Gamo’s Silent Stalker Whisper IGT air rifle: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier


Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper IGT is lightweight and looks to be a fine hunting air rifle.

Part 1

Okay, this is the week of the Roanoke airgun show. I’ll be on the road from this Wednesday until the following Tuesday, and I’m asking you veteran readers to help the newcomers with their questions. I’ll still read the blog each day, but it’ll be only during a short period in my motel each evening. Edith will be at home and will continue to monitor the blog and the comments and contribute as needed.

Today, we’re going to look at the velocity of the .22-caliber Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper IGT we’re testing. I said “Wow!” a lot in Part 1, so I certainly hope that sentiment carries forward in today’s test.

Cocking effort
This rifle has a gas spring; so, although it’s a spring-piston air rifle, it works a little differently from the typical springer that has a mainspring made from coiled steel. A gas spring maintains the full force of the spring all the way through the cocking effort. Or at least that’s how it feels. A coiled steel spring, in contrast, starts out with little resistance and builds to the maximum about three-quarters of the way through the cocking arc, which is coincidentally the place where the leverage is the greatest for a breakbarrel.

Because of the way the gas spring works, it feels harder to cock than it really is. The secret to cocking one, if there is such a thing, is to not go fast. Just pull the barrel down through the cocking arc with a smooth, consistent pull, and it’ll feel as light as it’s going to. The Gamo specs say this rifle cocks with 32 lbs. of force; and when I tested mine on the bathroom scale, it measured 35 lbs. That’s pretty close. I told you in the first report that this piston has a long stroke, which allows the gas pressure to be lower and still generate the higher power they’re claiming. Let’s now see what that power is.

Crosman Premiers
A pellet I pretty much have to test is the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier dome. I say that because I know I’m going to try it during the accuracy test. Gamo rates this rifle at 975 f.p.s. with lead-free pellets, so I estimated before shooting that the Premier would go around 750 f.p.s. That’s just about what you’ll get from a new Beeman R1, which is a very powerful breakbarrel rifle. Let’s see if I’m anywhere close. I made that guess before sending the first shot through the chronograph.

Ten Premiers averaged 685 f.p.s. The spread went from 678 to 690, so only 12 f.p.s. separated the fastest shot from the slowest. That was less velocity than I expected, but it is right in the ballpark of where I wanted the gun to be, for accuracy’s sake. That works out to an average muzzle energy of 14.9 foot-pounds.

The firing sensation is nearly dead calm, unless you hold the rifle tight. It feels like one of the finer custom tunes on a spring gun. The trigger is long and draggy in stage two, and I’ll look into adjusting it, but I’ve worked with this trigger design in the past and don’t think the adjustment changes much. Nice firing behavior, though!

RWS Hobbys
The pellet that should give the claimed velocity is the RWS Hobby. Weighing just 11.9 grains, it’s the lightest pellet that has any chance for accuracy in a rifle of this power. Hobbys averaged 727 f.p.s. from the Silent Stalker Whisper, which gives an average of 13.97 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. But the velocity spread went from 714 to 749 f.p.s., for a whopping 35 foot-second difference. That’s pretty large, though I’ve seen bigger spreads shoot very well at 25 yards, which is where I’ll be testing this rifle.

Firing continued to be calm with the Hobbys. Because the power is not as fast as anticipated, I decided that the last pellet I would test would be the 14.3-grain JSB Exact Express. That way, I get a second possibly accurate domed pellet whose velocity is still on the good range.

JSB Exact Express
Ten pellets average 673 f.p.s., so just a trifle slower than the Premiers of the same weight. The range spanned from 662 to 681 f.p.s., for a 19 foot-second spread, which is about right for a new spring-piston gun. The average muzzle energy works out to 14.39 foot-pounds.

Conclusions
The rifle shoots slower than advertised — at least with lead pellets. While that may disappoint some readers, it doesn’t disappoint me, because I think the velocity is right where it needs to be for greatest accuracy. We’ll see if that’s correct in the next report.

The firing behavior is extremely smooth, and I’m still amazed at how light the rifle is. Bottom line is that it has good characteristics; and I think that if it’s also accurate, then we’ve discovered a major new rifle.

