Gamo Hunter Extreme – Part 3 Accuracy

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy potential of the Gamo Hunter Extreme. The target was placed at 25 yards – a reasonable distance for a hunting airgun. Initial zeroing went pretty fast because the Gamo scope was close to where it needed to be.

Accuracy with Raptors
Because the velocity of this rifle is so high, there isn’t much sense in shooting endless targets with lightweight pellets. They will go supersonic and the accuracy will be destroyed. However, there is one pellet I HAD to test. The Raptor PBA is the pellet Gamo touts as a 1600 f.p.s. pellet in their advertising (and 1650 f.p.s. pellet on the gun itself) and had to be shot for accuracy. This is also the pellet they use in the video in which they kill a hog.

The hog was shot at close range, probably not more than 15-20 yards. The rifle used in the video was not the Hunter Extreme, but it was the Hunter 1250, which gets the same velocity and, I have to assume, the same accuracy. Testing accuracy at 25 yards seems reasonable, because many hunters don’t shoot much farther than that with a breakbarrel spring gun…and 35-40 yards is about tops.

I do not endorse hunting game the size of hogs with smallbore airguns. I think it is irresponsible and I think showing a video of it puts a poor face on this company that has many good products to their credit. But they did it and you can see it on their website, on the page where the Hunter Extreme is shown.

The BEST five-shot group I could get at 25 yards with the Raptor PBA pellet measures 1.8″ center-to-center. The average group measured 2.248″. It wasn’t the size of the group that interested me the most. It was the shape of the pellet holes. Several of the holes are almost perfect profiles of the Raptor pellet, which means they went through the paper sideways. They are not stable and are starting to spin out of control at 25 yards. I have to guess that they are either being spun too fast by the rifling because of the high velocity, which we established is about 1,350 f.p.s., or they are being buffeted by the supersonic shockwave. Maybe a little of both. While they’re accurate enough for a close-range shot, hunters have little hope of connecting at longer distances.


Raptors went into groups like this at 25 yards. This is the smallest.


This hole is almost a perfect profile of a Raptor pellet, which means that it went through sideways!

For the record, 2″ groups at 25 yards is better than I expected. But it is not accurate enough for hunting. You need to be able to count on your shots hitting within a half-inch of your aim point for small game, and that means a group size of one inch or less.

Eun Jins
The .177 Korean Eun Jin pellet weighs 16 grains. That’s heavy enough to slow it to well below the transsonic threshold in this powerful airgun. I didn’t chronograph Eun Jins, but I shot a group with them to see what they looked like. If they were good enough I would chrono them later. But they weren’t! They shot so far to the right that only one of five landed on the target paper, despite my holding on a bullseye on the left side of the paper. The one that printed was 8.5″ to the right of the aim point. Since the Gamo scope mount does not correct in either direction, I abandoned that pellet right there.

Kodiaks
That left me with the more traditional heavyweight pellets, with Beeman Kodiaks being at the top of the list. The first group was shot without regard to where it landed. It went into a 1.5″ group that showed promise, so the scope was adjusted and I resumed fire. The next group measured 1.33″ and was closer to the target. Three of the five holes in this group were elongated, however, so even the Kodiak suffers from either transsonic buffeting or too quick a spin. It’s double the weight of the PBA, so the effect is not as great. With this improvement, I changed targets, adjusted the scope again, and continued.

The next group was slightly smaller, at 1.29″ so I adjusted the scope again and shot what proved to be the final group. It measures 0.782″ – just over three-quarters of an inch. Now THAT’S accuracy a hunter can use! I’m sure that if I had continued to shoot the groups would have hovered around this size, and there would have been a few that were even better. But we need to go no farther. This rifle can be used by hunters with the knowledge that out to perhaps 35 yards it has what it takes to harvest game humanely.


Smallest group of Beeman Kodiaks at 25 yards. This is a reasonable group for a hunting rifle. Notice that several of the holes are elongated, indicating the pellets are starting to tumble.

