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Ammo Gamo’s Silent Stalker Whisper IGT air rifle: Part 4

Gamo’s Silent Stalker Whisper IGT air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper IGT surprised B.B. by being difficult to group.

Before I start today’s report I have to share a concern. The other evening while we were watching TV, Edith suddenly suggested that I write an airgun blog for beginners. I thought about it, and I decided she is probably right.

Of course, this very blog is supposed to be for beginners, but I fear that I’ve wandered away from that objective. There’s too much jargon in the articles and not enough explanation. As far as the comments are concerned, I have no problems with what’s said because readers ought to be able to say almost anything. But the articles ought to be more informative and not require an airgun background to understand.

If you’re new to airgunning and have been struggling with this blog, please speak up now. I would like to hear your views on how we can make this blog better and easier to understand.

Okay, on to today’s report, which, if subtitled, would read, BB gets frustrated. I’ve tried to like this Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper IGT. I really have, and I did like many things about it. I liked the light weight, the ease of cocking and the lack of vibration when fired. I didn’t care for the scope Gamo sends with the rifle, but today was supposed to take care of that. But it didn’t work out that way. Instead, adding a better scope only demonstrated that this rifle isn’t going to shoot like it should, and I believe I now know why.

New scope
You’ll recall that I criticized the Gamo scope pretty severely, so for today’s session I mounted a Leapers 6-24×50 AO scope in the BKL 1-piece droop compensating mount I’m using to compensate for the rifle’s extreme droop. Blog reader Kevin has said that he wouldn’t buy another Leapers scope because of the way he was treated by the company in what should have been a warranty situation, and I have to agree with him on that; but their scopes are still a very good value for the money. This scope is one I’ve used several times before, and it’s never let me down.

I figured the first thing to do was to verify my zero after changing out the scope, and of course there was a lot of adjustment to be made with the new one. I have no idea what gun or mounts this scope was associated with last, so it will naturally be off unless I get lucky. But this wasn’t the day for luck.

After zeroing, the first pellet I tried was the 14.3-grain JSB Exact Express that looked so tantalizing in the last accuracy test. And this is where the frustration began. In the last test using the poor scope, I managed a 10-shot group that measured 1.267 inches between centers. I expected far better than that, now that I could clearly see the target. But after only seven pellets went into a group measuring 1.479 inches, I knew it was not to be.

JSB Exact Express pellets spread out so far that I gave up after seven shots.

I then changed to the heavier 15.9-grain JSB Exact Jumbo pellet. But another seven of those pellets went into a group measuring 1.427 inches, and I stopped wasting my time.

JSB Exact Jumbos weren’t much better, with seven going into 1.427 inches. I didn’t complete this group, either.

I was really frustrated, because nothing I tried was working. I would get two pellets in the same hole when I tried a new hold, and then the third would land two inches away. This was starting to get embarrassing! And I did try many other pellets, including some that are obsolete, like Beeman Silver Jets. Nothing worked. RWS Hobbys were so far off-target that they put a hole in the aluminum light fixture I use to illuminate the target. And Beeman Kodiaks, which I think are much too heavy for an air rifle in this power class, were doing the same thing as all the rest — grouping two tight and then throwing the next two several inches away. Then I shot another disappointing group of H&N Trophy Hunters.

Finally in desperation I shot a last group of Beeman Silver Bear hollowpoints that ended with the fourth shot. Why shoot any more when four shots already has you over one inch? Look at the group, and you’ll see what I mean.

When a group begins like this, why bother going farther? Four Beeman Silver Bears at 25 yards.

Now this is the point in many reports where I pull back the curtain and reveal the sunshine of a successful test. But not today. There is no joy in Mudville today. Oh, that’s not true.

I felt so bad about all the lousy shooting, and believe me, there’s more than I’m reporting, that I grabbed my tuned .177-caliber Beeman R8 and shot a final group of ten Beeman Devastators at the same 25 yards. This was to wash the bad taste of this test out of my mouth.

This group of ten Devastators came from my Beeman R8 at 25 yards. The group measure 0.5 inches on the nose, allowing for the built-in error.

And it worked. Apparently I can still shoot — even on a day when I can’t get the Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper IGT to shoot worth a darn. It just felt good to be able to say that.

So, what’s wrong?
I think I know why the Silent Stalker Whisper isn’t grouping, and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it. Early on in this second accuracy test, I started grabbing and shaking things to see if anything was loose. When I came to the barrel, it shook from side to side. It wobbles on its pivot, and there isn’t anything I can do about it.

I see from examining the action outside the stock that a lot of thought went into this gun, but they missed a very critical point — the barrel lockup. If that’s loose and can’t be tightened, and apparently it can’t, then the rifle will never live up to its potential. It’s still a nice lightweight breakbarrel with smooth shooting characteristics, but it lacks the all-important accuracy potential shooters want.

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.

114 thoughts on “Gamo’s Silent Stalker Whisper IGT air rifle: Part 4”

  1. I’d like to be the first to echo B.B.’s personal invitation for new airgunners to comment on how to make this blog better and easier to understand.

    For me, todays article is another fine example of why I visit this airgun site daily. I’m not just talking about the unbiased and experienced view on airguns and airgun related information that’s shared freely. Today the “fine example” is the naked, unmasked sharing of the frustration that resulted from not being able to get a gun to shoot accurately when you’ve called upon 50 years of first hand shooting experience and probably 200 years of second hand shooting experience. No sugar coating or glossing over the facts here.

    Diagnosing and hopefully overcoming accuracy problems in a specific gun are part of the shooting hobby. This blog has been invaluable to me in multiple situations in diagnosing and overcoming accuracy problems and I want to thank the numerous contributors here that have minimized my frustration.

    B.B.’s reports along with many of the commentors here have helped me avoid airgun purchases that I speculate may have been a pitfall that resulted in such a great level of frustration that I would have never reached the pinnacle of fun with airguns that I now enjoy.

    Thanks to all of you that comment. I’ve learned so much. I hope others will start to chime in with their comments and airgun experiences (no matter how frustrating they’ve been LOL!) so I can learn even more.


    • kevin,

      Well said sir! I would like to add one comment to your,as always, elegant post,which is the excellent advice given when someone is looking to purchase a gun. Someone always says, well what do you want to use your gun for and then this blog seems to be off to the races with so many choices being discussed.

      The knowledge that is available here for the asking is a true treasure for any person who asks.

      OK all you new air gunners what do you all want to see here?



      • {How do you define “new”… While I’ve owned the US Shooting Team 953, and a 717 since early 80s, RWS m54 and Gamo NRA 1000 Special since mid 90s — I think I’ve shot more pellets this year alone than the previous 25 years combined}

        Number Two: Information…. We want… Information!

