Monday, January 05, 2009

.177 Gamo Big Cat - Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Gamo Big Cat is an impressive breakbarrel for an impressive price!


Certain readers have been after me to review the Gamo Big Cat for close to a year, and today I'll start! I'm already impressed by the current crop of Gamo rifles, as evidenced by my 8-part report on the Whisper. When I opened the Big Cat box, it gave me the same instant appeal--a lightweight air rifle with a stock made for adults. There are no high cheekpieces, no thumbholes or oddly shaped pistol grips to contend with. It's simply built right. If you enjoy a Winchester 1894 or a 1903 Springfield, the Big Cat just may be the spring-piston breakbarrel for you.

Wanna know another reason I'm looking at this air rifle? Because, as of this morning, it has 50 reviews on the Pyramyd Air website and an overall rating of 4.5 stars! That's incredible! There are guys who wouldn't give a five-star rating to a million-dollar cash prize and a date with Cameron Diaz. They'd complain about the taxes and having to get dressed up! So a half star down from the top IS the top on our survey. And I wanted to see just how nice a $140 scoped spring-piston rifle could be.

You're going to have to take the scope with the rifle because that's the only way it comes. There are no open sights on the gun. I think a good analogy for the Big Cat is a Whisper without the silencer. It's about a pound heavier at just over 6 lbs., which makes it a featherweight spring gun in this power class. It has a synthetic-jacketed barrel that's sculpted with deep flutes running nearly the full length of the barrel. The dark gray synthetic stock is a smooth with a pebble finish on the forearm and pistol grip. The butt has a thick, black ventilated recoil pad that grips your shoulder well. I like the low cheekpiece and comb that allow me to get down on the gun when I'm aiming.

The scope rail grooves are cut into the mainspring tube, and Gamo drilled a rear scope stop hole--bless their hearts! So any scope mounts that have a vertical scope stop pin will work. This airgun has the earmarks of a very well-designed spring rifle.

The trigger
I have to comment on the Gamo trigger on this particular test rifle--and maybe this is happening on all Gamo rifles these days. Although the design doesn't seem to have changed, the finish of the parts has improved significantly. That means the creep that used to be there is reduced by quite a lot. This Big Cat's trigger is a very crisp two-stage unit that worked just as well right out of the box as a vintage Gamo trigger with several thousand shots on it. The second stage still has some creep, but the overall performance is many times better than other Gamo triggers I've tested.

The trigger on my test rifle breaks very consistently at 4 lbs., 3 ozs. And that's when it's brand-new. No doubt it will drop a few ounces and smooth out even more during the break-in.

The safety is manual, thankfully, so all you do is cock, load and fire the gun. But Gamo has installed an anti-beartrap mechanism that prevents firing the gun until the barrel is closed, so de-cocking isn't possible. In this litigious age, that feature is almost mandatory.

Cocking
And cocking is another revelation I must share with you. The Big Cat has an articulated two-piece cocking link that lets the barrel break back to an extremely acute angle. The result is a long, easy cocking stroke. Gamo engineers have obviously studied their physics and applied them to the geometry of these new rifles.

The powerplant has very little in the way of vibration during the firing cycle. Things are over quick, and the rifle is quiet afterwards. I can't help wondering how it would be with an Air Venturi Ram Air gas spring installed, but I have nothing but praise for the way it works in factory trim.

The scope
The 4x scope is a cheap one, as you knew it had to be to allow the package to sell at such a low price. That said, the scope seems clear and will certainly do the job until you're ready to spend money on something more expensive. I'll use it for the accuracy test, so you can see its capabilities. And please don't ask me to repeat the test with a more powerful scope so you can see the incremental improvement!

The two-piece scope mounts have caps with two screws each, but they seem more robust than average mounts. They have the required vertical scope-stop pin and come attached to the scope. All you have to do is attach their bases to the rifle and tighten the base screws--not more than a 5-minute job for a new shooter.

What are you saying, B.B.?
Just so you're clear on this, I'm saying that now that I've handled the Gamo Big Cat, I'm beginning to understand why it got such a high rating from so many shooters. I'm saying that if you're in the market for a budget breakbarrel, the Big Cat MIGHT be one to consider. I'll reserve the final judgement, just like the rest of you, until I see the numbers and the targets. But I have a hunch this is a good one.

