Gamo’s Urban precharged air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Gamo Urban
Gamo Urban.

This report covers:

  • Fill probe
  • Pellets
  • Shot count
  • Air Arms Diabolo Field
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm heads
  • Evaluation
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the .22 caliber Gamo Urban. And the first string will be an interesting test, because I know the Urban is a BSA design. BSA PCPs do not use their air the same as other precharged air rifles. The Urban fills to 232 bar, which is 3365 psi. Normally that would present a challenge to anyone wanting to use a hand pump, because pumping to that pressure level is difficult for most adults. But testing done by Tyler Patner (watch his video on the Urban webpage) confirmed what I suspected from the start — the BSA-based powerplant in the Urban doesn’t use the pressure above 3000 psi efficiently. It only becomes smooth when the pressure drops below 3,000 psi — the same as the BSA Hornet I used to own. Tyler found the best string of shots was between 2900 psi and 1500 psi. If I find the test rifle performs similarly I will constrain all my tests to that lower maximum pressure. It won’t make much difference at 25 yards, but it will at 50.

Fill probe

The Urban fill probe is a proprietary size that’s smaller than many other probes. A a result, only the Urban probe will work, and I had to dismantle another hose to set it up. I would have liked to use the probe I use with Korean PCPs and Hatsans, but their probe did not enter the fill port. Better still, Gamo could start using the male Foster fitting that most PCPs use today and there would be no problem.

Pellets

One reader already said his Urban does best with soft lead pellets, So I will start the test with H&N Sniper Light pellets that weigh 14 grains. For this first test I filled the rifle to 232 bar/3365 psi.

Shot.………….Vel.
1………………821
2………………827
3………………813
4………………809
5………………831
6………………829
7………………829
8………………831
9………………830
10.…………….840
11.…………….DNR (did not register)
12.…………….844
13.…………….841
14.…………….837
15.…………….852 3000 psi on rifle’s gauge
16.…………….850
17.…………….855
18.…………….838
19.…………….852
20.…………….861
21.…………….846
22.…………….855
23.…………….836
24.…………….857
25.…………….DNR
26.…………….855
27.…………….868
28.…………….862
29.…………….856
30.…………….866
31.…………….855
32.…………….858
33.…………….842 2000 psi on rifle’s gauge
34.…………….860
35.…………….851
36.…………….850
37.…………….845
38.…………….843
39.…………….842
40.…………….822 1500 psi on rifle’s gauge
41.…………….819
42.…………….813
43.…………….801
44.…………….789
45.…………….768

Here is how I interpret this string. First, the fill of 232 bar/3365 psi is too much for this particular rifle. However, this one will handle a little more than 3,000 psi. Maybe you are safe at 3100 psi. I will fill to 3,000 for the rest of this test and leave it at that.

Shot count

From 3,000 psi, which is shot 15, down to shot 39 ( just over 1500 psi), the rifle gives a spread of 32 f.p.s. (low of 836 on shot 23 and a high of 868 on shot 27). That’s 25 good shots, based on what I’m calling good. However, you can see there are at least another 5 good shots that exist before the string I’m choosing. So, when you take this rifle to the field, fill it to 3100 psi and shoot 3 full magazines.

Gamo and Pyramyd Air both say the Urban gets 800 f.p.s., but the test rifle is clearly much hotter than that. They also say to expect about 30 shots per fill, which is exactly what I saw in this test. So far so good.

If you accept my arbitrary string of 25 shots (shot 15 to shot 39), the average velocity for this pellet is 852 f.p.s. At that speed it generates 22.57 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Now let’s test something different.

Air Arms Diabolo Field

Next I tested Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets. These domes weigh 16 grains. I filled the rifle to 3000 psi for this string and the next one.

This pellet averaged 807 f.p.s. in the Urban. The spread went from a low of 804 to a high of 810 f.p.s. That’s just 6 f.p.s., which is pretty good!

At the average velocity they generated 23.14 foot-pounds at the muzzle. As you can see, a heavier pellet usually generates more power in a PCP.

H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm heads

The last pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda Match with 5.51mm head. These heavyweights weigh 21.14 grains in .22 caliber, so they should produce the most energy of all. And they do.

They averaged 707 f.p.s. in the Urban with a 12 f.p.s. spread from 703 to 715 f.p.s. At the average velocity they produced 23.47 foot-pounds at the muzzle. That’s ever-so-slightly more powerful than the lighter Air Arms pellets.

Evaluation

The Urban is a 22-25 foot-pound air rifle that gets 30 good shots per fill. I wouldn’t fill above 3100 psi, because you gain very little.