  2. In Toms own words;
    “According to Dr. Beeman you need 5 ft lbs of energy to kill a rabbit, so starting out at 7 ft lbs the .20 caliber R7 would seem to be up to the task at the modest distance I anticipate this shot to be”

    So is Dr. Beeman right or wrong…

    I think he is correct for what it’s worth

    • Dr. Beeman might be right…..
      But as I once read somewhere (or was it a movie?) : “There is no such thing as OverKill, only kill.
      Or as Frank B said in Monday’s blog “Bring enough gun”.
      My point is don’t !@#$% around with minimum requirements, both Tom and Edith state that it Might! be possible with less but recommend using an airgun with at least 12 fpe to kill an animal.
      The snipers in the world have a saying “One shot, one kill”, and you don’t see them doing their work with a .22Lr.
      Why not copy the professionals, and “Bring enough gun.”


      • Actually inside the 100-yard or less that you find in urban environments, snipers *are* doing their work with the .22lr. There are several rifles made specifically for urban police work in .22lr.

    • Frank B said it in monday’s blog: “Bring enough gun”.
      Others say : “There is no such thing as OverKill, only kill.
      Or: “One shot, one kill.
      Tom and Edith both stated that in their opinion an airgun used for hunting small game should have at Least! 12 fpe. I don’t see why you shouldn’t have at least that in your euthanasia gun.

    • Have you ever heard the term “Err on the side of caution??” This is a situation where Tom is giving advice.
      He is wise enough to advocate more energy for the task than MAY be necessary.IMHO,this is to his credit.
      I really wish you were able to see it that way.Also consider that all pellets don’t produce identical energy
      in any given gun.Relatively few shooters own a chrony or scale so many have little idea of the actual energy produced by their airgun with a particular airgun.IMHO,a wise man accounts for that in his advice too.Add to that the fact that in our imperfect world,airguns are advertised much of the time as being capable of velocities they may never achieve or only achieve with pellets that weigh much less than the pellets most folks would use.Can you see where suggesting a higher energy level makes sense now?

    • Sigh.

      What we have here is a failure to communicate.

      Those are not Tom’s word, they are some hacks named Volvo. The blog you pulled the from, did you click on any of the links? Did you notice that under the first photo their is a link to a Playboy video?
      Perhaps the shiny black Volvo up in the corner rather than a picture of Tom was another hint.

      One last try:.

      I do believe Doc Beeman was fairly accurate in his minimum estimates, but you will also find another that suggests double those amounts as optimum.

      So it appears the is biggest confusion is not understanding the difference between “minimum” and “optimum” . Below are the definitions, please ponder these for at least 2 minutes and use them in a sentence.

      “the least quantity assignable, admissible, or possible”

      “the amount or degree of something that is most favorable”

      Now reflecting on that information does it make more sense to buy an R7 for hunting or an R9?

      (yes I used the R7 on the bunny, but only because it was my only remaining air rifle and it meet the minimum requirements – plus I had the confidence I would hit what I was aiming at, however my first choice for hunting? No.)

    • Here’s what I don’t get.
      Mr. Beeman is considered an ‘authority’…as I mentioned previously, so were a lot of peope pre-Galileo who thought the earth was the centre of the universe 😉
      Tom is considered an authority…at least in my mind.
      Mr. Beeman has stated what in fact is only his opinion…I highly doubt any serious scientific research went into how many FPE were required to kill the average squirrel at whatever distance…THEY ARE GUIDELINES.
      Tom…has stated his opinion.
      Take ’em or leave ’em…I don’t really see why this has generated so much argument.

  3. Awww….

    And here I’ve been awaiting the authoring of The Definitive Guide to the Care and Tuning of Pre-Charged Pneumatic Airguns

    Granted, other than an intro chapter on the basic features and types of adjustments (valve preload, striker preload, striker/valve travel, pressure choice, and maybe restrictor) the rest of said book will likely consist of tables showing how each model responds to such changes, with caveats that any particular specimen may be slightly different, maybe consisting of a range of pellet weights, adjustment setting, and velocity per shot between max and working minimum pressures. Oh, and in .177 and .22 minimum for each.

    But given the many variations in PCPs — some guide might be called for. Lets see (based on my purchases of this year)…
    * AirForce Condor — it is recommended that one does NOT play with the valve “top hat” [what would that adjust, valve travel?] leaving just the striker preload wheel. But then, there is the possibility of sticking a Talon rated tank/valve on it, which probably adds some confusion. And of course both the CO2 tanks and Micro-Meter tank would need their tables.
    * AirForce Talon — as above but include “top hat” adjustments
    *Benjamin Marauder — As I recall, one has striker preload, striker travel, AND some flow restrictor to play with.
    *Crossman Silhouette (second model) — just striker preload and travel.

    Then there are those Sam Yang (?) with the dual position cocking positions (which, hypothesis, affects striker travel, and maybe some preload)… What else do we have out there?

  4. Although most comments here are airgun related, sometimes (such as the two previous) seem to be totally out of context of the discussion put forth by B.B. for the day. That can certainly be confusing to newbies. They should try to self enforce themselves to comment in the blog to which their comments pertain. I for one have no idea what they are babbling about and I have been hanging around here for a little time now.

    • Ridgerunner,Hi…good morning.I’m writing to point out a subtlety you may not necessarily pick up on.I have been fortunate enough to have discovered this blog several years ago.I have noticed as I read the blog,(especially evident in the archived past blogs) newbies almost never read the comments! They seem to completely ignore all the valuable Q&A.As evidence of my theory,at least a thousand times I have read a question posed directly below where BB has answered it more than a dozen times.It makes me want to scream every time I see it.Want to see what I’m talking about? Here is a classic example:I searched Benjamin 132,and proceeded to BB’s blog.How many times in the comments does someone say they have a “Benjamin Franklin airgun”? There are always things posted that are OT,some of them are beyond my comprehension……but easy to skip over.Some here are absolutely BRILLIANT,and I’m thrilled to learn from them and ask questions.I fully understand your objection,but theres a baby in that bathwater! 🙂

    • Yet, at least once a month, someone who has posted to an old/stale comment thread is recommended to just post to the “current day’s” comments… As, unless one is using an RSS type reader, new comments to old threads will likely never be seen.

  5. The video academy is a good resource for beginners.

    Another good resource would be a glossary or acronym-translation table, listed under “Categories.” Owing to Mr. Gaylord’s superlative skills as a tech writer, I can enjoy making my way through this blog, but after weeks of exposure the Yellow Forum still baffles.

    • Simon,

      Yours is the second vote for a glossary. Maybe there is something to it at that.

      As for the language on the Yellow Forum, I don’t understand half of it, either. Sometimes I think people invent new terms just to see if they will become part of the vernacular.


      • It is my sad duty to refer you to the link listed below (all in good humor and tongue in cheek, although I do tend to agree with what you wrote then).


