Crosman MAR 177: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman MAR
The MAR177 from Crosman.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Why muzzleloading pneumatics and gas guns are extremely dangerous
  • AR with a reservoir
  • Premium quality
  • Receiver difference
  • National Match trigger
  • AR firearm
  • Summary

Why muzzleloading pneumatics and gas guns are extremely dangerous

I am answering this discussion topic today because nobody had figured it out when I wrote up today’s report last Friday. Maybe someone did later, but I will answer it here so everyone understands. And just to let you know — I didn’t figure this out, either. Dennis Quackenbush was kind enough to explain it to me.

A pneumatic or gas gun may leak air or CO2 at any time. If it did, and if its forward escape path was blocked by a bullet in the barrel and the rear path was blocked by o-rings, pressure would build up until something let go. The most likely thing would be the bullet. In other words, a muzzleloading airgun can potentially fire at any time — if it is loaded and if there is a leak. Since a leak can occur at any time unannounced, a muzzle loading airgun is very dangerous.

Today we look at more of the MAR177 features, plus a bunch of other exciting things. Let’s get started. First thing — the rifle is holding fine from yesterday’s fill.

AR with a reservoir

Right off the bat you noticed that the MAR has a long tube under the barrel that a regular AR firearm upper would not have.

Crosman MAR comparison
The MAR177 at the top has a reservoir that the AR-15 upper below doesn’t have. The MAR also has a carry handle with sights the firearm upper lacks.

The MAR reservoir is about the size of a Discovery reservoir — imagine that! And the MAR valve is unregulated. I wonder what sort of consistency it gets?

Premium quality

Crosman built the MAR to be the best of the best. Remember that it has a Lothar Walther barrel. For that reason, you see a carry handle on top of the flat-toped receiver. Note that the AR-15 firearm upper shown below the MAR does not have a handle. It’s an optional item.

If you were to build the firearm equivalent of the MAR177 in 2012, it would have cost at least as much as the MAR. I am talking an upper of equivalent quality. The carry handle with adjustable peep sight would have added a lot, plus a decent barrel instead of a run-of-the-mill barrel that’s found on the cheaper uppers would have set you back a bundle. Heck, just a quality charging handle assembly with a quality bolt carrier can add over $200! The 24-inch Saber Defense fluted bull barrel with a 1:8 twist on my AR-15 was a $1,500 item by itself at the time!

So, yes, AR-15 uppers can be bought for a lot less money than a MAR, but the upper on my AR-15 was a $2,300 assembly. It’s probably worth less than half that today, with the gun scare being over. It is easily possible to spend such money on a quality upper, so let’s not criticize the MAR. And no, I didn’t not pay that much for my upper. I traded two AK rifles for it at the height of the Obama gun scare, when everything was super-inflated. It was my two $2,500 cats for his $5,000 dog.

Receiver difference

The carry handle can be removed by loosening two thumbscrews, and when we do we see a significant difference with the MAR. It has a flat top but there is a slot in the top of the receiver up front for the 10-shot rotary magazine.

Crosman MAR flattop
The MAR receiver has a slot in the top front that stands out when the carry handle is removed. This is where the 10-shot rotary magazine fits.

The carry handle has the same slot. The carry handle also has a peep sight that is adjustable for windage but not elevation. You see, the rear sight on an M16 that the AR-15 is based on does not adjust elevation in the rear — the front sight adjusts up and down!

Crosman MAR carry handle
The MAR carry handle has the same slot in the front for the 10-shot rotary magazine. You can also see the adjustable rear peep sight. The large knob on the right adjusts for windage, only.

Crosman MAR front sight
The front sight adjusts for elevation. On an M16 or AR-15, the tip of a bullet in a loaded cartridge presses down on the tiny spring-loaded locking button (arrow) and rotates the sight counter-clockwise to raise the post (and lower impact) or clockwise to lower the post (and raise impact). It moves one click at a time. It is a slow and tedious method that soldiers have hated for two generations.

National Match trigger

A lot of you keyed in on what I said about the National Match trigger. So I thought I would show it to you.

Crosman MAR National Match trigger
This is the Rock River National Match trigger. Once installed it broke at exactly 5 lbs. over 800 shots. Obviously it needed some gunsmithing that I did not do.

I replaced that trigger with a two-stage adjustable Geissele two-stage trigger that cost $275 several years ago. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the model name but it is probably no longer being produced. I guessed that stage 1 was a pound and stage two was another 8 ounces. When I measured it stage one was 3 lbs. 5 oz and extremely short. Stage two broke at 3 lbs. 13 oz, which means the let-off was exactly the 8 oz. I estimated.

