Gamo Rocket IGT breakbarrel .177 air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


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

Kevin is responsible for this special Part 4 report on the Gamo Rocket IGT .177 breakbarrel. He pointed out that I didn’t give the rifle enough of a chance to excel in the accuracy test, and several of you agreed. Even Edith chimed in when she read Kevin’s comment. In light of the leniency I have shown the recently tested Hatsan springers, this is certainly true. I won’t change my normal way of reviewing airguns, but in this instance I can see that it makes good sense to try other pellets in this rifle.

It takes a long time to shoot a 10-shot group, so I resolved to shoot just 5 shots per pellet and see where that left me. If the five were reasonably close, I would complete the group with the other 5 shots.

First up was Kevin’s favorite, and a pellet I’ve found to be accurate in a variety of air rifles — the JSB Exact RS dome, which weighs 7.33 grains. I was prepared to be surprised by the accuracy, but RS domes delivered 5 shots into 1.29 inches at 25 yards. So I stopped shooting them. I remembered that the lighter pellets did worse in this rifle in the last test, so next I tried the heavyweight Beeman Kodiak pellet.


Five JSB Exact RS pellets went into 1.29 inches at 25 yards. No reason to keep shooting them.

The first Kodiak pellet went way to the right of the aim point, then the next one about an inch to the left of that. After that, the pellets went to the same place until shot 6, when the pellet went back to the right. Some time in the final 4 shots, 2 pellets went to the right and low. How do I interpret this?


Kodiaks gave me this group. Six of the 10 shots are nicely grouped, but 4 others open the group considerably. This 10-shot group measures 1.257 inches between centers. The smaller group of 6 measures 0.635 inches.

This group made me wonder if I was being consistent enough with the Rocket IGT. Did I “season” the bore with enough pellets before shooting the group? I actually didn’t season it at all, but the fact that the last Kodiaks are as wide of the large group as the first one makes me think seasoning isn’t important here.

Was I holding the gun as carefully as I should be? That was a real concern. I hadn’t put a scope level on the gun, but was I completely relaxing and then shifting the crosshairs back to the target like I should?

Bottom line, I wanted to see another group of Kodiaks. That would perhaps tell me what I needed to know.


Ten more Kodiaks went into this group that measures 1.906 inches between centers. Eight of those pellets went into 0.784 inches — a group size that I think represents the true accuracy potential of the Rocket IGT.

The second group is very revealing. I tried just as hard to shoot well as I had with all the groups before, and there were no called fliers, but you can see from this group that some pellets didn’t want to play along. That tells me I’m probably not doing something consistently, and it’s affecting the results.

I tried one final group of 10 Crosman Premier heavies, just to see what another heavy pellet might do. This time, the 10-shot group was better than both groups of Kodiaks; but at 0.984 inches, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. The openness of this group makes me think that this is perhaps not the pellet for the Rocket IGT. But I’m not sure of that, either.


Ten Crosman Premier 10.5-grain pellets made this 0.984-inch group at 25 yards. It’s okay but seems more open than the Kodiak groups.

What now?
I’m going to give the Rocket IGT a fifth test, and this time I’m going to do everything I can to make it shoot well. I’m going to mount a more powerful scope, sort the pellets by weight, mount and use a scope level, and spend the time I need to shoot the finest groups possible.

You may not realize it, but it takes a LOT of time to shoot the absolute best you can. It takes me about 5 minutes per shot when I’m really working the artillery hold. I want to do this for this rifle because, in this test, I see the potential trying to peek through. Normally, the shooting I already did would be enough to make a decision.

If you think what I’m about to do is overkill, consider this. I shoot hundreds of different air rifles every year and never have the chance to get familiar with any of them. An owner who has just one rifle can, over time, become so familiar with that rifle that he can shoot like I am about to, but do it in far less time. But if I do take the time to settle in for each shot and if I do remove all of the accuracy-destroying variables, we will finally see what this rifle can really do.

Don’t think that I’m going to do this for every airgun test from now on. I’m doing it this time because Kevin and the other readers were right. The Rocket IGT needed more of a chance to shine; and when it got that, it showed the glimmer of a rifle that wants to shoot.

82 thoughts on “Gamo Rocket IGT breakbarrel .177 air rifle: Part 4

  1. B.B.,
    When I first got into springers, it took me weeks, even months, to truly master a particular air-rifle. But when I did, the results were amazing. If I stick with a particular gun, then the skill level remains, but I tend to jump around between guns.

    I have found that all my Gamo .177 cal air-rifles like Crosman Premier lights. Other rifles, like my Ruger Air-Hawk Elite CLEARLY like heavies. A good tin of CPL’s will do very good with all of my Gamo’s.
    Victor


  2. I have found that I am doing good to have the time to shoot one air rifle very much, so why have a bunch I never shoot?


