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Education / Training Gamo V3 – Part 2

Gamo V3 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Do NOT add Crosman Pellgunoil to a precharged pneumatic airgun as mentioned in the Bam B51 report, Part 2. I have learned that someone once received a petroleum specification sheet with the Pellgunoil they bought that indicated it was straight 30-weight non-detergent oil. If that is true, it is very dangerous to introduce petroleum oil into a vessel containing compressed air. It can form a fuel-air mixture and become explosive. I believed that Pellgunoil is a synthetic product with a high flashpoint, but there is a good chance I AM MISTAKEN.

This warning is to contradict the information I presented in the BAM B51 report, part 2.

Before we begin today, there is something I need to say. For several years, some readers have been asking who I am. Some ask me to post my picture (like I can’t figure THAT out!) while others just ask. Then there are the chat forums where people talk about me and tell others in a condescending tone exactly who I am. This has gone on too long.

Two weeks from today, on Thursday, October 18th, I will pull back the curtain and reveal who I am. And I will do more than that. I will explain the entire philosophy behind this blog.

There are some other pressing reasons for this. It isn’t just provoked by curious readers.

For those of you who were saddened when Superman was killed (either George Reeves or the comic book hero – take your pick), I will not be pulling an Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Now, on to today’s post. Apparently, the Gamo V3 hits a nerve with some of you. Vince responded first to yesterday’s post and explained that the simulated blowback is viewed by many as a flaw rather than a feature. I went to the Gamo website to look for false claims, and found one confusing and inaccurate phrase. They correctly state that the slide slides back and forth, but they added the modifying phrase, AFTER EACH SHOT. Of course, that is NOT how it works. The sliding comes BEFORE the shot. AFTER the shot sounds like blowback. BEFORE sounds like nothing anyone has ever seen – well, almost no one. There was a firearm pistol that had a trigger to cycle the slide for the first shot. That’s SORT OF similar – to make a huge stretch.

Of course, Pyramyd AIR copied that flawed description from Gamo, so I alerted them to the error and they’ve already corrected it.

I still think the V3 has many interesting innovative features that address the concerns of the BB pistol market. But those were addressed yesterday. Let’s shoot! Because this is a BB gun and I want to use a Crosman model 850 BB trap to catch the shots, I will first determine the velocity. If it’s over 450, I’ll use a Quiet Pellet Trap instead of the 850, because the ballistic curtains can’t take the strain of repeated higher velocity rounds.

The test pistol is all over the place! Using Daisy Premium-Grade BBs, I recorded velocities from 314 f.p.s. to 431 f.p.s. That’s a huge spread, and I gave the pistol a chance to settle down, thinking that the wide swings were due to break-in. But they didn’t seem to be.

Next, I tried Crosman Copperhead BBs, thinking that the pistol might not like Daisy BBs for some reason. The Crosman BBs ranged from a low of 244 f.p.s. to as high of 418 f.p.s., but I discovered a trick while shooting them. This pistol does not like to have the trigger squeezed slow and deliberate. It wants fast and furious. Squeeze it slow, and the velocity varies all over the place. Shoot fast, and it stays above 400 f.p.s. for most shots.

Well, not too fast for the Crosman trap, so the next stop was the garage range, where I backed the trap with a piece of 3’x3′ particle board. Although the longest distance I can get there comfortably is about 15′, I didn’t know what sort of “pattern” this gun would produce at that range.

Not too bad, as it turned out. The gun shoots a little high and to the left, but that’s probably because I’m shooting doubl-action. It groups in an area the size of a palm (hand, not tree) at 15′. The trigger, which probably breaks around 12 lbs. as given in the specifications, is long and creepy. Add to that the fact that the pistol wants to be fired fast, I’m just glad to have kept all my shots on the paper. Knowing it was at least that good, I went out into the backyard where air pistols like this really shine. Without a lot of difficulty, I kept a twig 20 feet away in fear of its life for the entire magazine. I don’t think a soda can stands a chance, once you discover where you’re really shooting, which for me is a little high and left.

