Gamo Rocket IGT breakbarrel .177 air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


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

I shot the Gamo Rocket IGT .177 breakbarrel air rifle to see how potentially accurate it is. This is the day many readers have been waiting for. I was even nipped in the hocks by one reader to get it done faster.

The scope
The scope on the test rifle is the 4×32 fixed-power scope that comes in the package. The optics are clear, but at 4x, the image seems small. The crosshairs are also rather coarse. So, you really have to pay attention when aiming. I would say this scope is okay to start with if you don’t want to spend more money. And since the Rocket IGT has no other sights, you’ll need an optical sight of some kind.

Starting the test
I decided to use the same four pellets that were used in the velocity test. The distance was 25 yards and all shooting was done indoors, so weather wasn’t a problem. The first pellet tested was the JSB Exact 10.3-grain dome that delivered velocity in the low 800s. The group started very well. Around shot five, it had opened to twice its size. By the end of the session, it was double that. The 10-shot group measured 1.074 inches between the centers of the two widest shots.


Six shots are in the single hole in the center, but the other four opened this group of JSB Exacts to 1.074 inches. The group is taller than it is wide.

The trigger
It’s always best to evaluate the trigger when shooting for accuracy because you notice every little nuance while trying to hold the reticle still on the target. I now discovered that stage two of the new Gamo trigger has a long perceptible movement. I won’t call it a creepy trigger, but you certainly do feel it move as the sear gradually disengages.

So, my evaluation of the trigger changes from great to just good. It’s certainly the best trigger Gamo has ever fielded; but at the same time, it’s no Rekord.

Back to the test
I felt that JSB pellets were teasing me, and they really wanted to shoot better, so I would come back to them, but next came RWS Hobby pellets. Three shots went into three inches and they were through. Hobbys are not the right pellet for the Rocket IGT.

Next up was our new friend, the H&N Baracuda Green. I expected them to shock me with their accuracy after all the recent success we have seen. But the first group wasn’t that good. It measures 1.141 inches between centers, and you will see that it is more vertical than horizontal.


Five shots are in the single hole at the top of the group, but the other five H&N Baracuda Greens opened this group to 1.141 inches. Notice how vertical the group seems.

Since I’d now shot two vertical groups, I decided to try a differtent hold. Instead of placing my off hand at the rear of the forearm where I could feel the triggerguard, I moved it forward under the cocking slot. Then, I shot another group of H&N Baracuda Greens. This group measures the same 1.141 inches as the first group, but it’s even more vertical than the first.


This group with a different handhold was even more vertical than the first, even though it measures the same 1.141 inches between centers! I would return to the original spot for resting the gun.

Loose screws
At this point, I stopped shooting and checked all the stock screws. All were loose, and the two in the forearm had to be tightened quite a lot. When I returned to the bench, the point of impact had changed — and H&N Baracudas no longer grouped very well. Four shots went into 1.50 inches, and I just stopped shooting.

It isn’t supposed to work like that. Tightening the stock screws is supposed to give you the best groups the rifle is capable of; but with the Rocket IGT, that did not happen — at least not with Baracuda Greens. However, something told me to try the JSB pellet again, so that’s what I did.

The next group of JSB Exacts was shot with my off hand against the triggerguard and the stock screws tight. This time, there was a lot less walking of the pellets, and I ended up with a fairly good group of 10. It measures 1.025 inches between centers and is much rounder than any of the earlier groups. This is the best group shot during this test and is probably a good representation of what this rifle is capable of.


This group of JSB Exacts is rounder than any of the others. Though it is not much smaller than the first group of JSBs, I like the shape of the group a little more.

Gamo PBA pellets
I couldn’t do this test without giving Gamo’s PBA Platinum pellet that came with the gun a try. So I shot two of them. They cracked like a .22 long rifle in the house and landed seven inches apart. That ended the test!

Final word
What do I think about the Gamo Rocket IGT? Well, it has many good things going for it. Light weight. Easy cocking and a good trigger are the main ones. The power is also reasonable.

