bb’s and pellets don’t always fly the same. Can.t wait for three accuracy test on this one! 😀
Dang it again…. “Can’t” and “the”. Wish there was an edit button on this forum….
I agree about the edit button. I also agree there should be three accuracy tests.
This rifle is totally cool. I already have one from PA. Now that I know about the model mismarking, I may get another as the kids and I have already been shooting this one. It seems to pump harder than the old 760’s which I’ve used since I was a kid. My original 760 was stolen some years ago and that was harder to take than the loss of the shotgun and 30-30 the thieves got at the same time. I’ve thought for years that it was a mistake by Crosman to do away with the rifling in the standard 760 and I’m glad they have it in this one. BB, you might address the issue of using BB’s in this model. I’ve always understood that BB’s ruined the rifling unless you used lead balls. I haven’t tested lead balls in the M4. Are you planning on doing so?
AirGumby, How does it compare to the old 760?
I bought one of these first day theywere available. Very well done. Only thing I do not like is the sights. I found them to be rather cheesy. And what is this love affair manufacturers have with plastic? In my opinion it cheapens a good gun. Let’s see some real metal. I had a heart to heart with crosman about this.
Crosman says this gun is good for small pest elimination. I agree. I had a squirrel climbing my livingroom window screen to get to the bird feeder in the atartment above me. One shot from my m417 and I was eating that squirrel. I’m now an official fan of this gun.
Yes, I will.
BB, I noticed this gun a couple weeks ago. You’re right about wanting to see the body under the pump handle. looks like a pretty big pump grip. You say it doesn’t feel cheap, but it is all plastic, so hmm… How does it compare to the new plastic 760?
I ordered the 40 anniversary model after your review of it, maybe I’ll do the same here.
Frank B, Like you, I too have the old metal version 760 from my youth. It still works, though not too accurate and shot about once a year, maybe.
Kevin, Interesting bit on the 760 mods competition. I’m with you on getting the M417 purely for collector reasons. I’m a little leery though because I picked up one of the new plastic 760’s a while back and am unimpressed to say the least.
Here’s some ideas for your 760:
Interesting stuff. To modify a 760 would never have crossed my mind. The PCP conversion really makes a nice package. I’m not much of a modifier, though I have tried my hand at it a couple times. The workings of gun stuff and the carpentry skillset I’ve used over the last 35 years don’t blend too well. I find myself having to pay far more attention to detail with the guns and metal works. Although the joking of years gone by with many that have worked with and for me using .000’s for measuring while doing jobs such as framing a garage or installing cabinets has come in handy. 92.250″ studs for example, or 1.375 door thickness.
And I was just bemoaning the fact that this was going to be the first Christmas in 5 years that there wasn’t a gun under the Christmas tree.
Now I gotta find two of them!
Hell, make it three…I know the boys won’t share theirs with me 😉
You may not be able to stop at three guns. We just received a huge shipment of test guns from Pyramyd Air in anticipation of Tom’s recommendations for his blog gift guide. There are some other guns that I’m pretty sure you’re going to want for you and your boys. Plus, we shipped a bunch of guns to Mac for the same purpose.
Edith, maybe for the next little while I can just have my paycheques routed to you and Tom and you can send me surprises 😉
Edith, Tom, Anything from Evanix in those boxes? I would really like to see some of their new big bottled offerings up for a review. 😀
Not this time around. Evanix has a couple new guns coming out, and I’m pretty sure Tom will test one or both of them. One of them does have a big reservoir.
I wish I could put one for ME under the tree this year too… but at 625 fps I don’t think we’ll see this one on our side of the border before Christmas this year 🙁
It would look good with a red dot or small scope on it!
Should be a hit with the youth of today, the most amazing part is it took this long to make one.
Even when I was a kid in the ’60 the Westerns were starting to fizzle. We still pretended to be Cowboys but when watched the news our troops did not have lever guns.
Mattel made a toy version of the M16 early on, but I was too old to want something that did not shoot for real.
Okay, so I hit “submit” instead of “check spelling”. But that brings me to the next topic, by the time these are collectible, like the M1 Crosman from 40 years ago – I am pretty sure they would just have to bury it with me and I already have a list of what is to be in the coffin.
