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Education / Training Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT air rifle.

Today, we’ll begin looking at the Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle. This rifle is offered only in .177 caliber, and I’m testing serial number 04-1C-419038-13. It has a gas spring, which Gamo calls their Inert Gas Technology, or IGT. In many ways, it reminds me of the older Whisper rifle, except the cocking is heavier. But this report will look at all the differences and new things Gamo puts on this rifle.

The rifle
There’s a lot of synthetic material on the outside of this rifle. The stock is all synthetic, as is the fluted barrel jacket and the baffled silencer on the front of the barrel (they call it a double-integrated sound moderator). My point is that if you don’t like synthetics, this isn’t the airgun for you. If you don’t mind them, though, I see a lot of potential here.

The stock has an adjustable cheekpiece that will come in handy when you mount the 3-9X40 scope that comes with this package. The rifle has a large scope base attached to the spring tube. It rises high above the tube, so there shouldn’t be any scope bell clearance issues. The scope base has two generous holes to accept a vertical scope stop. The scope comes already mounted in a one-piece mount with a scope stop pin already correctly adjusted down far enough to engage the scope stop holes in the scope base. That makes this the first air rifle I’ve tested whose mounted scope came ready to install. I’ve always had to unmount the scope in the past to run the stop pin down far enough to engage the stop pin hole in the past. It’s a small point, but it tells me the factory gave some thought to how the gun was shipped.

Gamo Whisper Fusion air rifle The cheekpiece adjusts.

The stock is very thick and full. It makes the gun feel larger than it is, but that’s offset by the light weight of 6 lbs. without the scope and 7 lbs., 2 ox. with the scope and mount. The buttstock sounds hollow, which I know puts off a lot of people, but it seems rugged enough to me. The stock material is rough to the touch, but not rubbery.

The fluted barrel jacket is very thick — giving the impression of a bull barrel, but without the weight. The silencer is huge — measuring 1-1/2 inches across, for a substantial gripping point when cocking the gun.

Cocking is easy until the final few inches of the stroke. Gamo has realized that the solution to power is not the strength of the spring but the length of the stroke. This is probably the longest cocking stroke I’ve ever encountered, with the barrel breaking down about 135 degrees. This is one of the easier-cocking gas-spring rifles I’ve tested; and if they meet their power output figure of 1,300 f.p.s. (printed on the outside of the box), then I think Gamo has built a winner — at least as far as power is concerned.

Gamo Whisper Fusion air rifle Cocking stroke is very long.

To their credit, Gamo installs open sights on the gun. The rear sight is fully adjustable in both directions with crisp, positive clicks. A scale on the windage slide tells you where you are at all times, but there are no numbers on the elevation wheel. They may think that most people look at the elevation of the sight from the side to see where they are; and while there’s some truth to that, the numbers do help you turn the wheel in the correct direction. Of course, the mechanically minded won’t get confused because clockwise turns the rear sight down and counterclockwise turns it up.

Gamo Whisper Fusion air rifle The rear sight is nicely made but has no vertical scale.

I plan on testing the rifle at 10 meters with the open sights. If it does good enough, I’ll back up and also shoot it at 25 yards. Then I’ll mount the scope and shoot it again with the most accurate pellets. So, you’re going to get an extra part or two from this report.

Is it quiet?
Gamo says on the package that this rifle is 89.5 percent quieter.* When you track down what the asterisk means, you find the phrase “Under the Gamo measurement standards.” Whatever that means! I already fired it a few times to get a sense of how it feels and Edith commented from her office, “Why is that airgun so loud?” The pellets I was shooting were probably going supersonic, so I then tested it with some extra-heavy Beeman Kodiak pellets, and it was most definitely quieter. Edith didn’t even notice it that time until I called her attention to it. So, for everyone except the shooter, this rifle is undoubtedly a quiet one…as long as the pellets are very heavy. The shooter, however, hears all the sound through the bones in his face, and the sound doesn’t change much from pellet to pellet.

