The surprising Crosman TR77

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Crosman TR77 is a break barrel air rifle with some surprising characteristics.

Recently, the good folks at Crosman Corporation sent me a sample of the Crosman TR77 air rifle. Right on the box it says “Tactical Break Barrel Rifle,” and that got me to wondering: what makes an air rifle “tactical?” Then I read further: “military-style all-weather synthetic stock” and “tactical muzzle break.” Then I got it: “tactical” is really marketing shorthand for “military look.” Okay, I’ll accept that.

This is what a “tactical” break barrel looks like.

The TR77 certainly is an interesting looking rifle. It stretches 43 inches from end to end and weighs just 7 lb. 6 oz. including the CenterPoint 4X32 scope and mounts. At the extreme aft end is a rubber butt pad which is attached to a molded black synthetic stock. The stock is fully ambidextrous and has a slight rise toward the rear that functions as a cheek piece. Ahead of that is a short section of stock that has a cross section like an I-beam. Ahead of that is the main receiver with a pronounced pistol grip at a fairly steep angle. The same black polymer forms a trigger guard around a black polymer trigger and lever-type safety. Forward of that, there is a slight indentation on either side of the stock, followed by a section of forestock that has fat ridges for easier gripping.

Underneath the forward end of the forestock is a long slot that allows clearance for the barrel during cocking.  Forward of that is the barrel, which has a fluted polymer muzzle break on the end that can be gripped during cocking. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the breech block and main receiver. Near the aft end of the receiver, there is a dovetail for mounting the CenterPoint 4X32 scope and mounts, which are included with the TR77.

To ready the TR77 for shooting, grab the muzzle break and pull the barrel down and back until it latches. I estimate that cocking effort is in the 30-35 lb. range, and the cocking stroke is surprisingly free of creaks or groans or other noise. This opens the breech for loading. Slide a .177 pellet into the aft end of the barrel and return the barrel to its original position.  Push the safety lever forward to the FIRE position, and squeeze the trigger. The first stage requires about 2 lb. 5 oz. of effort, according to my digital trigger gauge. The second stage is long, with lots of creep, and ultimately requires 6 lb. 7 oz. of pressure.

While this is clearly an air rifle that could benefit from some trigger improvement – either a trigger job or an aftermarket trigger – I found that I could shoot reasonably well with it and produced nickel-sized five-shoot groups from a rest at 13 yards using Crosman Premier 7.9 grain .177 pellets. I suspect that I could have achieved tighter groups with a higher-power scope, but the TR77 came with the CenterPoint 4×32 scope, so that is what I used.

What really surprised me was the speed and consistency of the TR77. It put 7.9 grain Crosman Premier pellets through my chronograph at an average speed of 943 fps, and the variation from high (946) to low (940) was only 6 fps! I find that quite remarkable in an unturned, inexpensive factory air rifle. Despite the TR77’s speed, the shot cycle was not harsh, and the report was typical of a medium-power springer.

 

The butt pad can be peeled off . . .

, , , to reveal storage spaces inside.

The other surprise that the TR77 has for the shooter is that the butt pad can be peeled off to reveal two small storage chambers inside the butt stock. This really spoke to me.

Ever since I was a kid, I have had a fascination with survival scenarios. Starting with Robinson Crusoe and the stories I would read in Boy’s Life and Outdoor Life, I loved reading about people who find themselves in survival conditions and the tools and ingenuity they use to stay alive.

In particular, I remember the story of three young men who decided to paddle the length of one arctic river. They had planned pretty well, but lost some of their gear (if I recall correctly) and found themselves in a subsistence situation. It seems to be that if game were available, an air rifle might be pretty useful for keeping body and soul together. I have even written about this idea a time or two in this blog and elsewhere.

