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

Part 1
Part 2

Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle
Crosman MTR77NP air rifle

Today, we’ll look at the first of 2 accuracy tests planned for the Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle. As you know, this rifle has no open sights; so, the first thing I did was mount the Centerpoint 4X32 scope that’s included with the gun. That went quick because the scope caps have 2 screws each, but there was no slippage of the scope in the rings during this test.

The scope is very bright as you would expect a 4X scope to be, but at the 10-meter distance I shot in this test, it was fuzzy. The parallax is fixed for a further distance that isn’t indicated on the scope. I can tell from examination that it’s set farther than 25 yards.

I’m testing at 10 meters today and will take the best pellets into the next test, which will be at 25 yards. The first pellet up was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. You will remember from the velocity test that the test rifle shoots considerably slower than its advertised velocity of 1,000 f.p.s. with lead pellets. It went an average of 866 f.p.s. with 7-grain RWS Hobbys.

I discovered that the rifle is shooting low, even with the scope adjusted up high. For the next test, I’ll shim the rear scope ring. That should raise the pellet up far enough.

Crosman Premier lites
At 10 meters, 10 Premier lite pellets made a group that measures 0.721 inches between centers. The group has a main group of 8 pellets within it and 2 flyers, though there were no shots that were pulled. This is a case where a better scope might do better on target because the image was so fuzzy that I might have been off the aim point by 1/8 inch at times.

Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle Premier lite group
Ten Premier lites went into 0.721 inches at 10 meters. The 2 flyers were not called.

Firing behavior
The MTR77NP fires with a solid thump. There’s no vibration, and the shot cycle is very quick. The recoil through the butt isn’t sharp the way it is on many gas-spring air rifles. And the A2 stock seems to be ideal for handling the recoil of this rifle without stinging your cheek.

Now that I’ve shot the gun for accuracy, I can tell you the trigger-pull is very long in stage 2. The pull length of stage 2 is supposed to be adjustable, but I turned in the screw about 7 full turns and nothing changed. It feels like a placebo screw; or if it does adjust anything, the effect is very small.

H&N Baracuda Match
The next pellet I tested was the heavy H&N Baracuda Match. This pellet showed some promise in the velocity test, and I thought it might do well in this rifle. Ten of them went into a group that measured 0.982 inches between centers. Like the Premier lite, there were flyers outside the main group, though I did not see them when shooting. I’m beginning to think that the next test needs to be conducted with a different scope.

Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle H&N Baracuda Match group
Ten Baracuda Match went into 0.982 inches at 10 meters. Two flyers in this group, as well.

The scope mounts had loosened by this point in the test. The rings remained tight, but the screws that attach the rings to the base on the rifle loosened up. I tightened them and also checked them after every 5 shots from this point on.

RWS Hobby
Next, I tried 10 RWS Hobby pellets. They went much lower and also to the left. They actually missed the target paper. The group was round and measured 0.826 inches between centers.

Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle RWS Hobby group
Ten RWS Hobby pellets went into 0.826 inches at 10 meters. This group is quite round, which is a good thing. It dropped below the target paper.

Crosman SSP Hollowpoint
I did check the Crosman SSP hollowpoint that was the lead-free pellet I tested in the velocity test, but after 2 pellets missed the target backer altogether, I stopped shooting. Not the pellet for this rifle.

JSB Exact Express
The last pellet I tested was the 7.87-grain JSB Exact Express dome. I haven’t had much luck with this pellet in the past, but I keep trying it just in case. Alas, the MTR77NP doesn’t like it, either. Ten pellets went into a vertical 1.661 inches at 10 meters. Another pellet to not use in this rifle.

Crosman MTR77NP scoped air rifle JSB Exact Express group
Ten JSB Exact Express pellets went into 1.661 inches at 10 meters. Obviously, not a pellet for the MTR77NP.

Evaluation so far
I like the way the rifle feels when it fires. It has good power and a solid thump when it fires. The trigger-pull is long but not too creepy.

The scope leaves a lot to be desired. I think I’ll replace it with a Bug Buster 3-9X scope for the next test, and I’ll shim the rear scope ring before mounting it on the rifle. That should give the rifle the best chance to do well at 25 yards.

Obviously, the pellets to try are the Crosman Premier lite, the H&N Baracuda and the RWS Hobby. The Hobbys will be at their maximum recommended distance, but they may surprise us.

If you like black rifles and have been considering the MTR77NP, I think it’s worth a look. We’ll know better after the next test.