Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle
Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle.

Today, we’ll look at the velocity and power of the Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle. This breakbarrel rifle has a gas spring that seems to intrigue many new airgunners, so let’s talk about that first. A gas spring is a unit that uses compressed gas rather than a coiled steel mainspring to power the piston. Besides that, it’s identical to a conventional spring-piston powerplant.

What’s in a name?
There are many names for the gas spring. Some call it a gas strut, others call it a gas ram, but all these names refer to the same thing. We’re talking about a mechanical device that contains compressed air or other gas (Crosman uses nitrogen — hence Nitro Piston) to push the piston. When the gun is cocked, the piston unit is pushed backwards — making the compressed gas reservoir shorter. When the gas chamber inside the piston becomes smaller, it causes the internal pressure to rise. When the gun fires, this compressed gas pushes the piston forward, and the piston seal compresses the air in front of it.

None of the gas inside the gas spring mechanism escapes. It remains inside, where it can be used again and again. Gas springs are found on modern cars — holding open the heavy back decks and front hoods that used to be held by coiled steel springs. The gas springs on a car usually last for more than a decade, and it isn’t uncommon to find them still working in cars that are 20 years old. Throughout all that time, they’ve been kept fully compressed 99.9999 percent of the time, yet they can still do the job for which they were designed. This is why we say that an airgun with a gas spring can be left cocked for a long time without loss of power.

The advantages of a gas spring in a spring-piston airgun are:
* Can remain compressed a long time without power loss
* Are lighter than powerplants with coiled steel springs
* Vibrate less
* Move faster than coiled steel springs
* Are less sensitive to temperature changes

The disadvantages of a gas spring are:
* Impart a sharp crack to the discharge
* Require nearly full effort even when the piston is all the way forward, making for harder cocking
* Have a sharp recoil that can hurt if the gun is held too tight

Velocity
Now, it’s time to look at the velocity and power of the Whisper Fusion IGT. The first pellet I tried was the JSB Exact RS, a 7.33-grain pellet that’s pretty light for this powerplant. RS pellets averaged 938 f.p.s. after I allowed the rifle a few shots to settle down. The low was 919 f.p.s. and the high was 949 f.p.s., so the spread was 30 f.p.s. I think that will tighten with time and more shots on the powerplant.

At the average velocity, this pellet generates 14.32 foot-pounds at the muzzle. I’d expected more power; but once the gun had settled down, it was fairly consistent at that speed. The RS pellets fit the breech somewhat loosely.

RWS Superdomes
Next, I tried the 8.3-grain RWS Superdome pellet. They averaged 915 f.p.s., with a spread from 909 to 921 f.p.s. The gun is already starting to stabilize.

At the average velocity, this pellet generates 15.43 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Superdomes fit the breech snug but not tight.

H&N Baracuda Match
Then, I tried some H&N Baracuda Match pellets. At 10.65 grains, these were the heaviest pellets I tried. The Whisper Fusion IGT belted them out the spout at an average 824 f.p.s., for a muzzle energy of 16.06 foot-pounds. The spread went from a low of 822 f.p.s. to a high of 828 f.p.s., so the gun was extremely stable with these pellets.

Baracuda Match pellets fit the breech tighter than all other pellets. That tells me the rifle needs something to push against, and deep-seating would not be recommended.

Gamo PBA
The final pellet I tried was the lead-free Gamo Raptor PBA, a 5.4-grain domed pellet. They averaged 1,232 f.p.s. in the rifle, with a range from 1,217 f.p.s. to 1,245 f.p.s. Even with this lightweight pellet, the rifle is still very stable. The total spread is just 28 f.p.s.

At the average velocity, the Raptor PBA pellets produced 18.2 foot-pounds, so the energy is definitely up. But these pellets fit the breech the worst of all those I tested. Some were so loose that they fell out when the barrel was closed, while others fit extremely tight. Because of this, I doubt they’ll give good accuracy.