So I could envision setting the TR77 up as a survival rifle, storing a supply of pellets, an allen wrench for the scope mounts, and some fire starting materials in the cavities in the buttstock. Maybe I would wrap some parachute chord around the I-beam section of the stock. The possibilities are endless, and I think the TR77 would be a fun gun for this type of project, defending the garden, or hunting small game.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

34 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Is there an aftermarket trigger available for this rifle?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Matt,

      Unfortunately, I am not aware of one.

      1. Matt says:

        Thanks for the response.

  2. MattC says:

    In regards to the trigger, do you think the gun will benefit from a light lube and tune? I generally like a wood stock on my guns, but really like the idea of a “survival” style type gun that you are not afraid of getting dinged. In this, I really think Crosman hit the mark here.

  3. Derwood says:

    Is this rifle an import or is it made in NY?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Derwood,

      Crosman tells me the TR77 is made in China.

  4. Kenny says:

    I got the same FPS with mine and yes you can get the GRT III trigger for it. I modified the stock trigger myself.

    1. Mitch says:

      This might be better if I send it here. I just commented below.

  5. Mitch says:

    I just got one and can vouch for the nickel size groups. The Mil-Dot style scope that comes with it isn’t terrible either.

    Kenny- where can I find one of these triggers and how did you modify it?

  6. hynguyen says:

    So the advertise of 1200 fps with alloy pellets or 1000 fps with others is not right ?
    Do you think air rifle will decrease its power over time?

    Thanks Jock.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      nynguyen,

      It is rare for airguns to shoot at the advertised velocities, but this one is reasonably close. I don’t know whether the power will drop over time.

  7. Kev50027 says:

    You mention that this pellet gun has a muzzle break on the end of the barrel. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s not really a muzzle break, but just a bit of plastic so you can cock the gun, right? It doesn’t seem like an actual muzzle break would do anything in a spring powered gun, since there’s so little kick back, and the air exiting the barrel isn’t very pressurized compared to a military spec rifle.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Kev,

      If you mean that it is not a ported fixture on the end of the barrel designed to vent gases in such a way as to prevent the muzzle from rising or to reduce recoil, you’re absolutely right. You’re also right that helps in cocking the the air rifle.

      I don’t know what the gas pressures are in a firearm, but I do know that the gas pressure in a spring-piston rifle is significantly higher than a precharged pneumatic or a multi-stroke pneumatic. That’s because a springer generates the compressed gas to power the shot in an instant after you pull the trigger.

      1. Craig VM says:

        Are you certain the “gas pressure in a spring-piston rifle is significantly higher than a precharged pneumatic or a multi-stroke pneumatic” statement is true. I have a pretty vast variety of Springers, PCP, Co2 and a couple multi pump airguns. When comparing those spitting out pellets at the same velocity, the PCP’s, Co2 and Multi Pumps have a much louder report than the spring piston or gas ram airguns.
        .With the most powerful airguns being PCP’s it would also seem logical they are dealing with higher pressures than that generated by a spring piston to obtain that power.
        What is an issue with spring piston airguns is the air being so quickly compress from a normal atmospheric state to the high pressure propelling the pellet. Unlike the other power plants which have the high pressure already stored and just being released.

      2. Jock Elliott says:

        Craig,

        I ran your question by engineer Steve Woodward (designer of aftermarket triggers and other custom parts for airguns), and he said: “Jock, I did the exercise awhile back. It says you’re right. At least for many springers, peak chamber pressures are higher than in all but the most glandular PCPs, and certainly higher than in pumpers and CO2 powerplants. Of course, they’re still only a teensie fraction of firearm numbers.

        He also included this: How to estimate a springer’s peak temperature, compression ratio, and pressure from just two numbers.

        1. ME(fpe) = Muzzle Energy in foot pounds.
        2. SV(ci) = Piston Stroke Volume in cubic inches.

        Peak Temperature (Fahrenheit) = Ambient + 520 * (ME / SV)
        Peak Compression Ratio = (ME / SV) ^ 2.5
        Peak Pressure (bar) = (ME / SV) ^ 3.5

        Taking for example an R1 with ME = 17fpe, SV = 3.6ci,

        Peak Temperature (Fahrenheit) = 2500F.
        Peak Compression Ratio = 48:1
        Peak Pressure (bar) = 229bar = 3318psi.