On the minus side, the accuracy I saw was mediocre at best. But I only tried four pellets in the rifle. Who’s to say there isn’t a good pellet that would make this rifle shine? It only needs one.

45 Responses to “Gamo Rocket IGT breakbarrel .177 air rifle: Part 3”

  • Edith Gaylord Says:

    Sorry the blog didn’t get posted at midnight! I forgot to schedule it for the right time. My bad.

    Edith

    • twotalon Says:

      Fifty lashes with a soggy hairball.

      twotalon

    • Pete Says:

      Frankly, Edith, I do not know how you two find any time to sleep…these wonderful reports are a welcome view every morning and are so much fun ! Thank you, Very much !
      Pete

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        Pete,

        Now you understand the comment I made on Friday: I’d like to be able to sleep for 3 months :-)

        Edith

        • Matt61 Says:

          I’ve been reading about the many health benefits of more sleep and less sitting. It’s never too soon to convert.

          Matt61

        • Titus Groan Says:

          Although I usually start my replies with a reference to B.B., I would like to go on record that I realize you are the oil that keeps this blog running so smooth. It is an unfortunate fact of life that we recognize this fact only when things go wrong. Such as the ‘ no blog’ last night. Thanks Edith, for all you do to make this a very enjoyable and necessary part of my day.
          Caio Titus

    • J-F Says:

      No problem, you guys do so much work, just the fact the a blog is published 260 days a year without a single day off is a tremendous feat. We can live with a few hours behind behind schedule.

      J-F

      • Wulfraed Says:

        The real reason it was late is that I went to bed at 2330 last night — rather than hanging on until 0005 to be the first to comment <G>

    • Victor Says:

      Edith,
      That’s OK. The pool of drool at my desk, left after falling asleep while waiting last night for this report, was not too bad.
      Victor

  • Barrika Says:

    GLAD to see that someone else got something funky after tightening up some screws/bolts! Just a few days ago, while still trying to ace-out my Hatsan 95 (.17 cal), I checked & found two loose screws. Further shooting then showed the most recent 3 pellets’ groups opened up by about 50%! I’m going to do further tests on this “soon”, to determine if some slack can be beneficial on the right-side stock screw, and/or the rear trigger-guard screw. Not sure what to hope for! —Barrika

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Barrika,

      I hope you’ll report the results of your test. This is the first time I have seen this and I’d like to start watching for more incidents.

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.

        I saw something similar with my 97K. It seemed to shoot better if the screws were within a particular tightness range.
        That rifle can get squirrely vibrations in the stock. May be some interraction between the steel and the wood in this particular rifle causing some strange resonance. A diferent piece of wood might make it work entirely different.

        twotalon

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          TT,

          Interesting! Walther packs a special torque wrench with their target rifles, so the stock screws can be adjusted precisely. It’s an Allen wrench that has two loops for your fingers. Thje screws are supposed to be two-fingers tight!

          B.B.

          • twotalon Says:

            B.B.

            My 97K seems to like snug, but not really cranked down or sloppy (can be turned easily by two fingers on the screwdriver) loose. I worked my way through this when I first got it. Vibration was horrible, and I could not keep the screws tight. When they got to a particular looseness, it shot good. At some point, it suddenly started shooting bad. This was when they got really loose.
            I don’t know how much the floating fore end screw bracket had to do with this.

            twotalon

  • se mn airgunner Says:

    Wow, this could have been a review of the Crosman Nitro Venom Dusk!! About same power, gas spring, no open sights, etc. I even have a youtube video of a 1 inch group at 25 yards (not from a bench rest, resting on my forearm against a support from a standing position). The trigger on the Venom Dusk is probably worse…LONG 2nd stage. The secret with that gun is to keep applying steady pressure no matter how long and creepy the pull. If you rush it, you yank it. Takes a tremendous amount of touch…but I still love it! Taken rabbits, squirrels and a host of gophers out of my garden. But, with the 1 inch limitation at 25 yards, that’s about your effective range for hunting.