        The salient paragraph begins, “From time to time…”

        Thank you for your dedication, diligence and cogent writings. Although I corresponded with Robert Law and Robert Beeman in the late 70’s I have been away for so very long and I have just spent the past 16 hours reading articles, specs, testimonials, user reviews, and I have Googled a term or two along the way. Much has happened while I was away.


  6. I have been hanging around here for a long time now and hardly ever post, but this really tickles me because I get approached by a lot of beginners.
    I think we should go back to the start of this hobby for beginning airgunners. Back to the question that was mentioned before; What do you plan on using it for?

    I have asked this question countless times already and for people who are totally new to this hobby the prices on some of those guns that really start our hearts pumping like the Weihrauchs, ancient Walthers and Feinwerkbau air guns scare the heck out of them. Not even to mention PCPs and custom guns.

    They see a fun hobby they want to get into but the first thing they often ask me is; I do not want to spend a lot of money, can’t I get something nice cheap?

    And you know when you are into airguns, this can actually be a hard question. So why don’t you answer that one? Are there bargain basement diamonds? Can you set up a Chinese airgun to be a super backyard sniper? Perhaps with some minor modifications, and what would be the most important points?
    Or is it just not possible and should we instead advise them to go for a slightly rusty HW30, Diana27 or [your favorite here] second hand?

    Could be a nice test; take a budget below $100 for each, buy one gun new, buy one used. Do some simple modifications any beginner would also be able to do and take them to the test.


    • Carel,

      Now that was what I was looking for. You have given me an idea to follow, based on your impression of what new airgunners want.

      The Bronco was my attempt at creating a bargain air rifle for beginners. I know it costs a little over $100 (though sale guns have been priced for less), but it has features and capabilities of guns costing over $250. And it has the classic things (accuracy, smoothness, ease of cocking) that we look for in the older guns like the Diana 27s. If there was a gun under $100 that did as much, I would be its head cheerleader.

      One gun that has good potential is the Hammerli 490 Express. For $85 you get the easy cocking and the accuracy, but not the great trigger.

      As far as modifying any new gun, I would stay away from that for a new airgunner. They need guns they can take out of the box and shoot. While many people eventually feel the urge to modify their guns, I don’t think it is attractive to a newcomer when a sport requires equipment modification from the start. Another reason I think the Bronco is a world-beater.


      • BB,

        you beat me to the draw (a nice metaphor, no?). I was going to suggest the Bronco as a great first spring piston rifle. Another, although a few bucks more expensive, is Benjamin’s 392 or 397. That was my first rifle and it really hooked me on our sport. If fact, that was the rifle I just took with me into the attic when I thought a group of squirrels had taken up residence (nope but for my troubles, I cut my head open on a roofing nail – good thing wifey wasn’t home as I was bleeding like a stuck pig). No offense intended but I don’t think she would care to make squirrel stew had I dispatched a couple of grays to that big oak tree in the sky. For that matter, neither would I!

        I also appreciate why you took the R-8 out to see if the poor groups were the shooter or the rifle. I do that, too, probably many more times than you! Even though after all these years, I know I’m capble of .5″ groups at 28′, when a rifle doesn’t cooperate, I still wonder if it’s me.

        Case in point, that FWB 124 I bought up in CT, stil isn’t shooting to POA (point of aim). In examing the Williams Peep sight closely, I realized that the left side wasn’t fully seated in the receiver’s grooves. After about 45 minutes of fooling around, I arrived at the conclusion that the stock was just a bit too thick to allow the Williams to sit properly on top of the receiver, a problem that I recall you having with another rifle. I guess it’s time to take out the handy dandy dremel and remove some wood.

        After I sand the exposed wood, I will take a page from Kevin and rub it down with linseed oil and see if I can match the existing finish. Another lesson recalled from your blog, BB. Thanks!

        Fred PRoNJ

        • Fred,

          Wait! Wait! Hold on!

          B.B. artfully recrafted a Bronco in order to accomodate a peep sight. You can still buy a bronco.

          Before you take a dremel to your classic FWB 124 have you considered installing a FWB rear diopter? These aren’t hard to find. I have several extras that I’d be willing to sell if it will stop you from carving up your FWB 124.


            • Thank heaven Kevin stopped you! Fred,I have a 124 stock you can have before you chew on a good one!
              Please let me know if you need it…..I have 2 actions & 5! stocks,including one that is ideal to get creative with.

              • It seems that most of you think that BB and I share the same wood working talents. Well, we’re close, I admit it. Frank, thanks for the offer. Kevin is going to send me that diopter sight he mentioned and if that doesn’t work or it costs more than the 124 I bought 🙂 , I’ll get back to you. My motto is to actually use the rifles and guns I have. I refuse to own any “safe queens” as many of you refer to them. I do take the 124 out and plink away with it so the idea is to have a useable gun. If the stock keeps me from putting a decent sight on it, then a modification is called for.

                Let me throw this out to you, Kevin and KA. If you all are horrified at me taking a file or dremel to a 124 stock, how would you feel if I ground some metal off the Roberts sight to make it fit?

                Fred PRoNJ

                • I apologize for unfairly assuming a poor end result! I’m sure you’re capable of beautiful woodwork.My assertion was more about maintaining equity in your new collectible.My offer stands…..in case you wish to have a “beater” stock on hand.I just happen to have a surplus stock if you need it Fred.You know how to reach me.

                • Fred,
                  Not sure what happened to my first attempt at a reply here, maybe I hit a wrong key, but I haven’t we seen some of your work on some stock remods?? Hope you don’t think I was heckeling you on your work, I was just reminded of the many comments BB got on that quick mod he did on the Bronco. I’m sure you’ll do top notch work and BB would’ve too had the subject been on the modification, not the sights and rifle. Go for it! 🙂


    • Carel,

      You make some great points and ask some terrific questions.

      You and I have been in similar situations. I’ve had quite a few of my friends shoot my airguns. These are mostly firearm guys that haven’t shot or owned a bb gun or pellet gun since their youth. Many smile at the end of the session and ask the age old question, “What pellet gun would you recommend that won’t break the bank, is accurate, has a good trigger, etc. etc.?”

      One thing I like to point out is the TOTAL cost of the airgun. I’m a “Quality Is Cheap” kinda guy. In other words, if my friend buys a HW30, Diana 27 or other quality airgun and likes it then odds are that he will have a gun that will last his lifetime and maybe his kids lifetime if he takes care of it. If he doesn’t like or finds that airgunning was a passing fad in his life and wants to sell the gun he can get all or most of his money out of a quality gun. Either way it’s cheaper in the long run than buying a typical walmart special.


    • Care!,

      I can not think of one air gun under $100 which has a good trigger. And a good trigger is absolutely necessary for the best accuracy.

      Several have “acceptable” triggers and come in under $100. One is the Daisy 953. Plenty accurate, “squishy” trigger but can live with it.

      They already mentioned Bronco.

