Revolver test: Crosman SNR 357
- Credit: Archant
Steve Prime finds Crosman’s new revolver very much to his liking
I tested this revolver on a beautiful April morning and instead of the showers predicted, the sun was out in all its glory, and on such a fine day the range beckoned. Last month, I wrote about the ‘Plastic Fantastic’ Crosman Iceman, but this time, I took along the brand-new Crosman SNR 357, which you might have seen advertised in this magazine over the last couple of months, and if the Iceman was ‘top of the plastics’, then be sure that the SNR357 will be the ‘Full Metal Jacket’. It’s a great-looking pistol shrouded in its blister pack, and was just begging to be opened and put through its paces.
As a reviewer, first impressions are always a good indicator of whether or not I will enjoy shooting, or indeed like the pistol. Put your minds at ease; this is a first-class bit of kit that will fill different aspects of shooting with its dual ammo and tactile approach to loading. Not just a ‘plonk in a pellet and pull the trigger’, the SNR 357 has a lot more to offer, making you feel that you’ve purchased an all-inclusive package deal.
In the blister pack you have instructions, six pellet cartridges and the pistol, housing six BB cartridges – a potential for hours of fun. I like the blister pack idea because you can see clearly what you are going to get for your money. What I dislike is getting into the damned things!
Before we go any further, I think it’s a little unfair to take a new airgun and put it through its paces, knowing full well that the more pellets that pass through the barrel the more improvement in accuracy. We don’t always have the time to achieve the sweet spot in the short time we have the pistol or rifle for review, so when looking at the results and groupings, remember that the accuracy will improve, which is probably more than can be said for the trigger puller!
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Take the SNR 357 in hand and you’ll realise that you have a high-quality pistol with a beautiful metal finish, enhanced by a single plastic grip carrying the distinctive Crosman emblem. To add to this, the chamber release and safety catch are striking in silver, bringing the whole aesthetic to an eye-watering ten out of ten. It runs from one 12grm CO2 capsule, loaded by removing the grip, inserting it and closing up the locking nut. As soon as the nut tightens, a simple quarter turn pierces the capsule and it’s the most positive I have come across so far, out of all the CO2 pistols that I’ve charged.
The front sight blade is fixed, but the rear has both windage and height adjustment with clear lettering and signage to aid adjustment. The chamber release is easy; simply slide the silver release/safety button and the chamber drops to the side, allowing access to load the cartridges. There’s no need to buy separate pistols for BB or pellet because Crosman have thought of everything. One pistol, dual ammo, six brass cartridges dual coloured for front-loading BBs, and a further six in mono brass with an insert to the rear for the pellets, so all the bases are covered.
The BBs load with a simple push and a suction-like click to the front of the cartridge, and the pellets push in at the rear of the cartridge seating a lot more firmly into place. Place the cartridges into the chamber, close the chamber and you are ready to have some fun. It is interesting to note that when using the BBs, each reload means extracting the cartridges fully, whereas when reloading the pellets the cartridges can remain in the chamber because the rear is accessible to pop the pellets in. The trigger is two-stage, the first stage rotating the chamber into line before engaging and firing at the second stage. The whole action is really smooth and the trigger pulls much lighter than you would expect.
I began the test with the copper-coated BBs, which grouped well at 6m, if a little high, but I was reluctant to fiddle with the rear sight because I wanted to compare the results against the pellets with the next six shots. Not surprisingly, the grouping was slightly lower, but definitely a little tighter. Unusually, the sound changed when shooting the different ammo; it was more high-pitched when firing the BBs, with a slightly easier and smoother trigger pull also noticeable. Being inquisitive, I decided to load up three pellet and three BB cartridges to see what I could achieve and confirmed the first round of results, with a similar grouping and shot position to the bull on the paper target.
Whilst I was enjoying this fun-packed piece of kit, I was noting the shot count per CO2 cylinder, and with the mixed ammo on a warm, sunny morning I was surprised to get a good 84 shots before any real noticeable drop off. This would be variable dependent on atmospherics, and whether or not one type of ammo was used for the whole cylinder. Over the six shots for BBs, the chronograph test showed an average of 444.52 fps, and it was 423.42 fps with pellets. I have to say, I really enjoyed shooting the SNR 357. It really is a tactile pistol, offering variety and fun with incredible accuracy for a CO2 pistol.
Unless you are an extremely good shot, then these six-shooters are no good for IPAS (Iron Plate Action Shooting) – one miss and the pressure is on, so stick to an 8- or 10-shot magazine, CO2 pistol, but if you want a tactile, fun shooting, dual-ammo CO2 pistol, then the Crosman SNR 357 is the right pistol for you. I collect Webley pistols and recently bought two MKV1 revolvers in BB and pellet – not much change out of £420 for the two. If I were not a collector, but wanted what the Webleys give me, then at £134 the SNR 357 would have saved me a lot of money and given me equally as much fun. If you are a Crosman fan, then this pistol will not disappoint and will quickly become one of your favourites.
Model: SNR 357
Tel: 01728 688555
Calibre: Dual ammo.177/4.5mm