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Ammo Gamo Whisper CFR: Part 2

Gamo Whisper CFR: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Tested by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1

Gamo CFR underlever air rifle.

Well, we tested the BSA Polaris and found it to be a likable underlever air rifle. Now, we’re testing the Gamo Whisper CFR combo, which I said is a close cousin to the Polaris. But it’s not the same rifle, as today’s report will demonstrate.

The first point Mac makes is that the CFR cocks with 40 lbs. of effort, compared to the Polaris’ 26 lbs. He also said there’s no distinct feeling of an end to the cocking stroke. He felt it was iffy at first, before he learned to trust that the gun had cocked itself. Mac also found the cocking effort to be difficult, while I found the Polaris to be easy. So, these are different rifles, for sure.

Mac also says he found the rotary breech to be a challenge, while I found it fairly easy to use. It’s not as easy as a breakbarrel, of course, but this is a fixed-barrel rifle.

The velocitites
The first pellet Mac tested was the JSB Exact heavy that weighs 10.2 grains. It averaged 744 f.p.s., with a spread from 715 to 763 f.p.s. — 48 f.p.s. spread. That’s fairly broad. At the average spread, the energy is 12.55 foot-pounds. A spring-piston airgun will usually produce lower energy figures with heavier pellets.

The next pellet tested was the JSB Exact dome that weighs 8.4 grains. The spread was a huge 53 f.p.s. — from 836 f.p.s. to 891. At the average velocity, the energy was 11.9 foot-pounds, or a little less than the heavier Exact gave. That is an excerption to the rule of lighter pellets being more efficient in spring-piston guns.

Next, Mac tried RWS Superdomes. In .177 caliber, they weigh 8.3 grains, and in this rifle they averaged 868 f.p.s. The spread was even larger at 55 f.p.s. and went from 836 to 891 f.p.s. At the average speed, they produced 13.87 foot-pounds, which is more than the heavy JSBs and right on target, where they ought to be.

The next pellet Mac tried was a 4.7-grain Gamo PBA Platinum pellet. The 4.7-grain Platinum pellet averaged 1063 f.p.s., with an enormous 178 f.p.s. spread that went from 931 to 1119 f.p.s. At the average velocity, the rifle was generating 11.8 foot-pounds at the muzzle. Normally, lightweight pellets do much better in springers, but these non-lead trick pellets are very hard and have a lot of friction.

Mac was really wringing this rifle out for you, so he also tested the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. It averaged 902 f.p.s. with a tight 17 foot-second spread that ran from 894 to 911 f.p.s.

Since he tested the Premier lite pellet, he decided to also test the heavy 10.5-grain Crosman Premier pellet. They averaged 766 f.p.s., with a 21 f.p.s. spread from 756 to 777 f.p.s. At the average velocity they produced 13.67 foot-pounds at the muzzle, which is surprisingly efficient for such a heavy pellet.

The results
So, the Whisper CFR is quite a bit more powerful than the Polaris. That’s going to make it more difficult to shoot, so the accuracy test should prove interesting.

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.

45 thoughts on “Gamo Whisper CFR: Part 2”

  1. Morning B.B.,

    I’m really waiting to hear about the airgun collection you and Mac were looking at. It’s gotta be a good one to get you flying back here to take a look at with Mac.

    Seems like this Gamo CFR under lever has a velocity spread that’s going to possibly compromise the potential accuracy of the gun. I’m waiting and watching to see how she shoots.


    • Bruce

      I dunno. Those CPLs look not to be too shabby with an extreme spread of just 17 fps. And moving along at a nice speed as well. If this rifle does turn out to be a shooter, I’m thinking it will be with those pellets. Also you have to consider this is a new rifle, and it is likely to settle a bit, once the bacon fat, or whatever they use for lube over there burns off. Makes no difference to me, as you could not give me this thing even if it drilled every pellet into the same hole, and you cut off my arms and had it surgically implanted. I just can’t stand the looks of it. I’m as shallow as the saucer for a tea-cup, I know.

  2. twotalon,
    I’m coming west on 224 from Akron. I really look forward to this show every year. Though I’ve got nothing on my “must have” list, I can’t fathom not attending. Irons in the fire. I can relate. After the Findlay show, I hope to hit the Medina gun show on the way home.

    Hope to see you there.