If I owned a Hunter Extreme, I’d have it de-tuned to get the cocking effort down to not more than 40 lbs. I would look for a velocity of about 900 f.p.s. with Beeman Kodiaks, which would probably give about 1150 with Raptors (but I would never use them). I would want the trigger to be lighter and less creepy, which might actually improve the accuracy somewhat. This rifle has the potential to be a fine hunting airgun with a few thoughtful modifications.

48 thoughts on “Gamo Hunter Extreme – Part 3 Accuracy

  1. a while ago i asked in the post of the artillery hold about my gamo hunter 1250 (i live in holland) i the mean time i practised alot and i manage 2″ groups at 10 meters now. but still, that isn’t great. did you manage those groups of the hunter extreme of this post with the artillery hold too or did u use some other technique??

    greetings, hunter 1250.


  2. Hunter 1250,

    I did use the artillery hold to get those groups.

    You know which pellet I used – in Holland it’s sold as the H&N Baracuda.

    The hold was on the flat of my open palm, just in front of the triggerguard. I have found this to be a universal good place for the off hand. My hand was then rested on what many would call a sandbag, though mine is filled with crushed walnut shells. And I had that bag rested on a box that gave 3 inches more elevation. That made my right elbow too high for the bench, so I put a Crosman Premier pellet box under the elbow, to rest on.

    I did not clean the barrel of this rifle before testing it. That might help a little, though the high velocity almost guarantees that you are going to lead the bore. You might try cleaning your bore after all that shooting.

    The Hunter Extreme is very difficult to hold lightly because of the hard trigger pull, so I did the best I could.

    Good luck and please tell us if this helps.

    B.B.


  3. Do you think Crosman Premier Heavies would give better groupings? What about the JSB’s. That’s interesting that the Eun Jins shot soo far right.
    Regards
    Nathan


  4. Nathan,

    Like I said in the report, I think the rifle is shooting its best right now. More shooting would no doubt produce a few smaller groups. Changing pellets might do the same.

    I did not use CP heavies because they lead the bore so readily and this rifle already shoots so fast that it will speed that along. I didn’t shoot JSBs because they are slightly lighter and would go even faster than the Kodiaks.

    I think that this rifle might do better if it were detuned, but at this power level it’s doing all it can. Notice that the Kodiaks are starting to destabilize at 25 yards.

    B.B.


  5. B.B.,

    So the H & N Barracuda are the exact same pellet? Is there any difference between the standard kodiak and kodiak match? And out of curiosity, do you think they’re be a part 4 for this review?

    John


  6. John,

    I never use Kodiak Match unless they sell for less than the regulars, which happens. I think the weight is more controlled, but beyond that, I don’t know what the differences are.

    Will there be a part 4? Well, what would it be?

    I am so backed up on reviews that unless there is a really great reason to retest this rifle, I think I’m done.

    B.B.



  7. Thank you B.B. for your blog. I started reading it two months ago when i started shooting air rifles and so far i haven’t found anything better on the net! Thank you for sharing with us all your knowledge for free.
    About this review… you don’t cheat me!i have read enough reviews to understand you are not particularly satisfied with this *500$* rifle :)
    And about the pig hunter in the gamo ad.. i agree, is a complete moron!


  8. Hi again B.B.,

    Do you think you could make a post explaining the WORM formula for mil-dot reticles?

    Thanks again,
    John


  9. Interesting series on this rifle
    on a simple scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) how would you rate this rifle for each of the three primary air gun classes #1 Field Target #2 10 Meter #3 Small game hunting. You seem very knowledgable in all three so i would be interested in seeing this rifle rated this way and other reports you do on other rifles as well, as most of us choose rifles for these three purposes.


  10. John,

    The WORM formula is posted all over the internet. It’s a simple military formula that converts angular measurements to distance.

