What’s going on with Gamo?Is the 1600 f.p.s. air rifle real?

by B.B. Pelletier

Need for speed
Speed sells – no doubt about it. Beeman was first to recognize it, then RWS Diana and finally Gamo learned that lesson a few years back. Which is why they built their Hunter 1250, a breakbarrel air rifle that really does shoot lightweight pellets to 1250 f.p.s. It was big news for a few years, but was eclipsed by the AirForce Condor, which does 1250 f.p.s. with 14.3-grain .22-caliber Crosman Premier pellets. So what would come next?

Raptor fell short
Well, Gamo’s Performance Ballistic Alloy pellet, the Raptor, came next, of course. They were supposed to increase the velocity of any spring airgun, and my testing with the Gamo CF-X proved that they did. However, they did not live up to the other claims for penetration or power. They had reduced penetration, the same as any lightweight pellet would, and the power was lower, too.

Trickery?
But, the one thing I took for granted during all of this was that the Hunter 1250, now renamed the Hunter Extreme, was a real 1600 f.p.s. air rifle. Why did I believe it? Because Jim Scoutten shot one through a chronograph on his television show, Shooting USA, and got a little more than 1600 f.p.s. on an Oehler 35P chronograph on camera! However, now I’m not so sure.

If a Gamo Hunter Extreme will shoot a Raptor pellet to 1600 f.p.s., I reasoned that an AirForce Condor would go even faster, since I’ve already tested them with synthetic pellets up to 1450 f.p.s. in .177 caliber. But when I recently tested a .177 Condor with a Raptor, it topped out at 1486 f.p.s., well below the magic 1600 f.p.s. Gamo advertises. I know the Condor is far more powerful than the Hunter Extreme, so these results didn’t seem right.

Call in the vigilantes!
An airgunner friend of mine was also surprised to hear that the Condor was testing slower than the Gamo, so he did some testing of his own. With a new .177 Gamo Hunter Extreme, the maximum velocity he could get with Raptors was 1420 f.p.s., well off the 1600 f.p.s. pace it’s supposed to give and also behind the Condor. What gives?

Gamo deserves the benefit of the doubt
Now, I know ways of boosting velocity in almost any spring air rifle, but was that what had happened, or was my friend’s Hunter Extreme just slow? I would like to believe that Gamo would not advertise their rifle at one velocity but actually ship it knowing that it develops 180 f.p.s. LESS! So I need some help from you readers to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Let’s find out
I am asking any Gamo Hunter Extreme owners who own chronographs to report their velocities with Raptor pellets. The one rifle that has been tested thus far may have had something wrong with it, so let’s see what a larger sample of guns can do. Is the Hunter Extreme a real 1600 f.p.s. air rifle?

I don’t care whether the rifle gets 1600 f.p.s. or not, because no airgunner would ever shoot one that fast and expect any sort of accuracy. They would use heavier pellets to slow down the speed below 1,000 f.p.s. and even below 900 f.p.s., if possible, because that’s where the accuracy is. But, if a company advertises 1600 f.p.s., then their rifles ought to be able to deliver! On the eve of the RWS Diana 460 launch, I want to be sure the playing field is level for all competitors.

43 thoughts on “What’s going on with Gamo?Is the 1600 f.p.s. air rifle real?

  1. Interesting! This got me thinking. We know heavier pellets do better in pcp rifles, could the opposite be true of light pellets? Maybe a pcp does not have enough initial pressure to get the lighter pellets moving as fast as a springer can. Or maybe the inertia of the air inside a pcp tank holds it back, preventing it from reaching the same velocity as the air in a springer, wich gets “shoved” onwards by the piston. Im probably way off here, but its just a thaught.

    P.S I did as you said with my cfx and its alot better now(comments posted on : The new Webley Patriot! – Part 1 – 29 January).
    I also replaced the piston seal,and both breach seals.There is no more dieseling, and i get consistent one hole groups at 10 yards, I just havent had
    a chance to test it at further ranges yet. Just for those that are interested : I have tested the following pellets in my cfx :

    Gamo Pro magnums, Gamo Expanders, Gamo Pro Hunters, Gamo Rounds,Gamo TS-10, Diabolo Master, Crosman Matchpell, Skenko Type 1, Champion Fireball, Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum.

    The Gamo Pro hunters, and the CP Ultra Magnums are by far the best performers, with not much to choose between them. Even though the CPUM’s are 10.5g, the point of impact at 10 yards is about the same as the Gamo Pro hunters, while gamo TS-10 hits about 1.5 inches lower!

    Thanks for the great BLOG!

    William.



  2. 1600 fps reminds me of the Star Wars parody, Space Balls, where their top warp speed was “Ludicrous Speed”.
    But off the subject, I know you have mentioned an upcoming review of the Bam B50 PCP and I just wanted to add my name to the list of those eagerly awaiting it.


