Bang for your Buck: Remington's AirMaster 77

In "A Christmas Story," young Ralphie gets a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and shoots his eye out, then tries to blame it on a falling icicle.  Hopefully, you can do the same this Christmas with the new Remington AirMaster 77 air rifle.

While air rifles have advanced quite a bit since Ralphie's days, they still remain a top Christmas gift for anyone who is over 16, does not live in the city, and enjoys shooting things. If this fits your bill, the Remington AirMaster 77 should stand as a top candidate, offering exceptional accuracy and surprising power at an affordable price.

The AirMaster comes accessorized with safety glasses, Remington ammunition, and official NRA targets. The first thing which might strike you when opening the box is the slick and ultra-polished appearance of the gun. The AirMaster 77 boasts a polished nickel barrel and black synthetic stock, giving it a lustrous but durable exterior.

The air rifle itself is easy to operate, and for someone who has never handled a rifle before, the instructions are clear and easy to follow. The AirMaster is pump powered, and it is recommended that users pump the airgun no more than 10 times, for risk of injury or damage to the gun. The rifle takes .177 caliber BBs or pellets, which load and unload in a straightforward fashion and fire at a velocity of up to 755 fps (230 mps).

Also standard on the AirMaster is a high resolution scope and high capacity reservoir which holds up to 200 BBs. And, at a comfortable and balanced weight of 4 lbs. 13 oz., this air rifle is great for relaxing in the backyard or a night out on the prairie.

Remington lead pellets.

In our own product test, we found that the Remington AirMaster was extremely accurate when using pellets, allowing us to get a 1" or so grouping from a distance of 50 ft. BBs were less effective; achieving only a 10" grouping from the same distance. Target practice is perhaps the most fun you will have with a BB gun, and accuracy makes it that much more enjoyable and skillful. Hence, for the AirMaster 77, pellets are probably a better choice.

The AirMaster's scope provides a sharp and crisp image for shooting beyond 20 ft. or so, however it is somewhat tricky to initially set. Yet once set, it is set for good. Also, it is necessary to pump your AirMaster at least 3 times before firing to prevent the barrel from jamming. At 10 pumps the AirMaster is extremely powerful, making 10 a valid limit. So do not get overexcited before establishing a comfortable feel for the machine.

While no jams were encountered (a common problem with most air rifles), Remington provides simple to follow instructions for remedying the temporary roadblock to fun. Most jams, in any case, are caused by not carefully following directions in regards to loading and unloading ammunition.

At the very affordable price of $65 at most stores, the Remington AirMaster 77 may provide the most "bang" for your buck. With its too-cool appearance and easiness to use, it makes the perfect gift for the airgun aficionado or hobbyist in your life.

But one caveat: this is not a toy. The AirMaster 77 is intended for use by persons age 16 or older, or under adult supervision. It should be treated with the same respect as a firearm. Hence, before you put one under your tree this Christmas, think about who you are buying it for and where it will be used.

Once you are done thinking, have fun, be safe, and always wear the protective eyewear, or you just might end up like poor, old Ralphie Parker.

If you would like to find out more on the AirMaster 77 and other fine Remington products you can visit their website at: www.remington.com

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