The amazing customizable Crosman 1377

Monday, June 14, 2010
This blog is dedicated with respect and admiration to those beady-eyed, fanatical airgun customizers out there; I like what you do.

I suspect that many of the people who read this blog may be old enough to remember the old air-cooled, rear-engine Volkswagen Beetle. Back in the day when I purchased a new Pontiac Firebird 326HO for $3700, you could purchase a fully equipped Beetle for $1800. They were cheap, pretty reliable, and it wasn’t long until a very healthy market in custom parts for Beetles sprang up. People began modifying them to suit their tastes, and pretty soon you could find Baja Bugs, Meyers Manx dune buggies, and even Beetles that looked like truncated Rolls Royces tooling around the streets.

The 1377c as it comes from the Crosman factory.

The Crosman 1377c is a lot like the Beetle, and I think it is probably the most widely customized airgun in the world. It’s easy to understand why: you start with a multi-stroke pneumatic .177 caliber air pistol that costs about $60 and is perfectly adequate for bouncing cans around the back yard. With the exception of the rear sight (the adjustment of which drives me nuts, but others seem to deal with it), everything about it is straight down the middle of the road – not great, but not awful either – and, like the VW Beetle, it’s a great platform to build on.

The 1377 with a Crosman aftermarket breech and a red dot.

The first basic step that most customizers take is to add a steel breech and maybe a red dot to improving the aiming system.

The "Kip Karbine" was assembled from readily available factory parts.

From the steel breech, it’s not much of a step to add the pumping arm from the 1389 backpacker, a Crosman .22 caliber barrel, and a Crosman plastic rifle stock. Now you have turned the 1377 into a .22 caliber carbine. This one was built for me by Kip at Airguns of Arizona, and I have added a Leapers Bug Buster scope and a muzzle break from a Daisy 753 target rifle to protect the crown of the barrel. But this is barely sticking a toe in the water, because these are all modifications done with readily available factory parts.

What follows below is what happens when you take a walk on the wild side and really start to customize the 1377.

Michael Chavka's 1377 carbine.

For example, Michael Chavka created this beautiful 1377 carbine. He says: “I don’t do much to them other than to add some comfortable wood.  These examples have Blue Fork Designs barrel bands, Crosman breeches, and a few of my own accessories to dress them up a bit.  The barrels usually need a new crown and some leade work, but other than the trigger, I don’t modify the internals.”

Chris Dowling's 1377 rifle.

Chris Dowling put together this 1377 rifle that has been converted to .22 caliber. It has a 24″ barrel, lighter valve spring, angled and enlarged valve and barrel ports, reduced valve stem, and poly port.  It’s getting 530 fps with Premiers, but he hopes to increase this with a flat top piston. The stock is by RB Grips; I asked for unfinished walnut and put around seven coats of tung oil on it.  It sports a Crosman steel breech, TKO trigger and muzzle brake, Grant Stace polished aluminum endcap, Blue Fork Design barrel band, Mountain Air bolt, and RJ Machine bolt handle.

Erik W's .22 stick gun.

Eric W’s “stick gun” is also a .22 caliber. It has a Daq breech, Mountain Air flat top valve and piston. Mountain Air bolt and probe, Blue fork Barrel band, TKO shroud, Crosman 24″ barrel, Muzzle mac stainless steel screw kit, Muzzle mac wire stock, RB laminate grips, Air gun Smith trigger, Mountain Air trigger guide and spring, Barska scope, and BKL mounts.

Who would guess this started life as an inexpensive pistol?

Walther built this beauty that actually started as a 1322, which is the .22 cal version of the 1377. Purchased parts include RJ Machine long riser breech with stainless bolt handle in .22, Larry Rowlins Barrel shroud 1 inch diameter 13.75 inch long, and flat top delrin piston from Derek Vineyard. Custom or modified parts include: Laminated maple thumbhole stock and pump arm with adjustable cheek piece, stainless cheek piece hardware, stainless escutcheons and 3mm socket head bolts all custom checkered and lathe trimmed to length, dtainless Trigger and sear pivot pins, custom pump pivot plug, lighter trigger spring with custom plunger, checkered stainless rear breech cap, RJ’s bolt handle reshaped and checkered, weaver mount, and brazed on brass trigger shoe. In addition, this airgun has been extensively tuned to improve performance.

