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Education / Training Gamo Compact vs IZH 46 – Part 6

Gamo Compact vs IZH 46 – Part 6

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

I’ve been remiss in reporting the final part of this report, where I shoot the IZH 46 for accuracy. A reader signing in as fstrnr@yahoo.com mentioned my oversight this weekend. I promised to finish the job, and today’s the day. If you remember the series, you’ll recall that I discovered a pumping secret about the IZH 46 that almost turns the standard model into the more powerful M. I used that technique in this test.

Chinese pellets
I’ve always used Chinese target pellets in this pistol since discovering years ago that they’re the most accurate. However, this test showed something quite different. You can’t buy these pellets anymore, so I guess it’s a good thing, because they may not be the most accurate any longer.


Five Chinese target pellets made a 50 when fired from a rest.

H&N Match
H&N Match pellets are always worth a try. They are often the most accurate in a particular airgun. This batch has 4.50mm heads.


Five H&N Match pellets made a better-looking 50 than the Chinese pellets.

JSB Match
JSB Match pellets turn out to be as good as any other JSBs. They grouped tighter in my pistol than the Chinese pellet of choice. Of course, they weren’t available in this country when I selected the Chinese pellet about 10 years ago.


Five JSB Match Diabolo pellets made the tightest group, and a score of 50. These would be worth testing long-term, to determine if they are better for this particular pistol.

How the IZH 46 helped me
The 46 has a much better and more adjustable trigger, so of course it is easier to shoot than the Gamo Compact. This trigger is not perfect, or even close to perfect, but shooters who have never felt a real 10-meter trigger will probably feel better about this one than anything they have ever tried, once it is properly adjusted. The sights on this gun are also very nice. Because this pistol is as long as it is, the separation between front and rear sights helps to define the sight picture.

Finally, I must mention both the grips and the weight distribution. Since I own the IZH 46, I’ve made the grips conform to my hand. Naturally, they fit me much better than the large grips on the Compact. That’s not a strike against the Compact – just a word about making a 10-meter gun fit you. However, the weight distribution, which is very far forward on the 46, is a real plus for me. I need a heavier pistol to keep my arm from moving, and the 46 is really heavy for a 10-meter pistol – especially for the guns of today. Think about that when you consider it as a possible target pistol.

The final word
Well, there weren’t too many surprises in this comparative test. Except for the adjustable rear sight notch on the Gamo, I think everything else was expected. The Compact is a wonderful target pistol at a great price, but know that the grip probably needs to be slimmed, and the trigger is somewhat heavy. The IZH 46 is a great starter 10-meter pistol, as long as you can handle the weight.

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.

30 thoughts on “Gamo Compact vs IZH 46 – Part 6”

  1. B.B.,
    I have an urgent question on my camera. It pretty much just died on me, as the screen is all fuzz, and it doesnt show anything. So i need a new camera. Is there any other way to put film pictures on the PC besides a scanner? Also will you be making Camera reccomendations?

  2. Hia Brody,

    I am not sure on your budget for a camera. I am a fan of Nikon for SLR’s digital or film. I use them every day as that is my profession. BUT if I was looking for an off duty camera, I would forget about Nikon’s point and shoots and go with Cannon. Cannon seems to care about faster apatures on their point and shoot line.

    As of now I reccommend The Nikon D40 with the 18-55mm lens. This is a 6 megapixel DSLR camera for around $499 with lens. The digital sensor and the screen are amazing.

    Don’t get caught in the megapixel craze. Quality over size is most important. Most of my work is done with the Nikon D2x which has a 12 MP sensor. 70% of my work is shot on the low setting of 3MP. I still use my D1 as backup and that has a 2.75 MP sensor. Just last week I made prints at 18″x24″ with .jpg files from that old D1. They were amazing. The people at the lab were shocked.

    Believing Hype is most often bad. Proven experience and knowledge is wisdom.

    I have not tried the Fuji so I can not make an honest comment. But BB knows what he is talking about. So I trust what he says as well.

    Joe G from Jersey

  3. Brody,

    I have to agree with Joe on the megapixel issue. My buddy Earl McDonald is the lead photographer for the National Archives. He is usually the one who takes the pictures of the President and other dignitaries for the government. Until recently he used a Fuji S3 that is a 12 megapixel camera, but, like Joe said, 70 percent of his shots were taken at 6 megapixels. And sometimes his enlargements go up to poster size. It has to do with the shape of the pixels and the way the software uses them.

    Mac now uses a Cannon 17 megapixel camera that exceeds the resolution of his old Nikon 35mm film cameras. But at $8,000, you and I are going to have to wait a few years for that one.


  4. Cowboy dad here.
    8 (or thereabout) megapixels is all you need.
    It’s like horsepower. A 500hp V8 in that Honda Civic sounds impressive, but it will be so nose heavy that it will handle like (add your own expletive).
    Canon’s new pro camera is 21mp (the 1DsMkIII) and Nikons is 12
    (both have full frame sensors).
    Yes, the Canon has higher resolution. But is starts to fall apart at 1600ISO whereas the Nikon is completely useable at 6400ISO (meaning you can use it in low light with out a flash or maintain a higher shutter speed for motion stopping).
    More pixels = higher resolution
    Smaller pixels = poor low light
    (the more pixles in a given area…the sensor…the smaller they are).
    Many consider 8mp to be ideal. It will easily give you an 11×14″ print (more with post processing help) plus be good in lowlight.

  5. Cowboy dad,

    Thanks for that review. I didn’t know Cannon had a 21 MP camera out yet!

