This report covers:
- H&N Baracuda
- Norma Golden trophy FT
- Bolt popped open
- RWS Hobby
- Shot count
Today we test the Gamo Arrow for velocity. In Part One you may remember that I said Tyler Patner saw around 16 foot-pounds of energy from the .22 caliber Arrow he tested. I hoped for 14 foot-pounds with this .177 I’m testing. Let’s get started.
The H&N Baracuda pellet weighs 10.65 grains in .177. Ten of them averaged 874 f.p.s. through the chronograph. That’s good for an average 18.07 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. Wow! For some reason the Arrow I’m testing is hotter than the one Tyler tested. It shouldn’t be, because .177 is smaller than .22, but it is. This is interesting.
The low for the string was 865 and the high was 889 f.p.s., giving a spread of 24 f.p.s.
The Arrow is very quiet. It sounds to me like a low-powered springer (with my hearing aids in) with a discharge of 93.2 decibels at the muzzle. I was shooting in my garage into a rubber mulch trap, so the surfaces were hard and reflective but only the Arrow made any noise.
Norma Golden trophy FT
For the medium-weight pellet I shot 10 Norma Golden trophy FT domes. They weigh 8.4 grains. In the Arrow they averaged 957 f.p.s. which is good for an energy of 17.07 foot-pounds. The low was 946 and the high was 968 f.p.s. — a difference of 22 f.p.s.
Bolt popped open
The bolt popped back twice as I was shooting. Both times the shot was significantly louder because some air came out of the receiver, but the velocity of the pellet remained inside the spread, so I included the shots.
To prevent this from happening, close the bolt with authority. There is a latch on the top side of the bolt rod that has to catch inside the top part of the receiver. A spring inside the receiver obviously pushes the bolt rod up to make this connection.
Speaking of the bolt I will say that when I started the test I had forgotten that you need to press down on the bolt handle to get the bolt to release. You are pressing that latch I just mentioned down and out from the catch that holds it.
For a lightweight pellet I selected the RWS Hobby. At 7 grains it is one of the lightest lead pellets on the market. Hobbys averaged 1037 f.p.s. in a 10-shot string, which is good for 16.72 foot pounds of energy. The low was 1026 and the high was 1044, a difference of 18 f.p.s.
Gamo says to expect up to 60 shots per fill. I filled to EXACTLY 232 bar and got about 44 good shots. After the 30 record shots I just showed you I went back to the Norma Golden Trophy FT pellets that had averaged 957 f.p.s. for their 10-shot string. Let me show you shots 31 to 45 with that pellet.
I could have gone farther, and in fact I did. But the velocity was dropping steadily at this point and by shot number 50 it was down to 913 f.p.s.
Gamo says their Custom Action Trigger (CAT) in the Arrow allows you to adjust the trigger travel length — not the pull weight, but the travel length — by adjusting two screws. Now the manual is confusing on this point, as the instructions say you can adjust the trigger LENGTH for stages one and two, but then they warn you not to decrease the trigger pull WEIGHT to less than 3 pounds. Huh? Nowhere that I see do they tell you that one of the screws adjusts the pull weight.
I was able to adjust the length of the stage one pull but the LENGTH of stage two remained constant, no matter what I did. I capitalized the word length because stage two isn’t supposed to have any length. In a true two-stage trigger stage two is supposed to remain in one place until the sear releases. The Arrow trigger travels in stage two and I wasn’t able to reduce it. The Arrow’s stage two trigger is like a single-stage trigger with a lot of take up slack.
Gamo also warns in their manual that the trigger weight shouldn’t be adjusted below 3 pounds. Well the rifle came to me releasing at 2 pounds 2 ounces and, no matter how I adjusted it, it remained there. So, adjustable trigger? Not so much. I have had this same experience with other Gamo CAT triggers in the past. It could be me; I’m willing to admit that. So if you are a CAT fan please bring your perfectly adjusted Gamo with the CAT trigger to the Texas Airgun Show on Saturday, Sep 24th, and show me my mistake.
So far I like the Arrow very much. I think it is misnamed because like me a lot of people thought it was an arrow launcher. But for the price you get a lot of value.
I’m not as good a shot as Tyler Patner, but I will shoot the Arrow with open sights at 10 meters and 25 yards and with a scope at 25 yards. I’m betting this one will be a winner, and if it is, at its low price point it is one of the best values on the PCP market.