Monthly Archives: February 2008
Ok, so here we are again. Yet another video review! I’ve had so much fun with these video reviews that I’m putting more resources aside to do more. This review looks at the Daisy 22 SG rifle. I was totally unfamiliar with this rifle until I read some reviews and I knew that I had to try one out. In fact I was so convinced that I actually purchased this rather than waiting for my contact at Daisy to send me one! I’ve had a few friends shoot this rifle and it is always a challenge to get it back from them. The velocity is not quite as high as I’d like to see, but the accuracy is really great for a $95 rifle.
Please share your comments!
Click on the video to see the Review.
Hello again. I’m really pleased to bring you our next effort with a new video review! In this video we are looking at the new Crosman 1760 SE with 6×32 Compact scope. This usually retails for around $170 and $180 and is supposed to shoot up to 700 FPS with .177 pellets. The 1760 SE did not achieve 700 FPS, but RWS Hobby pellets did reach 686 FPS. An average velocity for normal 7.9 grn weight pellets was 628 +/- FPS, with really heavy 10.5 grn pellets shooting just at 600 FPS. I had some issues (due to lack of light) with our Chrony during our first shot group, but then we got things straightened out.
I hope you all enjoy!
So, click on the video to see the Video Review.
Hello again. We are continuing to look at velocity claims and Gamo products. This time we are looking at the very popular Gamo Big Cat Combo. This combo sells for about $139 to $159 and competes well with the Crosman G1 and like rifles. Gamo claims 1000 FPS with lead pellets and 1200 with their specialty Raptor PBA pellets. We are here to look at the rifle in general, take a hard look at the realistic velocities achieved, and of course, look at accuracy.
Gamo Big Cat – Left View
Gamo Big Cat – Right View
The first thing that I noticed about the Gamo Big Cat is just how light it is. Having shot the Crosman G1 for a while which is about 9 lbs, the Big Cat is a welcome change. Tipping the scales at just about 6.5 lbs with the scope, it makes for an all day shooter.
The next thing I noticed was the composite stock and “fluted” barrel. Now you just have to know that the “fluted” barrel is just for show, but it does look pretty cool! The stock is well balanced and pulls nicely to the shoulder. Also, for those lefties out there, the raised cheek piece is on BOTH sides of the stock. So the Gamo Big Cat is truly ambidextrous.
Shot of the fluted barrel. While the barrel is rifled steal, the covering to the barrel is composite. I’m not sure if this helps or hurts. It sure does make for a light rifle and that I like!
Unusual to find on a rifle is a raised cheek piece on both sides of the stock. The Gamo Big Cat will work equally well for right and left handed shooters.
The rifle does not come with any fixed sights, so it is a good thing that Gamo included a 4×32 scope and a set of mounts! The 4×32 scope is a pretty standard air rifle scope with a parallax set to about 10 to 15 yards. We did our shooting at only 10 yards and did not have ANY problem seeing the crosshairs and the target clearly. Beyond 15 to 20 yards the sight picture is just as clear, so Gamo did a good job with this basic scope. One point to mention is that the rear mount has a stop pin that fits into the hole at the back of the gun’s scope mount. Make sure that you line this up so that your scope does not creep backwards when you shoot. It did not take much to get the scope on target and then we were off to see what this rifle could do.
Included scope and scope mounts. This is a really nice scope for this rifle and it has the right parallax for close range and long range shooting.
As I started shooting I noticed a few things that need to be mentioned. The trigger is the standard Gamo trigger. I’m not sure if the Big Cat warrants a GRT III trigger replacement, but it is always an option if you find that you want a nicer trigger for your rifle. On at positive note, cocking the Big Cat is very easy. How Gamo can get 1000 FPS with such little cocking force is beyond me. Other rifles cock much harder and don’t seem to get near this velocity. And speaking of velocity, 7.0 grn lead pellets traveled an average of 950 to 960 FPS. That is pretty close to the 1000 FPS claim! Accuracy with the light lead pellets was not what I wanted so I started going through my pellets to find something that I could be happy with. I settled on the Crosman Premier Lights in the cardboard box. At 7.9 grns, they shot just under 900 FPS and held pretty decent groups.
Standard Gamo Trigger. If you want more, you can easily replace it with a GRT III trigger for about $36.
Fully cocked – at only about 28 lbs this rifle is very easy to cock.
You can see the steal barrel surrounded by the composite barrel shroud. Notice the locking bar down near the transfer port area. The spring loaded “lock” grabs this bar ensuring an accurate barrel return every time.
