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Education / Training Gamo Recon – Part 3

Gamo Recon – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today we’ll shoot for accuracy with the Gamo Recon. That means I had to mount the 4×20 scope that comes with the gun because it has no other sights. Many customer reviews said they liked the rifle but not the scope, so I’m prepared to give you my opinion. Also, I’ve heard from many readers who love their Recons, so I had the sense that this was going to be a good test.

Mounting the scope
When I mounted the scope, I came face-to-face with what all the critics have said. This really is a cheap little scope that doesn’t belong on a rifle as potentially nice as the Recon. This is a $5 scope at best; the cheap little claw mounts held together by a single screw were enough to convince me of that. The rifle has no true scope stop, so I did what everyone probably does – I butted the rear scope ring against the plastic end cap…and hoped it wouldn’t move. As far as I can tell. it never did…but I shot the gun only about 100 times.


I didn’t care for the scope mounts that seemed fragile, though they held up through the test. Note the open hole directly into the spring cylinder. Careful owners could use it for a vertical stop pin, as long as the pin never extends below the bottom of the hole.

If the mounts give a bad impression, just wait until you look through the muddy optics! They were blurry and out of focus at 20 yards, though they do clear up around 25 yards. The edges of the viewing area are dark, which, considering the narrow viewing angle you start with, is like looking through a rusty water pipe. Still, this is the scope the gun comes with, and I wanted to see what it could do.

How the gun handled
I neglected to report earlier that the stock’s length of pull is 12.5 inches. An adult rifle would have a pull between 14″ and 14.5″. When I settled into the shooting bench, this short pull and small scope combined to bring my head down low on the gun and very far forward. I have a long neck and the stock was actually too short for me when shooting from a bench. I compensated, but I’m mentioning it in case you’re thinking of getting one for yourself. Offhand, it’s still fine.

No artillery hold
I got on paper right away at 20 yards with 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers, but my groups were large and strung out vertically. I played with the hold and finally decided to abandon the artillery hold. The Recon is so light that it doesn’t seem to respond well to a light touch. I switched to a more conventional hold where I grasped the stock but didn’t pull it tight to my shoulder and managed to get an acceptable group with the Premiers.


This 20-yard group of five Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets measures 0.695″ c-t-c.

While shooting, I was reminded of the easy cocking and the smooth breech detent – both of which will be good for younger shooters. I was reminded of the light trigger when the gun discharged several times before I was expecting it.

The next pellet I tried was the Gamo Match, and it was surprisingly good. Again, the lighter hold wasn’t what the rifle wanted. I used a firm but not harsh grasp and didn’t pull the rifle hard into my shoulder. I was rewarded with the best group of the day.


Five Gamo Match pellets went through this 0.516″ group at 20 yards. This was the best group of the day. Gamo Match groups averaged more like 0.75″ – 0.85″.

I still got vertical stringing with the Gamo pellets if I allowed the stock to move in any way, so I determined to hold it as tight as I could by pulling it straight back into my shoulder. That did not work well, though. I got good groups of three shots with two fliers that I could not anticipate. The best hold I was to discover all day was a gentle but firm hold with the off hand grasping the stock and the butt against my shoulder with solid contact but not too tight.


Five RWS Diabolo Basic pellets gave this 0.870″ group at 20 yards. This was the best these pellets did, which is more like the average for Gamo Match.

RWS Diabolo Basic pellets were not as good as Premier lites or Gamo Match. They would be okay for shooting pop cans, but for serious shooting look for something better. I also tried the 8.4-grain JSB Exact domes, but they weren’t even as good as the Diabolo Basics. I guess they’re too heavy for this small powerplant.

The bottom line on this gun is this: I like the ease of cocking, the light weight and the lighter, if creepy, trigger. The short stoke and low-mounted scope made it difficult to shoot from a bench, but that’s no strike against what is supposed to be a kid’s gun. Accuracy is all I could ask for and probably better than I was able to show. The Recon is a winner that belongs on your short list for youth rifles.

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.

40 thoughts on “Gamo Recon – Part 3”

  1. Not surprised the scope mounts didn’t move on you – that cheap scope is so light that it hardly provides any mass to stress the clamps while the gun is recoiling.

    You know that ubiqutous 4×32 Chinese scope that comes on a zillion and a half combo packages? The cost on that scope has to be incredibly low, but it is still much, much better than that 4×20.

