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Ammo Crosman SNR 357 revolver: Part Four

Crosman SNR 357 revolver: Part Four

Crosman SNR 357
Crosman SNR 357.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Labradar no el-worko
  • Oh-oh!
  • The test
  • RWS Superpoint
  • RWS Club
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • RWS Superdomes
  • The “huh?” cartridge
  • The “wow” cartridge
  • What?
  • Summary

Oh boy do I have one for you today. This one is worth two cups of coffee and at least two donuts! Today we look at the velocity of the Crosman SNR shooting pellets!

Labradar no el-worko

Remember what Hank and Shootski said about turning down the power on the Labradar chronograph to get it to work with BBs? Well, I read the manual cover-to-cover and nowhere could I find how to do that. But I did note that the handgun velocity range (600 to 1600 f.p.s.) that I selected started faster than the BBs went out of the muzzle. So I dropped the velocity range down to the archery range (66 tp 600 f.p.s.).

But that didn’t solve the problem. I also shot pellets today and not BBs, but that didn’t solve the problem. And finally I backed up to 20 feet and set the intermediate ranges at which the velocity is measured to very close intervals between 1 and 16 feet. And even that did not solve the problem. The chronograph could not register the shots. So, for BBs and for pellet pistols that must be shot closer than 10 meters, I reverted back to my Alpha model Shooting Chrony chronograph. And I will chronograph and test accuracy separately for these airguns.

Hank and Shootski may know something about setting this Labradar up that has escaped me so far. But for now, just to get on with toeday’s testing, I’m going back to the old way of chronographing.


But after re-reading the Labradar instructions one more time while writing this report, I found where it talks about the low power mode. It’s buried in the transmit/receive (TX) menu paragraphs. I will try it again soon. My bad! Apparently BB is the one who no el-worko.

But that isn’t the big news today. The big new is about to come.

The test

I shot 6 each of four different pellets for velocity. Because the outside temperature is in the low to mid 20s here in Texas I moved my chronograph from the unheated garage into my bedroom. There the temperature is around 72-73 degrees F. all the time.

I thought about this test for several weeks and decided that, because the barrel is smoothbore, perhaps the SNR likes larger pellets. And I thought because it is powered by CO2, heavier pellets might also be better. Gas guns and pneumatics often like heavier pellets. I did try one lighter pellet, just to see if I was right. But what happened was even stranger than that. Let’s get started.

RWS Superpoint

The first pellet I tried was the RWS Superpoint. I tried them because their thin skirts often flare out and fill the bore well. Of course they first have to traverse the plastic sleeve in the rear of the cartridge into which they are loaded. So they get squeezed down at that point. But let me show you what happened and then we can talk about it.


The “average” for this string is 248 f.p.s., a speed at which no pellet traveled. So this is a bimodal distribution (the other numbers are either higher than or lower than the average). That velocity of 155 f.p.s. made me wonder whether the revolver was running out of gas. I had installed a new CO2 cartridge just the day before when I tried to operate the Labradar, and there were just 8 shots on the new cartridge. I could invent all sorts of reasons for that one slow shot, but let’s move on. There’s more to see.

Build a Custom Airgun

RWS Club

The 7-grain RWS Club pellet was my one lightweight pellet. Let’s see how they did.


The average for this string was 276 f.p.s. This is a second bimodal distribution, only this time a couple shots went much faster than average. The 287 f.p.s. shot is actually the closest to the average. Curious! Well, at least we now know the SNR isn’t running out of gas.

But wait — it gets crazier.

JSB Exact Heavy

Next up were six JSB Exact Heavy pellets. They were the heavier pellet I said I would try. Look at what happened.


The “average” for this string is 218 f.p.s. — a third bimodal distribution. At this point in the test I started to wonder what could be causing these results. I noticed that some pellets went very fast while others went very slow. I thought of a way on the next test to try to see what was happening.

RWS Superdomes

The RWS Superdome is more of an average pellet in terms of weight. I thought their skirts were heavier than those of the Superpoints, but upon examination I see that they are identical. Anyway, here are the test results.

