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Ammo Gamo Hunter Extreme: Part 1

Gamo Hunter Extreme: Part 1

This report covers:

  • Speed sells
  • Reviews
  • Cocking effort
  • Sights
  • Accurate?
  • The rifle
  • Steel mainspring
  • Summary

This report is about an air rifle that left the market over a decade ago — The Gamo Hunter Extreme. This is the one I bought in August from Tom Gore at the 2023 Pyramyd Air Cup. To refresh your memory, this rifle was received by Vortek 20 years ago and Gore never opened the shipping box. You and I will do that together.

Gamo box unopened
Unopened Gamo shipping box as I got it from Tom Gore in August.

Gamo box end
The shipping box end flap.

Gamo sales box end
End flap open to expose the end flap of the Gamo sales box.

Gamo sales box
The top of the box the Hunter Extreme came in.

Gamo sales box side
One side of the sales box.

Gamo sales box open
The box is opened.

Gamo Hunter Ectreme
This Gamo Hunter Extreme sees daylight after two decades. Yes, it came with a 3-9X50 scope already mounted.

Speed sells

In the 1980s through the first decade of this century, velocity was what sold airguns (let’s face it — it still does) and Gamo took that to heart. For this rifle they advertised a velocity of 1650 f.p.s. when shooting Gamo’s Performance Ballistic Alloy (PBA) pellets. And they weren’t subtle about it, either. They laser-engraved it on the steel cylinder of the spring tube.

Gamo Hunter Extreme velocity
Gamo laser-engraved the advertised velocity on the spring tube of the rifle!

Oddly, the box it came in shows a speed of 1600 f.p.s. It didn’t reach either velocity.

Initially the rifle was only offered in .177 caliber. They added .22 and .25 in short time, because .177 is a waste when the velocity goes that high. But the .177 Hunter Extreme appeared a television program that showed it dispatching a feral pig with one shot and many people bought it after seeing that. Most veteran airgunners felt that video was in poor taste and interest in it died out over time. It is still on You Tube and I ask you to please not link to it.


There are 12 owner reviews on the Pyramyd AIR website and I read them all. When the owners quoted velocity they used Gamo’s highest number, so it’s unlikely any of them owned a chronograph. I found the rifle to be less than it’s advertised velocity by several hundred f.p.s. on the last test I did. It will be interesting to see what this one does.

Many if not most of the reviews said this is a heavy air rifle. In truth, at 9 pounds it’s on the heavy side of medium — in HW 80 country. I will say it is a large air rifle, though.

Cocking effort

When I tested it in 2007 the Hunter Extreme cocked with 58 pounds of effort. While that sounds high, in its day that wasn’t the highest. I have seen spring-piston rifles cock with 75 pounds of effort.


There are no open sights, though the rear of the 18-inch barrel is drilled and tapped for an open rear sight. The front of the barrel is hidden under a swelled jacket that appears to be a silencer, though there are no baffles. The rifle comes with a Gamo 3-9X50 scope already mounted. The scope doesn’t have parallax adjustments, and when I last tested the same rifle in 2007 the scope seemed to be parallax adjusted for about 35 yards. Believe it or not, though, the scope’s reticle is illuminated!

Build a Custom Airgun


Accuracy is one of the things we will test. The people who wrote the reviews I read thought it was very accurate, but one or two defined that as about one inch for five shots at 40 yards. Of course there has been a world of new pellets since then, so everything old is new again. I’m not saying that isn’t accurate; I’m just saying that’s what the owners said.

The rifle

This air rifle is a biggie. With the scope it weighs just under 10.5 pounds. The pull is 14-7/8-inches, so it is a rifle for a larger adult. The thick black rubber butt pad is grippy and has vent holes like a recoil pad.

There is impressed checkering on both sides of the forearm and pistol grip, but the diamonds are flat and give no purchase when grasped. The wood is medium brown with a semi-gloss finish that looks like genuine oil. The cheek rest is not well formed and has the “melted” look that’s been characteristic of Gamo rifles for many years. The butt is shaped like a western-style stock, rather than a European style and there is a Monte Carlo profile.

