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Education / Training Gamo PT-85 Blowback Tactical air pistol: Part 1

Gamo PT-85 Blowback Tactical air pistol: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Gamo’s PT85 Blowback Tactical air pistol is a lot of gun for the money.

The Gamo PT-85 Blowback Tactical air pistol is a different air pistol in several ways that I will describe to you today. For starters, the most dramatic difference that strikes me is this pistol has a 12-inch barrel! You read that correctly, a 12-inch barrel. So, when Gamo makes the claim of being the fastest CO2 pellet pistol around, they have done their homework to make it so. The extra-long barrel means additional “burn” time to the gas, which is really extra acceleration time in the barrel. Carbon dioxide is a relatively sluggish gas that needs a longer time to act on the base of the pellet because of its lower pressure. With just 850 psi at 70 degrees F, it has about one-half or less the pressure of air found in a precharged pneumatic gun, plus the large CO2 molecule moves more slowly through the valve than the much smaller atoms found in air. In recent testing reported on the internet, a barrel length of 16 inches was found to be about optimum for CO2, as far as terminal velocity is concerned. That was with the valve in the gun that was being tested, but the valve in the PT85 pistol is certainly in the same class.

Putting a 12-inch barrel in a CO2 pistol is a great way to maximize the muzzle velocity. They conceal it beneath a fake silencer. Remove the silencer, and about seven inches of unfinished steel barrel protrude from the muzzle.

Yes, there really is a 12-inch barrel concealed by the fake silencer.

The second remarkable feature of this pistol is that there’s a front sight under the wraparound Picatinny quad rail. Not that one in 10 owners will ever use it, but it’s there. It has the mandatory dot to align with the two on the rear sight. These are tactical sights, and you use them by aligning all three dots while placing the center dot on the desired point of impact. You can do that with the fake silencer in place, so in effect, you get two different pistols when you buy this one. One has a quad rail and a tactical flashlight, laser and a dot sight with red, green and blue dots of varying illumination intensities. Why they left out the bayonet is beyond me.

Here’s a sight you never see. The front sight of the pistol, visible only when the quad rail is removed. It can be used with the fake silencer installed.

The other pistol configuration is without the quad rail, using the conventional open sights. So the owner has a choice of just how much bling to bring to the fling.

The third major feature is one I’ve seen before, but not often. The magazine that fits into the grip is double-ended and each end contains an 8-round circular clip. You have 16 rounds on hand when the gun is fully loaded. All you have to do is remove the clip and flip it to the other end to get the final 8 shots.

A double-ended stick magazine holds eight pellets in each end.

The owner’s manual
Gamo promises 560 f.p.s. for this pistol. Although the too-brief owner’s manual remains silent on the subject, the cover of the box explains that this is done with Gamo Platinum PBA .177 pellets, of which they’ve included 50 with the gun.

I’ll test the pistol for both velocity and accuracy with PBA pellets and lead pellets. With a 12-inch barrel, I expect to see remarkable velocities with both types.

I’m going to blast the thin owner’s manual of this pistol for several weaknesses and errors. First, in the “How to install the CO2 cartridge” section in the manual there are too few words and none that help. They do not show how the grip is separated to access the loading area. So I’ll tell you. Just grasp the lower portion of plastic grip in one hand while holding the pistol in the other. The pull is straight apart and very hard, because there’s a locking tab at the top of the smaller part to be overcome.

Pull the small plastic bottom part away from the grip. It’s hard to remove because a tab holds it in place.

The section on how to load pellets is similarly thin and graphic-oriented. These graphics are also weak. If you can’t figure out how to load the magazine, don’t look to the owner’s manual for help. Let me show you.

On either end of the stick magazine, there’s a circular 8-shot clip. Push in pellets from the back side until they’re flush with the cylinder.

General description
The Gamo PT-85 Blowback Tactical air pistol is both a single- and double-action handgun. The weight is given as 2.32 lbs. but with all the different accessories and pistol configurations, that will change as the gun does.

The finish is matte black, and your hand touches plastic almost exclusively. Only the trigger, slide and silencer are metal. The double-ended magazine is plastic, too.

First impression
I think this pistol will be received very well by younger shooters, because it embodies the design features that have come to be expected in a modern tactical sidearm. And the accessories are over the top at the price.

Personally, I hope the gun is accurate and as powerful as advertised.

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.

