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Gamo Compact vs IZH 46: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • Single Stroke Pneumatics
  • Velocity
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Accuracy test
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Chinese match wadcutters
  • Summary

Today is a mistake. Reader RidgeRunner asked me if I intended to finish this report from 2008. I looked at his link to Part 5 and, sure enough, it looked like I had intended to. I even promised a reader back then that I would. Well, WordPress software is at fault this time, because I did not find a later report when I entered it in the search box at the top of this page, but when I went to publish this report number 6 I found that one had already been published — on July 22, 2008. But that was after I did the complete test plus some extra things, so I’m going to finish it again. It’s actually a good report. And by the way, I just entered the title in the search box again and this time it came up. Of course it did!

Single Stroke Pneumatics

A single stroke works by compressing enough air for one shot with one pump. The pump cup also acts as the inlet seal, so if you try to pump a second time, all the air from the first pump escapes.

To do its job, the pump cup has to be very flexible and pliant. If it hardens over time, as some synthetics do, it will be less efficient and the velocity will drop. The cure for this is to pump several times but don’t complete the stroke. That flexes the pump cup and warms it up, bringing back flexibility. Read about that in Part 4 of this report. On the first season of American Airgunner I got this same IZH shooting 490 f.p.s. with RWS Hobby pellets, which is way beyond its rated power.

All single strokes operate this way. They all get faster as they shoot, from the pump cup warming up. You may not notice it in a real match pistol like a Feinwerkbau, because when you pause for a minute or more between shots, the pump cup cools again. But my IZH was getting long in the tooth, so several years ago I sent it to Pyramyd Air for a complete reseal. Today’s test is with a gun that has fresh seals.


Because of that I did a velocity test first. I pumped each time with two warmup pumps, followed by a complete final stroke.


RWS R10 Pistol pellets averaged 462 f.p.s. The spread went from 452 to 469 f.p.s. That’s a range of 17 f.p.s., which is high for a single stroke. That’s probably due to my pumping method.

H&N Finale Match Pistol

The next pellet I tried was the H&N Finale Match Pistol. They averaged 452 f.p.s. The spread went from 444 to 460 f.p.s., so a 16 f.p.s. difference between the slowest and fastest.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The last pellet I tested was the SIG Match Ballistic Alloy pellet that did not exist in 2008. These are lead free pellets that hold their own with world class target pellets. I had to test them. They averaged 521 f.p.s., with a spread from 512 to 530 f.p.s. That’s 18 f.p.s.

Accuracy test

Next I shot the pistol from a rest at 10 meters. The gun was rested on a sandbag for every shot, so I am testing just the pistol and not the shooter. I fired five shots with each pellet. I sighted in for the RWS R10 and left the sights where they were for the rest.

Five R10 pellets gave me a 0.512-inch group at 10 meters. While it looks okay, it’s an open group and I would never consider this pellet for this pistol. It produced a score of 49 out of a possible 50.

This is how a 10-meter pistol target is scored. In American NRA competition the pellet must at least touch the line to get the score; in international competition the pellet must clearly break the line for the score.

R10 target
Five RWS R10 pellets made this 0.512-inch group at 10 meters. The scope is 49/50.

H&N Finale Match Pistol

Next I tried H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. Five of them went into 0.591-inches at 10 meters. My eye tell me this is a score of 49, and again the pellets are too scattered for this one to be chosen.

Finale target
Five pellets made this 0.591-inch group at 10 meters. The score is 49/50.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Next up were the SIG Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. Five went into 0.461, which was the smallest group of the test by far! You can see the pellet hole that scored nine clearly, so this is also a 49, but give the tight group of 4 shots, this pellet warrants further investigation for this gun.

Sig Match target
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets gave the smallest group of the test.

Chinese match wadcutters

The last pellet I tried was a Chinese match wadcutter that, as far as I know, is no longer available. In my Chameleon target pistol this was the best pellet. The Chameleon is now gone, but I have a few tins of these remaining, out of the 40,000 pellets I bought at the end of my competitive career, so I thought I would try them. They did lousy in the IZH46. Five pellets landed in a 0.619-inch group at 10 meters. And look how open the group is. I would never trust a pellet that did this poorly. The score was a 48/50.