45 thoughts on “Gamo’s Silent Stalker Whisper IGT air rifle: Part 2

  1. /Dave,

    Yes, well how well it actually shoots is more important to me than how fast it goes. I know that speed sells, but something tells me that this rifle is special. It doesn’t feel like a Gamo — except for the trigger. I hope I am right.

    B.B.


    • I was wondering if it might be a poor man’s HW90. Mine is in the 18-19 ft/lbs range though. It should be interesting to see if it might still have some potential with a little trigger work. I’m looking forward to the rest of this test.

      /Dave



    • Kevin,

      just read your article on the Watt’s tuned HW 35 on the Yellow. Very nice and very good phtography. That rifle is a real looker. Will miss you at Roanoke this Friday.

      Fred PRoNJ


      • Fred,

        Thanks for the compliments on my shameless plug for the HW 35.

        Really hoped to make it to Roanoke again this year but the work thing won’t allow it. Was looking forward to possibly having dinner with you as we discussed last year. Maybe next year?

        kevin


        • Kevin,
          I agree with Fred PRoNJ’s comments about your HW35 post. I appreciate things that were designed before the term ‘price point.’ In your experience, does the shorter stroke of these rifles tent them to less hold sensitive? After being bitten by the field target bug, I’m looking for something a little more unique to shoot than the common TX or 97.
          Thanks for your input.
          -hm


          • Hank Mcrae,

            By “shorter stroke” do you mean the articulated cocking link or the shorter length of the compression tube?

            My smooth tuned HW35L is not hold sensitive. Nonetheless, if you stay under my recommended max of 11fpe in tuning a HW35 you’re at a great disadvantage shooting against a TX or 97 in field target at longer ranges.

            In my opinion, the HW35 is an accurate gun with enough power to hunt and target shoot out to 35 yards. Yes, it can be stretched to longer distances but wind will dominate your focus at longer ranges and the pleasure of shooting this fine classic will be secondary.

            kevin


            • Kevin,
              I was referring to the piston stroke. Also on my short list is the new model HW50s. Under 12 or even 11 lbs does not bother me, as I’m really shooting for fun and Camaraderie. -hm


              • Hank Mcrae,

                If FT is what the gun will be used for mostly I think the additional weight of the HW35 would be beneficial.

                If you’re going to be shooting paper targets, plinking and having long fun sessions then I would vote for the newer HW50.

                If I was in the market for a HW35 or newer HW50 I’d buy a used gun and send it to Paul Watts to smooth tune since I don’t like the way either gun “shoots out of the box”. Once he works his magic and smooth tunes these guns you won’t worry about length of stroke. They’ll be easy to shoot at 35 yards and under.

                kevin


  2. B.B.,
    So once again, the issue (obvious one, at least) is the trigger. The question is, is there a replacement for it? I’ve had to replace triggers on all of my Crosman and Gamo’s. If the gun is particularly light, then the effects of a bad trigger will get magnified.

    I wish these companies would get the trigger issue fixed once and for all. After all, they’re then going to go for a least another decode manufacturing the same trigger, so it’s a valued added modification that would benefit everyone.
    Victor


    • Victor,

      If there isn’t a suitable alternate trigger for this model yet, there will be soon enough. Manufacturers cannot stay ahead of boutique hobbyists who are willing to develop better parts for their guns, and if history is any teacher, we always get the good trigger in the end — as long as the gun is worth it.

      B.B.


    • There is and I have just installed it on the 0.177 version of the Whisper IGT. Details here:

      http://charliedatuna.com/GRT-4G.htm

      I’ve been very happy with it so far. A really dramatically reduced pull length and weight. (I am not equipped to measure the difference but subjectively I would say the weight has been cut roughly in half and the pull distance reduced by 70 to 80 percent.)


  3. This is very much to the point. Maybe Gamo has scoped out the ideal pellet velocity for its rifle…. Enjoy the Roanoke show B.B.!

