Gamo Compact target pistol: part 3
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The sights
- Qiang Yuan Training pellets
- Gamo Match pellets
- H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
- RWS Hobby pellets
- The rest of the test
Today is accuracy day. We get to see what the Gamo Compact target pistol can do to a target at 10 meters. Let’s get right to it.
I shot the pistol at 10 meters with the gun rested on a sandbag. Since a single stroke pneumatic has no recoil, this is the best way to check the accuracy. I know there are some who believe the gun has to be held in a vise to check accuracy, but in the European factories they test the guns hand-held.
Remember that I adjusted the width of the rear sight notch in Part 2. It turned out that I got the width just about right for my eyes, so it was very easy to hold on-target. I pulled just one shot out of 40, and I will tell you which one when we get there.
Qiang Yuan Training pellets
In the velocity test the Chinese Qiang Yuan Training pellets had the tightest velocity spread, so I started with them. You may remember back when I tested all three Chinese pellets from Qiang Yuan, that this pellet was a surprise. But that was in two different 10-meter target rifles. I mentioned in part 2 of this report that this pellet fit the Compact’s breech very loosely. So, what did that do to the accuracy?
It didn’t help — that’s for sure! Ten Qiang Yuan pellets went into as pattern (too large to call it a group) that measures 1.699-inches between centers. That’s not good at all! As good as this pellet was in the 10-meter rifles, it is not the right pellet to use in the Compact.
Does that result discourage you? It would me, if I didn’t have experience with these target airguns. But the truth is, one pellet will do this and the next one will shoot tight. Let’s take a look.
Gamo Match pellets
Next I tried Gamo Match pellets. Remember I said in Part 2 that I was testing this pellet because a tin of 250 came packed with the gun. Well, they may have had the largest velocity spread, but they didn’t do so bad on the target! Ten pellets went into a group that measures 1.007-inches between centers. But look at the 7 pellets in the center! That sub-group measures 0.506-inches!
Don’t fuss about the 3 pellets that aren’t in the smaller group. Remember, I’m human and also 68 years old. Some of that dispersion is from me! I would consider shooting Gamo Match pellets in the Compact, if I were you.
I will also mention that about half of these pellets loaded very hard, and the rest were just snug. Maybe some sorting with the PelletGage would improve things.
H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
Next I tried H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. These loaded snugly and from my experience I expected them to do well in the Compact. I think they did. This was the pellet that I called one shot as off target. I could see when the sear broke that is was going low and to the right, and that is exactly where it went. Ten went into 0.995-inches at 10 meters — even with the shot that was called. The other 9 went into 0.726-inches. While that is larger than the sub-group of 7 Gamo Match pellets, and while I didn’t shoot as many 10s with this pellet, I would still include it in the group of pellets to be tested further.
RWS Hobby pellets
The last pellet I tested was the 7-grain RWS Hobby pellet. That one also loaded snugly and I expected great things from it. Hobbys are pellets that often surprise me with their accuracy. But not today. Ten Hobbys went into 1.206-inches at 10 meters. The group seems to have fewer than 10 holes, but several pellets landed together. There are 10 pellets in this group.
The rest of the test
So, how was the Compact in all other ways? First, I definitely would have to shape the grip to suit me. It doesn’t conform to my hand like a Morini grip would. But it also didn’t cost $250 for just the grip panels. In fact, every 10-meter pistol I have ever owned needed some work in this area.
Next, while the trigger does break cleanly now, it’s still too heavy. I am used to a 500-gram (18-oz.) release and this one goes at 1,077 grams — more than twice as heavy. That does throw me off my game.
I note for the record that the first shot of every group was a 10. But then I seemed to lose concentration to keep the rest of them there.
For plinking and informal target shooting, I think the Compact is a wonderful air pistol. It’s what you want to hold and has the accuracy to go with it. Yes, a Beeman P17 is also a delightful single stroke that is quite accurate, but it doesn’t have the grips and the sights of the Compact. You have to decide what you want.
I found the Gamo Compact to be a good value for the money. It’s in the form of a target pistol, though it’s not suited to formal competition. But for learning how to shoot a handgun, it’s a good one