Testing the Gamo Whisper - Part 5
by B.B. Pelletier
Note to Buddy who sent in an air rifle noise question for the podcast. I forgot to include your question in the next podcast which is coming out soon, so I'm answering you here today.
The Gamo scope - not so good
Thanks for being patient. I finally got a good calm day to test the Gamo Whisper for accuracy. As you learned last time, I mounted the Gamo scope on the rifle. I praised it then, but that was before I had a chance to use it. I'm not praising it anymore. It isn't clear at 25 yards, and I couldn't find a distance at which it was clear no matter how I adjusted it, so I shot with a slightly out-of-focus scope. I do wear bifocals, but right after shooting the Whisper I shot my Beeman R1 that's scoped with a Bushnell 6-18x Trophy, and it was crystal clear. So, I'm blaming the Gamo scope.
... but the Whisper is GREAT!
What a wonderful airgun this is! It's lightweight, easy to cock, not too fussy about hold for a breakbarrel and I learned this rifle can really shoot, too! The stock has a raised ridge on the underside, just in front of the triggerguard. If I could feel that ridge, the rifle was properly balanced for good shooting. Don't even try another hold - this is it.
Average with Kodiaks, but Gamo Match is another story
Beeman Kodiaks were okay but not great, so I switched to Gamo Match and right away I knew this rifle was a winner. I shot the second-best group of the session with Gamo Match, and no matter what I did, they wouldn't shoot poorly.
I also shot the rifle with H&N Match, Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domed and the new Crosman Destroyer hollowpoint that I'm testing for you. It was great with all three pellets, though the H&N Match were the best pellets of all and Crosman Destroyers were ahead of the Premiers by a small but noticeable amount. In fact, I'm very impressed with the accuracy of the Destroyer pellet. I need to test it at long range next.
Can a tuned gun be even quieter?
Okay, Buddy, this is for you and for everyone else who wonders how much noise reduction could be made by a good tune. As you know, the Whisper is not especially quiet. It buzzes and rattles with the normal sounds a breakbarrel makes - all of which destroy any advantage that big fat silencer has. So after testing the Whisper, I brought out my Beeman R1 that I tuned for you in the 13-part spring gun tune series. That rifle is a .22 and makes substantially more noise on impact than the .177 Whisper (I used a silent pellet trap), but its discharge is noticeably quieter. So, yes, Buddy, tuning that R11 you're thinking of buying will make it quieter, and also your R7, if you think about it. In fact, a well-tuned R7 makes almost the least amount of noise of any spring-piston rifle. Only a tuned Walther LGV is any quieter, but not by much.
As for who can tune it for you, I would look on the forums and don't go with the first person you see. Read for a while before you trust your gun to anyone. Paul Watts is a great spring gun tuner, and there are probably several others who are, as well.
The bottom line
I came into this review itching for a fight because the Gamo hype about the silencer got to me. Okay, so it doesn't do much because the gun is loud in other ways. I'm forced to overlook that, in light of what a wonderful air rifle the Whisper is! It's lightweight, accurate, not particularly sensitive to how it's held and very easy to cock. The downside is a poor scope, a heavy, creepy trigger, and the vibration of the powerplant. But in my final assessment, this is a seriously nice air rifle that you should buy if you are at all inclined.
BIG SURPRISE is coming!
I'm not finished with the Whisper yet. There is a HUGE surprise coming that will blow you away. It should be here for testing in a couple of weeks.