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More about Gamo Match pellets: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

This is the second part of blog reader Vince’s test of Gamo Match pellets. This will conclude the .177 pellets, and next week we’ll give you his report on .22 Gamo Match pellets.

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Part 1

by Vince

This is the unnamed Chinese sidelever I blogged a little while ago, and it turned out that it was made by EMEI of China. It also turned out to be a very basic, simple gun with a very decent barrel that would shoot better and more consistently than expected. In this test it didn’t do quite as well as it had in the past.

And, it definitely votes “NO!” on the new pellet. The difference isn’t gargantuan, but it is significant. Verdict: Older is better.

Daisy 1150
The Daisy 1150 is one of the Gamo Daisys, this one being a rebadged Delta Cadet. It’s the same action that lives on in the Recon. It’s definitely in the youth gun category.

These results surprised me since this gun and the older Match pellets were being made at the same time as this rifle. But, holes don’t lie. While the actual ctc (center-to-center) isn’t that much different, it’s obvious that the new ones are shooting more consistently. Verdict: Newer is better.

This is the Norica Beeman I blogged a little while ago, a gun that did well with Premiers. From these groups, you can see why I didn’t report its performance with Gamo Match pellets of any stripe.

Yes, the older pellets did better, but neither was anything to write home about. I wouldn’t use them in this gun as a matter of course. Verdict: Both poor.

Possibly the best air rifle I have, the HW30 holds (for me) the best open-sight group I’ve ever shot — about 1/8″ at 10 meters for 5 shots. This was done with the old-style Gamo Match pellets, so I knew the newer ones weren’t gonna beat it.

Near as I can tell, I just didn’t have my technique down quite right, as the HW is a bit hold sensitive. Still, it’s a fair group, and the comparison clearly illustrates the preference for the older pellets. Verdict: Older is better.

The last of my novelty guns, the Industry QB51 is another folding-stock air rifle. This one is a breakbarrel that’s not trying to resemble anything in particular. It’s a crude gun with poor cocking geometry, giving a short but stiff cocking stroke, and a stiff trigger make it difficult to keep on target. So I wasn’t expecting much.

It actually didn’t do too bad with the old pellets but didn’t get along with the new ones very well. Verdict: Older is better.

The QB88 is another sidelever produced by Industry Brand, a notch or two up from the TS45/TS41/B4-1 garden stakes that made up their entry level sidelevers. This gun has Shanghai’s copy of the Gamo trigger and actually feels nicer than some real Gamo triggers I’ve sampled. The gun used to be advertised as having a choked barrel, not sure if that’s true or not. But, it’s a fair plinker, nonetheless — easy to cock, not harsh at all and fairly accurate.

Yes, that little half-circle at the top of the picture is included in the group. When I tried a make-up shot for that flier, it landed even further away. By contrast,the older Gamo pellets preferred to live in the same neighborhood. Verdict: Older is better.

Mendoza RM200
The RM200 is one of Mendoza’s mid-powered springers, very similar to the Air Venturi Bronco sold by Pyramyd Air. I’ve had them apart and side-by-side, and the only substantial difference I could find in the action was the spring.

The RM200 doesn’t really care for either pellet. The group clustered with the newer ones and smeared’ for the older, but the overall group size is about the same. Verdict: Comparable.

Gamo Sporter 500
A more powerful cousin to the itty-bitty Delta Cadet, the Sporter 500 featured similar hybrid plastic/metal construction but bolted into a wood stock. It, of course, shares the same trigger as almost every other Gamo rifle produced over the past umpteen years and is one of the most stubbornly twangy airguns I’ve ever shot. Still, it’s light, easy to cock and shoots well with Premiers.

The newer pellets went into a tighter group than the older, showing the same preference for the new pellets as the Daisy 1150/Delta Cadet. Verdict: Newer is better.