The trigger is Gamo’s new Smooth Action Trigger or SAT. It comes set up as a 2-stage trigger, and everything was adjusted to my satisfaction right out of the box. A short first stage stops abruptly at stage 2, then breaks cleanly for the shot. I’ll have more to say about it in Part 2 of this report.

The safety is manual. I applaud Gamo for taking this bold step, because a shooter really should be the one to decide when to apply the safety. If they don’t know how to handle the gun safely, no automatic safety will change that or make the gun one bit safer. The one criticism I have of the safety is that when you put it on, the lever is pulled toward the trigger. If your finger slips, you could discharge the rifle. That’s where safe gun handling comes in, because the muzzle should always be pointed in a direction where it is safe if it should fire.

Gamo promises 1,300 f.p.s. with lead-free PBA pellets. I’ll certainly test them; but if experience holds, they won’t be the most accurate pellets in the gun. I’ll also test it with the types of pellets I believe shooters will really select if they want to hit their targets. If I’m wrong and PBAs turn out to be accurate, I will publicly apologize to Gamo.

First impression
I always liked the Whisper; and when a gas spring was added, I thought it was even better. The Whisper Fusion IGT was built from the ground up to be a powerful gas-spring gun, yet lightweight at the same time. It’s the combination many shooters say they want, so let’s see what you get.

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.

68 thoughts on “Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1”

  1. This sounds like a rifle that should also be offered in .22 caliber. You don’t give a trigger weight, but say that it breaks cleanly. Would you say that it breaks so cleanly that it’s weight is not an issue? Look forward to the accuracy tests.


  2. I have actually been considering this sproinger. I really like the stock with the large, vertical pistol grip similar to a target or tactical stock. You praised that they put their glowey thingey sights on it, but personally I would have preferred if they had not bothered.

    With the apparently long stroke, is the firing cycle gentler than other “high power” sproingers?

    • RidgeRunner,

      I will describe the firing characteristics in more detail in the later reports, but yes, the firing cycle is gentler if you use a good artillery hold. The key is to not be in firm contact with the stock when the gun goes off.

      I almost commented on the vertical pistol grip. It sure is an ideal offhand stock!

      I don’t care for fiberoptics, but what are you going to do? Putting them on guns is like saying a certain car is “green.” People (buyers) expect to see them and sales would suffer if they weren’t on the gun. Those who don’t shoot for precision really like fiberoptics.


      • B.B.,

        I’m glad that RidgeRunner mentioned the grip, and that you have an opinion about it. Some air-rifles have a grip that is useless, because if you actually use the grip, it’s hard to work the trigger correctly. It sounds like this is not the case with this rifle.

        I know that you tend to apply a loose hold, including the grip. How does well do you like the length of pull, grip, and trigger control from this grip?


        • Victor,

          Just for you I just hefted the rifle.

          The 14-inch pull feels idea in the offhand position. And, although the rifle is severral pounds too light to be an offhand rifle, the balance is neutral if your off hand is touching the triggerguard. So the rifle is perfectly balanced. That’s sans scope.


          • B.B.,

            Thanks! We (our blog members) recently talked about change (e.g., is there anything left, been there done that, etc.). I think that new products that simply feel and work better ergonomically are a refreshing change. Again, there are too many rifles that are sorely lacking ergonomically. If the trigger is good, and works well with the grip (i.e., facilitated good trigger control), and we find this rifle to be accurate, then you definitely will have a winner here, I think.


  3. BB
    Is the scope base containing the holes for the made of aluminum? In the Whisper, before it broke, I had to insert a rubber cutout in the stop pin hole as the steel pin was just plowing through the scope base. The rubber piece solved the issue.


    • I had one of the Whisper Deluxe springers, tuned by Bob Werner out of the box. The pins in my scope mount plowed a slot in the aluminum base (riser?) within the first 1,000 shots, and it was never accurate – even apart from that. The soft aluminum used in that critical position is reason enough to avoid the gun. It was generally NOT quiet. The feel and sound of the hollow plastic stock put me off, too. Filling it with insulating foam helped a bit, but overall, looking critically at the materials and workmanship, Spain had better up the game IMHO. I really liked the pictures of that rifle, though. Unfortunately the relationship between good looks and good shooting was imaginary.

