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Crosman SNR 357 revolver: Part Two

Crosman SNR 357
Crosman SNR 357.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Labradar
  • Getting serious
  • Crosman Copperhead BBs
  • Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground shot
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • H&N Smart Shot lead BBs
  • Dust Devils
  • Discussion
  • Shot count
  • Trigger pull
  • So far?

Today we look at the velocity of the Crosman SNR 357 revolver with BBs. And if you haven’t figured it out already, SNR stands for snub-nosed revolver. And all testing was shot single action.

I will note that the grip panels are loose enough to notice. Also, the CO2 cartridge sealed with just a partual turn of the piercing screw.

Labradar

I thought that today would also be the perfect time to test the Labradar chronograph with BBs. So I set up the instrument and proceeded to — waste my time. Because the Labradar can not reliably chronograph the velocity of BBs.

On the first string I shot Crosman Copperhead BBs, because the SNR is a Crosman product. The Labradar registered this.

Shot………Vel.
1……………449
2……………232
3……………318
4……………288
5……………346
6……………765

Okay, nothing wrong with THAT spread — right? Sure — the SNR shoots a BB at 765 f.p.s. I checked everything, but because I was also shooting the groups that the Labradar allows me to, my attention was distracted — a LOT!

Next up were Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground shot. They actually gave me a string that I can trust, though I didn’t know it at the time. More on that in a bit.

Shot………Vel.
1……………302
2……………306
3……………397
4……………262
5……………310
6……………252

I was so focused on the target that I wasn’t paying attention to what the chronograph was telling me. If I had been, this string would have looked strange but not outlandish like the first one. I also shot one shot that was not recorded. That’s the first time that happened since I started testing the Labradar.

Okay, one more string with Hornady Black Diamond BBs.

Shot………Vel.
1……………310
2……………323
3……………246
4……………25
5……………703
6……………338

Getting serious

What is it that crazy people do? Oh. yeah, they keep doing the same thing, hoping for different results. I may not be smart but I’m sure not crazy. It was time to put the Labradar away and bring out the Shooting Chrony Alpha. Now we can compare the results with what the Labradar gave and see what’s what.

Crosman Copperhead BBs

First to be tested were Crosman Copperhead BBs. Let me show you the string.

Shot………Vel.
1……………279
2……………315
3……………329
4……………260
5……………322
6……………340

Okay — no 700 f.p.s. BBs this time. These numbers I believe. They average 308 f.p.s. and they seem to agree with shots 2 through 5 recorded by the Labradar. If they are right, then the SNR varied in velocity by 80 f.p.s. over 6 shots. We will see more evidence of that as the test unfolds.

Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground shot

Next up were Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground shot. We know these are on the large side for steel BBs and they are also quite uniform. I tell you that because I expected to see the most uniform velocities with this BB. Here is what I got.

Shot………Vel.
1……………342
2……………319
3……………258
4……………276
5……………285
6……………299

Now it became apparent that the SNR was varying widely in velocity between shots. The average for this string is 297 f.p.s. and the difference between the low of 258 f.p.s. and the high of 342 f.p.s. is 84 f.p.s. Things are starting to make sense and we can see that the SNR is varying widely in velocity, shot-to-shot. The reason for that could be a difference in the tightness of the six BB cartridges, because I noticed a difference when loading the BBs. And that could loosen and become more uniform over time as the shells get used.

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Hornady Black Diamond

Next up were Hornady Black Diamond BBs. These are usually very good BBs in other guns. In the SNR this is what they did.

Shot………Vel.
1……………272
2……………327
3……………336
4……………309
5……………did not register
6……………319

The average for this string was 312 f.p.s. The low was 272 f.p.s. and the high was 336 f.p.s. — a difference of 64 f.p.s.

H&N Smart Shot lead BBs

Next to be tested were H&N Smart Shot lead BBs. Though they did decrease in velocity, it wasn’t as much as I expected.

Shot………Vel.
1……………277
2……………282
3……………244
4……………219
5……………280
6……………did not register

The average for this string of Smart Shots was 260 f.p.s and the spread went from a low of 219 to a high of 282 f.p.s. — a difference of 63 f.p.s.

Dust Devils

The final BB I tested was the Air Venturi Dust Devil. They looked like this.