Sea Lion
This is another rifle that has something of an unclear lineage. All I know for sure is that the Sea Lion underlever was imported in some quantity some time back, and its overall appearance is certainly evocative of the more recent Industry B3. But, evocative in appearance, only. I’ve had this one apart, and it’s not an early B3 variant. The innards are too different. I’m wondering if it’s a stablemate of sorts to that old Chinese sidelever I have — based on its simple design, good construction and decent barrel.

The new pellets actually produced a pretty good group for open sights. Certainly far better than the old. Verdict: Newer is better.

How do the totals tally up? I tested 15 guns, and of those 15 almost half (7) liked the older pellets better. The newer ones were favored by 4 guns, and the remaining 4 seem to think they were comparable.

The inescapable conclusion remains that these pellets are indeed significantly different despite their superficial similarities, and while some guns will shoot them well the fact is that if your gun liked the old pellets, there’s no guarantee that it will like the new ones. Lastly, based on this sample, they simply aren’t as good overall.

Look for a test of the .22 Gamo Match pellets next week.

46 thoughts on “More about Gamo Match pellets: Part 2”

  1. I know Crosman has been busy this past year bringing new products to market. However one item I expected to see announced at Shot wasn’t there. A few months ago at a Crosman field day someone snapped a photo of a “Tactical Marauder” rifle. This item should not be confused with the new Mar177 rifle. No the Tactical Marauder consisted of what appeared to be a Marauder based gun with a quad rail, an AR15 style pistol grip, and a narrow plastic butt stock. The weakest looking part was the butt stock (a collapsible stock would have been better), but overall it was a bad looking outfit.

    I have recently learned it was a one of a kind prototype built at the request of a police department, but never went into production. If anyone is interested in such an airgun I encourage you to drop Crosman a line. Bub

  2. Vince,

    Have you weighed, or measured the velocity, of the old versus new Gamo pellets to see if there are differences? Also, I wonder if you can provide close up pictures of the old and new.

    Did you do all of your testing with iron sights?


    • The real ‘Part 1’ to this series, the .22 tests, includes close-ups of the old and new pellets. No, I didn’t test velocity or weight – my primary concern is accuracy. All groups were shot at 10 meters.

        • Edith,

          Not a problem. What matters is that Vince did take the pictures, and we’ll eventually see them.

          This report is of particular interest to me because I did, in fact, buy 85 tins. I believe that, overall, my experience with the Gamo Match pellets has been a little better than Vinces. But the point of this report is to demonstrate the fact that something has changed. I have somewhat raved about these Gamo Match pellets before. If what I bought is a different animal than what Vince has found, then I’m glad that he’s tempering my enthusiasm with hard facts that everyone else should know about. A couple of times I was going to purchase a gun because of the great reviews that I had read in the past, only to find later that the manufacturer started cutting corners, and was now producing a significantly inferior product. These things apparently happen often enough. What Vince is doing is a real service to anyone who might have taken my opinion as absolutely true.

          When I first started to get back into shooting with air guns, I was mostly looking for something to shoot with my 397P. Then I bought a Gamo Compact. I saw a definite improvement when going from Crosman wadcutters to Gamo Match pellets. With the Crosman wadcutters, rather than see groups, I saw random patterns. With the Gamo Match pellets, I saw groups, maybe not the tightest, but definitely groups. That was good enough for me, at that time. Again, when you’re trying to re-learn the fundamentals, it’s good to know that there is a decent pellet, at a cheap price, for taking lots of shots.

          I like to take advantage of Pyramyd Airs buy 4, get one free, and free shipping for orders of $100 or more. If I go to the local Bass Pro sporting goods, I might pay 5 times as much for a tin of pellets. If I want to learn how to shoot a springer and master the fundamentals, at home (where I have limited space), I don’t want to have to worry about my supply of pellets. The Gamo Match pellets are incredibly cheap at $3.65 for a tin of 500. The cost at (3/4) * $3.65 = $2.74 for 500 pellets. To make the $100 price break for free shipping, I can buy 40 tins of 500 pellets at a cost of $109.60. That’s 20,000 pellets for just over $100. For the novice, like I was, this may still be a logical choice.