  3. I use a “poor man’s” scope level. I draw a vertical line down the center of the target to use as a reference with the vertical line in the reticle. I mention it in case it helps simplify and speed up your testing.

    Steve


  4. B.B.

    You sure are giving this one a lot of chances.
    While you are fooling around with it, could you check a couple things? ……
    Is the hinge sloppy-floppy ?
    Push a couple tight fitting pellets through the bore and tell me what your impression is of the feel.

    twotalon



      • I’d almost very that this is the cause of those 2 group groups. Same thing as I was getting with my Slavia 634. Once I tightened up the hinge on it, it shot much better. Can the Gamo be tightened up here, or is it just pinned?

        If I could consistantly get 1″ groups from this gun from a braced mono-pod @ 25 yds. I’d be very happy with this gun for the price!

        /Dave


  5. FIVE minutes per SHOT?? Wow! I know that I need to take a lot more time for BEST shooting, but for me, that can be 30-60 seconds/shot. What do you do in all that time? I’m assuming that does not include prior prep like pellet inspection, weighing, gun set-up, etc.


    • Barrika,

      What I do is settle into position. That involves subtle repositioning. If the gun moves when I relax, I have to move again, and then relax and check again.

      None of the prep time is included in that.

      B.B.


      • I pray regularly for patience since it’s a quality that I need to improve upon.

        Guess I’m shocked at the lack of response to B.B.’s shooting revelation instigated by one comment about taking “5 MINUTES PER SHOT!”

        Even benched, settling into a shot where crosshairs are still on target after relaxing takes multiple tries with rare exception. Does everyone do this and just glossed over this key to shooting accurately or did you miss this gem of information?

        There was another important tidbit of information in B.B.’s comment about shooting accurately.

        Patience.

        I’m embarassed to admit that I’ve had gamo rocket igt type airguns that I was in the middle of shooting for accuracy. Before this part 4 B.B. shot the gamo rocket igt a lot with just mediocre reward. Inch plus group sizes at 25 yards are my definition of mediocre reward with a springer. When this happens to me I continue testing pellets but have to admit I lose focus (patience) and start rushing shots since I now have a prejudice that the rifle must show me something to warrant my COMPLETE TIME AND FOCUS.

        The tidbit that made reading this blog invaluable for me was to eliminate my prejudice and focus entirely on pellet testing an airgun even though it hasn’t shown me it deserves it. Yet.

        kevin


        • Taking one gun to the range I used to visit in California, spending 5 minutes per shot would be possible (though it would mean only three shots per session — the range ran 15 minutes shooting, 15 minutes to safe, step away, then check targets). The range had a flat fee per visit, regardless of time of day or duration of visit… $15 for 8 hours (in summer) is okay.

          But my web search here in MI has turned up a few ranges open to the public that were charging $10+ PER HOUR. After I kick my parents out of their house I’ll be able to set up a 10m range using the length of the basement (~42 feet) so I should at least be able to tune and sight in at close range… And then see about joining a club in the next county to the east that wants about $80/year [though it isn't a staffed range -- I think first to the range for the session raises a flag to indicate archery [yellow] or firearms [red] are in use].

          While the basement might satisfy air-gun usage (though a .22 Condor at 10m into a rimfire trap is going to be rather pointless — unless I stick to the micro-meter tank); I would like to ensure the firearms are finally sighted in completely…


        • Kevin,

          Your question regarding the Gamo has paid off. New reader, dangerdongle, (just above this comment ) is asking the same question from a new shooter’s perspective. This may turn out to be one of the most significant reports we have done in recent times, thanks to you! :D

          B.B.


  6. BB, I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to give this gun every chance. But it seems to me that a professional shooter like you is already getting better groups than hacks like me can on our best day.

    My Nitro Venom can achieve 10 shot 1 inch groups at 25 yards from a standing position with the gun resting against my forearm supported against something (tree, pole, etc.), my shooting ability doesn’t belong in the same internet forum as you. I like your tests because it shows the absolute best a gun can shoot, but I only use that as a gauge as how it will do as a hunting gun. I realize most folks on this blog are target shooters, but I am a critter shooter. So I’d be interested in the groups a guy can get when holding the gun in hunting situations (i.e. off hand, resting on your forearm against a tree, off your knee sitting down, etc.). I don’t expect you to test those things, but if a professional such as yourself can only get 1 inch groups with all that careful shooting from a bench, I don’t expect this is a good hunting gun, even if you limit yourself to 25 yard shots. Am I wrong?


