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Air Guns Gamo Arrow: Part Six

Gamo Arrow: Part Six

Gamo Arrow
Gamo Arrow.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • So — what were the Gamo Arrow’s problems?
  • The fix
  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • Bolt blew open
  • Summary

Today I will address the issues I had with the Gamo Arrow in Part 5. I’m going to talk about what does work. Some of you guys jumped the gun to dump on the Arrow after reading Part 5 and I think you moved too soon.

I try to tell you all the truth in these reports, but I do it sequentially as I test an airgun over many weeks and months and sometimes even years. And, to quote Jack Nicholson from the movie, A Few Good Men, some of you can’t handle the truth.

What I’m saying is sometimes we peel off the baby’s diaper and discover that it really needs to be changed. We don’t throw the baby away when that happens, though more of us would like to than would admit. We clean the baby, powder his behind and put on a fresh diaper. That’s what I want to talk about today.

So — what were the Gamo Arrow’s problems?

  • Scope needed more eye relief or to be moved back.
  • Shoots too low.
  • Bolt blows open.
  • Trigger is vague.

The trigger and the bolt are problems I’m aware of but will not deal with. Reader RidgeRunner asked (twice) whether Gamo had ever made a good trigger. In a world where the Rekord and the TX200 Mark III triggers exist I would have to say no to that one. In a perfect world someone at Gamo would be working on this issue, instead of inventing catchy new names for vague creepy triggers. But this world is fallen and I wouldn’t hold my breath.

It’s so sad because along comes Sig with no reputation for airguns and in one fell swoop they make a wonderful spring-piston trigger, while Gamo and El Gamo before them have been around for over a century and haven’t done it yet. Then Sig takes their ASP20 ball and goes home, leaving airgunners around the world without a game ball while Gamo, well, they just keep on being Gamo.

Sure there are field fixes for poor triggers, but these airguns aren’t mine and unless there is a critical fault I need to correct to restore them to factory spec, I keepa my hands off. So the trigger I leave as is, and I work with it.

The bolt blowing open is another fault I can’t correct. So I adapt by watching it on every shot and that will hopefully solve most of the problem.

The shooting too low and the need for moving the scope back I can resolve. That is what I intended to do in Part 5 when I used the term workaround. I can solve both problems at the same time, but you had to wait for the Part 6 Arrow report to find out if I succeeded. Well, we’re here. 

The fix

And what did I do? Did I take reader shootski’s suggestion and mount the scope with one ring instead of two? That would work, but you would still have the shooting too low issue to deal with.

Did I take the $150 Sportsmatch adjustable mounts off my Air Arms S510 XS and mount them on the Arrow? I did not. They are 30  mm rings and the Bug Buster 3-12X32 scope has a one-inch tube. Besides — I want to have at least one airgun that is sighted in with a good scope!

So, what did I do? Well, I did something that I have been promising to do for many years. I installed a set of Burris XTR Signature rings. Today’s report will be about them, as well as what they did, if anything. I don’t even know if the reader who asked me to test them is still reading this blog, but here I go!

Each ring gets an insert, shown to the right. The inside of the rings are hollowed out to accept those inserts. That allows angling the scope without straining the tube.

This view shows how the inserts fit inside the ring cap and saddle. By rotating the inserts you also get left-right adjustment.

These are two-piece one-inch rings and they come with inserts of different thicknesses. I needed lots of up angle on the rear of the scope so I used the +20 and -20 inserts (I’m guessing those numbers refer to mils of correction, but the Burris manual doesn’t say) for the bottom and top ring halves, respectively. By rotating the inserts you can also move the scope left or right.

The Burris rings are made of steel so they aren’t as wide as most other aluminum rings. That allows for a little more movement when positioning the scope. Let’s see what they did.

The Arrow as it was scoped before.

Arrow scope after
Yes, the Burris Signature rings definitely did angle the scope downward. They also allowed the 3/4-inch rearward positioning of the scope I was looking for.

Burris rings aren’t the only answer, but they are a good one. The problem is, they sell for a cool hundred dollars, so the likelihood of a person buying them for an Arrow are very slim.

The Burris rings are very fiddly, not to mount but to learn how to mount, if that makes any sense. After solving the problem of shooting too low I also had a problem of shooting too far to the left that had to be resolved. In all I spent about three hours just to get the scope mounted where I wanted it.


Did the fix work? The groups will tell.

The test

I shot from 10 meters off a sandbag rest. 

The first pellet I tried was the H&N Baracuda Match with a 4.52 mm head. Ten of them went into a group that measures  0.211-inches between centers. This pellet has proven accurate in the Arrow throughout this series.

The Arrow put 10 Baracuda Match with 4.52 mm heads into 0.211-inches at 10 meters.