    Thanks BB for this review! I know you hate it (it’s like reviewing Pabst Blue Ribbon vs Drambuie) but reviews of these cheap guns for us tightwads is very much appreciated!!!! :)

    • se mn airgunner Says:

      HOWEVER, keeping the stock screws tight are a MUST for my Nitro Venom.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      SE MN AG,

      I don’t hate it. I had high hopes for this airgun and it disappointed me. If it was a tack-driver would be shouting it from the rooftops right now.

      B.B.

      • Pete Says:

        B.B. We all know that you are testing this one example, one ,of this GAMO. And, if you tested 10 in a series of serial numbers each would feel and perform a little differently. That said, a single model of this would still indicate a trend of accuracy, for example. Be interesting to test two more of the same.
        Pete

  • Mike Says:

    Well, I probably won’t be recommending this one to others but all in all not to bad. It would be a great one to pick up used at a big discount! It looks like Gamo is headed in the right direction.

    Mike

  • Robert from Arcade Says:

    I think that the quality of the barrels on these Gamos like the ones on their Crosman clones are to blame for the mediocre accuracy, and not so much the light weight or bedding of the stock. The Russian Bakail MP513 break barrel that I have will shoot 1″ ,10 shot groups using only the iron sights it came with at 25 yards, and they are round and uniform groups . That gun is more powerful than this Gamo and it is very light ,even having an aluminum compression tube. Lots of vibration .It is the gun I let newbe air gunners shoot to demonstrate air rifle recoil. I agree with se mn that most of the breakbarrel Gamo guns of this type will never be more than 1″ groupers at 25 yards. That is not really a bad thing though, as most pesting,which is what these are obviously built for, is done at that range or less.

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Robert,
      Well said about 1″ accuracy. The trajectory is questionable after 30 or so with many pellets anyway. I see the 100 yard head shots on squirrels talked about on the internet (and at the range) all the time, but I don’t think I’ve even gone past 50 with a rimfire, and probably more like 40, mostly a lot closer.

      The barrel problems stem from running the cutters too long, I think as a cost-cutting measure. 1/2 the barrels are excellent to good (very tight to just right?), 1/2 are good to poor (just right to too loose?). If the Baikal is hammer-forged, they may have better tolerance for much longer, because I bet all they do is use a reamer or something like that on the lands after forging, which would be cheaper and easier to setup and replace periodically. The initial cost for the hammer-forging equipment would be much higher though.

      Off topic. I thought you were paying too much for chicken feed, but I paid 15.50/50lbs on Saturday at co-op! That is crazy.

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        BG: The Bakails usually have very good barrels. I was lucky to get the .177 that I mentioned used for less than $100 shipped. It’s the Mosin Nagant of air rifles . A bargin if you can learn it. On 100 yard squirrel shooting. A good book to read that is still relevant, is C.S. Landis’s book “Hunting With the Twenty -Two”. In it he talks about shooting squirrels with his much massaged Win 52 sporter at over 50 yards, using the then new Win high speed HP .22 RF ammo, and the difficulty of such shots. Best book on .22 RF that I have ever read. I see posts on the 10-22 Ruger ‘s all the time that claim 1″ groups at 100 yards . The reality is that 1″ groups even at 50 yards with ANY auto-loading .22 often takes some work to the gun and a lot of range time. On the high cost of animal feed, folks should keep in mind that the high cost now is because of last years almost three fold rise in the fertilizer costs of growing it,plus the higher fuel costs. This years drought and the increase that it will cause to food prices,won’t catch up until winter. It just isn’t about your bird seed for the feeder as some have joked.

        • BG_Farmer Says:

          Robert,
          I’ll look that book up. It sounds like a realistic account. There are exceptional rifles and exceptional shooters, but not as many as you might hear about :)! I reported my first trial results at 100 yards with my Savage (mkII bolt action) at ~2″ (if I remember correctly — any wind not read right made 4″ a definite possibility), and was pretty happy getting there with little effort at that point, and someone jumped on me saying that he had no problem shooting 1″ groups at 100 the first time he tried and apparently every time thereafter :)!