What I was starting to say in the last post is that action wise back in the day I always thought the Daisy 880 was more user friendly than the 760. I had a late 1960’s Crosman 760 that I upgraded to an 881 around 1971 and it was much preferred. Of course I would guess either of today’s versions share little resemblance.
Last thought is that these could be a source of mistaken identity pretty easily. If a teen was walking down the street with one a person could easily get the wrong idea. Heck, I might even make a dash for the Mini 14 and 60 rounds of ammo to be on the safe side.
Current thoughts have changed so much that when I took delivery of a Puma 92 in .357 mag(Winchester 92 copy) the popular opinion at my cousins shop was that it was a BB gun for my kids.
Side bar, his shop has since blown up and burnt to the ground. Fortunately, no one was hurt although they say 50 cal BMG ammo was found up to 100 yards away. His primary business is refuse hauling.
I’m surprised there wasn’t a rash of hearing loss attributed to the Mattel M-16.
I had one.
The “magazine” contained a mylar drum head, and a clockwork hammer. Full “cock” supported what seems (after 40 years) like a full minute of loud “pop pop pop….”
I wouldn’t be surprised if the real M-16 was quieter from the shooter’s point of view — considering the real one has muzzle blast some 16 inches further away than the toy’s soundbox.
I should have put this into the first report, but Crosman made another M16 lookalike many years ago. It was called the AIR-17.
I’ll address it in Part 2.
I could not wait – so here is a “review” of the older model:
Looks like the old one was a single pump pneumatic.
Also saw this with Otis and it is sweet, imagine parents reactions if it ran today.
Funny how most of the nut cases came along well after such ads were long gone.
All, FYI, my guns, and reloading purchasing just met a MAJOR SNAG! I was in Lowe’s yesterday and spent the better part of an hour going over every cubic centimeter of Bosch’s 12″ dual bevel gliding compound miter saw combo with collapsible stand with wheels and telescoping arms. Must have this thing! This thing is a beast! And it’s on sale for just under a TalonSS / Carbon fiber tank combo! I think I need a shrink!
KidAgain, I just emailed to my hubby a photo and link to this I might even accept this as a double Xmas and Birthday present. Which would be a first and I hope not what he expects as the norm. I could not decide what I wanted but this will keep me busy during the cold winter months.
Are you referring to the power tool or the gun? Either way you qualify as cool in my book. A woman with guns isn’t any cooler than one with power tools! a woman with both is super human. 🙂
I am most definitely speaking of the Bosch’s 12″ dual bevel gliding compound miter saw combo with collapsible stand with wheels and telescoping arms. Just the sound of it makes me very giddy.
Atta girl! For years I’ve had to do things the hard way and am really enjoying tools that make thiking a lost art. The new generation of carpenters don’t realize how nice they’ve got it!
Oh, and BTW, unless I missed your comments before, welcome!
Just heard back from Pyramyd Air that all their M4-177 rifles and boxes are marked M417. If you order soon, you will get a gun marked M417. While lots of these have been produced, I figure that most will be played with and thrown around and trashed…making the good ones with an intact box quite collectible.
Crosman said they will change all the markings on the box and gun by January 1, 2012. So, order your gun real soon if you want one for the collector value.
So, with the possible collector value in mind, would it be foolish to buy one just to shoot for now? I’d have a hard time not taking it out and playing with it a bunch.
Dang-it, I am trying to hold out for BBs accuracy test and final assessment. Then I have you telling me ‘Buy NOW! Supplies are limited!!!’ What’s a guy supposed to do? You know I have an impulse buying problem, don’t you? Have mercy. 😉
I tell you what, offer two for one, and lower the price to $19.99 and we have a deal. 😉 I look forward to getting my hands on one.
It gets worse. I just told Pyramyd Air that we’re not returning the M417/M4-177 test gun & to please charge my credit card. B.B.’s not waiting for a velocity test or accuracy test. When’s the last time you found a mint collectible but didn’t buy it because it wasn’t accurate or didn’t meet advertised velocity? We have many anemic guns that probably also aren’t accurate…but they have value as a collectible because they’re rare. Pretty soon M417-marked guns will be rare…right after all the kids beat the daylights of theirs. In a few years, our gun will be worth more than what we paid for it. BUY NOW!