Next to be tested was the JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellet. They didn’t do that well before and today they were lousy, turning in a 10-shot group at 10 meters that measures 0.845-inches between centers. There were no called pulls, as the Arrow is easy to hold rock-steady on target.

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

Bolt blew open

The bolt blew open once during this group. I was checking it for every shot and it was definitely locked down (which means up) when this happened. I do not like it because it’s both startling and my sighting eye is close to the bolt handle when it comes back.

Arrow JSB 844 group
The Arrow threw 10 JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes into a 0.845-inch group at 10 meters.

At this point I remembered that the Arrow likes heavier pellets. But I had pulled the 8.2-grain RWS Superpoint to shoot next. Would it be heavy enough? Not really. The Arrow put 9 Superpoints into 0.77-inches between centers at 10 meters. Why only 9? Because I switched to a different target after the first shot to see where the pellet was hitting.

Arrow Superpoint group
The Superpoint group is slightly smaller than the JSB 8.44-grain group. It measures 0.77-inches between centers for nine shots at 10 meters.


That was my 10-meter test and it’s good enough to get me to a 25-yard test. Note to self — I need to pick heavier pellets for the Arrow.

Is the Arrow a good PCP? Yes and no. It’s accurate with the right pellets and the rotary magazine doesn’t rise above the top of the receiver.

On the other hand the bolt does keep blowing open when it shouldn’t, and that is both startling and disconcerting to my concentration. And I have mounted a $180 scope in a $100 mount, just to get the shots on target. I don’t see a workaround for that unless you just want to shoot with the open sights that come with the rifle.

But I will soldier on and test it at 25 yards.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

32 thoughts on “Gamo Arrow: Part Six”

  1. BB,

    Accuracy is there but the company doesn’t want to improve. They bought BSA several years ago. One would think that they could get a good trigger out of that deal. It seems to apply only to the barrels alone though. That bolt blowing open definitely needs looking into re-engineering for safety and peace of mind. The T bolt design allows for ambidexterity but didn’t they solve this kind of problem in the beginning of the 20th century for rimfires and centerfire rifles?


  2. BB,

    Like you, Siraniko and others have pointed out, Gamo does not seem to be paying attention to what is going on around them. Like has been pointed out previously, you would think they would have learned by now. Ah well, this is why I do not own a Gamo.

  3. Well, I have to applaud your efforts to make the stubby little BugBuster scope work for this test. I have to wonder, since Gamo has solved the issue of having the pellet magazine sticking up above the scope rail, why not just stick a real scope with low mounting/line of sight on there and call it done? I did a quick perusal of PA’s PCP pages and there are scads of the silly hi-top magazine guns in all price ranges. Air Arms even has one with a pallet wood stock (Poplar- are they serious!?!) for $1500. Is it really going to be 7 times better than this Gamo?

    • pacoinohio,

      With good quality hardwood being so expensive making stuff (even “designer furniture”) out of pallet wood is all the rage these days.

      As a kid, most of the stocks I made were from pallet wood. Pallets are usually some sort of hardwood and though the wood is rough cut “seconds” you can often find some beautifully figured pieces to work with.


      • Hank-

        I probably was being too harsh about the poplar stock. Pallets are frequently made of pretty decent lumber and I also harvest some good stuff for the little labor required to break them down. About 30 years ago I caught seven large- 5’x16’- pallets from South America that had absolutely beautiful lumber that either was or mimicked a mahogany.
        Perhaps I should have likened the 510 stock to firewood, except for the fact that it’s not very good for that either.

        • pacoinohio,

          Just bugging you now but firewood makes great stocks as well!

          I did a DIY Rifle Stock guest blog a while ago that featured a firewood stock ( in Part 4). You might want to check it out if you’re curious.


      • Rambler-

        So 7 times better would mean a .030” group. How about it, BB? Are you ready?
        Still, that particular AA 510 would still have the obsolete magazine placement and the poplar (No, just Nooooo!!!) stock.

  4. I my view, the bolt flying open would be something for which I would request a warranty replacement. Gamo triggers have been known to break in…

  5. The late Bob Werner (CharlieDaTuna) made a small fortune selling improved triggers for Gamo rifles. He was a friend of my brother, and once tuned a brand new Whisper that my brother gifted me. It had one of those GRT triggers, which was pretty good – but that rifle was never very accurate. It certainly seems to me that Gamo could have improved the design of their triggers easily, seeing how it could be done and noting the willingness of customers to pay a considerable amount for the improvement.

  6. Well, off topic here. I was at the NC Airgun show and ended up doing a trade for an FWB 124 Sporter. As Yogi Berra has said, it was Deja Vu all over again. Like the rifle you worked on, BB, it’s shooting in the low 500 fps range and has a buzzy spring so I guess PA will be getting an order shortly for a new piston seal and spring but I’ll wait until I open her up to see if the spring has kinks in it or just needs some heavy grease to settle it down. I don’t know if this has a leather seal in it that could be salvaged but will find out today after letting some silicone oil soak into it.