The magazine functioned well during this test, hanging up just once when a damaged pellet snagged the mechanism. I was able to remove the mag and clear the jam without a problem. I also enjoyed how easily the mag can be removed and inserted.

The rifle does not stop shooting when the mag runs out of pellets. You need to watch for the white dot to appear.

I must say that the Urban’s bolt cocks smoothly and it reasonably light. It’s a winner in the price point PCP world.

Trigger pull

The 2-stage trigger breaks at 2 lbs. 3 oz. The second stage has travel that can be felt, but there’s no real creep, which is a jerky start/stop in the movement.

Summary

It looks like Gamo has given us a good PCP in the price-point category. It has different features, but it’s reasonably lightweight and handy to use. The trigger looks good, too.

If the Urban tests well in the accuracy test, it will be a winner.

42 thoughts on “Gamo’s Urban precharged air rifle: Part 2

  1. B.B.,

    Hmm… No 18.13 grain JSB Match Diabolo Exact Jumbo on hand? That would have smoothed out the weight jump from the 16 grain Air Arms Diabolo Field and the 21.14 grain H&N Baracuda Match. When is a pellet considered lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight?

    Siraniko


  2. B.B.
    Your tests pretty much mimic my own. I have only had the chance to test 14.3 cphp though. Out of the box mine was averaging 850fps. I found from a full fill it started at 830fps and at shot 40 it was 819fps. I did turn the hammer spring adjuster in half a turn and now averaging 880fps for 20 shots at fill pressure of 3100psi. I’ll also add, filling to 232bar isn’t too terrible given the Urban’s small 105cc air tube. I have been impressed with this rifles accuracy. I mounted a cheap cvlife 6-24×50 scope and have been easily hitting targets out to 50-60 yards.






    • John,

      I chose the Urban for several reasons. I like the thumb hole stock. It is a repeater with a 10 shot magazine. It is manufactured in England with a hammer forged barrel of proven accuracy and has the same internals as a BSA Buccaneer known to be a quality airgun. I like the ergonomics of the Urban and it has a moderator which makes it much quieter than the Maximus. Some say it’s not that quiet but I find it to be much quieter than my Diana 34. Steve Scailli at AEAC calls it “mouse fart” quiet. Both the Urban and the Maximus are hand pump friendly. I have handled both and the Urban feels better in the hand and shoulders better. That is my opinion. Right now you buy either for about the same price of about $220. The Urban wins 🙂


  3. B.B.

    FYI…
    From what I have read online, and from watching videos of the Urban, the most accurate pellets in this rife are JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy 18.13g, JSB 15.89g, H&N FTT 5.55mm head size, and the H&N Terminator. I have only tried the JSB 18.13 and 15.89 in my Urban so far and it shoots both of these pellets very well. It definitely didn’t like the RWS Superdome and the CPHP was not as good either.


    • Geo,

      Have you done an actual parallax error test on your new scope? Specifically, I’d like to know, both at lowest power and highest power, how close to the marked distance on your focus knob the indicator is when you achieve a parallax free image. If you haven’t done so yet, please keep it in the back of your mind when you get another opportunity to shoot a varying distances.

      Half


      • Halfstep,

        Parralax free can be no reticle shift with head movement or clear focus. The reading on the wheel can also vary with ambient temperature. I have seen the “pros” have three different readings on 1 wheel marking. Say 66 degrees, 70 and 74,… for example.

        Myself, I just focus until clear.


        • Chris USA,

          I don’t trust my “cheek weld” yet so I go with no reticle movement relative to target. I find that the distance markings on the “economy” scopes that I buy don’t match up all that well with either method. I just wondered how Geo’s scope performed.

          Half


          • Halfstep,

            I understand. The bottom line, to me at least anyways,…. is to shoot at whatever mag. setting you are at and note the hold over/under used and then note the results. (make a cheat sheet) Note that and you are 99.9% accurate.

            Temperature can change that a bit.

            Personally, I have found that no reticle movement results in a less than clear sight picture most of the time. I like clear. Mag. level change can add in other variables.


            • Chris U,

              I understand. I can see clear enough for my needs even when the image is a little blurry. ( key word, “little” ) Don’t have enough feedback from my cheek to eliminate parallax though, so I adjust it out. I have proven that I shoot better that way, for now.

              Half


      • Halfstep,

        When I get a chance I will check that out for you. I don’t usually even use the lower powers. I have been using my UTG scope at 10x and 12x power exclusively. When I was shooting at 25 yards the other day and the scope mag was at 10x, the side wheel showed pretty close to the 25 mark. I can’t really see the white dot reference mark on the scope tube because the scope ring obscures it.