  3. B.B., or anyone else reading this blog,

    This might be a strange question, but what do you do with the used pellets that you’ve shot. Do you just throw them away or is there a way to recycle them? Do give them to someone who needs lead so they can melt them to use for something else? Or is it not possible to salvage?



  4. Recycling pellets

    Maybe you could find a die and cast ur old pellets. We all know that lead melts at a very low temp. so it wouldnt be that hard. I look for dies somewhere. Dougbt I’ll find much but its a thoughty

    Kyle



  5. Barrel blanks,

    Mac-1 gets Weihrauch barrels, but I don’t know where from. Airgun barrel blanks are not generally available unless you want to buy in quantity.

    Of course any custome barrelmaker could tool up for a run, but Lothar Walther would be cheaper and probably better, too.

    B.B.





  6. B.B.
    question on the RWS 46 underlever rifle. I believe in your review, diana designed it to go against the TX200, and I think you mentioned that accuracy wise is almost the same and depends more on the shooter. Regarding yesterdays post about the TX200 and other air arms being a good investment, what is your view of the RWS 46 or other RWS rifles in terms of investment and value over the years?




  7. Nate392,

    There really aren’t any good pellet molds available, because pellets need the diabolo shape (wasp waist and hollow tail) to stabilize properly. As small as they are, mass-wise, they would be very difficult to cast because the mold blocks would never be able to stay at a good operating temperature. It’s like handloading for .25 ACP. It’s too small so nobody does it.

    Solid bullets could be cast in airgun calibers, and there are some molds for that, but then you need a hyper-powerful air rifle to drive them fast enough to stabilize. Otherwise, they tumble and go everywhere.

    Round balls in airgun calibers are so small that they would be extremely difficult to handle, plus they would have the same mold temperature problems as diabolos.

    I cast firearm bullets with my waste lead. After melting all the old pellet fragements and skimming the dross I add a small amount of tin to harden the bullet and make it cast better. I make big 412-grain slugs for my .45/70.

    B.B.


  8. Hello BB:

    Off topic quick-question: what lube to use on the hand, cylinder bolt, hammer, and whatever internal parts of the trigger mechanism that I can reach (without disassembling the revolver) of the S&W 586 clone made by Umarex? I realize that Pellgunoil is the lube to put on the CO2 bulb for the seals, etc., but for these other parts that I mentioned, will regular firearm oils like the teflon-based Rem-Oil be okay? If so, will this be alright for the other Umarex copies like the CP88 as well? Thanks for your time!

    Curtis


  9. B.B. has a sharps! i’m shocked… again!
    what do you use it for? with your HUGE selection of guns i would think there would be a better one for hunting.
    a hell of a way to plink, with a sharps.
    send watermelons into orbit, disrupt satellites?


  10. dm20,

    Not a Sharps; a Trapdoor Springfield. I’m developing loads for hunting. It’s a good deer rifle.

    Also, I shoot it to learn about ballistics.

    B.B.


  11. Curtis,

    Remoil is fine for these purposes. But please use it sparingly. Tetra Lube is another good one, with similar composition.

    B.B.


  12. so, is it really possible to boost velocities in excess of 1600 f.p.s.? any tests done? on the gamo website they have a video of some dude shooting the hunter extreme into a chrono and getting 1628 fps! and one more thing, if the raptor pellets deliver less power than standard lead and have deep penetration (which is not beneficial for a hunter)than why do they advertise them for “hunting only”?




  13. Hello BB:

    I am interested in both the Drulov DU-10 CO2 pistol and another called the “Twinmaster CO2 Trainer”. Can you give me your opinion as to which of these two pistols is the better for the purpose of training for firearms (especially .22 rimfire) target pistol training? I notice that the Twinmaster appears to be CO2 bulb-fed only where the Drulov can be bulk fed. What is the comparative quality of build of each of these pistols ? Thanks for your input.

    Curtis


  14. Curtis,

    I’ve only tested the Drulov. The Twinmaster is like a 10-meter target pistol, while the Drulov is like a .22 sport pistol. Therefore, in my opinion the Drulov is more realistic for what you want to do.

    The Drulov’s trigger is on the light side of what you’ll encounter in a .22 sport pistol – especially an American-made pistol. But it’s very smooth and easy to operate.

    Accuracy is superior to all but world-class .22s.

    B.B.


  15. Recycling Pellets
    If you know any fishermen who make their own sinkers or jigs, they might be interested in melting down used pellets, and the purity of the lead shouldn’t affect them. Herters used to sell the molds, but I think they are out of business.
    MCA


  16. Curtis,
    If you are set up for HPA, look at the PCP Twinmasters, eg. the Allrounder. I prefer HPA to CO2. Build quality is very good, but certainly not equal to a Feinwerkbau. Trigger is quite good, but again still not quite that of a full blown match pistol. I own an Allrounder and would be happy to answer any specific questions you may have about it.


  17. Hi BB!

    Just a quick one.

