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Education / Training Testing the Gamo Whisper – Part 7 Gas spring conversion!

Testing the Gamo Whisper – Part 7 Gas spring conversion!

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Pinks are going fast!
Crosman’s pink 760 has turned out to be a hit this season. Pyramyd has had to reorder several times, and they have now received what will probably be their final shipment before the end of the year. If you want one of these outrageous Barbie-doll-pink air rifles, the time to act is NOW!

Today’s report is my huge surprise about the Gamo Whisper. It took longer than I thought to get to this report, but today you’re going to read about an exciting new conversion possibility for this rifle: a gas spring for the Gamo Whisper! Please hear me out all the way, because there are some ramifications almost nobody knows about.


The gas spring is made as one self-contained unit.

Ramification No. 1: There’s already such a conversion on the market. But the one I’m testing will be considerably more affordable. For those of you who weren’t aware that there was a gas spring conversion for the Whisper – happy day! I’ll reveal the other ramifications as the story unfolds.

What IS a gas spring?
A gas spring is a sealed, unitized device that replaces the coiled steel mainspring and piston in a spring-piston airgun. The gas spring unit uses compressed gas to power the piston. You’re more used to gas springs than you may know, because they are all around you. They hold up the back deck lid on your SUV or minivan, and they make your desk chair adjustable for height. Gas springs have replaced coiled steel for a lot of applications where the spring has to last for years in a fully compressed state. Get it? You can leave your gas-spring-equipped air rifle cocked for hours and even days without degradation of power. Heck, your office chair stays compressed for years and still works – and the gas spring unit that’s in an airgun is quite a bit more robust than the one in a chair.

How do gas springs differ from gas rams and gas struts?
They are the same thing. Gas spring is the correct generic term and “struts” or “rams” are slang terms, but they all refer to exactly the same thing. Instead of a coiled steel spring to push the piston forward, a gas spring uses compressed gas to do it. The gas remains captive inside the sealed unit, so you don’t lose it as the gun is shot.

How does the Whisper like its gas spring?
I pushed for this conversion because of the Whisper’s built-in silencer. I figured a gas spring would cancel all powerplant vibrations, giving the silencer a chance to work. Well, it does cancel all vibrations, but the powerplant noise sounds the same. So this conversion does nothing to quiet the rifle.

HOWEVER, that’s where the bad news ends. The Whisper with a gas spring is a transformed air rifle! It’s so dead-calm that most shooters will not believe it! In fact, although I have owned numerous gas-spring air rifles, I still have a hard time believing how absolutely smooth this one is. Now that I’ve installed the GRT III trigger, this particular rifle is positively marvelous! If it turns out to be accurate, as well, I might have to add it to my growing collection (hint to wife). Given the accuracy of the other Whisper, there’s a good chance of it.

The cocking stroke changes
All gas-spring rifles have a noticeably different feel than steel-spring rifles when they’re cocked. Instead of a little slack after the barrel breaks open, then a slow build to the maximum effort around three-quarters of the cocking stroke, you’ll feel the full resistance from the start with a gas-spring rifle. It feels like it never changes throughout the stroke, though it really is a few pounds lighter in the beginning. Compared to cocking a rifle with a steel mainspring it feels like a lot more effort until you get used to the difference. If you recall, the cocking effort of the first Whisper I tested with the steel mainspring was 35 lbs. With the gas spring conversion, the effort is 34 lbs. But honestly – it does feel like more.

When the gun fires, there’s a solid thump like a bank vault closing. There’s no vibration. And, the firing cycle seems quicker than with the steel spring, though that may be due to the abrupt end of the cycle. Once that piston stops moving, everything goes dead. Recoil is greatly reduced with the gas spring installed, and that’s something not common to all gas springs. Recoil is a function of piston weight, and this conversion uses a lightweight piston so there’s very little felt recoil. That should help with accuracy, and we’ll test for it.

Velocity test
This is a comparison test between the gas spring and a Gamo factory steel spring. The table below gives the velocity and extreme spread for each pellet with the steel spring and then with the gas spring. I retested the steel spring gun because I had only tested a couple of pellets before. Because two different rifles are involved, you don’t see a direct comparison of before and after the gas spring is installed.