When the Hunter Extreme was last offered in 2010, it sold for around $500. It would be around that price today if it were still being produced.

Steel mainspring

Know why I wanted the Hunter Extreme? Because it has a steel mainspring. Last year I tried to test a top brand scope mounted on a heavy-recoiling spring piston airgun that had a gas spring but in the test the gas in that piston leaked out and the gun was dead. This rifle won’t do that. Also, in the back of my mind I have an idea to reduce the power and see if I can make a better air rifle. We shall see.


This will be a strange series. I’m testing a brand new air rifle from yesteryear. Why? Because I can. No other reason.

41 thoughts on “Gamo Hunter Extreme: Part 1”

    • Yogi,

      My personal experience has been that as long as he stays away from gas sproings, he should not lose any teeth.

      Scopes now, that can be a whole different matter. My grandson’s friend has a Gamo that has destroyed a scope.

    • RidgeRunner,

      The EXCEPTION to that rule was built by SIG AIR in both their.177 and .22 caliber SSG ASP20 GAS SPRING MAGNUM break barrel air rifles! Never had a cheeky SLAP regardless of what projectile i have personally shot out of either. My .177 is wood furniture and my .22 is synthetic furniture.

      Too bad! You could have owned one now the resale market is nearly non-existent and any examples that do go up for auction/sale sell for ridiculous valuations.

      Maybe you should see if you can talk the GFoA out of his SIG freebie…;^)


  1. Hopefully all these years in the box didn’t degrade its supposed performance.

    Will be interesting to see what modern lightweight pellets get velocity wise, and how modern pellets perform accuracy wise.

    I am sure you will find a second reason to test it, somewhere about part 5 or 6 in the series..


  2. “Gamo laser-engraved the advertised velocity on the spring tube of the rifle!”

    Yes, not subtle at all…kind of a cheeseball move, in my opinion; it’s a pretty rifle; there was no reason to muck it up; I would have just put “Gamo” and “Hunter Extreme” on it, and left it at that.
    My old HW97 spit out 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers for 13.26 fpe. Although it was a Field Target rifle, I did use it to take out some pests.
    This rifle “should” have some more power than that; hence, it should make a good hunting rig…but only if the accuracy is there; this promises to be an interesting set of reports.
    That’s something to which I can look forward…yay! 🙂
    Blessings to you,

  3. BB,

    My limited experience with Gamo points to your theory that by lowering the power, the accuracy will likely increase. My Gamo CFX was extremely accurate, but it was also very low powered compared to most Gamos. It was also VERY pellet picky.

    It will be most interesting to follow along as you put this sproinger through its paces, most especially when you reduce the power. All but a few will likely be amazed at the increase in accuracy.

    I personally have another Gamo in my sights. I am looking for a Gamo Viper Express to try out hunting carpenter bees. Maybe I will find one at the upcoming North Carolina Airgun Show this month.


  4. A general question to all.

    Is it me and my Scottish blood or have the prices of so many of the new airguns seemingly risen to incredible levels? I used to think many of the newer airguns were almost affordable, but these days I have begun to think that I would need to take out a mortgage to afford a new one these days.

    Have wages in this country increased so drastically and just us Appalachian-Americans been left far behind? Several have commented concerning the age of my “collection”. I cannot afford the new ones.

    • RidgeRunner, one big factor people overlook is cost of new tooling. A lot of older guns have variable reputations as you know. “They used to be good, but I bought a newer one, and it was terrible”! A lot of items were able to maintain a price point because they were produced on depreciated machines. So the machine was kept even though it was negatively affecting QC.
      The plant I work at produces tooling for injection molding; 3D printing sand molds that are chemically treated by the tooling OEM. It saves their customers money, but it still costs.

      • OP,

        Not only this, but quality control is often allowed to slip or is actively discouraged. Quite often there are “bugs” to be worked out from the initial production. After such, quality is usually peak. As tooling wears and management encourage more leniency in quality control to increase profit margin, the quality becomes more and more affected. In the airgun world, I have seen this time and again.

    • I don’t think they have. You can actually get modern super-magnum “springers” for less money than they used to cost back in the day. A Hatsan 135 or a Gamo Magnum Swarm 10X gxd597xid7 X-treme Black Ops both sell for around $300 and $300 isn’t worth what it was even 10 years ago.

