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Gamo’s new Viper Express air shotgun – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

There’s been a lot of interest in the Viper Express air shotgun since it appeared on the internet. I saw my first one in February at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. I asked Gamo’s U.S. Vice President of Sales what the gun was to be used for and he told me, “Hunting.” When I asked what kind of game, he replied, “Squirrels.”

Now, no air shotgun other than the Fire 201 can take squirrels, and this gun is one-tenth as powerful as that one, so I eagerly awaited the opportunity to test it. Unfortunately, the gun I received was missing the two plastic shotshells it’s supposed to come with, so all I can test at present is the brass pellet insert and also give you some general comments about the gun.

This small brass insert is how you shoot pellets from the Viper Express. It is unrifled.

The manual is sadly lacking!
I am amazed that a reputable company like Gamo would let a new gun like this out the door with the manual it has. It has virtually ZERO instructions about using an air shotgun! There is no reference to how to reload the plastic shotshells, what shot size to use and where to obtain the wads that have to go in either end of the shell. Apparently, they just kicked this gun off the tailgate, hoping people would be smart enough to figure it out by themselves. The manual even makes repeated references to your new RIFLE and not the shotgun!

I suppose the author was given the dirty little job of writing the manual and, because he or she knew little or nothing about shotguns, he or she cut-and-pasted paragraphs from other Gamo manuals. They had to make sure those paragraphs were not specific to other airguns, so you end up with a manual full of palaver that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. The title on the cover is “Handbook Break Barrel Shotgun/Air Rifle,” so this little booklet is supposed to do the job.

Pretty weak
A drawing in the manual shows a hunter leading a flying pheasant. From preliminary testing, I have determined that this gun probably will not kill a small mouse past about 15 feet! I shot it at the plastic cover of a small coffee can at 20 feet, and the shot BARELY dimpled the plastic. Squirrels, my eye! How did I do this if there were no plastic shotshells included with the gun? Simple. I just used the brass pellet insert tube and turned it into a shotshell. It is not rifled, so even though it may be not as long as the plastic shells, it still works. This is by no means a conclusive test, but I wanted to get a sense of what I was dealing with and this gave it to me.

At 20 feet, the three shots (of the 12 in the shell) that hit this plastic coffee can lid failed to penetrate the plastic. You couldn’t kill a small mouse with this kind of performance, to say nothing of squirrels.

The gun
This is a very attractive breakbarrel single-shot gun. It looks like a sleek 28-gauge upland gun. The exterior “metal” parts are mostly synthetic (except for the spring tube) and the stock is also the gray synthetic Gamo has been using for several years. Grippy rubber pads are inset into the forearm, pistol grip and the rollover ambidextrous cheekpiece. The cheekpiece gives the impression of a Monte Carlo stock profile because it rolls completely over the top of the stock.

The trigger is standard Gamo, which is mediocre by air rifle standards but adequate on a shotgun. The safety is manual, which is good. An 11.5″ long 11mm dovetail provides one of the longest scope bases I have ever seen (I believe only the Walther Dominator has a longer one), and there is a proper scope stop hole at the rear. Bravo, Gamo! This rail is aluminum to hold up in rugged service.

The gun is 43.5″ long with a 14″ pull that puts it square into the adult category. Cocking is very light at 33 lbs., and the piston has an incredibly long stroke for all that power. When the barrel is fully broken open, it resembles a Perazzi single-shot trap gun that breaks open far past 90 degrees. The light 5.75-lb. weight completes the image.

The piston stroke is very long as this shot of the gun fully broken reveals. That’s where the power comes from.

I’ll be back
Okay, I’m stopping right here. I will come back and go through this gun like a good dose of salts, but that takes time for more testing. By my remarks thus far, you might think I don’t like the Viper Express, but that’s not true. I do like it. I just think Gamo has done a horrible job of launching a product that general airgunners are not going to understand. Further, because of the company’s own lack of airgun savvy, Gamo has portrayed this air shotgun as something it is not – a hunting airgun. If you stick with me, I promise to show you everything you need to know about this surprisingly different airgun.

