Testing the Gamo Whisper
by B.B. Pelletier
Noise is what the new Gamo Whisper is all about, and I'll address that issue for you right now. I don't find the Whisper to be that much quieter than any other spring piston air rifle of comparable power. In fact, my tuned .22-caliber Beeman R1, which has no silencer, is quieter because its powerplant makes less noise. The powerplant is where the bulk of the noise of a spring gun comes from, not the discharge at the muzzle.
Gamo claims a 52 percent reduction in noise. If that's true, the Whisper starts out as one of the loudest spring rifles in existence. I doubt that number.
One customer has posted a product review of the Whisper and said he thinks it's louder when firing Beeman Crow Magnums. My wife felt that 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers were louder than Beeman Kodiaks. I don't have a noise meter to test this, but I will try to observe and give you a subjective report, if there is anything report.
I compared the Whisper to both my tuned R1 and to a .177 caliber TX 200 Mk III that was considerably quieter than the Whisper. The Whisper makes a sustained high-pitched buzzing sound that the other two rifles don't have. It also sounds hollow, where the other two sound more solid.
That said, the Whisper is quiet when you compare it to other Gamos. Only the CFX impressed me as possibly being quieter.
What Gamo SHOULD be saying!
Gamo is missing the boat with the Whisper, because it has some of the nicest handling characteristics of their entire line - none of which they advertise. So, I'll tell you what they are.
For starters this is the lightest spring air rifle in its power class. The Gamo Shadow has long been a lightweight, powerful air rifle, but the Whisper is even lighter. It weighs just 5.3 lbs., which is almost a full pound lighter than the lightweight Shadow. If this were a bicycle, it would be a high-tech, 16-lb. carbon-fiber road racer that enthusiasts would pay thousands for! How Gamo lets that feature slide is beyond me!
What makes it so light is the extensive use of synthetics. Instead of a fat steel barrel, they have a thinner rifled steel tube surrounded by a plastic jacket. They have fluted the jacket for style points, and it does look attractive. The silencer is a hand-filling plastic muzzlebrake with plastic baffles inside. It makes cocking the rifle so much easier.
It cocks like a dream!
This rifle cocks with 35 lbs. of effort, but the large muzzle brake and long cocking stroke fooled me into thinking it was 10 lbs. lighter. The rifle's specifications on the Pyramyd Air website reflects Gamo's published effort of 30 pounds, so this will probably improve with time. At any rate, this is one easy-cocking breakbarrel!
Great scoping option
The last feature Gamo doesn't really hype is a beautiful, separate scope rail atop the spring tube. They have come out with a design that should really work. It's long and has two vertical scope stop holes - one at either end for putting the scope stop pin where you want it. I can't wait to try it, but the open sights are too nice to pass up. I am going to test them first and then scope the rifle. Of course, this model is sold with a scope that comes unmounted, so I will use it to start my scope mounting series for you.
A sound scope rail with two vertical scope-stop pin holes. That's what I like to see!
Gamo triggers have been getting nicer with each passing year. They still have an inordinately long second-stage pull and will never be confused with Rekord triggers; but for the price, they're very acceptable. Thankfully, the safety is still manual and you can shoot as soon as the rifle is loaded. The length of the first-stage pull is adjustable, but not the pull weight and not the overtravel.
I have more to describe on the rifle, but I must say, the Gamo Whisper is very impressive thus far!