      Some of the chinese air guns CAN be quite good. Problem there is quality control. IF you get a good one it is really good. My return rate was about 5 – 7 guns returned before I got a good one! That was a Tech Force 59 and was an excellent gun which I improved with a CDT GRTIII trigger.

      So you CAN find them.

  7. BB,
    I second Kevin’s appreciation of your truthfulness in evaluating airguns. Some people still don’t trust a blogger working for a retailer. I think that if people would read your post for a month or two they would come to a different conclusion. I tell people that you can only review the gun you have in your hands. I suspect some guns you receive are exceptionally good and you also receive some lemons. But, you do your honest best to give us the plain facts. I know it takes hours of meticulous testing for almost every blog post you make. I appreciate your efforts.

    I feel that the basics are better covered in static articles instead of this blog. My main problem with the blog is that it is hard to go back and find articles I want to read again. Even remembering some details of a blog and using the search functions, it can take quite a long time to find an article. I expect that blogs for beginners would get buried like a lot of other very good blogs.

    David Enoch

    • David,

      You know, Edith said the same thing about using articles, rather than the blog, for newcomers. We already do that with both the articles on the PA website and with the Airgun Academy Videos. So maybe we are doing all that can be done.

      Thanks for your observations.


  8. Many times the conversation on here goes “off topic”. But, it’s a blog after all, and a blog by its nature invites all sorts of comments without regard for “maintaining” a conversation. In my very humble opinion, having read B.B.’s excellent reports on here for 2 years or so, and having learned so much from him, I think Pyramyd should perhaps set up some type of discussion board.

    While there are many great boards already, such as the fabulous GTA, I think a Pyramyd run discussion board would be a tremendous benefit to the readers. Plus it could categorize the discussions making reference much easier.

    BTW, B.B., you need to (please) do a once over on Crosman’s new M417 pumper. Sounds like it’s a big seller and a gun that appeals to the newer of airgunning hobbyists. (plus I need to convince my self to put it on my must have list!)..

      • Consider me +1 on the 417 review.I predict the black rifle look and the reasonable price point will add up to great sales! Even better is the 760 pumper guts inside…..I hope it’s a shooter.I just did work on a metal reciever early 760.Lapped the barrel & recrowned it just to see what was possible.Sadly I discovered the limiting factor:the front sight screw and both rear sight screws cover up the fact that the holes go through to the bore! I am considering an aftermarket barrel blank……I doubt there is any more hay to make with the original barrel.I think the front sight hole is too close to the muzzel to allow any more precision.

  9. BB

    It speaks to your sticktoitiveness that you would spend so much time and effort attempting to wring some accuracy out of this rifle. I appreciate it. Unfortunately, it appears this dog won’t hunt.

    On the subject of helping new airgunners with the hobby, may I suggest an airgun glossary page? Here a person could find the meaning to an airgunning term they are confused about. This would have been a great boon to me in my earlier days. In addition to terms, abbreviations could be explained. For example CPL, CPH, FPE, FPS, AO, BC etc, etc.

    In an effort to draw more new female airgunners to the hobby, I would post more photos of your bad self.

    • SL,

      We did do a glossary page several years ago, but as I recall, it wasn’t visited very much. Sometimes it is hard for everything to stand out when there is so much on a website.

      As for pictures of me, all they will draw are flies. 😉


  10. BB,

    So… Gamo junk? Too bad on the one major goof for what seemed like a real winner otherwise. “Let’s build a rifle that is a real neat shooter, but don’t worry about the bbl wobbling around, they won’t know until after they purchased it anyway”.
    As for “back to the basics for new air gunners” I say I like the variety of what’s been written. A little more basic stuff would probably be in order, maybe a half and half kind of thing. When I first found this site I was intrigued by the depth of conversation in the comment section and have been “schooled” on a regular basis since. My biggest hurdle was being clueless to the blog environment.

    Kevin, too bad with your experience on what should’ve been a warranty fix with Leapers. Sometimes the only thing that keeps a company afloat in lean times is the way the warranties are handled. How much should a good reputation cost? Does not make sense to me how people (corporations as well) can have the mindset that making it right doesn’t matter.

    Off topic… I received a coupon from PA in my email with a notice that there’s a new Bug Buster scope available for pre-order. When I clicked on it I was taken to PA’s site to see “Discontinued Item”. Ha! 🙂

    More coffee


    • KA,

      More basic guns? I can do that. I always feel like I’m boring most of the readers when I look at something basic. Every time I test a new BB pistol I wait for the shouts of indignation. But maybe that’s not the case at all.

      I’m getting set to order a batch of guns, so more basic stuff.


      • I’m not so keen on the BB pistols, but if others are, then you should report on them — perhaps not quite at the same length and depth as you do good rifles or good pellet pistols.

        • Considering that, for all practical purposes, one just has the choice of Crossman copper-plate vs Daisy “silver” (zinc) plate BBs, at least tests of BB guns don’t have a chinese menu of ammo to be tested. <G>

          • I guess what I forgot to state was that — even if the shooting was on separate days — the velocity and accuracy reports could probably be combined into one page.

  11. One of my shooting buddies sent me an interesting link about testing a variety of rimfire ammo. Can’t help but see the similarities with B.B.’s ongoing accuracy testing. The blog this rimfire ammo tester guy posts on gets similar questions from readers, i.e., why/how do you measure group sizes out to 3 decimal places? are you messing with your harmonic tuner on your rimfire? did you season the barrel? etc. etc.

    It’s also an interesting test for those of us that shoot rimfire:



    • Really interesting. Then just when you think you understand what’s the ‘best’ ammo, they change the lot #, something small changes in the machine, and you’re back to square one again. Of course, you pretty much have to be world class for the changes to matter a lot.

    • CCI MiniMags did pretty well considering price and availability (not to mention the reputation and price of some of the competition), which is why it is one of the few rounds I can recommend from the local superstore; plus, the lot to lot variation is pretty small. Not the most accurate (a little high in velocity), but entirely serviceable and available at every Walmart in the US. Can you tell I’m a fan :)?

      • BG,

        Up to the present and extending back in time CCI Mini Mag HP’s have proved to be THE most accurate in every .22 lr and pistol I have tried. I’ve shot Winchester, Federal, Remington, Eley Match, and several other match rounds in every iteration I could find on dealers shelfs!

        CCI MM HP beat em all! In my Ruger 10/22 it would print sub .5″ groups benched rested at 50 yards. In my Marlin 39M it would shoot primers out of shotgun shells at 100 yards benchrested about 90% of the time. Ditto for my Weather semi auto benched at 100 yards.

      • Each .22 rimfire rifle (or Pistol) is a law on to itself as to what ammo it likes. However, one that almost always is right at the top for accuracy is Wolf Match Extra. It is a bit pricey at around $5.00 per 50 but will really shoot. My Anschutz M54 Sporter will one hole them at 25 yds. I also have a Smith & Wesson Model 34 2 inch Revolver that shoots CCI HV Hollow Points the best. You just never know.


