by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• The 1077 is a lookalike
• Ruger’s 10/22 is the most popular .22 rimfire
• Crosman often copied popular firearms
• 1077 debuted in 1994
• 1077 basics
• Magazines & clips (they’re not the same!)
• The BIG lesson (miss this & you might mess up)
• CO2 powerplant
• Ft Worth airgun show update
I went around and around about the topic for today’s report. There are several new airguns I wanted to start reviewing, and several vintage guns I also want to look at. But the bottom line is that I had to go with Crosman’s 1077 CO2 rifle. Why, you might ask? Because this rifle is one you need to know about. It’s a classic for many reasons. Perhaps, the first one will surprise you.
The 1077 is a lookalike
The 1077 is a lookalike airgun. It’s a copy of Ruger’s famous 10/22 .22-caliber semiautomatic (rimfire) that’s been produced in the millions (6 million by 2012) since it was introduced in 1964. Most airgunners don’t think of the 1077 that way — they just like it for what it is: A fine, inexpensive .177-caliber repeating pellet rifle. But the fact is that the 1077 is patterned after and certainly named for the extremely popular 10/22.
Ruger’s 10/22 is the most popular .22 rimfire
I’ll catch some flack for saying this, but the Ruger 10/22 is today’s most popular .22 rimfire. That doesn’t mean it’s the best or the most accurate or even the one with the most elegant design. There are even some major drawbacks to the 10/22 design, like it’s notoriously hard to assemble after cleaning, it has to be modified to be cleaned from the breech, the magazine release is difficult to operate and the bolt doesn’t stay open after the last shot is fired. You can even add that the bolt hold-open switch is difficult to work. But all that considered, more people are buying 10/22s today than any other model of rimfire.
The 10/22 is very inexpensive but is built in a modular way that allows the owner to add many times the cost of the rifle in accessories and modifications. It is to rimfires what the 1911 or the AR is to centerfires — a gun the user can customize almost to infinity with aftermarket parts. Like both the 1911 and AR-15, it’s even possible to construct a 10/22 entirely from parts not made by Ruger. By making it modular and allowing a huge aftermarket support base to build up, Ruger has assured its 10/22 of a solid future. And it’s the perfect rimfire for Crosman to copy.
Crosman often copied popular firearms
Crosman’s history with lookalike airguns dates back to the 1950s, when their SA-6 (Single Action 6) revolver was first offered. A Colt lookalike that came to market during the television Western craze, the SA-6 was the start of a long line of airguns that looked like famous firearms. Most of them were CO2, but a couple like the A.I.R. 17 and the M1 Carbine were pneumatics and even spring guns. But CO2 offers opportunities for repeating mechanisms that enhance realism, which is what Crosman was pursuing.
1077 debuted in 1994
The Crosman 1077 RepeatAir rifle came about in 1994. It’s a 12-shot repeating rifle that shoots 12 pellets with one loading. Company literature has always referred to the action as semiautomatic; but, in truth, what you have is a rifle with a double-action only revolver action. That’s important to know because it means the trigger not only fires the gun but also has to advance the circular clip to the next pellet and cock the striker spring. That means the trigger travel will always be long and even a bit crunchy when the gun is new. And don’t even think of modifying it! This trigger should stay as it is and just get better as it breaks in, as all of mine have. I’ll measure my trigger for you in Part 2.
Yes, this will be an old-style Part 1 report because there’s so much to tell about the 1077. I own 2 of them at present and have owned others over the years. This is an airgun I always have to have because of all that it can do and be. That will come out in the reports, but right now let’s look at the gun.
The 1077 is a 12-shot repeating pellet rifle. It’s small, at just less than 37 inches long, and light, at just 3.75 lbs. Because the stock is hollow plastic, the impression is that this is a kid’s air rifle. But that’s misleading! First, the trigger-pull is heavier than most youngsters can operate. Until they mature a little or the rifle breaks in a lot, it’ll be difficult for them to operate. Second, the 1077 is more accurate than its price would indicate. We’ll see just how accurate in a future test, but all who own the rifle know what a sweet shooter it can be. And third, the 1077 is more powerful than you might think. Crosman advertises the velocity at 625 f.p.s., and we’ll soon see how fast my rifle is with different pellets.
