Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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

Today will be a very interesting report, in my opinion. The Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle I’m testing turns out to be a fascinating airgun in many ways. Let’s get right to the report.

Today we will look at accuracy at 25 yards with the scoped rifle. The first thing I had to do, therefore, was mount the scope. The rifle came with a scope installed in a one-piece scope mount. Its vertical scope stop pin was already correctly adjusted to fit the stop pin hole in the raised mount on top of the rifle’s spring tube. That is rare, in my experience. Normally, the scope will be installed correctly in the mount but has to be taken out of the mount to sufficiently¬†adjust the height of the stop pin.

I’d used this mount for my report on shimming scope rings, so I did remove the scope from the rings after all. Following that report, I left in the one shim that was shown in the report. The mount Gamo included with the test rifle has four screws per cap and seems to be a good one. It’s a one-piece design that does limit the positioning of the scope, but I was able to locate it fine for my use.

The adjustable cheekpiece helped a lot. I had it adjusted up to almost the top position, and my eye lined up with the rear of the scope with no unnatural repositioning of my head.

Surprise No. 2 was the scope. I initially sight-in at 12 feet to get the shots safely on paper, and inexpensive scopes are usually very blurry this close to the target — even if they’re set on low power. This rifle comes with a very nice Gamo 3-9X40 scope that was quite clear on 3x at 12 feet. Back up to 25 yards and boost the power to 9x, and the glass remains very clear. It’s been a long time since I liked a scope that came bundled with a gun as much as this.

The Smooth Action Trigger (SAT)
Next, I must comment on Gamo’s new SAT. It’s a 2-stage unit that has a light first stage and a second stage that you can feel as you continue to pull. The trigger blade moves through stage 2 smoothly and breaks cleanly, but not with the sudden glass-rod crispness we talk about all the time. Instead, the feel is one of movement that is predictable and can be controlled. It isn’t bad — it’s just different from other triggers.

I reported in Part 2 that the trigger breaks at 3 lbs., 12 oz. That may sound high if you read about PCP triggers breaking at less than a pound, but it really isn’t that bad. The thing to do is experience it for yourself before you judge it. I find it to be manageable and not at all troublesome to the best accuracy.

Light weight
The light weight of the rifle, on the other hand, does present something of a problem. This rifle is so light that even when the off hand touches the triggerguard, the rifle still has neutral balance. It floats in your hand. That makes it difficult to hold on the target because the crosshairs want to dance around. The solution is a very light artillery hold that does benefit the rifle’s accuracy, and I’ll address that in a moment.

Shooting
Normally, this is where I launch into the accuracy test and start making comments about the groups. This time, I have more to say, and it isn’t just about the groups — except how they helped my understand the rifle in a diagnostic way.

JSB Exact RS
The first pellet tested was the JSB Exact RS that did so well in the 10-meter accuracy test with open sights. I knew from that test that these pellets like to be seated flush with the breech for best results.

As I shot these pellets, I saw a strange phenomenon unfold. The first 3 shots were out of the bull at 5 o’clock. Then, I relaxed very consciously and allowed the rifle to float on my off hand. The next several shots went into the black. On shot 8, I didn’t relax like I should have, and I threw 1 more shot out of the bull at 5 o’clock with the first 3. How interesting!

It was so interesting, in fact, that I shot a 14-shot group, so that 10 of the shots could be fired with me being very relaxed. When you look at where they landed, you can see that the hold was all-important to where this rifle grouped.

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle JSB Exact RS group 25 yards
This group is very large — measuring 2.574 inches between centers. But it was a learning experience for me because it demonstrated very clearly that the hold dictates where the pellets will land.

Now that I knew something about how the rifle performed, I figured I could do a lot better. And the very next group confirmed that.

H&N Barcuda Match
Next up were the H&N Baracuda Match pellets that shot second-best in the 10-meter accuracy test. Now that I knew how to hold the rifle, I expected to see a better group. And that’s exactly what happened.

I adjusted the scope after finishing the first group, moving it a few clicks to the left. The first Baracuda Match landed at 11 o’clock, just outside the bull. Shot No. 2 hit at 8 o’clock outside the bull. I was obviously holding the rifle too tight, so I made a conscious effort to hold it looser and shots 3 through 7 hit inside the black. Then, I tensed up again, sending shot No. 8 into the same hole as shot 2. The final 2 shots were fired with complete relaxation, and I had a respectable group inside the bull to the left of center.

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle H&N Baracuda Match group 1 25 yards
This time, there were only 3 shots that missed the main group, and all of them were fired with some tension in the hold. When I relaxed, I was able to put 7 shots into 0.789 inches. I think this represents the true accuracy potential of the rifle. Total group measures 1.995 inches.

Altering the hold
Now that I understood the rifle better, I decided to move my open palm out farther so I could feel the cocking slot. Sometimes, resting the rifle this far forward is better. It certainly makes it more stable.

This time, however, there was no improvement. The group opened up, and I could see no way of controlling where the shots went. The total group measures 1.754 inches between centers, which is tighter than the previous group overall; but there’s no tighter group within this group that tells me the rifle wanted to do any better. Although this is a smaller group, I think the previous group that was shot with the off hand touching the triggerguard shows more promise. So, I went back to the other hold for the next group.

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle H&N Baracuda Match group 2 25 yards
Ten shots went into a more scattered group at 25 yards when the rifle was rested out on the forearm.

Two pellets I didn’t try were RWS Superdomes and Gamo Raptor PBA. Both had done so poorly in the 10-meter test that I felt it wasn’t worth the time to try them again at 25 yards. That’s one of the benefits of 10-meter testing — it eliminates some pellets.

But I wanted to try at least one more pellet, so I selected 7.9-grain Crosman Premier domes, simply because they’re often very accurate in spring guns.

I now knew the best hold for the rifle, so all I had to do was hold it as loosely as possible and let the pellets do the rest. Nine of the 10 pellets went into a nice group measuring 0.845 inches between centers. It was the first shot that opened it up to 1.596 inches.

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle Premier Lite group 25 yards
Ten Crosman Premier Lites went into 1.596 inches at 25 yards, but 9 of them made a 0.845-inch group. I think the smaller group is representative of the true accuracy of the rifle with this pellet.

Final results
I find it interesting that the early shots were always thrown wide of the main group. By the time I arrived at the third pellet, I managed to keep the wide shots to 1 in 10. That tells me something. It tells me that the Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT is a rifle that has to be learned. Once you’ve done so, I believe that your groups will be about the same size as the smaller groups seen here.

I’m going to say something that may surprise some of you. I really like this air rifle a lot. I think it is too light and the trigger takes some getting used to, but in the end this is a great budget air rifle. It really isn’t that fussy, once you learn how to hold it the right way.

For some of you, even a used Beeman R9 is too expensive. I think you may want to look at the Whisper Fusion IGT. This is a gas-spring air rifle that has not gone overboard in the power department. It has a usable trigger, and it’s reasonably quiet and accurate. No, it isn’t as accurate as an R9, nor is the SAT as nice as a Rekord trigger; but for those who want to cap their outlay for an air rifle at $260 with a scope included, I think this is the one.

36 thoughts on “Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4

  1. Gamo scopes are often a revelation, some of the people who did 25m benchrest on a shoe string over here, used the 6-24×50. It is a low cost scope that is often chosen if you don’t have very sport secific (like field target requirements) the gamo’s often survive unruly springers with way too much recoil…


  2. It certainly sounds like Gamo has come a long way with their trigger. My CFX trigger did not become decent until I replaced it.

    I picked up my first break barrel this weekend at a yard sale. I picked up an almost new Ruger Air Hawk with one of those horrible cheapo package scopes and a Crosman Powerline 717 that needs new rear sight blades for $90. I put a few shots through it and I am thinking I might give this sproinger a chance and actually hang on to it for a while to see what I can do with it.

    As for the 717, does anybody have some rear sight blades for one they can spare?


  3. I own a couple rifles that had “to be learned”. Big difference in how they shoot! I personally like the opportunity to learn the subtle details required to shoot these guns well.

    I wish I had my experience with hold sensitive springer’s back in my competition days. I’ve learned so much from shooting springer’s that I think I would have been better with some types of competition, like Standard Rifle matches, where the rifles are much lighter than freestyle rifles.

    One important detail is to take up as much padding from your trigger finger before you start shot execution. That will cause a certain amount of muscle tension from your trigger hand to be taken up, making the trigger squeeze from that point on less prone to subtle muscle contractions that can throw your sight alignment off. Well, it works for me.

    Victor


    • Victor,

      Gamo had an ad campaign that used the tagline, “Learn to be a better shot!” I don’t know if they were aware of all the implications of that phrase, but you hit the nail on the head. A spring gun teaches shooting techniques better than anything.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Just got the new PA catalog. Love the articles! It’s a keeper!

        Gotta tell you, the opening story by Mr. Josh Ungier really hit home with me in a way very similar to what you and I are talking about here. Namely, there are such things are “training guns”. A good training rifle is one that can deliver, provided that you’ve mastered the fundamentals. It’s harder to shoot, but is capable of doing the job when you are.

        Lot’s of parents buy their kids guns, thinking that the gun will make the shooter. Wrong! I know that you know this, and Mr. Ungier makes this point (for those who haven’t received the catalog).

        I’ve seen this from two ends:

        At one end, I started with a low-end Remington target rifle that was capable of cleaning targets at 50 yards. In fact, I was not allowed to move up to an Anschutz until I cleaned 50 yards in competition. The Remington is not as accurate as an Anschutz, but it’s also harder to shoot because it’s very light, while having a much heavier trigger. BUT, if you’ve mastered the fundamentals, it WILL clean 50 yards. I did, so I got my Anschutz.

        At the other end, towards my last two years competing, I was consistently dropping less than 5 points for each 1600 prone match. But during my final months, just before the Olympic tryouts, I proved that I was NOT as good as I thought I was. I shot a 1600 out of 1600 using my “tricked out” Anschutz 1413 freestyle rifle. Then for my next prone match, just before the Olympic tryouts, I decided to use this match to get some practice in with my Anschutz 1407 Standard Rifle. The 1407 had almost no adjustability, and was at least 6 pounds lighter than my 1413, plus it had a heavier trigger. I dropped 25 points! I hadn’t dropped over 5 points in years!

        What I learned is that, for me at least, heavier rifles help to mask flaws in execution. If I had been wiser, I would have practiced a whole lot more with the 1407, because it would have exposed so many flaws in my execution. I’ve only now learned this lesson BECAUSE of springer’s, where some are lighter than others, or have heavier triggers, or are more hold sensitive.

        This is why I say that some springer’s take me months to master. If I were to start a kid off in competitive marksmanship, I’d start them just like I did, with a good training rifle.

        Victor


        • Yes indeed ! Thank you for the wonderful Volume 3 Gun Mall catalog. I have enjoyed reading it also very much. A keeper with my other issues.
          Pete
          California


        • That’s right. Great catalog by PA. It’s kind of a shame since I suspect that most people just glance through the articles as they have good reason to do given the usual quality of catalog writing. But B.B.’s articles are outstanding. They deserve a different framework, but they are doing the good work of bringing people around airgunning slowly but surely.

          Matt61


  4. Off-topic ,but has anyone who has used the Wather (umarex) brand CO2 carts in the Umarex CO2 guns found that they seal better/quicker, than the Crosman brand ones? I just bought one of the P-08 replicas from PA, and researching it ,found that others find that Crosman CO2 carts are not recommended ,as they leak because of a larger dia neck? This Luger replica doesn’t seem to seal quickly when a CO2 cartridge is first pierced. I only have used the Crosman brand ones so far as that’s all I have.



      • BB, yes I did , but it seems to leak a bit much (IMO)while the cartridge is being pierced . I was just wondering if the Internet rumors that the Umarex(Walther brand), Gamo, and Daisy powerlets were indeed different in length, and it was also said that those have a slightly narrower smooth neck compared to Crosman powerlets? I don’t have one (yet!) but a review I was reading on the Makarov bb pistol said that the Walther carts worked best as the sealing area around the piercing pin /seal seat on the Umarex pistols was narrower, but I have nothing to compare this to.BTW, this is a very cool replica and I just had to have one after reading your review of it a little while ago. My oldest who is 12 ,has shot up about 5-600 bbs through this one so far ,and I only recieved it last Thursday. I have never fooled so much with bb gun anything until I had kids !


        • I wouldn’t expect subtle length differences to have a noticeable effect on sealing a CO2 cartridge.

          My CP99 is a “one twist” in normal usage (the foot of the magazine rotate ~270 degrees). But it has a threaded support internally to adjust the final position (in truth, I have to worry about the other condition — my first CP99 /bent/ the support because I had it too snug).

          The other pistol just has a large threaded ring that has to be screwed down regardless of the cartridge length.

          If CO2 cartridges “headspaced” on the body below the neck, then neck length could be a factor… But since they seal on the top of the neck, length should not be a factor.

          Hmmm… What MAY be a factor is the thickness of the “cap”. A thin cap will puncture while you still have more distance to turn in the screw; a thick cap may not actually puncture until you are almost completely closed.


          • For the most part I had discounted the idea that the CO2 cartridges differed in length much to matter, but what is said to be the difference, is that the necks of the Walther carts are narrower and they are smooth without the seam that Crosman carts have . I don’t have anything but the Crosman’s, and thought if someone had both maybe they would be able to verify this theory. Your idea that some maybe easier to pierce is probably true. I know from years of using the Crosman CO2 powerlets that very rarely you get a batch that pierce hard and when examining the spent cartridges you can see that they don’t have a cleanly pierced hole in the end. I guess I’ll just buy some others and see for myself.