  4. BB
    For this rifle, it would be interesting to enlist an owner or two who shoot it often to report on performance after several thousand shots. I am sure it is wonderful out of the box, but…


      • I have repaired a lot of Gamo air rifles for a local gun shop. My experience is that the springs give up very early compared to Weihrauch, Diana, Air Arms, Theoben and UK made Webley. Those air rifle springs last for 8.000 – 10.000 shots. Gamo springs loose a lot of power too quickly. I tested my own and another Gamo CFX 4,5 mm. The advertised speed at 1000 FPS (305 m/s) was correct with the very first pellets (Gamo Match). After a tin of 500 pellets were emptied the pellet speed were down to about 885 FPS (270 m/s) and after 800 pellets it was down to about 820 FPS (250 m/s) with the same Gamo Match pellets. After that the spring broke – on both air guns!

        I have had a lot of complaints from customers on the quality of Gamo air guns. I still sell them, but here in Europe they are now getting more expensive than many Weihrauch air rifles. Now I focus more on selling Weihrauch. When the customers come back to my shop, it is to buy more pellets – not to complain about a broken spring or that it will not hook up.


          • There were no gas springs installed in those two Gamo CFX rifles. They had both factory installed steel springs.
            I have no experience with Gamo gas springs, but both Weihrauch and Theoben gas springs (gas ram) work great.

        • Eddie,

          After just over 800 pellets both Game CF-X’s broke? I wonder if we get a better product (maybe better springs) here in the US, because I’ve shot thousands of pellets through my CF-X without any issues. Next to my FWB 700 ALU, it’s my most accurate air-rifle.

          Have you ever put a nitro piston in a CFX? If so, how did this change affect accuracy?


          • I guess results vary from shooter to shooter. I bought a Gamo Whisper several years ago and it was really cool and all until it came apart, then replaced twice, both times the spring breaking after about 1,000 rounds.
            They looked like quality guns for the price. Maybe the air spring will fare better


            • TE,

              I’m sure there is something to the quality issues. I guess I’ve been very lucky. I have a Gamo Hunter Extreme, a Silent Cat, and a CF-X. I’ve shot at least 3000 pellets through the Hunter Extreme with no problems, other than a scope breaking (which was easily replaced under the warranty). It’s very accurate at long distances. The Silent Cat is fairly accurate, but not as accurate as my CF-X. However, it’s the least pellet picky of all of my rifles. I’ve probably only shot about 2000 pellets through it, but so far no issues. I think I’ve shot at least 8000 pellets through my CF-X with no issues. Again, I think I’ve been very lucky. And I’ve replaced the triggers on all of them (GRT III).


          • Victor, I installed a gas spring in my CFX. The velocity dropped a little. It shoots a little smoother and the accuracy improved a hair.(or maybe I just got use to shooting it) I also put a Charlie trigger in it. The gun was a good shooter to begin with. If I had to do it all over I would skip the gas spring. The trigger is definitely an improvement. Toby

            • Toby,

              Thanks for the feedback! I love my CF-X. I was able to put 10 shots into a single hole. There was no point in trying to measure the error. The only disappointment is that it doesn’t seem to do so well at longer distances. I think it simply lacks the power for longer distances, but within 10 meters, it’s incredibly accurate. It’s also the least hold sensitive, and a very smooth shooter. I think that Eddie is correct about the power, but again, that isn’t an issue when shooting in my own back yard.


          • Once upon a time, I had PA put a gas spring in my CFX. It turned it into a jumping, slamming beast that very quickly blew out all of it’s seals. I believe you can get lower power gas springs now. I would approach doing such with caution. Getting new seals and/or parts from Gamo can be an undertaking from what I understand from PA.

  5. It will be very interesting to see how this one shakes out.So very many shooters gripe about weight,and 7.2lbs scoped is pretty svelt.Good or bad,this one is innovative and that is nice to see.

