i have a crossman pumpmaster 760 and i was wondering what pellets i should use for hunting squirrels and also where exactly to aim to hit them as in where the vitals are thanks!
In airgun hunting, accuracy is more important than minor differences in a pellet’s terminal performance. You should pick the lead pellet that is most accurate in your gun and practice until you can consistently put a pellet into the head or heart/lung cavity every time at the distances you expect to be shooting at while hunting (and you’ll want to get close, as in 20 yards or less).
As far as where to aim… Head shots are the best option. The only other area seems to be just behind and slightly above the front leg (and that probably wouldn’t yield an instant kill with a Crosman 760).
Crosman Pumpmaster 760
So, if you are squirrel hunting with the 760 PumpMaster, you are going to be running 10 pumps on it. Next, you should be looking at a midweight pointed pellet which shoots tight groups for you. Some specific ones you can take a look at are the Beeman Silver Sting, or the RWS Super Point. These are 8.2 – 8.3 grain pellets. If you are shooting 10 yards and in you may want to try Beeman Silver Arrows, which are heavier around 10.3 grains.
Essentially, air guns have a tendency to do better with heavier pellets in terms of creating kinetic energy, because the generate a much greater volume of air than pressure. The 760 is no different. In a BB or really lightweight pellet you might generate 600 – 625 FPS, running a 4 – 5 grain BB or pellet. Going to the 8.2 – 8.3 grain pellet, you are still likely to be generating 580 – 600 fps if you get one that runs well for you. However, the 10.3 may be too heavy for the air rifle.
Generally, you need to be running at least 5 – 8 foot pounds of energy at delivery to cause a hollowpoint pellet to expand, depending on the brand and weight of the pellet. Thus, it is unlikely you will be able to get consistent expansion with the 760.
Because you are running relately low energy, the concern of overpenetration which is normal for a pointed pellet is unlikely to be a problem.
Now, you might want to try a midweight domed pellet as well. They have a somewhat better ballistic coefficient than a pointed pellet so they will carry a bit better. With a 760 your shots should generally be about 20 yards and in, if you are stretching that range the domed pellets will carry a bit better. A couple of my favorites in this catagory are JSB Exacts (standard weight, not heavy) and the RWS Superdome. A couple of others you can try which are a bit lighter but still heaver than a BB are the Crosman Premier Lites and the JSB Express. In a domed pellet, because of the improved ballistic coefficient you can go with a slightly lighter pellet (7.9 grains vs. 8.3) because they are less effected by wind resistance.
Now, how do you really tell if these work well in your gun? I’d recommend spending the less than $50 for a 4 power fixed air gun scope and mounts. Use your basement or some sort of range at home and actually benchrest your air gun and shoot some groups at about 20 – 25 feet. Even with a 760 you should be able to shoot a group of 5 shots that you can easily cover with a dime – full 10 pumps each time.
Now, when you are shooting squirrels, yes, head shots can be good, if you can make them. However, squirrels are like tons of other critters, where if you shoot them quartering away, just behind the front shoulder you’ll get lung and heart which will put them down hard as well.
Now, is all of this stuff really necessary, if what you want to do is go out after some squirrels in the back yard? Not necessarily. Heck, as a kid, my best friend took down plenty of squirrels, mice and other small critters with plain old BB’s, sometimes running 2 of them at the same time. We ran open sights, and missed as many as we got, which wasn’t bad. Generally, if we wounded one, it was injured enough not to be able to move and we’d have to administer a coup de grace. However, what all of this stuff will do is give you the maximum performance out of your 760, which is for the price, a handy quick pumping compact carbine air gun. There are even some companies which will customize your 760, basically upgrading the quality of your seals and such, so you can go to 20 pumps on your gun which makes it quite a reasonable low cost carbine airgun. Now some people have a problem with putting a $70 tune into $40 air gun. Which I completely understand. However, if the alternative is a $150 Benjamin which is where you would have to go to get one to shoot as well, it starts to make sense for some. Benjamin’s will have nicer furniture on them, no doubt, but for some it’s all about the power and the group.
The Crosman 760*** really isn’t a very good small game rifle(squirrel)….It takes a minimum of 3.0fpe at impact with a perfect head shot to make a clean, humane kill…
The Crosman 760 only generates a muzzle energy of 4.4fpe with BBs, and that’s if you accept the “claim” of >up to< 625fps…In the real world, it’s very-very rare to get that “claim”…
With the 760, it would be head shots only, at very short range…Attempting heart/lung shots with a Crosman 760 is going to lead to wounded game…
Good quality pellets – reasonable cost
JSB Exact Domed(7.6gr)
Crosman Premier Domed Light(7.9gr)
Beeman Silver Ace(8.1gr)
Beeman Silver Sting(8.6gr)
You just have to experiment until you find the pellets your rifle prefers(accurate) – IMO, with this rifle, start with the lighter pellets first…
**Predators have the most widely varied results of the pellets I listed..
***If you want an inexpensive multi-pump pneumatic to hunt small game, the Crosman 2100 or Daisy 880 would be better choices. The extra 125fps makes a big difference…
Head shots at about 20 yards knock them down in my back yard, but it takes another 2-3 head shots at 1-2 yards (coup de grace) for them to die. Or, maybe those coup-de-grace shots aren t necessary and it s just more time that is needed for them to bleed out and die? I don t like the 3-5 minutes after the first shot when they are still breathing and trying to walk with a severe head wound, so I am going to look for a better pellet and/or gun so they die faster and more mercifully. Using Crosman 760 with the Crosman 100 pellets that came in the box with the rifle.
i have a 760 and only aim at the temple or back of head on squirrels and keep my shots to about 15yrds! my 760 shoots most pellets accurately, but you must be able to hit a dime 8 of 10 times at your hunting distance to be ethical! my top choices of pellets rws super domes, jsb exacts, beeman fts and crossman premiers!
Any pellet will work on a squirrel within a reasonable distance. As far as getting a good clean shot go for the head, neck, or rib cage area for vitals.