Air gun fun


Active Member
I recently bought one of the Crosman American Classic 1377 pump pistols. These things have been around since 1977 and at less than $60 nowadays they have provided shooting fun for several generations by now. In stock form they are certainly crude and cheaply made but still manage to be very accurate despite all the cost cutting. Where they excel is in the vast number of aftermarket parts and clever mods that can be done to them.

As a lifelong prototype machinist, tool and die maker, injection mold maker and inveterate tinkerer these things are right up my alley. There is a wide range of barrels, triggers, valves, pistons, breeches and scopes available that can be added to them. Some guys spend hundreds of dollars on these things-almost as much as a cheap fly rod!

I immediately ordered a steel breech to replace the molded plastic one and bought a red dot scope to mount on it. The scope has exceeded my expectations as this gun is to be used close to the house and is very accurate at the 40' range it will be mostly used in. The stock trigger mechanism is good but rough. I took all of the slack out of it and since I have had years of experience at polishing injection molds to a mirror finish I put that experience to good use on all of the trigger contact points. Same on the hammer buffing the surfaces with diamond mold polishing compound. Then I softened the trigger pull and added a spring to keep the trigger in full time contact with the sear. The result is just excellent-you would be hard put to find a nicer trigger and it cost nothing but a little time.

Then I looked up trigger shoes since the stock trigger is a relatively narrow 3/16" and not too comfortable. I found a nice one for $9.99 but when I went to order it they wanted I believe, $19.11 to ship it! It is the size and shape of a cashew nut and weighs about the same. I deferred. Instead I built one out of two types of laminated hardwood and it turned out really skookum, soft and warm to the touch and gentle to release. A vast improvement over the stock trigger and again cost nothing.

Next I bought a big block of hardwood that I intend to make a new pump stock out of to provide a better grip. I am getting some pain in my left hand that is old age related and need a softer grip than the stock plastic model provides. Since I will have the gun apart to do the pump stock work I also bought a new pivot arm pin and spacer washers to take slack out of the pivot arm and provide easier disassembly than the stock pressed in roll pin. With the pump arm coming off I decided to convert to the more efficient flat top valve and adjustable piston. This should make the gun a little easier to cock and compress more air per pump-again a concession to the age of the user. Once the pump stock is complete I'll use more of the hardwood to build custom handles to replace the stock plastic models.

There is about 60' of covered enclosed back deck that I would be able to shoot in this winter regardless of snow depth. I'll set up a firing range back there to keep myself entertained throughout the season.

Am I having fun with this new toy? Oh hell yes! Am I going to spend hundreds on it? Not really but I am up to around $160 by now, it may end up costing as much as a cheap fly rod!


Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Same here Ive! I'd like to have a Benji Marauder, but that Gamo thing I got a few years ago works very well-thanks to Jim's recommendation for upping the grain weight of the pellets. It's become the vermin eliminator around the house.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
I didn’t understand 90% of what you wrote but is sounded damn impressive in terms of your knowledge and skills. I, too, would enjoy some photos.

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