    KidAgain, thanks for your comments. Always a pleasure to discuss with you. And an audience is vital to any act of writing. There was a show with a Russian immigrant (a writer) to America during the Cold War era who found that part of free enterprise is that while he was allowed to print and distribute his books which were banned in the Soviet Union, nobody was obligated to read them. His final comment: I miss the KGB censors because at least they read my books(!)

    You all can clue me in on Top Shot which I have never seen. How can any amount of politicking affect a shooter’s performance since the shooter for better or worse is alone when he’s facing the target?

    Edith, yes I thought that was an IZH pistol but I figured it was comparable to the Daisy.

    Regarding the experiment on optimum velocities, let’s see what theoretical math can tell us about this problem. It sounds to me like a constraint optimization problem often modeled as a differential equation. The possibilities are that there is one solution or a several solutions or no solution. Note, this is like the economist I heard recently predicting that in the next year or so, the economy has a 33% chance of tanking, 33% chance of really taking off, and a 33% chance of staying the same. I guess that about covers all the bases… Getting back to the velocity problem, there are obviously some velocities that are better than others so physically the no solution option is off the table. Then, the question is whether the optimum velocities converge to a single value or small range or are dispersed. As an example, while rifles seem to do well with 6mm calibers, the 220 Swift which is far away in terms of caliber size and velocity can do extremely well. So, maybe you will get different values for different guns and all the various factors in play without an overall pattern.

    I would think some analytical work could be done towards a solution with a computer. If you found some way to model the different variables in the gun and checked their performance against a range of velocities, you should get something. I wouldn’t know how to do this, but it sounds like it’s within the capabilities of some. Lloyd, did you do this kind of stuff with the Rogue? Also, there is Robert Beeman himself who supposedly arrived at his R1 design with computer analysis. As I recall his aim, it was to create maximum velocity which was done by optimizing the swept volume of his spring piston. I would think that a minor tweaking of his program could be adapted for our question. So, it’s time for a commando raid of his files with black outfits and airsoft guns….

    As one final mathematical reflection, experiment may have given us our answer. There was some advanced mathematical analysis of the best way to lace up a pair of boots. There are actually a bafflingly large number of ways to do this. But they cranked through the possibilities and found that the optimum way was… the way most people do it anyway. So, somewhere in our minds is the machinery for sorting through a lot of information and discovering things rapidly through experiment. It sounds like B.B. has already given us experimental answers that are probably right, so it remains to put this on a quantitative footing for some given values of guns and pellets.

    On the subject of long-range sights for battle rifles, I agree that they are an anachronism, but there are some disturbing exceptions to the rule, sort of like the neutrino experiment. In the definitive book on the Lee-Enfield, Major something or other whose name I forget describes extensive testing of the rifle out to 2 or even 3000 yards. The target was a big sheet about the size of a barn, but they seemed satisfied with their hit ratio. In WWI, the Marines at Belleau Wood using issue Springfields forced the Germans to retreat from their positions 900 yards away. And in 1960 in the army, my Dad said that a special demonstration team was brought in to show the full capabilities of the M1 (unmodified) and these guys hit every single pop-up target out to a distance of 700 yards. “Eyes like a hawk,” he said. And then there is the case of Simo Hayah, ultimate sniper of all time, who compiled his unheard of score mostly by shooting his M28 rifle with open sights from a sitting position at targets that were over 400 yards away. But he was exceptional by any reckoning.

    Pete, thanks for the overview of the physics experiment. One of my questions is whether the Japanese have the power/energy to duplicate the experiment in Italy. Otherwise, it seems to me that once you grant space and time the attributes of curvature as you do in relativity, then it’s not hard to think of configurations like wormholes. Maybe, as you suggest, this is the first evidence. As to the probability, I heard about a physics professor giving a bonehead overview of quantum physics to a college class, and he said the probabilities are such that once in some astronomical number of trials a brick that you drop into a bucket of water will rebound out again. It will never happen again, but that one instance will really result from the physics of probability at the quantum level; it’s no illusion. I believe this phenomenon is akin to tunneling effects where some very small particles of our makeup apparently pop in and out of existence around Mars (I don’t know with what frequency.) So for the neutrino, perhaps the first evidence for a wormhole phenomenon or some infinitesimal probability manifesting itself.