    • SE MN AG,

      Thanks for all the praise, but I have to tell you, I am only an average rifle shot. That’s why I’m pulling out the stops in the next test of this one.

      I have to work hard to get groups that owners seem to get easily from their rifles.

      I think this could be a good hunting rifle, once the right hold is found.

      B.B.


      • BB, I’m not buying it (your claim to be average shooter that is). But your reply echos my concern. Perhaps the best hold is some type of very light artillery hold on the back of two fingers…I have yet to come across a squirrel that I can shoot from a bench with that hold. :) That is why I’m more concerned on how a gun shoots from a less conventional hold, and with springers that means we need to limit our shots…due to power, but mostly due to accuracy (why am I saying that like it’s “news”?!?….you can send me to the corner with a dunce hat, Sensei). When you do these tests, I generally expect my hunting situations would have groups that are double or triple the size you get.


        • Target shooters need to step into our world once. That’s when you really find out what you can or can’t get away with. Them critters don’t position themselves perfectly for anyone. They don’t give you all the time in the world to set up the shot either.

          twotalon


          • The worst part, twotalon, is that in Minnesota when you miss the squirrels actually laugh at you. Must be some type of subspecies.


            • The ones around here fear me. When I shoot at them they usually end up dead.

              I was out a couple days ago for some scouting. Season opens 1 Sep. Found 3 or 4 places where the were doing some heavy cutting on the hickory trees. Have to decide if I really want to go to the trouble of cleaning tree rats or not.

              Carried the .22 R9 along for some plinking (good practice for confidence). Shoot at leaves, twigs, flaws in tree bark (beech trees). Set my limits.

              twotalon


  7. B.B.
    Do you think those thinner barrels on the New Gamos heat up and bend a little causing the shot to wander??
    I have noticed that whenever I shoot my old 760 D cold(first shot), the first shot almost always hit the bull. Thereafter the shots wander all over the paper.
    Perhaps you can borrow Edith’s hair blow dryer(now I am in Edith’s bad books) and blow some hot air through the barrel and see what happens.

    Pete



      • G’Day BB

        What about external heat, sun light? If you are taking 5 minutes a shot in the sun that is around 50 minutes sun baking.

        I once broke a mercury thermometer leaving it in direct sunlight for less than an hour in summer.

        Cheers Bob


        • Many thermometers have tube shapes designed to magnify the thin column of mercury/alcohol/whatever… So under sunlight they are concentrating a lot of sun onto the liquid…

          Not to discount some heat changes, but having a layer of glass really contributes (UV from sunlight passes through common glass, is absorbed by whatever is on the other side, and then gets reradiated in IR wavelengths which don’t pass out through the same glass).


          • G’day Walfraed,

            I totally agree with what you have stated.

            I should have said I have seen metal left in the summer sun hot enough to fry an eggs.

            I think Pete from the Caribbean with a hair dryer effect may have been stating this instead of heat from firing the air rifle.

            cheers Bob


        • Bob,

          I do encounter that kind of problem at my rifle range. But I was shooting the Gamo Rocket indoors, in a climate-controlled space.

          Good thinking!

          B.B.


    • Pete,

      As you can see, Edith asked the same question. Here is what I told her.

      An airgun does not heat up as it is shot. There is no explosion of gunpowder to cause heat to build. The heat of compression as the piston compressed air is adiabatic — it happens so fast there is no heat transfer.

      So my answer is no — I don’t think the barrel is heating as the gun fires. I think we are seeing the results of vibration that has not been effectively managed yet.

      B.B.


      • I was wondering what happened to the 2000 degree heat that builds up in the chamber of my IZH 61. I’m sure the heating process is fast but it cannot be that much faster than a firearm. Is the difference that a firearm gets up to 5000 degrees? I would be a little surprised if this factor of two explains the difference between firearms which heat up a great deal very fast and airguns which don’t heat up at all.

        By the way, I thought that adiabatic means irreversible. Is that related to the speed of the heating process?

        Matt61


        • Matt,

          The airgun’s heat does diminish faster than the firearm’s. It is momentary and doesn’t last for several milliseconds like the exploding gasses of a gunpowder reaction.

          In the airgun, the heat is from the compression of the air, and the moment that goes away, as the pellet moves down the barrel, it vanishes. In a firearm, the heat is a chemical reaction that increases as the bullet moves down the barrel. It is still hot when the bullet leaves the muzzle. So the longer dwell time allows the heat to be transferred to the barrel of the gun.

          B.B.


