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Education / Training Gamo’s new Viper Express air shotgun – Part 2

Gamo’s new Viper Express air shotgun – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

It’s been over a month since the first report, and we’ve heard from many Viper Express owners in that time. What they say pretty much agrees with what I reported in part 1, though one reader did have some success with the pellet insert, while another reader actually saw some skilled shotgunners break clay pigeons from station 8.

Many were surprised by the small amount of tiny shot in the shotshells. They reported penetration at 10 yards in cardboard boxes, and that lines up with what Gamo says. Today, I’ll tell you what kind of ballistics are behind that performance.

Twenty No. 9 birdshot fill about half the Viper Express shotshell. The plastic cup is the base wad.

Looking inside the empty shotshell, we see the breakaway plastic retainer that holds the shot inside the shell until firing.

Starting with the shotshells
The black plastic shotshells hold 20 No. 9 lead shot. I think the picture speaks for itself. The shells are only loaded about half full, but that’s because of the cumulative weight of the shot, which is 15.3 grains. The shotshells do not break apart in firing, as one reader reported, so they can be reused for a long time. This is good, because the price of $7.50 for 25 is too high for a lot of use, which is exactly what this gun requires for proficiency. Trap and skeet shooters all reload (nearly 100 percent of them!), so you’re in good company. All that’s needed now is a good reloading procedure, which I’ll work on along with some of you.

Shotshell performance
The shot charge averaged 562 f.p.s. at the muzzle, with a velocity spread of 21 f.p.s. This equates to 10.73 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, but this small shot sheds energy fast. This is a very close-range airgun with shot.

Pellet performance
The Viper Express is a .22, so the following numbers represent more power than they would if this were a .177. RWS Hobby pellets weigh a nominal 11.9 grains and exit the muzzle at an average 666 f.p.s. with a spread of 13 f.p.s. That’s a muzzle energy of 11.72 foot-pounds. Daisy Precision Max pointed pellets weigh a nominal 14 grains and average 595 f.p.s. for an energy of 11.01 foot-pounds and a tighter spread of just 9 f.p.s. RWS Superpoints weigh 14.5 grains and average 626 f.p.s. That produces 12.62 foot-pounds, so the Viper Express needs an FAC in the UK. The spread was only 6 f.p.s., which is remarkable for any spring gun – especially one that hasn’t been broken in! The final pellet was Crosman’s .22 caliber Premier. It weighs a nominal 14.3 grains (boy, am I glad I wrote the posting about pellet weights! Now you know what I mean when I say nominal weight.) and averaged 638 f.p.s. That’s a muzzle energy of 12.93 foot-pounds. The spread was 10 f.p.s.

So, what do we know?
We know that the Viper Express is very well-behaved for a new spring gun. We also know that it has power in the 12-13 foot-pound region. It isn’t rifled, but the diabolo pellet doesn’t really need rifling to be reasonably accurate. I’m guessing this gun will shoot 1″-1.5″ groups at 10 yards with pellets.

Next time I’ll show some downrange performance.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

84 thoughts on “Gamo’s new Viper Express air shotgun – Part 2”

  1. Dear BB
    I read your blogs daily, and agree the Benjamin 392 is a really fun rifle. However mine doesn’t fit my face. The raised cheek piece forces me to smash my face into the stock with head turned to view the sights. What might I do, short of grinding away the raised stock, to help with this? Thanks George

  2. BB, I’m confused by your comments on this issue and would like to get an answer on this specific question: when hunting medium sized game like feral roosters with my Webley .25 caliber Patriot, which is a more effective (read lethal) pellet, a 21 grain Diana Dome or 30 grain Kodiak match? Most shots are taken at 25 yards and neither pellet will exit the rooster. Your colums seem to be ambiguous on this point: you state that lighter pellets are better in spring guns, but you also state that heavier pellets deliver more energy to the target. Could you clarify this issue with a definitive statement? Tom

  3. Tom,

    It’s like this. When you need extra penetration, use the heavier pellet. However, if the Diana domes are doing the job, they should be good enough. They do shoot flatter, though at 25 yards that’s not a big concern.