    Maybe Volvo will make a guest appearance, too. (that’s a plea)


    • derrick

      Best of luck to you on your quest. I will be eagerly looking forward to reading all about it on AAB.

      You, Volvo, and twotalon all in the same room? Sounds like trouble looking for a place to happen.

      Happy hunting.

    • You will get within a few miles of my house. I am just south of Tiffin on SR 100.
      Glad I did not buy a house in Tiffin. They have the typical gun laws you find in incorporated villages/cities…
      No discharging firearms within city limits. Sounds reasonable, right?
      Then they go on to define firearm. Anything that propels any kind of projectile by any means.
      Think about that one and what it could be applied to at the whim of a city cop.


      • Pea shooters. Spitballs (they don’t say, do they, that the firearm must be factory-made; so it could be a kid’s mouth). Contempt of Cop could get to be a problem.

        No discharge of a firearm out of doors in a suburban environment with houses every 30 feet makes some sense — if the firearm is a powder burner, and maybe even some of the very high powered airguns. But all projectile launchers are not firearms even if all firearms are projectile launchers (i think).

  3. Toys that Shoot.
    Airguns, cap guns, sling shots….

    Saturday April 9th, 2011
    Open: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

    The Lighthouse Banquet Facility
    10055 SR 224 West
    Findlay, Ohio 45840

    As always, I’ll strive to get there right around 9AM, but I’m picking up Buddy Joe and maybe one of his kids. The show really only takes an hour to see it all.

    Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. “Volvo, Twotalon and Derrick walk into a bar…”

    SL, thanks for reminding me to bring a camera!

    • Thanks. I think I will be there.

      I just hate driving through Findlay. My last couple visits were to places I would rather not have been to.

      I will have to avoid looking at the sears store. Craftsman tools stick to my hands while the money runs out of my pocket.


  4. Safe travels to all on the road for the gun show.

    Edith, you want to be ready for the scenario from this trashy romance novel that I was reading for no particular reason. A women gets into her car, and suddenly her neck is encircled by the arm of a madman who calls himself The Professional. The woman ends up taking off her high-heeled shoe (a bit implausible) and whacking the guy on the head enough to make him loosen his grip. Then, she leans on the horn, and he runs away. Let’s see, you might grab for your tactical flashlight and stab his arm with the bezel. But he might be wearing a thick leather jacket, so maybe you should go for your Glock right away.

    Victor and Herb, thanks for the comments on the accuracy of the gun/shooter. In my terms, I guess I would think of this in terms of the gun’s group size under ideal conditions compared to the shooter’s call radius. There is a distinction in theory or in the case of elite shooters who can shoot 10s 100% of the time. However, as a dissenting point (not a disagreement) I would say that for most people the gun’s capabilities and their own bleed into each other in a way that is hard to separate. Also, there is the factor of the gun’s ergonomics or the rifle/shooter interface which David Tubb claims to be the new frontier of accuracy and which he designed his rifle around. I take it that this is what Victor referred to in some guns being easier to shoot than others with the same barrel. Quantifying a gun’s accuracy in terms of this important but more subjective quality becomes even more difficult.

    I’m still not clear on whether readers are conducting the great accuracy test or only B.B.

    As another take on the purpose of this test, while it may be hard to come up with an iron-plated measurement of accuracy, it may be easier to figure out which factors contribute more to accuracy than others and for what cost in money, time, and fuss. A guy wrote this up in the process of accurizing his Springfield Armory Scout Squad rifle. The Tubb moly-coated barrel lapping bullets were a great deal and every effective whereas some other modification that I can’t remember did not contribute nearly as much. I’m hoping that lubing your pellets does not prove to be important!

    If anyone is still confused by the difference between accuracy and precision in relation to shooting, you can have a look at the Wikipedia entry “accuracy and precision” which writes about exactly this topic with targets to illustrate. Accuracy is a group centered on the target center; precision is how small a group is. This is what others have said in so many words, but the illustrations are nice.

    On the general subject of accuracy, my infatuation with the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I and other surplus rifles suffered a major hit in learning that they cannot be zeroed for less than 200 yards. So you will have to hold low at 100 yards which is the maximum that a lot of people have available to shoot. That will really cut into sight, picture, accuracy and shooting enjoyment. In fact, based on this and targets I’ve seen, I suspect that a venerable old battle rifle like the Lee-Enfield is probably less accurate than an Arsenal AK with an Aimpoint sight.