The length of pull is 13.25 inches, making the rifle small for adults and just right for older children. It comes with open sights that adjust for both elevation, via a stepped ramp, and windage, using a crude slot with locking screw for the rear sight leaf. The front sight has a green fiberoptic tube, but the rear sight is just a notch with no fiberoptics.
The barrel is a thin rifled steel tube. Like all barrels of this design, it’s possible for the barrel to become loose and cause accuracy problems. My experience, based on the 5 rifles I’ve owned and others I’ve seen is that it will stay tight if the owner leaves the barrel alone. But the moment you start fiddling with it, it becomes a problem. People fiddle with the barrel because other people on the internet advise them to –so consider this as good advice to leave the barrel alone.
Magazines & clips (they’re not the same!)
The magazine and circular clip are the topic that caused this to be a special report. The 1077 has a box-like magazine that contains a separate 12-shot circular pellet clip. The circular clip is loaded with pellets, then placed into the box magazine and locked in place. The box magazine is inserted into the 1077’s action, the same as any other rifle that has a detachable magazine.
This box magazine interfaces with the rifle’s action to advance the circular clip. And here’s how the 1077 action works. The trigger pulls a hook that pulls back on a stirrup located at the rear of the detachable magazine. That stirrup advances the 12-shot circular clip one pellet chamber, in a clockwise rotation, with each pull of the trigger.
The BIG lesson (miss this & you might mess up)
Pay attention — because this is where you get in trouble if you over-think the 1077. Just as guest blogger Hiveseeker learned with the Winchester MP4: Every time the trigger is pulled, the circular clip advances. The pellet remains in the clip until the gun fires, but you’ll skip past pellets if you back off on the trigger and do not follow through and fire the gun.
The 1077 uses a single 12-gram CO2 cartridge, which should please many. Crosman says to expect 50 shots from that cartridge and I would agree, but I’ll test it.
Both of my 1077s are converted to bulk operation and do not need to use a cartridge anymore. The gun I’m using for this test is the latest model with fiberoptic front sight, but this is one that has an adapter to use an 88-gram CO2 cartridge. Not only does it get hundreds of shots per cartridge, there’s a valve on the unit that allows me to shut off the gas. When I began the test for you, the cartridge that was on the rifle had been there for over 4 years and is still holding gas. Of course, I always use Crosman Pellgunoil, and I advise you to do the same with each new cartridge you install.
Because I can turn off the gas, I can remove the bulk adapter and convert back to a 12-gram cartridge whenever I want to. So, I’ll be able to get a shot count for you from a standard cartridge. Alas, Crosman no longer offers the 1077 with this option, and the adapter sells used for more than a new rifle these days. It was a really cool thing that I would like to see Crosman bring back as an option.
So that’s what’s in store for you. This will be a detailed report on the Crosman 1077, including a 25-yard accuracy test that uses a bargain red dot sight that has recently been featured in this blog — the Tech Force TF90.
Ft. Worth airgun show update
Now an update on the show. We’re getting reservations every day now, and the hotel is filling up with both dealers and those just attending the show. Some people have made arrangements to fly in and see the show, then have their purchases shipped back so they don’t have to carry them on the plane!
I’ll be staying at the hotel with the dealers, and we’ll have a reception the night before from 7 to 8:30 p.m. It’s soft drinks and snacks, plus a chance to meet with the dealers/attendees and perhaps transact early show business. You can come to the reception even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
I’ll lead a caravan of dealers from the hotel to the show location around 4 p.m. on Friday. That way, there will be many people who know the route on Saturday morning, plus you get to see the grounds the evening before we set up. There’s no setup that evening.
Crosman Corporation has donated a Benjamin Trail NP2 rifle for a door prize, so we now have 2 door prize rifles and 3 raffle prize rifles. We plan to begin the drawings early in the show; so if you’re going to attend, get there early!
Crosman will also be unveiling two new rifles at this show — a tactical PCP they call the Armada and their new .357-caliber big bore — called the Bulldog. They’ve asked me for air because they’re flying in, so I’m asking those of you who live close by to bring an air tank or two if you can. I’ll have a carbon fiber tank and my new electric compressor to charge Crosman’s tank that they have to bring in empty. Maybe we can top off a tank or two while the show’s running.
They’re bringing Jennifer Lambert (VP of marketing), Chip Hunnicutt, a couple of engineers and one or two others so they can man a spot on the range with their new guns plus their table in the hall.
As this last month counts down, the show is coming together fast. Please register for your tables now or risk the chance we’ll sell out.