    As for heavier pellets delivering more power to the target, the farther the target is, the greater the advantage a heavier pellet will be, because it retains velocity better. That is, as long as it isn’t shot at supersonic velocity.

    There is no difference in lethality for your quarry (feral roosters). If you were shooting raccoons at 35 yards, I would advise using the Kodiaks, though even then the Dianas would do the job.


  4. B.B.

    I was about five posts behind and just got caught up. Excellent, excellent information wonderfully presented. Your writing on hunting with airguns is by far the best I have read in many years of airgunning. The information on pellet weights was fascinating. WOW!


  5. BB…Have a Remington Summit for a while, thought l would work with it a bit…Suprise, made in China…While the Eurorean airgun manufactures have been cutting corners and sitting on their history, they allowed to much time for China to do just what they have done, build a low priced, fine scoped rifle like the Summit…Look out sleepy.

  6. BB,

    How does a chrono measures velocity with shot shell when there are too many pellets to detect?

    In this connection, can you please do a post on the different features of different chronos? What is your best no-fancy all time reliable chrono?



  7. Dave,

    When the pellets leave the muzzle they remain together for a shot distance, so the skyscreen “sees” them as a single entity.

    Tom Gaylord did an excellent article on the Chrony chronograph, which is the cheapest chrono you can buy. It even has an embedded video!



  8. RWS 48,

    A 48 can be tuned to be very smooth, but so can an HW 77. The 77 will always come out ahead of the 48 in smoothness.

    It takes a little more technique to shoot a 48 well, as opposed to a 77. But with expert shooters doing the shooting, both guns are pretty close.


  9. Hi,

    I live at about 6000ft above sea level and want an accurate springer for field target and small game hunting (squirrels, rabits… etc). What would you recommend? I know springers are less powerful at high altitudes, so I want something that fits my descriptions but doens’t self destruct because there is less air to cushion the piston. Thanks.

  10. Would out of round holes from a gamo 440 indicate tumbling pellets? I think that the front site cap in in the way of the muzzle’s exit. Should I file it out of the way. Or can i remove it without damage and possiply reattach it later. It does it with any pellet at any ranges. I think it is robbing it from any accuracy(about 6” at 15 yards)

  11. Hold the muzzle up with the sun coming over your shoulder and shining inside the muzzle cap. Then slowly turn the muzzle and see if there is a gray streak inside the cap. If the cap is plastic, look for stratches that run in a straight line in one spot in the cap.

    That’s the sign of a pellet hitting the cap.

    Use a Dremel tool to enlarge the inside of the cap, and be sure to remove all dust after the job is finished. I think Gamo epoxies the caps, so removal will be difficult.


  12. The “dirt” is an anti-oxydant. It will not harm the barrel. I don’t knoiw what the grease could be. But I doubt they will hurt your barrel.

    Some shooters clean their Premiers with diswashing detergent, but if yoiuy do that you have to oil them with FP-10 or they will start oxydizing.


  13. B.B. i think i have heard you mention that you own a leapers_3-9x50ir scope. If im correct, i would like to know if your POI changes at different magnifications. If it does how much at 30 yards? i own this scope but since my gun is still at the repair shop. i cant test it for my self so i thought i would run the question by you.


  14. scopestop,

    None of the Leapers scopes changes impact with power adjustments. In fact, that problem has just about been erradicated by modern scopes. It had to do with placement of the elemenets inside the scope, but modern scopes are all fairly immune to it. Perhaps some very inexpensive scopes still do it, but not the good ones.


  15. scopestop,

    None of the Leapers scopes changes impact with power adjustments. In fact, that problem has just about been erradicated by modern scopes. It had to do with placement of the elemenets inside the scope, but modern scopes are all fairly immune to it. Perhaps some very inexpensive scopes still do it, but not the good ones.


  16. It’s been almost three weeks and GAMO has not sent my brass insert as of yet. Initially I thought GAMO was a reputable company, again its been over three weeks since I called GAMO and they promised to send out the supposedly included brass insert for the Viper Express. No one has called me from GAMO in three weeks even though they said the replacement part would be here in a week.