    If I’m not mistaken, though – I believe the eyepiece on the scope you tested is adjustable for focus. I’m wondering if you might have been able to get rid of that 20-yard bluriness and tighten up the groups a bit.

  2. Hey B.B.,
    Good mornin. Looks like the Recon is shaping up to be a nice little gun. Do you think it would be safe to mount a red-dot on it? or is the recoil just enough to damage it?

  3. BB

    Since a kid’s air rifle in the same velocity range as a plinker/basement air rifle, maybe you can give me some advice on which one to buy.

    I am 6’2″. I currently shoot a 1377 with a Crosman stock, which is too short for comfortable shooting, so I am using it primarily as a pistol. I do not hunt. I have a 20 yd range in the back yard and 10 yds in the basement. I am trying to keep the price in the 200.00 range. A Beeman HW40 would be ideal but it has been on back order for several months. An R7 is out of my price range and also on back order.

    I do not mind pumping. I prefer a wood stock (my 1377 has a set of RB grips). I will not be using a bench rest or making accuracy tests. I am strictly a recreational shooter.

    Your advice?



  4. BB,

    Next time I’ll act a little faster when you mention a deal like the Norica. Oh well, live and learn.

    I decided to just go with something fun, so I called Pyramyd and asked them to switch the order over to a Crosman 1077 with a few extra clips.

    Al in CT

  5. Marc,

    If you can pony up $215 I thoroughly recommend the HW30. A well made accurate lightweight rifle. I shoot 3/4 to 1″ groups with open sights at 25yds with this rifle. I know it’s on backorder right now but I consider it worth the wait.

  6. Marc,

    I sure agree that the 392 is great, but, you really don’t mind pumping? and the loudness…Let the youngsters do the heavy lifting…

    I agree with the “vulcanator”, wait for the HW30…you’ll enjoy it’s accuracy and smooth firing for 50 years, and then you can give it to your kids for another 50 years…..the 392 is durable too…

    Aahland Air Rifle Range

  7. B.B.

    I just noticed the Beeman Falcon-R on the PA site, today ($1,399)…..

    Wow, the air tank and barrel look like they are made in the same factory as the Air Arms S410…at that price, it’s $438 more than the S410…you can get scuba tanks and fill yokes for the difference…

    It looks like the Falcon-R doesn’t have a power adjuster…and it isn’t quite like the S410…

    It is hard to believe it could be more accurate, my S410 is so accurate and it looks like the same barrel…

    It’s got a thumb hole stock, but I don’t know if that is good or not…the knurling on the stock is better on the S410…
    They weigh about the same..I can take out the magazine and load a pellet one at a time also, but who would want too..
    I wonder why Beeman thinks they can compete with the S410 at that price….What am I missing?….

    Have you tried one? anybody…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  8. Wayne,
    I like hearing about your S410 because I got the same gun in 0.22. I think “amazing” is the best word to describe it. It is accurate, smooth and quiet. The power adjust is great. I keep it at 1/3 indoors (quieter, more shots per fill, just in case I miss the target) and full power outdoors. With JSBs I shot 4 10 shot groups all less than 1″ at 35 yds. 40 shots in a row with no fliers!
    A couple weeks ago someone asked BB for a list of the best PCP rifles. I think the Falcon was the second on the list. The S410 didn’t even make the list! Can you imagine what the Falcon must be like?
    What could you change on the S410 to make it better? My only complaint is that my TX is collecting dust.
    I would really like to try a Falcon or Daystate to see what the difference is. Maybe you could buy BB’s Top 5 and rent them out when you open your range.? Maybe $200/week plus postage? Just a thought.

  9. MCA and Wayne,

    The Falcon that made my list of good PCPs wasn’t the one Beeman just brought out. It is the FN-19 classic Falcon that USED to be built in the UK. I don’t even know if it still is being made.

    The new gun may be wonderful, but I haven’t tested it yet.


  10. B.B.

    Okay, $5 for a scope is too cheap even for me. Right now, I’m waiting on Leapers to tell me how to return the 6-24X50 scope for repairs. Their initial note was not promising–a bunch of double-talk for further tests on the scope knobs. I’ve tried everything they said 50 times, and if you’re actually required to do all these things to adjust windage and elevation, this isn’t much of a product. We will see, but meanwhile, I’m wishing that I had bought the Air Force 6-24X50 which sounds like a great scope without the zero locking feature.