87 thoughts on “Gamo’s new Viper Express air shotgun – Part 1”

  1. Hi BB,

    Sounds like an interesting gun. I suspect that Gamo will sell the air-cartridges as pre-loaded disposable items – more money in it for them this way.



  2. ATB,

    My information indicates they are selling just the unloaded shells at $8 for two!


    I suspect I’ll get more shot into the correct shells. A card wad will also improve the shot count. I used torn Kleenex as wadding, which was too bulky.

    Still, if you double the shot count, it’s only 24 number 8 shot, which is pitiful! Regular .22 long rifle shotshells are impotent as hunting tools, so I don’t know why an airgun with 1/20th the power would be any good.

    This gun has to be used for some kind of instinct shooting game and it’s got to be close-rage!


  3. B.B.

    The shotshells for the Viper Express at Cabelas cost $8 for a package of 25. It says they are loaded with No. 9 lead shot. Hopefully thats it, and it doesn’t cost $8 for 2 shells.


  4. Hate to say it but this gun is starting to sound like a very bad investment. I’ll reserve judgement but the word “junk” is coming to mind. The Crosman 2300s, on the other hand. Wow!

    By the way, BB, I’m curious if you’ve gotten your hands on a Anics Skif A-3000 yet, or plan to. A 28 shot semi auto pellet gun sounds very intriguing.

  5. Jim,

    The Viper Express isn’t junk – it’s just VERY POORLY marketed. Gamo should have created a support system (good instruction manual, shotshells, reloading components, target (s), and other items) for the launch of this airgun, similar to what Crosman did when they brought out the Trapmaster 1100. They should have scheduled a media campaign with articles in all the important airgun periodicals. Instead, they shipped and hoped – not a good policy.

    The gun itself has some redeeming qualities that I hope to discover and showcase for you in the coming weeks. But I doubt that Gamo will recover from their abysmal job of mismanaging the launch.

    As you indicate, the Crosman 2300AS is the complete opposite story. In fairness to all, however, an air shotgun is a tricky thing to sell. That’s why Gamo is in such a poor initial position.

    I have tested the Skif A-3000. I’m scheduling a report for you today.


  6. I can tell you now that the Shadow Sport and the 1000 are exactly the same, accuracy-wise. In fact, EXCEPT for the CF-X, which is more accurate, all the Gamo rifles tend to group the same.

    When you buy one, do so on features, not power or accuracy. The 1000 f.p.s. rifle are aqll the same.


  7. B.B., you mentioned, “important airgun periodicals.” Might I request that as a topic some time… What are the best airgun periodicals/blogs/or whatever currently available? Other than yours, of course, which is wonderful. Thanks.

  8. jim,

    There aren’t very many. Of the ones sold on the newsstand, Shotgun News is the only title I know that has a regular monthly airgun column, in addition to feature articles from time to time. Rifle magazine used to have a column, but I think it’s now gone.

    There is also a hobby title called Airgun Hobby magazine. You subscribe by emailing info@airgunhobby.com


  9. Jim, i occasionally buy a british magazine called AirgunWorld magazine. they dont advertize the same guns there as they do here but its still interesting of course,

  10. B.B. is replacing the o-ring seal on the hunter 1250 as simple as prying the old one out and pushing the new one in? sorry, im sure this topic is getting old, but i dont want to make any mistakes.
    thanks, scopestop

  11. Hi BB. I was wondering, Is it possible that you recieved the rifle form of the Viper? I know that the pictures on your review don’t show the gun with its raised rib along the barrel that is typical of the shotgun but not the rifle version. Also, if it is the rifle version, that would explain why the manual mentioned nothing of the shotgun, and possibly why the gun performed so poorly with shot instead of pellets. Just a thought.

    Also, just in case you wanted to know, I have a recent Gamo catalog that advertises the Viper Express to have “all the power and penetration needed for hunting small game and birds at medium to close range.” It also says that the gun “delivers a payload of #9 shot with enough power and velocity to penetrate over 1/8th inches of 200 lb compressed paper board at over 10 yards.” I though this might help to explain what Gamo says the gun is capable of. I also think this catalog may be Gamo’s only attempt to advertise this shotgun. Hope it helps.