    GAMO are you ever going to send me the part. Or do I need to open my own web sight GAMOSUCKS.COM!!!!

  17. A loooong time ago you gave the tip about rejuvenating Crossman CO2 gun seals with Crossman Pellgun Oil and I tried it. It worked. In the late 1960s I bought a Crossman 150 22 cal pistol from a friend. It held gas for a day – which suited me fine at the time because I usually used up the CO2 cartridge all at once. Until recently I hadn’t fired it in 10 or 15. When I put a gas powerlet in, it hissed and wouldn’t hold a charge. Your tip about the pellgun oil came at a timely moment. The oil didn’t work right away on this 40 year old pistol. It leaked about as much as previously on the day I applied the oil and tried a fresh powerlet. A day or two later it still leaked, but a little less. A few days later I applied a little more oil and tried again. This time it didn’t leak at all. It’s been holding a charge for 2 to 3 weeks now. How long will these Crossman pellet pistols hold a CO2 charge?


  18. Air Arms S200,

    This rifle is the Tau 200 converted to run on air. I have tested it when it was a CO2 rifle and it shot as accurately as a Daisy 853, which is to say very well. The conversion to air makes it a little more powerful and more convenient to fill for most shooters, but the accuracy remails the same.

    These were a favorite among budget-minded field target shooters. They had enough power to do the job and they cost 2/3 to half what a regular PCP cost.


  19. “A loooong time ago you gave the tip about rejuvenating Crossman CO2 gun seals with Crossman Pellgun Oil” OK, I have a Crosman SSP-250 with exactly the same problem. Assuming I ever find a simple tube of PelGun oil on this island (Maui), how do I go about duplicating RWL’s experience? This must be the reason I could never get up the energy to send the pistol off for repair…

  20. Sorry! My geography was flawed. I was thinking Hololulu was on Maui. I guess it’s mail order for you.

    As for airgunners in the islands, Hawaii is the only place in America I know of where egrets are considered pests. And rat hunting at chicken farms is a big deal. The airgun forums are filled with CO2 airgunners from Hawaii.


  21. Egrets as pests… strange, the egrets here upcountry often ride around on the backs of horses and cows. The animals tolerate them because they strip off the insect pests that the animals’ tongues and tails cannot dislodge. I’m certainly no rancher anymore, but I wonder who it is that considers them as pests? Perhaps they’re getting sucked into jet engines at Wheeler or the other Air Force bases on Oahu?

    I’m still hoping you’ll come up with a reason for why I should hold on to this Viper shotgun. 🙂


  22. Hi B.B.

    I found the gamo viper express and i really like it and want to buy one but there is a problem, i live in South Africa and they dont sell them any were here.
    So my question is do you think they will ever sell them here?


  23. Hello,
    My name is John and I am 14 years old, turning 15 in March. My freind who is 17 has aout 6 guns and he said the cocking effort is 38 lbs. He’s bigger and stronger than me, so my question is, is 30 lbs cocking effort a lot?

    I saw the viper express review on youtube, and when the guy cocked it, it looked like no effort was involved, and the guy was pretty small but i don’t know how strong he is.


  24. Johnnychimpo,

    I think you will find the Viper Express to be difficult to cock, however possible. Thirty pounds of effort is considered about nedium for a breakbarrel spring rifle.

    By the way, the Viper Express is a shotgun and has no rifling. Therefore it isn’t very accurate. The Viper is a .177 rifle with the same attributes but a rifled barrel and may be more to your liking.


  25. I have tested a reload procedure for the Gamo shoot shells and it seems to work really good.

    I make a ball of toiletpaper and stuff it firmly and hard to the bottom of the shell with the shell standing on a table so the paper ball does not pop out.