Shot………Vel.
1……………231
2……………did not register
3……………344
4……………305
5……………251
6……………did not register

This string averaged 280 f.p.s. with an 83 f.p.s. between the low of 251 f.p.s. and the high of 334 f.p.s. That was for the four shots that did register.

Discussion

I think the tightness of the individual shells is part of the reason for the velocity variation, but I don’t think it’s the only reason — or even the principal one. I think the revolver itself is varying.

Crosman SNR 357 BB cartridges
When a BB is pressed into the nose of a cartridge it pops past the plastic ridge that’s just inside the nose of the cartridge.

I also want to say a word about the revolver’s crane. I noticed that it is very fragile, and the crane of any revolver is its weakest point. Countless thousands of revolvers have been destroyed by flipping the gun to both open and close the cylinder. People do it because they see it done in the movies, but no self-respecting shooter would ever do such a thing to a firearm. Once the crane is loosened this way the firearm can be destroyed forever. This airgun is quite a bit weaker at this point because the metal is not steel and it will probably break with just a few flips open or shut.

Crosman SNR 357 crane open
The crane (arrow) of the SNR 357 is its weakest point and it’s not made of steel. Don’t flip the cylinder open or closed.

Crosman SNR 357SW crane open
The crane (arrow) on this Smith & Wesson revolver is made of steel and it’s still the weakest point on the firearm. Flipping the cylinder open and shut damages it in short order.

Shot count

There were things I didn’t put into the report, like the fact that I am a little crazier than I like to admit. So, by the time all velocity testing was finished there were 58 shots on the cartridge. Here is how the remainder of the shots went when I switched back to the Crosman Copperheads that averaged 306 f.p.s. in the first legitimate test. 

Shot………Vel.
60…………310
70…………295
80…………292
90…………307
100……….did not register
110……….233

I stopped shooting at shot 116 that went out at 182 f.p.s. Clearly the SNR gives at least 100 shots per CO2 cartridge.

Trigger pull

I have no way of measuring the double action trigger pull. I can guess that it takes 12 to 15 pounds of effort. The pull advances the cylinder first and then pauses before it breaks. This is easy to control.

The single action pull breaks at 6 pounds 13 ounces. There is a little felt trigger movement but no creep.

So far?

Well, I wish the grip panels were tighter. I also wish the velocity didn’t vary so much. The revolver is best fired single action, though I did try it double action for a few shots.

The size and weight of the SNR are in the ballpark for a firearm revolver. But I don’t look at it as a snub-nosed revolver. I see it as a revolver with a short barrel, sort of like my Ruger .357 Magnum with its 3.5-inch barrel.

The SNR is not a 400 f.p.s. BB gun. I never saw a shot go out that fast unless the Labradar was recording it.

The Labradar is not suited to chronograph BBs. It wasn’t designed for that so it’s not a real problem, but you should know.

The accuracy with BBs comes next, followed by the velocity with pellets and then a pellet accuracy test. 

43 thoughts on “Crosman SNR 357 revolver: Part Two”

    • R. R. and F. M. (for the comment above)
      I believe that you should have an HW 90 in your hands, for sometime at least. I regret selling the one that I had found nib forgotten on a shop’s rack. Still I believe that the price is very high and I would prefer a second hand find.
      By the way the K98 springer will be here tomorrow. Probably the last display model of the importer here…

  1. Hi everybody,

    my review of the HW 30 S is coming along.

    Does anyone have an idea who is making Weihrauch stocks these days? I know they used to be Minelli stocks, complete with their (m) logo.

    Now, the stocks have a different logo that could be “NR” or “DR” (btw, that same logo is on the rubber butt cap of the Diana 35 Commemorative).

    Others have been wondering about this as well:
    https://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?topic=112862.0

    Weihrauch rather don’t want to say…

    Any ideas?

    Stephan

    • Sorry CptKlotz, I can not help, beyond suggesting that, to me, it looks like β€žAR”.

      It appears that Weihrauch has various sources for woodwork still: while my HW30 shows the same signature as yours, the HW50 has an “m” logo, so, I assume, that’s by Minelli. They’re both new. I received them only last week, so my observation is current. πŸ™‚

      By the way, how interesting that both German Sport Guns (including Diana) and Weihrauch share at least one source of out of house manufacturing. Well done detective! πŸ™‚

      • hihihi,

        Having been seduced by the Dark Side I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed break barrel springers. πŸ™‚

        I’ve been shooting a HW30 (actually a Beeman R7) in .177 and a HW50 in .22 quite a bit and really like getting back the simple shooting rhythm you have with a break barrel rifle.