2…………….107 — huh?
5…………….290 — wow

The average for this string was 219 f.p.s. so yes, this one is almost bimodal except there is one shot that is almost at the average. But let’s talk about that “huh?” shot and the “wow” shot. 

At this point in the testing I was suspecting tight and loose plastic sleeves in the pellet cartridges. So I carefully pulled out the “huh?” cartridge after I fired it and set it aside for further testing. I also pulled out the “wow!” cartridge and set it aside.

The “huh?” cartridge

In the string I just shot, the “huh?” cartridge shot went out at 107 f.p.s. I didn’t expect to see that exact velocity when I loaded another Superdome and shot it again, but I expected another very slow shot.

The second “huh?” cartridge shot went out at 213 f.p.s. HUH? I did not expect that. I thought something around 160 f.p.s. might be believable. But not a shot that was 106 f.p.s. FASTER than the last shot with the same pellet and cartridge.

The “wow” cartridge

Now I took a second shot with the “wow” cartridge. In the string it went out at 290 f.p.s. Now it shot the same pellet out at 241 f.p.s. Okay, that’s faster than the average for that string so this one looks like  it is performing the same on the second try.


Do the cartridges need to break in? Probably. Are they the cause of the huge velocity variations? I don’t think they are. I think the issue is the SNR revolver itself. It will probably settle down some with a break-in, but from what I see today I think it’s better-suited to shoot BBs and not pellets. Of course there are hundreds of pellets I haven’t tried and no doubt some of them will do better, but still, this is a set of test results I haven’t seen recently — or ever!

I went back to the velocity tests of the revolver shooting BBs. While those spreads were also quite large they didn’t look like these. What I’m saying is I believe the SNR is responsible for a large part of the velocity spread but also that pellets are spreading more than BBs. 


Sometimes when I test an airgun it does so well in so many ways that BB gets out his pom-poms and starts the enablement cheer. I’m not gonna do that for the Crosman SNR.

Accuracy testing remains.

55 thoughts on “Crosman SNR 357 revolver: Part Four”

  1. So, off subject, but I know some expertise exists in the blog…
    I have a stock from an AA S510 ultra-lite rifle, the metal ring has fallen out of it. What would be a good glue to use to reinstall the ring in the stock? It appears that hot glue was attempted the last time it was installed, kinda messy.

    • MMCM13,

      Could you post a picture of the metal ring and where it was located?

      The only one I can see on my S510 is under the stock retaining bolt and that does not need to be glued in place.

      To glue metal to wood as you are describing, I would clean both parts with alcohol and a cotton swab and use a small dab of gel CA (supper glue) to lock it down. The gel CA will allow you a brief moment to align the parts and won’t run all over like the low viscosity CA.

      Hope this helps.

        • MMCM13,

          OK, see that by “ring”… you were referring to the aluminum sleeve.

          Mine is glued in (solidly!) with hot-melt as well, surprised that it came loose on your S510 as the stuff fills the glue joint well and has a tenacious grip.

          Having been previously glued, the clearance between the parts will probably be close. One option would be to install the sleeve (test fit the rifle to check the depth is correct) and using a needle, feed a bit low viscosity CA glue into the seam from the inside of the stock – it should wick down into the joint easily and lock everything together. Be sure to protect the outside of the stock from drips.

          As a second option, I’d clean the parts and check how they slide together, get the aluminum sleeve started in the hole (about 1/2 the way in from the bottom), apply a thin skim of epoxy to the inside of the hole and twist/slide the sleeve in to the correct depth. You may need a piece of wood to push the sleeve into place, have one handy. Clean up any excess epoxy that might interferewith the guage right away. If you get some epoxy inside the sleeve, wipe it away and remove any residue with acetone (nail polish remover).

          Don’t know which approach you’d be most comfortable with. Both methods will work well. Keep in mind that when you are applying the glue you need “just enough” to hold things. You’re not trying for a high strength structural joint, you just want the part to remain in place.


    • Ah RidgeRunner, what a fruity thought! 🙂

      I imagine this recipe:
      Take one Crosman 357 snubnose revolver.
      Wring out all it’s goodness.
      Discard the revolver but keep the memory.
      Dilute and sweeten.