67 thoughts on “Gamo PT-85 Blowback Tactical air pistol: Part 1”

      • Thanks for the reply.

        I think you need to look at a PX4 for yourself. All the locking roll pins are in the same positions as the PX4. The safety on the right is identical. The screw under the trigger on the right hand side is in the same position. The magazine is identical which implies the action might be the same.

        Something’s not right 😉

          • And Crosman C11 looks a LOT like some of umarex pistols.
            Same mag as the beretta elite II same safety as a lot of umarex pistol with the barrel serving double duty as the hammer hitting the valve like on the colt defender.


            • To some extant, that doesn’t surprise me…

              My first CP99 had Crosman imprints on the slide and box (and as I recall, no German Pentagon-F).

              The recent replacement* CP99 has Umarex imprints.

              *First one had some glitch with the pressure/wedge safety, the trigger action bar, and the “disconnector” spring on said bar. The spring had popped out of the groove in the bottom of the bar, resulting in dings on the edge of the groove, binding of the bar (had to push the trigger forward to re-engage — assuming the bar moved far enough upwards to engage the sear. I managed to partly recover it by disassembly, a light file/stoning on the edge of the groove, and a tedious hour or so of trying to reassemble the set without having the spring fall out of the groove again. Still has a tendency for the first trigger pull after releasing the safety to just go “click”. Gave that one to a former neighbor (where it sounds like he’s using it to terrorize the mice in his complex).

          • It may be possible that Umarex and Gamo are both buying these pistols from a third-party Japanese supplier. The PT-85 is marked “Made in Japan for Gamo”, not “Made in Japan by Gamo”.

  1. There’s a guy selling something very similar for the SteelStorm on youtube (he has no web site) it’s a barrel extension hidden insde a fake silencer. Sounds like a good plan to me. They should make more of these.

    Since it’s a pellet pistol the barrel isn’t a smoothbore right? So the accuracy could possibly be interesting, hmmm.


    • Don’t forget it’s a blow back – it’s going to have accuracy problems… I have the PX4 storm, it’s a great trainer pistol for new firearm shooters. It favors the RWS SuperMag 9.0gn pellets… the extra weight settles the gun down and gets decent accuracy.

        • Vibration and recoil. The barrel isn’t inherently inaccurate but your hold becomes more important when there’s mechanical forces acting on the gun as the pellet exits the barrel.

          On the plus side – I love the PX4 Storm for training new firearm shooters. The slide, recoil, and noise prepare them for the real thing. The 8 sights are perfect for teaching someone how to aim. And a good hold and stance. This PT85 may be just as good for learning/training.

          If you get this gun – pick up RWS Supermag 9.0gn pellets along with a few others. I found the Supermag settled the PX4 down and I believe the PT85 is the same guts.

  2. I like this. Including PBA is a cool idea. If they had included a CO2 cart as well you could go pig hunting just a couple minutes after you take it out of the box !!!!


    • twotalon,

      Pig hunting? “Let me see, did I pack everything?… pistol… pellets… CO2… Pelgunoil… chest protector… helmet… Honey have you seen my goalie pads?”


  3. B.B. Looks like a fun little pistol so far. What is the Picatinny rail made of? This gun screams action pistol and a little red dot would be a blast if the rail could support one. Bub

  4. I actually just bought the Gamo PT-85 Socom from PyramydAir and got mine on Saturday. This is the first time I bought something before B.B.’s review. The Benjamin Discovery and the Hammerli 490 Express I picked up after reading the reviews from B.B. While I will let B.B. run through the courses with this pistol I do want to say I don’t regret buying this gun.

    And something I’m looking forward to later on is this /product/smith-wesson-m-p-r8-co2-bb-revolver?m=2459

    Now if we can a Colt SA Army in the works.

  5. Thoughts on CO2:

    In the old days I had little luck with any CO2 arm: leaky seals, noise, cost of gas, low power, and so on. However the new stuff does appear to have solved most of these issues.

    While I believe he is officially retired, Rich in Mich did recently tuned a TF 79 for me. In addition to the tune he added height to the riser so that any 9 oz paint ball tank would work with it. At $2.00 a fill for 500 to 600 shots I am surprised none of the major players offer guns that are set up this way. Perhaps they just want the 12 or 88 gram cartridge sales?