Crosman Premier 7.9 grain

Gamo Match

H&N Match

Crosman Destroyer

RWS Hobby
Av….. 997……….1012
Hi…..1006……… 1023
Lo….. 976……….1001

Gamo Raptors

So, the gas spring is slightly more powerful in the two rifles I happened to test. That was never the plan; it simply turned out that way this time. The smooth shooting behavior is worth accepting a power REDUCTION, so to have MORE is gravy. I think that if the gas spring produced similar results to the steel spring, it would be well worth the cost.

And what IS the cost?
As I write this report, Pyramyd AIR is working that out. They know what the unit costs them but not how long it takes a technician to install and test it. I was eager to get this first report posted, so I jumped ahead of the business end of the process. There isn’t even a web page to send you to yet, but I will give it to you as soon as I can.

New guns, first
The initial supply of gas springs is quite limited, so Pyramyd will install them in brand new rifles first. Those rifles will be sold as complete guns. When they get the price calculated, I’ll alert you. Those guns will probably vanish in days, but there will be more gas springs to come. As soon as the gas spring maker ramps up his production to the level that Pyramyd AIR can always have a few in stock, they’ll start offering to convert their customers’ rifles. I would guess that will happen after January, if the manufacturer can meet the demand for new guns. At this time, Pyramyd AIR has no plans to sell just the gas spring by itself, because the installation requires a technical knowledge of the rifle and gas spring.

The benefits of gas springs
Gas springs act quicker, which some shooters feel helps with accuracy. Maybe it makes them less hold-sensitive (but it doesn’t cancel it altogether). Gas springs can be left cocked for hours without losing energy. This is a real plus for hunters. This particular gas spring unit has the surface of its internal moving parts finished to 4 microns, an incredibly smooth finish. That will help maintain the gas seal for a long time. Gas springs often reduce the weight of a rifle, though in the Whisper’s case, they do not. The weight remains the same. Gas springs reduce felt recoil. Gas springs shoot with unbelievable smoothness. I cannot emphasize this benefit enough. If I were to let you shoot both guns together, you would want the one with the gas spring.

Chew on this over the weekend. Gamo has been standardizing their powerplants over the past few years so that today they produce only a couple of different-sized pistons. The Whisper powerplant is the same size as the Gamo CF-X, etc. How does that strike you? Perhaps like the SECOND ramification!

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.

126 thoughts on “Testing the Gamo Whisper – Part 7 Gas spring conversion!”

  1. BB,

    This sounds like a wonderful product that will probably fit many different rifles in the ‘Gamo’ family. Smoothing out a springer is a good thing.

    I’m also happy to hear that you’ve installed a GRT III trigger. I can’t recommend them enough.

    If the gas spring does for my guns what the GRT III trigger did, I’ll be in springer heaven.

    As always, thank you for your knowledge.

    Michael in Florida

    Success is not an entitlement.

  2. B.B.,
    Wow, this is very cool. So, at least for the time being, this is not a DIY installation?? The accuracy has to change for the better with this too, I guess?? So Gamo is, or is not personally involved in this venture? And future applications for other guns? So many questions!! So many possibilities!!
    I am extremely interested in the price and bet these will be snapped like 5AM bargains at Walmart.

  3. BB,

    After Pyramyd gets ramped up, do you suppose that they will eventually offer the gas spring in the CF-X as well? That would be something I would be very interested in.

    I know the CF-X is A gun that got good reviews from you. I can see A retest of the CF-X with A grt trigger and the gas ram in your future(haha).

    I bet the thought has already crossed your mind(smile)

    Great report, and yes, A very nice surprise. One more coming. YES?

    BobC NJ

  4. Good morning, gentlemen,

    Yes, the future looks very bright for this conversion. And, yes, all sorts of possibilities have crossed my mind in regards to those possibilities. In fact, next week will be ANOTHER week of surprises for everyone!

    Merry Christmas,


  5. “At this time, Pyramyd AIR has no plans to sell just the gas spring by itself”… let’s hope they change their minds and find a way of doing this.

    One thing I am concerned about is longevity. Gas struts might hold up your hood or trunklid for years, but steel springs can do it for decades. I assume these are better made than $20 automotive gas struts and they wouldn’t be subject to fatigue failures with a lot of use the way steel mainsprings are. So perhaps it’s a wash or even an improvement in this regard.

    Another thing I’w wondering about, though – performance variation with temperature?

  6. Vince,

    The gas spring in my R1 is going on 13 years old and counting. I wrote about it in the R1 book that was published in 1995. I sold that rifle, then bought it back four years later. Not one foot-second of velocity was lost in all that time.