    As a news aside, the Russians do it again. Recently in Chicago a Russian billionaire paid his compliments to Heather Graham and some other celebrity by buying them a $100,000 bottle of champagne called something like Nebuchadnezzar–the first of its kind sold in the United States. He bought them some other things too but this was the highlight. It was a five liter bottle (a real magnum), but even if you divide the cost by volume, it is still hefty. What is the taste of such an elixir that most of use will never experience? I’m betting like many custom guns that it is overpriced, but it still must be impressive.

    Slinging Lead, I can believe what you said about Crystal Ackley with her camera sense, good lucks, demeanor, and blue eyes. As Mr. Spock said, stroking a Tribble, “Productive of a certain hypnotic effect on the human species, qualities to which, I… of course….am…completely…..immune…..”

    Matt61


    • You all can clue me in on Top Shot which I have never seen. How can any amount of politicking affect a shooter’s performance since the shooter for better or worse is alone when he’s facing the target?

      Ah, but you’re assuming it’s just shooter vs target. Top Shot is more a dual using targets as stand-ins for the other shooter. Consider (this was from one episode I did watch) the “targets” were a wall of flippers. Each shooter had to hit the flippers on their side of the central column — to flip it to the other shooters side. At the end of the timed round, the shooter with more flippers showing on their side is the loser. There was also a limit on magazines, so if you missed too many shots, you wouldn’t have enough ammo to gain a dominant flip count. I think they also had one where the other shooters WERE the targets (using paintball guns). Target team members had to run from behind various barricades to other hiding spots while the shooting team takes pot-shots at them. Even the finale I saw is a two-man competition, first to complete the course wins — consisting of something like 10 stages, final being service rifle (M1 Garand or M1 A type) at long distance, but earlier stages involving revolvers, shotguns, pistols, black powder, maybe throwing axes or knives… Take out /n/ targets at a stage before moving to the next stage.

      As a news aside, the Russians do it again. Recently in Chicago a Russian billionaire paid his compliments to Heather Graham and some other celebrity by buying them a $100,000 bottle of champagne called something like Nebuchadnezzar–the first of its kind sold in the United States. He bought them some other things too but this was the highlight. It was a five liter bottle (a real magnum), but even if you divide the cost by volume, it is still hefty. What is the taste of such an elixir that most of use will never experience? I’m betting like many custom guns that it is overpriced, but it still must be impressive.

      “Nebuchadnezzar” is the /size/ of the bottle, not the contents. Like jeroboam… The Nebuchadnezzar is 10 magnums in size.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_bottle#Sizes


  4. I left a comment this weekend in a place it easily got lost.I was doing some testing on an untuned but heavily used Marksman 70 in .22.Crosman Premiers at 14.3gr were generating 14.2ft-lbs.JSB Jumbos
    weighing 18.2gr were moving 20fps FASTER and making 19.8 ft-lbs.Both seem to fit the bore the same.
    Does this seem odd to anyone else?? I’m about to repeat the test,but I’m curious what others think.


  5. Matt,

    Yes, the Japanese machine will have the necessary energy to check the CERN/Gran Sasso results. There’s no need to duplicate it exactly (indeed, if the result is real, it should be robust and valid over a range of energies!); the key variable in a neutrino experiment is the intensity of the neutrino beam, and once it’s back in full action, it should do very well. But there could be a strong energy dependence. We are in fully new territory here, and instinct is not much of a guide.

    Bouncing a brick: drop the brick from high enough up, and the water in the bucket may not have time to get out of the way, so perfectly classically the brick could bounce (i.e. if it were supersonic in H2O). Sanity check: do a cannonball off a 10 meter platform and check your butt for bruises afterwards. But yes, the quantum result does give things like a rebound once in several googol tries.



      • Point taken. Thanks!

        I’m sure you’ve all seen the pictures taken by many people of a drop of milk splashing in a dish of milk, all shot with a very high speed flash. You know that a center spike develops with a small drop that can even shoot up so fast that it detaches from the rising column. As can be demonstrated with a little food coloring in the milk that’s being dropped, the fluid in the drop is, in fact, the same liquid that fell from above! It “bounced.”