      Now if we could only still get Theobens and Webley Patriots.

      • SB,

        I will not say you are wrong. My experience with such sproingers is very limited. I will say that for the most part the modern sproinger is not built as well as the older sproingers. Where is the walnut? Where is the steel? More and more there is a reliance on polymers.

        You speak of Theobens and Webleys. Why did they go away? Part of the answer is cost.

        Are there affordable airguns? First you must define what affordable is. This will be different for each individual. Apparently, there are those who think $3500 airguns are affordable. Unfortunately, I do not number myself amongst those.

        More and more I am being forced to look towards the west rather than the east. Fortunately for myself I am an old curmudgeon who has already built a high quality collection to play with for the rest of my days. I do dream of owning some of the latest and greatest, but I have enough on my plate to keep me busy for as long as I can.

        You young whipper snappers care to learn your lessons about those there “super-magnum” sproingers, go for it.

        • I’ve got all kinds of airguns these days, but springers are my favorites and I particularly like the super-magnums. I would never choose one for hunting, but for plinking they are great fun. There’s just something satisfying about the recoil, the impact on the target and the hold sensitive nature of them. I was shooting plums with a Hatsan 135 the other day and when you got a shot that took out the pit the splatter was glorious.

          • LOL! To each their own! I have mostly sproingers also. I go to the other end of the spectrum with accuracy though. I like shooting teeny tiny spinners at various ranges with mine. I do understand the glorious splat though.

  5. RR-

    Not just airguns. The inflationary cycle ushered in by JB is reflected in all consumer goods. My wife just received a notice from the Ohio Teachers Retirement- a 1% increase. We both laughed and shook our heads. 11-15% real inflation minus 1%, means we’re only going backwards 10-14% in buying power. Hooray.

    • Paco,

      Oh, I am well aware of such. I have watched my “buying power” at the grocery store, gas pump, etcetera decrease drastically over the last few years. I have not bought beef for some time now. I am doing good to buy chicken. Vegabibles are heading north also.

      Hey, I think we have a government induced weight loss program. We are a country of obese people, so the government is secretly forcing us all to lose weight by making groceries unaffordable.

      They want us to buy electric cars, so gas prices continue to climb.

      They are geniuses, not morons.

  6. Will be fun to see what BB does with this rifle. When he gets through detuning it you can bet your bottom dollar the cocking effort will be a lot less than it is now. The steel spring allows for many options. Time will tell what the accuracy curve will look like. Maybe there won’t be a curve, just a before and after. But I’m hoping dramatic improvements come in steps making for a lengthy report series. Could turn out to be an eye opener for airgun marketing folks.

    If it is unusually accurate BB may create a one of a kind to go with Yogi’s HW50.


  7. I’m going to love this series. I purchased a Gamo Hunter Extreme for $25 at a pawn shop about 15 years ago.
    Spent $35 on a GRT-4G CharlieDaTuna trigger. Which is a 100% improvement. But I believe it would be a great candidate for de-tuning. Since it has a wicked twang an vibration.


  8. Morning BB, this looks like a fun one. I am especially interested in how you approach the detuning. Side note: Doing some research on the trigger for the Diana Two Forty, I found several references that it may be near identical to the old Xisco xs512 trigger, which had a direct sear engagement. Not much to do except polish and lubricate but one report said that dropped it from 6lbs to 2 and half.


    Mine arrives today so I am anxiously awaiting that next segment!


    • HB,

      That is an incredible exploded parts diagram. The gun has 38 parts but to look at the drawing you’d think it had 10. I wish all drawings were that simple.

      • I was impressed with it as well. Very clear and easy to follow. I will add that I got mine in a couple of days ago and I am very pleased with it so far. Fit and finish are well above what I expect from a 100 dollar gun. Mine actually has the reverse of BB’s where the stock is larger than the buttplate but the finish is so nice that I will live with it and not sand it flush, at least for now. Still cleaning and fiddling with it, so no accuracy reports yea but happy so far!