    • It’s encouraging that Virginia is considering giving back the rights of their citizens to shoot airguns in their homes and on their properties (as long as care is taken to insure that projectiles don’t leave their property). Now that the bill is out of committee we’ll see if it becomes law when it gets to the floor.


    • The sponsor of the bill is also on the state resources and conservation committe, which handles hunting regulations. I will dig deeper and send a thank-you email to the nine positive voters. Only one of the negative voters is on the natural resources and conservation committe, which is a good thing.
      In the bill, there was bit of blurring between the lines in that paintball guns were also discussed as penumatic guns for the purpose of this bill.

        • Brian,
          No, I didn’t get a chance to shoot it at Media Day, but if you go to http://www.crosman.com and look at the “News” list at the bottom left, you’ll see a link to Benjamin Rogue .357 at the range. It’s pretty good.

          I have put 1,000’s of rounds of various calibers thru my many prototypes over the past 3 years, though.

    • Thanks, Edith!

      The way I’ve been reading the Fairfax County law is that it is legal to discharge a ‘pneumatic’ gun in your own home so long as the projectile is entirely confined to the building. I am not particularly worried that Officer Krupke will show up on my doorstep over my target shooting indoors.

      On the other hand, I am fully aware that I cannot pop crows from my deck, shoot field target out of doors, nor even build a longer range by putting a target in my garage and then walking 30 yards down the driveway and shooting across my own property. Nor could I do so with a BB gun. I’m not even sure the new bill would cover shooting into my garage as I live on a lot that’s only 0.7 acre in size.

      What the heck; Sports Authority, K-Mart and Wally World in my end of the county don’t even sell pellet guns any longer in the county. Oh, they had one or two dusty shop-worn cartons left last December, but they weren’t planning on restocking. But they do have lots of airsoft stuff.

      • As long as no one knows about it how could you get in trouble for shooting inside YOUR house…
        I often shoot in the basement or in my very conveniently sized garage how could anyone know (or care) about what is happening in there? It’s probably illegal to do so and I should probably drive 45min (one way) to the closest range but it would be highly unpractical and I would end up never shooting any airgun (which is probably what “they” want).

        On another note I wrote to Umarex asking if we would someday get the very good looking Colt Combat Special Classic BB gun which is available in Europe and they sadly aren’t planning on importing it 🙁


        • J-F

          On that VERY good looking Colt you mentioned, I was considering doing the same only… I will write to the guys at Walther in Germany to get their input.

          That is a sweet looking pistol and is better finished than the Walther Colt that shoots pellets.

          • J-F

            PS there are some other BB pistols of similar quality available in Europe and the UK. A Dan Wesson revolver that outshines the S&W 586 and, actually uses “.357 cartridges” to hold the BBs. A CZ 75 look-alike (made by CZ) and an H&K duty pistol that also is a beauty. None of these here in the U.S. !

        • It’s not just that Officer Krupke might come to check out the range. It’s what happens if he sees the range when he comes to your place to check out something, anything else.

      • That is a really sad state of affairs. I shoot off my deck all the time. I would really hate it if it were made Illegal. I’m sure I would follow that law to the letter……………


    • You mean there was a question about this? I had assumed that whatever you did in your home was up to you except for something obviously hazardous like shooting firearms.


      • Even shooting firearms… I heard of Robert E. Petersen the famous mag publisher (petersen publishing) had large concrete cylinder (I don’t know the exact name for those things) put up at his California home to test firearms for himself or one of his many mag. I’m sure he’s not the only one to have an inside shooting range legal or not. If your not telling anyone about it and no one can hear you how would someone find out?

  3. Vince, thanks for this informative stream of reports.

    I had noticed that there are a mix of configurations with the Gamo Match pellets and other Gamo pellets too. I didn’t notice it when firing single shot guns but, when loading the Walther 8 shots mags it is readily apparent that the “hollow” in the skirt end of the pellet is sometimes deeper and more contoured to the overall shape of the pellet, and other times it has a flat surface on the interior just past the waist.