    The other surprise was the power; the .22 rifle now gets over 18 ft lbs with heavy pellets! Since factory rifles are usually 6 to 12 ft lbs there appears to be a huge opportunity here. Not sure how Rich does it, but I would guess it could be duplicated.

    To summarize, Crosman or Gamo should build a 16-18 ft lb CO2 rifle that uses 9 oz paint ball tanks with a shrouded barrel and doesn’t leak.

    Gotta believe it could be a real winner.

    • B.B. Thanks. I just jumped over to PyramydAir retail page and they have two long barrel PT-85s listed. The SOCOM model which comes only with a Picatinny rail and a Tactical model that comes with dot, light, and laser. The SOCOM model is listed in your report, so you must be reviewing the Tactical model. Bub

  6. That magazine looks exactly like the PX 4. Markings, notches, imprints, all exact. Since the PX-4 is made for Umarex in Japan. Maybe Gamo, sources the mags there too?

  7. Hi BB,
    Thanks for your earlier advice regarding the IZH 46m vs the Daisy 7×7 series. I’ve decided to opt for the Daisy 747 as soon as it’s back in stock in two weeks.

    I’ve been reading your blog 24/7 since then and I think I might pick up a rifle to go with it, so I was wondering if you could let me know how the following stack up in terms of quietness.

    You’ve already recommended the IZH 61, which I do like, although the looks are a bit too “tactical” for my tastes. I’ve also been looking at the Daisy 953 (which you’ve mentioned to be a bit louder than the IZH), the Weihrauch HW30S (which is honestly too expensive), and some Weihrauch alternatives such as the Air Venturi Bronco (no mention on sound, but I like it) and the Hammerli 490 (which you’ve also mentioned being quiet). I believe you’ve also said previously that the Daisy 499 bb gun is quiet as well, although I’m less enamored by it.

    Thank you again for your help, I’m impressed by your dedication in helping readers of your blog.

    • Matt,
      I have both the 953 and the Bronco. Both are excellent, inexpensive rifles. The Bronco is a break barrel spring rifle and the 953 is a single pump pneumatic. Very difficult to do a fair comparison because they have such different engines. Both will give you very good accuracy for plinking and target. However, if you want a little more preciseness for entry level 10m competition, I’d recommend the 953. Remember the Bronco will require some application of the Artillery Hold where the 953 doesn’t. The 953 has a little more activity in the charging effort: pump handle once, cock bolt. Not a biggie but different from Bronco charging: break the barrel, insert pellet, close barrel. If I remember right I think the Bronco has an automatic safety where the 953 doesn’t.

  8. Matt,

    Two rifles you listed stand out from the others. The Daisy 953 and the Bronco.

    The Bronco is more accurate than the 490, has a better trigger and is built better. The 953 is quiet and accurate, but the Bronco has the better trigger and is faster to cock and load. Both are very quiet.

    Forget the 499, which is a BB gun. You would be shooting at 16 feet, only. Unless you like target shooting, only, get the 953 or the Bronco.


    • Thank you again, I’m leaning towards the Bronco. Do you have any experience with the HW25L or the Diana Schutze? It seems like the Bronco has a better trigger than the two, but they’re both German and don’t cost considerably more.

  9. Interesting gun. I will pass along my experience with the Walther Nighthawk which is that I use the gun almost exclusively as a bare pistol without any accessories. Why? Because I like to practice snap shooting with the regulation sights, and the pistol handles quicker without accessories. I will say, though, that if my range had better lighting, I would make more use of the red dot sight which is pretty cool. Right now, the sight is too dark to look through without eyestrain. I’ll also say that I like the feature of having regular sights work with the silencer which you cannot do with the Nighthawk. The silencer has a cool James Bond look.

    KidAgain and others, thanks for your comments on headspacing. I’m keen on doing this because the secret to the fabulous Savage accuracy is controlling the headspacing. (KA tell us about your Savage 99 and congratulations on your grandchild). But they do it in the manufacturing process by screwing the barrel down on top of a headspace gauge. Still, if I can get a little more headspacing precision out of seating my bullets correctly why not. Mike, very interesting idea about taking measurements from the muzzle. Now why didn’t I think of that. However, I don’t know that any marking method on a rod that I could do could achieve the necessary precision. The Lyman 49th ed. manual gives maximum case length for a 30-06 as 3.494 inches and trim-to length as 3.484 inches. That’s 1/100 of an inch difference. I guess if I work within those tolerances I will be okay, and I will save the super precision stuff for later.