        • Kevin,

          No worries there. I’m about full of .22 rimfires. But I am angling to get a cased muzzleloading Cape gun made by Nelson Lewis of Troy, NY. It’s a .50-cal. shotgun and a .39-cal. rifle and comes with period swages to make picket bullets for the rifle. We are doing the tarantula dance right now.


          • Very interesting that the results at 50,75 &100 have dramatic differences in their respective results.As in 7th best @ 50yds is the best @75yds but drops to eighth best at 100! Kudos to the testers,nicely done for such a large test.

            • Steve,

              A tarantula dance is when two gun traders start to haggle over a deal. Each is wary the other will pounce on him and bite him, then eat him, so they dance around one another with their front feet touching and poised to spring in an instant.

              Whenever a deal starts to form the tarantula dance begins.


          • B.B.,

            Very interesting. That’s an oldie. I think I remember a Lewis Nelson shotgun/rifle combo selling in the recent Rock Island auction. My catalogues are up at the cabin or I’d look through them.

            If you make the deal you’ve got to find a way to write a little something about it and share some photo’s.


            • Kevin,

              Thanks for that tip. I will check the catalogs. I’ve found a couple online and they aren’t estimated to bring that much, but they are in poor condition and thew one I’m looking at is excellent.

              I’m boning up on Lewis through the writings of Ned Roberts. Apparently he only rifled with a gain twist. I will write about the gun if I get it, because I want to shoot it in the authentic way — with real black powder and pickett bullets that I swage myself. Roberts covers swaging with these tools in his book on Schuetzens.


              • B.B.,

                Excellent condition??!! Your ability to find these rare pieces continually amazes me. You must have an angel on your shoulder that enjoys shooting 😉

                Ned Roberts sure praises Lewis Nelson and his ability to rework old barrels and get them to shoot better “than when they were new.”

                Seems that your PHD in the history of firsthand shooting of fine American guns will be completed in the next few months. I’m a few decades behind you.


    • Agreed, it is a nice test. There is enough data to show how difficult it is to effectively measure group size.

      I’ll confess to not studying the article, but looking at the 50 yard targets, it seems clear that there was one wild shot in the “Norinco Target” set. The average of the other four groups is 0.305 which would seem to be statistically significantly different than the 0.377 reported.

      Of course this gets you chasing another variable. What is the percentage of flyers in each brand of ammo? This is even harder to measure. If the ammo had about 3% flyers, then it is about 50/50 that you’d get no flyers in 25 shots.

      More information just always seems to lead to deeper and harder to answer questions. 😉


  12. BB:
    It’s a shame the Gamo has fallen at the last hurdle.I was hoping it would perform well.
    The reason being ties in a bit with the other topic about new air gunners.
    The Gamo Silent Stalker IGT is exactly the sort of rifle I would have walked out the shop buying and have done many times.
    How an airgun looked rather than its performance often carried the day while in the shop and only later at home would the disatisfaction and frustration set in.It appears that will be the case with this rifle.
    On the bright side though guns like this pull in new shooters and there will be a few of those folk who will persevere with the hobby and start looking beyond the ‘Bling’.

    I’m on all sorts of blogs and without doubt yours BB is the most beginner friendly.
    A fair amount of air guns you test are what new air gunners are looking to buy.
    When a new commentator asks a question they always receive not only an answer but at least half a dozen welcomes.
    In the meantime the regular commentators brainstorm all sorts of air gun and shooting related issues.Basicaly something for everyone.
    Even the off topic discussions are very informative and if not your cup of tea…scroll past it.

  13. BB,
    I did feel the blog changed in tone a bit around the time American Airgunner started — I thought you were going Hollywood there for a while, but you seem to have gotten back to your old self, which was/is quite likable. As long as you are honestly sharing your observations, difficulties, developments and discoveries with us and not didactically telling us what to do or how we should think, I believe the blog is interesting and helpful to all who chance upon it, regardless of their level of development. One final observation is that I’ve always liked that the blog is really more about shooting air rifles than just product reviews. Assuming a certain base level of usability (established by your tests), I don’t think it matters as much as we sometimes think what product one buys so much as that one has honest expectations and understands the process of learning how to use it.

  14. If you need to buy a gift for some deserving kid (or yourself), the Marlin Cowboy has been reduced for 2 days only. The sale ends tomorrow. The price will be increased again on Friday. If you want it, get it now or prepare to pay more later.


  15. B.B., well you gave this gun more than a fair try. A loose barrel seems like a rather big thing to miss in the design of this gun….

    BG_Farmer, that’s quite the sight picture that is optimal when your target disappears. But it sounds like fun. Thanks for your open invitation. Learning a frontstuffer is more than agreeable for a chance to walk your course which sounds very interesting.

    Victor, thanks for your comments about practice. I too have noticed that the benefits come at the end of the session, so maybe the Chinese Kung Fu master was onto something. And a propos of B.B.’s article, I would say that another point I’ve found useful is to have a definitive ending to a practice session and not to keep shooting if you end on a bad shot. There’s a YouTube personality names Hickock45 who makes some amazing shots, but he always says not to quit on a miss. I’ve found the reverse to be true. If you keep shooting until you hit, then you dilute the lessons learned. Sometimes the irritation of a bad shot is best allowed to linger to sharpen you up for the next session. As the Japanese samurai say, “If it feels good, no good.” But that is just in regards to shooting skill. I can see how one would want to distance oneself from a Gamo rifle with some good shooting.

    Is your Ruger Mark II a pistol? That golf ball shot was rested on sandbags right???? Your feat reminds me of a Western with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef where they shoot each others hats out of sight.


    • Matt61,
      I have ended a practice session on many a sour note. Often times, I just walk away saying to myself, “There must be a reason!” or “I know there’s an answer” (same difference). I may get frustrated at times, but I never give up. One of the beauties of shooting is that we often times to find solutions. In the case of today’s blog, we sometimes just have to face reality. The Ruger Mk II is a target pistol, and no it wasn’t rested. I was shooting free-hand. I found that pieces of wood 1.5″x3″ were pretty easy to hit at 50 yards, so moved onto a golf ball, and pushed it out to over 80 yards. By then It was too hard to see among a bunch of rocks. The interesting thing about this is that I doubt that I could hit a target as well as a 3-D object. I forget who, but someone here had made that same observation some months ago.

      • I agree about ending a session on a ‘sour’ note.
        Sometimes (not often) it’s gun or sight related and I need to stop and figure out what the issue is.
        More often than not it’s me…whether it be the end of a stressful day, not enough sleep or too much caffeine…sometimes I just can’t shoot for…
        In the past I would just slog on through until I got some decent groupings. I’d shoot groups of 5 or 10 and sometimes chew through a dozen targets to get a good grouping. Then I’d shoot another crappy group.
        I realized that I wasn’t actually working through my stress/lack of sleep/whatever…it was just the luck of the draw that I managed to get that one good group.
        Which is really pointless.
        So now, if I can’t settle down to some reasonable shooting within 20 or so shots…I usually quit, pour a scotch and settle into a good book.