    I now fill 10-12 lead/steel balls no. 7 in the shell and then stuff another litle ball of toiletpaper down to hold the ammo/balls down 🙂

    It seems like the groups are tighter and there are more power in the shoot (because of the bigger lead/steel balls)

    Some more testing need to be done, but i looks like it is working really well and its cheap to 🙂

  26. The paperball in the buttom has to be stuffed in pretty hard to give the resistence needed 🙂 i use no.7 steel balls (a bit lighter than lead) and i only use 10-12 ps. I emty a real shootgun shell for the no.7 steel balls *lol* i just hope the barrel can handle the stell balls :/

    I have plans to try the .22 cleaning filt pellets instead of paper to drive the balls, but need to get some first 🙂 i will report back here when i have tryed it out … 🙂

  27. I agree .. you have to get in at 10-12 meters to get an tight enough pattern to use it for hunting.

    NB: i have tested with cleaning pellets 5.5 for reloading. The pattern looks tighter, but the power is a bit less than with “paper balls” so the QUEST for reloading goes on *lol*

  28. I have been reloading the shells using wads cut from cardboard that I cut using a piece of .223 brass outside chamfered and filed a hole in the side to get the wads out.

    I also cut down a .25 acp case to use as a shot scoop.

    Using an equal weight of #12 shot is about 150 pellets, great pattern density but not much penetration @ 10yds.

    I have been using it to shoot birds inside a steel building and it will kill pidgeons without going through the building at 5-15yds.

    Matt’s Hott Air

  29. BB
    After doing a little more shooting, 15 yards was a little optomistic. Most shots needed a follow up at that distance. Most fot the shooting has been after nightfall when the birds are roosting. #9’s hit harder than the #12’s on pigeons, but #12’s are OK on starlings fairly close. (<15 yds)

    Matt’s Hott Air

  30. When reloading use aluminum foil as the wadding. I used a chopstick which had the right diameter to create a ‘cone’ which I inserted into the shotshell. I then turned the shotshell on it’s ‘head’ and filled it with 20 #9 shot. The next step was to create a plug at the bottom with the same method as taken in step 1. This was a tighter wad and was stamped into place while blocking the top of the shotshell with another chopstick. I actually achieved better grouping at 10 yards than the manufactured unfired shells. I will try again with a dowel and possibly a reloading platform which will take all of the manual effort out of it.
    By the way – I love this airgun. I have mounted a scope with raised scope rings and can switch between pellets and shotshells just by changing my line of sight. I have several air rifles/pistols and this is becoming my favorite for up-close encounters. It also makes a great impression when you hit a shaken beer can at 10 yards with the shot shell.

  31. hey B.B., i am very interested in the Viper Express and this has helped out alot. however i have also been interested in the crosman phantom and was wondering if you could do a review on it? thanks.

  32. B.B.,
    There has been a pesky raccoon terrorizing my neighborhood lately, what is a reasonably priced ($200 max).22 that could remove this annoyance? Thanks.

  33. so what type of scope would you suggest for this gun at these distances, or should i go with the peep sight? also if i were to get a scope would i need to buy the crosman B272 to mount the scope? thanks.

  34. BB,
    are there any other guns similar to this, that could still take out a raccon, but are a little faster to reload? i go for accuracy, but from a long distance im not the best shot. if i miss i want another shot and quick. thanks.

    P.S. (i love the 392 and am going to get it anyways. thanks for the help BB!)

  35. I had originally written a review or issue with the viper express on October 22 06. I purchased the on-line for southwest shooters and the gun did NOT come with the inert to hold a pellet, subsequent calls to Gamo just go me lip-service, basically the part was not in stock and they would send me one when they have it, no ETA nothing. It’s now June of 07 and I still don’t have the part.

    Again people do not buy guns from Gamo; they will sell you product but will not support it. I own 3 other Springers RWS Diana 34,54 & 350, Never again GAMO!!!

    Update: I just parked http://www.Gamosucks.com


  36. Jon, I can understand your frustration, but, to condemn all the products from a manufacturer, for something that you probably should have resolved with the reseller seems a bit extreme. I can sympathize, with you though and I have recent experience in air gun purchases.