      • I am sorry but I do not know. There was no mention of those guns in my research and I do not own either one of them, so I can not help other than to say that most folks that chimed in said that there is not much that can be done with direct sear engagement triggers other polishing, and being ESPECIALLY careful not to alter any of the angles and then lubing with moly. YMMV


  9. Hello Tom, I would like to make a comment on the hunter extreme you have. Is it possible that I could help you on the tune ( not de-tune) of the hunter extreme? You know that I have a little experience at tuning these beasts. I was going to surprise you at the Pyramyd Air Cup but, we had a bad storm go through and that meant myself and my son’s running generators for the family. Hopefully next year I will be at the Pyramyd Air Cup with not only my son’s but also my daughter, she just got a job with Pyramyd Air. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
    GOD Bless
    Rich Shar

    • Tom I duff my cap to you for ambition.
      If ever there were a salacious corner of spring piston air rifles….. That never got any more than a half-hearted look by most.
      Here is what I have to contribute to this.
      I possess the Game rifle that predates this. The thing about mine is that it was made in England. The bluing and metal finish are black onyx mirror bluing.
      Conventional wisdom says it was made by BSA….. But I don’t know how firm The logical footing on that is. The breach end of the rifle base block is arranged exactly like webley’s Vulcan.
      Mine still features the hang tag on the trigger I don’t believe the actual company logo is anywhere on the rifle.
      Another major difference is decent open sights, and a weight/handle on the end of the barrel about 5 in Long and maybe an inch and a quarter diameter. I believe this was to spread out the necessary Force to cock the rifle.
      Anyway unfortunately I just found out
      The tumor in my right lung which feels for all the world like a pinched nerve in my shoulder blade…. Will not tolerate anywhere near this level of cocking Force. I took 12 shots with a nitro piston F4 a week ago for 3 days afterwards miserable pain running all the way down the outside of my right arm. And ring finger and Pinky very numb and painful at the same time.
      It’s a lot easier to not count out a Gamo
      Such as this, when you are staring at such incredible build quality and fine aesthetics. I shot a dime at 10 m
      With a CP heavy…… And now it looks like GI joes infantry helmet.
      Years ago Gamo had saboted rounds
      That weighed about five and a half grains. Metal core of some sort inside a plastic body. That made a quarter into a funnel with a perfect hole in the center.
      I actually chrono a few years ago…. Low
      1230s with a CP heavy at 10 and a half grains. I proceeded to leave it in the corner for 2 months, cocked with the safety on and lots of warning notes on it though I live alone. I thought minus 10% or so might be ideal. Let’s just say that never happened. Still breaking the sound barrier with heavy pellets.

      • My ability to communicate is not as clear as I would like. I am saying kudos, for not jumping on the observational bias bandwagon.
        I truly wish you were holding on testing this one instead. If ever there was a good version…. In 177, this must be it.
        I just have to find mine a good home.
        First experience with one predates
        An awful lot of collecting water under the bridge. My best friend owns one
        That we both loved to shoot, while I was waiting on my first big air gun purchase. An ultimate Condor package from PA!! That had to be back in 2006 or 7. Where has the time gone??!?

    • Rich
      Now this would be a very interesting project.
      We all know that easy way of detuning to improve accuracy. The real challenge is to make a powerful springer accurate.
      I hope BB will accept your assistance, if it is needed.

    • Hi Rich.
      I was just doing a little scour of the internet for information. I came across something you wrote where you put gas piston in one. That sounds pretty neat.
      I would definitely offer Tom the advice
      To carefully Mark the scope ring position on the scope as well as the base before any shooting. These are very good at walking a scope right off the back of the receiver. I can attest to that first hand.
      Frank B

  10. Tom,

    In a multi-air gun trade I acquired a new Gamo Socom Extreme, the “black rifle” version of the Hunter Extreme. They are identical in specifications and build (under the skin). Man is it hard to cock, although the barrel shroud is long enough to mitigate that slightly with the extra leverage it provides. My recollection (I shot it only twice, ten years ago) is that it kicks like a mule but lacks excessive vibration. Its consioderable weight no doubt helps there.

    I seem to recall that when I raised it to my shoulder, I could just barely hear the supplied cheapo scope squeal, “Nooooooo.”