      Best served well chilled… 🙂

  2. BB,

    Did you checked if the cartridges are sealed? Low velocity, big spread – seems like leakage. It looks good but sorry with these values I do not expect it to be accurate. It would be fun to hit the can sized object at 20yards with it, don’t think it will be possible.

  3. Skip the donuts, Tom. No worko for your health. But, to paraphrase the song, “FM can’t tell you who – or what – to sock it to!” Weird velocity numbers out of this 357 indeed – you’re likely right that this gun prefers BBs over pellets.

  4. BB,
    Good morning! An interesting conundrum of wildly variable velocity. With revolver pistols, you have discussed the mechanical alignment of the cartridge with the bore of the gun, and sometimes it’s off. If the pellets were shot into a bucket of water, you might see evidence of clipping on the pellet(s).
    Now I wonder if mere clipping might cause as much as one hundred fps variations in velocity? Just a thought.

    • Will,

      That is as good an explanation as I have heard. But with so many other BB/pellet revolvers to compete with I’m afraid the SNR has taken the behind and intends to ride it all the way to an inglorious finish.


    • Sean in Beulaville, in defence of Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), he appears to favour retiring at a temperature that I too find very agreeable. 🙂

      It appears that not everybody maintains the same body temperature while at rest.

      For example, I understand that it is quite normal for those going through the menopause, to experience ‘hot flushes’ at night, and they would therefore feel uncomfortably warm in a 73°F bedroom. 🙂

      • hihihi,

        Being Canadian, I prefer cooler temperatures.

        It’s “fresh” out today… -25 C (13 below F) with a stiff wind, tomorrow -25 (20 below F), again windy with the wind-chill-factor feeling like -44 C (47 below F).

        A good time to be shooting indoors 🙂

        Have a warm one eh!

        Oh, and for the following chart… -10 C (14 F), -20 (4 below), -30 (22 below), -40 (40 below)

        • At the risk of leading us down another discussion rabbit-hole and speaking of the weather, here is the last recorded transmission from the 6th Army’s weather service in Stalingrad on the day of the surrender, eighty winters ago. Note the temperature, not one anybody would enjoy, more so if marching off into captivity.

          02.02.1943 12.35 hr.: “Wolkenhöhe fünftausend Meter, Sicht zwölf Kilometer, klarer Himmel, vereinzelt kleine Wölkchen, Temperatur einunddreissig Grad minus, über Stalingrad Nebel und roter Dunst. Wetterstelle meldet sich ab. Gruss an die Heimat.”

          February 2, 1943 12:35 p.m.: “Five thousand meters of clouds, visibility twelve kilometers, clear sky, a few small clouds, temperature minus thirty-one degrees, over Stalingrad fog and red haze. Weather station announces itself. Greetings to the homeland.”

  5. B.B.,
    I thought about getting one of these to practice double-action shooting in the backyard; but the old Crosman 357 (4″ rifled barrel) that I picked up to make my “DIY-bug-a-salt” pistol also shoots pretty well with RWS 7-grain flat-point pellets (just over an inch at 25 feet). Hence, that has become my backyard revolver-practice airgun.
    I’m just waiting in the new “spoingy piece” that goes under the barrel latch. 😉
    Blessings to you,

    • thedavemyster,

      If you meant to say that you are waiting for delivery of a replacement “sproingy piece”, a very serviceable one can be quickly carved from a rubber faucet washer with a razor knife. I’ve also used thick rubber gasket material to cut out a wedge shape. If you are talking about something else, just ignore me. I’m used to it, so I can take it. 😉


      • “I’m just waiting in the new ‘sproingy piece’…”
        LOL! Yes, you are correct; I meant to type “on” not “in”, and “sproingy” not “spoingy.”
        I’m happy you could tell what I meant! The piece arrived last night; and now that I actually see what I paid for, I wish I had done as you said; I should have just grabbed an old rubber washer from the garage…next time I’ll know better! Thank you. 🙂
        Blessings and good shooting to you.
        P.S. Did the rubber ones you made last longer than the originals? I’ll bet they did. 😉

  6. BB

    Can’t say I care for this pistol as it’s redeeming features are only imagined. But what is the cause of rather incredible velocity variation? The Cardews would tackle that one with relish. Could it be the chronograph? The accuracy test you plan to do may answer the question by default.