62 Comments:

At January 05, 2009 6:36 AM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

Good morning B.B., We're back from NC and a week with son, his wife and the grandkids. Wonderful time. Got one 1/4 day shooting on his friend's farm all powder powered stuff except for the Talon SS with 24" barrel and shroud from Air Hog. The pellet hitting the target at 50 yards, a piece of paper nailed to a tree, was louder than the gun's hammer slap. Look out woodchucks come this summer! Condictions weren't even close for shooting good groups so no reposrt on first time shooting past 20 yards with the SS. My son's friend asked how much did it cost? Son said that he wouldn't be surprised to see Joe purchasing one in the near future--looks like our bug has bitten another one :).

My stock M 1 carbine on its first time out was shooting clover leaves at the same distance. We all had fun trying to pop baloons with the Glocks, the Browning High Power, The S&W 44 Magnum, and the Taurus 357 from 50 yards.

Will enjoy reading the week's worth of blogs and finding out what you all have been up to.

 
At January 05, 2009 10:30 AM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

Couldn't overlook this gun because of the 50+ ratings on pyramyd air among other reasons.

Got a kick out of some of the reviews, "too heavy", "too light", "very accurate", "not accurate at all", "factory should have bore sighted the scope", "best air rifle made", "killing rabbits out to 70 yards with this gun. Not bad for a .177" etc. etc.

Don't know why you waste your time reviewing these guns when there's all this good information already written.

Seriously, I'm intrigued by the apparent improvements that gamo is making to their airguns. I believe entrylevel airguns, like gamo's, are very important to the future of this great hobby. Looking forward to "the rest of the story".

kevin

 
At January 05, 2009 10:37 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

I'm as intrigued as you by these guns. I love the Whisper, like I said, and I think this Big Cat will become another rifle on the good list.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 10:40 AM, Blogger FRED said...

Hi BB, happy new year again to you and Mrs. BB. I was curious about your comment that this Gamo couldn't be decocked. I found that I could decock my RWS 52 with it's bear trap safety. By depressing the trigger, even though the bear trap prevents the barrel from swinging shut and severely damaging the gun and shooter, I hold onto the barrel and then, pull back slightly as if to re-cock it. I then release the bear trap mechanism and am able to allow the barrel to slowly swing to it's ready position and uncock the spring in the process.

What prevents this on the Gamo?

And I'm pleased to report that thanks to an o ring supplied by my friendly, neighborhood Yamaha dealer, I have re-assembled my S&W 79G and it shoots better than new (at least to my faulty memory). Although I won't quit my day job just yet to go into repairing air guns.

 
At January 05, 2009 10:47 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Fred,

The Gamo has a completely different type of anti-beartrap device than the 52. The 52 device is manual, and you can ride the piston forward by holding onto the locking latch as you go. But the Gamo has nothing. No latch to depress. Until the breech is closed, the anti-beartrap remains on, so it is impossible to uncock.

However, the safety is manual, so once loaded you're ready to go.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 11:14 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Good Morning B.B.,

We were talking about an electric motor to cock a springer... I just saw Browning on Gunbroker, that does just that. It only shoots 700fps, which I like. He says it gets 220 shots on a charge.. You plug into the bottom of the pistol grip from your household current, push a button and it whirls the gears, and cocks it..
Here is a link with pics.. looks pretty nice.. Just the collector you need to add to your stock pile B.B... I'd go for it, but I just got a tricked out P70 field target rifle.. so not this week for me..

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=119730395

It's only a little more that the "Big Cat"...

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At January 05, 2009 11:33 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

The Browning, made by Rutten of Belgium, may just suit you. It is quirky. However, it is not a successful air rifle. The high-torque motor they used to cock the gun sounds like an impact wrench at the tire store. You'll do it a few times and think, "Cool," but it will never be your favorite gun.

Also, being a Rutten, the gun is somewhat harsh.

People use the Browning name to ask unreasonable prices for this gun, but when Pyramyd Air carried it, they couldn't sell it. They still have one or two they will put into their museum -- where I suspect most of them will end up.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 12:24 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

BB,
Just what the world needs -- another lightweight 1000fps breakbarrel with lots of plastic:). The stock profile is refreshingly near "normal", though. Why would I buy this instead of a cheaper Storm XT or a more expensive 34?

I always trust your reviews, however, so looking forward to the continuation.

 
At January 05, 2009 12:44 PM, Anonymous Josh said...

BB,
could this be the poor man's Gamo Whisper? How would this compare side by side to the whisper accuracy wise.

 
At January 05, 2009 12:56 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

Josh, I think BB will find that the Big Cat is virtually identical to the Gamo Whisper except for the lack of open sights and the lack of the silencer.

Gamo tends to build a slew of different rifles based on the same mechanicals. The old Shadow (including the Supreme and Silver variants), 220, 440, 880, and 890 were all basically the same gun. And this is also the basic action used for the Whisper and Big Cat. There was always some variations in performance because of production tolerances, but not because of design differences.

BG, the quality of machining in a Gamo is typically better and certainly more consistent than in a Storm or any other Quest variant. And it's much lighter and easier to cock than a '34 of any stripe.

 
At January 05, 2009 12:58 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

BB, I've finally gotten to test the R10 and Diana 26 for accuacy (indoors, 10 yards only) and both will stack pellets at this range. But it seems that the R10 is easier to shoot well... which sorta surprised me considering the reputed fussiness of the R9. Is the R10 known to be an easy shooter, or am I just getting lucky?

 
At January 05, 2009 1:04 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

B.B.

That's what I was thinking, mostly just a collector.. well not right now for me, anyway.. maybe I'll con PA out of one in the future..

What do you think of the Diana 24? I've got a 22, 23, 25, 27 & 35(Hy-score 809), but not the 24 yet..

Wayne

 
At January 05, 2009 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,
I was wondering what the affects of shooting my spring gun in cold temperatures (30-40 degrees). Does this increase the chance of a broken spring? Does the velocity or accuracy drop? Does it affect the scope?
Shadow express dude.

 
At January 05, 2009 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BG Farmer,
My Storm Xt is almost identical in some aspects to my friend Gamo big cat. The rifling patterns in the barrel, the cocking linkage, the receivers were similar, the only differences I could find was the barrel jacket matirial and the end caps. I do like the Big Cat a bit better because of the lightness and the blueing was a little better, but I like wood stocks like on the storm Xt (particularly good for carving).
Shadow express dude

 
At January 05, 2009 2:35 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

Vince and SED,
Thanks -- just what I was looking for. My impression about Gamo is that it's the street-front entry-level, as opposed the the back-alley entry-level(Chinese), or the VIP entry-level(RWS):). Am I understanding correctly, or simply offending a lot of people?

I can see the attraction of a lighter rifle for hunting -- many a .30-06 weighs less than most break barrels.

 
At January 05, 2009 2:37 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Josh,

Your question about a poor man's Whisper is what I'm considering.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 2:39 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Vince,

I don't know much about the R10 as a shooter. Only that the few people I know who own them like them very much.

I mostly know about their firing characteristics and their history.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 2:40 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

The Diana 24 is worth owning if the price is good. Think of it as a modernized 25.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gott admit you lost me with the 'synthetic barrel shroud'.
I don't have any real issue with the quality of synthetics...and in fact after trying my friends new Colt 1911 Umarex pellet pistol have a real newfound appreciation of the weight of my Walther CP99...but that being said I really appreciate the steel and wool construction of my 853c and Slavia (hell, even the boys Red Ryder).
I guess it's because in my profession (I'm a photographer) I started out with jewel like Leica cameras years ago and what I use now are definitly plastic 'heavy'.
On a side note the boys have gone through a 1000 count bottle of Crossman BB's. The 5 year old, after a couple of days figured out how to use the sights on his Red Ryder. I finally noticed after a couple of days shooting (and never hitting the target) that he was essentially looking in the direction of the target...but not looking down the barrel or at the sights. A quick drawing of what the sights should look like and explaining carefully how to use them and he is on paper every time at 15 feet. We use those sighting in targets that change color and he gets quite excited when he sees orange!
As well the 7 year old finally got the Marksman figured out. Hold low and to the right and he's getting most shots fairly close to center...but it's definitly an outdoor popcan kinda gun.
One thing. We watched a lot of 'spy flicks' over the holidays. (the Bourne Trilogy, Spy Game, a few others). Is is just me or is the CIA Headquarters in Langley about the most filmed building on earth? Everyone of these movies has the obligatory arial shot of the place ;-)
CowboyStar Dad

 
At January 05, 2009 2:46 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

SED,

When the temperature drops below 20 degrees, spring rifles start slowing down. I don't know about increased spring breakage, but at some cold temperature I'm sure that is a problem.

Scopes are very sensitive to temperature changes. Hot weather affects them, too.

A 20-degree change is enough to make an impact.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 2:51 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

CowboyStar Dad,

You haven't finished the spy-flick genre until you have seen Johnny English. ;)

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 3:09 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

CowboyStar Dad,
Its amazing when the kid starts hitting stuff, isn't it? Mine finally started hitting a drink can with the Red Ryder at 25 feet enough to let me know he's using the sights, and I couldn't be prouder. Keep up the good work on your side of the border.

 
At January 05, 2009 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CowboyStar Dad,
Did you see the new (as in the newer version) Get Smart. It's a pretty funny spy comedy.
Shadow express dude

 
At January 05, 2009 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, what is the differences between the Diana 24 and 25, and 26 and 28? I just picked up a very nice ( T-O5 trigger), .177 cal.,Diana 24 made in 2002, for $75 dollars at a pawn shop. It has the same size receiver tube as my 34 but only about an inch and a half shorter with a much shorter cocking stroke. Velocity is 630fps with cpl's. Very accurate and nice to shoot. Robert

 
At January 05, 2009 3:34 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Robert,

You need to buy the Blue Book of Airguns. It has all the information you seek.

The Diana 25 is an older vintage gun that was made with the 23 27 and 35. Your 24 was a steal.

The 24, 26 and 28 are all contemporary with the 34.

Power increases as the numbers get larger.

B.;B.

 
At January 05, 2009 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Video of the Browning Airstar hybrid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bGV5Y32HkY

 
At January 05, 2009 4:09 PM, Blogger BobC said...

B.B.,

I'm Going to agree that the Gamo engineers did A stand up job with the newest trigger and the adding of the scope stop hole, but I think they must have more then A few people that read the Pyramid Air blog to help give them some direction.

If more manufacturers were to read the blogs and forums, they would know what the air gun community wanted.

If and when you can, please Don't forget the AA S200.

 
At January 05, 2009 4:12 PM, Blogger CJr said...

I bought a GAMO Whisper as my first air gun. I had zero experience with a spring gun. I originally wanted a Ruger AirHawk that I read a good review of somewhere. I have a Ruger 10/22 and I liked that so I thought the Ruger air gun would do the trick. I was surprised the local gun shop had one so I went to look at it. I had a question about loudness so the counter guy showed me the Whisper and dry fired the Ruger then the Whisper to show me the difference in the sound level. I liked the looks and the weight of the Whisper a lot, also.

I took it home and shot it a few times and thought it had a rather strong kick and it made a loud boing sound that I really didn't like. Because of that I took it back and got the Ruger.

In retrospect, maybe I should have kept the Whisper. The Ruger is much heavier having a wooden stock, the Whisper cocks a bit easier because of the longer barrel/attenuator combo, I had a nasty scope creep problem with the Ruger and it had a smooth 11mm rail with no stop holes. I can't say anything about accuracy because I didn't shoot the Whisper that much before taking it back. I find the Ruger much harder to shoot than my IZH-61 because of the Ruger's extra weight among other things. I'm not a large person and I'd hate to have to shoot the Ruger standing up. I do know the Ruger loves the artillery hold and I hate it for that. I want to be in control:) (I really, really enjoy my Daisy 953 single pump). I didn't even know about the artillery hold when I shot the Whisper so I can't compare there.

As far as loudness is concerned, at home, in my basement, firing a pellet rather than dry firing, the Ruger did not sound loud at all and did not boing, and did not kick as hard as the Whisper.

As a side note, the Whisper was the store's demo gun but I bought it anyway. When I got the gun home and read its instructions it said NEVER DRYFIRE the gun. When I took it back I told the guy about that but he didn't seem to care much. The store is not an airgun store so I don't think the guy was that familiar with airguns anyway, they just sell them.

Now I wonder how many times he dryfired the gun to show it off to sombody else.

-Chuck

 
At January 05, 2009 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

b.b. will check out Johnny English, and the new Get Smart is on our list of upcoming rentals.
One of my Christmas presents to myself (and hopefully it is as good as I remember it) is the full collection of 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.).
Now Napolean and Illia...they were spies. I remember how many of my friends had a Johnny 7 O.M.A. (one man army) gun...but I had an U.N.C.L.E. set...a replica pistol with a stock extension, long silencer and scope...man did I terrorize the neighbourhood.
Am really hoping my kids like it as much as I did.
Hopefully some here know what I am talking about.
CowBoyStar Dad

 
At January 05, 2009 4:39 PM, Blogger ajvenom said...

Only one problem with the Airstar 200. Once you hit the button to cock the it, "eeeeeeeeehhhht" there would be no game to shoot.

They shoud put a gas ram in one so you can cock it before you go out in the field.

 
At January 05, 2009 4:47 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

BobC,

Ah, the AA S200. Is that a rifle you are interested in?

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 4:51 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Chuck,

Your experience with the salesman isn't uncommon. It see manufacturer's reps doing the same thing at the SHOT Show. What do they know or care.

If you believe what I say at all I hope some day you'll have the opportunity to shoot a Gamo Whisper with an Air Venturi gas spring in it. Then you will have found the rifle you were looking for all along.

B.B.

 
At January 05, 2009 5:36 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

CowboyStarDad,

I've been intending to ask, how does the Red Ryder fit your 5yo? Its a little big for mine, even though I think he's well above average size...it looks like it might pull him over forward:). The only good side is it tires him out enough to keep the sessions short.

I was thinking that the Buck might fit him a little better for the next year or so, even though its plastic stock really turns me off.

 
At January 05, 2009 5:50 PM, Anonymous UW Hunter said...

B.B.
I am planning to purchase a Discovery as soon as I can sell a very expensive speargun that I have to come up with the money. I am trying to decide on a scope for the gun since I want one with a little more magnification than the combo comes with. I am looking at the Leapers 3-12X44 and the Mini SWAT models with the 30MM tube. Can you tell me what the difference is between these two scopes? The price is about the same, but according to the specs, the mini is significantly heavier than the full sized model, which seems odd. I was originally thinking I would go with the Mini to keep the weight nice and light for hunting, but apparently that isn't how it is. Which one of these scopes would you recommend, or is there another scope you prefer for this gun? Thanks for your help, I would be lost without this blog.

 
At January 05, 2009 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bgfarmer...yeah, when my boy shoots his Red Ryder he tucks the stock under his arm and it is at least 3 or 4 inches too long.
But he has adjusted his shooting style, and though it has been suggested that I cut the stock it seems a shame, what with the Red Ryder inscription on the stock, and he will grow into it in a year or so.
I agree with you about the effort to shoot these things though. It seems that after 20 or 30 shots he starts complaining about his trigger finger getting sore and I know the session is nearing its end for him.
Good thing...he flys throught the magazines on my PPK/S like crazy.
CowBoyStar Dad

 
At January 05, 2009 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,
I just read your artical about the airgun silencers (Monday, May 02, 2005
What about a silencer for your airgun?). While reading the comments section I noticed some guy had an idea about the vented barrel. Well about a month ago, I took my Crosman 66 and ported the barrel (I didn't cut the jacket). I also stuffed some foam and tissues down the jacket to muffle the air. 5 ports were made at the last 4 inches of barrel. It isn't much quieter than my other 66.
Shadow express dude

 
At January 05, 2009 6:58 PM, Anonymous DB said...

CowboyStar Dad,
Picked up an air powered foam dart gun for my 20-month old grand child. She loves shooting it and can actually hit things.

Groups about 4 to 10 inches at 10 feet. The one she chewed up is always the flyer.

DB

 
At January 05, 2009 7:00 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

B.B

If you do the AAs200, any chance you can compare the .22 cal to the .177?

And try out the magazine adapter that makes it a multi-shot..

I saw a chart that the .22 cal was 18 ft lbs with the JSB 15.8 gr and it carried 12 ft lbs out to 50 yards!! Ballistic Coefficient .029 The 21.1 gr Kodiak did a little better with 18 ft lbs at the muzzle and 13 at 50 yards.. Ballistic Coefficient .033!!

The .177 cal. could only do 12 ft lbs. The best was the Kodiak 10.6 (11 ft lbs at muzzle and 7 at 50 yards) Ballistic Coefficient .025.. next best was the Beeman FTS 8.9 gr. with 11 at muzzle, and 7 at 50 yards...Ballistic Coefficient .023... The silver arrow gave 12 at the muzzle, but only 5 at 50 yards..Coefficient .016

Please check them out and let us know what you think of these lower priced PCPs..

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At January 05, 2009 7:23 PM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

CBSDad,
Thanks. I could never cut that beautiful stock, either. I forgot about the trigger on the new RR's and the #)@*)$*'d safety...it tires me out, too:). One possibility: the butt stock is just screwed in, maybe I can make a shorter replacement...if I do, I'll send you one, too.

By the way, you did not have a choice of careers starting out with a Leica...I had a Petri 7, the "really poor man's Leica:)" that I bought for $30, I think.

 
At January 05, 2009 8:23 PM, Blogger BobC said...

B.B,

Yes, I am very interested in the AA S200. I also like the Discovery but am leaning toward the S200. I've always liked the look of the S200 and my perceived thoughts of it's ease of use. I didn't buy it outright because I wanted to hear your report on the Disco. Now, I'm waiting on the reports and first impressions on the New Disco.

 
At January 05, 2009 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another website sells a LaserLyte for 39.99

It says .17 to .22 caliber. Is .17 the same as .177? Will this work? I'm curious, because I think I've seen these things for alot more.

http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=DY203009&src=sim

 
At January 05, 2009 8:41 PM, Blogger CJr said...

"Gamo Whisper with an Air Venturi gas spring"
B.B.,
Can this be a do it yourselfer or must they be bought that way?

-Chuck

 
At January 05, 2009 8:47 PM, Blogger BobC said...

Wayne,

Thanks for your input, especially about the lower priced PCP's. My preference is the .22 cal, and to that end, your statement "the .22 cal was 18 ft lbs with the JSB 15.8 gr and it carried 12 ft lbs out to 50 yards!! Ballistic Coefficient .029 The 21.1 gr Kodiak did a little better with 18 ft lbs at the muzzle and 13 at 50 yards.. Ballistic Coefficient .033!!" begs an answer from you or anyone else. Are those numbers considered good,bad or mediocre?

I'm not into the technical part like some of you guys, but those numbers, like losing only 5 ft lbs from the muzzle out to fifty yds seem pretty good to me.

BobC NJ

 
At January 05, 2009 8:56 PM, Blogger CJr said...

Nevermind about the Air Venturi gas spring. I just found it on the PA site.

-Chuck

 
At January 05, 2009 9:10 PM, Blogger BobC said...

Anonymous,

Yes, it will fit. Go here to read some reviews: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/reviews.jsp?productid=711706 .

BobC NJ

 
At January 05, 2009 9:37 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

BobC,

Those numbers say a lot about the pellets as well as the rifle shooting them.. A lot of the other pellets sold are not even close, less than half the foot pounds at muzzle and at 50 yards... I would think that the more foot lbs carried to 50 yards, the less drop...But...
Let's see what the pro says about the numbers... that's why I put them up..
My main question is why is the .22 cal so much more productive?

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At January 06, 2009 9:41 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

UW Hunter,

Well, the size of the scope is the big difference. The Mini SWAT has short tubes on either side of the knobs, and that limits the positioning possibilities. You have to put it where the rings and short tubes demand. The other scope is more flexible - fore and aft.

B.B.

 
At January 06, 2009 9:44 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

SED,

Thanks for that info on your vented barrel experiment.

B.B.

 
At January 06, 2009 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne,

Energy retention has nothing to do with drop. (Just forget about ballistic coefficients for moment here) Drop is all about time of flight. From the same power plant, the .22 fires at a slower speed than a .177 so gravity has slightly more time to pull it downward.

The .22 pellet is heavier so the higher weight combined with it's velocity (even though lower than the .177) still packs more whomp at the target.

It's like the .45 auto vs. 9mm as far as impact energy.

Derrick

 
At January 06, 2009 9:51 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

Every time I take an airgun from Pyramyd Air, they lose the use of it for up to a full year. Also, the gun is no longer new, so they lose the profit that might have been made.

For that reason, I am very careful about the guns I ask for, not that they have ever denied me anything. I will sometimes test a gun in two calibers, but there is usually a very compelling reason to do it. In this case, the S200 is too expensive for me to just verify that it gets 18 foot-pounds in .22 caliber.

If you want to buy a couple .22s for your range, you might call PA ands speak to one of the Techs to ascertain the S200 is really .22 caliber.

For it to be 18 foot-pounds it has to have a different valve than the .177. With the same valve you could expect around 13+ foot-pounds.

Don't trust the BC numbers you see on the internet. Many of them have been calculated by hobby-ists and are not correct. The only way to really prove a BC is by shooting at different ranges, and a pellet is far more complex than a bullet because of its design.

So what YOU need to do is test Kodiaks yourself at differing ranges.

B.B.

 
At January 06, 2009 9:58 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

BobC,

Please don't wait for me to test the S200. You obviously want one, so get it.

I have found that whenever a reader keeps coming back to a certain airgun, like Doug from Canada who is interested in the RWS Diana 460, nothing else will satisfy the urge.

Get what you want. I will eventually review it, but it is a nice air rifle.

B.B.

 
At January 06, 2009 10:02 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

LaserLyte,

I have evaluated the LasserLyte and found it to be completely without value for airguns. The bore spuds are not secure, they are not the right size, but most of all, no airgun needs a boresight device.

I refused to review the product because I could only condemn it for use with airguns.

And just to qualify my backgraound, I used to boresight the 105mm cannon on the M60A1 tank. I know the value of boresighting, but airguns do not require it for many practical reasons.

B.B.

 
At January 06, 2009 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wanted to add that time of flight to a 50 yard target is so relatively short (compared to firearms where the target can be 500 yards out) that the ballistic coefficient seems to me a non-issue. For the hunters, energy retention at the target is an important number. Accuracy at the target even more so.

Derrick

 
At January 06, 2009 10:12 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne and BobC,

What I said about the difference between .177 and .22 performance is true for a spring-piston gun but not for a PCP. I take back what I said about the S200 needing aq different valve.

Why did I say it to behin with? Because it now takes me about four HOURS just to answer my comments every morning. I typically start with the oldest, which is from the night before, and work the list until it is finished.

I need to stop doing that, because it gives me no time to think about what I'm writing. I'm simply shotgunning answers willie-nillie.

On top of that, there are several people now emailing me directly with complex questions that take hours to answer.

I'm going to have to remove myself from this process if I still want to write blogs.

I will address this problem in tomorrow's blog.

B.B.

 
At January 06, 2009 12:55 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

B.B.,

I've been wondering about that problem with a growing blog.. Like I've said I'm here partly because I'm learning about blogs in general for our future gardening blog on our raised garden beds website.

Maybe as Edith helps more on the blogs, you'll have more time for comments.. And with Vince, BG-Farmer, Derrick, Volvo and others, maybe some easy questions can be answered, and you just say right or wrong and add comments..

I'll be interested in your solution..

I hope PA is upping your pay for this.. I know this blog is really helping their position in the Google rankings.. and by myself, I must have sold hundreds of Air Arms S410 for them.. no thousands, no millions.. right? (I know of at least one)

Oh BTW... those numbers were not just "off the net", they came from a competitors site and I'm sure they are real.. PA needs to catch up on that part of their site.. more real specs and testing.. at least on the high end rifles and pistols..