  12. Out of stock, wow, your right they really did need to get a much better advertising campaign going before they launched this gun. I really hope it turns out all right, I would love to own an air shotgun. I take back what I said earlier about the raptor pellets, forgot that they are only in .177 caliber. The guy before me might be right about you getting the rifle version of the viper. I can’t tell from the picture but I’m not seeing that rib that is on other pictures of the shotgun. But if you got an adapter to shoot pellets then it must be the shotgun. I guess just look down the barrel and see if it is rifled or not. Confusing, but I really hope this gun manages to pull through, it would be such a cool gun.


  13. Did I get the RIFLE version of the Viper?

    No, I have the shotgun. Mine has the vent rib that I haven’t mentioned yet. It doesn’t show in the picture I took, but it’s there.

    Also, if I had the rifle version, I wouldn’t need an insert to shoot pellets. They would load directly into the breech. And the Viper rifle is not an Express, and it comes in .177, according to Gamo’s site.

    I see the power Gamo is advertising. I’m using number 8 shot which carries power better than number 9, so my gun should have more penetration than theirs with number nine, though the difference is not much.


  14. lama (and eveyone else),

    The Viper Express is a very neat concept. As far as I know, it is the first dedicated shotgun to use the spring piston powerplant.

    However, it IS NOT what Gamo claims! It is not a hunting airgun.

    I will be looking at what it can do in the coming weeks and as soon as I have some shotshells I will show you how they work and how they are reloaded. Who knows, I may write the owner’s manual Gamo SHOULD have written, right here in this blog!

    We will all discover this interesting air shotgun together.


  15. Cdubbs,

    Yes, I suspected that. Which is all the greater reason that Gamo should have had the reloading components ready with the launch of the gun.

    I HOPE they don’t think airgunners are going to buy only loaded shells from them! That would be a HUGE mistake!


  16. BB! The factory shell is molded and the retainer cap breaks off when shot. I wonder how a reload from gamo would work. Im working on my own though and almost got it.


  17. Cdubbs,

    Then Gamo has screwed up again! Airgunners are going to want reloadble shotshells. The Crosman Trapmaster tells us that, if not every other air shotgun fielded since.

    I was told there were supposed to be two plastic shotshells included with the Viper Express. If Gamo has made them expendable, that explains why they weren’t included.


  18. I’ve been reading the above , and
    since there seems to be noone who
    shot the rifle with the shells ,
    I can’t take it too serious .
    I ordered one in holland , and the
    shells are available over a few weeks .
    Also i’ve seen nothing about his
    power with single shot pellet .
    It shoots a .22 pellet at 800ft.sec.
    and at that speed it would easily pierce
    that piece of plastic you used .
    Maybe the shells work fine , and
    isn’t it meant to use the adaptor
    with pieces of kleenex .

  19. As I stated before, the way I loaded the shotshell undoubtedly lead to the reduction in power. However, the small load of shot and the extremely limited power the gun DOES have, assuming it reaches its advertised power, still confines it to shooting mice at 10 feet. The Viper Express is not a hunting air shotgun.

    I have shotshells on order and plan to retest the gun with them. I will also test the accuracy of the gun with pellets.


  20. Oke ,
    You know , maybe it’s like this .
    They say that it can be used at
    medium to close range .
    Close range they mean using the shells
    but at a maximum of like 8 to 10 yards ,
    and medium range a .22 pellet .
    i think when you shoot a pigeon at
    a distance of like 5 yards you’ll
    deffinatly kill him , and when he’s
    further away you can use a pellet .
    You can’t expect too much from an
    airshotgun though .
    I just think it’s a cool thing to
    have , and that it will bring a lot
    of fun .
    If you’re planning to go for serious
    hunting then you shouldn’t buy an
    airshotgun in the first place .

  21. Just fired off a couple of shotshell rounds. Here are the results, at about 10 yards the pattern was about 6 inches in diameter. Which was stated on the shotshell package. FYI the shotshell I took apart had 20 #9 pellets in it. As fas as penetration, all I had was cardboard. The #9 pellets penetrated 4 layers of standard thickness cardboard used for shipping boxes at approximately 10 yards. I will be shooting this through a chronograph shortly. I am not an avid airgunner, however, I do shoot shotguns every week. In my opinion, I believe this gun will kill flying birds at close range (10 yards, maybe 15) however, that has yet to be proven. Hope this helps clarify some performance issues.