  7. Never should have been released for sale, unless you like replicas.
    I’ll put on my analytical troubleshooting hat here. I assume there is a ‘spring-loaded’ free-floating soda straw barrel inserted into somewhat of a forcing cone that engages the cylinder bores. And that the barrel being very short does not weigh much at all or have enough length to increase the pellets FPS.
    Now, once the pellet enters the short inner barrel it acts like an air dam inside and all that CO2 pressure wants to push that inner barrel out along with the pellet inside it. When it does, it opens the gap between the cartridge / cylinder and the forcing cone allowing CO2 to escape.
    The larger the pellet skirt, the harder it engages the inner barrel surface and drags the barrel forward with it creating a larger air gap (gas leak) at the cylinder / barrel engaging point.
    A less noticeable condition with BB’s.
    Try using the same cartridge with exactly the same diameter pellets and see if the pellet FPS become more consistent.
    I find there is a lot of inconsistency in the precision metal finish at the front of the cartridge openings with some revolvers as well and it may contribute to gas leaks.

  8. B.B.,

    I think you have got this.
    “My bad! Apparently BB is the one who no el-worko.”
    That is a FALSE statement. Garages are full of big and little angles that act like corner reflectors a difficult environment for a colocated TX-RX RADAR.
    You would need a Bistatic RADAR to have a good chance of success in a garage like environment.

    As far as the ∆V of the pellets what kind of lighting did you have in the room; could you have had a flicker problem with the strain on the Texas power grid?


  9. I’m counting 3 out of 6 shots that are high and relatively close together in each pellet test. For instance – the Superpoint produced 289-278-270 then a relatively big drop. The Club was 337-311-287 then the same. The Exact was 266-256-254 then under 200 fps. How about marking the cartridges and seeing if the same three give you the highest velocities? Then you’ve narrowed the inconsistency down. Well as a no-worko for 7 years, I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and that’s what I would do next.

    Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily retired in GA

    • Fred

      I noticed the same thing. The high velocities would appear to have come from the same cartridges. It might be apparent in the accuracy phase of testing, tho.

      If there are consistantly two separate clusters of holes with each pellet,, we might convince BB to look more closely for the cause. There could be a mystery to be solved,, or it could just be a sour fruit.


      • Fred and Ed,

        Did you not read that I took out the highest and lowest velocity cartridges and tested them separately? And the results were not the same as before? That’s why I did that.


  10. BB,

    If you have the time and inclination, would you do a test wherein you shoot the same pellet in 5-6 strings of 6 shots and pay attention to the point of impact for the various groups. I had several of the snub-nosed Pythons by Umarex that would place each grouping higher and more left as the test progressed, with one gun, and lower and more right, with the second gun. I surmised that the steel barrel embedded in the polymer was contracting, as the CO2 cooled it, at a different rate than the polymer was contracting, much like the bi-metal strip in a cheap thermostat and was pulling/pushing the barrel in one direction or another. After the guns warmed up they returned their groupings to where the sights were set. It was quite repeatable with both guns and to my mind was a design flaw, so I got a refund. I have several of the longer barreled versions of that gun and I think they, apparently, have enough mass in the barrel to prevent this barrel bending.

    The guns I was using grouped pretty well at the 13 yards that I was shooting at and that made the POI shift obvious. If the gun you’re testing doesn’t group well, it may be difficult to even track the phenomenon that I’m trying to describe.

    I’d like to have a snubby in my CO2 gun collection, but not if it behaves as I found the Umarex gun did.


  11. I have been troubleshooting and repairing things since I got my first bicycle, what 65 years ago. Most people ‘think’ they know what is wrong with something and go through a bunch of trial and error to fix it and sometimes you win.
    Not so with aircraft. You must verify the problem first, list all the possible failures that may cause it and eliminate them one by one until you find the exact one, or … ones causing the problem. Fix it, test it, and have it inspected by a certified inspector and identify the exact procedure you followed in the maintenance instruction manual to do so. Then put your signature to the repair sign off in the aircraft logbook.