  6. Since I already have a whisper that I bought years ago when this was still a new idea and these weren’t forbidden to be shipped into Michigan except to an FFL dealer, Looks like I’ll be passing on this. But I will find it interesting to see if these are better or worse than the old whisper. At 1300 fps* silencer or not this thing is going to be making some racket.

    I understand the 1300 is a marketing ploy to get the speed crazy american air gunner to buy this rifle, but I have long since learned .177 going 1300 fps is far less effective and less accurate than a .22 going at 950 fps. So I have since then been phasing out my .177 gun buying habits for a better .22 airgun. It seems that .22 pellet going slower travels much more accurate and delivers much more kinetic energy to the target. That counts for quite a bit when hunting.

  7. B.B., Edith,
    In the coming weeks I plan on ordering a Chrony+ some pellets and other stuff.
    Would PA do a 10 for $10.00 on the chrony before they ship it to me??
    Any help in this regard would be much appreciated.


      • B.B.
        I just want to be sure that it is working when it is shipped from PA. I do not want them to check the calibration. Because of my location, if it does not work (defective) it will cost me more than the price of the Chrony to ship it back to PA. I am willing to pay for the service and if they happen to be doing a 10 for $10 on an air rifle they can do it at the same time and kill two targets with one pellet.
        I recently bought a Sony TV from a supplier in The USA which came without the remote. Sony swore that the box was sealed when it left the factory. My supplier swore that the box was sealed when they shipped it. My freight forwarder swore that the box was sealed when they shipped it and Customs did not open the box when it got here. So now that I got them all to swear that the box was unopened, I asked Sony this question:-
        If the box was sealed from your factory right through to customs at my end, how did the remote get out of the box?? The remote arrived in the mail two weeks later.
        Any assistance you can give will be greatly appreciated.


    • Pete…

      Chronos can be tricky. Most problems are self inflicted. They can be very touchy about lighting and the angle of the shot. If you have any problems, then say so. My Beta is extremely touchy compared to my ProChrono.


      • Agreed, twotalon. My Prochrono usually works, probably 80 percent of shots, indoors. My ProChrono works about 95 percent outdoors if it is overcast.

        My Chrony Alpha Master will not work indoors no matter what, even with its diffusers and optional lights and all other lights turned off. Zero percent of shots. It will work one third of the time outdoors if it is overcast.

        I know people who have gotten a good Chrony; however, so my advice to anyone buying a Chrony is to have an unconditional money back guarantee including free return shipping and refund of initial shipping fee. In other words, a truly risk-free purchase.


        • Michael,

          All the velocities you read in this blog are gathered by a Chrony Alpha. 98 percent of them are gathered indoors with zero problems. I’ve been using the same machine for more than 5 years without a problem.

          The trick is lighting. I reflect a 500-watt incandescent light off the ceiling, which is equivalent to the skylight outdoors on an overcast day.

          Since you brought the subject up and seem to be having problems, maybe I should do a special chronograph report?


          • B.B., a special chronograph report would be warm welcomed 🙂

            I have used an Alpha Shooting Chrony for many years. I have also tested a Competition Electronics ProChrono Chronograph. Both of them need the correct amount of light to work. In good light conditions they work 8-9 of 10 shots if I shoot about 1″ – 2″ (2,5 – 5 cm) above the chrony, which might be a little risky. (The user manual recommend about 3″-4″ (7,5-10 cm) but then it works only about 5 of 10 shots). If the light just turns down a little, they measure less shots. I have not seen any differences between use during summer and winter conditions.

            When the sun is going down in the evening, I turn the chrony 90 degrees, so it lays sideways on the bench with the sun shining directly into the sensors. (This may not be possible on all shooting ranges due to safety, since you may have to turn the chrony in a inappropriate direction.)

            I now prefer the ProChrono over the Alpha. The ProChrono have a memory of 10 strings and it is possible to delete single shots in the strings that might be caused by an error. That is great when I am testing homemade and factory ammo or pellets (during rainy or cold conditions). I shoot several strings, go home and then analyze the results.