    • Matt61,

      Thanks for the tip. Sometimes, you have to grab whatever’s available. I don’t wear my pocketbook in the car, so a scuffle could easily kick the purse out of the way. In addition to the tactical flashlight, that same compartment has a tool you can use to break your car window if your car is in water deep enough to prevent opening it. That’s got a nice little pointy end & makes a dandy self-defense tool.

      When I visited Tom in the hospital over the past year, sometimes it was dark when I came out. While there was light in the parking lot, there are always dark corners…and a parking lot elevator that creeped me out. Of course, no guns allowed in the hospital so I didn’t have that. I learned a long, long time ago, that threading your keys through your fingers with the pointy side out (and making a fist to hold them there) also made a dandy self-defense weapon if properly planted.

      I am woman…don’t mess with me 🙂


    • RE: “shooter’s call radius”

      I think this phrase is semantically wrong. You can’t take a shot then decide because it was a poor shot that you want to “call it.” The notion of “calling it” implies to me that you had a reason to stipulate that the shot is abnormal before you saw the shot placement. As a crazy example let’s say that someone pops a paper bag behind you just as you’re taking the shot. So you flinch, yank the trigger. Now in this case you’d reject the shot as being abnormal due to a defined cause regardless if the shot were good or bad.

      Now you can also designate a bad shot as a “flyer” if you have some defined criteria that you use. The criteria should be based on statistics so you’re just not willy-nilly rejecting shots. In this case you don’t know why the shot is odd, you just know that it “probably” isn’t a “normal” shot.

      I know this just seems like a silly semantics argument, and to a point it is. But the proper use of statistics is all about definitions and semantics.


      • Herb… yes, to me, a “flyer” is an aah-sh%t moment, just as I begin trigger pull and the dog barks in my ear or…other not while I’m shooting type moments. It’s a meaningless exercise anyway, except to rationalize a bad shot and eliminate it’s contribution to thegroup or measurement.

        Otherwise, this issue of called flyers is mostly bunk.

      • A “called shot” is one that identified as bad (or good) before confirmation by the shooter. It is a common practice for a shooter to work with a spotter. The spotter will ask the shooter to “call” (predict) the shot placement, based on what the shooter saw between the time that the shot went off and follow through. Of course, this is how it works when the shooter is using iron sights. But, really, it’s not hard to know that you screwed up a shot, even if using a scope.

        When I see a 10 shot group, where 1 or 2 shots are out of the group by a relatively significant amount, I’m less inclined to believe that the rifle is so mechanically unstable that it was the cause of those 1 or 2 shots, and more inclined to believe that the shooter, or the pellet, had more to do with it, especially with a springer.

    • Matt61,
      You make an excellent point when you say that “the gun’s capabilities and their own bleed into each other”. But the extent to which it matters is relative. A great shooter can tell the difference, when shooting a lessor gun, as I cited. On the other hand, a great shooter, shooting a great gun, would need to use something like SCATT to see how much error he or she introduces.

      David Tubbs is referring to the same thing as me, ergonomics. Target rifles allow your fingers to stack up vertically, relieving non-essential muscles from contributing to trigger squeeze execution, unlike the typical 30 to 45 degree angle of most rifle grips. When the fingers are stacked vertically, the trigger finger is allowed to move linearly, straight back. That makes all the difference in the world. In fact, this also makes it easier to use a heavy trigger. Without this vertical finger stacking, extra effort and technique is necessary. This is what Frank B was referring to when he mentioned finger/thumb placement. My hands are badly damaged from the car accident because both of my hands broke the steering wheel off completely, tearing lots of muscles. That’s why it takes me so long to master the springer’s that I’ve bought. If I hold the rifle the way that most do, I get a shooting pain throughout my hand. I have to make unique and fine adjustments, until I find just the right hold. While the pain aspect is unique to me, it does say something about what these rifle designs contribute to shoot-ability, or lack of. They certainly don’t help with trigger control.

      I like the distinction that you make between “accuracy”, versus “precision”. What comes to mind with these definitions is “wobble area”. Wobble area is critical to shooting well. If you can’t find your true wobble area, then you’re limited in what you can do otherwise. Also, this definition of accuracy is essentially the ability to align the ‘”centroid” of your shot pattern with the bulls-eye. Incidentally, Wulfraed Says, was referring to these terms in the same way.