    Gas springs vary less than steel in the cold because they are lubricated with less grease to thicken and harden. They are not as good as pneumatics in this respect, but much better than steel springs. I tested at zero degrees F.


  7. B.B.

    This is great! I ve been thinking of putting a ram in my CFX (and the GRT III trigger as well)but I am afraid of opening it up and doing the work since I have no idea about the insides of an airgun.

    A gas ram airgun – especially with a nice ram – is definately on the list of future buys.

    Now I have to go find out what I need to do to import these airguns from PyramydAir to Cyprus.

    Thanks again B.B. this report was absolutely great, can’t wait for the next one since from what I understand this new ram can fit on a CFX as well…

  8. B.B. thanks for the reply about temps. That’s something I always wondered about. To those of you considering this, do it. You won’t be sorry. I LOVE my RX-1!!! From SAVAGESAM

  9. What’s got me scratching my head is the apparent efficiency of the gas ram… it looks to be generally conmparable to a steel spring.

    Other applications of shooter-compressed gas for propulsion (pump pneumatics) require a LOT more effort to get the same power as a springer. I always figured that this had something to do with the loss of energy when the compressed gas (air) cools off after pumping.

    So why is the gas spring so much more efficient? I’m guessing that it has something to do with the working fluid (I imagine it’s nitrogen), and I imagine that inside the spring it exsits mixed-phase (liquid and gas, like a CO2 cartridge). I’m also guessing that when the spring is compressed, what happens internally is that some of the gaseous nitrogen is forced into the liquid phase, and then flashes back to gaseous when the spring is released.

    This would seem to indicate that actual gas spring pressure is constant (rather than increasing) with compression, which would increase cocking resistance at the beginning of the stroke. It ALSO means that the spring could be installed with no preload – which should simplify servicing, AND aftermarket retrofit!

    This would also mean that the gas spring has a “reserve” of liquid nitrogen, so a miniscule leak would not degrade performance until there is no more nitrogen in the liquid phase when the spring is extended.

    Am I anywhere near correct?

  10. Vince,

    You must have seen scientific display using liquid nitrogen and know how cold that nitrogen is. It would not be feasible to have liquid phase nitrogen in that gas spring and not have excessively high pressure at the same tme. Gas spring typically have preload as well. You will need an air pump to adjust that preload.


  11. Wow. Interesting stuff, though if it’s a value-add by Pyramyd, the pricing is going to be critical.

    Wonder when Gamo is going to get smart and introduce a “pimped” CFX with a good trigger and tuned (or gas) powerplant — call it the Field Target special and then count the dollars…

  12. Vince,

    No, the gas spring is filled with air. Beeman offers an air/nitrogen mix, and, yes, I know that air contains roughly 78 percent nitrogen already. They call their mixture “super gas” and they make claims of smoother shooting, but I never saw any difference.


  13. Vince and DKY,

    I didn’t address the preload question before. The gas spring is under considerable pressure at rest. Cocking only increases the pressure. But the gas spring is a unit that fits inside a gun with no additional compression. So it is a drop-in unit from that standpoint. However, in the Gamo guns, certain internal modifications have to be made, such as the removal of the fixed spring guide.

    Theoben used to put a Schrader valve in their units and shooters could pressurize them from outside the gun. That lead to many problems when people overpressurized their springs and ruined the rifles.

    Perhaps I will do a report on a Fenman that I brought back from the grave after the former owner tried to hotrod it past its rated 12 foot-pounds.


  14. Trout Underground,

    I have wondered for several years why Gamo doesn’t do more with their airguns. The reason is they don’t have anyone who knows airguns advising them. They know how to make the guns, but haven’t got much of a clue about who uses them or how they are used. That’s why they keep making things like that running target and the Whisper silencer.

    If they only understood the market, they could capitalize on all the good things they already do. But don’t hold your breath.


  15. I’ve done some quick research on generally available gas springs, and Mcmaster shows 250lbf gas springs available with a .39″ rod diameter. Last time I checked, this works out to on the order of 2000psig. Since this spring is only $26, this would indicate that containing this sort of pressure is not all that difficult.

    Gas springs seem to rated as to pressure, not spring constant. The only way to do that (as far as I know) is to either have the working fluid in a liquid phase or to have the change in internal volume be miniscule over the stroke of the piston. In the latter case, obviously, there would be a change in spring rate but it could be almost negligible.