Crosman MAR lower parts
There are all the parts that were used to build the lower receiver. No special reason for showing them. I just thought you would like to see. The National Match trigger is at the upper right.

AR firearm

The AR-15 firearm I built is in .223 Remington caliber. With a Tasco Custom Shop 8-40X56 scope that I used to compete with in field target, it weighs 11 lbs. 9 oz.

Crosman MAR AR firearm
My AR-15 in .223 Remington.

The beauty of the AR platform is that by removing two captive pins the upper can be swapped for any caliber that will cycle through the magazine. It will also accept the MAR 177.

Crosman MAR AR pins
The two assembly pins that hold the upper to the lower have been tapped out (arrow). The receiver halves are beginning to separate.

Crosman MAR AR apart
The AR upper has been separated from the lower.

Crosman MAR AR lower
The lower is ready to accept any upper that will fit. It now has the Geissele trigger, so we are ready to rock!

Crosman MAR assembled
And the MAR177 goes on just that easy. What’s not to like? Yes, I left the carry handle off — both so you could see the flattop construction and mostly because I forgot about it!

The assembled air rifle weighs 9 lbs. on the nose — and that is with the carry handle installed. It’s not a lightweight toy by any means! The extra weight helps stabilize the rifle during offhand firing.

There are sling swivels, and a sling is permitted in match competition, but I don’t recommend it. A hasty sling will put a strain on any AR because of the aluminum two-part construction.

Crosman went to great lengths to keep the MAR from flexing. And the barrel is entirely free-floated. So, there should be good accuracy. Now, this is Part 2 and I haven’t even fired one pellet yet. I guess I’m just having too much fun. But I want you all to stay interested, so let me show you what I did in 2012 with the first MAR I tested.

Crosman MAR 177 R10
That’s 5 RWS R10 7.7 grain pellets (obsolete) in 0.106-inches at 10 meters.

Crosman MAR 177 Crosman Match
And 5 Crosman Super Match target pellets went into 0.144-inches at 10 meters.

Crosman MAR 177 R10
At 25 yards, when scoped, the first MAR put ten R10 pellets into 0.402-inches!

Summary

I told you when we started that this air rifle is a humdinger! I hope you have seen a little of that today. I do need to test the Webley Hurricane’s accuracy, so I’ll have to do that before we look at this one again, but I’m looking forward to testing the velocity, shot count and of course the accuracy of this jewel!

51 thoughts on “Crosman MAR 177: Part 2

  1. B.B.,

    Ed Schultz really should push for a Semiautomatic Marauder in AR clothes. Just a little push from the Armada styling to get there. Doesn’t have to be 100% AR. Unless Crosman licenses to make the lower receiver which is a whole new can of worms. Don’t limit it to as a 10 meter rifle. Forget the Lothar Walther barrel. Crosman should be making accurate enough barrels by now. The Lothar Walther barrel can be offered through the Custom Shop. Leave out the carrying handle and sights. Offer the BUIS as an option, most will scope it anyway. Regulator installation can be another a Custom Shop option. Initial offering could probably be based on the Fortitude. Straight pull bolt to advance the magazine. Better yet maybe a side lever. This armchair engineer better get an icepack on his fever addled brain.

    Hurricane accuracy on Friday?

    Siraniko

    PS: Section National Match Trigger first picture caption: “This is the Rock Rive (River) National Match trigger.”




  2. BB,

    Siraniko is on to something there and I will be very surprised if TCFKAC does not bring out a semi black rifle next year. Of course that is on the assumption that they get the SAM up and running this year.

    I will bet you that if they do bring out the SAM, there will be quite a few nice Mrods for sale at a good price. 🙂


  3. Most expensive part of shooting firearms is the ammunition. It doesn’t take long for an AR shooter to save money with such an airgun upper, if it helps him to improve his shooting skills. If you consider time and fuel to visit a firearms range Vs. shooting at home, it’s even faster.


  4. Wow! Coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. I’d love it if someone would build something like this again so I can practice in the backyard. I’d really like to get my hands on one of these if it would be compatible with an HK556 lower. Dunno if our comments would ever help drive development, but I’m voting for a high quality PCP upper that would enable one to have just what is described in this report!