Zoned's ultra-carbine.

“Zoned” created this beautiful ultra-carbine with custom wood, a wire stock, and a flat top aluminum piston and valve from A.C. Custom parts. In his blog,  he reports that it shoots around 50% faster than the unmodified factory 1377.

TWhooper's 1322 pistol.

“TWhooper” created this highly functional custom pistol with 11″ .22 barrel, Airgunsmith brass flat top piston and valve, old Cutters alloy breech, Simmons variable pistol scope, and unknown alloy barrel band.  It is fitted with old style two power cocker knob, and a two-stage sear from Big Ed, green grips and 1389 fore end.

Sculpture that shoots.

 He didn’t explain how it did it, but Brad turned a 1377 into a side-pumping bullpup designed that, to me, looks like sculpture that shoots!

James Perotti's self-contained PCP pistol.

Finally, James Perotti modified a 1322 turned it into a self-contained PCP pistol that, after an initial charge of 20 strokes, is capable of delivering three shots of 7.4 to 8.9 foot-pounds of energy before it requires an additional 15 strokes to recharge it again. It incorporates a  hammer debounce device,  aftermarket breech, custom piston rod, custom trigger, hammer spring adjuster, guide, and custom spring, and full custom (2x volume) valve as well as a number of other modifications.

This brief look barely scratches the surface of the remarkable custom work being done by airgun enthusiasts. If you want to learn more about how and why they do what they do, please visit the new Crosman Airgun Forum .

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

- Jock Elliott

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22 Comments

  1. Sandor says:

    Amazing examples of what can be done with this versatile platform! I would love to see more details of the bullpup design!

  2. Bill Fitch says:

    Crosman 1377c The Little Gun That Could!

    Growing up in rural upstate NY I’ve shot pretty much all my life, at 5 or 6 my father gave me my first REAL gun, a daisy BB pistol that I’m guessing now was a springer. (my memory is is hazy at best of what it looked like) but it never left my side wandering through the woods along the Hudson River. As I approached my teens I was introduced to two Crosman creations. One was the 1377 multi-pump. It was a first generation with a steal breach cover and a magnetic bolt I presume to hold a 4.5 mm BB in place while chambering. 10 very taxing pumps later as I recall you’d pull back a round steel disk at the rear of the breech to cock the pistol and you were ready to go. Way to much work for only one shot so I didn’t shot it a whole lot. It was also about this time I was introduces to Rim Fire. WOW 17 shots and all i have to do is cycle the bolt! And it makes a loud noise! The BB/Pellet guns were put away for what I thought forever. My uncle Sam gave me formal training on how to shoot and experience on a variety of weapons, .223, 7.62 etc at Ft. Jackson SC and Ft. Gordon GA.I stuck to .22 and 9mm until about two years ago when we had a minor pest problem that needed attention. Living with in the village limits rim or center fire was not an option so I hopped on th Internet to see what my silent legal options were.What I found It wasn’t so much that things had changed but rather I was ignorant of what was out there in the air gun world. After checking with a State Trooper, and friend at my church he assured me I was legal to use on my property. I hastily purchased a Remington (Crosman) Vantage springer on sale for under 100 bucks and a tin of hunting pellets. After all I was going to use it only once or twice a year. After that first shot “I WAS HOOKED” Springers became my obsession. I couldn’t get enough information on air guns.Then I learned about Single Stroke Pneumatics (SSP). I did my research and bought an inexpensive $35 Beeman – P17 also produced under the Marksman brand owner of Beeman or both under the same ownership. The P-17 is a Chinese produced ripoff of the German Weihrauch HW-40 PCA.I totally disassembled it and applied every fix and performance enhancer I could find on the web because let it be known, The P 17 WILL leak air any where from 5 to 100 pellets later.If you don’t think yours is leaking, your not listening close enough. The first time I shot this pistol The lack of recoil actually startled me. The search was on for a good SSP. When the votes were in the Baikal IZH 46M was the winner. I’ve owned 10 SSP and Springer pistols and currently own 7. I refused to even look at the multi pump category. I showed the guys my collection and several became interested in Air and I preached my Springer SSP message and made recommendations even brought them to test all the different pistols and rifle.