Don’t overload the magazine!
I learned this lesson the hard way – twice! Put just one BB more than the recommended maximum of 15, and the entire magazine will dump its contents. When you insert the overloaded mag in the gun, the follower pushes to the side and locks itself out of commission. Then there is no follower spring pushing the BBs up and the gun won’t shoot a BB. All it does is fire blanks. When you remove the mag to see what’s wrong, all 16 BBs will dump onto the floor. Load 15 and no more unless you want to go fishing on the floor with a bar magnet like I did.

More features
I forgot to mention that the rear sight can be moved sideways in its dovetail, so there is some limited adjustability. It’s just a clamp-type of sight, so it isn’t very precise, but if you need it, it’s there. I also failed to mention that there are clamping grooves on the frame in front of the triggerguard for a laser. I think that will appeal to many owners.

Bottom line
I have to get personal and say that the long, heavy trigger-pull was a turnoff for me. It was so heavy that I had to shoot it with two hands, which I don’t like to do. But I had to in order to control the muzzle. Accuracy was acceptable and within reason for guns in this price range. I never noticed the moving slide while shooting, so that feature was completely wasted on me. The all-plastic frame and grips made the gun feel toy-like compared to others that are mostly metal. I do like the M1911 Officer-model styling, which puts the safety exactly where it’s needed.

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.

53 thoughts on “Gamo V3 – Part 2”

  1. After posting yesterday, I realized perhaps I was a bit too harsh on the Gamo V3, So I decided to give it another chance side by side with the Walther CP99 Compact. Accuracy seems comparable on both pistols resulting in Palm sized packs of holes from 15 feet.

    Its funny you brought up overloading the magazine, for months, whenever I or a friend used the V3 once and awhile it wouldnt shoot and we would open the magazine and all the BBs would fall out. Everytime this happened we would presume we had carelessly not latched the spring properly. I am glad you figured out what causes this and we are no longer going MAD!!

    All in all, I still have to recommend the Walther Compact CP99 over the V3. The trigger is just to long and heavy on the V3.

  2. Thanks for verifying my comments on the moving slide.

    Another thing I’d like to mention – the pyramydair website describes this gun as having a rifled steel barrel, and recommends lead balls as opposed to steel. Is this correct?

  3. BB, since you’re partial to 1911-style guns, have you ever tried out the WE-tech airsoft blowback 1911 pistols? In particular, I’m thinking of:

    An ex-marine buddy of mine tried mine out, and he couldn’t stop smiling (then again, he likes 1911’s as well)

  4. Vince,

    Not only have I not tried that WE gun out, I didn’t even know it existed. What a great replica! I will probably have to buy one.

    The Gamo V3 does, indeed, have a rifled steel barrel. But since Gamo only recommends BBs (and I HAVE to assume they know that BBs are made of steel) I’d say use BBs. I didn’t try the gun with .177 lead balls. but that would be interesting. Perhaps I will!

    Why a manufacturer puts a rifled steel barrel in a gun made for steel BBs is beyond me. Even if it’s an economics thing (as in they only make or buy rifled barrels) why ADVERTISE the fact? It does nothing but confuse the buyers.


  5. BB, if you get the WE 1911, make sure you field-strip it alongside a real one. The barrel bushing is a bit different, but I think you’ll be tickled by the resemblance. I also suspect that you’d find the accuracy to be quite acceptable. Also, as the slide starts to move back, you’ll see that the barrel starts moving as well, until the breach moves downward and unlocks the barrel from the slide. Very realistic.

    As for the V3 ammo, Gamo refers to their 4.5mm round lead balls as “BB’s”, the same as their steel ones. Sounds like they need a new translator! In any event, pyramydair’s description for the pistol does specify lead balls… it sounds like they’re paying more attention to things than the manufacturer!

