Mark Camoccio says don’t write off Crosman's Pumpmaster 760 as a toy as it has an important training role
If youngsters and new blood are to get involved in shooting, then one thing is for sure - we need tailor made kit to suit. For nothing is quite so off putting to the prospective new intake, than cumbersome heavyweight hardware, that can barely be lifted, let alone operated!
Crosman know a thing or two in this respect, and their Pumpmaster 760, on test here, has apparently sold over 14 million units to prove it! The design is a multi pump pneumatic, and whilst Crosman do produce adult versions, this model is aimed at juniors.
Everything is scaled down, and that means that combined with the weight or lack of it, this rifle should be just about ideal for a raft of enthusiastic little shooters, eager to try their hand at the target sports.
This rifle can be supplied with a wood-effect stock, or even a pink version if so desired! (Highly popular so I’m told by ASI, Crosman’s UK importers). For the record however, and to keep what shreds of my street cred still exist, my test model came in black.
Whilst the compression chamber and barrel are formed from steel, pretty well everything else, including the receiver, is high impact plastic, and of course, this plays a big part in keeping the overall weight down to just 2.75lbs. OK maybe a little toy-like, but get over it, as this rifle is a neat little performer, with (as stated) an important role to play in the development of many a young shooter.
I’ve always had a passion for self-contained airguns, with the single stroke pneumatic being possibly the pinnacle of development. Close behind comes the multi stroke pump-up, and whilst sadly, full power models seem to have lost favour this side of the pond, the low powered Pumpmaster 760, is the junior equivalent.
The design sees a two part stock, with the forend acting as the pump handle. Crosman advise a minimum three pumps (and a maximum of ten) in order to generate enough muzzle energy to avoid getting pellets jammed in the barrel. The rifle can shoot both lead pellets and steel BB’s, although quite frankly, given the propensity for the latter to ricochet with alarming consequences, I would be inclined to stick with pellets. Goggles are a must if you insist on the BB route though!
Features include a manual push button safety catch, just forward of the trigger, open sights, scope rail, and a 5-shot clip. The sights show a fibre optic up front and a basic, elevator wedge/U-notch at the rear. The test rifle shot to the left, and with no windage correction available it was a bit irritating! That said, you can fit a scope!
Now time to fill the pellet clip. First cock the hammer and trigger by pulling back the cocking lever on the right hand side until the action clicks. The 5-shot clip can now be pulled from the action and loaded. The rifle can now be pumped up before the clip is returned to the action, keeping the whole procedure nice and safe.
The key to the pumping itself is consistency. Pull the forend lever down and all the way forward until it stops, then return it. By completing full cocking strokes end to end, a consistent amount of air is sucked inside, which is always the key with this style of gun. Do this from three to ten times, and then the full pellet clip can be pushed back into the action. Do it gently until the first notch lines up with the centre bore line. As the bolt returns, it pushes a pellet into the barrel as it goes. Subsequent loading just needs the cocking lever to be pulled back, the clip pushed through to the next notch, and the catch returned forwards again.
As is so often the case, a positive bold cocking stroke will add momentum, helping the task seem easier and less hard work. In practise, three pumps were fairly easily achieved, but that maximum of 10 seems wholly unnecessary, and certainly an awful lot of effort, especially for any junior shot.
That said, it should be noted that accuracy is significantly better with a higher number of pumps, and thus higher power is generated. I found eight was fairly reasonable to achieve, with no great increase in effort at the latter stages. Rather just steady resistance throughout, off-set as mentioned, if fast positive strokes were adopted. At 10 yds, using open sights and three pumps, produced groups of around 1.25” using Crosman Premiers, which is respectable and ideal for a starter rifle. However, eight slashed group sizes to around 3/8”, which made the point.
Over 20yds, with a scope onboard, eight strokes produced groups of around an inch, making this Pumpmaster a good little target trainer. Obviously power output overall is lowly, yet largely irrelevant in a gun of this type, where usable accuracy is so much more important- and in this respect, as demonstrated, this rifle shines.
Getting youngsters off to an ideal start in shooting is indeed vital for the future of our sport, and Crosman have really gone for a no-nonsense approach with this model. Yes it’s a basic offering, made strictly down to a price, yet as with so much that Crosman produce, it really does deliver where it intends to. OK, the supervising adult may need to do the pumping initially, whilst little Johnny grows into his new gun, but as far as handling goes, the featherweight Pumpmaster 760 is just about ideal. GM
|Model||Crosman Pumpmaster 760|
|Type||Junior multi stroke pump-up pneumatic|
|Calibre||.177 only (pellet and BB)|
|Energy||2ft/lbs 4.4ft/lbs 5ft/lbs|
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