          I’ll look at the Baikals some time — never looked at the Russian stuff much.

          Food prices — I’ve started and stopped on 3 tirades already. The stuff hasn’t even begun to hit the fan, and it is under the radar in part because the inflation index is so watered down in inclusions. I would suggest people work out their own trading system just in case and look out for themselves, but I assume the drones can be used for other purposes than detecting cows piddling in wetlands. I suspect even a family may not deserve much longer to “eat well” on food that they slave to grow or graze, when a family on welfare somewhere is starving and needs all that they don’t NEED. Soon even I might be the “other 1%”! Time to get back under my tin hat…

    • Vince Says:

      Ditto on the 513. It seems to violate every rule, even having a skinnier-than-normal lightweight barrel. But despite the lack of weight, the powerful action, and the not-that-great trigger, mine always shot a LOT better than I had a right to expect.

  • TunnelEngineer Says:

    B.B.,

    If you don’t mind my asking, was there a reason not to test the always funky Gamo pellets?

    Regarind the stock screws, the Gamo Whisper, whihc I have not repaired yet, did not see a change in accuracy at all with loose stock screws.

    T.E.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TE,

      You might have missed the mention but I actually did test the Gamo PBA Platinum pellets. The first two shots landed seven inches apart and I ended the test at that point.

      B.B.

      • TunnelEngineer Says:

        B.B.,

        Yes, sorry, I meant the regular lead pellets. I think I have heard some people say the conical points tend to be good in Gamo rifles

        T.E.

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    BB,
    I like that you give the clunks and the Gamo’s a fair shake. With the cost of HW’s becoming stratospherical, and even Dianas going up significantly, they may not be ideal starting points anymore…I know I can’t justify one at the price they go for very easily just to mess around with. So, there are probably quite a few of us looking for diamonds in the rough! I happen to like solving problems, so short of re-rifling the barrel, I’m game to try something cheap and count it as part of the fun.

    Which brings me to my question: any plans to review the Ruger Black Hawk? It gets good marks from PA customers. I really don’t need one, but a mid- to high-powered (depending on how I tune it) break barrel should present an interesting new challenge! Yes, I know it has a plastic stock — I’ve actually come to like that. Modern stocks (esp. airgun stocks) are just too ugly to waste decent wood on, and the tupperware is no-maintenance; ugly to start with (in a functional way) so no point in worrying about scratches, etc. :).

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      BG_Farmer,

      I had no plans to test the Black Hawk, but I just looked at the reviews. I can’t tell from them if they really think their gun is nice, or just nice for the price. I’m getting sick of compromise airguns, so I have to let this one settle a bit before I say yes. Because once the rifle is in my hands the price goes away. Only the performance counts.

      Can I stand being disappointed yet again!

      B.B.

      • BG_Farmer Says:

        BB,
        No rush and I’ll understand if you would rather do something else. I had the same problem interpreting the reviews. I do like they basic design (started (? :) ) from a good one) and the sights look very nice, maybe better than the 34′s. My hope is that Ruger (or the entity operating under their name) kept the Chicom factor on task better than usual, much like the Hammerli 490, which is a considerably better made product than many of the other chinese produced ones.

  • hankmcrae Says:

    B.B.,
    May I suggest a no compromise rifle to test? The Beeman R11. I realize the similarity to the R9, but if it’s different enough for a conservative German company like Weihrauch to produce, then there must be something special about it.
    I’m looking for a replacement for my TX, and this is on the short list. There is nothing particularly wrong with my current FT rig, but we just have not connected. I’m sure you have experienced this at one time or another, owning a rifle that does everything well but is just not for you. Never met an HW breakbarrel I haven’t liked. Thanks for the consideration.
    -hm

  • Wulfraed Says:

    <sigh>

    And another one bites the dust…

  • Matt61 Says:

    I wonder if you can work the probabilities and say that if four pellets don’t get accuracy in a gun, it is unlikely that you will get good accuracy in the remainder or that even one particular brand is likely to do well. That little calculation would save some legwork…

    J-F, I didn’t quite follow your comment about John Garand and the location of his relatives. All I know is that the loss of his incredible work of art by whatever means would have been a real tragedy.