    See this article : http://www.network54.com/Forum/530422/message/1168001609/airgun+velocity-+design+physics

    This might explain why a pcp rifle cannot achieve the same speed as as a springer with a light pellet.

    The article basically states that the maximum speed at wich the air can move is limited by the speed of sound. And the speed of sound is limited by the temperature of the air, but is independant of the pressure.

    Therefore IMO it is entirely possible that a springer could propel a light pellet faster than a pcp can, because the air in a springer gets a lot hotter than in a pcp!

    Just goes to show that there is allways another variable to consider.

    Of course, it could still be that Gamo just tweaked the advertised results a litte :-)

    Cheers,
    William


  18. BB-Don’t get the speed race using springers. They should get what they have now, to settle down. l found that REDUCING speed makes for a far superior hunting rifle, due to making the rifle less sensitive, allowing easier access to it’s repeatable accuracy.


  19. I’m not in a speed race with anyone. But Gamo has a huge advertising campaign based on 1600 f.p.s., and I want to know whether it’s true or not.

    If you read all my past posts on accuracy, I always advise shooting at less than 900 f.p.s.

    B.B.


  20. Have you seen youtube.com’s pig vs pellet supposedly sanctioned by Gamo where a pig is killed using Gamo’s Huner Extreme and their Performance Ballistic alloy pellet? I don’t believe it! We are never shown the gun up close. If he did shoot an animal that size with a .177 cal. pellet, he needs mental treatment.


  21. Just saw some of the price listings on the Diana 460 magnum. It’s going to be about 150 more than the 48 or 350 magnum. I hope you do a review of the .22 caliber version. As you have mentioned before, launching a .177 pellet that fast is overkill and .22 would make better use of the power. Thanks.


  22. I own a Gamo CFX.We’re situated at 6000 ft above sea level (Johannesburg South Africa)which means a significant reduction in performance with my CFX.standard lead pellets achieve about 760-800 ft/sec.Raptor PBA 1000ft/sec dry and with a bit of oil behind the pellet I recorded a best velocity of 1483 ft/sec.!!Prometheus (yellow) 930 ft/sec dry and 1298ft/sec oiled.The latter has much better pennetration both dry and oiled than the PBA.Another amazing pellet as far as hard(44 gallon drum) penetration is concerned is the Skenko no.1 pellet.Penetrates the flat side of the drum at 10 meters (Dry as you can’t oil the Skenko because it’s flat at the back).Better steel penetration than any pellet I’ve tested.All velocity testing done with a Chrony.More testing soon on velocity,accuracy and penetration.


  23. Roger,

    Your “bit of oil” behind the pellet is exactly how I think Gamo faked the 1600 f.p.s. shot. It causes a detonation, turning an airgun into a firearm.

    Thanks,

    B.B.





  24. B.B.!

    I own a hunter extreme and I paid big money for it. I'm pretty sure it does NOT shoot 1600 with my Raptors, but I AM sure it gets pretty close. I took down a 50 pound raccoon with one shot. But I do have a question B.B. I just bought a new scope for my Extreme and tried sighting it in but all my shots are scattered. I'm shooting at 20 yards with sand bags. I need help! Is it my gun or scope? Help!


  25. Hunter Extreme,

    it may be how you are shooting the rifle, itself. These magnum powered rifles are extremely hold sensitive and do very poorly when rested on a sandbag or any normal gun rest used in the firearms world. First, if you aren't familiar with the "artillery hold" that BB has recommended, go here:
    http://www.pyramydair.com/site/articles/

    I didn't give you the exact link as there are so many great articles on this page including accuracy with different pellets. What you should do is re-try shooting at your target but let the rifle rest in you hand which is resting on the sandbag. Do the artillery hold and see if that makes a difference. Other things to check -are the scope mounting screws tight? Are the stock screws to the action tight? Have these pellets given you good accuracy with iron sights? In trying to check for the best pellet for a rifle, I have gotten what appeared to be a shotgun pattern with numerous pellets and started to doubt myself. Then I picked the next pellet in my testing and got a 1" group at 35 yards. Try these things and let us know what happens. By the way, you've posted on a blog that's 3 years old. Only a few of us monitor these. As the blog is published 5 days a week, if you publish your question on the current blog, you'll get much more exposure from thousands of other airgun enthusiasts who are only too anxious to help a fellow airgunner. The blog is found at:

    http://www.airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog

    Good luck.

    Fred PRoNJ




  26. You're welcome but there are always new rifles and pistols being discussed and reviewed and problems solved on the blog. Check it out daily and feel free to offer comments or ask questions – off topics are always welcomed – at least by most folks. Sometimes we get off of air guns…

    You can access the daily blog from the top of that help page – just click on "blog".

    Fred PRoNJ (that's People's Republik of NJ)



  27. What is the best car?

    No one can answer an open-ended question like that without knowing what you intend using the scope for. And it would be nice to know what platform the scope will be mounted on.

    Also, is price a consideration?

    Tell us that and we'll suggest some scopes.

    B.B.


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