    Wayne, so the S410 has adjustable power. Hm. When you get around to testing the IZH 61, it is very important when testing its viability as an adult rifle to remove the stock (using the thumbscrew) and sliding it completely off. Then take the hexagon shaped piece that it fits into the thumbscrew and shift it to the rearmost of the two settings–closest to the butt-end. The procedure is described in part 1 of B.B.s write-up on this rifle. Believe me, if I can do this, anybody can. I think a lot of misconceptions about this gun as a kid’s rifle probably stem from PA’s picture of the stock fully compressed. I believe another picture of the stock extended to the full 14″ length of pull would help a lot.


  11. MCA,

    You may be on to a great marketing idea…and the first one to try it….my email is wayne.burns@naturalyards.com

    Thanks for your response….It is nice to know I’m not the only one who is letting his TX200 collect dust, (I got the S410 1 week ago and the TX200 3 weeks ago, so it’s not too much dust)


    I hope crossman is looking hard at making the Discovery into a low price version of the guy…I know they are working on something like it…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  12. Wayne,

    My Volvo is a little on the non-typical side, as am I. I opted for the S60R, so I could fly under the radar and also not offend clients.

    Some years back I had an elderly gentleman refuse to ride with me as I had driven my wife’s VW on that particular day. Turns out he was a World War II vet and was still holding a grudge. I obliged and rode with him, but I dare say I would have felt safer facing a Luger. (Funny part is, I believe the wife’s VW was assembled in Mexico)
    I also consider the Volvo the ideal suburban camo. However, it seems I was one of the few that saw the value in a 300hp Volvo with a six speed manual, as they have stopped manufacturing them after a short run.

    On another note, never apologize for a lack of formal education. I would much rather spend a few hours with a true entrepreneur than an entire semester with a professor teaching entrepreneurship whose real life experience in non-existent, or was a stint selling Amway in the ’80.

    The Swiss also make airguns, the FX line. I am trying to decide between a 410S and the FX Whisper. Anyone with knowledge of either, please share.


  13. B.B.

    Thanks for the information. Not sure why, but I thought the Air Arms 410S was a UK product.

    I e-mailed FX and they said the Whisper was their quietest product, but could not comment on how it compared to others. Do you feel there is a discernable difference here?

    Thank you,

  14. Volvo,

    You know, you may be right about the S410. It’s sold by Air Arms, of course, but they don’t make everything they sell in the PCP line. But I think the S410 might be theirs, even though the power adjuster looks suspiciously Swedish.

    I’m not familiar with the FX Whisper, so I can’t comment.

  15. Volvo,

    Wow, a 300hp volvo, I never even
    heard of it, It sounds like a collectors item, I,m gonna start looking…I’ve been stuck in the practical mode. Although the 960s I bought were for their brute force, they are the height of luxury for someone who has moved through the ranks of the 140… 240…. 740.. 760… 940…all continued improvements on a super 4 banger… and now the 960s…a 24 valve OHC six, that doesn’t need a turbo…

    We have put 500,000 plus on all these models…except the 960s, I just started on them last year…

    As they get older and drop into the $2,500 price range, I get into the picture, and start buying them..

    But, I plan on stopping at the 960’s, because Ford bought Volvo, and I don’t think much of the front wheel drive 850s or V70s… too whimpy for our business…so we will start having the 940s and 960s rebuilt when necessary…

    I know nothing about the FX Whisper, and would like to know more as well….

    Thanks for your kind words, the “school of life” IS expensive, but real, at least….
    I would love to visit with you some day. ..or any one of you nice folks on this blog…life is about personal contact..but this blog is a close second…

    That is the biggest reason I wanted the “Field Target Club” Class to come off…but…alasss, next year….

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  16. B.B. & All

    Your review and comments have prompted me to order 3 of the Recon's for the Range…especially since the IZH 61s are out until Aug 8th at least….
    Thanks, saves me time. Now I can shoot the Air Arms S410 more….(sorry Matt61, I still can't stop with the 410, the box with the used 61 is still unopened)

    And I should to be testing the Hammerli Nova, and trying to figure out why it won't group…so I can send them back or keep them…

    This was supposed to be a "hobby business"….