Chinese match target
Five Chinese wadcutters went into 0.619-inches at 10 meters.


Today’s report was a mistake, but it is one that I hope a lot of people can learn from. I retested a single stroke pneumatic target pistol 10 years after testing it the first time. In that interim it was resealed, plus I used a special technique to pump it for today’s test.

What was proven? Well, the Gamo Compact came out pretty good in this series. It’s as accurate as the IZH 46, but it is very light, so some people may have a hard time holding it still. The IZH has the better trigger and pumps with roughly half the effort that the Compact takes, but most people, including me, find it too heavy for competition. Since it is no longer available in the US, that really isn’t a problem. The Compact is still available as the Air Venturi V10 Match Pistol

28 thoughts on “Gamo Compact vs IZH 46: Part 7”

  1. B.B.,

    The Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets continue to surprise with their accuracy. I wonder how the Predator Journey SAR pellets would also do in this pistol? They are a little heavier at 5.5gr (Predator Journey SAR) vs 5.25gr (Sig Match Ballistic Alloy), made to be accurate (in the Umarex Embark air rifle although the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets edged them out at the 25 yard test) and comes out a little cheaper. Probably you might want to include them in further tests involving .177 pellets especially for those shooters who are required to shoot lead free pellets. I can’t test them as that I have no access but I am curious about their accuracy.


    • Siraniko,

      That might be worth a blog of its own, but I don’t want to shoot it with this pistol. Maybe the R8? Or one of my 10-meter rifles?

      I’d like to see the Sig pellets against the SAR pellets and whatever other target pellets people think might do well. Give it some though.


      • B.B.,

        They are something to think about. Several years ago alloy pellets were but a joke, useful only for companies to claim speed records. Now not only are they faster than lead pellets but they are also matching them (and occasionally beating) in accuracy. Probably introduce them into the testing mix when you review a .177 rifle for now. Only a few match pellets in the market though. Maybe wait on the introduction of a new one before testing them against each other?


  2. BB,

    Thanks for the follow up test. I must say I am quite surprised at the results. I expected your Izzy to fare better against the Compact. I have to say I am impressed with what Gamo has done there and am looking forward to seeing what the ASP Super Target can do.

    Who knows, maybe my Izzy will have a new playmate.

  3. To anyone who doesn’t already know, here is a new Youtube video from Airgun Depot where Cameron ( now with Air Force) is explaining everything that BKL scope rings have to offer. He explains some features that are frequently overlooked by buyers. Very informative, especially if, like me, you know nothing to start with. 🙂



    • Thanks for the link Half!

      Most of my scopes are mounted in BKLs and I have nothing but praise for them. I have removed and replaced scopes on several rifles and found them to have held their zero within a click or two. Very nice mounts available in a good variety of configurations.


    • Half,

      I posted the link to that YouTube video a few days ago too. I thought it was a very good video explaining a few things I did not know. Like, I was not aware the Airforce was the manufacturer of the BKL rings. I commented on that video to Cameron that he did not mention the BKL offset rings that I used on my Urban. I liked the little level that can be attached to the spreader hole on the rings…didn’t know that was available either.

      • Geo,

        I haven’t been following the blog as close as I usually do. My brother was recently diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma and I have been shuttling him around to different treatment centers and hospitals. Likely to continue for another 3 or 4 months, as they are treating his cancer very aggressively. I have been reading the blog on my cell phone and following all the comments and commenting myself is not as easy as it is on a desktop. I guess that’s why I missed your link and that also puts one in the desktop’s column over a smart phone. I’ll assume that that admission from me made your day! 😉


        • Half,

          Very sorry to hear of your brother’s diagnosis. Cancer just seems to be so common now. My very close friend just had a lump removed from his neck. When they performed the surgery they also removed a lymph node adjacent or below it. The lab test showed that there were cancer cells in the lymph node. We have all been praying for him this past week as Sunday he went in for a PET scan. Last night at our card party he told all of us the the PET scan showed no cancer in his body…PRAISE THE LORD! It is His will, not ours. Praying that your brother has a good outcome too and that the cancer goes into remission.