    I haven’t weighed these pellets but, it would seem that the pellets with the flat would weigh more than those that are more hollow? I’m guessing that the weight distribution along the axis is different too?

  4. Cheers for the HW30, one of my favorites.

    Victor, fascinating story. I was actually skeptical of the role of fitness in shooting despite everything that Nancy Tompkins said about it. She is not the picture of an athlete in her photos. What did you think about the Camp Perry experience? It has crossed my mind to attend just to see what it’s about. Sorry to hear about your accident, but perhaps the shooting could be therapeutic. You must have learned a great deal about technique and competition shooting. Do tell when it comes to mind.


    • Matt61,

      There is one important detail that gets lost in the discussion regarding performance, IF all you go by is scores, because scores do NOT tell the whole story. That detail is clothing, and more importantly, the kind of shooting jacket that one uses. I shot strictly by ISU rules, even when competing in NRA matches. For all practical purposes, there are almost no rules for NRA competition, so shooters wear jackets that lock the body down from neck to below the hip. These jackets are thick, stiff, and have lots of straps. Shooters who wear these jackets can continue to shoot well into their 80’s, and some do, especially if you only shoot prone. I would imagine that these jackets also minimize the need to be in good condition, as they effectively allow you to lock into a steady position.

      When I competed, jackets had to be loose, thin, and flexible. At the international tryouts (Pan American Games, World Championships, Olympics, etc.), all of your equipment was measured. They used a gauge to thoroughly measure the thickness of your jacket, including folded, and a kneeling role had to fall through your jacket when buttoned up (they dropped it in at the neck). In fact, they applied the gauge to both your jacket and sweatshirt (in general, whatever you were going to use in the competition). They individually measured any padding (e.g., elbow pads, and shoulder pads, sling pads, etc.). Your boots are measured for thickness and height, so that they provided minimum support. Similarly, your pants were also checked. NRA rules allow you to wear ski boots, or whatever you feel will lock you down.

      In addition to this, while on the line, you might be randomly checked for shooting position. Unlike NRA rules, in ISU, your position could not be too low. A triangle was placed at your extended (slinged) arm to make sure that you were above the minimum angle. I believe that NRA rules mask a shooters natural ability (or lack of). On the other hand, because shooting is much more than just being able to hold a gun still, some shooters were great because they were smart enough to learn how to manage wind. Position shooting definitely requires body control, so it definitely helps to be a good shape. But even if you are in great shape, and have the best equipment and gun, you still have to overcome YOURSELF. When you are actually competing for a championship, and not just another shooter, the game because VERY mental.

      The first time I competed in the US Internationals with my new ISU jacket, they deemed the inner lining canvas to be too thick and stiff, so I had to take a knife to it to remove all of that inner lining. My jacket became nothing by soft leather with very little support. I tied for second in the first match, which was prone (3 days of shooting, 600 points each), so I just left the jacket alone.

      ISU shooters tend to be very fit. I don’t know of any exceptions. You really can’t tell by looking at someone whether they are fit or not. Some people are naturally large, including the mid-section. Witness Lones Wigger. But he is not unfit.

      Modern ISU shooting clothes seem to break all of the rules that existed when I competed. They are EXTREMELY stiff. I bought a jacket recently and can’t believe that it could be legal. A buddy of mine recently told me at the SHOT show that there is a great debate about modern clothing (shoes, pants, and jackets). Shooters are now, almost routinely, shooting 398’s to 400’s in air rifle, but that is mostly because of the new clothes, I’m not so impressed.

      I’m much more impressed with air-gun shooters like B.B., and Mac (no kidding).

      When you are NOT strapped down, your pulse is MUCH more obvious. Most of us air-gunners do not wear special clothes, so we are exposed to our bodies limitations and interruptions. That’s why I recommend getting in decent shape. Walking can do this for you.

      In closing, I was taught that the reason for being fit was so that your body did not become a distraction.