  6. B.B. Two concerns: 1.I thought that lead round balls were the preferred diet of the V3, and 2.Is it still ok to use Pellgun Oil in the CO2 Adapter for AirForce Rifles if one switches back to air, now and then? Thanks, Don.

  7. Vince,

    Gamo sold many air pistols for years that used their .177 round balls. Like other companies, I expect they became lax in their definitions of what was what.

    Of course now we have 6mm and 8mm plastic BBs, as well. For guys like us who saw the whole thing happen this presents no problem, but for the single mom buying her 12-year-old son a Crosman 760 at Wal-Mart, when she learns the gun takes BBs, look at what she faces. The shelf is filled with confusing choices. And 19-year-old Adrian, who’s 2-weeks into his first real job, can’t really help her, can he? That’s why Crosman puts a picture of the correct ammo on the outside of the box.


  8. In one of your blogs quite a while ago you talked about the effects of lower temperatures on pellet guns. If I remember right you said spring piston guns lose around 50 fps at cold temperatures. I was wondering does this harm the gun? Would it be fine to hunt in below say 20 degrees farenhite as long as I sight in that day and realize I am losing some power? Or should I look into gas spring and multi pump pneumatics? I don’t want to/can’t get into pcps right now for various reasons. P.S. Thanks for your response to my accuracy question. Guess I’ll have to keep shooting! Trapper

  9. hi
    wow im surprised noone else has said anything about bb revealing his identity. im exited.
    i have a few things to say. i was going to comment on airsoft guns yesterday but several people have already. i think many of you older airguners are skeptical about these guns. they have potential to very accurate and realistic. most have blowback and if you get a metal slide it translates to quite a good jolt. the slide comes back all the way leaving you with an open ejection port. in most cases the triggers are wonderfully light because the hammer is under very little pressure. the slide even locks back when you are out of bbs.
    i would bet money that a quality airsoft gun could outshoot the v3 with quality bbs. just some thoughts.

    Nate in Mass

  10. Hi B.B.

    Some questions about what you’ve disclosed about Pellgunoil.

    So how credible an info source is this “someone” who purportedly received a spec sheet?

    If true, isn’t this a safety issue which shouldn’t be left open to speculation and innuendo? Given our litigious society, why is Crosman leaving itself vulnerable by remaining silent on the chemical make up? Ok, so maybe they have formulation secrets they don’t want to share. Shouldn’t they at least clear up whether it is a safe synthetic or a petroleum-base oil?

    Are you pursuing this, and do you have hope you will get to the bottom of it?


  11. Trapper,

    I don’t think shooting at 20 degrees F will hurt a spring gun, but there are places where the temp drops below 5 minus 50 degrees F. Then I do think springs will break and seals will crack. But at 20 plus you should be fine.


  12. If you look at Crosman’s site, they specify that pellgunoil is for CO2 guns. That, I believe, covers them as far as misuse and liability.

    It is obvious why they don’t want to reveal the formulation. If it is something commercially available in larger quantities, they can lose business. And if it’s CLOSE to something that’s commercially available – say it’s a 10w carrier oil with some specific additives – some people are going to assume that the plain oil can be used in its place.

    BTW – Just from my own experience, it seems to me that pellgunoil is less viscous than 30w oil. Perhaps the MSDS’s are similar, but that doesn’t help us here.

  13. Still looking for a suitable air rifle…price range increased to $240 for total cost. Possible combos are: (Crosman 2250B+Leapers 3-9x40mm Stealth scope 11mm dovetail+Dragon Claw bipod+ShatterBlast target stakes and 60 pk refill), (RM-200+CenterPoint 4x32mm Compact+ShatterBlast target stakes and 60 pk+Plano Rifle Case(single rifle case, $21.95), (GAMO Shadow Sport+Gel Shooting Support?), (Hammerli Storm+UTG 4x40mm Tactedge), and(Remington Genesis+Leapers 3-9x40mm Stealth scope+GAMO Tomahawk pellets+Gel Shooting Support). Note that 2250B has PellGunOil, the 2250B and the RM-200 have Pelletholder and the Beeman Silicone Cloth, and that unless otherwise noted, all are assumed .22 and using .22 RWS Superdomes.