    Unfortunately, airguns do not come with detailed operating, repair or troubleshooting information. How can you repair something if you do not know how it is intended to work in the first place? No detailed pictures, specifications or operational information is provided, and no special tools are available.
    Back to trial and error. But some of the troubleshooting procedures are universal and can apply to anything. A bit of common sense helps here and unfortunately a lot of trial and error.
    Could an air or gas leak be intermittent varying a pellets FPS? Not likely. Something mechanical would need to interfere with it. Now what could cause that?
    We have been there with pellet specifications and variations adding to the problem and now with cartridges holding them.
    If one pellet is fast and accurate and the next, of the exact same specification, and procedure followed is not (within the accuracy limitations of the barrel) You have a mechanical variation someplace that needs to be identified and repaired to fix it. And that is not likely to happen easily, if at all. More than likely its beyond the capability of the average airgunner

    • So, what about tuning to make things better?
      Enhancing or fine tuning the airgun for better performance beyond the manufacturers specifications is not the same as repairing a manufacturers mechanical defect.

      But hay, If something can be improved, I guess you could say it was not operating at 100% of its capability and therefore it was … defective? 🙂

    • Bob M,

      You just explained why some folks can make a rather nice living repairing and “upgrading” airguns…at least once they have built a reputation.
      I do have a question for you. So how do you explain a PMCF (Post Maintenance Check Flight) on a four engine turboprop aircraft that ends with only one running on landing rollout and requiring an E Handle shutdown of that running engine due to battery failure with no APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) installed.
      I did have a long discussion with Maintenance Control after getting it towed to the Hangar to resume its position as the Hangar Queen.


      PS we could have used more like you!

      • Shootski
        Youve got to be kidding. You can’t troubleshoot something when you don’t know how it operates (systems wise) and I would need to have more info. What maintenance was or was not, performed on an obviously cannibalized Hangar Queen. Why were three engines shut down? You must have had fuel pressure (crossover?) and power from the engine generator with one engine still running. Failed Transformer Rectifiers? Gage readings and warning light would be a big help to. I am going to eliminate maintenance errors, too obvious. But wait … I have it … Pilot Error! 🙂

        • Bob M,

          It was a P-3 engines are numbered Port to Starboard; engine #1 has no generator (by design) #2, 3, & 4 have generators. We lost the first engine (#4) during Prop Feather Checks and it failed to come out of mechanical Feather. I declared an emergency and started the return to the airfield. CHIPS light on #2 was next but a preventative shutdown was not executed until oil pressure dropped and engine became a rough runner; two down and one to go! On Short Final #3 Fire Warning light illuminated and aft Starboard Observer reported smoke from engine nacelle corrected on touchdown to FLAMES. E-Handled #3 and shot both Fire Bottles into engine. Rolled to stop on runway and attempted contacting Tower…radio dead! Shutdown #1 engine with E-Handle contacted Tower with PRC-90 requesting Tow. The fire on #3 was extinguished successfully by the second bottle.

          Yup! Clear case of Pilot Error; should have Ditched in a river would have been called a Hero and probably gotten an Air Medal…Lol!


          • Shootski.
            So obvious, don’t know how I missed that? You can take the queen out of the hangar, but you can’t make it fly.
            So, did you change your underwear before or after shutting down flight ops until a safety review was conducted?
            I’d fly with you any time, nice work.
            Reminds me of a DC-8 pilot who used the thrust reversers to slow down his approach, until one stuck open one day and turned him into a popping fireball in the quiet, dark, morning sky doing a missed approach.

            • Bob M,

              I did a stint teaching Iranians how to fly along with doing the Special Check flights for the Student Naval Aviators who had gotten into downs trouble. That taught me to take the NATOPS “Not For Compound Emergencies; pilot must show good Headwork and Airmanship.” seriously and learn my systems better every day along with playing lots of What If scenarios in my mind every day.
              I thank you for the well done and i didn’t ever need to change them; lucky I guess.
              DC-8 Thrust Reversers in flight would have loved to have watched that go round! About like putting the outboard engines/props in BETA Range practicing to land on a boat!