      • A caution. This is exciting, and could get more exciting, but the betting is still on finding a subtle experimental error. This is a very complex experiment.

        I’m not sure if you should call an ability of a high energy but weakly interacting particle to enter (briefly) another dimension a “wormhole” in the sense in which people have calculated wormholes in the past. But, ok, that’s only one of a number of ideas floating about.

        -pete




          • LOL – very good, BB. Hey, just the same, I’d love to see another incredible breakthrough in my lifetime. I think the last one that truly impressed me was Apollo 13. I still marvel at how Grumman, Rockwell and NASA managed to get Lovell and crew back home safe and sound. I think I said this years ago but my cousin worked at Grumman in Bethpage, Long Island. He wasn’t on the Lunar Lander team but he and EVERY engineer Grumman employed showed up when word got out that Apollo 13 was in trouble and stayed at work, volunteering for anything that needed doing.

            When the command capsule finally landed back on Earth, Grumman sent Rockwell a bill for towing! True story. Something like .06 per mile. Rockwell didn’t appreciate it.

            Fred PRoNJ


  6. Matt61,
    OFF TOPIC
    My son and I took the Savage 111 out for a sight-in and test run yesterday. Wow! That rifle is a very nice shooter. We first sighted it in at 25 yards. Eye balling the first shoot, it appeared to be off along the diagonal, so we walked it in towards the bulls-eye. It formed a nice straight line as we moved it down and to the right in equal increments of windage and elevation. We then moved it out to 100 yards, and again, we were pleasantly surprised at its accuracy. Every bullet went where we aimed (including mistakes). It was very nice to see shots touching near dead center. We then moved the target out to 200 yards, and again, both my son and I were shooting nice groups. It only took 8 clicks straight up to get it sighted in again. I then hung my famous 3/16″ thick frying pan, that my .22 barely scratched. The .270 Win bullets blew nice clean holes through the thickest part of the pan. The trajectory was flat and we could see where the bullets were hitting as the ground sloped up slightly. Another pleasant surprise was that we were getting very good performance from this rifle using inexpensive Remington ammo from Wal-Mart. It was just under $20.00 per box of 20 rounds.

    I don’t think that we’ll realize the rifles true potential until we get a decent rest. We were using a cheap bag that I bought for about $20.00, and the rear of the rifle was only being supported by our grip and shoulder. I don’t want to make any wild claims about this guns accuracy, but I do feel confident that it will be awhile before I’m good enough to push its limits.

    This was the first time that I coached my son this closely. He was shooting nice groups, but high and to the right. I stepped over to his right side to watch what was happening as the gun went off. I noticed that his grip was not firm enough, and the rifle was blowing his hand off of the grip. We worked on finding better balance between hand force and being relaxed. Solving that problem, his groups where then straight up. I only realized this morning what the remaining problem is. Can’t wait to go out again and see him hitting center. The rifle knocked our socks off! Going with a Savage was a good recommendation. Thanks!

    Victor


    • The Savage rifles of today really do shoot. I had my Savage Model 12 Heavy Barrel .223 out last week. Half inch groups @ 100 yds were no problem. Here’s a quick way to get a zero. Rest the rifle on sand bags. Fire a shot at your target. Return the rifle to the same hold you just used to fire that shot. Next, without moving the rifle, adjust the scope until it intersects the bullet hole. Your rifle is now zeroed to that range and hold. A one shot zero! Of course, you can fine tune it from there by shooting a group and adjusting as needed.

      Mike


      • Mike,
        Thanks for the tip! This was our very first time shooting this rifle, so we had two specific goals; 1. We wanted to sight it in at 100 yards. 2. We wanted to find out what the relationship was, in terms of clicks, between 100 and 200 yards. My son wants to hunt within 100 yards, but would still like to know what to expect between that and 200. The difference was 8 clicks, and very accurate at both distances.

        We had one issue, and that was with the rings. I had a set of medium rings that weren’t very good, and I had one set of very good high rings. The high rings were way too high, especially considering that the barrel tapers downwards from the scope base. There was just no way for my son, nor my wife, to see through the scope such that their cheek touched the stock. As soon as I got home, I ordered low rings with an extension, to bring the scope further back.