One more thing…i know I’m an enabler.
No fair, playing rough like that. OK I’ll buy one.
I don’t particularly care for black rifles. Of the hundreds of firearms I would love to own, the AR15 and its variants don’t appeal to me. But for some reason, when I first saw this gun I wanted it, real bad. The pellet clip having to be advanced manually is… a disappointment. It seems it would be simple to design a clip that advances with the cocking action, like an IZH 61 or even a Daisy 953. But beggars can’t be choosers or whatever.
Perhaps you or BB would know, is the Crosman 2100/Remington Airmaster based on the Pumpmaster 760? Or is it a different design all together? Just curious.
As far as I know, they are different, but similar.
Wow thank you Edith, talk about putting salt on a wound… do you know if the 625 fps was made with BBs or pellets or the weight of the ammo used?
The highest velocity is always obtained with the lightest projectile. In this case, a steel BB weighs about 5.3 grains, while a lead pellet weighs around 7 grains. You could say that Crosman tested it with their non-lead pellets, and I guess I will have to test for that, but I don’t think they did. I think they used the old figures from the 760.
T^hat means a BB was used for the high velocity.
🙁 then I hope they bring a detuned version here quickly
What do you do with it?
With all the confusion and discussion regarding hunting with an air-gun (or killing pest’s), I think it would be helpful for you to do a blog dedicated to this subject.
I’ve killed many a mouse with my 760, no problem. Friends have done the same to gophers with a 760. On the other hand, I’ve shot large rats with a pumper (I don’t recall the model, but it was a Daisy), and angered them enough to attack me. What would work for a possum, or skunk? Is there a class of pellets that work best? What velocity ranges work for animals of certain sizes? Is a .177 pellet ever sufficient? Do you ever need something larger than a .22 pellet? What are the range restrictions for a particular pellet caliber versus velocity? Other questions that others might have?
Your target past is showing…
For critters the main criteria is ft-lbs remaining at time of impact. I hesitate to open the Beeman controversy again but:
suggests at least 4 ft-lbs at point of impact for pest birds (and that is probably assume a head shot); 8 ft-lbs for grey squirrels, 10-15 ft-lbs for woodchucks at long range (>40 yards)
Those are not muzzle energy, but retained energy. Looking at ChairGun Pro, for my RWS mod 54 in .22:
14.0gr RWS Mk: 809fps/20.4ft-lbs muzzle; 571fps/10.2ft-lbs at 28 yards; zero crossing at 17 and 36 yards (for half inch “point blank range” of 12.2 to 39.9 yards)
18.1gr H&N Crow Magnum: 669/18.- muzzle; 498/10.0 at 52 yards; zero crossing 16 & 34.5 (PBR 11.1 to 38.5) — so this one has the minimum suggested woodchuck energy out to 52 yards, but you’d need to compensate for pellet drop (3.7 inches below line of sight)
21.1gr H&N Baracuda Match: 618/17.9 muzzle; 495/11.5 at 64 yards; zeroes 15 & 33.5 (PBR 10.5 to 37.5); 9 inch drop at 64 yards.
Yup. My target past, present, and future. I’m suggesting a blog for people like me, or other newbies (including myself) who might have similar questions. Again, even B.B.’s blog indicated the need for such useful information. However, even a newbie like me knows that there’s more to it than just ft-lbs (i.e., the need for a specific blog).
I could give you something long and complicated, but will give it to you short and sweet…
Use more power than you think you need. Forget what is possible. Go with more of a sure thing.
Skunks…Don’t shoot them unless you are willing to suffer the results. If they are persistent in hanging around, trap them and relocate at least a couple miles away. Do it very carefully.
The difficulty with doing what you ask is this — the answer is grossly complex. It has spawned a debate that has raged for at least the past 60 years. On one hand there are hunters like W.D.M. (Karamojo) Bell who killed a recorded 1,100 elephants in his lifetime using the 7X57 mm round that many people consider inadequate for game as large as American elk. Then there is Elmer Keith who advocated the largest caliber possible — up to and including the .700 Nitro Express. Then there is Roy Weatherby, the “High priest of high velocity,” who says the faster a bullet travels, the better it will kill.