Cocking effort
The Whisper Fusion IGT cocks differently than any gas spring rifle I have experienced. The initial part of the cocking stroke rises to about 30 lbs. and stays there until the final few inches of the stroke. It increases to 43 lbs. of effort for the last little bit. Most gas springs are consistent throughout their entire cocking stroke, but not the test rifle. It requires two hands for me to cock it more than a handful of times.

Trigger
The trigger-pull seems light and smooth. Of course, we will find out more about that in the accuracy test, but for now it does seem very nice. This is the new Smooth Action Trigger, and it seems to be lightyears better than Gamo sporting triggers of the recent past. I think it’ll be a winner. Stage 1 is short and takes 4 oz., while stage 2 breaks at 3 lbs., 12 oz.

Opinions so far
The rifle has less velocity than the 1,300 f.p.s. ¬†advertised, but in this case that’s a good thing. It has exactly what a hunter wants in terms of power. It seems to want to be stable and should not require a lengthy break-in, which is a good thing. Accuracy testing comes next, and we’ll see what it can do in the package Gamo provided. I’ll shoot it with open sights…first at 10 meters, then scoped at 25 yards.

32 thoughts on “Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

  1. Gamo tend to over-pressurise their IGT rifles.

    I have had to replace just under 700 of Gamo’s gas ram s with my own variety.
    The rifles were:
    Shadow IGT;
    Whisper IGT;
    Hunter IGT.

    All the rifles had excessive recoil, the scope and scope mounts coming off the rifles after as little as 60 shots.

    Despite the high pressures in the gas rams, velocity was poor.

    It is a characteristic that velocity will increase as gas ram or spring pressure is increased up to a point when velocity decreases as power increases further.

    Having met with representatives from Gamo Spain, I was sent 5 gas rams for evaluation. With pressure in the region of 450 Newtons, the rifles were sweet shooting honeys.

    The gas rams still tended to be abraded by the piston as the rifles were cocked.

    I am concerned that the cylinder of the gas ram will be worn through, possibly giving the shooter a nasty surprise.


    • Vincent,

      This is very interesting! Awhile back, I commented here that I had inquired with Gamo about getting my CF-X’s spring’s changed to a gas piston, and they referred me to someone. When I contacted that someone, they didn’t recommend gas pistons (actually the guy was quite harsh in his opinions about them). Well, based on what you’re saying here, it isn’t that gas pistons are a problem, it’s having the wrong gas piston that is a problem.

      This is precisely the kind of thing that causes all sorts of confusion, misinformation, and conflicting opinions. So often “facts” are wrong when lacking proper context. Incidentally, even customer revues of this gun complain about it destroying the provided scope.

      I sure hope that Gamo listens to your recommendations! I also wonder why they haven’t figured this out themselves? After all, it’s their business to know what they are manufacturing.

      Thanks,
      Victor


  2. Edith,

    The most favorable versus most critical reviews don’t seem right. I understand why, and the real reason is because the customer who gave the “most favorable” review sort of contradicted himself. He gave the gun an overall rating of 5 stars (which is why his review was determined to be “most favorable”), and yet gave the gun only 1 star for accuracy. The most critical review gave the gun an overall rating of 4 starts.

    The problem with all of this is that there were two customers who gave the same rifle 5 stars for all categories, and yet neither were determined to have provided the “most favorable review”. In my opinion, the guy who gave the rifle 1 star, regardless of his overall rating, should have been deemed the “most critical” review. This implies that individual ratings are not averaged together to generate a customers real rating, which explains the apparent error.

    Victor



      • Edith,

        If I may recommend something, I’d add a “Would recommend” category. Then I would compute the “Overall rating” as a function of the average of “Value for money”, “Accuracy”, and “Would recommend”.

        Sadly, the customer who gave the rifle only a 1 star for Accuracy, did so because he had trouble with the scope. He really wasn’t rating the guns accuracy, but I also know that you can’t expect much from some people in terms of rating ability. Emotion (positive or negative) if often the overriding factor.

        Victor


  3. You must have better luck with liftgate struts then I have… On my last three vehicles, I’ve had to replace the struts at 6-8 years. They were still functional in 70deg weather, but once the temps dropped below 60deg they lacked the pressure to hold up the liftgate (83 Plymouth Turismo 2.2, 90 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo, 99 Jeep Cherokee). At the border, pumping the liftgate a few times would warm up the struts enough to hold.

    I’ve not seen any struts that weren’t charged with dry nitrogen. Regular air probably contains enough moisture to cause corrosion, CO2 might break down to carbon ash and O2 which could then react (rust) the inside of the strut, helium is too light a gas and might easily leak past the seals.


    • Wulfraed,

      We have a Toyota minivan whose original gas springs are still operating after 11 years. I guess a lot has to do with the quality of the spring.

      B.B.



  4. Everyone seems to be very interested in the gas spring, but I am thinking about the stock configuration. BB, in your opinion, how does this rifle’s stock feel? It looks a bit strange with that almost vertical grip (seems narrower at the top). And how about the adjustable comb? Sounds like a very good feature to have in any rifle.


    • Fred,

      I will know that better after I’ve shot the rifle for accuracy. Up to this point, I haven’t shouldered it.

      B.B.


  5. Happy Memorial Day and thanks to our troops.

    This blog reminds me of how much I enjoy cocking my springers sort of like the way I enjoy working my bolt-action rifles. The difficult cocking stroke of the gas spring is a real liability. And if mechanical springs can stay cocked for a very long time without losing power, the advantages of the gas spring get a little thin for me.

    /Dave, thanks for the reassurance about the Mauser. I think you described the gunsmith’s philosophy and it is fairly convincing. And I actually have ammo for the Mauser to shoot!

    Victor, yes, I’ve seen similar ammo consumption, and I believe we’re in a case of dynamic shortage where the supply is being consumed and not just hoarded. How long will it last? I’m starting to wonder. The days of actually being able to select different choices of ammo seem like a lost golden era. If Obama is the cause of all this, are we going to have to wait until he is out of office? I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that this shortage is going to go on forever.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      I think you’re almost right. I don’t think that it will go on forever, but I do believe that from now on, this type of thing will happen each time a new “boogie-man” is manufactured. Again, fear and boogie-men sell. I personally can’t relate to that psychology, but I know that it’s very real. Lots of individuals have successfully made millions because they know the pulse of the general public. I certainly don’t.

      Victor


  6. Based on these comments i am beginning to wonder about how useful gas springs really are. My nitro venom would knock the zero out of every scope i tried. I see some other folks having same problem. I know it isn’t my installation cuz these same scopes work fine on my other guns. Other folks have no such issues. When will the “buy and hope” days end? Quality control seems to be lacking….off topic a bit but ive had to return two leaky Discos recently too…supposedly a “superior” made in america crosman gun, not china. Very disappointing.


  7. Crossman and Benjamin NP rifles are manufactured by BAM.

    Several have been brought to me for corrective action to improve accuracy.

    Being based on Gamo Hunter 440 and Gamo Hunter 1250 designs, they are fitted with trigger groups which in South Africa accept my MZE trigger and elsewhere accept CDT’s GRTIII trigger.
    This is step 1 in the search for accuracy.

    Next I chrony the rifle and assess recoil level.
    If MV is too low or too high, I fit my MZE gas ram at the correct pressure and the correct way round.
    This is step 2 in the search for accuracy which also introduces scope-friendliness.

    Step 3 is to check the scope.
    I find that the Centre Point scopes packaged with the rifles have excessive parallax movement of the POA as I move my eye left-right-up-down. At 25m this moves the reticle up to 25mm and leaves me guessing at to where the pellet is going to strike.
    Needless to say, I replace these scopes with either Gamo or Nikko Stirling products.

    I replace the puny recoil stop grub screws with longer ones to allow correct seating in the scope mount and rifle. A touch of blue Loctite prevents the recoil stop from vibrating out of the rifle.

    Having done the foregoing, I recommend the final touch for accuracy: Use only quality pellets. In my country this is JSB, Air Arms Field, H&N FTT in 4.51, 4.52, 5.01, 5.02, 5.51, 5.52, 5.53, 5.54mm.

    My mantra:
    1. Have a good trigger;
    2. Control recoil;
    3. have a good scope correctly mounted;
    4 use the right pellet.

    Do all this and then it is up to the shooter to don his/her bit.


  8. BB, I see some Gamo’s they say IGT and other say with Crosman Nitro Piston. Is Gamo’s IGT different than the Crosman Nitro Piston? I’ve read so many complaints about the IGT, that I, personally, would think twice before I got one. I would think the metal spring or the gas piston by Crosman would be better. Your thoughts on this? Bradly


    • Not too sure if the Crosman Nitro Piston has a better record or not. While I’ve heard of several Gamo “gas” piston problems, I have not heard if it were the Crosman pistons or IGT that are bad. A family member of mine bought a new Remington Vantage .177 break barrel with the gas piston for a big box sporting goods store. He had me sight it in for him. He didn’t have it one month and it quit shooting. Would not push a pellet out. I told him I thought the “gas ram” gave up. He sent it back and got another in it’s place. He’s had this one for a couple months. So far, so good.


    • Bradly,

      Both are gas springs, so in that sense they are similar. But each is made differently, so in that sense they are different.

      Pyramyd Air used to put their own gas springs, and later, Crosman’s Nitro Pistons, into Gamos. Then Gamo changed the design of their rifles and built their own gas spring.

      B.B.


      • B.B., would it be fair to assume the, as of now, the springs piston is better at least in the Gamo than a gas piston? Also, do you know if Crosman makes any of their gas rams or are they all from China? Thanks, Bradly


        • Bradly,

          I wouldn’t make any assumptions about Gamo gas pistons, simply from reports. Very often we read about single cases that stand out, but aren’t representative of the whole.

          The same is true for Crosman. Just as soon as I said they were all made in China, they would start making them somewhere else.

          It’s simply impossible to keep up with what goes on inside a factory when you don’t work there.

          B.B.


          • Just got back from my LGC having shot 100+ pellets from my Nitro Venom. Since it is the only gun with which have hands on experience, I will say it did frustrate me a bit today. Last time out I shot at 50 yards so, of course, I adjusted the scope accordingly. Today, I had trouble re-adjusting for 25 yards. Eventually, it came back to acceptability (accuracy-wise), but I’m intrigued by the comparisons noted here between gas pistons and spring operated guns. Perhaps my next rifle (and there will be a next rifle soon), I will go spring operated just for comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I like my Nitro Venom but have nothing to personally compare it to. I spoke to a Pyramid rep yesterday and will probably look seriously at an RWS 34 for my next ‘adventure.’ This site rocks!


  9. I believe the 1300 fps rating is with the PBA Platinum 4.7 grain ammo not the PBA raptor 5.4 grain ammo. Guessing it would probably hit the advertised 1300 fps with the lighter grain PBA Platinum? Gotta admit,I thought the rating was with the Raptor ammo too until I got my Whisper Fusion a couple days ago and saw on the box “1300 fps with PBA Platinum ammo”. Came with a sample 50 pack of Platinum ammo. Really loud .22 rimfire like crack, too loud for my use. By the way thanks B.B. your review on this rifle was a deciding factor for me buying the Whisper Fusion. Only had it for a couple days but I like it! My first air rifle since a daisy bb rifle I had as a kid probably 15 years ago. So much good info on this blog to read/learn. I’m taking notes!


  10. People are also more inclined to comment when something doesn’t meet their expectations and rarely think about going out their way to tell others if something does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Going off what commenters/reviewers say about anything is to rely on their level of mechanical understanding and comprehension of the physics at play, which dictates both how realistic their expectations are and how they utilize the item…but it’s seldom THEIR fault for experiencing poor results…


    • bill,

      Welcome to the blog!

      You are right, of course. We can never know how competent the other guy who is doing the review really is. I hope I have given people enough insight into my own capabilities that they can believe what I tell them when I test something.

      If I can, then my reviews will have some meaning.

      B.B.