  5. I recall B.B.’s positive review of the Gamo Whisper when it first came out. It was a “wonderful” airgun except, I think, for the trigger. The new model seems a little finicky for me. I’ve come to prefer the more reliable, heavy rifles. The very heavy B30 is astonishingly accurate. But let the new Gamo Whisper do its thing.

    FredDPRofNJ, so you didn’t like the Diana 350? Why? I guess I could see the difficulty cocking with the kind of power there. However, for me, once you get to single loading high powered springers which have to be taken out of the shooting position to cock, there’s not that much of a difference. Is the 350 that much harder to cock than others in its class? And it’s supposed to be accurate.

    GunFun1, if you want a Mosin, go out and get one. They’re one of the few guns still available and the ammo for it too. They’re extremely cheap, but they’re fundamentally of high quality, as well as being of outstanding historical value. Don’t believe what you read about them being junk. Provided your individual copy is not trashed all that you really need to do is change out the trigger if your sample bothers you. My gunsmith gives good reports about the Huber Concepts Match trigger that he installed; he got it down to 4 and a quarter pounds with a clean break and an almost two-stage feel whatever that means. And there are plenty of online suggestions about cleaning out the cosmoline. The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail as Shakespeare said. And beware because low as the prices are, they are starting to creep up.

    Matt61


    • Matt , I ‘ve messed around quite a bit with the Mosin’s . Still have a Finnish m27 (Sako?) barrel one ,and Chicom carbine that is basically a tent peg ,but you are right ,they are creeping up in price . When I started with them you could buy one and a sardine tin of ammo for less than a c-note at the gun shows, and still have lunch money left over. Slug the bore too, as they vary quite a bit. My 27 has a .311 bore the chinese one a .316 bore.


    • Matt61,

      Look at you! Making recommendations about vintage centerfire military rifles!

      Didja ever think you’d be the expert? You’ve come a long way, Matt61.

      I bet you’ll be writing guest blogs before long. ;)

      B.B.


    • Matt,

      my writing was not accurate or explicit enough to convey exactly what I wanted to say unfortunately. It’s not that I didn’t/don’t like the 350, it’s just that the TX 200 is that much better than the 350. At $200 or more than the RWS, it better be! The 350 is accurate but not in the same league as the TX. The TX can produce smaller groups with ease. The 350 needs to be “managed”. The T05 trigger is very good but again, the TX is better. The cocking effort is easier on the TX than on the 350 but exactly what the difference in force is, I can’t tell you yet. It wasn’t that I couldn’t cock the 350. I used to do it for 2 hours straight when it was brand new to me and only my second break barrel rifle. It did hurt my shoulder with the recoil after a while, however. The TX didn’t and is smoother – vibration wise, recoil wise and just sounds that much more “solid”. I still have my 350 so that should say something about my feelings for the rifle.

      Fred DPRoNJ


  6. BTW, If you want to shoot a air rifle that takes even more techinque than a Diana 350, and is also a Russian rifle , try a Bakail m513. I bought a used one from Randy Mitchel a few years back and it takes a lot of practice to get used to it, but it is VERY accurate . It is the Mosin of Russian air rifles IMO.


  7. I recall a lot of speculation on the ‘net at the time that BSA quality was doomed after they were bought by Gamo. I have no knowledge of that subject, but perhaps something unexpected happened? Maybe the BSA acquisition had a positive influence on Gamo’s triggers and, especially, scopes.

    Michael


  8. OffTopic.
    It’s been miserable here in Alberta this spring. No more than a couple of days in the entire month of June that wasn’t rainy/overcast. Calgary had major flooding late last week…75000 people evacuated.
    So when Sunday’s forecast was for beautiful weather we were all over it.
    Up at 7AM and on the way to the range…an hours drive away.
    Had our targets on the board (100m) at 9AM, when the range officially allows the first shot.
    No wind.
    Finished the say with 1/2 dozen solid groups with the Savage .22WMR in the 1-1.25″ range.
    All good…except for my 12 year old. He has a Marlin XT-22, a $200 entry level rimfire. It’s topped with a Leapers 4×16 scope and bipod.
    Okay…they weren’t all that good…but he got one 5 shot group that measured .75″
    I know it was chance ;-)
    I know it was fluke ;-)
    But dang…how did he do it.
    (bye the way…I was might proud, even if his next group was 2″.


    • CSD,

      Hey, there pardner! I shoot a lot more 2″ groups at 100 yards than I do 3/4″ groups!

      Celebrate the luck! The more he shoots the luckier he’ll become.

      B.B.


  9. Robert,

    I really like the 513M. It’s not my favorite rifle, but it is a beast. When you shoot it well – you feel proud. But it takes a LOT of technique. My son got a nice “C” shaped bruise on his forehead after getting a little too close to the eyepiece. I was able to test out Leaper’s limited lifetime warranty on two different scopes thanks to its tremendous recoil (they passed). The flip-up scope caps fly off constantly. The stock is kind of rough, the trigger is tricky, and the external “hammer” is a nice touch. It’s made in an extremely solid fashion – if it were caked in cosmoline it really would be the Mosin of Air rifles…


    • That’s odd… I’ve had a couple 513′s, and despite their light weight, stiff trigger and strong recoil I always found them to be surprisingly hold-insensitive. The stupid thing almost seemed to aim itself.


  10. I have one of the earlier Gamo Whispers and it came with the 3-9X40 scope. Like BB said;clear scope. Its kind of funny though. You know where that scope ended up at. On my Winchester 190. The gun and scope love each other.
    But guess whats on the Whisper now. A Tasco red dot. I shoot it out to around 35 yrds.and that’s where it is zeroed at. The gun loves it. I will usually shoot it from a rest but try to use the artillery hold that BB is talking about above. It shoots pretty dog gone good groups with that combo. I use the Air Arms Field Heavys with it.
    I have tryed lighter pellets and my gun doesn’t seem to like them.


  11. Oh forgot. My gun isn’t a gas spring either so I don’t know if that is making some kind of difference.
    I do own another break barrel that is a gas spring and it has a red dot on it also. But I shoot pretty much only the Crosman Premiers in it. Its a .22 cal. Which is the only pellet I have been shooting in my .22 ca. pellet guns. That pellet just works for me in the 22 size ??


  12. Vince,

    my 513 is extremely hold-sensitive. With a lot of use, and the artillery hold – it is very impressive (especially at 50′ rimfire targets & distances), but newbie’s have trouble hitting a coffee can at 25 feet.. I’ve shot a lot of springers that had far less of a learning curve. I would have liked it more if I had bought it in .22, but it’s still fun to shoot. I have some duplicate Baikals, and there are some major discrepancies between them performance-wise. Usually not with accuracy, but velocity and firing behavior. Bringing me to my next question:

    BB,

    I’m not seeing as many IZH Baikals at PA, or even anywhere online. Is the company in trouble, or are they having an importation issue with EAA? Their Russian website hasn’t been altered in years – and they are a pretty big deal.. Just wondering if you had any info.


    • Western PA,

      No, I have no info on the Russian guns. Maybe they have slipped because of all the wonderful new guns that have come to market.

      B.B.


  13. re: concerning the best ammo for the Gamo .177 Whisper Fusion
    Thanks for the reply and links. I had read those and have tried some of the mentioned pellets (ie Gamo pbs, redfire, and Rws superdome. I’m going to try some of the Crossmas premier ultra 10.5 grain now after reading where these performed really well in this gun. Thanks for the reply’s and help.
    Dme



  14. The optics on the 3x9x40 GAMO scope are crystal clear and is comparable to many high end centerfire riflescopes. In fact, in our previous article on the Bone Collector (which I really liked) I stated that it would be nice if GAMO would put a better scope on future guns. They did just that with the Fusion Pro. This scope is definitely first class, far better than any low-end scope we have seen that are usually sold for airguns and .22 caliber rifles. It even comes with a parallax setting for 50 yards. And, the scope rings (included) are already fixed on the scope to insure proper mounting on the Fusion.


  15. Please HELP! I want to purchase a air rifle for my son-in-law for Christmas to kill back yard varmits. He lives in a wooded subdivision of Atlanta. I am torn between the Gamo Bone Collector Bull Whisper Air Rifle 177 with IGT 4-32 scope and PBA Platinum Pellets or the RWS 34 Diana spring piston. Do I get a spring piston rifle or an IGT? Thanks!


  16. Thanks for the prompt response! (I apologize for the duplicate posting.) Okay, so the RWS Diana 34P is a spring piston rifle, correct? And will the Crossman hollow points be good in addition to the JSP premium pellets you recommend? I don’t think he has ever owned a rifle or gun before, so I hope he finds this easy to use and maintain. I suppose he will have to educate himself as an owner.


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