    As for Libya, my concern is that I don’t recall us ever being involved in three wars at the same time although I don’t know that Iraq now quite meets the usual definition of a hot war. What I like about the Libyan intervention is the idea that the U.N. is actually working the way it is supposed to by banding together to restrain a madman. Tarzan himself advised this in one of the novels where he told the apes that when he was away, if any ape tried to tyrannize the others that the rest of the apes should gang up to stop them, and so they did in one case, later, jumping a bad ape and expelling him from the tribe. Less directly, some have speculated that by keeping the Middle East revolutions alive, we may be opening the door to democracy and helping to break the cycle of conflict and fundamentalism in that region. Far-fetched perhaps but popular power demonstrated its effectiveness in bringing down the Iron Curtain, and if someone has a better idea to improve things in the Middle East, they should step forward….

    Bub, glad to hear your perspective on the AR-15. Actually, I don’t disagree with anything you said. The design is very reliable if maintained properly which means regular cleaning and lubrication. (The only exception to this is heating of the bolt and receiver which can get hot enough to sizzle steak. This is supposed to wear out parts prematurely.) In terms of accuracy, I think that you’re actually underestimating the platform with 3-4 MOA. All the service rifle teams have adopted the AR-15 and they can’t all be wrong. And apparently the AR-15 design in 5.56 is even dominant out to 1000 yards with 70-80 gr. bullets (even though they can only be single-loaded). I would say that for service rifle competition and rapid fire varmint hunting, like rapidly exterminating prairie dog towns, the AR-15 cannot be beaten.

    My gripes are with the military applications. (Granted that unlike many of you, I’ve never been in a combat situation and don’t expect to be. But I can be an armchair historian. :-)) While the reliability of the AR-15 is adequate for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting, I don’t see it as sufficient for the military. I don’t see how it could have worked at the Chosin Reservoir where the rifles had to be fired dry and there was no time to clean them, and the rifle’s record in the desert has not been good. I’m also not convinced that the 5.56 round is adequate in terms of range or power. More abstractly, I’m not taken with the aesthetics of the design which is more a matter of concept than literal looks. The AK-47 has a clear purpose, a combination of submachine gun and battle rifle optimized for firepower at medium range. That makes sense. But what is the M-16? A small round designed originally for full-auto then increased in weight for greater accuracy which is not really relevant at the short distances it was designed for. A rifle with the piston system removed for lightness and simplicity that gains unnecessary accuracy while sacrificing crucial combat reliability. And a weapon designed for close combat that is ergonomically designed for shooting but is almost unusable for hand-to-hand fighting and too fragile to give or take a serious impact. There are some great ideas in the AR-15 design such as its straight line stock, modularity and some ergonomic concepts, but overall the design seems ad hoc and doesn’t make much sense to me.

    In another note, I am deep into a YouTube documentary of John Browning’s guns. What a genius. And it’s interesting that the classic Browning design was simple, clean, reliable, and strong like the Kalashnikov design. I reached the part where after 20 years of cooperation and 40 successful designs, Winchester let Browning go because he asked for royalties on the Browning Auto 5 shotgun (a truly revolutionary design) instead of the usual lump sum payment. How about that as a legacy? Letting go of the greatest gun designer in history because of shortsightedness and greed. There is my answer of why not to invest in the shooting sports–an answer which has actually been all over the blog: corporate stupidity. You never know what a corporation is going to do with the bottom-line profit mentality and whatever a random group of people might be bringing to the table. A perfectly good product like the IZH 61 suddenly gets changed for no reason at all. That’s it. I’m back to the land of mutual funds.


  10. Hosted another airgun shoot at my place yesterday. Weather was perfect. I really enjoy the opportunity to shoot other peoples guns.

    For logistical reasons we only shot out to 30 yards yesterday.

    In springers and match guns the FWB300 mini shot the smallest group once scopes were switched. It shot the smallest group with a burris timberline set on 14x. No, I didn’t shoot the group. Smallest group I shot was with the LGR with a scope set at 21X. For the purists amongst you I know you just winced at the thought of a 21x scope on an LGR LOL! The 300 mini beat the LGR, LGVO and even the 300S. Guess I just can’t shoot anymore.

    My AA S410 shot the smallest group. No, my smallest group with my gun got beat by someone else shooting my gun. Yes, it was a humbling day for me. The AA S410, in my hands, beat my new daystate, in my hands. It became crystal clear yesterday that the daystate has to go back for some warranty work. Hopefully it will come back shooting better.

