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- Last updated: 25/08/2017
A real treat now for black rifle and airgun fans: an air rifle that not only looks like a classic AR, it also feels just like a black rifle when you handle it. The Crosman MTR77NP is indeed a mouth-full. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the M16A4 model and when I first saw the Crosman I just assumed it was a Co2 powered rifle. Crosman do make two other black rifle looking air rifles, the TR77 and TR77NP are a spring and nitrogen powered break barreled air rifle respectively and they look like a break action air rifle made to look like a black rifle. Not so this airgun, I was taken aback when I got hold of it just how much like the real thing it is.
The MTR77NP is also a break-barrel action, the 375mm long barrel hinging in the wide ribbed forend. There is a rectangular aperture cut out of the top of the hand guard, which allows a pellet to be loaded directly into the breech. The gun cocks like any normal breakbarrel – a tap with the palm of the hand on the end of the barrel breaks the breech lock, the barrel has a big arc swing, so much so that you have to swing the barrel back towards the closed position in order to line up the breech in the hole center to give enough space to insert a pellet. The gun has a manual safety catch; I would put the safety on before cocking and loading the rifle. The curved catch is directly in front of the curved trigger blade within the trigger guard. When in the rearwards, safe position, it almost rests on the trigger itself. Push 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 not bad at all, with a let off weight of 1.66kg, there is some creep but once you get used to it, it’s capable of being shot accurately.
Back to the styling and the steel barrel has a synthetic shroud, with a faux muzzle brake made to look like the real A2 flash hider but with the holes/vents filled in, it is not an actual muzzle brake at all unfortunately, which is a real shame, they have stuck with a non-working one, so as not to fall foul of any of the strange laws in certain States in the USA that prohibit muzzle brakes or moderators, so I can see why they did it. The rear stock is modeled upon the A2 stock fitted to the real M16A4, 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 a real one. So too is the overall length; they are exactly the same to the mm. The gun is of course ambidextrous; the pistol grip has a finger groove and deep grip panels. You can also fit a sling, as on the original M16A4, the rear loop is the in the A2 rear stock but the front loop cleverly swings down from the barrel. The magazine release button is the same place as the real gun and drops a faux plastic 10-round magazine, which houses a small storage compartment. You can, with a bit of modification, even fit a real 30-round steel magazine, as fitted to the real gun; however, if you do, the very large cocking arc of the barrel will hit the base of the 30-rounder, I’d fit a 20-rounder so it can stay in place. Other controls are just solid moldings, the ejection port cover, the bolt release, safety catch and cocking lever all do not function.
The heart of any air rifle is the power plant and the MTR77NP not only looks good but has a very good unit. It may be a break barreled air rifle but it uses a gas ram, rather than a metal coiled spring for power. The inert gas they use is Nitrogen or ‘Nitro’ as Crosman call it and has the NP suffix after the MTR77, NP standing for ‘Nitro Power’. Over the chronograph, the MTR77NPS gave me 11.3ft/lbs with 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers, it hovered around 810fps. Shot to shot variation was brilliant 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, 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, they are both 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. The windage wheel is on the left-hand side. The front sight, as you would now 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 original.
The sight base is long, at 515mm, making it an accurate gun when using open sights. The gun comes complete with a Center Point 4x32 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 rear of it. There are two finger screws on the right-hand side, you can also take off the front sight. This gives you a 155mm long Picatinny rail to fit the scope to. 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 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 to remember that your shot will fall lower than your sights. The scope mounts Crosman include for the 4x32 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. That’s why if I went optical at six yards, it one holed with the open sights, and at the range fitted with the Center Point scope it could take out 40mm discs on Field Targets with ease at 25-yards. 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, if you are a fan of black rifles, as well as an air rifle fan, this ticks both boxes in spades.
Thanks to Liz and all at ASI for help in the production of this article.