            • Eddie…

              You don’t want to have the sun shining on the sensors, or the pellet flying over it either one.

              Set it up so that it is in a shadow, but with the sensors looking at the sky . I like earlier morning or late afternoon when buildings and trees cast long shadows.


            • Upgrading to the Beta model would gain you memory for six strings of 10 shots, and you should be able to delete entries (though the user interface is rather limiting — trying to cycle though the mode menu, then cycling through the shot string, etc. using only two buttons or so).

              That recent barrel mounted, non-light-based, chrono is interesting… And might be better on an airgun — after all, any movement in the velcro-strapped sensor from recoil is sure to affect the read-out.

                • With a more modern (ie; faster) processor, the shorter distance may not be as critical. Most of the chronographs on the market were designed years ago, and probably still rely on processors and clocks running in the middle MHz range (an Arduino or RaspberryPi might be running faster than some of these chronographs)

                  And, playing devil’s advocate, barrel mounted sensor module does ensure the sensors are parallel to the barrel, where the 12-18″ light sensors could be at an angle — meaning the projectile traveled farther than the computation assumes for the time delta.

                  Lets see… 16″ spacing, and a 6″ tall “window”. Parallel is obviously 16″ distance in time X. But if the trajectory were using the 6″ height, we have total distance of sqrt(16^2 + 6^2) => 17.09 in time X or around a 6% underestimated velocity.

                  Just being perverse…

          • B.B.,

            I have zero success with my Chrony Alpha Master indoors with just the Chrony brand LED lights, properly installed. I also have zero results indoors with just bright incandescent lights bounced up and away by umbrella diffusers. (My wife used to be a professional photographer.) Outdoors under ideal conditions (medium to bright overcast) the results are very iffy.

            On the other hand, as I wrote above, I know others who have excellent luck with them as you do. You got a good one. I also know others who, like me, can do absolutely nothing to make them work. So, if you get a good one, cool. Maybe Chrony chronographs are like Chinese springers by Industry. If you get one of the golden ones, hold onto it with all your might, because the mileage of others varies.

            That’s why I advise anyone who is thinking of buying one to get an iron-clad, free shipping return guarantee in case you end up getting a bad one.

            By the way, my ProChrono is not perfect, but for me it works much more consistently. And also, I’ve read up on all the things to make sure of: don’t be too close and so confuse it with the air blast, be sure to shoot straight across both sensors, no angles, etc.


            • Michael,

              STOP USING THE DIFFUSERS INSIDE! That is the problem. The diffusers are doing what bouncing the light off the ceiling does. You don’t need both.

              Take both the diffusers and the rods off the chronograph and just shine the bright light at the light colored ceiling. It works perfectly.


              • B.B.,

                I have tried just about everything, including bright incandescent light bounced off of the ceiling using clip light fixtures. I have put hours and hours into trying to get my Shooting Chrony Alpha Master to work, all to no avail.

                I’ finally broke down and bought the $120 Shooting Chrony LED Lamps, which can be used “indoors & outdoors for any lighting condition . . . [which] will shine the right light on any Shooting Chrony chronograph and give correct velocity readouts at dawn or dusk, with overcast skies as well as indoors.”

                Not for me. I get 100 percent error readings indoors and probably two out of every three shots outdoors.

                But again, I know guys who get ’em to work almost every shot under ANY lightling conditions, so I can’t say someone shouldn’t try ’em. Some of them have to be fantastic. Just be sure that if you don’t get a good one, you can return it without risk, including return shipping. After all, if a seller is confident of the product, then there should be no problem.

                After I got my ProChrono, which is useable, I gave my nephew the Alpha Master to see if he could use it for Airsoft. I’ll have to ask him if he could ever get it to do anything other than be a paperweight.


                  • Vince,

                    Not at all a dumb question.

                    I bought the Alpha Master and the optional printer used, so no. (The unit appears fully functional — it just rarely gives a reading other than error.)