The information everyone wants to know is does this actually get to 1200 FPS? Well, so far in our tests, 1200 FPS is still not attainable. The Gamo Hunter 440 did not reach 1200 and neither does the Big Cat. It came close with the fastest Raptor pellet traveling 1166 FPS. Accuracy however, was another issue. Unlike the Hunter 440, the Raptor pellet did not shoot very well in the Big Cat. At first I could not see where the pellets were going. I heard them hit the trap, but could not see any holes in the paper. Then I noticed they were hitting 2.5” high. Now the scope has a duplex reticule, which for those that don’t know what that means, the crosshairs are thin in the middle and change to thicker lines as you move away from the center of the scope. What I noticed is that the pellets were hitting at the top part of the vertical crosshair right where it changed from thin to thick. Once I noticed this, I used the point where it changed as my point of impact. This brought the group down near the bulls-eye and I was able to shoot a reasonable 5 shot group. While the Raptor pellets did not keyhole at 10 yards, they were spread out by over 1.5”. You can imagine how that would be at 20 yards and beyond.
Gamo Raptor (PBA) ammo
High – 1166, Low – 1128, Average – 1144, Difference 38 FPS
Gamo Raptor Group shot at only 10 yards. The top hole and marks are where I noticed how high they were hitting. The lower 5 shot group was shot after I applied Kentucky windage.
The lead pellets, however, held a dime sized group at 10 yards. And using the same technique only reversed, I used the bottom point of the vertical reticule where it changes from thin to thick, to aim high and hit my tin can at 60 yards. So I know that the lead pellets hold their accuracy over long distances.
Crosman Primere Light Pellets – 7.9 grn
High – 899, Low – 888, Aveage – 894, Difference – 11 FPS
This is more like it. At 10 yards I was expecting a little better actually and with some practice I’m sure I could get it. Once the weather gets a little nicer and the wind dies down, we’ll try again!
Ok so it is hard to see in this shot, but if you click on the image you will get a big view. There is a tin can sitting in an ant pile (only thing fire ants are good for!) about 55 to 60 yards away. The lower part of the vertical cross hair, right where it changes from thin to thick is sitting on the can. This puts the pellet right on the can every time. Kind of a poor mans mil-dot range estimation. By the way, even at 55 to 60 yards, the pellets passed completely through the can and kept going.
In summary, the Gamo Big Cat is a really decent rifle for the money. Bottom line is that Gamo makes nice spring guns! I wish that the velocities matched the claims on the box or I wish that Gamo would be more honest with their marketing. They only disappoint their customers! Because it is so light, it tends to move around a lot when you shoot it so you will need to practice, practice, practice, to get the right hold every time. At a $139 or $149 price point, the Gamo Big Cat is a great choice especially when it comes with a decent scope.
While this is a fairly short review, I will be posting a “part 2” showing some groups shot at 20 and maybe 30 yards if the wind is calm enough. So we can see if the shot groups hold together over longer ranges.
Well it looks like we are getting caught up with these reviews! Actually, we still have several products that we need to get to, and there are more on the way! Our first ever video review has gotten some real good feedback and we are working to make video reviews a major part of the site. Thanks to everyone for their constructive criticisms and compliments. We really do appreciate all the input.
Remember when I said that Crosman had sent us some new products, well, we are finally getting to the Crosman 357 pellet revolver. This product has been around for a very long time. I remember my next-door neighbor having one when I was just a youngster. I must have been 10 or 11 when I first saw one. Let’s see, that puts it how many years….. oh never mind. Suffice it to say, it’s been around a long time.
I love shooting handguns. I’ve got several that I really like to shoot, but driving to the range and paying for ammo, even though I’m an avid re-loader, just got to be too expensive. Introducing CO2 pellet pistols. I’ve been working with a few over the last several months. This review on the Crosman 357 is the first of at least 3 pistol reviews, so please check back. I’m starting with the Crosman 357 because I believe it offers a very realistic shooting experience and delivers pretty good accuracy. So now, let’s take a look.
Crosman 357 Revolver – Left View
Crosman 357 Revolver – Right View
The Crosman 357 CO2 revolver is a full-sized pistol comprised of both cast metal and plastic and it sports a 6” rifled steel barrel. The front of the pistol is plastic, while the main part of the gun is metal. The grips are plastic and they cover the CO2 cartridge and handle of the gun. The main part of the revolver is actually part of the cast metal and the pellets are loaded into a smaller 10 round “magazine.” There is a manual, cross bolt safety that blocks the hammer when engaged. There are a couple of other nice features on the Crosman 357 pistol. The rear sight is completely adjustable which is a very nice touch, in such a reasonably priced product. Also, the ribs above the barrel are setup for mounting a standard 11mm pistol scope or red dot scope. I used to have a BSA red dot scope around and I wanted to mount it for fun, but I can’t find it. If I do, I’ll make sure to update the post with how the gun performs with it installed. I bet it would be a lot of fun with a red dot scope!