    Sorry for the super long list, it’s only that I have but one chance to purchase an air rifle, as they chew up a lot of money. Point out the best possible choice of them, and remember that the 2250B has a potential for stock removal(a big plus in terms of getting it to a range). This is to be the last time I’d need some advice on purchasing. Noise is a consideration, but the 2250B can be outfitted with a taped over Universal Muzzlebrake.

    Very, very much thanks,

    14 in Fla.

  14. Oh, I forgot to state the air rifle’s purpose: to eliminate pests, like squirrels and raccoons at a somewhat safe range, notably at least 16 yards and the max would probably be 45 yards.

    14 in Fla

  15. I was rereading your 3 part article about the RWS 850 AirMagnum. Has anything changed since it now has Hammerli in the name? What happened there? I vaguely remember you saying something about it some time ago.

    I’m looking to purchase a CO2 rifle in .22 caliber and am wondering if the 850 is still a good buy. I saw your article on the QB78 as well and am torn between the two. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  16. BB
    I just wanted to state a fact. Your product photography is outstanding, as well as the writing. I’m a photographer for over 25 years, and I can see all the work you do to get stuff lit just right.

    So with all the praise you get for writing (and rightfully so) I want to point out to the readers that you spend a good amount of time behind the camera as well.

    Thank You
    Joe G from Jersey

  17. I think I’ve decided to settle on the 850 AirMagnum for a CO2 air rifle. It has pretty much every thing I want right out of the box without buying extra parts. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think you mentioned the scope rail in your 3 blog articles on the 850. I assume it’s an 11mm rail. Was scope mounting pretty straight forward with no hassles? Thanks.


  18. Bryan,

    That’s the first time I heard that. All my life I have heard and read that 30 W motor oil stood for weight. In fact, I’ve even seen it in print that way.

    I suppose there is a reason for the misunderstanding of this common reference. Perhaps you can elaborate?

    I always equated an oil’s “weight” with a reference to viscosity.


  19. Jersey Joe,

    Well I thank you for that! When I started writing about guns I knew nothing about phtography. I used flash for all my shots and always put a dark gun on a white background.

    Then a photographer buddy of mine explained how light works, and also how film (I used film for many years) exposes. What I was after was less saturation and more definition between several dark colors that were very close in value. The books mostly tell you just the opposite – how to shoot for maximum saturation with vivid contrasts.

    Once I got B&W down fairly well, the world shifted to color and I had to learn all over again. Then, just as I got comfortable again, along came digital and I was a novice once more.

    I’m still trying to get the hang of it all, but I suppose that is the challenge everyone faces. As a gun guy I know what I want to see in an article, so that’s what I try to show. Sometimes, though, after my articles have been up for awhile, I go back and wish I had taken other photos.

    I also need help with attractive settings. I am more of a details guy, but I don’t know how to make a setting look nice. I study the gun magazines (like the Double Gun Journal!) to try to learn how the best photographers do it, but this is still my weakest area. And I don’t photograph people worth a darn.

    What I need to find now is a good pocket digital camera that’s affordable, so I don’t have to lug my big camera everywhere, because three-quarters of the time I find I don’t have my camera when I need it. I need something that will connect to a Mac computer with either a USB or a firewire connector and good download software. Do you have any suggestions?


  20. Shawn,

    Yes, the 850 AirMagnum has a standard 11mm rail with no surprises, whatsoever. They even put the circular clip below the rail, so they eliminated the one objection so many PCP rifle with clips have – the protruding clip that the scope has to span.