  22. B.B.
    I got my Viper Express yesterday as well as 2 boxes of the Gamo factory shells. I bought the gun and shells at Academy Sports and Outdoors here in Austin, Tx. The shells come 25 to a box for $8.79.
    I tested the factory shells at 10 yards on my cedar fence and the 20 pellets of #9 shot they used penetrated about an 1/8th of an inch with no pellets visible from the outside. I reloaded a shell with the same amount of #9 shot and used a felt cleaning plug cut in half as wadding on either end. The results were less than I’d hoped for. The pellets just barely stuck in the wood with several just bouncing back. (I actually made about 10 and the results were the same for all 10.) I figured that to much air was getting through the wadding since the factory shells use a very tight fitting plastic plug at the rear of the shell and a very thin piece of vented plastic at the front. Getting a good seal at the back of the shell is key to getting the highest velocity. I proved this theory by dropping some melted wax on the back of a reloaded shell with rear wadding compressed down in a little to allow a wax cap. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS! YES… it worked. Amazingly well. The shot penetrated just as deep as the factory loaded shells if not deeper, but the wax residue left behind in the barrel made for a good 10 minute cleaning. I figured that would happen, but it was the quickest and easiest way to test my theory. Now… what to use as a good plug for the rear? Any suggestions? I think I’m going to try a dab of clear silicone. It will take overnight to dry, but it should for a tight seal that blows out in one piece. I’ll let you know.


  23. Nuglor,

    Someone else said the rims of the shells snap off at firing. Obviously this hasn’t happened to you?

    Thanks for the input. I’m glad to see that the shot is more powerful with the factory shells, but I still wouldn’t recommend the gun for squirrels. Maybe small rats.


  24. I also forgot to mention. I put a BSA red dot scope on it and was able to take down a grackle (like a crow)at about 30 yards with a Predator Polymer Tip hunting pellet. It’s plenty accurate for hunting with a pellet.


  25. No, I haven’t had any problems with caps popping off. They may have been talking about the plastic piece inside that acts like a front wadding. That does snap out, but using about 1/3rd of a felt plug seems to work good. At this point, I’m going to keep experimenting with the rear plug to get a good seal and I’ll let you know.


  26. Nuglor,

    Okay, all the theorizing has to stop. You dropped a grackle at about 30 yards. That’s a pretty tough bird. The pellet is at least that accurate. I haven’t done any accuracy testing with pellets yet, but that’s coming.

    Good to hear that the shells are reloadable!


  27. ” If you stick with me, I promise to show you everything you need to know about this surprisingly different airgun.”

    Yes, I very much would like to know what it’s good for! I received mine last Wednesday from Bass Pro, along with 100rds of shot ctgs. It’s a totally beautiful gun and I am so in love with it, ‘though for the life of me I can’t figure out WHY. The first thing I noticed was that the shotshells were only filled to about half of their length. I assume this light load is how they achieve 1200 or 1250 fps (depending on who you read). The speed is what convinced me to buy the gun in the first place, as 1200fps was what I chronographed for my Skeet handloads many years back. I live on 3 acres where setting off a firearm, even a .22, would not be received well by my neighbors on every side. They don’t have a Skeet field here on Maui, so when I showed the Viper ad to my wife she got all excited for me and said I had to buy it. But 20 pieces of #9 shot? Get real. So here I am with this beautiful little gun and no rationale so far as to why I should keep it. That’s why I’m so looking forward to your #2 Viper piece. I’d also love to be able to reload the shotshells. I tried pushing the load out of one and filling the shell to the brim, but pushing the bottom wad back into place deformed it so that I doubt it would work very well anymore, and the top little clip was a total non-workable thing. I thought of Beeman cleaning pellets but I don’t have any at the moment, and Maui is not the cornucopia of pellet availability that Portland, Oregon was when I lived there in the ’80s. Plus most of the online sources I’ve checked do not offer snail mail as an option, so small things like pellets and oil wind up costing more to ship than the items themselves!