    -Greg



    • David,

      Thanks for saying that. That is my opinion, as well. It’s not a 10-meter rifle, but it can shoot just as well. It’s not a semiautomatic, but you get the use of your AR lower and the feel of the trigger — which in the case of my rifle is pretty nice. You get lots of shots per fill. There’s just a lot to like.

      B.B.


  5. B.B.,

    Often what we Dyed-in-the-Wool airgun addicted ask the manufacturers to build will probably never happen but this concept disscussion will prove if their Marketing Departments are full of $$$, £££, €€€, ¢¢¢ morons $$$, £££, €€€, ¢¢¢ or not.

    shootski



  6. BB,

    This is turning out to be an interesting article but black rifles are not my cup of tea. I would rather have a Mini-14 or Remington 760 or 7600 in .223 and would rather spend the money for the MAR on a vintage 10m rifle.

    Brent


  7. BB,

    Although I do not have any experience with ‘black’ rifles nor much interest in them, I think that the concept of the MAR is a great idea, particularly considering the large amount of AR’s (at least in the US) in civilian hands. Being able to practice with cheap ammunition (and air) with your own trigger and stock in almost any backyard is a game changer. And then, Siraniko’s suggestion of making it a semi-auto turns is just brilliant.

    I also agree in keeping the initial cost down by using in-house made barrels and no sights. The Custom shop could then offer things like barrels of different lengths with or without suppression, LT barrels, regulators, valves for different power settings, open and optical sights, etc.

    It should make sense for almost anyone, even perhaps marketing people! Although, as a concession to them, they would have to include fiber optic sights as an option.

    One caveat, the lower unit is the part registered as a firearm so getting one is not easy or even remotely possible in some parts. This limits the market base.

    Henry


  8. B.B.
    In terms of gross units sold? This product is clearly straying from Crosmans bread and butter product line.
    Crosman is not known for handmade airguns, Its not their traditional core expertise, or their market.
    I as nice as it is, I just think they will sell hundreds of thousands of one design approach, vs the hundreds
    of the Mar177. Engineer a mag based system, get a government contract to produce them. Use Airsoft ammo gauged for the.223 barrel. You might get rich because because Crosman can make it cheap enough that
    there is one in every AR owners stocking at Xmas time. But it might not be a Match training device as the hand made Mar is closer too.
    Nice groups B.B.
    Rob


  9. B.B.,

    Do your sources agree that the MAR177 was not a normal production product? Were all of them custom hand builds?

    A little confusion is building (pun intended) into the thread.

    shootski


  10. Speaking of the Benjamin Maximus, have you guys noticed that the sources have all dried up? TCFKAC must be using all of the parts to crank out the Fortitude.

    Also the price differential between the Maximus and the Fortitude is not that great. I am thinking the Maximus may soon follow the Discovery into extinction.


    • RR,

      I had not noticed, not being in the market at the moment. They should widen the price spread and keep the Maximus around = (price down on Maximus). Had the Fortitude been out when I got the Maximus, I would have probably opted for the Fortitude, being a fan of magazines,…. and regulated.

      I was on the Crosman site a few days ago and it seems that everything is still being offered. Maybe not,…. but it was for sure at least shown.

      I do have a regulated Maximus,…. in case you are stuck on that and just have to have one. 😉

      Chris


  11. The wind was low yesterday, around 1mph out of the south, I took the opportunity to re-zero my S510 down to 30 yards. It has proven to be an extremely accurate rifle.
    This morning I noticed that the starlings and grackles just seemed to be falling out of the trees.

    I heard this the other day. Thought it was funny. My wife didn’t think very much of it……

    Here in Kansas it’s been over month since the schools were closed and our self-quarantine began. It’s been very unsettling for me to witness my wife standing at the living room window gazing aimlessly into space with tears running down her cheeks. It breaks my heart to see her like this. I have thought very hard about how I could cheer her up. I’ve even considered letting her in. I just keep reminding myself…..rules are rules.

    Randy




      • Mike in Atl,

        The Economy in those states will start to recover and the news media will try to make every death seem like it was caused by the reopening. Remember the Lock Down original purpose was to “flatten the curve” not reduce the number of deaths attributable to the virus. They thought it would help the hospitals not get overwhelmed…New York and LA never made full use of the two US Navy hospital ships to date!

        Say what?

        shootski


        • Shootski,

          I think it is kinda bogus by May first we should have 2 to 6 million dead we have 42,000 dead at this point while that is not good it is less than the regular flu. Condolences to the ones who have lost loved ones. It is the models that have driven this and see the picture of the model below. The actual numbers are far lower than the expected numbers.



Leave a Reply