  8. I really appreciate all that you’ve done to test the accuracy of this rifle…but in my opinion I think it is somewhat of a waste of time.
    I don’t think the kind of person who is going to test numerous pellets, then weigh, wash and lube them is realistically buying a $180 Gamo.
    Again, in my opinion (and I do think I remember being wrong once before in my life ;-) ), this rifle is what it is…an inexpensive, decent quality air-rifle with average accuracy.
    It will likely sell in good numbers to beginners or people who wish to spend their afternoons shooting at pop cans…but it wouldn’t even be on the radar of someone who weighs, washes and lubes their pellets.


    • I totally agree with you.
      I don’t think buyers of this rifle will go that far to squeeze the last bit of accuracy out of it but I still find it interesting to see how much of a difference these actions will have on accuracy.

      I personnaly don’t see the point of magnum springers like this one, call me lazy but the accuracy isn’t worth the effort to me, I want to enjoy shooting, I don’t want it to be a chore. The only point I see to these is the high velocity numbers printed in big bold colorful letters on the box.
      There’s just too many option for high powered rifles that so much more fun (to me anyways) and so much more enjoyable.

      J-F


      • J-F,

        You have guessed the reason why I’m willing to go so far with this rifle. If I can get it to shoot significantly better, then those who want to buy one will know what it can do under ideal conditions. But if I can’t get it to shoot better than this, then I will have put to rest the need to go to extremes in testing not just this spring rifle, but all of them!

        B.B.


    • CSD,

      “Waste of time..”

      With all due respect I totally disagree.

      A reasonably accurate, affordably priced springer, that is widely available can bring new airgunners to this hobby. With the aid of B.B.’s blog to enlighten shooting techniques with the gamo rocket igt and narrow pellet choices and potentially show what sorting pellets can result is a complete snapshot of what airgunning is all about.

      Far from a waste of time.

      kevin


      • Kevin…if you’re going to quote me, please quote the whole phrase.
        “somewhat of a waste of time” (what I said), is different than “waste of time”.
        Although it will be interesting to see what transpires…I still don’t believe that someone who keeps multiple pellets on hand for testing, who weighs (meaning they’ve invested in a scale), sort, washes and lubes is buying a $180 Gamo.
        But, maybe this is the second time I’m wrong ;-)


        • CSD,

          Apologies. Didn’t mean to misquote you.

          You’re one of my favorite people here. Don’t want to offend you.

          I’m not in charge of my schedule this week which throws me off. I’m also running on fumes and am making mistakes in my communication so hope you will forgive me.

          Be well

          kevin


          • Hey, no problem Kevin.
            It’s an issue with me…I see so many flame wars start because someone is misquoted that I’m probably a bit too particular in making sure what I’ve said is properly interpreted.
            I try and be very careful when I quote someone…I’ve also guilty of misquoting someone and changing the flavor of what they said.




      • Yeah, sorry to be a pest! Just influenced by my own experience with these Gamo’s. On the other hand, my Gamo Silent probably performs like this Gamo, so I haven’t found anything that will bring the groups down like my other air-rifles. Another reason for my suggestion is that these CPL’s are readily available. No biggie! Thanks anyways!


    • Victor…

      I doubt if it will do much good. B.B. has said that the breech has a sloppy hinge. Gamo used to have a bad habit of non-adjustable breech hinges. They may still be doing the same thing. That is usually a death blow. A better scope or different pellets will probably not help. We have no idea what the condition of the bore is.

      twotalon


      • Twotalon,
        You know what is really disappointing about these new rifles (Gamo, Hatsan, etc.) is that they are full of gimmicks that someone put some effort into, and yet even worse than previous products in terms of performance. You would think that these companies would actually be learning from their mistakes, or from history, or even from their competitors. You would think that these companies had some amount of competitive streak in them to make better products. You would think that they’d want to beat the competition.

        But you know, this isn’t much different than some companies that I’ve personally worked for. I’ve seen companies bring in whole new management teams that completely trashed the companies core competency (talent) by introducing purely managerial gimmicky nonsense, completely weakening its engineering team, destroying moral, and ultimately reducing an engineering company to an inferior culture that felt more like junior high. You’re either into the product, or your not. Air-gun companies don’t seem to be into their products. I guess that’s why I’m leaning towards buying older products, including refurbished one. They are MUCH cheaper and perform as they should.
        Victor


        • Victor…

          Cheap price and power sell. Throw in some flashy styling and gimmicks. That’s where the money is. Quantity sales.

          In all fairness, Gamo has fairly good products, but with a few sore spots that they don’t seem to care about fixing. At least they have not gone to Chinese….yet.

          twotalon


          • twotalon,
            I am happy with my Gamo’s. But they are several years old, but better than the current crop. In this economy lots of us who love to shoot are looking for value, and not gimmicks.