        • CowBoyStar Dad,

          You know, often times it is me. Sure, many times it was a loose screw (not in my head), or even a bad scope. Those are the kinds of things that motivate me to look for hardware solutions. However, sometimes I just stop being careful about the details of shot execution. Like you, it happens when I’m tired, or just not all there mentally for whatever reason. What matters is that I really enjoy myself anytime that I’m shooting. It’s just that much sweeter when everything falls into place.


  16. BB,

    Thanks for letting us know about the wobbly barrel. Disappointing, but not un-fixable. Sounds like we could either shim it or tighten it up for next to nothing and stil have a nice rifle. I know that not everyone is going to be able to do this, but for those of us who can, it still might be a good deal! Either easy, thanks for another honest report!


      • That’s too bad…. I guess I didn’t register the entore problem when I read it. The shims can be tightened easily, but if the chisel or whatever lock they use (I forgot) is wobbling too, or maybe even the barrel in the breachblock, then we can get into some work trying to fix that…. 🙁 I’m going to stick with my HW90 even though it’s a bear to cock. I only have about $700 into that one with 2 barrels and a scope, and I know it shoots nice when I do my part (which isn’t as much as I’d like. Matter of fact, I might want to change my user name to shaky2, borrowing from shaky…. 🙂 ).


  17. B.B.,
    This particular blog is both stunning and significant! Whether the air-gun industry realizes it or not, you are doing them quite a service! Nowhere else on the planet are you going to see this kind of honesty when it comes to air-gun reviews. Oh, I have found plenty a negative review, but there’s little value in negativity when it comes too loose. Keeping others honest, including oneself, is of value.

    I have a Gamo Silent Cat that I have found to be not quite as accurate as some of my other air-rifles, but still a lot of fun to shoot. I simply don’t hold it to the same standards that I do others, including my Game CF-X, or Gamo Hunter Extreme in .22 caliber. However, I do like the fact that the Silent Cat is relatively easy to cock, and light.

    I have to wonder why a manufacturer would make a new product that is worse than older ones? Thanks for the enlightening review!

  18. How disappointing! That’s about all I can say that doesn’t include profanity. I agree with Victor’s, “I have to wonder why a manufacturer would make a new product that is worse than older ones?”

    Now, if Gamo approaches you and says you must have gotten a rare bad one and they try to give you another one to test, you take it but don’t test with it. You get another one off the shelf and check for that loose barrel first. Am I paranoid? I suppose so.

    I may have seen one of these on the display rack at Bass Pro. How easy is it to check that loose barrel? Is it really obvious if I try to wiggle it?

  19. I just got an M417 yesterday (do you suppose they put the 17 on there because they plan on an M422?). If you think you want to get your kid a multi pumper then DO get them this one. They will be thrilled with it and be the envy of all their friends. Save your 490s for their collector value because they won’t sell another one after the M417 gets around (if the government doesn’t stop them first). I haven’t gotten serious with it yet but here are my initial thoughts: It’s very light because it’s mostly plastic, pretty front heavy because there isn’t much stock with that style, easy to pump (but I’ve only gone up to 6 pumps), very authentic looking, and so far I’m shooting 1/2″ groups at 10m. I’ve only put about 20 RWS Hobby shots through it, though, but I think it will shoot a little tighter. Another pellet could make it better but the main reason, I think, is the sights are not very precise for 10M competition shooting 🙂 but I think are excellent for cans and other plinkings. I think kids will want to use the peep sights that come with it rather than scope it right away. They’re fun to use. I did have to screw the front sight way up to be on target at 10m and that leaves the post a little loose, being at almost the end of its range. I can wobble it back and forth with my finger at that higher setting which may account for a percentage of the 1/2″ group. This rifle has a very good fun per price ratio.

      • Chuck

        I am trying to wait for BB’s review. You aren’t helping.

        I sure as heck don’t need this gun, but I sure as heck want it! Once money stops mysteriously evaporating from my wallet, I am going to press the button.

        Thanks for the mini review. Feel free to expound.

        • SL,
          Yeah, I know! Don’t you just hate it when you unpackage a new gun that just got shipped to you and inside there is a catalog of a whole bunch more you don’t own yet?

        • I don’t know when BB is releasing his review on the M417 and I I’ve already stolen some of the thunder of that and I’d feel guilty stealing more. I couldn’t get around to doing one myself until close to Christmas and I think he should get one out before December so you all have time to get your PA Christmas shopping done and endure the restock dates.

  20. I think I might still qualify as a new airgunner… (I started looking into airguns for the 1st time mid-summer).

    Overall, this is far and away the best resource for new airgunners I’ve found. I’m also extremely grateful that you answer newbie questions in the blog. Since I’m so satisfied, I wouldn’t recommend changing much, but here are my thoughts on the matter.

    I picked up the jargon pretty quick, but a glossary would have helped out the 1st week.

    An organized version of the tips and techniques that are scattered all over the blogs would have helped immensely – and probably cut several months of research down to a couple of weeks. ie: Zeroing a scope, JB pasting an inaccurate barrel, what makes a rifle hold-sensitive, etc.

    But – the thing that would have helped me the most would have been a set of recommended rifles & scopes by use (ie: Backyard & Basement target practice, Hunting, Field Target, 10M/3P competition) AND by price range (lowest with decent accuracy and good quality/reliability, medium, medium-high, super-nice) WITH some guidance on how much difference to expect. ie: Are the medium priced guns 50% easier to shoot accurately consistently than the lower priced recommendations or 200% ? Are the Hawke Tacticals a little (25%) higher resolution than the Leapers, or lots (2x) ?

    I didn’t find the “airgun advisor” widget on PA’s website to be very useful, and Tom’s picks were a good start, but not by category, and did not have price level options & compare/contrast (which needs to be about performance NOT features). The closest thing I found to what I really needed was your older posts about Field Target (specifically the spring guns, PCPs & scope sections).

    Also, I think using a standard shooting distance for your tests would allow beginners to compare the accuracy of the rifles more easily. I’d also like to see a comparison of scope like “in my standard testing area that is lit with only a 60W bulb, I can see line 5 on the eye chart clearly with scope X. And, when I zero’d the scope and then moved the parallax, zoom, and elevation knobs a bunch of times, it returned to zero (or within 1/4” of zero at X yards, etc).

    Finally, even though I’m mostly focused on FT & HFT info, I enjoy the articles about other things too and always pick up several useful nuggets of how-to or why info. On most other blogs, the reviews are just a list of features, with very little info about how well the features work in practice. And never any trouble shooting or technique info. It’s these last 3 things that makes your blog so unique and valuable – and what keeps me coming back every day. And in the end, I think coming back every day, and learning more is what converts a “maybe I’ll try airgunning” to an airgunner who stays in the hobby more than a few weeks (after the fun of the initial purchase has worn off).