    • Regarding Camp Perry, I loved it. Lots of very fond memories. Very windy with occasional rain. You really have to stay on top of your equipment. WD-40 is one of your best friends. Definitely need a tarp because you may have to stay on the line while it rains. Targets can handle a little moisture, but if it rains for too long, they effectively become cereal, and the match gets postponed. Perry Ohio is a nice little town. However, being by the lake, you’re going to have to deal with lots of mosquito’s.

      The best advice that I was given for my first national match, the US Internationals, was to not sweat it. I was told that there was no way that I could win my first time there, so the purpose of that first trip was to get experience, and nothing more.

    • One last thing. I highly recommend the book

      Ways of the Rifle

      By Gaby Buhlmann, Heinz Reinkemeier, Maik Eckhardt, and Bill Murray.

      I have the older 2002 edition (ISBN 3-00-009478-4)
      I buddy of mine loaned this to me, so I order him the newest edition from Champions Choice.

      • The Ways of the Rifle has some great tips. It’s targeted (pun intended) more for completely geared (head to foot) target shooters. As Victor said, Champions Choice was the cheapest place I could find the 2009 edition. Champions Choice also did a great job in re-sealing my LGR-Universal.

        I sure wish Pyramyd Air would carry these or have them made and sell them. I think these are the neatest things since pellet tins were invented.


          • Mrs. Gaylord,

            As usual you’ve nailed it.

            The previous tin protectors I had (like the H& N that PA carries) were colored and wouldn’t allow you to see the type of pellets contained within.

            Although I xeroxed the tops of pellet tins, cut them out, glued them on (glue didn’t work long) the subsequently taped them on the xerox copies got cut, dirty, ripped etc. The new clear tin protectors are the cats meow.

            Can’t stand the tape that is supposed to keep the tin shut over it’s useful life. Tape loses its’ tackiness, blows away, gets forgotten, etc. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has had two or more tins of pellets spill during transportation. Such fun sorting two or more tins of pellets back into their tins when you arrive at your shooting spot. None of that happens to me anymore. Once I open a tin of pellets the tape goes in the trash and the pellet container goes into a plastic sleeve. One more thing. These plastic sleeves never wear out.


            • Kevin,

              You and I are definitely birds of a feather. I too would sit and sort pellets if I got them mixed up. Not everyone would care enough to do that. When it comes to shooting, we see no obstacles. As I’ve said before, “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off of the goal”. If we intend to shoot, we’re going to shoot!


          • Victor,

            You’re showing a lot of evidence of being a shooting fanatic. I think we could become friends very quickly.

            What airgun are you currently shooting the most?


            • Kevin,

              That’s a tough question. I really do cycle through each rifle. Each gives me a little more insight, and that translates into useful information that I can test with another rifle. I would say that the one rifle that I spent the most amount of time with was my Gamo CFX. But lately I’ve shot it the least.

              On the weekends I go out to the desert, where I shoot 50 to 100 yards. For that, I shoot my two .22’s (Crosman Titan and Gamo Hunter Extreme). I don’t have any bad rifles. All have proven to be very accurate, even though they started out not appearing to be. However, they all feel different, both in hold and trigger. I make improvements on the most difficult rifle, and then cycle through the rest to prove that I’ve actually learned something new.

              With my springers, the biggest challenge is squeezing the trigger consistently. The issue is how I bring my finger back so that other muscles don’t influence (disrupt) my sight alignment. If done correctly, I squeeze the trigger back such that my finger remains perpendicular to the blade until the shot goes off. If done wrong, I drag my finger back at an angle to the blade (some of my finger in front of the blade, and some behind it), which involves more muscles. Because these triggers tend to have excessive travel (which tests your patience and concentation), the trick is to NOT focus so much on the trigger, and more on the follow through (i.e., focus on holding the bullseye even after the shot goes off). Master the trigger squeeze and follow through, and you’ve arrived.