    I have purchased two Gamo rifles in the last three months, a Gamo Shadow 1000 and a Gamo Viper. I’m also the owner of a previous Gamo rifle, an El Gamo Gamatic, which was purchased about 20 something years ago and still fires just fine, in the 450 fps range, according to my chronograph.

    The Shadow 1000 had a torn barrel seal so I simply returned it to the store I bought it at, for one that had one that was not torn. That turned into a trip to a second store, searching both inventories for the one gun that was good, but, I am still satisfied.

    In regards to the O-Ring damage: It appears that the grease, oil or other lubricant that should have been on the o-ring had dried up and they stuck to the mating surface. The damage was always in the same spot, the center, lower section of the o-ring, where it makes the most contact during opening and closing, on the most raised part and below that, torn away from the center, towards the edge, which would happen during opening. They all appeared like a torn open flap, like peeling an orange.

    I bought the Shadow a couple days after getting the Viper, for open sights shooting, since the Viper has a nice 3-9 power scope already. The 4x scope that came with the Shadow still sits in its original wrapper. I have historically shot open sights, for all my target shooting, and now, after shooting with the Viper for a few more full days, am I really digging the use of a scope.

    The Gamo Viper, I could not be happier. Nice scope, excellent power, very nice look and feel, great stock and I’ve gotten sub 1″ groups at 100 feet, only being limited by crosswind and temperature variations through the day and into the night, of shooting. I would say that this air gun is a step or two above the Shadow in quality, power and feel/comfort. I would not hesitate to purchase another one, if I needed another. My friends would go out and buy one themselves, if they could afford it.

    The only thing I have been considering is a more powerful scope for the Viper, due to the range we shoot at, that being 100 feet, approximately and some of the smaller targets. Now, if they came out with a Stainless Steel, or Nickel coated one, I would upgrade to that, but, our selection of air rifles, locally, is fairly limited. Gamo is probably the high end, in spring guns, in this area, so far, that we can find. It’s actually had me thinking seriously about trying to open a shop and range, but, there’s probably not enough interest in this area. Plus, with the internet and fine resellers like this site, it would be hard to compete on a retail item like that.

    For a challenge, I started shooting at the side edge of Beeman Metallic Silhouettes, which I was able to do by my third shot (centered directly on the edge of the neck, of the Turkey), the second shot had actually grazed it, as well.

    I’ve also taken out a one inch long glow stick that was stuck in a previous pellet hole, so it was edge on to me, so, I was shooting at a pellet sized target. That took me about 20 something shots to hit it, but, it was at night, and I could only estimate it’s location from the shadow it cast by the light mounted above it. The reticule, which is small, covered the target, even at 9x magnification.

    By the time I hit the glow stick, most of the previous pellets had hit within about 1 1/2 inches of the glow stick, with several hits on previous holes.

    So, there you have it. I’m a very satisfied Gamo owner. They may not be match grade guns, but, when the rest of your friends, all firing from the covered deck of a house, can all shoot away with various pellet guns ranging from a $25 side lever Cummins Machine .177 (600 fps average), all the way up to various Gamo .177 and .22 rifles and a few others with Crosman, Mendoza and such, 1000 fps guns, all able to hit almost on the same par. So, I guess that was a long way of saying, it’s not always the tool, but, the user.

    Last weekend, I even went out and purchased a Crosman 1377C. Growing up, I used to love to shoot my dad’s old Crosman 130 (wood handle’s, purchased sometime in the 1950’s, still holds air, but, not much) and after a friend mentioned that he was thinking about getting one to replace the one he had about 20 years ago (or the equivalent at that time, .177 pump action pistol) and then reading Pyramid air’s review on it, I thought I would hit the local Big 5. They had it on sale for $54.99, so, that made it even easier. Heck, I called my friend and he finally went out and got one as well, instead of talking about it, lol.

