Gamo Swarm Maxxim: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Maxim
Gamo Swarm Maxxim repeating breakbarrel air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The issues
  • Things I like
  • Recoil Reducing Rail
  • The scope
  • Sight in
  • First group
  • Second group
  • Third group
  • The best hold
  • Evaluation and summary
  • 2017 Texas Airgun Show
  • Pyramyd Air Cup

Big day, today. We learn whether the .177 Gamo Swarm Maxxim multi-shot rifle I’m testing is accurate, or not. You may recall in the last test that the scope was the big issue. The one that comes with the rifle isn’t very clear and I attributed at least half the group size in the last test to that.

The issues

There are two issues to examine today. This first is that scope I just mentioned. The second is what kind of hold the Swarm likes. Several owners have said their Swarms like to be held firm — not with the artillery hold. A couple say it doesn’t seem to matter which hold you use. I will try holding the rifle firmly today and we will see how that affects things.

I may not find the very best pellet today, but at least we should get a good idea of what to expect from this air rifle. The scope and the hold will no longer be issues when this test is finished.

Things I like

I told you already that I like the Swarm’s light cocking effort. It combines with the 10-shot magazine to make rapid fire possible.

I also like the trigger. You can feel it move through the second stage pull, but there is absolutely no creep (hesitations in the pull — jerkiness). It’s very much like a good single-stage trigger

And finally, I like the magazine. It works just as it should and makes shooting so much faster.

Recoil Reducing Rail

Someone asked me about the Recoil Reducing Rail. I have seen this same thing over the past 20 years — first with Theoben rifles and then with BSA. It’s a synthetic-cushioned rail, if I’m not mistaken. I guess it works, but you can’t see it move. The animation on the PA website shows how it works, but in reality it doesn’t move far enough to see. To me it’s not that big a deal, because the Swarm doesn’t recoil very much.

The scope

The Gamo scope I had to replace is fairly short, so I found an obsolete Centerpoint 3-9X40 with AO. It was made by Leapers and is still very clear. It was only a half-inch longer than the Gamo scope. I shimmed the rear ring under the scope tube, even though the Gamo scope didn’t need a shim, just for insurance. Whenever I see a breakbarrel I think “drooper,” though as far as I can tell, the Swarm does not droop.

Sight in

I spent some time sighting in and discovering the best was to hold the rifle. Sight-in went quick, but I had to discover a hold that worked. Several readers said to hold it firm, so that’s what I did. Not super-tight, but firmly in control. I played with my off hand grasping the stock back by the triggerguard, out by the start of the cocking slot and finally I settled on my off hand extended as far out as I could comfortably hold it. That seemed to work best.

I shot a 10-shot group of JSB Exact RS pellets just refining the hold. That group is very vertical and measures very close to 2 inches between centers. Since the best groups in the last test measure 1.3-inches between centers, I guess that isn’t half bad. But I wanted better.

First group

Once I got the hold figured I shot the first group of RS pellets. Boy, what a teaser! Nine pellets are in 0.868-inches, but the 10th shot dropped low to open the group to 1.447 inches. It was actually the 5th or 6th shot in the string that did it and I couldn’t detect any difference in my hold to account for it.

Gamo Swarm RS group
Nine of 10 JSB Exact RS pellets went into 0.868-inches at 25 yards, but a 10th shot opened the group to 1.447-inches.

Second group

By this time in the test I had already shot the rifle 30 times. I knew pretty well how the JSB RS pellets would do, so I tried something different yet similar — the Air Arms Falcon. Wouldn’t you know it — I got a similar result. Nine are in 1.225-inches and a tenth opens the group to 2.022-inches. Once again, the wild shot came in the middle of the string.

Gamo Swarm Falcon group
Nine Falcon pellets are in 1.225-inches at 25 yards, but that one wild shot opened it to 2.022-inches.

Third group

For this group I was still holding the Swarm tight with my off hand extended out as far as it would go, while shooting the RWS Superdome. Ten Superdomes went into 3.047-inches at 25 yards. This is not the pellet for this rifle!

Gamo Swarm Superdome group
Okay — at 3.047-inches for 10 shots, RWS Superdomes are off the list!

The best hold

Okay, remember those wild shots in each of the first two groups? I have seen that before, when the rifle didn’t like how it was being held. I wanted to see if that was what was causing the shot to land wild, so I shot a group of Air Arms Falcons with the rifle rested directly on the sandbag. I meant to shoot the RS pellets, but I opened the wrong tin. The results were still very good though. Ten shots went into 1.159-inches at 25 yards — the smallest group of the test. There are no wild shots in this group.

Gamo SwarmFalcon group bag rest
Ten Falcons went into 1.159-inches at 25 yards when the Swarm was rested directly on the sandbag.

Evaluation and summary

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim is a fine air rifle. It’s a breakbarrel repeater that works as advertised. It may not be a tackdriver in the same class as the Diana 34, but for the money I think it leads the market — at least of the air rifles I’ve tested so far. I have no qualms recommending this rifle to a newcomer, as long as he understands that he has to buy a different scope.

I like the trigger, the easy cocking and the reliable operation of the magazine. The accuracy is acceptable — especially when you realize most people will shoot 5-shot groups and get around 0.8-inches at 25 yards.

I think you can hold this rifle any way you want. Maybe there is a small advantage when using the artillery hold, but it isn’t much. That alone makes it a good airgun for the beginner.

2017 Texas Airgun Show

This show is coming up fast — less than 3 weeks. It’s on Saturday, August 26 and here is the website with full information.

There will be a door prize that all ticket holders are automatically qualified for. This year the door prize will be an AirForce Texan rifle in .308 caliber. Just be present at the drawing at the end of the show and, if you purchased a ticket to enter the show, you could win!

There will also be hourly raffles with major prizes. This year Pyramyd Air has donated a $4,000 Limited Edition Air Arms RSN70 PCP rifle! That is just one of many major prizes that will be raffled off all day long.

Come and meet your airgun manufacturers and retailers like Airgun Depot, AirForce Airguns, Hatsan USA, Umarex USA, Crosman, Sig Sauer, Sun Optics, and Hawke Optics. And of course you won’t want to miss all the private dealers who are bringing who knows what! I will have a couple tables with many of the vintage airguns you have read about in this blog, and I will also have my book for sale. If you already have one, bring it by and I’ll autograph it.

Speaking of autographs, many of you follow Rick Ward, the Urban Airgunner. He is on the cover of the current Airgun Hobbyist magazine, and if you will bring that copy to the show, he will sign it for you. Rick, who is a professional rodeo announcer, will also be announcing all the drawings!

Gamo Swarm Falcon Urban Airgunner
Rick Ward, the Urban Airgunner.

And finally, Iraqveteran8888 will be at the show with his film crew! He has over 1.4 million subscribers to his You Tube channel, and he will be filming our show! He has a huge draw and will no doubt attract many visitors who want to meet him, so this year’s show will set new attendance records!

This year’s show will be major and not one to be missed!

Pyramyd Air Cup

This is also a reminder that the 2017 Pyramyd Air Cup will run from August 25 to 27 at the Tusco Rifle Club in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Those of you who live in the Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky region and want to see a wonderful show and shoot, be sure to attend.

34 thoughts on “Gamo Swarm Maxxim: Part 4

  1. Tom,

    We already have our hotel reservations for the Texas Airgun Show. This will be our third year to attend. We are looking forward to the show and saying hello to you again. Mrs. Qwerty says if I another rifle this year she is going to beat me over the head with it. Of course she said the same last year and she bought a 1701p from you for my Christmas present.

    I still find the Swarm interesting. Hopefully there will be one that we can try ar the show.

    Jim


  2. If Guns Magazine was publishing this article they would be very good groups 😉

    A new accuracy for the buck champion, not a beauty for the buck champion though.


  3. I still wonder if cleaning the barrel might not help. I know I couldn’t get decent groups with my Gamo Accu and when I cleaned it it was obvious why. There was an astonishing amount of sludge in there.


  4. B.B.,

    Are you going to repeat the 25 yard test with the artillery hold as comparison? This time Gamo is focusing on the “gadgets” instead of the velocity. Hopefully the whole combines to produce better accuracy.