              I try to shoot every day, and when I do, I do so for at least 3 hours. Yes, I’m a shooting junkie. IF I allowed myself to start shooting at Sun-up, I really could shoot until Sun-down. When I first got my FWB 700 ALU, I shot it in the prone position until my body ached. That never phased me.


              • Victor,

                The similarities between us are scary. I’m seriously concerned about you. LOL!

                I too seem to spend the most time with a gun that I’m having issues with. Once the problems are sorted out I put the gun away and with rare exception don’t shoot it much. I’m off to the next gun issue that usually I’ve created.

                I know what you mean when you say you could shoot from sun up to sundown. When I host airgun shoots it’s amazing how quickly 6-7 hours of shooting flys by.

                Haven’t been able to shoot a lot lately since our Colorado weather won’t cooperate. Had some nice weather today and spent 45 minutes shooting two guns that don’t have any issues anymore. My style of a coffee break. Recharges me, clears my head and allows me to better focus on work.

                Fairly dramatic differences between the triggers on a P700, Gamo CFX, Crosman Titan and Gamo Hunter Extreme.

                Do you own any pcp’s other than the P700?


              • Kevin,

                No, I don’t have any other PCP’s. When the weather is too cold to stay outside, I shoot from inside the house. I crack the sliding door open and insert an empty rifle box at the top. I use a couple of small bungee cords to hold the door closed with enough pressure to keep the empty cardboard box suspended. One cord is touching the bottom of the box, the other is about 6 inches below that. I hang a towel over the bottom bungee cord and seal the space below. The box is approximately 5 inches deep, so this gives me 6″x5″ opening to shoot at a target 10 meters away. With the scope zoomed, I see my targets perfectly. Weather can’t stop me.


      • Reinkemeier has another book out that’s more to the point: “Air Rifle Shooting.” I know you can get it from centershot.com, but I don’t know how their price compares to any other source. It’s been a big help to me.


  5. J-F,

    You posted a comment 2 times. Once under your own name & once as anonymous. Both ended up in the spam folder. I was unaware that you were not whitelisted, but you are now. The spam filter didn’t like the link you gave to umarexusa.com 🙂 The spam filter has a mind of its own. You won’t be labeled as spam, again.


    • hi edith,

      my name is debbie. i have an old crossman M1 bb air rifle. have no idea what it’s worth or how to classify the condition. i am new to this site and have been trying to find a way to email tom with some pictures of it to see if he could help me out. the gun was given to me by my uncle and he has since passed away. i do not just want to sell it to anybody. it is sentimental. but if the day should come and i find a worthy collector, i may sell it down the line. i would just like to get an idea of how much it’s worth and what the condition would be considered. can you help?

      thanks, debbie

      • Debbie,

        I will be happy to help you find out about your uncle’s airgun.

        First question: is the stock (the part in which the metal parts of the gun are held) made of wood or plastic? The plastic stocks look a lot like wood, but you should be able to tell the difference.

        The condition doesn’t matter as much as you think. These guns exist as excellent, average or poor, as far as condition goes. People don’t divide them much beyond that.

        Look at the front of the barrel, just behind the front sight. Usually it will be worn somewhat shiny, from the hands of the person who cocked it. That would be an average gun. If the finish is still dark blue, then it’s excellent. And I’m sure you can imagine what a poor one would look like.

        Does your gun still have a BB magazine? It is a small metal box that hangs down under the gun near the trigger.

        Does it still shoot? Load a few (5 or 6) steel BBs into the loading port on top of the gun. The port is the hole that opens when you pull back on the little handle on the right side of the gun. Cock the gun by pulling back on the barrel until you hear a click and the barrel doesn’t spring forward any more. It is hard to cock this gun but do not put any part of your hand over the muzzle, which is the hole at the end of the barrel. When the gun fires, that is where the BB comes out at high speed, and a broken gun can fire at any time.

        You can buy BBs in the sporting good section of any Wal-Mart. Buy steel BBs, not the plastic balls also called BBs that are also sold in that section.

        Get back to me with the results of all this and I will help you with the value of your new BB gun.


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