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Crosman SNR 357 revolver: Part One

Crosman SNR 357
Crosman SNR 357.

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Lookalike
  • The barrel moves
  • Smoothbore
  • Cartridges
  • Velocity
  • Safety
  • Sights
  • Trigger and hammer
  • The grip
  • Summary

Today we start looking at Crosman’s SNR 357. It’s a dual ammo CO2 revolver that shoots both BBs and pellets.

Description

Some say it looks and feels like a real gun. Well, that’s because it is. Drop it on your foot if you don’t believe it. What they mean is it looks and feels like a firearm. And it does resemble a Smith & Wesson model 28 .357 Magnum revolver that was made from 1954 to 1986. If it had a shiny finish it would resemble an S&W model 27 that started being made from 1935 and is still in production today.

Lookalike

The revolver weighs almost two pounds which adds to the feeling of realism. In my mind that makes it a lookalike airgun.

The cylinder swings out to the left on a real crane, giving access to the six cartridges. The front of the cylinder interfaces with a piece at the rear of the spring-loaded barrel that acts as a bolt to lock the cylinder in position when firing. Each chamber hole is beveled at the front to accept the spring-loaded piece at the rear of the barrel.

Crosman SNR 357 cylinder out
Cylinder out.

There is also a bolt that stops the cylinder at the rear. It is activated by pulling the trigger blade back.

The barrel moves

Yes, the barrel does move as the revolver fires. So accuracy may not be the best. We shall see.

Smoothbore

The barrel is bored smooth, so this is properly called a gun.  That works because it is both a BB gun and a pellet gun.

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Cartridges

The 357 comes with six BB cartridges and six pellet cartridges. BBs are loaded in the front of their cartridges and pellets load at the back of theirs.

Velocity

The clamshell package claims velocities up to 495 f.p.s. That’s more than just a wild claim for velocity; it’s a statement that allows the 357 to enter Canada as an air pistol and not a firearm. Canadian law says that airguns must shoot at less than 500 f.p.s., among other things.

Pyramyd Air claims a velocity of up to 400 f.p.s. That’s a wide disparity that we will have to check. I wonder who has a chronograph that can check such claims? This will be the first time I have used the Labradar chronograph to test BBs. Oh, boy — I can’t wait!

Safety

Yes, Agatha Christie, this revolver does indeed have a safety. The thumb button that slides forward to release the cylinder also slides back to put the revolver on safe. When it’s on safe neither the hammer nor the trigger move. This is a real safe safety!

Sights

Just like both Smith & Wesson revolvers — the 27 and 28 — the SNR 357 rear sight adjusts for windage and elevation. I feel no detents in the elevation screw but I do feel soft detents in the windage screw. The rear sight notch is a sharp square that defines the square-section front ramp. I hope this revolver is accurate because I can work with these sights.

Crosman SNR 357 rear sight
SNR 357 rear sight adjusts in both directions.

Trigger and hammer

You may not be aware of it but some S&W revolvers have special wide hammers and trigger blades. These are called target hammers and target triggers. The hammer on the SNR 357 looks like it wants to copy the S&W hammer, but something was lost in the translation. The trigger isn’t wide, but it does feel good.

Crosman SNR 357 SW target hammer and trigger
S&W Target hammer and target trigger.

Crosman SNR 357 hammer and trigger
The hammer on the SNR 357 seems to want to copy the S&W target hammer. The SNR 357 trigger doesn’t copy anything, but it is comfortable.

The grip

The back part of the grip slides back to access the place for the 12-gram CO2 cartridge. The grip piece does come off the grip frame but there are rails top and bottom on each side of the piece that are supposed to slide along the grip frame and hold the grip piece captive. The piece is formed so it acts like a spring to keep tension on these rails and remain on the grip frame. My advice is to leave it on the grip frame because if you remove it, it takes some time to align the rails again and install the piece back on the gun.

Crosman SNR 357 grip back
Grip back to install and remove CO2 cartridge.

Summary

I was initially going to make comparisons between this gun and Crosman’s Vigilante revolver that I reviewed for you back in 2020 and 2021. But the two guns are nothing alike. The SNR 357 stands on its own. If you like revolver airguns, this one may be for you.

30 thoughts on “Crosman SNR 357 revolver: Part One”

        • Yogi,

          Which Dragnet? The first aired in the 1950s, the second in the 1967 timeframe and the last one so far in 1987 or so. As far as the pistols there is a great deal of debate about the original ’50’s series weapons but I think a Military and Police .38 S&W with a 2″ barrel fits the bill. The ’60s series used aS&W Model 10. I never watched the ’80s series too busy with the end of the Cold War.

          shootski.

  1. The ‘Highway Patrolman’ was redesignated the Model 28 in 1957. My 1955 dated example is one of my favorite N Frame Smiths. Looking forward to the rest of the testing.

  2. It uses the same barrel arrangement as the S&W 29 BB pistol you reviewed last November.

    That actually should have been labeled the S&W 27 as it uses .357 cartridges instead of .44, and has a beautiful shiny finish. (I got to handle one Sunday) and it’s on my Christmas wish list but have been holding out for a rifled version…

    I an interested to see the pellet accuracy.

    If the barrel does not spin within its shroud but only moves back & forth, maybe we will get good groups in part 3, as the cone will center over the chamber, and seal the area for more efficient gas usage, no barrel/cylinder gap!