    That’s also good news about the Nikon. Fuji professionals have used Nikon bodies, and many of my really nice Nikon lenses can still be used, albiet not in the automatic mode.


  6. 747,

    No, the Daisy 747 is not really a regulation 10-meter pistol, but people still do use it in local competition. You give up adjustable grips, trigger and velocity when you use the 747.

    It is accurate, though it cannot compete with even the inexpensive 10-meter pistols like the IZH 46.

    Yes, it is very reliable and you can trust its quality.


  7. Thanks for all your reccomendations. I will have to put a hold on any other purchases, while i find a good camera. My budget is pretty low. Like probably $400 MAX.
    Thanks again everyone,

  8. B.B.

    I want to clean the bore of my Gamo Big Cat with J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. What combination of Dewey rod, brush, and cleaning jag do you recommend? I was looking at the 11in. Dewey rod, but I was not sure if this rod would be too short for the Big Cat’s 18in. barrel. Finally, is the cleaning jag the only attachment that can be used to run cleaning patches through the bore?



  9. Brody…cowboy dad here with a bit of advice.
    B&H Photo is probably the best place (service and price) to buy gear in the U.S. (I'm not fishing for business, I'm and Canada).
    In the $400 price range you have a couple of options. I would suggest either a Nikon D40 or the Canon XTi. Both of these come 'kitted' with an 18-55mm lens, a pretty good allround lens with some closeup capability. B&H has both kits on their website for around $450-$500(new) or $399 used. Used can be a great deal. Reputable dealers (as B&H is) will have checked over the gear thoroughly before taking it in and will provide a warranty (usually 90 days).
    One of the best bets in an advanced point and shoot is the Nikon P5100. Lots of features, a 6x zoom lens and the provision for manual shooting. Going price new is $285.

  10. Brody:
    Fuji cameras have a good reputation…quality-wise I’d have no problem recommending this camera, though I personally do not like electronic viewfinders.
    It is discontinued…which means nothing as far as the performance of the camera is concerned…but I would expect it to be heavily discounted from its original $250 retail price.
    At something just under $200 or so (what I’d expect the camera to go for now) it would be a great deal.
    Steve’s Digicam (steves-digicam.com , one of the best review sites there is) rates it very highly.

  11. B.B.

    Can you use a nylon bore brush or is a brass brush absolutely necessary? When using a cleaning jag do you push the rod all the way through the barrel, remove the patch, and then pull the jag back out of the barrel?



  12. Brody,
    Have to agree with BB on the Fuji Finepix S9100. A while back I spent a long week researching and found for the price that series of camera offers the best bang for the buck. Now have one and love it. But it is NOT for the point and shoot people – you need to really study the instruction manual to get full use of the camera. Good luck.

    Funny that this blog turned out to be at least in part a camera debate. Odd how things work out.


  13. BB
    It all started with you! From your blog “My gift to you, From Russia with love.” I feel in love with the IZZY 61. I then located a model 60 with the steel receiver, and will be receiving my 46m on Thursday. I own Beemans, RWS, etc, but these guns are so dang fun to shoot. I can’t wait to get the 46m.
    Keep up the good work!

  14. Can I ask what the weight and daimeter of the JSB Match pellets you used was? If the higher velocity/power of the 46M (and the 46 pumped to shoot harder) is comparable to PCP match pistols, is it possible heavier weight/larger diameter wadcutter pellets would produce equal or better results, or is this unlikely? Of course I only mean this within reasonable pellet weights, but it seems to me that even with the slow twist in the barrels light pellets would be spinning faster then is ideal for a projectile of their weight.

  15. Garrett,

    You can use a nylon bore brush, just don’t expect the same results. Nylon bristles are softer, so they don’t get into the crevices as well. You may have to double the number of strokes. But it should work.


  16. Dave,

    There is no one right answer to this situation. Some left-dominant-eye shooters use their other eye. Some shoot left-handed.

    I’ve never heard of shooting right-handed and using the left eye, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be done.

    You just have to experiment to find what works for each shooter.


  17. Krievian,

    The small velocity increase between a standard 46 and a 46M is not enough to stabilize a heavier pellet, because pellets are not stabilized by twist, alone. Perhaps 90 percent of a pellet’s stabilization results from the diabolo pellet design. Twist takes the rest.

    Head size is far more important than pellet weight. The JSBs I used do not list their head size on the tin, but I miked them for you and determined they are coming out 4.49mm.


  18. For accuracy, I find that domed pellets are more accurate even in match guns than flat heads at any range (and, beyond 20yds or so, vastly more accurate). I was testing some pellets in a SAM M10 (one BB used to own, oddly enough) and, just for fun, tried some JSBEHs in it — smaller single hole than the match pellets! (May be partly due to the dome not shredding the paper quite as much, but still very accurate.)

    Unless you are shooting where you must use flat head pellets, you probably should be using domes (of the appropriate weight, of course).

  19. B.B.

    I know that it is leaving the spring cocked for an extended period of time can ruin it. Is it okay to leave the spring cocked throughout the cleaning process? I hate to keep pestering you, but this is the first time I have used J-B and I don’t want to botch it.

    Thanks again.


  20. Garrett,

    I think about this, too, but you have a lot longer than the 10-15 minutes the barrel is open for cleaning. My Mainspring Failure Test shows that barrels can remain cocked for several days without loosing any strength.



  21. I had the same question as Garrett, so thanks. I wanted to know how long I could keep my Quest cocked while I waited for a rat to show up. It’s avocado season here at 3000′ on Maui and the critters are proliferating, as usual.

    Joe B.

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