                    The Shooting Chrony LED light system I did buy new. Despite not living up to the hype in its description, it does indeed light up, so there is nothing wrong with its function. The lights can be used with my ProChrono, so I do not consider that purchase to be a total loss. Those I did NOT give to nephew!

                    But I am out $150 (if I remember correctly) for the printer and chrony. I believe that this simply isn’t a good one, probably the reason I was able to find it used. It works some, just not often. When it does give a velocity reading, I have no reason to think it is not accurate. It probably is.

                    Actually, I suppose there is no problem with the printer, except that it is to be used with a Shooting Chrony, LOL. Maybe my nephew can sell the printer to someone who has a good Shooting Chrony and can use it.


        • My Beta Master works okay indoors IF I block sunlight from it.

          I’ve got the red LED illuminators, rather than the older incandescent tube diffusers.

          Actually, it wasn’t the sunlight so much as the fact that the sun was at my back as I sat in the doorway, and the chrono was a few feet in… Shaking my head could cause a false trigger from the shadow slope…

  8. I remember the report on the original Whisper sparked a discussion on how decibels are given on a logarithm scale, and somehow Gamo worked these facts into its publicity with talk of percentage decreases in a way that was highly misleading. But I’m surprised that a rifle built on a design called the Whisper managed to get even louder on a redesign.

    Fascinating piece yesterday about the flaws in murder mysteries. One of my memories of the Hardy Boy books of which I read a great number was when Chief Clint Collig of the Bayport police would take the safety off his revolver as he prepared to raid, and then you knew that there would be no more Mr. Nice Guy. Why don’t revolvers have safeties anyway? Is it because the cocking of the hammer on a single-action serves as the safety? For the double-action, perhaps that ten pound pull weight does the job.

    With the vast numbers of guns and ammo being sold, I certainly hope someone knows about guns out there. I wonder if the decrease in gun savvy people has to do with urbanization as much as cultural change. One doesn’t get the impression that the Leave It To Beaver family knew much about guns.

    One of my clearest memories about Das Boot was the way those Germans would go diving headfirst through the hatchways when they went to general quarters. They definitely figured out their routines there. But otherwise, I cannot imagine who would want work in a submarine. The conditions are horrible and death through drowning in ice water is never far away. The same is true of tanks which have particularly gruesome ways to go. One of the more distinctive ones is a pulverizing and disintegrating effect on the lower limbs when vibrations are transmitted from some impact. I understand that in the German Army, the casualties for both the tank and submarine crews was virtually 100%, so any one of those that you see in the old films was basically the walking dead. Maybe the way to recruit people was through the old tactic of designating these units as elite. Das Boot was a good film, but I suppose I agree with the consensus that Private Ryan is the definitive war film of all time. At the opposite end was Thin Red Line about whom one critic wrote, “Imagine if America had invaded Guadalcanal with bad poets.”

    Victor, interesting about the fate of high school stars that you mentioned. Early success can be one of the worst things for you. The word is that George McClellan, the disastrous Union general of the Civil War, was hampered by his stellar academic record. He was a child prodigy who was second in his class at West Point. But he was so frightened of failure in the unknown environment of the Civil War that he never did anything. Ulysses S. Grant, on the other hand, had experienced so much failure that it never fazed him. Similarly, I believe that Napoleon was almost last in his class at the French military academy. On the other hand, I believe that George Armstrong Custer really was dead last at West Point, so the grades may have some truth to them.


    • Matt,
      I have measured decibels on several pellet guns, including several Gamo “Whisper” branded models that produced peaks in the 105-107 decibels at the ear. A gas ram produces a very similar peak wave form similar to that of a plastic ruler being slapped on a desk top (loud and short). For reference, a Venom gas ram and piston were installed in a Crosman Quest and it measured 106 dB’s at the ear. The fancy Gamo barrel had no effect. However, if you measure in front of the barrel at 6 feet, the Gamo produced 2 dB’s less that the modified Crosman Quest. Some say the Gamo uses a slightly more powerful gas ram (higher internal pressure ???), but we swapped in the Gamo ram in the Quest and the decibels did not change. Another reference point. A Stoeger X20S produced 3 dB’s less in front vs. modified Crosman, and 102 dB’s at the ear. The same pellet type was used in every test, the H&N Baracuda Match.