On the other hand there are scientific research findings that say the energy needed to kill game is absurdly low — something like three foot-pounds.
The problem is, they are all correct and do not negate one another, as long as all the assumptions that each uses to support their findings are adhered to.
I have avoided writing on this topic because the moment I do, people will clip out any statement I make that supports their personal point of view and use it to further their argument. I am not qualified to write on this subject, except from the standpoint of my personal experience. So, if you want to know what it takes to kill a roe deer, I’m your man. But as for elephants, I recommend Bell and Keith, with a smattering of Weatherby thrown in for leavening.
Yeah, this topic is just WAY too complex for a Socratic thinker to go around making pronouncements and generalizations about it. I don’t object to folks like Beeman and Crosman trying to publish guidelines in hopes of counseling shooters away from inhumane hunting and pesting, but I think B.B. is wise to steer clear of trying to say something authoritative.
We can talk all day about the ballistics and physics involved. As complex as these topics can be, the actual task of killing a critter is really a matter of applying the physics and materials science to the anatomy. The complexity of it boggles the mind (at least my feeble mind!).
The ballistic measures like energy and momentum are some of the best heuristics we’ve got, but they’re just variables in a monster system that probably doesn’t always converge, except with conservative values for these variables. I could probably huck a baseball at a squirrel at way more than 30 fpe, or I could fire a 20,000 ft/s .01cal DP dart at him with my backyard railgun. He’d probably just get irritated and make a mental note to do a number on my tomatoes next spring.
Victor have you seen the Crosman guide for airgun hunting? May have some of the info you are looking for direct from a manufacturer.
Just a thought. HTH
Nice chart Mark,
Odd though that they have the .22 Disco and the .22 Maurader listed as the same ft/lbs energy (22.9) and yet only the Maurader is listed as good for coyote with a headshot at 20 yds. Does that mean they can’t vouch for the accuracy of the Discovery?
I’m sorry but it’s not my chart. I have no idea what it means. I have never even been in the same room as the guns you are referring to so I can’t speak about their accuracy. I was just trying to be helpful to Victor. Sorry if I am off base some how…………
First off, thanks for the link. Second, the motivation for a blog specifically on hunting and killing pests is because there are many of us who don’t have experience in this area. Again, my original post pertaining to this is because of B.B.’s comment/question about Crosman’s recommendation of the M4-177 for a certain level of kill, and also because there still is a certain about of controversy as to what is true regarding adequate power.
A couple points here:
A) Just a few weeks ago, B.B., talked about making this blog more accessible to your average air-gun customer. If B.B. questions Crosman’s recommendation, then there is definitely more to be said about the subject.
B) This blog is somewhat of a living book about everything air-gun related. By devoting a blog to this subject, we would have effectively added a very relevant chapter. Sure, there are people here who may consider themselves expert on the subject of hunting and killing with a air-gun, but a few pointers are surely destined to be lost like a needle in a haystack. A dedicated blog will allow everyone to add perspective, experience, and specifics (just like we do for so many other things).
C) I don’t see why a blog on the use of air-guns for hunting would be considered excessive in any way. How many other things have had dedicated blogs in which the subject was discussed to the nth degree?
In any case, this subject that I’m trying to raise interest in has come up MANY time, in many different (originally) unrelated discussions. It’s a subject that will continue to come up, and has a direct bearing on whether newbies are buying the right air-gun products or not. Like you, I (and many others) can’t speak from experience about specific guns, pellets, or sights that are best for hunting. Are some rifles better suited for hunting because they are more rugged and/or lighter, in addition to being powerful enough? What is a good specification for a hunting or pest elimination air-gun? Would it be the same as for a field target rifle? How well does the industry address this customer need with the current crop of lower cost guns? People don’t become true aficionado’s without a fair amount of trial and error in buying air-guns. That means that the subject is of particular interest to newbies, like me.
I may be in the tiny minority regarding this, but I happen to think that it is both relevant and worthy of its own blog.