    Binoculars, used in conjunction with the mil relation (WORM) formula, are useful in determining ranges. To use this method, select a house, door, window, highway, or a telephone pole–something which has a known size or can be closely estimated. As it happens, the length and width of battle tanks tend to be standard all over the world. Using the mil scale in the binoculars, measure the height or width of the object. Then substitute in the mil relation formula: , where R equals range in thousands of meters, M equals width in mils, and W equals width of the object in meters.

    R=W divided by M

    It isn’t very useful to civilians, but it is how mil dot reticles were intended to be used.

    B.B.




  11. What baffles me about the Gamo Extreme Hunter (since its obviously not a field target weapon) is that its not available in the pellet calibre that is a clear favorite for hunting. Whatever the velocity in .177, the .22 pellet is inherently superior for hunting purposes.

    Creating a specialised hunting airgun in .177 makes about as much sense as creating a self defense firearm that will only feed FMJ rounds and not hollow-points.

    Cattman


  12. I’m wondering, with advertising being how it is these days, if the hog in the Gamo video was even shot with the air-rifle.
    It was probably shot with something more suitable and edited!
    Either that or I wonder just how many hogs they had to shoot before they actually killed one without having to deliver a coup-de-gras with something suitable?

    Either way an unbelievably irresponsible video.

    Mill dots… forget all the fancy stuff and just use the dots as holdover reference once you’ve zeroed at 20yds (say). I shot my HW97K at about 80 meters and had to use all the dots and another (estimated) dot to hit a tin can.
    At about 40 meters it was two dots holdover.
    If you do this enough you develop quite a good instinct for your trajectory and can ‘guess’ right first shot, at least for hitting a tin can.
    I’m guessing that for field target they are not much use anyway.



  13. Very nice report. It well shows that “Speed” sells but you don’t want it.

    If I were looking for a new air rifle, I would look elsewhere.

    It’s still hard to beat my old Sheridans (One Scoped, One with a
    Receiver Site).

    If I need more power, I go to firearms.


  14. I can only speak from experience with the hunter 1250, but i get great groups at 25 yards using 14.3 grain crossman premieres. on a good day i can get groups fairly often in the .4″ range and in rarer circumstances i’ve groups measuring .243″ (that number is my actual best recorded group). However, constantly oiling the CPs is a pain. My rifle is definatly extreme in terms of its hold sensitivity. It took me a while to perfect the artillery hold with this rifle ( mine wieghs in at a little under 12 pounds with my massive leapers 3-9×50). early on the chisel detent broke and i had to send my rifle into Gamos repair shop in Houston Missouri. Gamo went above and beyond the call of duty because not only was my chisel detent fixed upon return to me but all buzzing was gone when i started shooting again, gamo gave my rifle a free tune! I mention this because im sure that this has improved my 1250 on all sorts of levels. the accuracy i sited most likely wont be what the next guy with a new 1250 or extreme will get.(despite name and look the guns seem fundamentaly the same).
    this gun weighs a ton but the trade of is nearly 29 foot pounds of screaming energy. if you can handle the weight,i personally think that this is a great gun for hunting and is one of my favorites.

    scopestop


  15. Oh one more thing i need to add to my all ready really long post. My 1250 is in .22 caliber. I just realized they dont make the extreme in .22 talk about a complete waste of power.
    scopestop


  16. I agree with makka in how stupid advertising has become, did anyone see where the slug hit?
    b.b, while I was on the gamo site I came across the stutzen. I was wondering whether you had any experience it, and does it come in .22

    regards trapshooter




  17. Scopestop,

    You answered your own question. I was about to point out the caliber difference.

    Also, this Hunter Extreme that I tested is not as smooth as the Hunter 1250 I tested several years back. That’s another reason why I would have it detuned.

    It’s good to hear the comment about Gamo’s responsiveness. That’s always a plus.

    B.B.