    Mike, I like plastic myself, especially on my Savage 10FP. It isn’t a very high quality stock, but I love how cheap it feels while getting great accuracy. :-)

    Victor, that is timely advice to avoid Facebook. I’ve been chastising myself for not opening an account to connect with friends who seem to like it. But email is the only killer app I need. I actually was talking to a professional contact who asked me to text him, and I told him I didn’t know how. He burst out laughing. Maybe that was deserved since as a librarian, I’m supposed to be up on this stuff. Speaking of libraries, never count out your library for a bit of action. A guy was misbehaving in the library recently and the police were called. A male and female officer sauntered in after about 20 minutes acting very put out. When the guy was pointed out, they asked him if he was a student. The guy made a huffy show of putting his laptop into his bag, then he made a sudden break for freedom. BUT, not being any Gale Sayers, he ran right into the corner of a table and he and all his stuff went flying. The male officer pounced. But with a show of strength, the perp reared up and slammed the officer into a table. He then applied a Heisman quality stiff-arm to the female officer and darted out of the building and into the night.

    Duskwight, for zen, I understand that the test takes the form of the master asking you a nonsensical question and then looking for your reaction to see if you can transcend the bounds of logic and reach enlightenment. The answers typically are not rational themselves. So, I thought what if you hauled off and cracked the master a good one? But I suppose they would be able to see if your reaction was truly Enlightened or not. And then there could be consequences.

    I had my own little Olympics last night. It was my last shot of 60 and of a group of 10 that was going well with my Daisy 747. Was I going to choke? No! That last pellet went zinging in for a group about the size of a quarter at 5 yards–which is good for me. But no one would have mistaken the preceding 50 shots for the Olympics. As a retrospective on the very entertaining Olympics that just finished, my categories are as follows:

    Most beautiful: The British women’s lightweight double sculls–true poetry in motion in the midst of agony. Also, Tirunish Dibaba of Ethiopia winning her second gold medal in the women’s 10,000 meters.

    Ugliest: Underwater women’s water polo.

    Funniest: BMX bicycle racing. Like human-sized remote control vehicles jumping over bumps just like they use for rc racecourses.

    Shooting: Not the most exciting or the least. But I thought there was a fair amount of drama involved in seeing the shooting with the targets inserted into the screen.

    Matt61

    • J-F Says:

      John C Garand was born in St-RĂ©mi (about 45min drive from where I live) in the province of Quebec, Canada.
      If his parents hadn’t moved to the US when he was young and had stayed here instead he probably never would have been exposed to the firearm culture you guys have in the US and probably wouldn’t have created his masterpiece.

      J-F

    • Victor Says:

      Matt61,
      I much prefer to use e-mail and instant messaging (IM) for communications for several reasons: First, I’m very hard of hearing, and going totally deaf. Second, I find it more reliable in terms of capturing important details because written communication tends to be more precise than loose language. It’s easier to know what to question. Third, e-mails and IM (instant message) logs make it easy to document complex interactions. You can refine those interactions to even form a single shareable document.

      I don’t IM nearly as much as I once did, but I use Microsoft’s Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, and Skype. I use text on my cell more than talk because of my hearing. I probably get about one phone call month, max.

      As for the “virtual world”, like facebook, I don’t have the time for it. The e-mail accounts that I do have already take up too much of my time. These things are “time-sinks” and distractions from real-life activities that I can derive much more out of. But that’s just me, I guess.

      Victor

  • Victor Says:

    Matt61,
    As for your little Olympics. Have a shooting session where you never consider either points, nor groups. Instead, put all of your focus and attention on how well you executed using the fundamentals. Be as absolutely honest with yourself about how faithfully you executed every last detail, including follow-through. Don’t worry about your wobble-area at all. Just trust that all you need to do is cause the gun to go off without disturbing your sight alignment. Practice this way until you feel confident that you finally really do trust in the fundamentals, and that things like wobble-area are not worth worrying about.
    Victor

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,
    So it seems that the Gamo GF-X was Gamo’s last attempt to make an accurate air-rifle. Do you know of anything that Gamo has that is in the same league in terms of accuracy? If they don’t have anything of this or better accuracy, then they aren’t moving forward.
    Victor

  • kevin Says:

    B.B .,

    Understand your desire to want to put this Gamo Rocket behind you. Premature IMHO.

