Top Value Guns
Tim Finley enjoys a jaunt with the Crosman MTR77NP
Tim Finley gets excited about the MTR77NP - a break-barrel from Crosman
Aproper treat for military-style airgun fans – an air rifle that not only looks like the classic M16A4 from the Vietnam war era, but it also behaves like a break-barrel air rifle. When I first saw the Crosman MTR77NP, I assumed it was just another CO2-powered rifle, but as a fan of the break-barrel format, this is an exciting gun.
The 375mm-long barrel hinges in a wide-ribbed fore end and there is a rectangular aperture cut out of the top of the hand guard, for placing a lead pellet into the breech. The gun has a manual safety catch and I would put the safety on before cocking and loading the rifle. The curved catch is directly in front of the trigger blade within the trigger guard and when in the rearward ‘safe’ position it almost rests on the trigger itself. Push it forward off the trigger and you are ready to fire – once cocked and loaded, of course. It is not automatic, but has an anti-bear trap device on cocking. The trigger is okay, with a let-off weight of 1.66kg, which is better than I was expecting.
GOOD POWER PLANT
The stock is modelled upon the A2 stock fitted to the original M16A4, and it’s the exact same length, too – 266mm (10½ inches). It is fixed, with a pull length of 340mm (13½ inches) – again, the same as an original one, and the overall length is the same to the milimetre.
The gun is ambidextrous. The pistol grip has a finger groove and deep grip panels and you can fit a sling as on the original M16A4; the rear loop is in the A2 rear stock, but the front loop cleverly swings down from the barrel. The magazine release button is in the same place as the real gun, and drops a faux 10-round mag’ that doubles as a small storage compartment. All other controls are just solid mouldings; the ejection port cover, the bolt release, safety catch and cocking lever are all false.
The heart of any air rifle is the power plant and the MTR77NP not only looks good but also has a very good, nitro-piston power plant. It might be a break-barreled air rifle, but it uses a gas-ram rather than a coiled metal, spring for power. The inert gas they use is nitrogen or ‘nitro’, as Crosman call it. The ‘NP’ suffix after MTR77 stands for ‘Nitro Power’.
Over the chronograph, the MTR77NP gave me 11.3 ft.lbs. with 7.9 grain Crosman Premiers. It hovers around 810 fps., shot-to-shot variation is superb, and the barrel lock up is very positive. The cocking force required is only 16kg – on the 1000fps US model it is twice that.
The gun has an open-sight system, just as the real M16A4, and the rear sight is a peep-hole type with two elements to choose from – these flip up and down. The windage and elevation adjustments are very good, indexed wheel types. The elevation wheel is in the handle, but the circumference is such that you can get at the wheel from either side. It has a large ‘UP’ and ‘DN’ with arrows on the right-hand side of the handle and the windage wheel is on the left-hand side. The front sight, as you would expect ,is the same small, rectangular post as on the real one, with one tiny change – it cannot be moved up and down like the real one.
The sight base is long at 515mm, making it an accurate gun when using open sights, but it is not possible to zero the open sights at a very short range, such as six yards. The gun comes complete with a Center Point 4 x 32 scope and a set of two-piece scope mounts. You first have to take off the carry handle, which has the rear sight designed into the back of it. There are two finger screws on the right-hand side, and you can also take off the front sight. This gives you a 155mm long Picatinny rail on which to fit the scope. Of course ,you don’t have to use the Center Point scope, if you are going for short-range plinking I’d fit a red dot. Bear in mind that the inline barrel gives you a raised sight line above the barrel of 70mm to the top of the open sights. Depending upon the range you zero at, you will have remember that your shot will fall lower than your sights. The scope mounts Crosman include for the 4 x 32 scope give a height of 40mm from the rail to the centerline of the scope, the same as the open sights that come fitted to the gun.
The firing cycle of the gas-ram is very punchy, quick and adds to the accuracy. This is a very cool-looking and very capable air rifle – well worth the money, in my book.
Thanks to all at ASI for help in the production of this article.
Tim likes shooting the MTR77NP.
The clever design hids the fact that it’s a break-barrel very well.
The cocking stroke is long as you can see here.
It’s a massive adjustment wheel on the rear sight.
You have a handy storage space in the faux mag’.
The tiny front post.
There’s a small peep sight.
The bolt release and safety catch are dummies.