  18. trapshooter,

    The Gamo Stutzen appears to be very similar to the BSA Stutzen . Since Gamo owns BSA it wouldn;t surprize me to learn that it’s the same gun.

    I tested the BSA Stutzen. It vibrated too much and was too hard to cock in my opinion. Great looks but so-so performance.

    B.B.




  19. Hmmm… Don’t know why I couldn’t see it. Still started with yesterday’s. Was logged in at work and we have had network issues. After aking my question, I listened to the new PodCast (very good, BTW) and when I checked the blog again, I had today’s Daystate post.

    My employer will be pleased as I never really feel I can start my workday properly until I read your blog. ;o)

    LS



  20. Hi BB,Well I had a little break in the weather and shoot my hunter extreme for accuracy yesterday, ( New Years Eve. ) and boy was I unhappy in first set of targets, I was shooting silver eagle wadcutters and they grouped just about like your test rifle did with the raptors( 1.9 ), Then I went to the crosman premier Hollow point and they made a lot of difference, got down to about .350 and it shot them out at about 1130fps, so they come out of the muzzle supersonic, but I’m sure they are none supersonic right after passing over the chrono, I also tried the skenco 6.4g and they didn’t do well, by the way every one of the wadcutters tumbled and hit the target sidways, and I’m talking about 25 shots, the 6.4 also tumbled however not as severe and not a single one of the crosman 7.9 hollow points tumbled they all went straight into the target, was going to give you some velosity reading on all, but forgot my chrono at the other house. Oh I left one out, the 8.4 skenco, I also got good results with it, didn’t measure it as it got late on me, It shot in the high 10′s and 11′s and grouped quite well. Buddy


  21. Buddy,

    Thanks for that report. Maybe after you shoot your new rifle a while you could give us your impressions. I’m sure other readers are interested. Things like handling, hold sensitivity, recoil, vibration and so on.

    B.B.


  22. Ok BB. , I’ll get back with you after I break it in, I ‘ve onbly got about 150 rounds through it right now, I ordered a GRT III triger the other day, that’s something I wanted to ask you a question about. You know when I first got this gun I loved the trigger and the other day I don’t know what happen but the first stage just went away and the second stage got hard to pull, have any Idea what might have caused that? anyway that’s why I ordered the new trigger. Keep up the good work BB., but take a break every now and then. Later Buddy


  23. hey , i have the 1250 in .22 , was wondering if you can help me pick the right pellet for it else than kodiaks cos i have no access for it , i live in lebanon.

    thanx in advance.

    john





  24. BB

    I would love to see a write up on the .22 caliber Gamo hunter extreme. I’m shooting RWS dome pellet and getting over 920 fps with good poa. One more thing to add My gamo is made in the USA!!!! how great is that.



  25. Hi BB

    I purchased my Hunter Extreme at Cabelas in Kansas City. I thought these rifles were made in England for the most part. Mine has etched into the base of the barrel made in USA. One thing that did strike me as cheesey was the sticker on the gun that stated 1300 fps with pba and 950 with Lead. After pulling off the label I found etched on the gun 1650 pba and 1200 lead. Has any one else found the same thing? On a side note I hope to be at the Air gun show in Little Rock this April look forword to meeting other people with the same hobby as me.


  26. I really don’t understand what is going on with the “Made in the USA” stamp on the gun. Gamo USA is a wholesale importation and distribution house, as far as I know. I’m almost certain they do not produce airguns in this country.

    Perhaps there is some assembling happening that gives them the right to put that stamp on the gun. That’s all I can figure.

    I will be at Little Rock, so please look me up.

    B.B.


  27. I also have the Gamo Hunter Extreme. After reading some of the above comments, I will change pellets. Now, who makes a precision trigger assembly for this air rifle?


  28. drbob,

    Although I wouldn't call it a "precision trigger" there is an aftermarket drop in replacement that is a tremendous improvement over the stock gamo triggers.