    Now, that was fun. Shooting at the same range, hitting a ¾” spinner by my third shot, keeping it all in the black on an 8”, 100 yard “Visi-shot” target (mostly in the 4” diameter range), for about 30 shots, tagging bottle caps that a friend setup for his rifle, after he called it open, after trying to hit it ten times previously and I hit it by my 8th shot. We chronographed them in at around 550 fps with Crosman Premier Lights, at ten pumps and we even tried them down to one pump, where I was able to get 205 fps and still hit the backstop at 100 feet. You could actually see the pellet go down range, when the sun was out. The only problem was the pain in my hands by the end of the day, lol.

    I certainly wish you luck in getting your issues resolved and I hope you get to enjoy what should be a finely made air rifle. It may not be a niche gun, which I would not really consider myself, but, since it’s based off of the VIPER, I know from personal experience, that it should be a well made air gun with pretty decent craftsmanship.

    Now, back on to the main subject, the Gamo Viper Express
    Thoughts on hand loading the shot shells:
    1) What about gelatin? Make some appropriately sized molds, then just use Knox gelatin and some shot, thrown them in the fridge and then you have something that should hold up in the plastic holder long enough to actually fire it. This may leave a residue in the barrel, though, but, should otherwise not harm it and should allow the shot to maintain a seal through the length of the barrel. This may work too well, though, and keep the shot together too long, or until impact.
    2) Tissue used for gift wrapping, sealed in a solid roll on like paste, may work as well. Maybe even paper towel or toilet tissue, as well.
    3) Cardboard or construction paper type of cup, similar to the plastic cups used in a regular shotgun round. Find or shape a wooden dowel and a block of wood with a hole drilled into it that said dowel, with paper on it, fit into, to create the cup shaped form, for repeated consistency.
    4) A rubber cap on the end of the shot shell, with a “+” cut, so it opens like a flower, with four flaps, but, the rubber is thick enough to hold them in place. This would be glued on, or, molded on, during the manufacturing process, for an aftermarket, re-loadable shell. A special four prong, thin metal, round shaped fork/prong, would be used to hold them open, pointed away from the shell, for loading purposes, pushed up from behind and retracted after/during the loading process.

    I do think Gamo has dropped the ball a bit on this air gun, with the ammo prices. They are charging almost as much as you would pay for real shotgun ammo. Since there is no gun powder or other materials that may deteriorate within five to ten years, I think an $8.00 per 100 would have been more appropriate, not 25 count. Granted, I’m sure they feel that they have to make up the costs of developing the gun and it’s ammo in the first place, then construction and running of the equipment to make said ammo, but, that kind of price point almost works against them, as we can see by the posts in this blog, where people are trying to find a way of doing it themselves.

    That’s about all I could think of, from just looking at the pictures.

    I apologize for the long winded response. I hope it’s of some use.


  37. 1) When I bought my Viper Express the brass pellet adapter was notg with it. I called Gamo and the faxed the info they wanted, and had the replacement within the week.
    2) Do you think there might be enough people interested so that we can share the costs of having some of the plastic parts neeeded for reloading manufacturered for us?

  38. Sopme hobbiest might turn out a few shells as a venture. That sort of thing happens all the time. But the Viper Express is not turning out to be a popular airgun, so it’s doubtful there will be enough interest.


  39. An experiment reloading Gamo shotshells: I reloaded 2 shells,
    for both I used Fibre-Craft shape foam 3774-99 ww.creativehands.com) though probably any brand would do. I used a paper punch producing a 1/4 inch round pattern. For the first reload I used 2 plugs just as they came from the cutter. For the second shell I used the standard cutout in back. For the front I made a larger plug, resulting in a tighter fit. For this I used the outside of the shell as a pattern and using a sharp blade, cut an octagon shape as close as I could to the outside diameter of the shell casing. I test fired both and a factory shell. The tight foam produced the tightest pattern, standard foam second and the factory load produced the widest pattern, about 1 1/2 inch bigger in the longest dimension than the standard foam reload. The heavy foam load seeemed to penetrate the backstop best. I would like to re-try this with a gel medium to get a better measure of penetration. Comments?
    Thanks, Kippo

  40. Kippo,

    That’s what it’s going to take – someone willing to do the testing like you have.