        How are you liking yours?

        Hank

        • Ah Vana2, we appear to have the same HW50. My other is also in .22″ calibre.

          So far I have played too little with them to have an opinion on their plinkability. πŸ™‚

          Do yours also shoulder differently? My HW30 feels like it’s stock is too high, ie ideal for a scope, while the HW50 fits me nicely, ie front and rear sights line up effortlessly.
          Oh, and yet, both stocks look alike… πŸ™‚

          • hihihi,

            Apples and oranges comparison for me as I have a synthetic stock on the HW50S (no choice, it was the last one available in Canada at the time) and the wood stock on my R7.

            The synthetic stock is larger and has a higher comb. I’m average height and weight so most generic stock designs are comfortable straight out of the box. That being said, both rifles shoulder and point well for me whether using scopes or iron sights. Guess that I’m adjusting the cheek-weld without thinking about it.

            I like both of them as light and medium plinkers but I’m especially fond of the R7… it’s such a sweetie πŸ˜‰

            Hank

          • So Vana2, reading between the lines, you would have preferred the wooden stocked HW50, despite the more weather resistant plastic. Well, that would make for an interesting comparison/ addition, don’t you think? πŸ™‚

            I too intend to scope mine, after I’ve increased it’s German level of power! πŸ™‚

            I think I understand the “..sweetie..” term of endearment. The HW30’s smaller dimensions and light weight give me the impression of a toy. Wonder if and how that’ll change with a more powerful mainspring? πŸ™‚

  2. Hi BB,

    After Part 1 of your report on the SNR, I ordered one. After liberating it from its plastic sarcophagus I found the cylinder didn’t want to open. When it finally did open, the problem became apparent–the crane pin you spoke of as being fragile was broken clean in two. I returned this gun to Pyramyd and they replaced it quickly, no hassles at all. The second one came through fine.
    I’m still on my first CO2 cartridge. I think I have about 60 shots through it at the moment, shooting both BBs and pellets. I don’t doubt your estimate that one cartridge will give over 100 shots.
    You’re right about the grip being loose. This was quite annoying at first but mine seems like it might be tightening up a little–at least I don’t notice this as much as I did at first.
    The edges of the plastic grip where it contacts the web of your hand were very sharp–annoyingly so. After proving that this gun worked, I started altering that area. I carved off the worst of the edge with a sharp Xacto knife and then worked it down smooth with a new coarse fingernail emery board. As a model-builder I own about every type of hobby file available but this plastic doesn’t file well (too soft). The emery board worked great.
    I really liked the sights on this gun. They’re much easier to see than the sights on any other air pistol I own. The front sight miked at .160 wide–the “standard” for handgun front sights is .125″. I wish ALL my handgun front sights were as wide as this one–the sights are one of the best features of this gun.
    So far my gun seems to be more accurate with pellets than with BBs, but not enough more to justify their higher cost. I’m sure I’ll be able to add more by the time you post Part 3. Thanks again for bringing this gun to my attention–even with its flaws and (literal) rough edges, there’s a lot to like here.

  3. >>> The Labradar is not suited to chronograph BBs. <<<

    BB,

    Hmmmm, missed a shot eh? Haven't had that happen as long as I remember to arm the unit. I'm now in the habit of checking for the orange led if I've left the unit long enough (checking targets, refilling the airgun) to time-out back to IDLE mode. It's part of my pre-shot scan to confirm the shooting lane and area are clear and safe (no deer LOL!).

    I'm not too surprised at this. The Labradar "sees" the signal reflected back from the back of the projectile and the round shape of a BB makes it "stealthy". I don't have a bb-gun so I can't test my theory. Maybe you could try the same test with pellets.

    You might want to take a look at the SNR (Signal Noise Ratio) column in the "Shot" file, if it is below 12 than the data was not clear enough to be valid.