        By the way, I plan on buying one of the Model 12’s myself. They are highly recommended.

        Thanks again,
        Victor



  7. BB,

    I would bet the gun would get around 975 fps with super sonic pellets. And I suspect that is what they are talking about when they make their claims. When I read part 1 I thought that the gun would get about 575 – 650 fps. That is what most .22 break barrels get unless they are a really powerful magnum gun.

    Most CO2 guns struggle to get 500 – 550 fps using RWS hobbies with the exception (MAYBE) of the Hammerli 850 and the Gamo Extreme. I believe Hammerli advertises 685 fps and Gamo advertises 700 fps in .22. If I bought one I would not expect to get that from either with lead pellets. I would be shocked if either got much above 600 fps with RWS hobbies.

    Imagine my extreme shock then when I bought a really nice AR2078 on the yellow forum to use for target practice. I expected it would get around 450 – 500 fps with hobbies. The Tech Force 79, which is the same gun is advertised at 550 fps and I would not even expect it to do 500 fps.

    I was almost speechless to see 719 fps on my first string of 10 shots in a 65 degree F basement! I fired the string a little fast pausing just long enough to chamber a round and fire. So I shot a second 10 shot string and got 710 fps average and by that time the gun was getting extremely cold. And the gun is extremely accurate. WOW! Man was I a happy camper!

    I have an inkling I will try it on squirrels as soon as possible. Should be an easy kill with a head shot and that kind of power. My Titan GP which shoots in the 675 fps range with hobbies certainly is a great killer.

    I might add I was bulk filling the gun from a 5 pound inverted CO2 cylinder which I had just had filled the day before. I heated it for several hours with a small 40 watt lamp. Don’t know if it would shoot the same with two CO2 cylinders or not.


    • BB,
      I receive my Gamo Silent Stalker IGT 0.22 later today and plan to put a couple hundred rounds through it this weekend. I’ll let you know what I find, but your initial velocity measurements were a bit of a disappointment, but I am hopeful that your theory holds true for accuracy. I hope I made a good choice as I am more interested in the accuracy. I’m somewhat new to the latest in air rifle capabilities and technology. I justified the higher caliber for it’s generally higher BC pellets and I felt like I could predict gravity better than the wind. We’ll see.
      I do have a couple general questions about IGT and ND52 as to your experience on its impact on accuracy….
      1) In general, as you stated, the IGT has a much different, i.e. constant, amount of force required to cock the gun through travel as apposed to a typical springer which is easy to start and progressively harder near end. I would assume that this is repeated in reverse during release. So, doesn’t this have huge implications to the acceleration profile of the pellet through the barrel? I’m not sure whether this is a good thing, or not, but at least a different thing. I’m sure one could argue the benefits, or not, either way if you think hard enough. Is there any data or experience around that narrows down the variables to this difference and compares the accuracy attribute of a Gas Piston versus a Spring? Most arguments focus on the ease of handling due to the differences in recoil. But what about the basic physics in the barrel? One might argue that the lower forces, i.e. pressure, at the end of stroke might have a “less” tendency to tumble the pellet as it “pushes” it out the end of the barrel. But one might argue that a more constant acceleration profile from the Gas Piston would be more preferred. Who knows? Any details in this area?

      2) As to the ND52, same as with the Gas Piston question above, is there any data out there that suggests that the Silencer imparts wobble or inaccuracy to these guns? I could imagine, particularly at sub-sonic speeds, that the pressure waves ahead of the pellet, are reflecting from each baffle, as the pellet approaches each aperture. They actually show this in the videos. Do these reflected pressure waves hitting the pellet impart any errors in the wobble or trajectory? Do you know if there is any data around this effect?

      I have it already in my mind to get a trigger kit upgrade (maybe from Charliedatuna, any ideas?) and likely go to a Leapers scope, eventually. I just hope that the core system is solid.