    One morning at church my very dear friend came to me and said “Guess what I did?” What i replied. I bought a Crosman 1377c. The model number didn’t ring a bell. So he said “It’s a multi-pump…” I had to forcibly keep the disgust from showing.After all I taught and showed you, I thought. Well what’s done is done and I wrote down the model and decided to research the pistol on the net to see how bad of a mistake he made. When i saw the image of the 1377 I almost became physically ill. But as i continued to research I came to realize there are more after-market parts for this pistol than any other I’ve seen. I then realized i had become an air-gun snob and I needed to repent. I ran out to the local super store and grabbed a blister pack off the pegs and ran home. Humm this is a PC77. After researching it found this is a 1377c with some imported parts and distributed to the “We have the lowest price” super-store. Ok close enough. At my indoor range, That all to familiar hollow Clap, Clap, Clap of the pump handle brought bad clear memories. The more traditional bolt mechanism was nice, But then I went to shoot, “is the safety on?” No, I tried it again this time with significantly more force and POP the pistol fired. What a horrid trigger! must be 4 – 6 pounds! But that aside, I adore the slim body as I sight down th barrel, easy pumping, and custom parts! The final ruling I now own 3 of them soon to be 4 and have repaired and modified 2 for friends. By the way after thee mods I’ve done to my main 1377c it will hold it’s own with my Izzy, Close enough anyway to raise an eyebrow Here is a review I wrote on the pistol I once hated:

    * * * * 4 out of five stars!

    A close friend pulled me aside and told me he got a 1377c. I figured I’d look around the net and see if I could learn a little about this pistol. WOW this is perhaps the pistol with the most after-market parts and upgrades going. I love that. I ran out and picked one up. After pumping it 10 time and shooting it once, I really do like it even though it’s multi pump. It’s light and despite it’s long barrel and pump handle it has a nice balanced feel. It is also very easy to pump, much easier than I remember as a kid. This pistol has a wonderfully thin body when sighting down the barrel. The cocking handle / bolt assembly is very attractive and functional. It comes with an “adjustable” rear sight which amounts to loosening a screw on the top of the barrel and manually pivoting the whole sight assembly left and right for windage. This has a slight affect on the elevation “adjustment” which again you loosen a small screw on th rear of the sight blade and slide it up or down. The rear blade can be flipped 180 degrees to use the other end as a peep sight. Very cheap design but it gets the job done. It has a nice manual safety that’s easily disengaged at the ready to fire. All in all a pleasant surprise with good power. Now for the BAD:The trigger is horrid but with a little work and a new #4 spring and nylon guide and a front spring to take out the slack it’s now decent. The rear sight assembly cheap and crude. It is a pain to sight in and I have managed to partially strip the blade screw an easy upgrade though. The pump handle makes a annoying clap, clap, clap as you pump it. I cut and fit foam weather stripping and filled the handle and added a very thin rubber pad to the under side of the barrel. It’s pretty quiet now. Conclusion:If you don’t mind 10 pumps a shot, or perhaps 3 for indoor shooting, price, power, good accuracy and available upgrades make for a winning combination as a beginners pistol or a starting platform for your own creation. I just finished making a set of walnut competition grips to replace the plastic grips and pump handle is in the works. I’ve added a steel breach kit, Williams rear sight and Created a thin rectangular fiber optic font sight add on.Ive also perfected an easy trigger pull adjustment, drop in mod that works like a dream. I’ll be making an aluminum trigger shoe, two stage adjustable sear. And then a .22 high power carbine!

    The 1377c has moved from a hated toy to my second favorite pistol just behind my Izzy!