        I pretty much do as Chris does. I turn the wheel until the image is sharp. When the image is sharp I don’t get any shift of the reticle with a head bob, so no parallax with a clear image.


        • Geo,

          That’s how they should work and I’m glad yours does. Don’t worry about checking the adjustment knob markings. I’m just looking for an excuse to by more expensive scopes, I guess. 🙂

          Half


  4. Halfstep,

    I understand on cheek weld. That has always been an issue with me. That is why I like a gun with a cheek riser.

    This is it, for me:

    -Sight in per Chairgun (max. the 1″ kill zone)
    -Choose a mag. level that you are comfortable with, adjust AO until clear
    -Choose best pellet
    -Test different yardages,.. note results (note temp. and AO setting as well as mag. level. Change AO of course and stay with the lowest mag. level that you are comfortable with)
    -Change AO and Mag. as needed, as distance increases, but note results.
    -Your cheat sheet is now your “bible”

    As for repeating cheek weld,.. I have heard that some electrical tape with a bb under it can do a world of wonders. Move as needed.

    Myself,.. I try to set up my scope so that when I come down, the sight picture is spot on every time. I leave it at that.

    As much as I have a tendency to over complicate things,.. I have also learned to try very hard not to. 😉

    It does not matter what your AO is set at,.. what your mag. level is set at,.. just make the picture clear and note the results and make a cheat sheet.


  5. I am interested in adjusting the power but I don’t have a chronograph. Does anybody have speed with number of screw turns for each speed? A picture picture of the power adjusting screw would be useful also. Thanks


    • Johncpen,

      If enough people express an interest, I am willing to do that. I just asked Geo791 about it today as a matter of fact. He doesn’t have a chronograph either. I would only be doing it for one pellet though, that being the Crosman HPs, because that’s going to require a lot of shots and those pellets are cheap. It might still tell you something about what to expect from your adjustments though.

      Half



    • Johncpen,

      I just posted the hammer preload adjustment data that I promised. It’s on Part 3 of the Urban review. Hope it helps. Let me know if it’s useful to you.

      Half


  6. Does this rifle have a break-in period? I’ve shot a couple hundred shots through it, and I’m still not getting the accuracy as I do with my Benjamin Maximus. I’m using Crosman Premier hollow points in both. I realize I may have to try different pellet, but hope to stick with the CPHP


    • I’d say try some other pellets, CPHPs just didn’t do it in my Urban. I went through a whole tin of 500 and couldn’t get the groups I saw on some of the video reviews. Then I bought some JSB 13s and stared shooting sub .5 inch groups at 40 yards. Many videos show Crosman Premier domes doing well, they are the next pellets I would like to try.



        • Steve on AEAC utube channel recommends the ones in the box, but I haven’t seen those available anywhere. I’m going to try the ones in the tin and hope they are the same.

          Anyone out there know if the box of Crosman premier domes .22 is different than the tin? Or where they can be bought?

          BB, surely you must know.


        • Johncpen,i

          BB has stated before that the .22 Premiers in the cardboard box are no longer available and that he doesn’t know if the Ultra Magnums are the same.( If I’m wrong on that feel free to correct me, anyone)

          I have been doing the hammer adjustment testing that I offered to do. It’s taking awhile because of the number of shots required and I decided to do both of my Urbans so now it’s double the shots. I’ll post my results when I finish, but I wanted to say that I’m using the Crosman HPs in my tests and on an informal basis I have noticed differing results from tin to tin. Also within a “good” tin, the 12 yard groups I get seem to be very dependent on the velocity that they are fired at.That isn’t going to necessarily speak to their long range accuracy, but it has to indicate something. I’ll have more on that, probably when I finish.

          Half


          • When reading reviews on the tins people seem to report that they perform better than the hollow point. Some reviewers said that the size
            is not consistent though. Thanks for your information and your efforts!


          • Halfstep,

            Are you adjusting to achieve more power, or more shots per fill? It would seem that BSA has the adjustment set to achieve the best power while still giving a good shot count per fill.

            Last May 2017, I posted some results on measurements of pellet samples. I measured the head and skirt diameter on (10) pc samples. CHHPs were very inconsistent. The JSBs & Superdomes were very, very consistent. Here’s a link to that post: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2017/05/the-beeman-c1-part-2-the-rifle-that-created-the-artillery-hold/#comment-397840

            The CPHPs don’t shoot well in my Urban, even at just 17 yards. JSBs are hole in hole.

