An airgun test you weren’t expecting: Part 2
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Gamo’s Hunter Extreme 1250 was a big, beautiful wood-stocked magnum rifle. Today’s guns have synthetic stocks but similar powerplants.
This report covers:
• Crosman Premier pellets
• JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• Cocking effort
• Evaluation to this point
Let’s look at the velocity of the .22-caliber Gamo Hunter Extreme 1250 that Rich Shar has tuned. You learned in Part 1 that I was surprised by the smoothness and light recoil of this powerful spring-piston air rifle. Today, we’ll discover what it can do.
In Part 1, I mentioned that the .177 Hunter Extreme 1250 that I tested back in the 1990s did shoot RWS Hobby pellets at 1,257 f.p.s. That was the first time I’d seen an airgun produce velocities that high. The rifle I’m now testing is a .22, so of course the pellets will not move that fast, because they’re twice the weight, at least. But they should move fast enough to give a respectable velocity for a breakbarrel springer. Let’s get to the test.
Crosman Premier pellets
The first pellet I tested was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier dome. This was the pellet I tried at 50 yards in Part 1, and I’ll try it again in the future, seriously, at both 25 and 50 yards. This pellet averaged 891 f.p.s., with a 31 f.p.s. spread from 872 to 903 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet generates 25.21 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. That’s cookin’ — for a springer!
JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets
Next up was the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome. These pellets loaded easier into the breech than Premiers and averaged 785 f.p.s. at the muzzle. The spread was only 11 f.p.s., from 780 to 791 f.p.s. The average velocity gave an energy of 24.77 foot-pounds. Like most springers, the rifle becomes less efficient as the pellets get heavier, except the power drop with this pellet isn’t that great. Adding 4 grains of weight only shaved off a half foot-pound.
RWS Hobby pellets
The final pellet I tested was the 11.9-grain RWS Hobby. This pellet averaged 978 f.p.s., with an 11 f.p.s. spread from 973 to 984 f.p.s. That’s remarkably consistent, and it tells me the rifle may like lighter pellets. At the average velocity, Hobbys generated 25.28 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. That’s very close to the energy the rifle produced with the heavier Premier pellet. From this, we can surmise that the powerplant is well-balanced for pellets in this weight range (between 12 and 18 grains).
I was very curious about the cocking effort. My arm told me it was around 50 lbs., which is 10 lbs. less than the last Gamo Hunter Extreme I tested — a .177 that was still in factory trim. The scale showed a top of 48 lbs., so I was close.
It’s clear that Rich’s tune has made this rifle slicker, as well as smoother. I doubt much more reduction of effort is possible with the factory mainspring, though I did note the scale needle spiking by 3 lbs. every time a spring coil slipped past the cocking shoe. Eliminate that, and the rifle cocks with 45 lbs. of effort.
In Part 1, I estimated the single-stage trigger-pull at no more than one pound. In fact, it’s 1 lb., 11 oz. It’s so smooth that I underestimated it by 3/4 lb. Just ask blog reader Kevin if such a thing is possible.
I spoke to Rich about the rifle and asked if the trigger was stock. He assured me that it is. It is just all the way broken-in and also perfectly adjusted.
Evaluation to this point
This test is unusual because we already know the rifle can shoot accurately. But I’m still going to test it at 25 yards to find one or more pellets that stand out and then shoot hem at 50 yards to see what the rifle can really do. I think Rich Shar is on to something good here, and I hope we get to see more of it in the future.