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Things I liked:Very accurate after a brief break in. Easy to work on. Very quiet. Very well balanced. Essentially recoilless. Nice offhand stock design, and good apparent finish and quality of all components. Not too picky on pellets. 5 shot magazine is awesome, and has worked flawlessly without affecting the skirt on a single pellet that I've checked. Esay to pump. And again, it meets it's intended purpose of being very accurate and having plenty of power to punch paper at 10m. Things I would have changed:The pistol grip is not quite long enough to fit my pinky, so I grip it like a single action revolver, with my pinky wrapped under the butt to control recoilo...bt there's no recoil here. The trigger should be a little nicer considering it is the same one used on all Daisy single pump target guns. Of course, I did change the trigger using the pilkguns mod, and it made an impressive improvement. It can be set for almost no pre-travel or overtravel, and is quite safe at around 1.5 lbs of pull. Also, Daisy does not include any buttstock extensions for the gun, and it comes with a 12" or so length of pull. Great for children, but not for me. I am 6'2" and found that I needed to get it to around a 13.75" lop for optimal balance and comfortable shooting. I went kind of custom in stretching the stock, as I filled the stock with sand and made a custom buttpad to hold in the sand, then I used steel sleeves and longer sheetrock screws to make two pillars. I then mounted the factory buttpad to the extension pillars. I had the stuff laying around to do the mod, but you could just use a slip on pad. If it fit well it would probably contain the ~2 lbs of sand that the stock will hold. What others should know:My complaints are small and the most important thing about this rifle is that it shoots very well. I mounted a 3-9x32 AO scope that I had laying around on some cheap tip off rigs. After shimming the rear scope ring so that I would have enough elevation to shoot out past 50 yards (and to help keep the scope near the middle of it's adjustment range..which is crucial in maintaining zero...especially with cheaper scopes) I was having good groups with some flyers. After 500 pellets, however, the flyers are just about gone. I am averaging 3/8" 5-shot center to center groups at 15 meters, and have had a lot of 1/4" groups as well. At 10 meters, I average about 1/4", but have shot some groups slightly smaller than that. The best group I ever got from a full sandbag rest was about .18" ctc at 10 meters. I think that this may represent the best accuracy my rifle is capable of. It is definitely capable of very good accuracy at a wonderful value. A Crosman Premier domed hollow point of 7.9 grains was chronoing around 480 fps after testing 10 shots. This was before I had done any significant break in. I disassembled the gun, and found that the piston is dished inwards (like those on a boosted engine that wants lower natural compression). I had read about filling the dish to raise compression (like a flat-top piston). So, I cleaned the piston cup out very well and scuffed it, then added enough jb weld to slightly over fill it. It now shoots the same pellets at ~550 fps.
Things I liked:Price. Accuracy. Power. Low noise. No recoil. Great sights. Smooth and light "simulated 2-stage" trigger pull. Build quality (so far). Full size grip. Great balance. Ease of operation. Things I would have changed:The second stage is too long for very fine target work, but is easily fixed if you are familiar with type of work. Loading pellets is a bit tricky at first, but becomes second nature with repetition. Grip is a bit smooth and will make cocking the pistol harder if you shoot with wet hands (like when it's raining). That may not be an issue for most, but I shoot in the rain at times. I just stippled the grip with a soldering iron to fix that issue. What others should know:I think this pistol is the bee's knees. It will easily shoot under 1/2" at 20 yards with pellets it likes (~7.5gn wadcutters and 7.9 gn crossman premier domes). Of course that is from a rest, but I can usually shoot under 1" offhand at that range, with an occasional flyer that is entirely my fault. I did a trigger job, though it isn't necessary, and the trigger travel is perfect now. The pull weight at the tip of the trigger is just over 1.5 lbs, which is right where it was out of the box. The gun is fairly quiet (quieter than my Daisy 953). The velocity is right on the money with a 10 shot string averaging 391 fps with 7.9 grain premiers. I tested the only 3 Beeman laser pellets (6.5 grains) that I had and they all went a little over 420 fps. I think it is impressive velocity for a ssp that is fairly easy to pump. I find it easy to pump, but I am a fairly strong guy. I think that with the proper pumping technique, anyone over 10 years old should be able to handle it. If it isn't easy for you, just think of it as a rewarding upper body exercise program :) I have had zero issues with leaks or problems of any sort. The sights have held a perfect zero. One note on the sights: They are flawless for target shooting in good light, but they will not do well in lower light on a dark background. A little orange nail polish will help with that. Also, NO, this gun is NOT sufficient for ethically hunting anything except bugs at fairly close range. Carpenter bees are fun.
Things I liked:Nice big-game rifle feel. Good looking stock. Easily tuneable/tweaked trigger. Smooth cocking and shooting cycles. Fairly quiet for the power level. Ball bearing detent for barrel lockup makes for a smooth break and lock. Basically free cheapo scope included for a lesser airgun. Things I would have changed:It could have been built somwhat lighter, as it gets tiring to shoot offhand for prolonged period, especially with a scope and mount. Not so bad before I added optics though. What others should know:The trigger can easily be tuned up using all the standard tricks until it is quite good. The gun will shoot around a 1.5" group for 20 shots at 30 yards with most domed or wadcutter pellets of 7.5-8 grains, but it is very hold-sensitive. If you find that spring guns do not agree with you because of your hold, or you want something that you can hold like your .300 Win Mag (i.e. a "hard" hold), I would look to a pneumatic of some sort. The cocking effort does not seem to bad for me, but I am a large and strong guy. I think that the rifle will be too hard to cock, have too much length of pull, and be too heavy for smaller shooters to handle. Of course, these are all expected attributes of a magnum velocity springer that will fit large shooters. Given the power, accuracy, fit-and-finish, and dual caliber nature of this rifle, I think it is the best air rifle deal out there for someone who needs a seriously powerful springer and wants a full-sized rifle feel. The added weight also reduces recoil and enhances accuracy and stability. Having said all this, though, I find myself shooting my cheapo Beeman P17 the most. For the price of these two airguns, you will have an awesome pistol/rifle combo that will let you experience the different behaviors of a spring-piston rifle and a single-stroke pneumatic pistol.
Things I liked:Very lightweight. Easy to pump. Quite accurate with wadcutters. Simple to do a trigger job on it if you're the type who likes to tinker (I am). BB repeating. Good range of power. Things I would have changed:Make the scope rail actually fit standard tip-off rimfire rings. Factory trigger pull is very long and heavy. About even on pull weight, travel, creep, and crispness with an unmodified Red Ryder trigger. What others should know:This rifle is excellent as long as a scope will not be used. The factory sights are pretty decent given the price of this airgun. BB's group about the same as my Red Ryder, which is about 1"-1.25" for 20 shots at 10 meters. Pointed, domed, and hollow point pellets are horribly inaccurate in this airgun, but when I tried daisy wadcutters I was blown away by the accuracy. I had no idea an unrifled barrel could deliver such good groups. The gun will easily put 10 shots into .5" or better at 10 meters from a rest with wadcutter pellets, and that is using the factory open sights. I got my best groups using 10 pumps, but accuracy was still pretty good at 4 pumps for quiet indoor shooting. Saw 580 fps average with 7.4 grain pellets.
Things I liked:Decent external lense coatings. Lockable turrets that don't require a dime or flathead to adjust. Good magnification range. Objective adjustent really will go down to 5 yards, and has enough travel to allow truly unlimited range adjustment without going too far, so you can actually spin the ao all the way to the end and it will be properly adjusted for anything beyond 100 yards. Good flare control, very little barrel distortion, and generally very good glass for the money. The glass itself gives a slightly more accurate image than the Bushnell Sportsman scopes which are equivalently priced. Adjustments seem to be consistent and stable under recoil. Mil-dots rule, and the crosshairs are fine enough for target shooting. Things I would have changed:There is a major problem with these scopes in regards to controlling internal reflections. In fact it has the worse internal reflection control that I have ever seen on a scope, and I have looked through a lot of scopes in my day. The problem is that if there is something bright just outside of the field of view of the scope, it will wash out the whole image with whatever color it is. For example, if I am sighted in on a target that is to the left of my bright orange wheelbarrow, and the image of the wheelbarrow is not seen at all through the scope, it will still make the entire image appear like it is being viewed through a thick orange fog. I think that a large sunshade might help with this problem, but because this scope is already extremely long, the additional length of a sunshade will make it impossible to mount on many weapons, including my Gammo CFR (or about any other underlever or top-loading bolt-action rifle. What Crosman/Leapers/CenterPoint needs to do is not worry about an illuminated reticle, flip-up scope caps, or including rings and batteries, and instead take measures to minimize internal reflections. Basically everything about this scope exudes quality far beyond the price would have you expect, but then they just dropped the ball in regards to internal reflection control. It is clearly a problem with the internal center tube. It even appears very shiny when looking in through the objective. I may take this scope apart (and release the nitrogen, unfortunately) to scuff the internal tube and minimize the reflectivity problem. The plus side is, if they hadn't created this unforgivable issue, they could probably double the asking price of this scope and still easily sell them like wildfire. What others should know:In a nutshell, the fit and finish are excellent, it offers good glass and external lense coatings, and it offers a lot of bells and whistles normally found on more expensive scopes, but in the end, I would drop a little more cash and upgrade to a Bushnell Banner that is about $30 more, but offers a much better image. It will be worth it in the long run. If you really can't afford the additional $30, then this is a good candidate. I would take it over the Bushnell sportsman 4-12x40 for field target due to the higher magnification and the mil-dot reticle, however, if I was just going to be plinking and hunting, I would take the Bushnell because it has better internal reflection control, so it will offer a clearer image under less-than-ideal lighting conditions, and 12x is plenty for almost any kind of shooting.
Things I liked:Obscene accuracy. Fairly lightweight for a magnum underlever. Very, very quiet. The adjustable cheekpiece allows huge scope objectives to me mounted and still have a perfect cheek weld. The pistol grip stock that has a small storage compartment for allen wrenches, pellets, or whatever you want. The excellent fiberoptic sights. The Nitro Piston exceeds my expectations. I have trouble believeing that anything in there is moving. It is almost silent, and the shot cycle ends very quickly. The nd52 suppressor is pretty effective when used in conjunction with the nitro piston. Trigger is not the best, but way, way better than any gamo I have ever felt, and I know that it will get better with use. Of course, I'll probably be installing a GRT4 trigger soon anyway. Uh, did I mention the absurd accuracy. The non-automatic safety. The comfy grip panels in the stock. Things I would have changed:Stop including disposable scopes with fairly high-end airguns. I would rather save a measly $5, or get some pellets than have another cheap "bundled" scope sitting in the pile of useless gun parts. I guess it might be okay on a cheap airgun or rimfire that isn't used for any kind of target shooting, or for the hunter that always shoots within the scopes limited parallax-error-free range at fairly large targets. Basically, though, I will not be disrespecting any of my rifles with a cheapo fixed 4x32.
I would also like to see a better trigger fom the factory, and for it to be made of metal. There is also some side to side play in the trigger that does not impress me. This trigger is useable without making the gun unshootable, but it could be so much nicer. How about some provisions for a sling? I know springers hate shooting sling use, but just for carrying the rifle by a carrying strap it would be handy. What others should know:I was hesitant to spend this much coin on a Gamo, as I have always found Gamos to be very good guns in the $100-250 price range, but this cfr seems to be a very competitive gun even in this higher price range. I used field expedient sighting methods to get a rough zero at 50 yards, and then proceeded to knock 5 12 guage shells shotgun shells off my back fence at 50 yards with open sights from field target positions. It took 6 shots, and the one miss was definitely me struggling with the creepy second stage of the trigger. I'm sure that I will see some pretty crazy groups after I mount my Bushnell Banner 6-24x40 scope. Hopefully it will clear the loading port. My Centerpoint cheapo 4-16 fits just fine, but I want a little more scope on this gun.
Things I liked:This is meant to be a followup to my initial review. I have put about 2000 pellets through the rifle, and tried six different locally available types of pellets.
If you don't want to read this lengthy review, then just know that the gun should be able to shoot with almost anything that is even near this price range, and would make an excellent field target rifle (assuming you can get enough scope on it for range estimation, and still clear the breech). It is also almost completely immune to hold sensitivity. I fired it from directly off sandbags without a hint of issue. It feels almost like a firearm in that respect due to a low amount of recoil, and an extremely quick shot cycle. Things I would have changed:The rifle definitely has continued to deliver. The only thing that holds this rifle back at all is the trigger. It is better than any other gamo I have shot, but is still far short of keeping up with the rest of the rifle's quality shooting characteristics. Unless you have a trigger job performed or buy an upgraded trigger, you WILL be fighting with the trigger to get good groups. That being said, I did a trigger job and watched my groups shrink immediately.
After 1000 pellets down the barrel, my groups started to become very impressive. There were some flyers here and there during the break-in period, but they have all but disappeared now. I also found that several pellets shoot well out of the gun, and I'm sure I still haven't found the best pellet.
I tested the gun from a two-bag benchrest at 20 meters today. I fired 2 10-round groups of each pellet type and measured my results.
At a tie for last place come daisy and crosman pointed pellets. I couldn't keep them all on an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper. Just terrible.
Crosman Wadcutters averaged .59" center-to-center, but could have done much better without a flyer in each group. I think that the skirts are too thin for the power level of this rifle, and some were getting blown out...or maybe the flyers were my fault. All flyers were vertical flyers and were dead-on for windage.
Crosman Destroyers were just about even with the wadcutters, but the groups were a little more open in general, but had no real flyers. What others should know:The second best pellet was the Gamo Hunter domed pellet. It hits audibly harder than any other pellet I tried, and penetrated very well into my thick cardboard backstop. Groups were very consistent, and measured an average of .42". Probably a good choice for hunting tough game were a little extra knockdown (or flat-shooting characteristics) is more important than that last .1" of accuracy.
The best pellet of the test was easily the crosman premier hollow points. The 2 10-shot groups averaged .22" center-to-center, with one group coming in at .19". I just kept expecting to see the one-hole groups open up on the last few shots, but they held. If there is a better pellet for the gun, I'm not sure I could shoot well enough to take advantage of it. This is my first airgun to approach MOA accuracy, and I am a happy customer.
Oh, and if anyone is curious, the scope I used is a Bushnell Banner 6-24x40mm with mil-dots. It mounted just fine in the cheapo rings that were provided with the Gamo scope, and the cheekrest is perfectly adjusted when all the way up (for me at least). There is a problem with this setup though. The bell of the scope actually covers the loading port because the scope is so long, so I had to use an allen wrench to get the pellet into the chamber, and operating the rotating breech was almost impossible. I will be mounting a Centerpoint 4-16x40 scope and seeing how that works out.
Things I liked:The price. The very light weight. The brightness of the fiber optic sights. The rubber butt pad to keep it from slipping if you lean it against a wall. The ease of cocking and loading. The excellent stock offers a good cheek weld with the supplied sights. It was also very easy to disassemble and lube and tune without a spring compressor. If you have experience doing trigger jobs, this is a very easy trigger group to work over. It is VERY quiet. Decent accuracy and very smooth firing cycle. An almost ideal rifle for a smaller shooter who is on a budget. Things I would have changed:It has a very heavy and long trigger pull. Sights are somewhat fragile. Accuracy is only decent, not stellar, but what do you expect at this price. What others should know:I bought this rifle because I wanted something very lightweight and compact to plink with in my back yard. I have many high-end air rifles that are better shooters, but they are also A)Expensive B)Loud, and C) Too long and heavy for my girlfriend to shoot. This little rifle is a blast to handle because it is so light and easy to cock. the factory trigger pull is way too long and is probably around 6-8 lbs. With a basic trigger lube/tune I was able to get the pull to ~2 lbs. and eliminate most of the sear creep. The advertised velocity is not exaggerated. The only things holding this rifle back are the trigger and the somewhat limited accuracy. I am getting groups of around 2 inches at 20 yards using the open sights from a sitting position. I can outshoot this rifle for sure. Crosman premier 7.9's and crosman wadcutters have been the most consistent so far, but maybe I will find a pellet that the rifle likes better, or maybe the rifle will settle down after a few hundred more pellets. In its price range, this is a good buy. I am not aware of any other rifles in its class that have good triggers or are more accurate. For double the money, one can have a daisy 953 or an IZH-60/61, which will both be much more accurate but not as easy for smaller shooters to handle. The rifle is capable of hits on tin-cans out to about 25 yards every time, so it's really only a trigger-job away from being a very sweet backyard or basement plinker.
Things I liked:Surprisingly accurate. Lightweight. Easy to pump. Fairly quiet. Good stock design. Quality plastics used. The option to pump less and have a very safe and quiet indoor plinker. Things I would have changed:The trigger just plain sucks. Even if your kid can hold the gun up, he will probably struggle to pull the trigger. Scope rail is pretty flimsy. I would have gladly paid more for a metal receiver. Do away with firing bb's from this rifle. I don't want a loading port and barrel that are both compromised to be able to fire bb's which are too inaccurate to waste my time with. That's why I have a model 35 and a red ryder. What others should know:The trigger cannot really be modded much, but pre-travel and over-travel screws made a world of difference. Just don't change out or modify the trigger/hammer spring, or the rifle will not fire reliably. I mounted a bushnell sportsman 4-16x40 scope and tested several pellets. The clear winner was crosman premier hp's. I shot six 5-shot groups at 20 meters and my average group size was .71" from center to center. This was from a seated position and only using a wobbly folding tv tray table as a front rest. I'm sure that with less wind and a better front and rear rest that this rifle and ammo combination can do a little better, but I am very happy with the results for the little cash that I paid.