            As I recall, the Crosman pellets in a box were all of the same lot which may have resulted in better consistency. The Crosman’s in the tins, no consistency at all, thus several flyers.


            • Geo,

              I’m adjusting the preload mainly to gather data for those of you that don’t have a chronograph so that you might have some idea, at least, of what velocity you might expect to get and what the shot count will be at different turns on the hammer preload. Because I’m gathering the data on both of my guns and because my first set of tests turned out to be of dubious validity ( I’ll explain when I post the results ), I am having to fire many, many shots over my chronograph ( approx. 1750 and still counting )

              I knew this was going to take some effort but it has turned into an even longer task than I bargained for. The weather has been crappy so it has passed the time and I think when I’m done I will know quite a bit about both of my Urbans and will have a data set that will be helpful to other owners. Since all of the testing is done with Crosman Premier Hollow Points I think I’ll have some interesting things to say about shooting them in Gamo Urbans (Here’s a hint. The hammer preload makes a difference.).

              I’ll decide how to set my guns up after I have gathered and interpreted the data.

              On the head size issue, I recently measured 1000 CPHPs with a Pelletgage and found that the vast majority of them measure 5.48mm. The thing I found is that they have flash on them that made them measure many different sizes. If a pinch more pressure was applied to the pellet in the next smaller hole that flash would be sheared off and the pellet would fit. Sometimes as many as three holes would be required to arrive at the actual head size and mostly that was 5.48 in my experience.

              Half


  7. Geo,

    I’m adjusting the preload mainly to gather data for those of you that don’t have a chronograph so that you might have some idea, at least, of what velocity you might expect to get and what the shot count will be at different turns on the hammer preload. Because I’m gathering the data on both of my guns and because my first set of tests turned out to be of dubious validity ( I’ll explain when I post the results ), I am having to fire many, many shots over my chronograph ( approx. 1750 and still counting 🙂 )

    I knew this was going to take some effort but it has turned into an even longer task than I bargained for. The weather has been crappy so it has passed the time and I think when I’m done I will know quite a bit about both of my Urbans and will have a data set that will be helpful to other owners. Since all of the testing is done with Crosman Premier Hollow Points I think I’ll have some interesting things to say about shooting them in Gamo Urbans (Here’s a hint. The hammer preload makes a difference.).

    I’ll decide how to set my guns up after I have gathered and interpreted the data.

    On the head size issue, I recently measured 1000 CPHPs with a Pelletgage and found that the vast majority of them measure 5.48mm. The thing I found is that they have flash on them that made them measure many different sizes. If a pinch more pressure was applied to the pellet in the next smaller hole that flash would be sheared off and the pellet would fit. Sometimes as many as three holes would be required to arrive at the actual head size and mostly that was 5.48 in my experience.

    Half


    • Halfstep,

      Wow! You are having to go through a lot to get those results for us. I am sure all of us owning an Urban appreciate all your efforts. I had no idea it would take so many shots to get the information. I understand the issue with Urban #1 and the cut o-ring which probably skewed your velocity results initially.

      So you determined the head size of the CPHPs to be 5.48mm? That seems pretty small for a .22 caliber bore. I wouldn’t think the rifling would not engage much of the pellet at that size. Maybe that’s why they are not as accurate. I watched a video this afternoon by Kenny Kormandy. He was measuring the weight of pellets and comparing them to the manufactures specs. The H&N pellets were way off from their spec.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Irimzg020&feature=em-uploademail

      Also, I have read on the blog that because of the antimony in Crosman pellets, they lead the barrel and that the barrel required a thorough cleaning using JB bore paste and a brush after shooting them. You have a good opportunity to confirm that following your tests. I think B.B. even commented on this.


      • Geo,

        I fixed the oring before I started the tests. It was an issue with having three gauges that were not synchronized with each other.

        My head size results were for those two tins of pellets. About 75% of them ended up being 5.48mm. Other tins could be different. As for the antimony issue, I’m pretty sure that BB said that they CAN lead to fouling if they are fired in magnum springers and other guns that propel them to 850ish fps. I think some of that advice may be extrapolated from his experience with muzzle loaders. The hammer forged barrel on these guns may be less likely to foul since there will be no cutter marks in the rifling. At any rate, he doesn’t advise cleaning the barrel of an airgun unless you notice a lose of accuracy. That is what I will do after these tests. If the guns shoot OK afterwards, I won’t do anything to the barrels.

        Geo


  8. I just shot 10 domes and 10 hollow points (both by Crosman out of the tins) at 40 yards and the domes are doing much better. Next time I report on this, I will have shot from a better bench rest and we’ll give the measurements.


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