      On the other hand, consider what B.B. does to demonstrate how well a gun shoots. He can’t use the wikipedia definitions for accuracy AND precision, because he aims off-center Otherwise, the first pellet that hits center would obscure his aim-point. He’d have to guess where the aim-point was, and THAT would introduce error. So he aims at the center, and shoots off-center groups. With that, he demonstrates “precision”. “Accuracy” is then just the shifting of sights towards the center. But, really, we know that a tight group implies “accurate”. In mathematics, we call this difference an “affine” transformation, which doesn’t affect any of the characteristics of the group, whether centered around the bulls-eye, or not.


    • Matt61
      I think some of the information you have received about the Enfield No. 4 Mark I is incorrect.
      On models with the adjustable sight, the “Battle Site” aperture, when the site is folded down is zeroed for about 300 yds so it would be high at 100 yds. However, when you flip up the adjustable aperture, you can zero the rifle for 100 yds. I have done this may times.


      • As for the accuracy of a good Enfield No. 4 Mark I, it should shoot into three inches @ 100 yards with good ammo. Some will do better. A No. 3 Enfield, the Pattern 14 should do two inches or less at 100 yds. This is with iron sites. Of course you have to do your part too! I don’t think a stock Arsenal AK will do any better if as well.


        • So, what’s my best 100 yard group with a old military rifle? It’s a three shot clover leaf @100 yds. with an M-1 Grand. It was shot off of a sand bag rest with a hand load using a 150 gr. Hornady spritzer, IMR 4060 powder and a Winchester Large Rifle primer. George Patton was right!


          • Mike,

            Your comment is exactly why statistics should be used. You best group means very little. Want a better 3-shot group to brag about? Shoot 10,000 more groups. Just by chance you will get a “better” group.

            What is really important is the average 3-shot group size. So you shoot ten 3-shot groups and take the average. The average is a good statistical predictor. The “best” group is not.


  5. My head hurts… are we going to the point of hexadecimal calcs next in this accuracy proposal of BB’s?

    Think I’ll just go do my very best at shooting the HW97K w/ R10 pellets in the 10 meter garage range and accumulate some data for personal improvement. (can always use personal improvement)

    Or…I’ll be at advancedalgebraicfunctions.com looking for lighter subjects.

    • Exactly, next, we will have to debate the std deviation of Starret mics vs Mitutoyo mics and provide our ISO certifications and eye test results before posting results.

      I make missile and defense parts that have tolerances and true position features of .0001″ across three datums or planes so, all of this stuff is not “lost” on me. I just think BB’s concept of real world shooting and gathering useful data to improve the average shooters scores has been lost these past two days. Maybe the key issues here are improvements to one’s own shooting skills and posting what those improvements were and what % or measurable of improvement? e.g. I lubed my pellets and got xx% improvement over 50 shots. That eliminates the so-called “precision factor” and just relegates this to … hmm, lubing pellets gets me some improvemnt in my XX-000 rifle with XX brand/weight pellets, others may want to try this.

      I’m having a cold beer and some pellets…down-range that is.

    • RidgeRunner,
      I agree about the ugliness, but I think that it looks promising, ergonomically. I can’t wait for the “accuracy”/”precision” report. lol 🙂

  6. Oh, and I forgot congress and just about any other commitie format (not the shooting part! I do not advocate that for crying out loud!). I mean the ability to create their own confusion and then be unable see through it all to make a meaningful judgement.

  7. B.B.,
    Do you know if they used the same barrel as the CFX? I hope they did (or something even more accurate/precise). My CFX is very accurate/precise (i.e., a tack driver). With the better ergonomics, this one could be a keeper.

  8. Can’t beat the value and consistency of the CP, it seems. They seem to shoot good to excellent in just about everything. Anyone know if they ever made a “Heavy” in .22? I have great luck with the domed 14.3’s and love the value, but would like to see them make something in the 18g range.

    • Michael,

      This blog operates differently than most forums. As long as readers keep their comments civil and clean, we don’t restrict the talk to just the topic of the day.

      Welcome to the blog. Come over to the current report and join us:



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