  16. B.B.
    Your last comment is so TRUE. But what market do they target the USA. UK, etc.
    Most definitely they have no clue as to offer option’s with their products. All they do are combo deals, scope and gun or .177 and .22 barrels.
    Imagine if I could order a custom air rifle with different options like stock, powerplant, cal. trigger.
    Of course it would be more expensive, just my 2 cents.


  17. B.B.,

    I’ve been mildly interested in the CFX for a while. I have a Diana 48 so no real need for one. A .22 caliber CFX with a gas spring and a good trigger would be too interesting not to buy one.


  18. Warren,

    Well, you are right about their target market. They are targeting first-time airgunners who have little knowledge of the technology. However, with the current state of their guns, they could easily expand their market share and at the same time educate their customers, by offering them an upward range of alternatives.

    I think Gamo is in the position of making a product better than their current targeted customer can appreciate. But they, themselves, also do not appreciate what they have done. And thus we see the combos with crappy scopes because that’s all the marketing department knows.


  19. B.B.,

    Well you didn’t disappoint me after all. I was thinking the new power plant was the one in one of the guns that you recently reviewed. You had me fooled.

    Its a shame that gamo is not in touch with what people really want. Maybe they have a advertising department that controls what they are producing like Intel when they came out with the Pentium 3.

    Gas springs are not new , but a affordable one is. The last time I looked at gas springs they were considerable more expensive than a custom steel spring kit.

    Do you know if the manufacture of the gas spring have or will be making springs to fit other guns?

    If you could get a unit to fit in you tx200 would it be worth the trouble for that particular gun if your spring was worn out?

  20. bb,

    i need some help…i have a crow problem here in northeast pa, but i can’t seem to get rid of them. i have a tuned g1 extreme that shoots 8.4 exacts 890-900 fps, and i’m taking shots at 20-40 yrds. i know i’m hitting their heads, because i can see their head move first after i take the shot(and because i take squirrels at up to 50 yrds, and never miss my target area), and after the pellet hits, they fly off, apparently unnafected. this has happened at last 8-10 times…and i have yet to kill a single crow!! is my gun not powerful enough? i thought i needed at least 8 ftlbs of energy at impact, and at the closer shots, i def had more than that…are these just crows on steriods? they don’t even seem to be hurt when i hit em…just like i tossed a pebble at em, and they got too annoyed and decided to fly away for the time being, only to come back later. i have a super streak on order(and ordered it the day the .22 cal was available, so i’ll get mine in the first batch of shipments), but who knows when that will be…i’m going to start trying with my sisters .22 cfx, but it only gets another ftlb more than my gun, so idk what it’ll do…i’m really confused…is the head(right behind the eye) not the place to aim at with crows?


  21. DED,

    With that power, I’m sure your not hitting them in the head. You could shoot a crow in the head with a daisy red rider and they would be out of it for a while (KO)!

    I think that you are hitting near them. If someone was shooting at me the first thing to flinch would be my head, even if the bullet were going to hit me in the foot. I would make sure it sighted in and possibly re-mount the scope.


  22. CyberSkin,

    A gas spring has been made for the TX 200, however that is the last spring rifle I would convert. It’s already very smooth-shooting.

    Still, gas has advantages I’ve only started to explain, so yes, it would be a plus.


  23. DED,

    I’m no great crow hunter, but it seems like what you’re doing now isn’t working, so why not change things? After all, they don’t call ’em bird-brains because they’re large, do they?

    Try your sister’s .22 and try a body shot. Center of the chest and high up with a .22 ought to do it. I would not take side shots with less than a 20 foot-pound rifle because those wing feathers are like body armor.


  24. Alan,

    Chronographs were iffy 30 years ago, but today they are pretty reliable. Just make sure the model you buy will handle the velocities you expect to shoot. A chrono made for a bow may not have enough top range if you also plant to check a .220 Swift later on.

    Don’t get a chrono that has infrared skyscreens or you will forever be at odds with all other types if lighting. Alsdo get a chrono with a printer, or one that you can add a printer to later on. It saves a lot of writing.

    The Shooting Chronys are good machines that you can trust.