    Thanks again BB – Keep up the good work !

    • Also, I think using a standard shooting distance for your tests would allow beginners to compare the accuracy of the rifles more easily. I’d also like to see a comparison of scope like “in my standard testing area that is lit with only a 60W bulb, I can see line 5 on the eye chart clearly with scope X. And, when I zero’d the scope and then moved the parallax, zoom, and elevation knobs a bunch of times, it returned to zero (or within 1/4″ of zero at X yards, etc).

      Ah, but what distance?

      10m (33feet)? Sure that’s appropriate for a 10m .177 competition gun producing around 5 ft-lbs at the muzzle — but those guns are designed just for use at 10m, and tend to have rather slow velocities meaning the rise/drop on either side of 10m could be measured in inches. Nothing useful for a hunting gun that may be used for small birds/squirrels/etc. out to 40 yards.

      ChairGun Pro, for an AirForce Condor using .22 H&N Baracuda (sp?) Match 21.1gr pellets at a moderate low setting (on mine, 5-0, producing 955fps) with a +/- 0.5 inch “target size” gives a “point blank range” of 19.3 to 58.8 yards (first zero is at 26 yards with second zero at 53 yards and, if I trust the program, is still producing 29 ft-lbs at second zero.

    • JohnG10,

      What a helpful response! Your comments will be read and re-read and taken to heart.

      On the glossary issue I now know what happened. I completed one many years ago and it just hasn’t been posted to the website. That’s why I thought it went up and then was disregarded. I will see if I can build a fire under IT on that issue.


  21. Customer Service – You just never know until you try, and I try to give any company a second chance to redeem themselves. Any individual customer service representative at a company can affect a consumer’s experience greatly. Interestingly, my recent experience with Leapers has prompted me to write a letter of thanks to them for their outstanding and immediate attention to a matter I experienced. A scope I had was functioning fine for months and thousands of rounds, when suddenly POI began shifting down by 3 inches randomly. Tapping lightly on the elevation turret brought things back to zero, only to shift again after a handful of shots. Several hundred rounds while using another scope of another brand proved the Leapers scope was indeed the issue. I emailed Leapers, got a friendly reply from Amy the same day, followed her instructiuons for sending in the scope, which was found to indeed be defective. Within 8 days I had a brand new scope on my rifle which is performing perfectly. I almost couldn’t believe this worked out as well as it did; these days it seems the customer is “guilty until proven innocent” or that the customer service representative isn’t being paid enough to care. I know Leapers isn’t the greatest scope in the world, but I am attracted by their claim of “True Strength” and their value, and this was one of the best customer care experiences I’ve had.

    When I first purchased my airgun from Pyramyd I had an issue with lack of response to an inquiry over a major defect. I became very frustrated over the amount of time it took to get even an email reply, when I just wanted to be out shooting. But I hung in there, and someone else there got involved and fixed things up very much to my satisfaction. Since then, the couple customer service inquiries I have made (minor but still important to me) have been answered very quickly and with true concern. A company may be going through a phase of growth or change in facility location, which can cause a slowdown of response to customers when “all hands are on deck” during a move or reconfiguration, and I’m glad I hung in there with Pyramyd.

    Everyone deserves a second chance!

  22. You’re right about the gun not being accurate, however wrong about the reason you’ve given. The problem lies with the scope, which is unable to remain in a fixed position when fitted using the Gamo scope rails. If you can secure the scope. Not easy, clearly it has more recoil than they planned for it to have, the gun is then deadly accurate using JSB Diablo 8.44gr on the .177 model. It’s a pity Gamo has not got it right first time. Because other than that it’s a much better gun than the spring models.

  23. Well that’s interesting. I’ve tested 3 of these now and found the same problem with all 3. Scope rail can’t handle the recoil. So according to your report the problem lies even deeper.

      • BB

        On the subject of enhancing the blog, and not necessarily just for beginners might be a page with an airgunners preflight checklist.

        1. barrel lock-up secure
        2. stock screws tightened
        3. barrel band(s) not bearing on the barrel
        4. etc

        I have noticed than a relative newbie such as myself often stumbles on these…uh, stumbling blocks, but even a venerable shooter such as yourself can sometimes be stymied by something which turns out to be basic.

        • SL,

          The reason we are stymied is because it’s always the thing we didn’t think of. Like things are always found in the last place you look, we can run through a checklist and still be at a loss until we discover the thing that wasn’t on the list.


          • Of course it’s the last place you look – you don’t look any further after finding it. 🙂

            I think I can put a list together – going back over the years I’ve encounterred everything from loose sights to loose scope mounts, to broken scopes, to having the scopes adjusted too far causing reticle float to loose stock screws. I’ve double-loaded pellets in the Marauder by accident and loaded an Elie wasp with a hole in the nose into one of my spring pistons with a result akin to a dry fire.

            Lately I’ve encountered incorrectly installed sights. Then there’s the question of if your barrel needs a cleaning and finally, are you using a pellet that the rifle likes. There, I can’t think of anymore screw-ups I’ve done but I’m sure something else will come to me or if not, occur. Wait, don’t forget the leaking breech seal!

            Fred PRoNJ

          • Edith

            It could just be a link provided in the right hand column of the each blog, perhaps a part of the airgun academy. Any page directed at new airgunners should be linked near the top of the page since they are less likely to know the myriad of resources available on this blog and to research them. Lucky for me, I found this blog after my first airgun purchase, and began reading the comments immediately. The commentary by the community followed by BB’s responses are invaluable. But I don’t think most people have the time or patience for this.

            BTW, I will settle for 32 million. 😉 In the holiday spirit, I will even take 16.

  24. De gustibus and all that. Plus in these enlightened times we are to keep everybody’s, even a rifle’s, self-esteem paramount. But Lord! That rifle is hideous. That rifle goes beyond ugly. That rifle is the ugly stick that gets waved over other rifles to make them ugly. That rifle is so ghastly that I would have had an exorcism performed on it before going through a more conventional trouble-shooting sequence to determine why it wouldn’t shoot. That rifle might well have been colonized by an evil Demon.

    Where are the crinoline skirts and FWB 124s of my youth?