    Incidentally, I put a pellet through the adapter (and why they didn’t rifle it is a complete mystery). The first thing I noticed was that, without a scope or other supplementary aiming device, pellet placement is dicey at best. And the second was a complete surprise: there was definite recoil!



  28. Sunow,

    Well, you probably know that I don’t think much of it as an air shotgun. My cartridges are on backorder, so I still haven’t tested it with them yet, but I will. I was hoping to finish the part about shot and then go on to the pellet shooting part. One of our readers says he killed a grackle at 30 yards with a pellet, so that isn’t too bad.

    Now please don’t complain about the luxury tax to us mainlanders! I agree that Maui isn’t exactly the center of airgun-dom, but I don’t have banana trees growing in my backyard year-round, either!

    I know why you like the gun. It is one of the slickest, best-holding airguns I’ve ever held. It holds like a an upland 28-gauge superposed shotgun. and points just as well.

    The recoil comes from the long piston stroke Gamo has to use to get that much power with a light cocking effort. It’s a physics thing.

    I haven’t forgotten about the Viper Express. I’m just waiting on the ammo.


  29. Im about to buy a Gamo Express and gonna use factory shells….since the factory shells can have their load penetrate 4 layers of cardboard…I dont see why it couldnt kill a squirrel…what do you guys think?

  30. What about darts? Do they make a .22 caliber dart or bolt? If so, that might be another fun thing to do with the Viper…if it didn’t blow the dart’s tail to pieces!


  31. I just took the Viper Express hunting today, I must admit that it will probably not be able to take out a squirrel using the shotshells. With a .22 caliber pellet, yes it will definitely kill a squirrel. With the gamo shotshells, no way…

    The #9 loads are tiny and theres just too small of a quantity in each shell that makes the shot ineffective…

    I managed to take out small sparrows at close range using the shotshells (less than 10 yards), however, at that range…I would’ve done just fine using my .177 rifle (Daisy model 1000)…

    My conclusion: This gun is very light compared to my Daisy rifle, it has good power with the .22 but hard to aim. I am thinking of returning the viper express.

  32. Well B.B., after all my testing, reload tests and experiments, I came to the conclusion that this gun is nice, but a waste of money. It has no value as a shotgun other than to stir up some dust and the inconsistent accuracy of the pellets makes it “iffy” at best for hunting. I’ve returned mine and got my money back. I’m just going to order a new .22 break barrel to add to my collection instead. I’m thinking about a RWS model 52. Any suggestions?

  33. I purchased a Gamo Viper Express eight days ago… Missing from the box was the Brass insert; so the gun is useless. I called Gamo directly and the Brass insert is on back order, No ETA as of yet.

    I did get some shot-shells and in my limited testing I agree with the consensus that killing anything at the advertised yardage 10-15 yards is a bit of a farce. Once I receive the Brass insert, I will put it through the paces Crony it, Soap test etc. . .

    I also have a RWS 34 / 52 & 350, currently rebuilding the 52 with a Monolith Kit.

    Sorry BB for the past language won’t happen again.

  34. Still undecided about the Viper Express. I took it to our local Skeet range last week, and although me or my buddy couldn’t bust one with it. We do have a couple of guys who shoot in ESPN’s great outdoor games, and I watched them shatter four clays with my gun. The we standing at the center station between the high and low house. Probably about a 10-12 yard shot. Fairly impressive when you consider the shells only have around 20 pellets. Now that I’ve seen it done, I must keep it at least until I can do it. As far as performance, I have taken three birds at a range of about 12-14 yards. The grouping seems to perform as stated by GAMO. I have a reloaded shell sitting on my desk waiting to be fired. I used a couple different thicknesses of foam and a hole punch from Hobby Lobby to reload the shell. I used the thicker foam in place of the clear wad and the thinner foam in place of the plastic part that breaks away. I will let everyone know it works. It seems to seal pretty tight so maybe it will work.

  35. “We do have a couple of guys who shoot in ESPN’s great outdoor games, and I watched them shatter four clays with my gun. The we standing at the center station between the high and low house. Probably about a 10-12 yard shot.”