  25. I thought that Theoben had the patents (both Nationally and Internationally locked up for years. I would be curious to know if those patents expired and now anyone cam make a copy. If so, then I imagine that we’ll be seeing more gas springs hitting the market. B.B can you find out what the warranty will be like from Pyramyd AIR on the strut. Since that is not an OEM Gamo part, Gamo may not honor any warranty claims on a rifle that PA installs this in. Prehaps PA should research this aspect and buyers should be made aware if the strut negates the Gamo factory warranty


  26. BB, DED,

    I get to crow hunt every once in a while (on those wet days that they all show up on and sit in my pine trees). They are rugged but i find a head shot with anything to do the job. Thats not what i do, i aim for the body and thwack them with a theoben mark one; my designated crow gun > because i shot eight crows in less than a minute one time with it. I cant even begin to tell you how much more effective 22 cal guns are in my experience.

    If you hit it in the head with 15 foot pound it would not get up, i wouldn’t LOL, it would burst the skull cavity of the bird (not to paint a picture).

    I agree with bb, shoot the front of them, those wings are tough and will shave off much of that energy before you get to the vitals.

    BB, my airwolf will be working in a couple weeks (broke a breach seal and they are hard to find) its been out for like 2 months!.


  27. pa gunner,

    technically, the Whiscombe jw 80, but thats hardly relevant as they are hard to get a hold of.

    For us, the patriot is the most powerful springer.

    Im just guessing.


  28. I mean the P4


    I have heard of a person braking his after market steel spring by shooting too heavy of a pellet. I guess the effects of spring bounce. Do you know if a gas spring is less susceptible to spring bounce? Gas springs don’t break in like a conventional coil spring , do they?

    I noticed when taking a Gamo apart that the stock spring had a bow to it after 1k shots on the gun.

    When I shot my RWS 52 off a hard bench rest, the gun jumped up and
    twisted to the right I think. There probably wouldn’t be any twisting in the firing cycle in magnum guns with a gas ram.

  29. We need to persuade Pyramid to sell the gas spring as a retrofit kit. It will never be economical to by a converted CFX when a Theoben can be had for just a bit more.

    CFX-buyers represent a unique market of value-concious are gunners -we’ll figure out how to install it.

  30. PA gunner,

    I think Sumo is right – the JW 80 is the most powerful springer. And for all practical purposes, it’s a battle between the Webley Patriot and the Theoben Eliminator. I consider gas spring guns to be in the springer category.


  31. Service life,

    I really don’t have much data on the service life of gas springs. They definitely do outlast a steel coiled mainspring, but you would expect them to.

    Davis Schwesinger of Air Rifle Specialists told me he had seen 50K shots on a Theoben gas piston without problems. He was the first to import Theoben to the U.S., but when Beeman started, Theoben gave them an exclusive and ARS stopped importing them. But Dave continued to service them for many years.

    I once bought a 12 foot-pound Fenman that the former owner had ruined by overpressurizing the gas spring and Dave was able to restore it to normal operation.

    The Theobens were able to be pressurized by the owners, so the only failures would have been those that leaked. There weren’t very many of those. And the Vortek gas springs I never saw a failure with, though they were made in much smaller numbers.

    However, with overhauls, you might consider a gas spring to be a lifetime spring. Of course you will factor the cost for overhauls against the cost of steel spring replacement, but in the end it’s the smooth shooting that will sell the gas springs.


  32. Cyber Skin,

    You are right about everything. Gas springs don’t rebound nearly as much as coiled steel, and when they do, you can’t hurt compressed air!

    You remember how the 52 twisted to the right? That was spring torque. A gas spring doesn’t have any of that. The 52 has more of it than most guns. The sidelever probably amplifies the feeling of the torque.


  33. If the piston of a gas spring bounced it would be compressing the air behind it that bushed it in the first place with air pressure on that side and not on the other.

    The piston will hardly bounce back at all.


  34. BB,

    WOW…the video of the dragon slayer, and the article. I know how well water (or soda) stops a bullet, so to me, that was impressive. I have shot some big guns but the worst think is my mosin nagant (if thats how its spelled), much worse than a 338. My ar15 (civilian m16 LOL) has almost no kick, or at least nothing worth mentioning.

    The mosin is a flame thrower that rattles your teeth and everyone around you. —> funny story, a relative of mine was out hunting bore with a 500s&w (a 50 cal revolver) with a friend and his friend took his first shot on one and killed it, no entrance or exit wound. He flinched (hard not to with that thing) and it was killed by the shock wave from the gun.

    im gunna think about gettn me 1naa them!


  35. BB
    How hard are these gas springs on scopes? If as Sumo says there is hardly any bounce back then the reverse recoil that kill scopes on springers is not a factor to recon with in gas springs? What’s you experience?