Getting the Crosman 357 ready to shoot is a breeze. You simply remove the plastic grips to load your CO2. (Using a drop of Crosman’s pellgunoil on the tip of each CO2 cartridge is always a good idea.) Then you open the gun by pushing a small button on the top of the receiver where the plastic barrel meets the metal frame and the gun simply opens up. Once open, you just remove the 10 shot magazine, load your pellet of choice, replace the magazine, close the pistol, check your safety, and you are ready to shoot! Now let me warn you… Shooting this can get really addictive so make sure you have plenty of CO2 and pellets on hand.
Crosman 357 Revolver – The grips come apart to reveal the CO2 loading area. You turn the little handle at the bottom to secure and open the CO2.
With the pistol apart, the 10 round magazine come out easily allowing for easy pellet loading.
Just replace the loaded magazine (magazine shown is unloaded), close the pistol and you are ready to go!
The pistol fires both double action and single action, just like the real thing. The trigger pull is very realistic. The double action trigger pull is long and hard, while the single action is much lighter, just like most revolvers. The Crosman 357 gave me the “big gun” shooting experience without the “big gun” shooting expense. Of course you don’t get the loud bang and recoil that you get with a real 357 magnum, but you, also, don’t get the sore arm and wrist either! If I were to shoot 300 rounds with my 357 magnum, I’d be one tired and sore puppy. The Crosman 357 CO2 pellet pistol lets me shoot all day for just pennies. Shooting the Crosman 357 pellet pistol has been GREAT practice for both me and my wife.
I really like this pistol and surprisingly enough, so does my wife (her favorite handgun is her 357 magnum!). It has been a challenge to find something that she would enjoy shooting with me, and the CO2 pistols have been just the ticket.
As far as performance goes, the Crosman 357 is no slouch on paper. The specs say it pushes pellets at a brisk 435 FPS. The best velocity we got was 454 FPS using Gamo Raptor Pellets. Accuracy, however, was not great. Crosman’s Siver Eagle Wadcutter lead free pellets proved to be more accurate and held their own at 440 FPS. When it came to lead pellets, the Crosman Field Point pellets proved to be the best although they only shot an average of 347 FPS. The following groups were shot at 5 paces from the target and were shot from a standard, standing, shooting position. I did not use any sort of rest for these tests.
Crosman Field Point Pellets
High – 357, Low – 340, Average – 347, Difference – 17
This is a 10 shot rapid fire, double action group shot at 5 paces from the target. If you talk to anyone about combat grouping, this is pretty good stuff.
Here is a 5 shot group fired single action. I had one get away from me as you can see. This pistol can shoot. Don’t blame that one bad shot on the gun… that was all MY FAULT. (people don’t realize just how difficult it is to shoot a pistol accurately!)
So, let me wrap up this review. The Crosman 357 CO2 pellet pistol is an old time standard that still shoots well today. At a retail cost of about $50, it is hard not to have one of these around. Now I know that revolvers are not as “sexy” as today’s fancy automatics, but I guess I’m a little old school. When it comes to reliability and foolproof operation, revolvers are the way to go. It is great for practice, training, and just general plinking in the back yard. I’m glad Crosman still has this in their product line. Don’t hesitate to pick one up!
Our next pistol will be the Crosman 1088 Semi-Automatic pellet / bb pistol. So check back soon!
Hello again! Today we are looking at another pneumatic rifle. A while back I asked Crosman for some items, other than break barrels, to review. So, the folks over at Crosman sent me a 1760se, Remington Air Master 77, and a 357 CO2 revolver. Today we are going to start with the AirMaster 77.
I’m no stranger to the AirMaster. In fact, I believe I mentioned it back when I did the first review on the PumpMaster 66. I had found it hard to load and returned it back to Wal-Mart. Now with a fresh perspective, I’m determined to overcome my aversions and give the AirMaster 77 a fair shake.
Remington AirMaster 77 Right View
Remington AirMaster 77 Left View
There are a few things that I noticed right away about the Remington AirMaster 77. While there is a lot of plastic on this gun but the main receiver is cast metal. This gave the gun a little more weight than the PumpMaster 66 that we’ve looked at before. The gun actually feels pretty nice to hold. The plastic definitely feels like plastic, and I wonder just how much abuse this little rifle can take, but it held up great for our reviews, so I don’t have any complaints…. Yet.