      Can’t wait for Part 3.
      Thank you,

      DG


  8. BB,

    Did my first rough sighting of my new Gamo Whisper IGT 0.22 last night.
    Started at (10 ft) with 2 dots (2 inch) vertically separated. (Did this since the spread of barrel to scope is pretty close to 2 inch.)
    Pointing at the upper dot, I gauged windage first, then elevation.
    Centered up the windage nicely with hole-in-one groups at 10 ft.
    Found that I had to put shims under the front of the scope to get the elevation even within range of adjustment. I was initially hitting dead center on target at 10 ft, obviously (I’ll probably add more shims so that the elevation adjustment is closer to center.) I will be interested to hear if you found it also necessary to shim.

    Went out to roughly 8 meters, the extend of my garage range. (It’s raining outside and it was night.) Fine tuned windage, with 0.5″ groups. (I’m still learning how to hold and shut this gun so I could likely do better in the future.)
    Found that the elevation is starting to rise now at 10 meters, from the 10 ft point, which is expected, I believe.
    Next step is to go out to 15 meters/yards. I expect to Zero at 30 meters/yards with a cross at Zero at roughly 15, on the way up, and 30, on the way down.
    I’m using the RWS Superdomes for now, but will move to JSB Exact Jumbo Express and Predator Polymag and RWS Hypermax after I zero using the Superdomes.

    I’m not a veteran air rifle shooter, or veteran at any firearm for that matter, so I cannot comment too much on the trigger. It does seem to be a lot stiffer than expected. I feel no 2-stage anything in the pull. I have not tried adjusting yet, but I am thinking about the GRT-4G upgrade. I can tell at even 8 meters that the accuracy is more a function of me, not the gun. When pulling the trigger it is easy to see that it pulls. I am really trying to maximize on the artillery hold method, but when you have a trigger that pulls on a free hold technique, I can see how the trigger is a huge factor in accuracy.

    A comment on the scope that comes with the gun. I don’t care for it, or I just have not found how to set it up best yet. But what I found is that there is really only a single focus adjust, mainly for the cross-hair. With the cross-hair properly focused, zooming at 8-9X for targets out at 25 meters, the target becomes out of focus. You have to pull back to about 5X to have the 25 meter target focused. Then, at a 10meter target, the focus is not perfect zoomed out to 3X. This scope does not seem to have a well balanced, or independent means to focus the field versus the cross-hair. Also, Parallax seems high, maybe OK out at 30meters, I will check this weekend. So, with all that, I am seriously considering an upgrade to a Leapers Scope. Any suggestions which one would be better for this gun?

    Have fun in Roanoke.

    DG


    • BB,
      I’ve had a few days to get used to the new gun a little. Generally, I have found that the JSB Exact Jumbo Express and RWS Superdomes shoot the best. However, the manufacturing quality of the JSB Exact Express are horrific, at best. I have had to hand pick out close to 50% of the JSB’s. The thin skirts seems to be highly subject to getting warped and bent. The thicker skirts of the RWS are much better under control. The Predator Polymags come in a close 3rd place. The Beeman Silver Arrows were absolutely out of control. The RWS Hypermax werre not much better.

      So for my gun, at least, either the JSB Exact or RWS Superdomes are the choice pellets. (Due to manufacturing quality, I will likely lean towards the RWS Superdomes in the future.)
      With both the RWS and (hand-picked) JSB’s, I was able to make 1″ to 1.5″ c-t-c groups or 5-10 shots at 18 yards.

      I am was not using a “pure” artillery hold, but kept the gun very loose with little pressure, trying to be as close to the artillery hold as possible. Recently, last night, after watching Tom’s video that Edith sent to link for, and really tried to only hold the gun, balanced, on my off-palm hand, and only touch and pull on the trigger with the trigger hand. First few shots looked very good, so my groups might tighten up, but I am still trying to figure out how to aim with little, or no, contact with the grip or shoulder. In the extreme, I seem to be trying to hold aim with the trigger finger, which does not seem to make much sense, but the amount of pull force on this trigger really requires some opposite holding force on the pistol grip to counteract the pull force and maintain aim. So figuring out how much “light” handling of the pistol grip I can get away with to maintain on target without breaking the rules of “artillery hold”, is my next level of practice.
      One note, I did try to adjust the trigger some. I did find that loosening the screw behind the trigger did make a bit of a difference, opposed to others who have complained that this did not make any difference. I was able to increase the pull range to “feel” the approach to the final release. I have been trying to get more consistent at predicting this 2-stage release, as it does require less force for the final release and may allow me to decrease holding force at the final stage of the shot. However, as many have reported, predicting where this point is on the trigger has not been easy. I could envision a MUCH better trigger, with lower pull force that would help this gun out.
      I see 0.5″ to 1″ c-t-c in my near future at 18 yards. I’ll see if I can further improve on the artillery hold, as my numbers are likely still skewed towards my ability and not a fair assessment of the gun.
      Can’t wait to see how your numbers come out.
      DG



