One of the cool things about being an airgun writer is that occasionally you get to hear some background on a product that you probably might not have known about otherwise.
The Crosman 1720T Target PCP Pistol is a case in point. Russ Page, Crosman product design engineer, was sitting at his desk one day when he gets a call from Ray Apelles. Ray and his father Hans are enthusiastic field target competitors and represent Crosman Corporation at various FT events as “Team Crosman.” Crosman, in turn, supports Ray and Hans with parts, guns, and so forth.
“Pistol field target is growing in popularity,” Ray says, “and we would like a PCP pistol specifically designed for pistol FT. Ideally, it would have a little longer barrel and more air capacity than the Crosman 1701 silhouette pistol and would shooter faster too – over 700 fps with light pellets and over 600 fps with Crosman Premier Heavies.”
According to Page, “So we built a couple of prototypes using most of the lower from the Marauder and some parts from the silhouette pistol. We had to get a special barrel, a 12-inch choked Lothar Walther barrel, and the result, after some tweaks, is the 1720T.”
The 1720T is quite some air pistol. A single-shot, .177 caliber, precharged pneumatic, it stretches nearly 18 inches from end to end and weighs 2.8 pounds. It is the first pistol that I am aware of that is purpose built for pistol field target.
At the extreme aft end of the 1720T is the black metal bolt which can be set up for right or left hand usage. Below that is the pistol grip which is ambidextrous. Forward of the pistol grip is a push-button safety and a black metal trigger guard which surrounds a gold-colored metal trigger that is fully adjustable. Forward of that is a polymer forestock which has a circular pressure gauge set into the bottom.
Above the forestock is air reservoir. At the end is a black plastic cap which slips off to reveal a male foster fitting for charging the 1720T. Above the air reservoir is a shrouded, choked Walther Lothar barrel. Moving back along the barrel, there is a band that connects the air reservoir with the barrel shroud. Moving back again, you’ll find the receiver, which has a dovetail in front of and behind the breech for mounting a scope. There are no sights on the 1720T, so you have to mount a scope or red dot for aiming.
To get the 1720T ready for shooting, charge it to 3,000 psi with a high pressure pump or SCUBA tank. Pull the bolt back, insert a pellet into the breech, and return the bolt to its original position. Click the safety off and squeeze the first stage out of the trigger. This took 1 lb 2.1 oz of effort on the sample I tested. At 2 lbs., 0.3 oz., the shot goes down range. With the shrouded barrel, the report is extremely muted – not dead quiet, but certainly quiet enough for suburban use.
In factory trim, the 1720T launches 7.9 grain pellets at 715-720 fps and will get about 30 shots per fill. It will send 10.5 grain pellets down range at 630-640 fps for the same number of shots. Page says, “You can play with the tuning to get 750 fps with light pellets, but you won’t get as many shots or as flat a shot string.”
The 1720T also comes with an additional transfer port that can be installed by an airgunsmith to lower the velocity to 550 fps with 7.9 grain pellets and about 70 shots per fill.
In stock factory trim, shooting off a rest, I got a 5 shot group at 27 meters that measured 0.6 inches center to center, and Crosman claims they typically shoot 5 shot groups at 10 meters that measure .375 inches. Clearly, the 1720T has the accuracy necessary for field target and silhouette.
To test the 1720T for accuracy, I mounted the shoulder stock that is often used on the 1377 pistol (it is not included with the pistol and is available at additional cost from Crosman), and I “discovered” that the 1720T makes a really cool ultracarbine, perfectly suited for defending the birdfeeder.
In short, I think Crosman has come up with a real winner in the 1720T – a pistol suitable for field target, unlimited class silhouette, plinking, or even close range small game hunting. What’s not to like?
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott