Gamo Rocket IGT breakbarrel .177 air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


The new Gamo Rocket IGT breakbarrel rifle is lightweight, powerful and comes with a sparkling new trigger!

Back when I reviewed the 2012 SHOT Show, I showed you several new innovations that Gamo was bringing to the market this year. This rifle, the Gamo Rocket IGT .177 breakbarrel, contains the first of those I will test. I’m testing rifle serial No. 04-1C-138639-11, for those who wish to keep track.

One of the new technologies is in the title of this air rifle. The IGT stands for Inert Gas Technology, which is Gamo’s term for a gas spring. The gas spring replaces the conventional coiled steel wire mainspring with several improvements. It’s lighter in weight, doesn’t vibrate as much when fired, is resistant to cold, and can remain cocked for long periods without suffering any degradation. Compressed gas doesn’t fatigue like steel spring stock.

The second technology in this new rifle is the Smooth Action Trigger, or SAT, as Gamo calls it. It’s a two-stage trigger that’s so much better than Gamo triggers of the past that it deserves its own blog. The aluminum blade is well-shaped and vertical; so when it’s pulled, it comes straight back and doesn’t rotate upwards into the stock. The two stages are very clearly separated and stage two is quite crisp. I will say a lot more about it in Part 2 when I test rifle’s velocity.

The two technologies that the Rocket IGT does not have are the Bull Whisper barrel — a polymer-jacketed barrel with internal baffles — and the Shock Wave Absorber (SWA) recoil pad that helps dampen recoil. Since the Rocket IGT is not a super magnum rifle, I guess it doesn’t need either of these. But Gamo advertises this rifle at 1,300 f.p.s. while shooting .177 non-lead PBA pellets, so it’s no slouch. That velocity is printed on the outside of the box as well as on the spring tube of the gun. On the Pyramyd Air website, the velocity is listed as 1,250 with PBA ammo…and that’s also what Gamo advertises on their website. Either way, that’s a lot of power. I would think we could see some of the heavier accurate lead pellets go out the muzzle in the 900 f.p.s. range, which would be ideal. [Note from Edith -- I'm checking with Gamo on this discrepancy, but I suspect it's 1300 fps.]

This is a lightweight, slim air rifle. It weighs just 6.1 lbs. due to the use of synthetics in the barreled action and a synthetic stock. It harkens to the days of the Shadow 1000 and, more recently, the Whisper. Unlike the Whisper, this rifle has no baffles at the muzzle. Even so, the discharge sound isn’t that loud. It’s a solid three on the PA sound scale, but it’s not objectionable.

Shooting impressions
I haven’t been able to keep my paws off the gun since taking it from the box, and I can tell you that the initial shooting impression is a good one. First of all, even though it has a gas spring, I’m estimating that the cocking effort doesn’t exceed 35 lbs., and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it closer to 30. A gas spring exerts full pressure from the moment it’s first compressed, so you notice the cocking effort a lot more than with a coiled steel spring — but this Gamo is very nice in this respect.

The piston stroke is extra-long, which is where the power comes from. When you break the barrel to cock the gun, it folds down to within just four inches of the triggerguard. That means the cocking link is going far to the rear, pushing the piston into lockup with the sear; and that, in turn, means a long piston stroke.

The trigger is two-stage and very crisp. Old-timers will not recognize it as a Gamo trigger. It’s also adjustable, and I plan to evaluate it in Part 2.

The gun fires without a lot of recoil or vibration. It seems to have a lot of power, but we’ll find out for sure in Part 2. One thing I definitely love is the non-automatic safety. It’s there for you to apply — or not — as you choose, but you’re not forced to take it off before every shot. Bravo for Gamo!

More impressions of the rifle
The stock is slim and fits me quite well. It’s entirely ambidextrous, with a raised cheekpiece on both sides of the Monte-Carlo profiled butt. The pistol grip has a slight swell on both sides. Nothing about the rifle favors a right-handed shooter over a southpaw, which is a big plus in its favor.

The synthetic material the stock is made from is cool and slightly rough to the touch. The butt sounds solid, which I know will be appreciated by most shooters. The pistol grip and forearm are both slightly roughened where the hands want to grip.

The barrel is a thin steel tube surrounded by a fluted synthetic jacket. That’s become a Gamo trademark in recent years. Though I don’t care for the aesthetic, it does keep the weight off.

Surprise at the muzzle!
I casually glanced at the muzzle to examine the crown and was surprised to see no rifling inside the barrel at that point! Using a magnifying hood and a tactical flashlight I can see that the rifling ends considerably before the end of the barrel, like almost an inch deep. So, there really isn’t a crown to this barrel, just what could be called a counterbore at the muzzle. Unlike a true counterbore, the rifling just ends without a step in the barrel. The pellet is free to fly on its own at this point. What it will or won’t do for accuracy remains to be seen, but I’m intrigued!


Looking down into the muzzle, we see the rifling has ended well before the end of the barrel.

There are no open sights, nor are there provisions for them. This rifle is meant to be scoped and comes with a Gamo 4×32 scope in rings that are ready to mount. The base clamps to 11mm dovetail grooves cut into the spring tube, and a single vertical scope stop hole is provided. The rings mount with a Torx wrench that’s provided, and both the base screws and cap screws use the same wrench, which is a big plus. The caps have two screws apiece. I had the scope on, leveled and adjusted for my eye relief in less than 10 minutes.

Overall impression
Gamo has been advancing their air rifle technology greatly over the past decade. This year they’ve hit the afterburners! This new rifle looks right, feels right and has a great trigger. Let’s hope it’s also accurate. If so, the Rocket IGT could be a home run for Gamo.

40 Responses to “Gamo Rocket IGT breakbarrel .177 air rifle: Part 1”

  • Wulfraed Says:

    Space-wolf wants…

    Time to turn off the air conditioner and stop doing laundry (between the Michigan heat and having obtained a washer&drier in May, my electric bill has doubled in two months — it is now 3-4 times what I was paying in California — including the $20/month for coin-op laundry)…

    A real trigger motion, in contrast to the motion found on a crossbow ca 1500. And gas piston — would be my first…

    Praying that the velocity and accuracy prove out… If it does, I may still do something I shouldn’t and order one (heck, it’s cheaper than what I paid for the old NRA 1000 Special, which I don’t really want to fire just because it was a limited edition.

  • Titus Groan Says:

    Greetings B.B. and Fellow Airgunners. It was quite a nice surprise when I opened tonight’s blog and found you mentioning a few good words of a Gamo. Gamo was the first modern air gun that caught my attention 4 years ago, when I decided to get back into target shooting from arrows to air rifles. I don’t remember the model name, but it looked great, and the price seemed right. What kept me from purchasing one was our asinine 500 fps. law here in Canuck Land. Gamo just made full power guns. Period. Since that time, I have become one of Weihrauchs biggest boosters. My wife believes it is me that keeps the company in the black. After reading your ’2012 shot show blog’ a few months back, I have a renewed interest in Gamo. I am especially jonesing over their new trigger. As I have become somewhat of a ‘trigger nut’. How will it stack up to Record? Will this ‘smooth end barrel’ effect accuracy for the good? Say what you will about Gamo, it continues to ‘improve the breed’, so to speak. And is this not what our sport needs. As Hatsan has shown us, some new and improved things work, and some should be relegated to the scrap pile. Weihrauch makes a world class spring air gun. No question. However, they do seem to rest on past laurels. Now that just might land me in hot water. I think I will hit the sack before I say something ridiculous. Bye the bye, my Daughter is attending a university in Barcelona Espania, and she tells me she has passed by the Gamo factory a number of times. I’ve asked her to snap a picture or two. Or maybe hit them up for a tour. Not much time left as she is due back in two weeks.
    Caio Titus

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Titus,

      I will tell you right now that, while the new Gamo trigger is light-years better than their old one, it is not a Rekord. The Rekord can be adjusted to perfection, while this new Gamo trigger is just a good sporting-class trigger.

      Of course I may discover when I adjust it that it becomes even better, in which case, there might be reason to want one.

      B.B.

    • Fred DPRoNJ Says:

      titus,

      my daughter was in Barcelona this past Spring for a semester of college. Warn your daughter to beware of pickpockets and thefts of opportunity. Never leave anything unattended that you want and keep an eye on your valuables in the restaurants and on the subways.

      Fred DPRoNJ

      • Titus Groan Says:

        Hi Fred. What you say is so true. My Daughter and a few friends went to Venice for Carnival in Feb. She had her camera on a strap around her neck and some fiend cut it off with a razor. In a restaurant. I felt so bad for her as she loves photography and worked hard to buy a good camera. Didn’t dampen her spirits too much. She now owns a less expensive one that fits in a pocket. Over all, it has been an experience every young person should enjoy. I hope your Daughter came home with many new friends and experiences to last a life time. By the way. Isn’t Skype great?
        Cheers Titus

      • pete zimmerman Says:

        Fred,

        That’s good advice anywhere, whether in the USA or abroad. That said, in Europe such crime isn’t restricted to southern Europe. I had my pocket picked in Germany; my dad in London. I had a camera stolen from a hotel room (The Intercontinental, no less!) in Paris.

        Kids need to be especially vigilant as they are easy prey, and cops generally won’t give them the time of day, nor even the police report you need to collect from your insurance.

        My daughter’s paid guide abandoned her on the Annapurna Trail in Nepal. And you guys know where she’s served and been; she’s not careless nor ignorant.

        Cheers,
        pete

  • Milan Says:

    Word is that here in Croatia this new laws brings more goodies for us in the form of taxes for rifle/gun owners(even airgun owners with more power that we human beings can bear astronomical 200 m/s :D ) but i don’t even care for that if i get a license to shoot in my own basement ….

    • Milan Says:

      There also should be taxes for fat people and right handed people that also include left handed people just in case and then why not taxes for every fishing rod human can posses just like taxes on every rifle they want to make us pay (261,78 USD per rifle) if that law pass there will not be any more hunters I don’t hunt but during winter they take care for wild animals ….

    • Milan Says:

      But if things turn out like they say right now – am afraid that the cheapest and most economical thing would be to destroy them but still opposition is strong against that law,biggest argument right now is that rifles are “EVIL”and that nobody should have a rifle or pistol – well why then they don’t say that a knife is evil pointed and sharp or chain saw (evil,evil thing :) ) and just give us blunt dull knifes and toy plastic chain saw etc. there is nothing evil in rifles or knifes ,they are things only people can be evil !

      • chuck Says:

        Milan, I’m with you on this. The gun control nuts do not use logic. They’re only agenda is to do away with guns in the hands of law abiding citizens. They have no power over the criminals and the insane so they force their power on the innocent to justify their own existence.
        -Chuck

        • Milan Says:

          Haven’t they learn something from”The Great Depression” you can’t take more from people the they have,basically my little town has suffered most in war and now he has a highest rate of unemployment ,highest prices for food in the entire state,lowest budget (and now they are raising that bar even higher believe me-not only gun laws are mended to take more money from already empty pockets -that goes with a whole package ;) )

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    It is certainly priced right and dressed up right for the American market. I can already tell the scope needs to be pitched over the hill, though. I guess because there are none of those cheesy fiber optic sights on it, they felt obligated to give you a cheesy scope. Hey, who knows, maybe if they have started to get the rest of the air rifle right, they will work on the optics.

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    The P.A. add says it comes with the platinum pellets (even lighter than the gold colored pig poppers). Are you going to test it with these too?

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      Yes, I plan to test it with PBA pellets. It does come with 50 rounds of platinum ammo, like the description says. I also plan to test it with our new friend, the Barakuda Green.

      B.B.

      • chuck Says:

        BB,
        I don’t want you to think I didn’t notice the CCI Green Tag box on your post for the Knocabout. How is that working out for your other .22s? Obviously it didn’t do too well for the Knocanout since it didn’t get even an honorable mention.
        -Chuck

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Chuck,

          Green Tag does work very well in my Remington 37. They are good enough to keep in stock.

          B.B.

          • Mike Says:

            Yes, you always want to shoot what your rifle/pistol likes if you can. The boys around here normally don’t shoot CCI Green Tag as it costs close to Wolf Match Target and Lapua Rimfire. Lapua is much like Wolf since it’s loaded on the same type of machines/components. I have also had good groups with regular CCI Standard Velocity. As I have said in the past, Wolf and also Lapua are “it” for the majority of accurate rifles/pistols. Of course, the old stand by Eley is certainly worth a try.

            Mike

            • Robert from Arcade Says:

              If you run out of the others ,CCI pistol match is a good subsitute for the Wolf and CCI green tag. It IS probably the green tag in a different box. I was just shooting some in a couple of my rifles. CCI standard velocity is my go to for .22 RF, as well.

            • caveman Says:

              Mike,
              I think that Wolf match target is the same as SK plus and both are made by Lapua. I’ve not found a rifle that likes CCI standard velocity yet, they tease me because they try to group but get one or two “fliers” out of every box. I would like to find something in the $300 a case range that shoots well. Do you have any suggestions?

  • se mn airgunner Says:

    BB,

    Thank you for taking on this review! This is the type of gun I would buy, it is in my price range. I already own a Nitro Venom Dusk, which is similar in specs….but I expect this Gamo will have a much better trigger. I enjoy reading about the higher end guns and their tremendous accuracy, but will likely never own one. So again, I’m thrilled about this review!

    SE MN

  • Mike Says:

    Looking good so far. I’m glad to see that Gamo is improving. Unless the scope is a lot better than I expect, it would be nice to be able to buy the rifle without a scope. The price would be less and you could then buy the scope you wanted for it. That said, I expect at this price point, Gamo offers it with the scope since other companies do with their less expensive rifles.

    Mike

  • TC Says:

    BB,
    I tried out the Bone Collector Bull Whisper which appears very similar. I ended up with mixed feelings about this rifle. It is powerful, driving .177 7.7 to 8.3 grain pellets at 1015 fps. The trigger pull was decent. Second stage was a little long. Best stock trigger I’ve ever tried on a Gamo. With all the marketing about being quiet, the IGT makes a loud slap noise like a plastic ruler on a desk. That peak noise is higher than any springer I’ve every measured at 106-7 db at my right ear. I had to use ear plugs when firing in my basement. Accuracy was decent with H&N Baracudas, but vertical spread was an issue. 1/4″ 5 shot groupings at 15 yards was typical. Any pellet lighter than 7.9 gr. went subsonic with a loud crack. After 50 shots the supplied scope was destroyed and after 400 shots a UTG 3-9X 40 was destroyed. Firing piston slap is significant, and the scope stop pin was damaging the barrel. A single piece mount is a must, but the scope slides in the mount even when torqued down properly. The barrel had no droop, allowing for less that 30 clicks from optimal scope center. I suggest you check and make sure the cocking system is not rubbing on the outside of the IGT piston. I had high hopes for this rifle, but felt very disappointed, especially with all the marketing around Gamo trying to improve their products. I look forward to seeing you results.

  • chuck Says:

    I don’t have a gas piston version rifle yet. Could this be the one? I’ll be waiting.
    -Chuck

  • cowboystar dad Says:

    Finally, it looks like Gamo has got it right. The good airgun they made (IMO) was the Gamo Compact, which in their infinite wisdom they’ve discontinued.
    Alas, I have a feeling that we’ll never see it in Canada.
    Any kind of a suppressor or silencer is completely illegal in Canada, even on an airgun. And I have a feeling that even though it is the way the barrel is built, that the baffles will cause the powers to be up here to swoon in trepidation at the thousands of people who would line up to buy this airgun who are obviously up to no good ;-)

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      CSD,

      The Rocket IGT has no baffles.

      B.B.

      • cowboystar dad Says:

        b.b….I can read…really ;-)
        I don’t know what’s wrong with me the last couple of days, I read the blog, see the words, but some of them just aren’t registering.
        This getting old ain’t all it’s cracked up to be!!!

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          CSD,

          You’re preachin’ to the choir, brother! And I’ve been this way all my life, though Edith says I’m getting worse. ;)

          B.B.

        • /Dave Says:

          CSD,

          If you’re like me, it’s not that the words don’t register, but that the clouds and floaters in my eyes block some of them out while I’m trying to read… I have to read everything twice these days…

          /Dave

  • /Dave Says:

    Sounds like it has the potential to be an interesting gun! I’ll be looking forward to the following reports! Never had a Gamo due to their poor reputation, so this one might be a first for me.

    /Dave

  • Ton Says:

    BB
    What do you mean by 1) “use of synthetics in the barreled action”? and 2) Can the barrel pivot be tightened, or is there just a pin? Thanks

    • TC Says:

      Ton,
      The barrel itself is metal tubing and the barrel assembly is molded synthetics. On my sample* the brake barrel bolt can be tightened. Just understand that the normal break washes you would expect are not there. The barrel assembly has a high spot on each side that is direct contact with the tube assembly. Not sure how well this design will hold up over time, but the overall barrel design makes for a very light rifle. I can’t wait to see BB’s test results.

      * I tried a Bone Collector Bull Whisper that had the fluted barrel jacket. It is rated 1300 fps, with a small white sticker on the side that said 1000 fps.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Ton,

      The barrel pivot looks like a pin to me.

      B.B.

  • Johng10 Says:

    I’d really like to know how it compares to the RWS 34, and also to a Gamo Nitro Venom with a GRT installed?

    • Milan Says:

      Diana 34 is spring breaker(literally it will shatter her spring so be prepared) but i would also like to know more about D34 with a gas spring that would be interesting ,also D34 for me is more like gun-project it is easy to disassemble (well relatively easy) and tune up -i find hard to believe that Gamo can be better than Diana -BB :tell us little more we would appreciate an input :) !?

  • chris in ct Says:

    I own several gamos hunter 440 purchased them 6yrs ago new after 500 shot breakin the action and trigger smooth out nice .kinda like a budget Rws 34 well not really but the next notch down.I will wait for the rest of the revieu i could use a gas ram .I also got my eye on the RX2 and Theoben Crusader

  • pete zimmerman Says:

    An Olympic note:

    Half of the air rifle finalists (men) used Feinwerkbau rifles, as did the gold and silver medalists. FWB is already touting it in their news letter.

    Women’s gold medalist from China also used FWB.

  • issan Says:

    Once I have received the Gamo Bigcat, I checked the muzzle energy of the gun immediately. It was giving 13.3 fpe with CP 7.9g Not bad!!The shooting experience however not so pleasing. Twanging and unpleasant vibration. Being a very lightweight airgun, the vibration actually transferring to my hand. So decided if I can do something. I striped it down.

    It is very natural to see a Bend spring from GAMO like this. And next the seal

    One may choose to change the seal.

    As we all know Piston is the Heart of the Powerplant.

    The better the piston =Better the gun shoot

    So lets have a look at the piston.

    So the progressive bulged. All piston of gamo has this problem. And I don’t know the reason why the spring has to be exposed so much.

    The more the spring exposed the more sound it will create while shooting and also while cocking and de-cocking.

    I noticed the OD of the piston also bulged. have a look.

    So the end of the piston looks better? Wobbling is guaranteed and a definite impact on SD. Therefore accuracy will be compromised.

    Lets see what else we can spot.

    Not BAD. 2.5mm gap. While it will be cocked, think in a slow motion. The spring guide getting pushed forward and the spring that is inside of the piston will buckling heavily like this: 

    Which will create, harsh, twangy airgun. It will reduce the power and spring life. Spring will bend, crack.

    I just did a small thing to change the GAMO characteristic entirely.

    I CHANGED the Piston!!.

    I took this piston http://target-tune.in/international/products/GAMO-High-Speed-Piston.html

    The OD for TTI Piston is 24.85mm is an excellent sliding fit for 25mm GAMO. No Wobbling so better shot consistency thus the accuracy.

    The ID of TTI piston is carefully made so while cocking the spring will enter inside the piston very smoothly. As you see the piston ID smaller than GAMO OEM piston for arresting bucking for better axial force and longer spring life. It also eliminates unessential twang.

    Natural Spring Guide.  You don’t have to but any extra spring guide. Your existing spring guide should do the magic with this piston,

    After the piston installed, look at the compressed spring. There are still gap between coil to coil even though see how straight the spring is. More interestingly, you will be noticing immediately the smoothness while cocking and a solid piston smashing sound while firing. You will feel like you are shooting an expensive gun. As I told before the GAMO characteristic entirely changed after this.

    I have got a 1 fpe extra energy after this.

  • issan Says:

    Actually I wanted to post pictures but couldn’t do that.

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