    I do think the final reloading process will have to be made simpler, but I realize you are still at the proof of concept stage.


  41. I agree totally with Jon’s comments about GamoUSA customer “Service”
    I tried just to find out if there were any places to get my gun serviced in Canada, and despite my persistance, they kept sending me US service centers, and eventually stopped responding to my requests.
    I purchased a Gamo Hunter 1250, which was not inexpensive here in Canada, and I am rewarded with being ignored. I have other Gamo guns to (including my old Gamatic, but NEVER AGAIN! A gun is only good if it can be serviced and supported.

  42. on the subject of airgun/shotgun combinations couldn’t you make an effective shotgun by getting a cheap pneumatic and muzzle loading it with a wad of tissue and some shot?
    I have also noticed that multi pump pneumatics allow you to pump them up more than ten times while this doesnt yield higher velocities for pellets due to barrel length and other factors how would it affect the speed of shot?

  43. dougal,

    People have been doing what you suggest for many decades. It makes a shotgun, but it isn’t effective for the same reasons the Viper Express isn’t effective with paper wads (did you read all the reports?).

    The valve in a pneumatic starts locking up when over-pressurized. That’s why the pellets go slower. The same thing will happen to shot.


  44. hey b.b., Cristobal here, I have a question about the gamo viper express and the shadow express..i wanna know which one’s better, as for hunting and all that. i know that they’re both shotguns and can be a .22 cal., and they both have different stocks and color, but do you know out of the two is better? or are they just the same? ok, thanks.

  45. Hi B.B,
    I have heard a lot about reloading the Gamo shotshells and everyone says to buy bags of #9 shot. I have looked many places but I can’t seem to find anywhere that sells shot in bags less than 25 pounds, which I think is too much for how much I will actually use the gun. I was wondering if you know of any place that sells a smaller amount of shot.
    Thanks, Jackson.

    • Just buy a box of cheap shotgun shells with the size of shot that you are going to use. About $7.00 to $7.50 for 25. Take the shot out and you will get 25-30 reloads for the Viper for every shotgun shell . About 1 penny per reload.

  46. I've found that for a very effective hunting load you can use poster board as a wad in both ends take a 1/4 hole punch and grind it down a little to about .23 this way when tou punch your holes it will have a tapered effect at the edges . next put in your first wad push it completely to the end then fill shot tube with @ 18 #7.5 shot the finish with another wad on top press lightly to tamp the load and viola you got one squirrel killing load and effective out to 20yds

  47. I have been hunting pest birds with the Viper Express; loaded with the EXP20 shotgun shells. The consistency was mixed(aka how often I hit a bird) and even at just 8-10 yards, it was sometimes not optimal at providing an instant kill shot.

    I took a few of the shells and added 6-7 more #9 shot BB's to them, the resulting group was shockingly tighter.

    It is way more effective at taking down pest birds now. I missed one at 8yds but soon afterwards dispatched one with ease. I also reloaded a shotshell with 2 copperhead BB's(all I could fit) and missed a bird because the lack of BB's.

    I'm buying a bag of #8 shot soon and I'll see how that works out.

  48. A few thoughts and questions about reloading the viper express shot shells.
    1) I bought a pack of #9 real shotgun shells for $8.00 and emptied them which left me with enough shot for a full day of shooting reloaded cartridges. I can't exactly recommend this to everyone but if you have proper safety with the unloading of factory "powder burner" shells you should be able to try this option and not have to buy a 25 lb bag of shot.
    2) My question is: in examining the factory loaded shot shells for the viper, I found that by blowing air through the shell with my mouth, the shot would shift from one barrier to the other.this tells me that obviously the factory design is not airtight by design. This could mean several things. Either in their testing and development of the gunshells it achieved better results by making the shot less restricted upon firing or the shot had a better grouping with the less obstructed design or the power produced by the gun needed less restriction in the shell to achieve higher fps. I would like to perform my own testing of reloaded shot but would also like to know if anyone has any input on the performance of various reloaded shot working better with "near airtight" plugs or less restrictive plugs?



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