  8. klc says:

    Hello: There is a newer, nitro piston one out., would it shoot differently? I am waiting for .22 and 4-9x 40 scope of the nitro piston rifle. I hope it will be out by Christmas!

  9. cassie says:

    Can’t get groupings (shots are placed over a 20 cm vertical range at 35 meters whilst only about 3 cm’s horisontally) More than 200 rounds through gun already

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Cassie,

      Make sure your scope mounts are snug. Use a soft rest and place just forward of the trigger guard. Try several different kinds of pellets at 10 yards to see what groups the best and then move out to longer ranger. You’ll find some additional helpful suggestions here: http://www.airgunsofarizona-temp.com/blog/2013/09/getting-the-most-accuracy-out-of-your-springer-part-ii.html

  10. Scooter says:

    Will this take care of possom and coons? When I did the fpe calculation, it was 15.29 fpe @ 900fps

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Scooter,

      With careful shot placement at short to medium range, I believe it will.

  11. Blackbird says:

    Ok, it got great reviews and people seem generally happy with it. I just got mine and there are no provisions for a bi-pod or sling. Any suggestions?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Blackbird,

      Try tying a piece of paracord in a loop around the barrel and another loop through the hole in the stock. It won’t be pretty but should work for slinging it over your back for carry.

  12. RichfromSoCal says:

    Hi, guys, just bought one of these, Hope to have it delivered today. After I ordered it, I started reading reviews and forums for it, There are numerous threads regarding the “crappy” trigger pull,,lol. I remember reading one post where a gentleman said he pretty much cured his by adjusting the 1st stage trigger pull. He mentioned that it DID NOT follow the published procedures but did work. Now, I cannot find the thread again, and wondered if any of you have fixed the trigger “problem” by doing this, or if you might have seen the same thread and can point me to it. thanks for any help. Look forward to shooting the new gun, a lot,,lol.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      RichfromSoCal,

      Be extremely careful with any trigger modifications and remember: you WILL void your warranty!

  13. Blackbird says:

    Re: slings and bipods

    You can buy small picatinny rails and sling mounts from Amazon and screw them into the butt stock and behind the barrel’s end-of-stroke cut-out on the bottom of the hand guard. As far as the bipod is concerned, a clip-on will work but they’re a bit taller that the short adjustable, but more expensive mounted ones.

  14. Daniel says:

    Does this gun need a CO2? I look everywhere on the gun but I could not find it.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Daniel,

      This gun does not require CO2; it is a break barrel springer.

    2. Jock Elliott says:

      No, it does not require CO2; it is a break barrel springer.

  15. Don says:

    yesterday I went Hunting with this airrifle, and after a couple of shots, it was very hard, to break open the barrel. I had to hit it with allot of force to break open the barrel. It was as if the barrel was stuck.

    Do you have any suggestions for me, what could be the problem?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Don,

      Sorry, I don’t have a clue. Try contacting customer service at Crosman.com

  16. Alex says:

    I bought one of these rifles today and loved the first three shots I fired from it. After that I couldn’t break the barrel, not even over my knee. Am I doing something wrong? Is this a break I can fix?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Alex,

      I suggest you contact Crosman.

      Cheers, Jock

  17. garywilcoxson says:

    Hey got mine today! 6 shots sited dead nuts. I have a cheaper 5mm breakbarrel and it’s half the power of the 77. Shot it at half inch pressboard for siting using crossman destroyer leads and I guarantee you can make a head shot kill on a squirrel@ 30yds easy! Very loud but paperwork says 100 shots it should quietten down. Doesn’t really matter how loud if you site it properly what ever you’re targeting won’t here it! Good hunting, be safe!

  18. John Grainger says:

    Hi Re the imposable to break problem I had the same just hit the end of the barrel with the palm of you hand short sharp hit & it with crack open

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