  21. Hi BB,
    The small camera solution is a problem I share as well. I use Nikons D1 and D2x, and they are a pain to carry as an off duty camera. So there is plenty of time Im out and about or with family and I dont have a camera with me.
    I have pickedup some small Nikon point and shoots for my kids to carry, but I cant get use to the feel or operation of them. Im too old school. I do know Canon does a much better job on the small camera market (the G seris and Elf seris), and some of the pro’s I know carry them as backup and overall they are fine. I dont think they can replace the big camera in the studio but on the street they work well. Part of getting good photos is to have the camera with you when you see good photos.
    USB cables are standard with most cameras, but I prefer to use a card reader attached to the computer. Less ware and tare on the camera and no chane of a battery going south at the wrong moment in a download, possibly causing the disk to fail.
    After uploading images to my main computer they get backed up to a second computer before re formatting the card. I use PC’s so im not sure if formatting a card is as easy or compatible on the MAC.
    Then I use Nikon View to choose the photos I need, place a copy of them in a seperate folder (so I never work on the origanl)and do final work in Photoshop. Then they get backed up as well.
    My background is Newspaper photography; Sports and Corperate. Product shoots I dable with when I have too. So I always appreacieate the work that goes into a setup.

    Joe G from Jersey

  22. Jersey Joe,

    When your message arrived I was looking into a Cannon Elph. It does sound like what I need.

    I’m glad to learn I’m not the only one with this problem.

    BTW, I am looking seriously at getting Fuji S3 when the new S5 starts driving the price down. All my Nikon lenses will fit and work!


  23. BB
    For SLR’s since you have Nikon Gear, the price on the D200 should start dropping soon, Nikon announced the D300 and D3. Also the D80 is a bit smaller and does well. But they all are strying from the small compact idea.
    The Fuji im sure is fine, but the color profiles in the chip are not consistant with what I allready use. So why add another complication to color management.
    This is a topic I can talk alot about. Not that any one way is better then another, Its just different ways to come up with the same answer.
    Like shooting for tight groups, overall consistancy leads to better & repaetable results.
    I’ll never get a Remington Genesis to shoot like a TX 200; but as in life everthing is filled with compromise.

    Joe G in Jersey

  24. just curious what your results were with the v3 with lead if you tested them yet. and also, this question has been bothering me for a while. is there a reason why air pistols can’t be made in the same fashion as airsoft pistols. im sure an air pistol about 9 inches long can have a strong enough main spring to project steel bbs at the 400 fps range. every air pistol is powered by co2 which is annoying since i never like to keep my guns charged for an extended period of time, even with pellgunoil. a spring pistol air pistol would alleviate this problem. i personally don’t see why this can’t be achieved

  25. Not to cause you more hassle than my above list could have(I just need a second opinion before I go and burn out 1/4 my total savings), but would a CO2 or spring rifle be able to be exposed to rain without damage, and if so, can it be shot in rain?

    That amount I’ve specified is the max my parents would let me buy anything that doesn’t involve necessities. I just need a nudge in the proper direction of an airgun that can last quite a bit.

    14 in Fla

  26. V3,

    I will report on the lead ball test Monday. As for spring-powered BB pistols, they do exist, but they have to be cocked for every shot. People who like BB pistols also seem to want rapid firing capability, so CO2 solves both problems.

    As for BBs in the 400 f.p.s. range, I can’t think of a spring-powered one at the moment. But it’s no technological challenge.


  27. 14 in Fla,

    Okay, for hunting in the rain in warm weather, I would recommend CO2 over a springer. Both will need to be dried off after the hunt, and you should invest in a silicone cloth to give your gun a final protective wipedown.

    If you do get a springer, get one with a synthetic stock, because wood does poorly in wet weather.