  11. Not sure if this will get answered as I realize it’s an older discussion, but it relates to this subject.
    I’m in the market for a break barrel air rifle. I have zero experience with them. I started shooting with a red Rider, then a 760 pumpmaster, and then a 66 power master. That was over 20 yrs ago, I’ve since been into firearms and have something for every occasion in 13 calibers(.22lr-300 win mag). One thing I don’t have is a decent air rifle to fill the gap below that in power.

    I’d like to have the capability to take raccoon sized vermin quietly, I’m thinking .22 at 1000fps with lead. My priorities in order are…

    adequate power
    quiet
    reliable
    weight/balance/handling

    Currently I use a bolt action .22lr with a 24″ barrel and 60gr subsonics. This combo is quiet and packs a punch out to a 100 yds accurately, but that round is difficult to find even in times of plenty, and has too much carryover to fire up at birds.

    All forums and reviews point to a rws 34 for quality, accuracy, and reliability. However I’m wondering what’s quieter, I’ve been led to believe the nitro guns. This discussion in the comments hits to the heart of my concerns though, the longevity of the nitro cylinder. Some have said springers break spring in as little as 3000 rds, so are they much better? But then again a spring won’t likely go bad sitting unused, a gas cylinder will.

    My purposes for this will be nocturnal pests with neighbors houses nearby and destructive blackbirds in an adjacent Christmas tree plantation. So noise is a major factor, muzzle blast is easy to tame, but if the power source is as loud as rimfire it’s rather pointless. As for the birds, I need to have light projectiles to limit range because I don’t feel comfortable firing my other rifles up with houses being from .5-2 mi sporadically around me.

    On the handling issue, I’ve found that good balance trumps tight grouping precision in the real world. I’ve got a Psl 54(stretched ak in 7.62x54r) that will make a 10 shot group like pop can at 300 yds with 40 yr old surplus, but it’s too ungainly long be steady enough to hit a deer at 50 off hand. Whereas my .308 cetme with 20 rd mag weighs more, has a horrible trigger, groups 8″ at a 100, yet off hand I can tag a 20 oz bottle with irons at 200yds. I can appreciate a solid quality feel to a rifle, my milled Bulgarian ak exudes a smooth rigidity that’s unquantifiable and I love her for it. With each passing hour lugging an unnecessarily heavy item afield your appreciation for quality feel wanes and a yearning for polymer grows. With weight, ounces=pounds=pain. I don’t foresee ever having a shooting rest or a gun caddy with while pursuing my quarry.

    Am I expecting too much? Can a break barrel .22 have enough power and stealth, or should I just get a .177 rws 34 for the birds and stick to rimfire for nighttime vermin eradication excursions? Will I be able to counter the much discussed violent oscillation of these rifles with a light weight model? I’m familiar with the variety of recoil impulses of different semiautos methods of operation, blowback, roller locked delayed blowback, short & long stroke piston, DI, and how bolt carrier weight and recoil buffers factor in. But aside from maybe the an94 they all are not affected til during and after the projectile is exiting the muzzle, unlike these that require internal mass shifting before the pellet starts moving.


    • bill,

      Yes, you are expecting too much from a breakbarrel. Please come to today’s blog and read about the Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE. It meets your requirements exactly and =is quieter than a .22 LR with a silencer (that I also have).

      http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2014/06/hatsan-at44-10-long-qe-part-2/

      Your other questions about pellet dwell time are very advanced and require pages to answer. This blog does address all of them, but not in one report.

      B.B.



      • Bb,

        I agree with you that the hatsan would do everything I needed. The price on the rifle, though more than I want to spend, would be reasonable for what you’re getting. I would however require all the pcp support equipment, this puts it beyond my budgetary priorities.
        So I think you helped me decide on a .177 springer for bird control. I’ll leave the quiet time stuff upto my rimfires, I’ve 7 of them that need love too…
        Thanks again


      • I realize I seem to have flipflopped, but if I’m limited to daytime use noise ceases to be an issue. I shoot centerfire like 5.45& 7.62×39, .223, .308, and even .22 mag often. So the .177′s flatter trajectory, availablity, and price win…

        Anymore suggestions?


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