            I can’t wait for B.B. to test the MAV 77. That rifle seems to be at a good price-point for what hopefully will be outstanding performance… I hope.
            Victor


            • Victor…

              Hopefully it will be worth the money…..on a CONSISTANT basis.

              When it comes to CP, I am hesitant to shoot them in fairly quick rifles. They can lead them up way too fast. Been there. Would like to see some CP in straight lead instead of the hard mix. What would we call them ? CPSL (straight lead)?

              twotalon


              • twotalon,
                You know, I’m not aware of this problem. Does this mean that if you use these Crosman pellets that you have to clean more often? I often read that some don’t ever clean their air-rifles. Do you clean your air-guns regularly? Just curious. I’ve cleaned a couple air-rifles because I could tell that they were dirty right out of the box. I don’t know how much that helped.
                Victor


    • I was wondering that myself. I always think of it as one of the “benchmark” pellets, and my Gamo’s (older ones, granted) always did better with those than with Gamo’s own pellets!


  9. While it would be nice for B.B. to find the perfect pellet for every airgun he tests, there is simply not enough time. I have a .22 cal Diana model 25 that hates all JSB domed pellets but does very well with the JSB wadcutters. It is also the first .22 airgun I’ve tested that will not group with the H&N FTS/FTT lead ammo but does well with the “green” version.

    In all I have probably tested 40 different pellets in this airgun and came up with many that were OK but only three that would reliable group under an inch at 25 yards and those do very well.

    What would be interesting in this case would be a high-speed video camera where someone could correlate the muzzle movement with the pellet placement at the target. Maybe that would give a clue to the source of the problem – lack of barrel stiffness, pivot bolt looseness, problems with the stock, etc. All you need is lots of time!

    Paul in Liberty County



    • Paul,

      Even if he found the perfect pellet for each gun he tested, that pellet may not be perfect for other people who have the exact same gun. It’s not unusual to see customer reviews on Pyramyd Air’s website, where one person says a pellet is great in his gun, yet another person says the same pellet in the same model gives mediocre accuracy.

      Edith


      • Edith,
        I agree that the same pellet may not shoot as well in the same gun owned to two or more customers. However, it’s also significant that no two shooters have the same abilities. In fact, so many product reviewers have entirely different standards. There are a lot of variables here. That’s why the only real way to know what will work for you is for you to try different pellets yourself.

        None of this is a negative in my book because doing your own research, testing, and analysis, is part of the fun of shooting, and air-guns make it very affordable.
        Victor


  10. Everyone,

    Please don’t apologize for the suggestions you are making! This kind of discussion is what will make all of us better airgunners with a deeper understanding of how these guns work.

    I may sound like I’m getting annoyed by all the extra work — but guys — look at what my job is! I get to test airguns all day! Complaining about that is like the ice cream tester complaining that he’s tired of vanilla!

    I am just as curious as you about whether this rifle will improve when all the stops are pulled out. Yes, that won’t make it a better hunting rifle and yes, I do like airguns I can just pick up and shoot without all this fuss, but I can’t turn my back on this stuff because it is part of our world.

    In the end I will still like my R8, Talon SS and Marauder best of all, but at the end of the day I will also know how to make a gun like the Rocket IGT play. That’s pretty good, don’t you think?

    B.B.


    • B.B.,
      I fully appreciate your situation. My primary reason for suggesting the CPL’s is that they are so readily available, tend to perform reasonable well (super well in some cases), and are likely what some will buy with their new air-gun.

      Unfortunately, most places that sell air-guns don’t have a very good pellet selection, but when they do charge exorbitant prices for them, often times more than 4 times what PA sells them for. That’s why I tend to buy enough pellets from PA to get free shipping and take advantage of the buy 4 get one free. BUT, sometimes I just want something to test with, like the CPL’s, and I can buy those for fairly cheap locally.
      Victor


      • Speaking of getting cheaper pellets locally, has anyone else heard of big-box stores (can you say W-Mt?) getting “the same” apparent ammo (.22, centerfire, or pellets) as other stores, but at far lower supplied price? I had one major ammo vendor confirm this to me at an NRA event. The implication is that these “same”, but cheaper rounds are likely to be manufactured at much higher rates, and likely have substantially higher variability. Comments anyone?


        • I highly doubt a factory is changing the speed of its machinery just to give a penny-pincher store an advantageous price.

          Most of it, I suspect, comes down to the shipping department and pre-orders… If a maker has a customer willing to sign a contract for /x/ cases per month for the next 12 months at price $y the company knows it can keep the production line running… Compared to smaller stores that buy through wholesalers and have to pay the wholesalers’ markups (“Hey, I gotta pay rent on da warehouse where I store dis stuff”), and the hassle to the maker when the wholesaler puts in an order for a few more cases — said order now having to be fit into a manufacturing schedule that may already be using 90% of the production capacity.


          • Well Wulfraed, all I know is that FED’L told me at the NRA convention that when they sell ammo to WMrt, in order to meet the REQUIRED prices, they let QA go to heck in a hand-basket & pump that stuff out. The product boxes LOOK identical he told me, except for the tine ID codes, which can identify the batch & sell-to client (ie WMrt), and this is likely to be somewhat inferior product. or so he says…


            • Barrika,
              I’ve heard this a few time but not really any proof. I don’t know who FED’L is but I’d need more proof than than some guy talking. I’ve heard the same comments about just about anything Wallyworld sells but don’t know of any sibstantial proof.
              -Chuck



      • CSD,

        An apprentice? Sure kid. Here’s a broom. Sweep out the cow shed and the shop. After that we’ll talk about how much apprentices have to pay their masters.

        You can sleep under the stove, which you are expected to keep filled and going, day and night.

        See you in the morning, ;)

        B.B.


  11. Hm, another gun that wants to group. Well if B.B. is willing to put in this effort, I’m willing to see if it comes to anything. As an aside, doesn’t the TX200 shoot very well with just about any pellet? Predictability like this would be a desirable quality all by itself.

    I can identify with the business of learning about new products. I just purchased the Ontario SP10 Marine Raider Bowie after much research. It has just the size, the deep belly, and the classic profile that I want. I thought I would experience a bit of Americana by practicing the lightning fast deadly back-cut (with the recurved edge of the clip point) that the Bowie was known for. The knife arrived and it is quite a beast with a quarter inch thick blade at the top. But lo and behold it handles like a battleax and is very slow and tentative with the back-cut. Even a straight chop doesn’t have much feel to it, as if I’m holding a metal pole. I did have some very slight misgivings just before purchase noticing that the blade spine angles downward ever so slightly. I believe this was done on purpose to optimize the knife for chopping which is what most people will use it for in the outdoors. This makes some practical sense. On the other hand, I can hardly be faulted for expecting a combat blade from a knife called the Marine Raider Bowie.

    But, I’m not giving up yet since I’ve been spectacularly wrong before. I was disappointed at first with my Ka Bar. With its straight blade profile, I thought it felt dead in the hand, especially for chopping. But after months of swinging it around, it now feels extremely quickly and lively. Chopping is not its forte but with the heavy weight in the pommel, it changes direction very rapidly which you want in a combat knife, and the back-cuts with the Bowie clip point design are unsurpassed. I had the same initial disappointment with my Ruger Single Six. The butt of the gun is not large enough for me to grasp with all five fingers and while I was figuring this out, the gun was outshot by a Beretta and a Glock 9mm that I rented. But now with a bit of practice the Ruger is one of my favorite guns, and I can hit targets at 50 yards.

    So, B.B.’s persistence with the gun is very much to the point. My new Bowie knife is already feeling better now that I’m no longer trying to fight the weight of the blade but am letting it go where it wants to go. Besides, they say that in close combat with with weapons or without, raw speed is less important than timing. I was reading my novel about the Roman gladiator who was unfrozen and matched against a gold medal Olympic fencer. Afterwards, one of the observers said that in choosing the Olympian, he thought the guy looked “so fast” to which the gladiator replies, “Useless.”

    Matt61


  12. bb, it seems that this rifle is reminiscent of the Crosman Nitro that I did the crown blog on. A rifle that will respond to tinkering but not real accurate out of the box.

    Fred DPRoNJ


  13. BB,
    Once again you are doing the right thing! Some in your lofty station would simply say that a Gamo is not worth messing with, much less a Hatsan, or a clunk! My suspicion is that most of the feedback these manufacturers receive is fluff (more glitz) or conventional viewpoint (HW or higher good, everything else inferior in every way every time, just make it cheap). If consumers and manufacturers don’t get credible and specific feedback, there won’t be much progress at any level.

    Somewhat related to that, I jumped the gun and ordered a Ruger Blackhawk from PA. The 36-2′s piston seal is finally worn (looks perfect though) past sealing (I was fearful of that, but confirmed with teardown), and I figured I’d just play with something else while fixing it. Also, given my obsession with that clunk, I have some plans to go farther than necessary with it and don’t want to be hurried while implementing them. Perfect scenario to try a compromise rifle that I have been curious about for some reason anyway :)…


    • Since the 36-2 seal (synthetic replacement — JM small Apex, IIRC) looked good, with even wear all around and the JM e3650 spring was in pristine condition (it is tight on the guide and not heavily pre-loaded), I wrapped the home-made “button” the seal goes on with tape to swell the size of the seal and after a couple of attempts, it felt just about right — good resistance riding in compression tube and held air when putting finger over transfer port. Put it back together and it seems to shoot pretty hard again — need to wait to try in daylight and doubt it will last another 10-20K shots like that, but it should hold up for a while until I figure out what all I need to do. Thought that hack might be handy for someone who needs a quick fix or diagnostic.


  14. This was sent to the wrong address, so I have posted it here for the author,

    Hi

    Greetings from Cape Town and thanks for all your expertise on Airguns. Its always very informative.

    When I checked my umarex beretta M92FS today I realized that I forgot to unscrew the empty co2 capsule from the gun which I shot about a week ago. Do you think the valve and orings are damaged. Or should I not worry? Ill make sure it never happens again

    Regards
    Sameer


    • Sameer,

      No damage has been done! I leave empty cartridges in some of my CO2 guns for two years and they still work.

      B.B.


  15. BB,

    I appreciate you giving this gun another chance. Maybe it’ll be worth it, maybe not. If it turns out well, it would be nice to have an “easily accessible” Gamo to recommend. So far, I generally try to steer people away from their products…

    I had some .22 Predators that shot great in my Izh 513. You know, the pellets with the great big, yawning hollow point? They worked great until I ran out.

    /Dave


  16. It will be interesting to see what you can get out of the Gamo. But, even if it can be made to shoot with great effort, everyday shooters won’t be able to make it work.

    I just had a long discussion today with a friend that is a “Gun Guy”. He mentioned that he had a air rifle but couldn’t get it to shoot. I asked him what brand it was……he didn’t know. I asked him what pellets he had……he didn’t know. I asked him how he was holding the rifle………”Like all my rifles”. I asked what type of scope…….he said the one that came with the gun. I gave him a quick course on how to shoot a springer well. But, with what he probably has, he starts with two strikes. I told him that if he wants one that works, buy a Diana or one of at least that level of quality.

    Folks with this level of air rifle experience will be buying the Gamos.

    Mike




    • Mike,

      Isn’t the challenge of learning about airguns the fun for us “gun guys”?

      Sharing the difference of airguns vs. powder burners is a new dimension to shooting that appeals. Good for you giving insight to your shooting buddies about airguns that may lead to thier appreciation of this hobby that could lead to the same passion they have for their powder burners since they’re cheaper to shoot and more convenient to shoot!

      kevin


    • Mike,

      That is the real shame of these guns that are difficult to shoot. They turn off so many potential new airgunners who figure everyone is lying about their accuracy.

      If only everyone would buy a Bronco as their first airgun.

      B.B.


  17. I will be very interested to hear your results should you determine why the gun groups the way it does. I’m having the same issue and like you assumed I wasn’t holding it the same for each shot.
    So, on a day when I was really ‘on’ and couldn’t miss, I had the wife film me in action. The only variable we could find was what looked like minute differences in my cheek placement….maybe that’s enough?
    I don’t weigh, lube or wash my pellets though. I use ‘em just the way they are out of the tin, and while some are better than others it happens too frequently to write it off as pellet choice.

    It’s got to be something I’M doing!


    • dangerdongle,

      YOU are my target audience on this one! Thank you for writing!

      If I can help you do better with whatever air rifle you own as a result of watching what I have to do to get this Gamo to shoot, then all the work has been worthwhile.

      Thank you for telling us about your situation and welcome to the blog!

      B.B.


  18. Maybe there is a big variation with this model with accuracy for every 5 accurate ones 1 will be mediocure ,maybe it is the sloppy hindge that makes the barrel osalate .Im not saying to ask PA to send another gun to test because that would start a epademic people sending guns back to exchange. 1 inch grouping is ok for entery level springer. How long before pure breed airgun companys like Diana,Air Arms ,Weihrauch ,Theoben start to cut costs like Crosman, Daisy, Bsa (is Bsa in England doing buisness as Bsa or run by Gamo)because new Bsa`s do not have made in Burningham England stamp on them. Gamo definitly cut back if you look at any hunter 440 the bluing was of good quailty so were the beech stocks for only $189 ,that was a great deal.I dont think that quality will go back to where manufactures use most expensive parts possible to beat their competetures that will never happen.I do not like their approach to sell their product with outragous volcity claims 1400 fps I would not dare to or care to see if my R1 or my Gamo hurricame 1250 will shoot pba ammo that fast Ill be happier if they will shoot kodiaks 10.6gr 900fps.Its just part of making profits GM ,Ford and all car makers did it ,you know mass production less man power .But eventually new air gunners will learn how to make more informable decisions not just by volcity claims.But their will always be a market for inexpensive springers I have several my self.