    Hank

    • Vana2,

      Beat me to the SNR check! Which as Hank points out is the abbreviation for Signal Noise Ratio and not just Snub Nose Revolver…Lol! Confusing HUH!
      Also note how if you halve shot 6. 765 FPS (Feet Per Second) the result is 382.5 FPS which is either coincidental or indicates one pulse was dropped, as well as a few of the other oddball FPS recorded. The 25 FPS could be something flying through the beam or an object moving within the detection cone at just the right instance. On the ASSUMPTION that B.B. was shooting at 5 yards or so it is easy to believe that the 765 FPS bb was only detectable in the Main Bang cone for two pulses.

      shootski

      • >>> could be something flying through the beam or an object moving within the detection cone at just the right instance <<<

        shootski,

        Seen that! Wondered about a couple of strange readings until I noticed the chickadees flying through the shooting lane.

        Now, if I could get them to fly straight down the lane I might be able to clock their speed πŸ™‚

        Good point about the dropped pulse. The Labradar has been very consistent for me but I'll watch for that possibility if I get an unexpected reading.

        Love my "orange stenographer" making notes for me even if I'm not specifically checking velocities. I setup the Labradar every time I'm shooting from the bench.

        Hank

        • Inspired by all the chrony talk, set up the recently-purchased ProChrono DLX this afternoon and tested it with the HW30 .177 and HW95 .22 – all participants performed well and now FM has a baseline for the HWs and the pellets used for future reference.

          So simple even an FM can do it! Another box checked/ticked off the wishlist.

          • BB – she’s good with it. For one thing, playing with all this fun stuff keeps FM out of her way. She appreciates “techie” things as well. In fact, Mrs. was the resource person when trying to enable the DLX app on the Windows laptop, unsuccessfully. No fault of hers. Wound up going thru the good old iPhone 7 and all is well.

  4. BB

    A few days ago I theorized that guns that are accurate with a wide variety of pellets don’t usually shoot fliers caused by changing pellet types. Today my theory took a serious blow. My HW30S delivers nice groups with many quality pellets so it isn’t pellet picky. For quite awhile I have settled on JSB Express 7.87 grain or the AA version so the bore is seasoned for those. Today I wanted to see how the AA 8.44 grain domes would group. The first two shots were .95 inches apart at 25 yards then the next two were close together between them. I moved to a fresh target and was rewarded with a 10 shot group measuring .30 inches, 9 shots measuring .19” between centers.

    Something explains first shot fliers but I have no clue what it is. Don’t waste your time testing my alchemy.

    Deck

    • How are you holding/resting your HW30 Deck?

      Other that just checking the sights I’ve done all of my shooting off-hand with a loose hold. Haven’t shot rested groups yet.

      Hank

      • Hank

        Left forearm is supported by a small leather saddle shaped bag that sits on a deck railing. Left hand is under cocking hinge with thumb in exactly the same place every shot. It really is the artillery hold except the left hand is loosely cupped ala Gunfun 1. Trigger hand is loose and contact with rifle is the same every shot. I’m sitting so I’m taking away the me variable if possible. Getting the sear to release is no problem with that Rekord trigger even with my herky jerky tendencies.

        Deck

        • Deck,

          Had to go downstairs and get the HW30 out to see how I was holding it and got distracted for 50 or so pellets. LOL!

          Yup, pretty much the same hold here. Except that I’m standing… left hand cupping the forearm with little or no finger/thumb contact; left elbow directly below the forearm (clear of the body); right elbow horizontal with a light back pressure into the shoulder. I’m holding the grip with an open, relaxed hand and breaking the shot applying pressure directly back toward my shoulder.

          A bit different than my PCPs where I tend to hold more firmly against my shoulder.

          Good to compare notes, thanks!

          Hank

        • Decksniper,

          Need more information Deck. Are you using a scope? Or are you using a peep and tunnel? Or are you using a notch and post?
          If a scope have you had scope and rifle on its side for any amount of time before that first shot? Depending on the scope that first shot may Resettle the Erector. With a Peep it my move or knock to elsewhere a speck of dust or skim of oil/lubricant in the aperture. Are you wearing eyeglasses? Did you push them up in exasperation or otherwise?
          I think you might get where this is going.
          There are SO many things that “could” be the cause even beyond what i have touched on above.
          Precision Shooting is a hard, nae a Very Hard Master!

          shootski

          • Shootski

            Lots of tips to ponder here.