          No, that admission did NOT make day 🙁 What would make my day is to hear good news regarding your brother. Everything gets put on the back burner when we hear the “C” word. Glad you are still able to follow the blog, even if it is on a stupidphone. People are smart…cell phones, not so much.

          Thanks for sharing about your brother and keep us posted as you are able.


  4. B.B.,

    Why has the availability (and popularity) of single stroke pneumatics dried up over the last several years? The few that are still around seem like great guns, much better for the beginning (or even intermediate) competition shooter than CO2 or PCP (and they cost much less than the PCPs for a product that is still accurate and reliable). Why get rid of a good thing?

    • General L,

      SSPs are great for target shooting where the shot is made fairly quickly after being charged but not so good for keeping pressure over a long duration.

      Think that the main reason that PCPs have taken over the 10 meter scene is that the shooter is spared the effort of charging the pistol/rifle. In a competition, the course of fire is an unlimited number of sighter shots followed by 60 competition shots for men or 40 competition shots for women, all fired within 75 minutes for men or 50 minutes for women. The charging force on my SSPs (FWB 100 and FWB 603) is (relatively) light but it does add up over 60 + shots. PCPs have a definite advantage there.

      There are a number of SSPs still available in the market (the P17 is a real gem in the rough) and there are deals to be had on top quality equipment now that the PCPs have taken over the show.


  5. I have a Webley alecto Ultra in 177 caliber and other than being loud, I love it. This pistol works in a nearly identical way except that the valve will accept multiple pumps. You can use a single stroke for quiet target practice or with three pumps you can get sufficient hunting power for short-range pesting. With an easy adjustment to the valve, you can get four pumps.
    I went looking for another one in 22 caliber but was unsuccessful. Too bad that it seems that no one is importing this pistol anymore to the US. It appears that it is still made by a Atak arms in Turkey. The Atak arms website also shows a nice looking accessory stock for this pistol which greatly increases its usefulness.

  6. B.B.

    I like when you make comments like “That’s a range of 17 f.p.s., which is high for a single stroke.” and wish that you would make them more often.

    Find it really helps to understand the numbers when given a reference… good, bad and ugly 🙂


  7. B.B.,

    Off-topic, but late last night I was trying to get drowsy enough for bed and stumbled upon an old air gun blog (not this one) thread where a friendly debate took place about the safety measure of firmly grabbing the muzzle end of the barrel while loading a pellet into a break barrel’s breech. The discussion was about break barrels only, not loading-port air guns such as under-levers or side-levers.

    I’ve always held the barrel in one hand as I loaded with the other and never gave it much thought.

    That said, any thoughts?


      • B.B.,

        O.K., I just reread your post. You meant that they do indeed snap shut unexpectedly, and the evidence of that is every bent barrel you’ve seen.

        Just the same, a bent barrel on my FWB 124 would probably make this grown man cry, so it is just plain the thing to do.


        • Michael,

          Yup, it’s the right thing to do. When I got my first breakbarrel airgun, a Crosman Nitro Venom, I was not aware of this issue. The barrel on that rifle snapped shut and bent the barrel. Luckily I didn’t have my fingers in the breech. It snapped shut before I could get a pellet out of the tin. Lesson learned. Fortunately for me, it was not an expensive rifle like the FWB and it was sent back for an exchange.

          Oh, and by the way…that Crosman does have an anti-beartrap. So that’s no guarantee it can’t happen.

          • Geo791,

            Yow! You are fortunate not to have had a finger smashed.

            I thought of my FWB 124 as I read B.B.’s response because the trigger is so very light. If I recall correctly, it was set that way when I received it from the fellow I bought it from. Early on I tested it by loading and cocking it, pointing it in a safe direction, and smacking it pretty firmly on the butt end with a rubber mallet.


  8. Is there a source to purchase a breech seal 0-ring for an IZH 46? I stupidly left my Izzy for a long period of time with the breech shut instead of open. This resulted in the 0-ring being crushed on one side. Still shoots, but half the air pressure blows out from the breech. A #5 0-ring fits, but is not thick enough to seal any better than the damaged original.

    Slash 8

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