    Here’s Paul Capello’s Airgun Reporter episode testing it 12 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5MPGOxTFfc


  11. Wow, amazing this FPS lasered stuff 🙂 I think you need to have balls to put it just like this on the cylinder tube 🙂
    I can’t wait for further testing – I bet it won’t brake the 1050 FPS barrier with a standard pellet like 8 – 9 grain.
    Who wonna check me? :=)

    • Capello’s test with Beeman Kodiaks (10.34gr) was 1013 fps with a standard deviation of 31. So my guess is 8 – 9 grain pellets would fly out of there at about 1075-1100 fps. With trick pellets, infinite velocity. ;^)

      I imagine the variance from one of these rifles to another could be considerable. Tom might end up with greatly different results than Paul did. Also, Tom might enlist the help of a large and ready high school football lineman to cock it multiple times. Sitting in its box for so long might have put it in a state of hibernation, and it might-could use some waking up.

      Shoot it too many times with utra light pellets and I think you would soon end up with a broken air rifle. I haven’t chronied mine, but I shot a CPH and a Eun Jin with it, as I recall.


  12. Great subject BB, we do not know where it goes but nonetheless I suspect that this series will be most interesting. And your arm will be stronger after you are done. 🙂

    One request, before detuning, could you include in your accuracy check a couple of bullets (slugs)? Maybe, just maybe, the extra speed which is not useful with a diabolo shaped pellet helps keep the larvae stabilized.

    Looking forward to the next episode.


  13. I agree with Bill.
    It would be nice to find a way to improve the accuracy of a Magnum Springer without dropping the power down. If it’s even possible?
    I wanted a powerful airgun to replace some .22 cal rifles around the place primarily for pest control. I was not too concerned with extreme accuracy for relatively close-range shooting and figured a heavy pellet would help things along in that direction. Gun accuracy was not mentioned in any sales literature at the time, and I figured it was left up to the shooter to achieve that. (At the time)
    Just for fun, I registered 2300 FPS with a .177 extra light pellet with a new, uncleaned, out of the box, dieseling Ruger Magnum.
    It sounded like a Hollywood shootout, amazing how the pellet sounds at that speed minus the gun powder explosion, ricochet effects and all. I plan to use only heavy pellets to save the piston seal. Now I need to look into slugs and see if things work out better all-around for these hard hitters.

    I figure heavy ammo would be the only way to tame them down and possibly increase accuracy without reducing the power but who knows what else would help?

    Funny, I recently came across this Gamo Hunter Extreme rifle in an internet search and wondered how the heck did I misses that one in my effort to accumulate powerful airguns. It disappeared shortly after I jumped in with both feet. I did however manage to capture a nice Tech Force 89 before it too disappeared.

  14. For decades now I have been making a dope sheet using masking tape and attaching it to the bell of my scope. This allows me to pick up a rifle years later and instantly know what it’s zero and holdover are at various ranges. Usually right at the top I’ll mark the velocity and the pellet used.

    This takes that to the next level and laser engraves it right into the rifle. I’m sure it’s a very accurate measurement.

  15. BB,

    I feel pretty certain that you’ll be testing this gun to see if it gets the numbers that are advertised with lead and non-lead pellets. I’ve been following long enough to know that it’s a regular component of your reviews.

    I just wanted to point out something that you may be unaware of. I’ve seen you repeatedly state that RWS Hobby pellets are the lightest lead pellets on the market and that that’s the reason you always include them for velocity testing. I discovered, not very long ago, that, at least according to the info on the tin, RWS Super H Point pellets, in the .177 caliber, are actually supposed to be lighter at 6.9 grain vs. 7 grain for the Hobbies and all the other RWS wadcutters. If you come up short on the factory claims in the future, the Super H Points could deliver you higher FPS results. BTW, the .22 caliber Super H Points are not especially light as far as I know, just the .177s.

    I bet this baby is gonna buzz like a hive of bees and bark like a rimfire 22 when it breaks the sound barrier! I hope that you’ll be testing with a really wide range of pellet weights and reporting back whether the weight changes the firing characteristics at all.


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