I own mostly .177 cal guns because I mostly target shoot or plink. I have powerful guns in that caliber and have taken squirrels with them, even though I am not a hunter. It was merely a pest elimination kind of thing. Unfortunately, I have seen them run away with a chest wound through and through.
Recently I have taken a silent oath not to take them with anything less than a .20 cal pellet. A .22 cal is ideal, but the .20 cal pellets have nearly the same weight as a .22. If you have one that is accurate, it is a great hunting caliber.
I really hate to kill animals. I would almost say that it hurts me more, but unfortunately it isn’t true. I love all animals. Except cockroaches. They can go to hell.
Some squirrels get the message that my yard is fine, but the birdfeeder is off limits. Others don’t. They must be really persistent for me to take them out. For this I usually go to the Marauder.
You’re not off base…. Sorry if you took my reply as such…
I was merely pointing out that in Crosman’s own chart, they are making an admission of product inferiority (in view of the same specs). The admission is designed to steer the consumer to the higher priced one. I also noticed the conspicuous absence of the 760 in the line up…
That said, I really like the chart! Thanks for the link!
What do you mean by “product inferiority”? Is that the only reason they would not have recommended the Discovery? How about the fact that it is a single-shot, and the people who made the selection believe that to hunt you need a repeater?
That’s a possbility I didn’t think of.
I was refering to the same specs listed on the chart for the .22 Mrod and the .22 Disco, but different recommendations when it comes to the coyote (also, why the “head or heart double lung” shot recommendation as indicated by the asterisk for some animal/max yardage combinations? Any hit anywhere on the ones not asterisked are OK? I don’t think so). Why would you “need” a repeater for hunting? People kill dangerous game with single shot weapons all the time. Yes, I do believe in the advantage of repeaters, and own a (quite a) few repeaters and autoloaders myself, but I also believe every effort should be taken to make sure that the first shot does the job, (and in this case, why wouldn’t the Disco be suitable?). To me, that difference in the chart infers that either they think it’s inferior in the accuracy dept and would rather sell you the more expensive model, or they would just like you, the customer, to believe that so you will make that jump to the Marauder. Anyhoo’, I’m not trying to start an argument here, or make you believe that my way of thinking is the only way. I’m just giving you my thoughts on why that chart made that impression on me. Actually, I think it’s a nice, useful chart that could use just a little refining…. 🙂 I also see that mice, which the 760 is suitable for, did not make the chart either…
Look right at the top of the chart. 397 for chucks? That’s a joke. A .22 Talon is marginal for chucks.
Their QA department must have made that chart.
Maybe they don’t consider the 760 accurate enough for hunting anything.
You could head or body shoot sparrows and starlings with it if you can hit them. Pidgeons and rats would work with head shots if you can hit them. I would not use it for anything bigger even though it might work once in a while.
My favorite rat and pidgeon gun was a fully pumped 1400 with wadcutters. It knocked the snot out of them.
I didn’t say I agreed with their rationale. Just that they probably had one. A Disco will shoot right along with a Marauder out to 50 yards in my experience.
That was what I thought, BB. More from reading your reviews of each gun and also from the specs given.
twotalon, I fully agree with the “Take enough gun…” theory. You never know what type of shot will be presented, so you might as well take enough gun to do the job humanely from any angle.
Based on the “loudness” column, maybe they think you’ll never lure the coyotes in close enough after the first shot.
OTOH: for the PCPs they are using rather lightweight rounds. 8gr .177 and 14gr .22 — common for spring models, but a PCP should be able get those velocities with ~11gr .177 and 18-22gr .22. That might extend the range, or ensure ability to kill at stated ranges.
Wow… Rats are tough critters (more likely, its a factor of the size of the kill zone, but on first read it comes off as toughness — 18 yards for a rat, but 29 yards for a rabbit? 16ft-lb at 18 yards, just under 14ft-lb at 29 yards)
Also seems to be an error in the table…
They’re shoving a .22 pellet through a .20 Sheridan gun! (same pellet code listed for both)
I’m going to England for about 6 days and will have very, very limited and expensive bandwidth. I’ll probably not post and may not even be able to read. But I’ll be having fun!