  36. I’ve been going through a lot of your articles, B.B., as part of learning about air rifles and have found your blog extremely interesting. The gas spring sounds great, it will be exciting to see such a drop-in upgrade tested further and become more accessable. Keep up the good work.

  37. Sumo,

    Aww! You saw it already. I was hoping to surprise you on Monday. The article went live on Friday after my blog was posted, so I couldn’t mention it before Monday, but I couldn’t resist telling Dragon Slayer about his namesake.

    If your Mosin is a flame-thrower, as you say, you must have one of the short rifles like the M44. I have a 91/30 with a long barrel, and all it does is kick. It’s accurate though.


  38. Ton,

    In my experience gas springs are not as hard on scopes as steel springs. Theoben puts a rubber-bushed Dampa Mount scope mount on the Beeman Crow Magnum and everyone says it works, but I don’t see the need. The Crow Magnum doesn’t kick nearly as hard as the Webley Patriot, and that rifle has no special mount.


  39. B.B.,
    How gas springs work–
    This gas spring thing is a bit of a paradigm shift, like when cars went from carbs to fuel injection. FI was a major improvement over carbs, but the cost was greater and some of the DIY aspect was sacrificed and had to be re-learned. Seems like the gas springs have a similar impact.

    And being one who NEVER backs down from a DIY challenge (common sense does NOT always pervail, LOL) I found this site with some good info on the operation of gas springs.
    (make sure you copy and paste the entire link)
    These springs have been used as die stripper springs in metal stamping equipment for years, where they take a hit every second day in and day out. And we are all familiar with the fully damped versions in our car deck lids. The problem is that all of these “stock” gas springs are designed for controlled release and warn specifically against a “snap” release. Darn! So this one that pyramyd, et al, has must have some different orficing and seal design. I’ll probably still have to try an OTC gas spring and after spending 40 hours building and tweaking declare it a marginal success (or failure). But, as always, it will be fun!

  40. Hi BB,
    I ordered my CF-X the other day, I hope it will make it here for christmas. We’re getting a huge snowstorm up here (13 inches) so the trucks may get delayed.

    Great review of the Dragon Slayer. I cant view the video on my computer because i dont have quicktime. Is there another way i can view it? Thanks

    Nate in Mass

  41. Nate – download quicktime for free from apples web page under downloads.

    BB- ill tell you for sure the theoben eliminator is hard on scopes. Yes i have the m44 version.


  42. Sumo,

    It’s been so long since I shot my Crow Magnum that I forgot that it did break a scope or two. Not as bad as a Patriot, but it did break at least one scope.

    The Theoben piston is heavy compared to the piston in this new unit, so the forward jolt is greatly reduced.


  43. BB,

    o i gotcha bb. Sure the patriots worse on the scopes but the theobens and crow mags are still bad. Im thinking about a theoben eliminator laminate stock, or dragon slayer. As you know it takes me a while to choose. (even if i end up getn both, but one at a time) LOL

    I am a .22 cal pcp guy but i have all the .22 pcps i need, and want. So i think i may try and cover some more territory, not be so narrow minded. LOL


  44. BB,

    I have enjoyed the recent blogs concerning gas spring conversions. You mentioned that you own a Theoben Fenman. Any thoughts or experiences with the performance of that gun as well as how it might compare to the currently offered Theoben Evolution?


  45. Krug82 and Sumo,

    You both want to hear about the Theoben Fenman, so I will report on it soon. My Fenman had an object lesson that came with it (Sumo, it had started to tear itself apart), plus it was a nice little breakbarrel, once I got it working.


  46. Hey BB, thanks for the great reviews. I’m considering purchasing a Gamo Whisper to reduce the ground squirrel population on my property. Closest I can get to them is about 30 yards and my existing Powerline 901 can’t do the job. Pyramid Air recommends the Whisper .22 for this purpose. Read your review but didn’t see any comments about hunting nor comments on the .22 version. Will this gun meet my needs? Thanks!

  47. Tommy,

    Yes, the Whisper is fine for ground squirrels, however, I don’t care for its performance in .22. Not powerful enough. In .177 it can do the job, but I don’t like using .177 for animals.

    I would recommend a version of the RWS Diana 34 in .22. They are a little cheaper and have all the power you need.


