Top Vaue Guns
Tim Finley has his hands on the Crosman 1377 – four decades on from its launch
Tim Finley reviews the Crosman American Classic 1377 pistol, ideal for perfect plinking
Areal Classic this month, in more than one way. Our top value gun has the word ‘classic’ in its name. It’s hard to believe that the gun only came into being in 1977 as the .22 calibre 1322 – that’s 40 years ago! My, how time flies by. I first came across a Crosman 1377 in 1989 when I received one for winning at a field target shoot at Waverly Field Target Club – the Mark 2 version of the Crosman American Classic pistol, made from 1978 to 1996.
The current 1377 has a brown grip and fore end, a plastic breech block and a sliding breech cover, and there’s a magnet on the tip of the bolt for holding steel BBs – I never shot BBs through my 1377.
In 2012, they changed to a black grip and fore end; in 1998, they also ditched the BB magnet – thankfully – and went for a bolt-action bolt, but back to 2018 and the latest model, the P1377.
I am already really familiar with the 1377 so I can appreciate the changes and straight away, I liked the modern black furniture. The Crosman American Classic 1377 is a pump-action pistol. In simple terms, you pull the fore end down and forward to 130 degrees, which allows air to be sucked into the compression tube. You then push the fore end back into place, which pushes air past a non-return valve into the compression chamber.
It’s a variable power air pistol, so the user determines how many pumps they want to put into the 1377 – the more pumps the higher the power. Crosman recommend no fewer than two pumps and no more than ten, but don’t fire the gun on an empty compression chamber.
The gun will not fire until the action has been cocked. To do this there is a metal bolt on the right-hand side of the action. Pull up and back to open the breech and cock the action, and I would always put the safety catch on first. The safety is right behind the trigger and the button goes in from the left to render the pistol ‘safe’, and pushed back out from the right to fire. There is a red ring around the button that can be seen when the gun is set in ‘fire’ mode, and the safety locks the trigger forward.
Loading is easy, but the pellet tray is 11mm long, so some shorter pellets can tip over if you angle the gun down when loading.
I would recommend 4 pumps as a minimum – with 7.9 pellets it ran at 250 feet per second, or 1 ft.lb; with 8 pumps it goes up to 2.2 ft.lbs, and going to the maximum ten pumps it went to 2.6 ft.lbs. After eight pumps, it does get hard to close the fore end.
“it’s very good value for money and extremely accurate”
Unsurprisingly, the fore end is made for pumping, and there are moulded grooves on each side to place the thumb and fingers. The groove design is carried on at the top of the grip behind the trigger and safety catch, and there are other stipple-effect grip panels on the fore end and grip.
The 1377 is ambidextrous, of course, and it’s not a small pistol at 342 mm long. Saying that, it’s not over-heavy, so it could be a family plinking pistol. It weighs only 0.85kg, which is pretty light for what it is, and Crosman makes use of a lot of tough synthetic materials.
SIGHTS AND SHOOTING
This airgun has open sights with a 322 mm sight base and a fixed post front sight moulded as part of the end cap. The rear sight on this new pistol is the same as the one I won back in the 1980s. That’s not to say it’s bad, though. It adjusts for windage by loosening a large, slot-headed screw that holds it to the breech block – the elevation is a smaller screw on the back plate, and taking this out also allows the notch to be changed for a peep sight, but I’d stick with the notch, it’s easier to use. The trigger pull tested at 2.5kg on my electronic trigger gauge, and with the long steel-rifled barrel and long sight base, the 1377 is accurate – 8mm centre-to-centre groups at six yards.
I really do rate the Crosman 1377 for anyone wanting to take up a bit of recreational plinking because it’s very good value for money and extremely accurate. It’s been around for so long that there are many custom-made bits you can add on, from brass bolts to wooden grips. You can even fit a shoulder stock and brackets to fit a red-dot or scope. I think they got the name just right for this Crosman American Classic. I
Many thanks to Tony of A.S.I. for help in production of this article.
POINTS OF INTEREST
For the money, the 1377 is the perfect family plinking pistol. With no CO2 bulbs to buy, all you need is eye protection and a backstop and you are good to go. The variable power makes it versatile, too.
Crosman classics, then and now. I like the black synthetic styling of the latest model, but the lines are essentially the same.
After 40 years in production, this American is ‘classic’ but not old.
It’s fairly easy to get the Crosman pumped and ready to shoot.
Loading pellets is straightforward but make sure they don’t ‘tumble’.
Sights are basic, but addjustable. I prefer the notch to the ‘peep’ option.
This foresight blade is easy to locate and the sightbase is long enough for impressive accuracy..
Visible, convenient safety.