    Bill Fitch

    1. C.David says:

      Sir,
      Would you share your drawings, sketch and other info on the adjustable trigger?
      Thanks,
      CDC

      1. Jock Elliott says:

        CDC,

        I don’t have drawings to share, but if you use the search function on the blog and search for trigger, and you’ll find a lot of useful information.

  3. Bill Fitch says:

    OOPS! Figured you screened replies. I didn’t intend for that to be published nor did I want such a large comment to post without review. That said I hope your readers will find this helpful.

    “The opinions expressed in the above reply are those of the author (me) and not necessarily the opinions of Airguns of Arizona, it’s staff, management, owners, or partners”

    1. William says:

      Thanks Bill, that gave me the incentive I needed. Just purchased one and a few aftermarket grips from RJ’s.

  4. chea says:

    how do i make my barrel longer and make it take bbs to where it doesnt fall out?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Chea,

      You can find lots of good information about customizing Crosman guns at the Crosman forum, which is here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/

  5. buffalo bob says:

    o.k. I’m hooked ! I got it going in the early stages with the flat top piston, is there a trick to pulling the valve out that I’m missing . Myfingers just aren’t that small!

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Buffalo Bob,

      Unfortunately, I am not an airgunsmith. The best place to get your question answered would be the Crosman forum here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/

  6. Joey Wilson says:

    In a baby-boomer rush of doing things I enjoyed in middle age that I liked as a kid, I bought a 1377 at the local Academy Sports ($44.95, they got a hell of a deal on these things!).

    As a re-entry to air arms, I couldn’t have done better. I’m in the process of adding some walnut grips from RB Grips (ralph is great!) and the Crosman steel breech and LPA sight, and the replacement metal barrel band / front sight from Blue Fork. I had no problem hand-holding on target into the little Gamo funnel-shaped pellet stop across the lenght of my garage, about 25 feet. The trigger IS useless, and I’ll get it figured out and eased up. I don’t mind the weight of the pull, but it feels like it’s almost THREE stages, so some rudimentary metal work is coming. BUT as a starter or re-entry piece, it’s just fine, I really can’t complain for the price to ‘buy in’.

    Often overlooked in these discussions, pump-up guns are virtually recoil-less, something usually only available in more expensive pieces. Which leads me to . . . . the Izzy 46 once I’m through customizing this Crosman !

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Joey,

      Thanks for your comments. It’s truly astounding what people can do with the humble 1377.

      As to the Izzy, you’re gonna love the trigger!

  7. David says:

    I have a New 1377 Crossman. Would like to up-grade the cylinder (for more velocity), extend the barrel (for more accuracy) and, silence the weapon. I would appreciate you thoughts and direction as to where I can find these parts.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      David,

      You can get excellent advice on those questions here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/

  8. lowell nuckels says:

    im just starting to change my 1377 but im looking for a nice forearm and matching shoulder mount stock please help with some info it would be greatly apprciated

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Lowell,

      All the Crosman customizers hang out here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/ That would be a good place fo ask.

  9. valter from brazil says:

    i have the VW Beetle and its THE best car ever. I have a modern 2010 car, but the 1975 bug is unbeatable… I love this pistol, it’s the 10/22 of the airguns… LOL. I ‘ll buy mine soon!!! great shop, great blog!

  10. Diego S. Moreira says:

    Hello,

    My name is Diego and I’m from Brazil.

    Can someone please tell me where I can buy the internet a muzzle break (equal to Michael’s Chavka 1377 carbine, photo 4), and a stock + adapter (equal to Erik W’s .22 gun stick, photo 6)?

    Thank you so much!

    Diego Moreira

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Diego,

      I suggest you ask your questions for sourcing parts on the Crosman forum, which is here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/

      1. Diego Moreira says:

        Jock,

        Thank you so much!

  11. john says:

    I cannot find anything on a 1377 build or one upgrade on http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/
    Lots of nice pics of nice crosman guns but nothing about 1377/1322 upgrades. Where is the search option?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      John,

      Near the upper right corner of the gray area of the main page is the text “Search” with an underline. Click there.

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