      • Take into account that the Whisper unit is only stated to produce a 3 (or is it 6) dB reduction in sound. That’s a 50% drop in SPL energy — not a 50% drop in perceived loudness.

    • Matt61,

      My high school was so bad that they set a record for most consecutive losses in football that spanned years. The issue was one of culture. I came out of that school eventually realizing that sometimes grades reflect the school more than the student. I graduated mid-term close to being a D student, but immediately became an A student when I started junior college. I didn’t know who I was academically until I left that school. That’s why I believe that kids should never let adults tell them what their future holds.

      My first year in this school the councilor told me to forget about college, that I was not college material. A few years later this same councilor came to speak in my English homeroom class about our prospects after graduation. I still hadn’t learned my lesson, so I asked again, “What about college?”. He came to my desk and again told me to forget about college, and then added that college can’t promise you anything (a better job, more money, etc.). This guy had a PhD, so I asked him, “Is this what you tell your kids?”. He didn’t answer.

      While I may have been the dumbest and most ignorant student my my whole high school (I honestly believed this), I knew something was wrong, so I silently protested it. After my freshman year I stopped taking school pictures, so they used my freshman year picture all the way until senior year. I also did not attend my own graduation because I knew that their piece of paper was worthless. I may have mentioned to you that my first year I got 5 F’s and a 1 D. My second year I did great getting 5 D’s and 1 F.

      Contrast that with my concurrent experiences in shooting where I won 6 overall state championships, and a couple nationals, always ranking in the top ten in my state, always qualifying for the US Internationals, and ultimately ranking number one in the state. In my shooting universe I was often called a genius, while in my high school I was labeled dumb. Both universes completely at odds with each other, and yet both happening at exactly the same time.

      I don’t know what my GPA was in high school, but I know that because I was failing Pre-Algebra as a senior, they gave me a passing grade so that I could graduated. What a favor! After a couple years of JC, my GPA was 3.77 and my last semester I got straight A’s taking four math classes, including the last two semesters of Calculus (concurrently), Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations. I was in a hurry to move one. So who was more right about whether I was dumb or a genius?

      An important point is that I was always a good kid. Anyone who knows me knows that it doesn’t take much to motivate me. I was the exact same person in high school as I was in shooting. Having made many other observations about what happened to my classmates, whether they be top or bottom of the class, I came away with the notion that it was my high school that failed.

      Again, I firmly believe that kids should never allow adults to tell them what their future holds. Often times, adults try to project their own failures upon kids. I’m proof of what is possible, if you just keep moving forward. This is why I believe that, America is GREAT, because it is the land of second chances. Had I gone to school in Japan, China, Germany, or some other country with rigid “standards”, I never would have gone on to work for NASA, where I did very well.

      I just wish that more kids knew what I now know. America is great because it is the land of second chances. You can do, or be, anything you want until you have no more life left in you. A lot of people are effectively “Walking Dead”.