  28. the problem with co2 is it can’t be left in the pistol for too long. i find that annoying if i only want to shoot about 50 shots. for eg my p23 usu. gets 100 shots over 300 fps and i might not fire all 100. with a spring gun it can be left alone forever, all you have to do is cock it and your ready to go. also, its much cheaper than co2.

    if you know of any spring powered air pistols with 400+ fps let me know please

  29. CO2,

    WHO SAYS you can’t leave CO2 in a gun for a long time? I do. My Crosman NightStalker has been charged for more than a year and my Walther PPK/S has been charged as long. My target pistol has been charged for 8 consecutive years without a problem.


  30. My RWS850 AirMagnum leaks slowly – several weeks will leak down a new CO2 cylinder. And yes, I’ve kept the valve seat scrupulously clean and used a couple drops of Pellgun oil on the tip of every cartridge.

  31. In addition to the slow 850 leaker, my Gamo Combat leaks fast – a few days will leak it dry. Again, a drop of Pellgun oil on every cartidge

    On the other hand, my Airforce CO2 adapter doesn’t seem to leak at all, unless its so slow I don’t notice. Its a big tank so there is lots of CO2 in reserve. By the way, Pyramyd and Airforce have provided a great product here!!

    I suspect my Crosman 2300S also leaks slowly – although it seems to hold pressure better with a new cartidge than one that has been partially used.

    The PPKs, Drozd, and Pro77 are always emptied with each shooting session because I don’t trust them not to leak.

    At least in my experience, CO2 leaks seem to be luck of the draw.

  32. 850,

    If Pellgunoil doesn’t do the trick, nothing can be done short of an overhaul with new seals. The problem could be bad seals ot more likely it’s dirt left in the gun during assembly. When it gets on the seals sometimes dirt embeds and nothing will get rid of it.


  33. So, is there a particular reason why springers are not preferred in wet weather? And if springers are out(the remaining CO2 guns like the 2250B and the 2260 have either only marginal power[2250B] or wood stocks[2260]) would a 392 serve my purposes better(since the budget is $240), because of the fact that multi-pumps are only slightly hampered by cold weather? (The rain absorbs heat, making it considerably cooler.)

    14 in Fla

  34. 14 in Fla,

    I explained why not to use springers in wet weather – the wood stocks.

    I think you are too early in the decision process right mow. You are still wide open to all possibilities. Let some time pass and you will narrow down on what you want.

    No sense in rushing if you don’t know what you really want.


  35. Just curious, but if you load a Viper Express EXP 20 shotshell with lighter shot, but more of it, would it make it more useful or just as useless in bug/light bird busting? (Wasps have set up shop this fall; I’d prefer not putting insecticide into the environment; and sometimes there’s a crazy amount of birds in my backyard)

  36. Skimming the choices of Mendozas, does a RM-600 have built-in sling studs, and will a Mendoza diopter sight fail in low light, even with the fiber-optic front sight?

    14 in Fla

  37. 14 in Fla,

    ALL sights, including image-intesifying night vision sights will fail in low light, so of course the Mendoza sights will also fail. Fiberoptics are simple light-directing condiuits, and when there is nothing to direct, they grow dark.


  38. Is that new Benjamin Super Streak’s velocity REALLY that high? Last I checked, the GAMO that pledged to reach 1500 fps failed to do so…It must be another gimmick, and even if it weren’t, supersonic is NOT something to strive for, right?

    14 in Fla

  39. What was the firearm that had the seperate trigger to cycle the slide for the first shot? I’ve been curious about this pistol since seeing in the Trigun series, but could never figure out what make or model it is or if it was even a real firearm.

  40. Jesse,

    The gun didn’t have a separate trigger. It used the front of the triggerguard, which was shaped like a trigger. When pulled back, it pulled the slide along with it, cocking the gun. It was a pocket pistol, as I recall.

    I don’t remember the name of the gun, but if it’s important, I will look it up for you.

    Incidently, this idea has been done several times. The Savage pistol had a separate trigger mechanism that advanced the next cartridge and cocked the gun. So did the Volcanis that was the [predecessor of the Henry rifle.


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