            I keep all my rifles vertical, even on deck. Have used all the sights you mention except a tube but today it wears a CP 4-16×40 scope. Turret spring is set to maximum tension. I wear glasses but exasperation is usually reserved for 10th shot Ms Murphys.

            Thanks,
            Deck

    • Decksniper, I seem to have a similar issue when testing pellets for a gun. First shot can be way off from following 9 shots (but not always). So sometimes I shoot a new pellet until I start to see a group forming, and then shoot for a group. That can take 1 or 2 or 20 shots. So “seasoning” can appear to be a thing, but who knows unless you shoot many groups with the same pellet and find a level of consistency to discount the first few “seasoning” shots..

      I also have another problem…10th shot fliers. I can have a great group and then blow it with that last shot.

      • Roamin

        Sadly I am familiar with the 10th shot blues. The shot above that changed an extraordinary group into just a nice group (.19” to .30”) was the 9th shot and not the 10th thank goodness.

        Deck

      • Roamin Greco,

        Some would say you choked but I wouldn’t!
        IF you are aware of the great group of NINE it can be what has been called the Try Too Hard Flyer! It is typically muscle tension in neck or change in breathing depth that are to blame for a change in oxygenation of the eye; happens very quickly.
        RELAX! BREATH early and often in the shot cycle!
        These may or may not work. TeleCoaching is just as bad as telemedicine!

        shootski

          • Roamin Greco,

            Ha! I’m going to give that one a try! It must be the pellet!
            Maybe, just maybe that tenth pellet will go to the right place because it thinks it isn’t last. ;^)

            shootski

        • Shootski,

          I just cheat.

          I use two targets, a POA target and a POI target below it. The POA target stays nice and clean while the POI target collects the holes.

          Don’t look at the POI target until you’re done shooting πŸ˜‰

          Hank

  5. I remember similar problems with the Webley pistol, if I recall right.
    Shooting 6 shots with the same cartridge in the same cylinder bore for each of the six cylinder bores and then repeating the entire process five more times with each cartridge might reveal the identity of good or bad cartridges and possible variations in each bore when the statistics are recorded.
    Not worth the effort but would make an interesting challenge.
    But on the Webley I found the cylinder centering or locking cam actually pushed the cylinder up some when the trigger was pulled and it in turn pushed the top strap up against the locking latch on top as it removed all play. That movement actually changed the point of impact and the cylinder had lots of rotational play when lined up with the centering cone and it varied with the various cartridges and cylinder bores.

    Lots of movement to affect accuracy, and cartridge tightness and air leaks to affect FPS when fired.
    Then there is the looseness of the spring loaded moving inner barrel / cone assembly.
    Not really target pistols here but nice replica fun guns.

    • That would be an interesting report, but not sure this little wheel gun is worth the effort. I recall BB doing similar tests on other guns with rotary magazines, but I would compare the accuracy of this handgun to its firearm counterpart…I wouldn’t expect pinpoint precision from either. But at self defense distance, I’m sure the firearm will do its job.

  6. Still no ‘delivery date’ set form UPS on the TX200 and MP7 I ordered last December. 12 and 10 days ago. Probably was routed through NY to get to CA. The obviously easiest way, and then it will most likely take the scenic tour through Texas.

        • BB,

          Don’t need to say more for anyone who has handled/shot a TX200, “NICE” sums it up nicely. πŸ™‚

          For those unfamiliar with the British made Air Arms TX200 I’ll say that it is a fine airgun that brings a smile to my face every time I pick mine up!

          It’s a solid (heavy) airgun that’s beautifully made and preforms as good as it looks. High quality costs but IMHO the TX200 is excellent value for the money. It’s a heirloom airgun.

          Once you’ve shot a TX200 you will look at other springers… differently.

          Hank

  7. BB,

    In a recent series of tests done in HAM magazine, although the Avanti BBs were the most consistent in diameter (did you know there was a BBGage available now?) and weight, as measured on some super-duper medical scale they use, they have not proven to be the most accurate across all the guns that they have tested with their “suite” of test BBs. The ASG Blasters have been the most accurate in the largest number of guns they’ve tested and that is followed by Umarex Steel Shot and Hornady Black Diamond tied for second place. Just thought I’d share that in case it might influence your BB choices going forward.

    Half

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