  48. BB, thanks for the fast reply! Please clarify why you don’t like .177 for animals. You indicate the Whisper has enough power for job so I just want to understand the logic. A main reason to consider the Whisper for this purpose was to get the .22. If its not that powerful, then I could drop back the Big Cat 1200 and save $100, right? (thanks)

  49. Tommy,

    I have seen .177 pellets slip through animals without doing major damage. Twenty-two pellets are far less likely to do the same.

    Gamo powerplants seem to have been designed for .177 caliber pellets. When they increase to .22 they often lack the swept volume in the compression chamber to handle the larger pellets as they should. This is a generalization based on performance seen in the Gamo CF-X and the Whisper.

    I know for a fact that the RWS Diana 34 series guns can handle the .22.


  50. BB, thanks again. Last comment from me for now as I don’t want to abuse your time. Seems like a hollow point or other expanding ammo might solve the “slip through” problem with a 177, right? I will do some research on the RWS before I make my final decision. I’ve read so many great reviews on the Gamo Big Cat/Whisper that I’m really inclined to want to stay with them. If Whisper isn’t much quieter (per your review) and the 22 version isn’t powerful enough for the job I need, then the Big Cat with expanding ammo might be the best choice for me. Thanks for your guidance!

  51. BB,
    Thanks for the great info. I’ve done additional research and I agree with all your points. (No wonder you are so highly regarded!). For hunting going with a .22 is better and the RWS has gotten rave reviews for being a quality gun that will last for generations. A few last questions if you don’t mind. 1. What ammo do you recommend for hunting with .22 RWS 34P? 2. Seems like all the resellers are out of stock on the 34P until May 20, so I’m guessing a new revision has been released — do you know the changes? 3. PA offers the 34P open sites or the 34P combo with a Leapers scope. I’ve never sighted in a scope before and I see tons of negative reviews for the scope mount, barrel droop, etc — will I be okay with open sights for shooting squirrels at 35 yards? Thanks so much for the excellent advice!!!

  52. Tommy,

    Yes, start with open sights. You can always add a scope later. And you might like to read my articles about mounting a scope and watch the video:


    Try RWS Super H Points and Beeman Silver Bears. Also try Crosman Premier hollow points.


  53. BB,
    Thanks again. Assuming PA has the rifle in stock tomorrow I’m ready to buy! One point of clarification…previously in the post you said that hollow point is less accurate vs. domed and to confine the use of HP to under 30 yards. Now all the ammo you are recommending seem to be HP. Was the previous statement about 30 yards specific to the .177 cal? Looking forward to the guidance so I can get the gun and pellets on order. Thanks again!

  54. BB,
    No worries. If you have a preference of particular domes for this gun for 35+ yrd hunting that would be great to know. If not, then I will just pick something from the recommendations at PA. Thanks again for all your help. The PA site is now saying stocking didn’t happen today as expected and the new date is 5-27. Other resellers are all out of stock, which I guess means this gun is extremely popular or it was pulled from the shelf to be replaced with a changed model for some reason. That’s an interesting situation and I’m looking forward to getting one once inventory is replenished. Cheers!

  55. B.B.,
    Thanks again for the great advice. I purchased the RWS 34P and absolutely love it!! I was orginally looking at the Gamo Big Cat or Whisper but you turned me onto the 0.22 version of the Diana and I say thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm dropping squirrels with one shot and the Crossman Premiers are not leaving the body. This gun has delivered exactly what I was looking for!!! I much appreciate your guidance and appreciate your support!! Good hunting!

  56. I see it here:
    I'm calling to see how they do it on request…
    I do not know why the retired … Some friends have told me that the withdrawal by problems and lasted no more than 100 shots…
    It is true?

    Thanks and I'll tell you…
    A greeting …

  57. when you say the gas spring can be left cocked for hours how long? just a couple hours or days? Looking at a whisper with a gas spring now that they droped the price. -Paul

  58. Paul,

    The gas springs in a minivan stay compressed for weeks at a time, and they operate find for over a decade. And they are not made as well as the gas spring in an airgun.

    So you can leave the gun cocked for several months and it wouldn't matter.


    • auto gas spring
      A car strut is essentially a shock absorber that is mounted inside a coil spring. Although a car strut provides a dampening feature similar to shock absorbers, car struts deliver considerably more function. These components control and support weight, unlike shock absorbers, which simply control the speed of the weight being transferred. Car struts are designed with mounting points placed in the middle, which are used to reinforce the chassis and other components of the suspension.

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