    One of the shooters yesterday announced that he was shopping for a new pcp carbine. Everyone shared advice and we took a shooting break and came in and got on the Pyramyd AIR website.

    He likes my AA S410 rifle but prefers the shorter carbine length.

    It’s interesting to note that PA no longer has the AA S410 carbine with the walnut thumbhole stock. It APPEARS to have been replaced with the AA S510 carbine with walnut thumbhole stock. I spent almost a half hour on the phone with Erica at PA to ascertain what the difference was between the S410 carbine with thumbhole stock and S510 carbine with thumbhole stock (other than painting a 5 where the 4 used to be). She’s fairly sure nothing has changed and so am I but until this is definately confirmed by someone (B.B.?) this undoubtedly will create great confusion with potential customers. Since the AA S410 carbine was such a hit it would be nice to know that it can still be purchased as the AA S510 (if this is true??).


    • Kevin,

      Might I humbly suggest contacting Air Arms?

      I know FX always answered my e-mails, even if the English was a little off. Heck, so is mine most of the time. Should not be an issue for AA.

      “Straight from the horses mouth”

      • Volvo,

        Hope all is well.

        I’ve gone as far as I’m going to help my friend in his quest for a new pcp carbine. He’s on his own now. I told him in an email that he may get an answer here or to wait a few days and contact Pyramyd AIR again when they’ve had a chance to sort this out. Besides, I suspect PA has a red phone hooked directly to Air Arms.


  11. I have the SOCOM PT 85 so I can add my own sights etc. to the rails. They don’t mention how the get 560ft/s on websites so I asked them. I know the additional length of the barrel is going to add some velocity but, my CP88 Comp will shoot the same pellet at 500-520ft/s. And heavier normal 7-8gr. at +-450ft/s. So they added 7 more inches of barrel and get 40-60fr/s more, big deal, I do like the gun though and while it is a real gun, shoots fast, will kill varmits I don’t find the need for the big heavy steel slide to blowback and it does so pretty hard. I would much rather have the extra ft/s from the C02 cartridge than a fake blowback which doesn’t even expose the barrel like a powder auto because of the fake silencer, which I like to especially because it is semi functional at it hides the barrel, nothing more embarrassing than a 4 inch barrel gun with fake plastic silencer IMHO.

    I can’t find if but if someone doesn’t believe me I’ll did it up, When I was looking at the SOCOM I sent Gammo an email and asked them about the 560ft/s rating and how it is determined. I told them my CP 80 will shoot those PBA pellets at 500 ft/s. I got a reply back the next day and he told me all their gun are tested with a standard everyday 7-8gr pellet.

    Well I thought that was pretty good the and I went out and bought the gun. It wasn’t until today after reading this post that I find out the guy flat out lied to me as it says right on the box 560ft/s with the Platinum PBA pellet.

    P’ed Off


  12. Hi

    My pt85 tactical arrived today, tested it out straight away. It is an amazing gun. Even thought I am quite new to shooting, may I ask is it posible for me to strip down the rail and the barrel to make it the standard pt85?

    • Romeo,

      No, your barrel extends through the fake silencer, so it can’t be removed without exposing several inches of thin steel barrel. The rails can come off, but the gun will look odd with the silencer still attached.


  13. The pistol is just dandy and all, I’m much more interested in the quad rail it comes with. It’s obvious that it’s detachable, but I’m much more curious whether or not if it would be compatible with my Beretta PX-4 Storm .40 Compact. The under-rail length of this pistol seems to be the same length as mine, however, it looks like I’d have to chop off the hind section of the bottom rail of this rail system as well as chop out a small bit around the ejection slot area of the rail system to prevent cartridge ejection problems with my pistol. I got an Eotech XPS-2 Holosight I’ve been dying to attach to my pistol since I got rid of the rifle I had it on.

    Unless anyone knows of a/the company that makes a quad rail system for pistols. Been searching for weeks and still can’t find anyone selling/producing quad rail systems for pistols.

    • Dave,

      I am not familiar with the laws that govern airguns in Iran. If you don’t know where to get them, then they may not be available.

      If that is the case let me ask you — are catapults (also called slingshots) legal in Iran? If so, I may have a project gun that you can build and shoot without a problem.


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