Have fun and if you go airgun shopping try not to drool on the nice silencers 😉
Safe passage to ya, Pete. Wink to the Queen from me, aye!
Sounds like a good trip, “But I’ll be having fun!”. Enjoy and have a safe trip!
Welcome to England Pete.Hope you packed yourself some decent coffee 🙂
I was trying to look up Crosman CO2 rifles and could only pull up the 1077 and 2250E where are the rest of them hiding?
I don’t know what you did (how you conducted your search), but I found four guns when I looked. Two of them were the Crosman Challenger.
How manybother CO2 rifle does Crosman Make?
Hi, Bruce. What sort of Crosman CO2 rifle are you looking for? Don’t omit your very own Discovery from the list. I’ve got a CO2 bulk-fill setup for the Discovery that you’re welcome to borrow (or maybe have!).
M417 with BB’s:
I like the cost/ease of shooting with BB’s, but what is the impact of steel BB’s on the rifling? Will typical BB’s destroy the rifling? Can new barrels handle it somehow? I haven’t shot BB’s in over 20 years, so I’m a little rusty on the concept. Everything I have now is pellet only, I haven’t thought about going back to BB until this popped up on the radar. Ok, I know it’s a 760 with a rifled barrel – but I never did grow up. Are there Lead BB’s that could be used? Seems like they’d get choked up inside.
M417 Fake Magazine:
How many pellet clips can be stored in the fake magazine? Is there room for only one, or could a few be put in there? I’m hoping that 4 fit, that would give a total of 5, which is a decent shooting session.
M417 in Winter:
How well do these multi-pump rifles/seals/air chambers hold up in cold winter temps? Is there an issue with the pieces getting brittle, or expanding/contracting with temp? I’m looking for a good winter field gun for casual plinking and target shooting. My current fav is a Crosman Custom Shop beauty, but being CO2, it isn’t that useful in winter. Indoors, it’s fine, but outside where I like to shoot the most, it isn’t.
Crosman has been shooting BBs through rifled steel barrels since the late 1960s, so I think they know what they are doing. I think it comes down to the shape of the rifling being okay for the steel BB. Maybe the steel barrel is hardened a bit, but I bet not — not at the price they charge fo0r the gun.
BB – Thanks for that. Is the “BB’s will damage the rifling” belief a myth then? I’m not sure where, or when I heard that – long long ago. For as long as I can remember, that’s what I was told.
No, you probably heard it from me. I have written it many times and I will continue to do so.
BBs are only safe in barrels that have been designed for them. In all other rifled airguns they are verboten.
Pelletier, I was wondering if you knew what the square shaped button on the stock tube was for? The one right behind the pistol grip. I just bought an M4 myself and I can’t figure out what it does nor does the manual mention that button at all.
You can remove the stock with that button. If you push it backward towards the butt, you can push upward on the stock and the stock will slide out of the grooves that hold it to the back of the reciever.
Thank you for the reply!
Here is useful information about the M4-177 to anyone looking to purchase or mod one. The gun shoots medium weight pellets between 500 and 525 fps. It shoots lightweight pellets (PBA) around 600 fps. The trigger pull is very poor out of the box, but the side casing can be unscrewed and you can modify the trigger spring simply by bending it with a pair of pliers (there are youtube videos on this). You can also polish and lube the sear, pins, and springs for smoother functionality. While the side casing is off you will have access to the two half-pound cylindrical weights in the handle. One or both can be removed to lighten the weapon. They give it a nice balance, but if you have a heavy scope you may want to remove at least one weight from the handle.
The open sights it comes with are poor quality, so a scope with weaver mounts should be used instead. If the scope is mounted correctly, you will still be able to remove the rear stock completely if you want to, which shortens the overall lenght of the gun considerably. The magazine is really just a storage compartment. The foam inside can be taken out and trimmed so that it can snuglly fit between 2 or 5 clips. The gun does have 4 weaver rails, but the ones on the bottom of the barrel and foregrip really can’t be used due to the fact that the foregrip is also the pumping arm. However, the top two weaver rails can be used for a scope, flashlight, and/or laser.