Recently Crosman Corporation brought out a new air rifle – the Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Air Rifle. As the “M4” in the name strongly implies, this new rifle looks like a tactical carbine, the same look that a lot of powder-burning varmint rifles have adopted in recent years.
The M4-177 is a .177 caliber multi-stroke pneumatic air rifle capable of launching both .177 pellets and .177 BBs. Almost all the visible parts of the M4-177 are molded of engineering polymer. Not surprisingly, it weighs just 3 lbs 9 oz and stretches just 30.3 inches from end to end with the stock collapsed, and 33.75 inches with the stock fully extended.
At the extreme aft end of the M4-177 is corrugated butt plate that has slots top and bottom for attaching a shoulder strap. A lever underneath the adjustable stock allows to be slid in and out to adjust the length of pull (LOP – from trigger blade to butt plate) to the shooter’s preference. The LOP can be as short as 9.75 inches or as long as 13 inches.
Forward of the butt stock is the black polymer receiver which has a black polymer pistol grip attached below it at roughly a 45 degree angle. On the left side of the receiver is a tab that can be rotated sideways to allow a generous supply of BBs to be poured into the M4-177 and a BB retainer button.
Ahead of the pistol grip is the trigger guard which surrounds a black plastic trigger and which houses a push-button safety. Forward of that is a magazine housing. The faux magazine can be dropped out of the housing, and serves as a storage place for the 5-shot pellet clip and the tool for adjusting the front sight.
Forward of the magazine is the forearm, which serves as a grip for holding the M4-177 while shooting and also as a pumping arm for charging the multi-stroke pneumatic action. Toward the front end of the forearm, on the underside, there is a short section of Picatinny rail which could be used for attaching accessories such as a laser or a flashlight.
Beyond the end of the forearm, you’ll find the barrel, which has a plastic molding on it that provide Picatinny rail sections top and bottom. The post type front sight clamps to the top section of Picatinny rail. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find another section of Picatinny rail on top of the receiver. The peep type rear sight (which has two different apertures and flips from one to another) clamps to this section of rail or a scope can be mounted. On the right side of the receiver, you’ll find the bolt for cocking the action and a slot for inserting the 5-shot pellet clip.
Adjusting the sights on the M4-177 is a bit unusual. For elevation adjustment, use the special tool stored in faux magazine to move the sight up or down as needed. For windage adjustment, you’ll need a screwdriver to move the rear sight left or right as required.
To load BBs into the M4-177, slide the BB loading port cover to one side, pour in up to 350 steel BBs, and slide the port cover back to its original position. Next, push the BB retainer button forward (toward the muzzle), point the barrel at the ground and twist and shake the air rifle to until the “visual magazine” on the left side of the receiver is filled. Push the BB retainer button back toward the butt stock to keep the BBs in the magazine. Insert the empty pellet clip into the breech slot so that the bolt will pass through one of the pellet chambers. Pump the M4-177 at least 3 times but not more than 10. Pull the bolt all the way back (two clicks) and push it forward again. The magnet on the end of the bolt will pick up a BB from the BB magazine and slide it into the barrel.
Squeeze the trigger. The first stage comes out at 3 lb. 13.4 oz. At about 4 lb. 14 oz., the shot goes down range. At ten pumps, the M4-177 launches steel BBs at around 650 fps. I found that’s enough to blow through both sides of a soup can at 13 yards.
Loading pellets requires inserting 5 pellets into the 5-shot clip (make sure the M4-177 is empty of BBs first). Pump the M4-177 up to ten times, pull the bolt back, slide the clip into the breech until it reaches the first detent, and slide the bolt forward again. Pull the trigger. At 10 pumps, the M4-177 launches Crosman Premier 7.9 gr pellets at about 625 fps and delivered a one-inch edge to edge 5 shot group at 13 yards from a sitting position under relatively lousy conditions. Good enough, I think, for terminating pests in the garden at short range.
In the end, I liked the M4-177. It’s fun to shoot and will definitely put a smile on someone’s face on Christmas morning. For an airgun that will probably sell for under a hundred bucks, that seems like a pretty good deal to me.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott