by B.B. Pelletier

If you want a lot of fun in an accurate pellet pistol with features galore, take a look at Gamo’s Compact target pistol.

The Compact is for adults
Despite the funny name (for a target pistol, anyway), the Compact has a very nice package of features. It is a single-stroke pneumatic that takes about 35 pounds of effort to charge, so this is a gun for adults only. To keep the internal O-rings well sealed, remember to put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil in the air intake hole of the compression tube.

It’s light!
One endearing feature of the Compact is its light weight. It’s at least half a pound lighter than other genuine target air pistols, yet it holds its own as far as accuracy and power are concerned. There are a lot of synthetic parts, plus a large part of the interior is a hollow reservoir, so the pistol is suited to anyone needing a lighter or smaller handgun.

Everything is adjustable
At this price, you don’t expect to get the kind of adjustability the Compact offers. The sights are adjustable, as well as being very crisp and easy to see. The grip has an adjustable palm shelf for right-handers. Lefties will have to buy aftermarket grips from gripmakers like Ralph Brown.

The trigger is not only adjustable, you can see the mechanism as you adjust it by removing the grips and looking through the right side of the frame, where there’s a clear plastic window in front of the mechanism! The pull can be brought up to the ISU minimum of 500 grams, with a 15-gram safety margin. Both stages are crisp and positive, and the trigger can even be repositioned for maximum control.

It’s got power!
Even though the Compact is a single-stroke, it’s got plenty of pep. It shoots a light .177 pellet at around 400 f.p.s. That means there will be a substantial pop when it fires. It’s still quiet enough for shooting in your house or apartment. Use a silent trap like the Crosman 850 to further reduce the sound.

Which pellet shoots best?
The Gamo Match wadcutter pellet works very well in the Compact. It’s a lightweight pellet, so the velocity stays up, and the wadcutter nose cuts a clean hole in the target.

Targets, too
Don’t forget to pick up some targets when you buy this gun. They’re made of special paper so they show the holes better than plain copier paper (which often tears).

The Gamo Compact has a lot going for it. If you want a good target pistol with real target features, this is a good one.