    I’ve never met a gamo that I wanted to own. The improved trigger on the Gamo Rocket IGT along with velocities that remind me of an FWB 124 got my hopes up. I keep hoping for you to turn me onto another affordable, accurate, medium-high power, break barrel springer with a great-good trigger. I recommend the bronco for lower power folks and the diana 34 for shooters wanting more power and are willing to learn the hold (used to recommend the B26 but the last two were crap).

    Disappointed in your take on the trigger while actually shooting. That can probably be remedied with extra work on the trigger or an aftermarket drop in soon.

    The accuracy you obtained with the pellets you used don’t pass my test for a gun to be recommended.

    I’m trying to understand your choice of pellets in a gun that generates fpe similar to an FWB 124. The gamo pba I understand because the gun is shipped with a sample of these. “Wow dad it sounds like a .22 rimfire. This thing is powerful! Thanks!” Typical gamo crap. I don’t understand testing hobbies in this gun.

    With all due respect in my view you only tested two pellets.

    Wonder how cph, cpl, fts or ftt and air arm field pellets would work in this gun. I know you can’t test every pellet made in every gun but you only tested two pellets in this gun IMHO.

    kevin

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      Okay, I’ll test it again. Only for you. ;)

      B.B.

      • kevin Says:

        B.B.,

        You’ve got a full plate. Don’t ever do anything for me.

        My comment was rooted in your optimism that gamo had introduced something to the marketplace that was going to elevate their airgun wares for all consumers. I wanna believe, and am sure others do too, that gamo wants to replicate cfx royal airgun that will be well received. It would be nice to know if this is an honest attempt or just more marketing hype. I want to believe they’re really trying and won’t believe I’m alone. There are a lot a gamo haters, for many good reasons, but I’m not one of them.

        If you decide to give this another chance, like the many Hatsans, you’ll garner nothing but respect from the airgun community IMHO (for what little bread that will put on your table LOL!).

        kevin

  • chuck Says:

    The gas piston powerplant for a break barrel sounds like such a good idea. What is missing here? Did I miss a review of one that really was accurate? Are only the cheap-o rifles getting gas pistons?
    -Chuck

  • Mark in Colorado Says:

    My Rocket IGT shoots all over the place with 3 or 4 different pellets. I upgraded the scope to a Bushnell 4x, but kept the same “sticky” rings that came with the gun. Slight improvement. Then, I discovered the fabled loose bolts, tightened them, tested the gun, and haven’t touched it in 2 months. The accuracy rivaled my Red Rider BB rig from 35 years ago… I have written Pyramid requesting a recommendation for 11mm Dove-to-Weaver conversion rail, decent mounts, and I will likely put in a currenly-not-in-use Nikon Prostaff Rimfire scope. I’ll also give other pellets a try.

    One thing I am tempted to try – since the accuracy stinks anyway – is Brownell’s Bore Bright. Some know this as “jeweler’s paste”, and my intention would be to give the barrel 20 passes, test, 10 more, test, and so on to see if the barrel could be conditioned into better accuracy.

    Another think I may do is cut off the un-grooved portion of the barrel, and then machine in a chamfir crown. Any thoughts?

    I’m an avid shooter with a .22LR range at my house here in Colorado Springs. I shoot a requisite 30 rounds per day free hand, with optics, at targets up to 70 yds away and consider myself “zombie apocalypse ready”, if you will. I’m pretty sure I’m shooting the Rocket IGT correctly, but will give it another try once I get it converted.

    Mark

    • Wulfraed Says:

      Don’t go Shadow-walking with that polished barrel… As Corwin discovered — jeweler’s rouge made firearm propellant in the realm of Avalon…

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