        • BB,
          Can’t wait. BTW I did read in some other blogs that the same 0.22 cal model was grouping dime-size at 13 yards with Crossman Premiers, and Quarter sized at 18 yards using Dynamic SN2.
          I am convinced that the combination of no AO, poor parallax, and a heavy trigger is going to limit but the best of shooters. This is why I am springing for a new Leapers Scope and the GRT-4G trigger. With some luck pimping this ride I can meet it halfway to a successful partnership.


          • dg,
            I think we tried to warn you not to get involved in this sport, didn’t we? It starts out suttle: “Oh, maybe a better trigger will help”, “Oh, I’ll bet a new scope will solve this problem”, “Oh, I haven’t tried pellete brand x yet”, “Huh, I wonder how that new rifle is compared to this one”. Oh, well, its too late now. I hope your saving up for your next 3, 4, maybe five next rifles. (Course the kids are going to think you’re an even greater dad to have around.)


            • Chuck,
              You have me pegged. I keep telling myself, “It’s the journey that makes it fun.” But I do get a kick out of staring back at these projects to say to it, “Ha. See there sucker. I beat you into submission. I win. You do what I say now.” Then, my kids just look at me and say “Dad, you are wack.” And your right, they do get to enjoy the spoils of my wars.


              • dg,

                Here’s a little tip from our house to yours. Although, I use it against Tom, you may be able to use it against your spouse.

                Tom: You’re not using [fill in the blank]. It’s just sitting around. Let’s sell it or give it away.

                Edith: Yeah, but only if you giveaway or sell your metal detectors (unused for at least a decade), and if I get to go through your gun closet (actually, a whole room in our house) and pick out the guns you haven’t shot in years.

                Tom: Never mind.

                You, too, can use this type of leverage with your spouse if there’s ever the slightest hint that you need to get rid of the excess or that you need only 1 gun. Poppycock!

                When comparing the accumulation of stuff, the message always hits home 🙂

                Edith


                • Edith,
                  Thanks for the tip. My wife would whole heartily agree that she has the lion’s share of accumulations. So, a couple more toys is easily in my future, at this point. She just isn’t a big fan of guns though. But I did get here out to do some shooting the other day, and she seemed to enjoy it and actually had a pretty good group. So she is falling right into my evil plot. Bwahh Haa Haa.


                • How funny, I used that leverage trick 2 days ago when I came home with some new toys!
                  My wife has this HUGE necklace collection with lots of unique and exotic ones (I had to make her a rack so she can hang all of them, racks sold on the market were not large enough to accomodate all of them unles we would have went with an ugly commercial thing) and I think I’m getting myself my first PCP for christmas and birthday (at the very end of december, hey, there had to be some sort of compensation for everyone forgetting your birthday… BIGGER/BETTER GIFTS 😀 ) this year a Hatsan AT44 repeater!

                  J-F


        • I found out, last night, that the scope rail, that is pre-mounted by Gamo, did not have the stop screw all the way down. So, my scope has been shifting and tearing a slot in this Gamo Aluminum scope rail. Only part way through the aluminum piece, so not a full-through slot. I re-assembled and cranked down the stop screw back at the original hole location, so hopefully it will hold better now. However, I am now wondering about maybe a better mount. Any ideas? Or, should I continue to use the same scope rail that locks onto the receiver?
          This is likely where some poor groups have been coming from. Tried a few rounds after the re-assembly and groups tightened back up.
          DG


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