And I will do some testing myself here at the range too..

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At January 06, 2009 2:47 PM, Blogger Randy-in-VA said...

BB - About your growing blogosphere, I recommend letting the readers do a lot more of the heavy lifting, particularly answering the entry-level type questions. I also recommend picking one day per week where you don't write a new blog - repeat something from the BB Hall of Fame, or have a guest blogger. And if you can keep the lovely Mrs. BB filling in on Fridays, that gives you two days per week that you can do the work that you like to do (and that we like to read about).

 
At January 06, 2009 5:22 PM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B., (Dr. Gaylord)

Re: Answering blog questions consuming your time

My analogy is Dr. Frankensteins monster. Finally successful in creating something unique only to have it finish you off.

Because of your depth of airgun and firearm experience and the fact that you are willing to share so unselfishly, the word is out around the world. The day has come, or will come soon that you need to set some rules or burn yourself out.

Burn yourself out can include just not having enough time to get to the range to test new guns/ammo/scopes/etc. in order for you to be relevant to your chosen writing subject.

Firing up your spam filter to block those direct emails that should be on the blog is a start.

You've been very giving to me in all your answers, including multiple articles and I thank you. Please give us some rules and guidelines to shrink your "paperwork" time to a minimum. We all know how important your "field work" is to furthering your/our knowledge. Even if the evolution of this blog is only current articles from you with no answers to our questions it will still be the greatest airgun blog. Other forums are frought with misinformation, hype and nasty members with bad attitudes.

This is my observation and opinion and does not require an answer from you.

kevin

 
At January 08, 2009 1:06 AM, Blogger Revwarnut said...

Hey BB.. Check out this Youtube video of what I did with my Gamo Big Cat. It is both amazing and funny...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDdSLtRsqzo

Summary...I shot an apple out of my tree at 132 ft! I had meant to just hit the apple but ended up shearing it off at the stem.
I had just sighted in the gun at 40ft with a new Leapers 3-9 40x Mildot scope and took a guesstimate shot at an apple on the tree in my backyard. I was a bit surprised to hit it, so I setup the video camera and tried again.
This gun was purchased used (for less than the new price even...) with a "Rich from Michigan" spring kit installed, and his trigger insert for the Gamos. I since swapped that trigger for the one piece GRT-3 trigger that improves the trigger tremendously and gives it a true fully adjustable 2nd-stage.

Revwarnut

 
At January 08, 2009 9:58 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Revwarnut,

What a shot!

We've all done things like that, but how fortunate to have had the video running when you did it!

43 yards is a loooong shot for a springer. And your rifle seems to be a super bargain.

Nice story,

B.B.

 
At February 04, 2009 12:23 AM, OpenID gbmotorsports2 said...

BB

This is a great rifle PERIOD.

I have shot it now for 4 days and cant put it down. The set I have has a GRT3 trigger that you can adjust to mere ounces and also put on a Leapers high one piece mount, Centerpoint 4-16X40 scope and at 10 meters I group very well than any Gamo rifle I have ever fired. Ammo is Crossman Premier domes 7.9 and yes same ones that come in a brown box.

It must be the tune that was done by Jay from Florida that makes this unit shoot a little better than OEM. Out of the box it shoots great but lacks the trigger adjust ability but the GRT3 did transform it to a nice shooter. It just wont shoot same hole shots as often as the TX200 MK3 due to weight and design I suppose but an awesome all around rifle..

I will do a proper blog on it as soon as I get more pellets on the target paper.

Folks should really consider this rifle at the price it is selling, I am surprise they have them in stock at all.

Lastly it is hold sensitive and that might frustrate a few shooters but if they spend time shooting and zeroing it as they look for the best hold, it will sync in and will be one of the favorites for sure.

:)

gino

 
At November 04, 2009 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you think of this rifle compared to the crosman quest 1000.

 
At November 04, 2009 9:53 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

I like the Big Cat better. The Quest has an issue with the hinge pin loosening.

B.B.

 

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