    Google "grtIII trigger".

    kevin


  29. Hey B.B.,

    Just wondering if you think the Gamo HE is a good all around rifle. I'm thinking of getting the .22, as I want the most powerful springer (knockdown power, fps, ft. lbs., etc). I had the Walther Falcon in .22, and felt like the extra 50 or so fps would make the difference. But if accuracy is a huge issue, maybe it's a bad idea for that kind of money? Especially if scope is bad. I don't mind upgrading to the GRT III trigger, so that's no issue. It just seems that the Gamo has that extra umph, and beats out any other in fps. Am I crazy, or is it really true that it has more fps than say, the walther talon/hunter (.22 caliber)?



  30. Hi B.B.,

    Thanks! Yes, I've been waiting on the Benjamin Trail. Will be very interesting to see the results and if their claim of 30 fpe is true. I saw an interesting youtube video of some guys down in Venuzuela, shooting a Gamo Hunter Extreme. Somehow he was able to edit the video to include the grain weight and pellet type (which was nice with my sub-elementary spanish) during the chronograph tests. Punching the numbers (fps/grain) into pyramidair's calculator, you definitely get numbers above 30 foot lbs of muzzle energy. Unless his chronograph is off, then that is quite impressive. Here is the youtube video link:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jabgon1

    Thanks,

    Ryan



  31. Hey B.B.,

    Thanks for checking out the link. Yeah, 60+ pounds, coupled with the price$$$! I think I'll wait for the Benjamin Trail report :)

    By the way, I purchased the BAM B-28, .25. Not too many out there, haven't seen any reviews yet. Unfortunately I don't have a chronograph, but will definitely be getting one soon, so will let you know the results. It is a nice gun though. It's definitely hold sensitive. Looks much like the RWS Diana 350, surely not as well made, but I really like the gun. Cocking effort is probably same as Diana. I just had to have a .25 caliber. May get a Walther Falcon .25 too, but will wait for the Benjamnin Trail to get some exposure.

    Have a good day!

    Ryan


  32. Hey guys I just bought a Benjamin Trail SL 1100. I don't have a chrono but when I shot my Gamo Hunter 1250 next to it, the Gamo 1250 was definitely the faster gun. The Ben-Trail is a way more nice and comfortable gun to shoot but like I said it's a bit slower then the Heavier Gamo 1250.
    Great Posts!


  33. I had a Gamo Hunter 1250 in .177 cal about 8 years ago and found it to be pretty accurate with correct setup and a lot of practise and most of all knowledge of the trajectories at different ranges. I attached a ballistics chart to the stock of mine so I’d know the POI at different ranges and with practice could usually hit targets 9 times out of 10.
    The best Pellet I used was 10.5 grain Crossman Premier Heavies which came in a cardboard box 1250 at a time. These are constructed from hard lead which helps stop deformation of the skirt which can occur in Magnum springers which will negatively effect shot consistency and accuracy. These won’t go supersonic and tumble either which is the one of the vital elements to accuracy in Hi powered springers that advertisers like Gamo ignore in their marketing strategies.
    I used the1250 hunter extensively for pest control on small game, namely Rabbits, Hares and Possums in New Zealand. It did the job well but I regretted not getting it in .22 The bigger calibers are just take them down instantly with more consistency so If your looking for a rifle for hunting do yourself and the game a big favour, get the .22 or .25, you’ll sleep much better at night.
    My take on the HOG hunt video, Was it irresponsible for Gamo to setup the shoot and release the footage for the purposes of promoting their products? Yes I think so, It may encourage others to follow their lead and repeat the scenario with the possibility of a less successful out come. I didn’t think much of the shot placement either and the kill appeared to be delayed.
    Does the Gamo 1250 hunter .22 have the goods to take medium game animal? Yes but only in the hands of a skilled hunter/ Marksman at very close ranges with the right pellet. Is it recommended to hunt medium game with a small calibre air rifle? No not at all but, in survival conditions you wouldn’t hesitate.


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