    Siraniko



      • Have you ever tested a .177 rifle that performed just ok and then test the .22 and you find out that it’s a real “performer”
        I think that is the case with the Swarm……Mine shoots 1/2 inch at 25 with 11.75 Predators with a ton of power……I have several High Dollar German and English springers that can do the same
        Read you every day….with my first coffeeThank You for the dedication


        • Zermat,

          Yes, I have seen that. One caliber will be a real performer while the other is just so-so. I have heard from several owners of the .22 Swarm who swear by their airguns, so maybe that’s happening here, as well.

          I am torn, though. There is simply not enough time for me to test each and every caliber of every interesting gun that comes along. I can’t even test all models of airguns. And some readers are asking me to test guns that are identical in all ways except for a different stock. They like the looks of a certain airguns and could I please test it for them?

          I could do it if I were to do a lesser type of test, but I can’t bring myself to do that. I read those everywhere and they sound like they are written by the marketing departments of the manufacturers. I’ll leave that to others.

          Also, there are other things I want to do besides testing airguns. I have ideas for fundamental articles that I think will be of interest.

          Maybe what needs to happen is for owners to write really thorough reviews of the airguns they like, so at least there is some coverage.

          B.B.


          • BB,

            I think owner written reviews of guns is a great idea, considering the brain trust that you have attracted here with your own reviews. There are many regular commenters here that have decades of experience in this hobby that would give a credibility to their reviews that one might not find in owner reviews from other sources. I’ve only been reading this blog, daily, for a little over a year and have been reading early blogs, five or so at a time ( usually with the comments ), for about 6 months and think even I now know how (brown cow 😉 ) to go about passing on the relevant info on my experience with my guns to my fellow airgunners. If any of us wanted to review a gun could we simply do it as a looong comment or would a Guest Blog be the only acceptable format? When you invite us to do a guest blog one of the requirements you list is knowing how to use the required software and how to work with images correctly. I, for one, don’t know how to do those things and suspect others here may be in the same boat, so how could we learn to, if we wanted to contribute? ( Maybe one of those Fundamental Articles you alluded to above)


            • Halfstep,

              The owner reviews are already being submitted. They are on each description page of the PA website. That’s what I meant.

              But, instead of vague chatter, how about useful wording? Don’t just say a one inch 5-shot group. Tell us the pellet and the distance and was it offhand, off a bench, artillery hold. That’s what I was talking about.

              B.B.


              • BB,

                I do read those and for the most part find them lacking. I have left reviews with an eye toward giving at least some of the info that I wish I could find when I’m researching a gun for purchase. The character limit that they place on those reviews has sometimes kept me from sharing all the information that I would like to, though. Seems like I remember my reviews being attributed to ” John from KY” ,so for me the reviews don’t carry the same weight as they would if I knew they were coming from the guys on this blog that I have already come to respect and whose opinions I trust.

                You have explained what you meant when you suggested better owner reviews but you didn’t answer my question about whether a review in the form of a long comment would be welcome here or how one might learn to use the software required to do a guest blog if the comment thing is inappropriate.


  5. B.B.,

    Thanks for giving us your assessment of the RRR system. That is interesting that Leapers made the Center Point scope. The CP that came with the Maximus was quite good. Good enough to leave on it in fact. I did replace it with a Leapers/UTG side AO though, as the CP was a front AO.

    Did/does Leapers/UTG make other scopes marketed under other brands?

    Good Day to you and to all,….. Chris


  6. BB,

    I myself would have hoped for better than this. Perhaps as you said this would be fine for a newbie, especially since it does not appear to be hold sensitive. I guess I am just spoiled. With some trigger time, someone might be able to get in tune with it and tighten it up a good bit. My Gamo CFX had a lousy trigger, but could still put out some pretty tight groups. It does seem to win out over what Crosman puts out, most especially in the trigger department.


  7. I have a Gamo Hornet Maxxim in 22 and I believe the Hornet was the platform on which the Swarm was based. My Hornet is a very nice shooting gun. Trigger is the best of all guns that I own. Of course, none of my guns are high end target rigs. They are all just plinking and hunting guns. All of my shooting has been at my 10 yard cellar range shooting standing offhand.
    I have shot a couple of 30 shot groups of under an inch, which surprised me. 30 shots offhand is quite challenging and it does cause quite a bit of fatigue.
    I have been contemplating adding the Swarm in 22 to the rack of rifles I now own.

    I have noticed that my 22s shoot tighter and more consistently than my 177s. This is just my experience at this point.


  8. B.B.,

    Might the lone wild shots in the middle of more than one ten-shot group be caused by a bad cylinder in the magazine?

    I wonder how much more accurate the Swarm might be if loaded single-shot. Of course that would eliminate the whole point of this air rifle.

    Michael



    • Michael,

      I thought about that, though I don’t quite see how it could happen, since the probe pushes the pellet out of the mag and into the breech. Cylinders are usually problems in revolvers because their mouths don’t align with the bore and the bullet is shaved when fired.

      B.B.


      • BB
        The magazine might be damaging the pellet some way when the probe pushes the pellet.

        Maybe a flag Burr of some sort hanging off the magazine in that paticular shot number. And possibly when the pellet is pushed by the probe it could be cocking that pellet to one side. It may then hit the barrel wrong as the probe seats it.

        I say another test needed done. Or at least load that pellet where the bad shot is occurring and break the barrel back open and push the pellet out and see if there is any damage to the pellet.


        • GF1,

          You are assuming the flier is always the same shot. I don’t know that it is.

          The Swarm is a fine air rifle, and I tested a new one that is exactly like anyone might get. I don’t see the need for further testing, as I would not be able to fix the problem, other than by running though magazines.

          It is what it is.

          B.B.


          • BB
            Just going by what Michael mentioned.

            My thinking is that if it does always happen on the same shot in the magazine count that would be something to look into if it was my gun. I would probably buy a few extra magazines with the gun to if I was to get this kind of gun. That would be another way to be find out.

            But yep overall the gun seems like a gun someone could live with. I guess other than that flyer if was hunting or pesting with it. Then in that case a flyer is unacceptable. You usually don’t get a second chance.



  9. BB,
    The area encircled on the rail. Do you have any idea of its function? If it has anything to do with dampening do you think that by spanning it with my droop rail can interfere with its effectiveness?
    I am sad to say that my 22 Swarm does not shoot well as your 177 but I have only tried 4 pellets so far.


    • Ton,

      As far as I know, the cutout is just decorative. It stands out to many people, so it seems to work, if attention was the intention.

      Sorry to hear that your rifle isn’t as accurate. I hope my test rifle is not an anomaly.

      B.B.


    • Ton,

      The video on the P.A. site shows it moving and the gap closing,.. and then re-opening. There is a gray block image that appears in the video, two actually,.. one on either side of the gap. It makes me wonder if it does not incorporate two opposing magnets,.. which would make perfect sense. I suppose sticking something metal in the gap might reveal the presence of magnets.

      http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Gamo_Swarm_Maxxim_Multi_shot_Air_Rifle/4310


      • Hi Chris,
        I looked at the video and it does look like the recoil reduced the gap! I tried a steel coin over the gap too and it does not appear to be magnetic. As you see my scope set up bridges the gap so that may be interfering with recoil reducing ability of the rail. I do not think that that can cause the terrible groups I am getting with the Predator GTO pellets which this rifle likes so much though. I need to order a new scope so when get it I will reposition the rings so that it will not span the gap. I will also have to try some more pellets but I am not optimistic about getting better groups with them. All the reviews I have seen show the GTO excelling in the 22. I think I may have gotten a lemon. I will have to tear it down to see if the usual tricks can fix it.
        I was so frustrated today shooting it. I consistently missed soup cans at 15 meters! I know it is a Gomo, but I have other Gamos that are tack drivers. I took out my vintage Gamo Gamatic which is not scoped and blasted 20 consistent hits on the soup can which the Swarm could not find. The son definitely ain’t as good as the father lol. It is such a sweet gun to shoot, but it is not interesting if it can’t shoot. Townsend Welen said something that I always like to quote. ‘Only accurate rifles are interesting’ and if I can’t get it to shoot loose interest fast.
        Thanks for your reply and sorry for the rant.


  10. Ton,

    No need to be sorry. I would be unhappy as well. My reply was just in regards to your question about the gap and it’s purpose, not lack of accuracy. B. B. said that he could not really see where it did anything. I would think that if it is supposed to move, that you could get it to move by hand. I do suppose the rail you have would negate any movement, but then it would act as any other fixed rail, so I don’t know. Unless (both) halves move? The video is too fast and brief. Hopefully when you get some new rings, you can study it closer. Best wishes on finding something that works.


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