    Good morning everyone.

    Ian

  3. Hi BB,
    You have my attention with this one! I can’t wait to read about its trigger action and accuracy.

    It doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the size and weight of a Smith & Wesson Model 28, though. I just happen to have one on my desk at the moment, and a dial caliper. The M28’s cylinder is @ 1.7 inches in diameter, and it weighs a lot more than two pounds. The M28 was also never made with a 2.5″ barrel, only 4″ and 6″.

    The SNR does seem to be in the ballpark of the K-framed S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum, though, which WAS made with a 2.5″ barrel. Weight of the 2.5″ M19 is listed as 30.5 ounces, which is close to the weight of the SNR. Cylinder diameter of the Smith Ks is @ 1.4″. What’s the cylinder diameter of the SNR?

    I like what I see of the sights on the SNR. If the trigger action is close to acceptable, I’ll probably be hitting that “Add to Cart” button at Pyramyd very soon. Please don’t keep us waiting too long for the shooting report!

    –Snake

    • Snake,

      Don’t be doing stuff like this all the time. 😉

      I just happen to have my calipers out because I’m writing tomorrow’s report, but the SNR was back in its clamshell. The SNR 357 cylinder measures 1.377-inches in diameter.

      BB

      • Thanks, BB!
        Come to think of it, I might be buying TWO of these. My son has a 2.5″ Smith 66, which is the stainless version of the M19. I was gonna get him a Umarex Glock for Christmas, but this might be even better.

        –Snake

          • BB,
            I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “copy,” but there does seem to be more resemblance to the M19 than the M28.

            I’m pretty sensitive to how a gun “feels.” I have several old Crosman 38s and though I liked their all-metal weight, I never really thought they felt like any firearm S&W. Last year I dragged out a Crosman 38, a Smith 19, a Smith 28, and the Umarex M29 and spent a whole evening measuring them in terms of grip width, trigger reach, and so forth. The results were quite interesting and explained why the Crosman 38 never “felt right” to me. Unfortunately, when I had my stroke last April and spent two months in hospital, my wife took the opportunity to “clean up” my workspace and either boxed up or just threw away my notes on that. I’d have to do it all over, but it would take me some time that I just don’t have right at the moment.

            BTW, a couple decades ago I tried a pair of Crosman 357s, the Python lookalike. I tried to like them, I really tried. They shot well and looked and felt like Pythons and I really liked the pop-in cylinder thingies (MUCH easier to work with than loading the old Crosman 38), but I just couldn’t hack their light, toylike weight and ended up giving them to my son when he was in high school. I don’t know what he did with them–they might actually still be in his old room. If I can lay hands on those, I’ll add them in my next round of measurements.

        • Snake45, do you have any experience with the Glock 17, gen 4 BB pistol? I am looking to buy one for a nephew who is a new Deputy Sheriff. I thought it might be a good (and inexpensive) training tool.

          • Hi RG,
            I have zero experience with Glocks. My son has three. I was going to get him a replica for Christmas, but near as I can tell, they don’t make one that matches any of his. Sorry, I can’t help you.

    • Very interesting question. There’s certainly a resemblance. The equivalent Dan Wesson model is listed (Pyramyd Air) as weighing 1.65 pounds; the SNR is listed as 1.92 pounds. The Dan Wesson also doesn’t seem to have the same weird grip opening system that this one does.

      I have a vague memory of another similar gun made by or sold as Gamo.

      I’m researching this. Will post if I can find any definitive answers.

  4. A little off THIS topic, but it is about airguns; was reconnoitering FM’s FB page and saw a news item from DonnyFL about a new (?) PCP player in town – or out of town, depending on location – Niksan Defense from Turkey. Maybe more grist for the test mill down the road. Seems DonnyFL will be a dealer, no idea if there will be others.

  5. B.B.,
    I will be curious to see how this revolver stacks up against my old, all metal, Crosman 357.
    (of the type you discuss here: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/01/crosmans-357gw-kit/
    and can still see the old reviews on here: https://www.pyramydair.com/product/crosman-357w-airgun-revolver?m=201 ).
    I used to have one of the old silver Crosman 357s with the 8″ brass barrel and loved it!
    But now, one of my grandsons has it; however, I did pick up a nice old Crosman 357 with a 6″ barrel.
    I had to shim the rubber “spring” that keeps the barrel latched; but now the gun is a really fun shooter.
    I look forward to the future reports on this latest iteration of it; thank you.
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  6. Two years ago I received a gift Cabela’s gift card and spent the bulk of it on one of these revolvers. I though it might make a half way analog of my J-frames. In a word mine was JUNK. It quit after a month or so, I could likely replace the Teflon seal but the rest of it so loose and “rattlely” it sits in my file cabinet drawer in my workshop reserved for Misfit air/C02 handguns. IMHO not worth the price.
    Some Hamsters are worth taking to the Vet others are not for now this one is not. I have lots of other airguns that need work and IMHO are worthy of working on, i may get to this one after I retire.

  7. This pistol is actually identical to the Dan Wesson revolver. I’ve owned a few of them, starting with the BB smooth bore, then graduated to the rifled pellet version. I finally moved to the 715 rifled pellet revolver. The build quality and fit and finish is FAR superior in the 715 pistol. I’m pretty sure they all come from the same factory in Taiwan, but the 715 platform is much better than the previous model.

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