  9. Wow Matt, your post brings back a lot of great memories.
    Through jr high I read every Hardy Boys, Tom Swift (and dare I say, Nancy Drew when I’d read all the others).
    A couple of years ago I found a nearly complete set of Hardy Boys at a local used book store and bought all of them (they had 23 books, all at $2 apiece for the hardcover) for my boys, now 9 and 12.
    Well…they have pretty much sat unread. They’ve tried, but in the words of my oldest, ‘there just isn’t enough shooting’.
    Don’t know if that is good or bad 🙂
    Hopefully in the future the suspense of a story will come to mean something to them and they will give it another try to read them.
    As for the decrease in gun savvy, I think it is just a sign of our ‘instant’ society. I know that I deal with so many people in my industry (photography) that call up with some of the most inane questions. When I point out that the answer is on page 6 of their camera manual I truly do get the “what…I don’t need no stinkin’ manual”. They all seem to think they were born everything they need to know.
    It’s one of the reason I never go to the public ranges in our area (as opposed to membership ranges).
    I’ve been there more than a few times where I see people doing absolutely unsafe things with the guns…yet they talked like they were shooters from way back with an intimate knowledge of shooting.
    Downright scary at times.
    Finally…last week I finally got my ‘authorization to transport’ for any restricted weapons. In Canada all pistols and some rifles (anything that even looks like an AR) is classed as ‘restricted’. Without an ATT (authorization to transport) I can own my GSG 1911 but I can’t take it anywhere…not even out of the store.
    Now, with the proper paperwork I can take it from my home to a range or to a licensed gunsmith.
    That’s it.
    Anyhoo…we got to take it to the range yesterday and the boys had a hoot. They’ve shot my friends CZ75 with a .22 conversion kit…but this is ‘ours’ and they went through a brick of Blazer’s in about an hour.
    Watching them shoot…yeah I quess the Hardy Boys seem pretty tame.

  10. This Gamo B.B. is testing, is a perfect example of why they are so popular with younger ‘first time’ buyers. The futuristic style, gives the Whisper Fusion IGT a stealthy look. Diana, Weihrauch, or Air Arms, offer a more traditional look that appeals to older shooters. Add a given speed of 1300fps, and Gamo has an instant winner. They have proved this formula’s success, with the rifles and pistols offered in the past. I notice a new line will have a catchy name such as Bone Collector, or Zombie Hunter. The one problem that I see with this formula, is the short life span of the model line. Zombie hunting seems to have run it’s coarse, so it will either be renamed with subtle changes, or replaced entirely and given the latest fad name. Gamo is very aware of their buyers demographics and are very successful all over the world. I am a traditionalist by heart, and age. I may not fit their profile, but I cannot ignore the innovations they have given our sport, at a very reasonable price.
    I will be watching with interest to see if their new trigger is better then the the replacements Gamo owners have been buying for a few years. And, of coarse, the accuracy must be good enough for hunting too.
    Caio Titus

    • Hi Titus if you get the chance to get your hand on a Gamo Socom extreme in caliber.22 buy it . Gamo stopped making them. Out of the box they are not great rifles,but if you can get a serious tune done on them,they turn out magnificent . The Socom is the same platform as the hunter extreme and the old hunter1250. My Socom in .22 put pellets over pellets at 20 yards,and I can hit 2×2 inch targets at 50 yards with much ease. The trigger can be tuned also. I have been looking around for somebody selling a Socom in .25 cal , but it seems the people who have them are not letting them go. My .22 after tuned is shooting 14.3 cp pellets at 950 fps super powerful & accurate . Top gun for hunting.

  11. What a great blog site! New to air gunning, old as dirt. Due to ‘regular boom, boom ammo’ being in short supply, I purchased a Crosman Nitro Venom w/scope a some time ago. Went to my local gun club Day 1, sighted it in and shot 25 or so. Said to myself, self, this thing is addictive. This weekend spent 3 consecutive days shooting the Venom and I’M TOTALLY HOOKED. Now have over 200 rounds through the Venom and thinking of moving to the range permanently in order to more time to shoot! I will enjoy tuning in to your blog on a regular basis. Thanks

  12. I recently purchase a Gamo Whisper Fusion IGT. I really like the gun and it’s features but I am having a hard time finding a .177 pellet that shoots accurate consistently. Has anyone found the “right” kind of ammo to shoot in this particular gun? I finally have it shooting a pretty consist ant grouping (within 3 inches” at 15 yards with open sights. Any help would be appreciated..
    PS Gamo is sending me another scope as my first scope was shooting all over the place.

    • Dme,

      I suspect you have not yet read parts 2, 3 and 4 of this report, because all the answers are in those parts.

      Here is part 4 and there is a link to the other 3 parts at the top of the page:


      Welcome to the blog!


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