  12. B.B. Here’s two ideas for you: (1) try different cartridges than the ones that came with the gun (perhaps you have compatible cartridges from another revolver of known, consistent performance?) and (2) return this one and try another SNR 357 and see if it behaves the same way. Maybe you got a Monday morning special.

  13. I read the post with some general interest in all the stuff in BB’s column. Even though I am a pretty much confirmed springer guy, I find all kinds of things air gun interesting even if they are not my cup of tea.

    I have come to a rather prejudiced opinion, for me alone, that air guns should look and work like air guns. I have no personal inclination to own replica arms. Others may certainly enjoy them and more power to them, but not me.

    I figure that making an air arm resemble a firearm is just obscuring the difference on the one hand, and likely making less than desirable compromises on the other. To the first thing, obscuring the difference, in our culture as some wack-a-doodle does gun crime after another, there could come a point whereat anything that resembles a firearm will be layered with legal restraints. I don’t want my air arms sucked into an anti-arms vortex with the powder burners. Should a day of prohibition or, more likely severe inhibition come, I hope that air arms can be bifurcated from fire arms – probably a vain hope, nevertheless.

    The second thing, however, is more relevant. If I want to own an air revolver, I don’t want to fool around with the shells, let me load them into a machined and honed cylinder and shoot away. This would impose only two leak points instead of four. Sure, it could look like a firearm revolver, invalidating my complaint above, but it would remove some of the vagaries of the fake shells.

    One thing I have learned since my first serious air arm in 1989 (my RWS Diana Model 36) is that the pellet to breech fit is probably one of THE most important variables in any air arm second, perhaps, only to the pellet to bore fit. Cleanliness of the bore and the integrity of the crown probably come next along with piston and breech seals. From my perspective, these look-alike revolvers with those shells just add too many variables for consistent shooting.

    To this last point, consider that the replica automatic air pistol replicas are, in the end, revolvers with tiny cyliners hidden somewhere in the “slide.” They seem to work. Could this be due to pellets loaded into a cylinder without the vagaries of fake shells?

    That’s my story and I’m enough of a curmudgeon that I’m stickin’ to it!

    • LFranke,

      From one curmudgeon to another, I agree with most of what you say with the exception that I also like PCP.

      I have no use for or desire to own a “replica”. There are revolvers, semi and selective fire airguns that do not look like firearms. They do not need to. Unfortunately, there are enough folks out there wanting them and enough money involved that the market is flooded with them.

      TCFKAC came out with a bb gun that does not look like a Mattelomatic, but something from a SciFi movie. I like the looks of it and was going to buy one, but they put such a high price on it that I backed off. As near as I can tell, it is not really selling because of that high price. Unfortunately, that will convince the marketeers that we want replicas.

      Grumble, grumble, grumble.

      • R. R.
        Guilty as charged. I love the Mauser K 98 springer for its looks most of all and I confess also owing an Umarex Mini Uzi springer. I bought for the looks mostly, since I cannot have a firearm, but it filled a niche of (one more) compact springer in the country house.

  14. Ever consider the fact that modern firearms look the way they do because they have continuously been ‘improved’ over the years to work better the way they look? They were not designed to look evil.
    True, cost savings and durability have entered the decision making when it comes to design and materials but the market for traditional looking arms has dwindled with the decline in hunting over the decades.
    So how come you don’t have muzzle loaders instead of those newer fancy rifles with bolt actions? Could it be they are easier to reload? Well, they are even easier now.
    I wonder if muzzle loaders hate bolt actions rifles?

    • Bob M,

      “I wonder if muzzle loaders hate bolt actions rifles?”
      Yes! There are muzzleloader folks who have VERY Strong feelings toward folks who use In Line Loading black powder guns! Especially if they use smokeless powder! Even the BATF gets involved!
      Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18, U.S.C. offers the official definition of what “antique firearm” is: Those guidelines include:

      “(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898 “
      Goes on to overreach by throwing ammunition under the Bus too:
      “(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica —

      (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
      (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States, and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade…”
      So Steven Dettlbach at BATF and the gun ban types like at Giffords, Brady, Everytown, and Moms against everything, don’t care if it is CO2, air, Nitrogen, Helium, or rubber bands that power THE EVIL GUNS!


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