  19. A busy week on the range. I took all three of my local grandchildren shooting this week (one at a time, on different days). School starts next week, and I wanted to give each of them another round of shooting.

    Melanie shot a springer for the first time since her accident. She has a titanium plate inside her face to support a broken cheekbone. I had her shooting CO2 pistols and multi-pumps, but tried her with a Bronco. It was quite gentle and did not transmit shock through her face. She did very well.

    Nicky shot the Bronco, a Daisy 856, and a Winchester 600X. Those are his three favorites. It was his first time to shoot the 600X and was quite impressed with it, although it was a bit of a challenge for him to cock.

    Amber shot today. I set a target box up at 15 feet, and she shot both a Red Ryder and a Marlin Cowboy. The Cowboy has given me trouble shooting for point of aim. I finally had to open up the rear hole in the sight ramp to allow for windage adjustment. It is really hard to tool the spring steel!
    Anyway, I was able to get enough traverse in the ramp to get it to shoot to POA.

    Melanie has a Crosman 760. The scope came off it while it was stored in a gun sleeve. When I went to sight it in for her, the windage adjusting screw was turned down so far I could not reach it with the dime I keep in my pellet cans. I took it to the range today with a screwdriver, and adusted the scope until I could score some bulls eyes at 25 yards. This is pretty much the effective range for this gun, shooting with eight pumps. It scored 229 out of a possible 300. I think that is doing pretty good for a smooth bore. I was shooting Gamo pointed pellets 7.56gr. I think this is really more of a 10 yard gun than a 25 yard gun.

    When I took Melanie shooting, I brought along my older Daisy 880. This gun suffers from a design flaw that was corrected when production went to China. There is inadequate cross-receiver support at the front of the stock. The halves of the receiver tend to spread when pumping. The shooter will try to tighten the single large screw (a pointed screw, not a bolt), until the hollow lug the screw engages strips out of breaks.

    I tried to fix this by using a longer screw, but the problem persisted. Finally, I disassembled the receiver and cut the lugs off flush with a Dremel Tool. I drilled out the hole on the right receiver half to accept a bolt, and extended the hole through the left side. Then I cut a piece of brass tubing the exact distance between the halves. This was just big enough to allow the bolt to pass through it, but just small enough to pass through the hole in the internal mechanism. The purpose of the brass tube is to prevent the resin receiver halves from deforming and cracking when the bolt was tightened.

    Where the bolt extended through the left side, I found a nut with a knurled washer molded to it. I reassembled the gun with a little blue thread locker on the bolt end.

    With everything back together and the scope mounted, a small gap still existed when pumping the gun. I tried to correct this by tightening the small screw in the upper corner, but only succeeded in cracking the receiver. I glued this crack up. If I had thought about it more, I would have realized I could not have tightened the two receiver halves this way. It would require a second through bolt, and that was the production change!

    I tested the gun by repeatedly putting ten pumps on it and dry firing it. I think It will be acceptable.
    If it fails again, I will order more parts and prepare to do more modifications.

    Les


    • Les,

      You are the kind of grandpa I always wished I had! I’ve read about guys like you but I never knew one until now.

      Good for you!

      B.B.



  20. Gamo Bone Collector Bull Whisper IGT Air Rifle, a month old. The barrel pivot pin/bolt was floppy and loose, the synthetic stock is too soft with the stock mounting screws and washers trying to pull themselves thru the stock at recoil. No, inserts or even flat washers to distribute the shock of recoil to the bulk of the stock. The recoil ate the Gamo scope. The cocking mechanism is trying to file away the gas ram. The barrel has a long taper at the end of the barrel that has removed the rifling land and grooves. Is this form of conical (rifle crown) accurate? Are Gamo rifles accurate? If so, what crown style do they have. I don’t wish to cut this barrel shorter and recrown to find out. But I might use a tapered pin reamer in a replacement barrel, to compare a a normal crown, the taper. I think I would have restock this rifle in a more rigid material.


    • Jonsthan,

      These synthetic airguns are not the guns to cut barrels off! They should be considered and used as they are, because the synthetic materials do not respond well to alterations.

      Apparently Gamo is using a back-bored muzzle. That isn’t unheard-of, but it’s odd in a new rifle. It does work.

      As far as accuracy, that is what I am trying to establish with this test.

      B.B.


    • Jonathan,
      I had similar issues with a Bone Collector Bull Whisper. Not only did it destroy the supplied scope, it destroyed the latest UTG 3-9X40MM scope. This $200+ rifle with all this “advanced” technology produced less accuracy than an out-of-the-box $100 Crosman springer. On top of that, it was producing 107 decibles at my ear, sounding like a ruler slap on a table. Amazing power, but without accuracy, it is useless.


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