  25. BB,
    Sorry to hear your final results for this gun, so I’ll leave you with my final assessment since I picked up this gun at about the same time you started this review.
    I picked up some Crosman Premiers (in box), and I DID find that the Crosman Premiers (in box) were better than the Premiers (in tin). I now get roughly the same results with the Crosman Premiers (in box) as with the H&N FTT.
    I’m sad to hear that you found your barrel loose. I tried to check this on my gun, but did not find this the case. Maybe there is some quality control issue letting tolerances slip on some guns. I just can’t wonder if your droopy barrel was an initial sign of this also, as mine was pretty dead on, within 5-10 clicks from scope center.
    As for accuracy, I’m not kidding when I say at 18-20 yds I am getting “consistent” dime sized groups. At 30 yds it’s really more like quarter sized. One of my favorite things to do currently is hand life-savors on a thread, at 20 yds, and pick them off one-by-one. I do not miss a shot.
    One issue that I had found is that the “formal” artillery-hold does not work well, for me, on this gun. I spent hours really trying to perfect the free hold of the artillery-hold, which is open-hand at balance point, very light touch of stock to shoulder, and no weight or grip with trigger hand.
    For me, I found that pulling the stock tight to my shoulder but keeping my grip somewhat loose, really improved the grouping. Doing this I can maintain the cross-hair on target throughout the recoil. The “formal” artillery-hold, letting the gun do what it wants, was not staying on target through recoil.
    Also, I have replaced all of my mounting screws twice already because they require re-tightening very often, maybe every 50-100 shots. I have to replace the screws because the heads start to get worn down from the high torque that I have to constantly tighten to. I have not used LocTite yet, but I plan to.
    I did install the GRT-4G trigger. It is OK. A little better than the original, but not a quantum leap as I was hoping. Though I have not directly measured the pull force for the new trigger, it does not seem a whole lot less. I may still play with this a little in the future.
    So there you have it. I’m pretty happy with my results so far. I definitely have a hunger for even more accuracy at longer distances, which will probably be fed with new guns down the road. But for now, in the 30 yard range that I wanted this gun for, it is providing about what I could have hoped for.


      • I use a .22 anschutz. I’ve done the lifesaver bit, and found that if you glue them to a target, the sharp vibration in the target paper breaks the lifesaver, even when you have put the bullet through the hole without touching the sides. Better to suspend them. On the other hand, to be sure you really got it through the hole and didn’t just wing it into the distance, you are going to have to have backing paper like a bench-rester.

        • Dead-eye,
          That’s interesting. I would have never thought that would happen. I was also thinking of tying 2-3 strings to the life-savor, sort of in a spoke pattern to hold it from moving. But your right, I guess you need some paper close behind to know you actually made it through.

    • dg, thank you so much. I only started with air guns recently and my Gamo (same model) was nothing like BB described. From some other posts, I’d suspect their quality control. I’ve got accuracy just a little (well, sorta a little) worse than yours (hey, I’m new at this). Only difference is I found the GRT-4G trigger needed a lot less force and had a better feel. With the original I couldn’t zero my scope at 40 yds as I could hardly hit the target. Just changing the trigger was enough for me, probably due to less experience here. Same results as you said on barrel and droop. Interestingly enough, on the artillery hold, I found exactly what you described to be the best way to hold the rifle.

      Thanks also for giving me some goals for 20/30 yds. While you can pull some of those from other posts, I think it would be neat if BB could publish some “beginner goals” for 10/20/40/80 yds, in one place.

      Now, I’m off to the store for some Lifesavers. Thanks for that one, also.

      • Gerry,
        Good luck. I’m pretty much a beginner also, so I don’t know if my results are just dumb luck, but they seem repeatable from day-to-day, as long as I re-tighten all the mounts regularly. I can tell when my scope and mounts start to walk, as my results start to degrade, which tells me that my mounts are loosening up. I’m hoping for some better mounts for Christmas, at least it’s on my list with the wife. And a new bottle of Loctite.
        As to the GRT-4G, I got a reply from Charlie that reports are coming in that this trigger replacement for IGT doesn’t seem to have a substantial decrease in pull weight, only slight. Glad to hear that you could actually tell the difference. I do like the fell though, and it is a little more predictable. If anything, it was interesting to get inside the gun and understand the workings better.
        One of my only complaints about the gun is from one of the attributes that attracted me to the gun, the Noise Reducer. I have found that the Noise Reducer sort-of gets in the way of cleaning out the barrel easily. I try to use both a lawn-trimmer cord with a small patch and pushing cleaning pellets through the barrel. In both cases, not having direct access to the end of the barrel, things get caught easily in the Noise Reducer (NDS). Also, when installing the GRT-4G, you absolutely needed a spring compressor. I made one, but was a little apprehensive about putting all the force on the Noise reducer, so I had to make an alternative spring compressor to push down at the hinges where there is much better structural features. This also eliminated compressing the breach, etc. So, the NDS is nice touch, but can get in the way. I’m just not sure if it adds enough value other than it’s cool looks.

        • dg, thanks, and we’re still tracking each other. Yes, I also lost the first cleaning patch in the NDS and had to fish for it. Really need to get a 2nd person to stand behind then in front of me to see if the NDS does much. Had to laugh on Charlie’s instructions for the trigger install as my full body weight wasn’t enough to compress it when my feet left the floor. However, a large woodworking clamp worked just fine, safer from the hinges as you said. With the other production variations, I suspect my original trigger was worse than most and the GRT-4G that much more predictable. I only had mounts loosen early on, before I used loctite. I checked droop by a scope zero at 20 ft., then measured change at 25 yds, taking pellet speed and scope height above barrel, and it was where I expected.

          Have not had much time to shoot lately, but I swapped the Gamo scope for a UTG 4-16×40 mil-dot, moved the old scope to a Bronco and added a 4x scope to a 1377 pistol (customized). Figured I’d start with the pistol, then work my way up and more distance. So, at 20 yds I can now match you using the pistol, but not either rifle as yet. That’s about the limit for the pistol, and next I’ll see how far I can hold with the Bronco. Adding up recoil, hold tolerance and pellet tolerance, I expect the Gamo will end up the hardest one to shoot, but the higher speed should pull it ahead somewhere past 60 yds, on the way to a 100 yd dream…(BB: don’t forget 100 yd goals; dreams can be fun to have:-)

          • Gerry,
            I cannot even imagine going out to 100 yd. With my best, H&N FTT, I calculate a 35 inch drop at 100 with a center at 30 yd. 37 inch drop for the Crosmann Premiers. So a pretty hefty raise of the barrel. I’ll have to give it a try some day, but boy there better not be much wind that day.

  26. Hey,
    I just finished purchasing a gamo 490 pellet gun today. Its my first one, and im pretty excited about it. Although… I want to upgrade it somehow! Is there any way I can upgrade its spring system to a 1200? Or what scope should I have for it? (It came with a 4×32 scope).

    What do you suggest? Thanks.

  27. this is the most disappointing air rifle ive ever owned it will not shoot consistently and the scop wont adjust to the rt enough to ever attermpt to set it so the scope is usless on this gun I had a trail sl benjermman and it was a 177 awesome until I went to break the barrel to load it and the wood stock split and the gun almost separated from the stock OMG help I now have over 600 dollors in air rifles and not one of them is worth shootong the gun I just described was the silent stalker whisper gammo 177

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