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  17. Shadow Express dude
    BB, what do you khow of ASG. It came up in crosmans’ media center.
    Did you see crosman’s new youth air rifle?

    I walked into walmart today to pick up some Gamo shot shells and, gamo has only made 1 lousy shipment of 6 shadow expresses in 5 months. What’s going on with gamos slow shipping. The guy behind the counter said they ordered 14, 3 weeks ago.

  18. Volvo,

    WOW, it looked like the volvo one… That is not a “BOX” in any way…I’m sure it is better than your “wife’s vw” for impressing clients…..

    On the FX Wisper….I read this on a site that sells them….”Valved with FX’s latest design, this rifle delivers regulated performance without the hassle of a regulator.”

    I wonder what they mean…the S410 lets me shoot from 475pfs to 1,050 with Air Airs 8.44gr .177….How could you do that with out a power adjuster…

    As far as testing one…I’ll leave it to B.B.
    I get dealers pricing with PA. and they don’t stock them yet…

    B.B… any idea if that is possible?

    So, I haven’t tried to get dealer pricing with who ever distributes the FX line yet…And, unless I can sell them at a little profit, why test it….maybe someday…
    It sure looks like it compares, but I’d bet it can’t be better than the S410.. maybe as good…it is a little lighter and 12 shots instead of 10, with the S410..
    I don’t know how many shots it gets on a tank…60 with the S410 has got to be hard to beat…

    I think B.B.’s guess…. “I think the S410 might be theirs (Air Arms), even though the power adjuster looks suspiciously Swedish”… is a good guess, after looking at that site..it could be Swedish…

    Hey, who cares, the UK or Sweden, both are great manufacturers..


  19. Wayne,

    I apologize for the mix up on the Air Arms nomenclature, I kept putting 410S and it is S410.
    They both seem like wonderful choices, but since they are priced almost alike I am having a hard time deciding.
    Unfortunately, on most of the forums the owners all say they like their gun the best, and I cannot find a head to head comparison.

    As far as the origin of manufacture, I agree either would be fine.


  20. Matt61.

    I did open the IZH61 las night…It is a fine little gun….very well constructed by the looks of it..

    I shot a few rounds, without a scope, but my old eyes, can’t hit a barn without a scope…so today I will try to put the 6x32AO Bug Buster on it..
    That is a small scope rail, I hope I can make it fit…

    I had trouble with the pellets falling out of the clips…which ones fit best and still shoot well…I’ll extend the butt too…

    I think your right, this one will be popular…kids and adults alike..PA is still out until Aug. 8th on theirs….

    Yes, I plan on selling a lot of pellets…still looking into a system of pellet traps and re making new pellets or rounds…

    And with the Discover and now the S410, I hope to sell a lot of compressed air as well…..how can you invest in that?….Join us…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  21. B.B.

    Does the metered valve adjust the fps?
    What is “Regulator performance without the regulator”?
    How is it different from the power adjuster on my S410?…if you’ve got the time..

    BTW..how long do you go back and make comments on old blogs? When should we move to the new one?


  22. Wayne,

    All blog comments come to me. I can answer all the way back to the first post.

    A metered valve is one that controls the flow of air so it “meters” out in amounts that are consistent. IUt has to be timed to do that over a range of pressures, so the valve size, seat angle, shaft size and return spring strength are all factored in.

    In short, it does most of what a regulator does. Regs break down, but metered valve don’t, so they are more reliable. Falcon has had them for years.


  23. Hey BB,
    this is off topic but, can u reccomend a good air soft gun for my son? he wants a rifle or a rifle and pistol combo pack. i dont want to to spend a lot of money however i dont want something that is poor quality

  24. B.B.

    That is what I thought…

    So, the metered valve is mostly about giving even velocity, I guess….Sounds like what the Discovery needs….

    So in that way the S410 is much better if you want to be able to shoot at low power, indoors at lite duty pellet traps or something..
    Or get more shots per tank…when you don’t need full power…

    Now, I know my love for my S410 is justified, and I don’t have to lust for something just a little better…boy that was a close one…
    just kidding, (I hope)…


  25. hey bb,
    Thank you but, I dont really want to spend $100 on a toy gun. and i dont want to get him a co2 or gas gun. he wants more of a battle gun he called it and not a sniper rifle.

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