    Fred formerly of the Peeples Demokratik Republic of NJ how happily in GA

    • Fred,

      Feinwerkbau never used leather seals. That one is disintegrating. I have another one to reseal here in Texas. Reader Cloud9 has a friend at his gun club who bought it new and the seal just gave out.


          • On order. The rough edges were caused by my pliers trying to get the seal up a bit so I could pop it out with a screwdriver blade. The spring’s condition was dry but rolling it on the ground showed no kinks nor were there any visible to my eye. Boy, I haven’t used my home made spring compressor since I worked on my RWS 350!

            Also on order is a seal kit for a Daisy Powerline 880 which I got from my wife’s friend after her father passed away. She is afraid of all things in the shape of a firearm and gave me her father’s small collection including an old Sherman/Benjamin 392 and the Chinese B-5 Amputator which is surprisingly accurate.

            Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily in GA

    • Oh man! I missed you! I was there on Saturday! There were a bunch of FWB124’s there this year. Some were quite reasonable, and others were quite high. After buying two airguns, I just could not swing anymore.

      • Yeah, I traded my Walther Lever Action plus some cash for this one. I thought it was a bit weak and of course, the spring was buzzing like a nest of yellow jackets but tonight, I see the spring is not kinked so only have to spring (pun intended) for a new seal. I was looking for a tall guy in a hat but didn’t see you. Of course, we haven’t seen each other since the days of Roanoke. Till next year then.


  7. B.B. and Readership,

    Orv needs our help with his TX 200 air rifle:
    As I said I don’t own one but these are just barrel seals that he needs to replace…


    • SHOOTSKI: Thank you for rejuvenating my questions of several says ago. At this point I am a bit baffled as to easily getting to these seals. It’s been suggested that I can access them with a pick through the open breech. I’m not sure just what can be seen through the loading breech . . . but, so far, I’ve been unable to see any seals here. BB displayed an exploded view of the TX200, but I am not able to see from this view how to access those clearly annotated seels. I’ve watched both BB and Gary Chillingworth’s videos on disassembling this rifle,but I’m really not competent enough a gunsmith to attempt this on my own for the first time. Now, perhaps if I had a clunker of a rifle to take apart, I might try, but not on my TX200. BB, I’ve read and bookmarked your entire blog series on this rifle (both of them), but I just can’t help but feel I’d destroy my best airgun. I may be beyond help, at least I feel that way. I also worry about voiding my warranty by going inside on my own. I’m still open to figuring this out. Thanks again, Orv

  8. BB,
    You mentioned that in using the Burris inserts you put the +20 at the top and the -20 at the bottom? Please excuse my ignorance, but wouldn’t that cancel out the droop you are trying to get?

    • Ton,

      ” I used the +20 and -20 inserts (I’m guessing those numbers refer to mils of correction, but the Burris manual doesn’t say) for the bottom and top ring halves, respectively.”


      • Yes I got that. If you did get the required angle that you wanted then you did it right. But my reasoning is (I don’t have a Burris Signature ring) if you apply a positive integer to a negative one of the same value, you will get zero. I.e. you will be back where you started from..

  9. I know a very competent machinist, who will happily machine custom mounts for $55 an hour + materials.
    The easiest way is probably to cut down two Chinese 11mm to Picantinny adapters down at an angle, one from above, one from below and stick the together.
    Or to take a wedge out of the posts – thicker from the front one than from the rear. Luckily, there’s no recoil to deal with.

    In several hundred shots, the bolt has only blown open a handful of times, IIRC. Less than a dozen times for sure. Did you get a virgin gun, or had it been manhandles by others prior?

  10. B.B.,

    I borrowed (copied) this from the B&H webpage:

    “Precisely align and center your 30mm maintube riflescope with this set of Burris Optics high XTR Signature Scope Rings. The rings position the center of the scope 1.5″ above the top of the base, and come with multiple proprietary Pos-Align inserts which allow you to virtually align your scope without touching the internal adjustments – giving you more adjustment range than your scope has internally, and leaving the reticle closer to the center. Using the inserts singly or in combination can add 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 40 MOA of cant on the scope mount, leaving the internal adjustments unchanged. This adjusted scope positioning is ideal for medium- and long-range shooting, when shooting under extreme conditions, or for scopes with a limited internal adjustment range. The rings also correct misalignment caused by off-center receiver holes or bases. These aluminum alloy scope rings have a matte-black anodized finish, and are equipped with self-centering steel clamps to provide a solid connection to any Picatinny/Weaver rail.”

    I find it interesting that a photo supply house does a better job of describing a product than most airgun and gun sellers! And NOT only on rings but scopes and everything else they sell.
    Of course going to the store in NYC is even better than On-line visits.


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