    I take it none of the clays ‘smoked’. How many pieces would you say they broke into, and of what size? I wonder, if you reloaded the empty shotshells to the brim with #9 or #8 shot, would you get enough velocity to break a clay. Might be fun on a slow day to run the stations in a parallel line close to the axis of the high and low houses. Pity you can’t shoot doubles… (HEY!, When are we going to get a nice air shotgun over/under or S/S?). -Sunow

  36. You are right, the clays did not turn to dust. The first one broke into about 4-5 pieces as the guy hit it on the right side. The next one, he centered and it broke into about 10-12 pieces. The last broke into about the same amount.

    I shot my reload yesterday, same result as the other guys who have tried to reload these shells. Major loss in velocity. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

  37. Guys,

    I haven’t gotten to the Viper Express yet, but from your reports and the one shot I did take it’s clear that the shot has to be restrained in the shell for a little time. I suggest using half a cleaning pellet as an over powder wad and cementing it in place with nail polish (nail varnish to our friends in the UK). If my memory serves, that was a trick with the Farco shotshells.


  38. Thanks for saving me over $200. I had one of the Crossman CO2 guns a long time ago & I liked the idea that you didn’t need CO2 cartridges. I had expected that the shotshells would be reloadable & since they don’t seem to be that definitely kills the idea.
    I tried to reload the Crossman shells & my reloads fell apart in the gun & made a real mess. At least I sold it for a nice profit.
    I even told the guy that the gas seals leaked & he bought it anyway.

  39. I was thinking of getting one of these Viper Express’s and from all this now im unsure about it. But anyway i was wandering what if you modified it for longer range by adding a choke of some kind to get a smaller pattern

  40. i mean after all it is a shotgun also i havent shot it or anything but i think its neet for the backyard since its legal in the city limits taking areial game in my backyard sounds fun. Do you think you could kill a dove?

  41. im definatly a good enough shot i was looking for something to maybe do some backyard dove hunting and shooting some sparows that are everywhere. Would it be effective at 15 yards against a squirrl? i usually take my bejamin but the squirrls are to jumpy. I would like to take one on the move easier and speaking of my benjamin .22 if i went through the trouble to get that special mounting piece for it and mounted a scope could i get accurate shots from 30 to 50 yards i have heard that the bejamin is one of the most accurate and i havnt had any other gun would it be best just to buy a newer airgun are they that much better or even better at all besides a little more fps i believe mine gets around 750 with it pumped up

  42. A Gamo Viper Express is not effective on squirrels at 15 yards. The pattern is too open to hit anything reliably. I wouldn’t recommend it at 10 yards because of the low energy.

    Scoping a multi-pump is tricky because you loose your handhold for pumping. A peep sight is the better way to go.

    Yes, I tested the shotshells. Read Part 3


    and Part 2 of the report:



  43. BB why are you so negative to the viper have you tried to kill a squirrl how do u know u cant kill a nutria i think it is more powerful than you are leading me to beleive pattern shmattern out in the field testing is what really finds the true anser i go squirrl hunting alot and 15 yards is all you need especially with a shotgun

  44. BB an off topic ques i was talking earlier about a scope on a benjiman are you saying it is a good or bad ide? will the pumping mess with the scope? wow people are getting a little crazy on here

  45. try shooting a squirrl for youself and tell us how that works out and then we will actually no or a bird that kid a while back said he was shooting them just fine so why is it that you are so negative to it if you havent tested yourself if your basing your review off others who might not be able to hit the broad side of a barn i am ashamed do some field testing and report back i think a trust worthy field test would should make your final descion and you and you only doing the field testing

  46. I don’t have to shoot an elephant with a .22 long rifle to know it’s not a good idea.

    I do not experiment on live animals. When I shoot them, I want them dead right away.

    What do you mean I haven’t tested the Viper Express (it’s not a Viper, by the way; that’s a rifled .177)? I tested it thoroughly.

    However, if you are intrigued with the gun, get one and test it yourself. No one appointed me as the sole authority on what airguns to buy.

    Buy my opinion of the Viper Express stands. I think it is too weak, by far, for hunting. And the pattern is almost nonexistant.


  47. In my opinion a scope is not a good choice for an underlever multi-pump pneumatic. It sounds good, but when you discover there is no way to comfortably hold the gun while pumping, you’ll see what I mean.