When giving the AirMaster 77 a once over, you will see the rifle is mostly plastic. It has a Fiber-Optic front sight and the standard rear sight found on most of Crosman’s guns in this price range. They included a 4x “precision” scope. Now, how they can use the term “precision” to describe this scope is beyond me. It mounted to the cast metal receiver just fine and seemed to be adequate for shooting at 10 yards. Anything beyond that was so blurry, and distorted, it just was not worth trying to shoot it.
Remington AirMaster 77 Front Sight
Remington AirMaster 77 Rear Sight
Under the hood of the AirMaster 77, you’ll find a pretty robust pneumatic pump system that boasts a max of 765 FPS. Guess what, we actually saw those numbers out of the AM77, but we’ll get to that later.
The rifle shoots both pellets and BBs, but for our tests we will only look at using this with pellets. Loading a pellet into the 77 can be a challenge to say the least. When you pull back the bolt, the rifle’s loading port opens up. Unfortunately, there is NO room to get your fingers into that port. So you have to learn how to roll each pellet just right so that it lands heading in the right direction. While this sounds like a pain, and at first it is, you actually get used to it and it becomes second nature.
Remington AirMaster 77 Cocking Bolt, Pellet Loading Port, and Scope
For those that would rather shoot BBs, loading is fairly straight forward. There is a loading port in the bottom of the stock where you load all your BBs. Once loaded, you pull back the BB loading spring and shake the BBs into the receiver. I’ve heard this is actually more frustrating than trying to load pellets, but since I did not plan to ever use BBs, I can’t really say how it works. Just know that if you want to shoot BBs and have a boatload of them loaded and ready to roll, you can do so. One thing to remember is that the 77 has a rifled steal barrel. If you shoot BBs you will eventually wear out the rifling and you can kiss any accuracy goodbye. So keep that in mind when you are deciding how to use your 77.
Remington AirMaster 77 BB Loading Port
Remington AirMaster 77 BB Loding Ramp for Repeat shooting
Getting the AirMaster 77 ready to shoot was pretty easy. I took a little time to adjust the open sights. I’m not a fan of these inexpensive sights, but they do work and once adjusted they are fine for most shooting environments.
Let’s move on to the included “precision” scope. I can see why Crosman would include such a basic scope with this rifle, but I wish they would have included at least a 4×32 scope. It can’t cost them that much more. I just ordered a Daisy 22 SG pump 22 that retails for about the same as the AirMaster 77. Daisy included a really decent 4×32 scope that really enhances the rifle’s performance and potential. The scope that Crosman includes with the AirMaster 77 actually takes away from the gun.
In any case, I installed the included scope and, once on target, it has stayed pretty true. The first thing that I noticed while shooting is just how hard this thing is to pump beyond 7 or 8 strokes. For my accuracy tests, I stopped at 8 pumps as I was just getting worn out.
Remington AirMaster 77 Pump Arm Fully Extended
Here is where the fun really started. The AirMaster 77 performed way better than I expected it to. I shot a lot of different pellets and many shot pretty well in the 77. Even better was the consistent velocity I was getting from the rifle’s power plant. Because the rifle is pneumatic there isn’t any recoil. The trigger pull is hard and heavy, not as nice as the Daisy 22 SG, but I got used to it as it breaks the same every time. For a rifle kit that retails for about $90, I was happy enough.
Remington AirMaster 77 Metal Trigger and Safety
When I talk accuracy, I try to keep everything in perspective. The AirMaster 77 is an inexpensive dual purpose rifle that sells for about $90 as a complete kit. I’m not expecting it to outshoot my B26 or my Gamo Hunter. The funny thing is, is that in some respects IT DID! The more I shot this little rifle, the more I liked it. It generates more than enough velocity to dispatch small game, is lightweight, can stay cocked and ready to fire over long periods of time, and hardly takes any technique to shoot well. Heck, what’s NOT to like about this rifle!
Here are some numbers for you to take a look at, as well as an average shot group with RWS Hobby pellets. This test was conducted at 10 yards because the wind was really blowing and I want to put a different scope on for the 20 yard tests. Besides, it just means that I have to take the time and shoot more… drat!
RWS Hobby Pellets – 9 pumps
High – 745, Low – 730, Average – 740, Difference – 15
RWS Hobby Pellets – 10 pumps
High – 767, Low – 752, Average – 758, Difference – 15
As you can see, Crosman’s claim of 765 FPS is real. You just need to make sure that you have the upper body strength to pump it up 10 times in between each shot.
10 yard shot group with RWS Hobby pellets, not bad for an inexpensive rifle!
In conclusion, the Remington AirMaster 77 is one nice rifle. It has the flexibility for youngsters and adults. The range of velocity makes it really suited for a wide variety of applications. The open sights are ok, but the scope is horrible. Spend a little bit on at least a 4×32 scope and get the most out of the rifle.