    I like a peep sight, instead.

    The one exception to what I just said is the Limited Edition Crosman 392 that uses the longer receiver from the AS392T CO2 rifle. A short scope can be mounted and will work fine on that one rifle.


  48. Hey B.B,

    I already posted this in part 1 of your airshotgun blog, but I figured I’d post here too to make sure you and others see this. I think you should do a shotguns part 3 on the Shark 13mm CO2 powered shotgun. It’s made in Argentina, and sold here by Sunshine Airguns for $250. This thing has tremendous power with just shot, as its plastic shell holds more than twice the payload of my Crosman 1100 with WAY more power. The manual says it can shoot shoot from 500-650 fps, and according to the penetration in trees and boards, this doesn’t seem to be far off at all, when I use .177 round balls as shot, they penetrate about as deep in a board as my Crosman 160. It can also shoot a 180 grain 50 cal ball at a good speed, enough to penetrate a little past its own depth in solid wood. The ball can also blow a big chunk out of its exit wound in a canteloupe explode full soda cans. This air shotgun is really worth looking at and writing about.

  49. I just bought one at Walmart: $150. They also had boxes of shot shells (25 count for about $4.50). I appreciate the comment about using a spent shot shell as a pellet insert, since my gun didn’t ship with the brass insert. I’m going to try this out on ground squirrels. I killed an aluminum beer can at 10 yards: the pellets went through and through. I then slew a cardboard FedEx box about 1-1/2″ total thickness: the pellets went through the front and back of the box.

  50. Just saw this blog and comments. I picked up one of these last Spring (2008).
    I am quite satisfied with it, but not as a shotgun. I have found that, using pellets in the 14gr, weight range, I can hit a two inch diameter steel spinner at 25 yards every time shooting offhand, if I do my part. I installed an inexpensive red dot sight to that end.
    The shotshells are easily and effectively reloaded. I use .22 cal. felt cleaning pellets cut into thirds for the base wad. I insert them with dowel. Then I add nine grains of #9 shot with a little Lee powder dipper that holds that amount. The shot is held in place by a small piece of cotton ball. Loaded this way, the shells pattern as well as the factory loads. But…you gotta be REALLY close to any small animal to kill it humanely. The pellets, however, are quite effective out to 25 yards on crows.

  51. I have the gamo shadow express version. As far as I know, same power plant and barrow, different stock saving about $60. Anyways, for the most part, I have had a great experience with this gun. The only problem I am having now is a huge drop in power due to the breech seal servery worn out to the point that pieces are missing and not sealing like it did out of the box! SO now I must replace it. What is holding me back is I do not know if Gamo uses the same size breach seals for all their guns. http://www.gamousa.com/Catalog.aspx?Product=91 Also, I am wondering if I can get a hold of 3rd party seals that do a better job and lost longer than gamo’s? Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks

  52. I bought one of these at Cabelas in Glendale AZ in 2007 as a birthday present to myself. Mine was a Bargain Cave item that came without a manual or pellet adapter, but was brand-new and far cheaper than the “floor model”

    It is a lot of fun, I must say, but the cost of the shotshells is ridiculous. As soon as I can get some shot (in smaller than 25-lb quantities, that is) I’ll experiment with reloading them.

    I’ve found that the shells will really do a number on beer cans at a fairly respectable distance. I ordered the pellet adapter from Gamo and have yet to really give that a try, but it works for snap-shooting cans.

    I agree about the poor marketing, which is a shame, as this is a really unique gun.


  53. Anonymous with the gamo viper express shotgun,

    Did you know B.B. did a part 2 and a part 3 about your gun? Here’s a link you’ll have to copy and paste, once you’re there you will be on part 3 of your gun. Click on part 2 at the top to read the articles in sequence:


    These articles were written over 2 years ago and B.B. writes a new article every day, Monday-Friday. You’ll find most airgunners, like yourself, sharing stories (like the one you just wrote), asking each other airgun related questions and answering each others questions. Great exchange of information and ideas. You can join us by copying and pasting the following link that will take you to the most recent article, then scroll down to the bottom and click on “comments” and you’re part of the live airgun discussion:


    Hope to see you there!


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