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Accessories Gamo Hunter Extreme: Part Four

Gamo Hunter Extreme: Part Four

Gamo Hunter Extreme
Gamo Hunter Extreme.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Another scope
  • Sight-in
  • The test
  • 10.5-grain Crosman Premiers
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm head
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Bag rest
  • Third group of Premiers
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads group 2
  • Final group RWS Superpoints
  • The scope?
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today you will read a report that seems to be one thing but will turn out to be something else altogether. I’m reporting on the Gamo Hunter Extreme that we just looked at, and I’m running what appears to be the same 10-meter accuracy test, but today will be different.

Another scope

You will recall that the scope that came on the Hunter Extreme did not focus at 10 meters. I said I might mount another scope on the rifle and see if the accuracy was any better. And that is what I did. I spent a full hour mounting this scope because the Hunter Extreme is well-known as a scope breaker. I coated all eight scope ring screws with Vibra-Tite — Locktite’s stonger brother. And I spent some time aligning the scope, so I could see if the erector tube let go and tilted the reticle.

When I looked through the eyepiece to align the reticle I was amazed by how bright and clear the image was. This scope parallax adjusts down to 10 yards, so there was no problem at 10 meters, which is 11 yards.

Sight-in

I sighted in with 10.5-grain Crosman Premiers. They were the first pellet I tested. After 5 shots I was ready to shoot the first group.

The test

I am testing the Hunter Extreme with 100 shots today because this is really a test of the scope more than the rifle. I tested from 10 meters with the same pellets that were tested in Part 3. All targets are shot with 10 shots.

For all but one target the rifle was held in an artillery hold with my off hand midway up the cocking slot and the rifle held as loosely as possible. This is a large heavy rifle with a stiff trigger so some effort has to be made to hold it. For the one target not shot that way I rested the rifle directly on the sandbag, just to see what would happen.

I shot three different pellets two times except one that I shot three times. One of those times was with the rifle resting directly on the bag. There are several goals in today’s test. One is to test the ruggedness of the scope. Another is to test whether seeing the target more clearly will change the results. And another goal is to see whether the pellets remain similarly accurate to their performance in Part 3. I will also watch the trigger to see if I can detect any breaking in. Let’s get started.

10.5-grain Crosman Premiers 

In Part 3 with the blurry scope the Hunter Extreme put 10 heavy Crosman Premiers into 0.688-inches at 10 meters. Today with the clear scope 10 Premiers made a group that measures 1.04-inches between centers at 10 meters.

Hunter Extreme Premier group 1
The Hunter Extreme put 10 Crosman Premier 10.5-grain pellets into a 1.04-inch group at 10 meters.

That was a surprise. As clear and sharp as this scope was, I thought I would do better than last time — not worse. It could be that I’m having an off day.

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H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm head

Next up was the H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads. In Part three ten went into a group that measured 0.591-inches between centers. Today ten went into 1.297-inches. But this time there is a “however.” The first shot was not held correctly and I felt that it went to the left because of that. The next 9 shots went into 0.726 inches. I think that is a better representation of how the rifle did with this pellet. It’s still larger than the Part 3 test, though, and I’m beginning to think that is because of me.

Hunter Extreme Baracuda Match group
The Hunter Extreme put 10 H&N Baracuda Match pellets into a 1.297-inch group with 9 in 0.726-inches.

RWS Superpoints

In Part 3 RWS Superpoints were the least accurate in the Hunter Extreme. Ten made a 1.169-inch group. Today ten Superpoints went into 1.308-inches, which is the largest of these first three groups. It’s also larger than the same pellet did in Part 3 and I think that proves that the problem today is me and not the gun, the scope or the pellets.

Hunter Extreme Superpoint group 1
Ten RWS Superpoints made a 1.308-inch group at 10 meters

At this point in the test the scope has endured 35 shots on the rifle — 5 for sight-in and 30 for three groups. Next I shot 25 pellets into the target box without aiming. This was just to get the shot count up. It took me up to 60 shots in the test. Now it was time to shoot the final four groups.

Bag rest

The next group was shot with the rifle resting directly on the sandbag. Ten Crosman Premiers went into 1.306-inches at 10 meters. That is larger than the first group of Premiers that were shot with the artillery hold (1.04-inches). 

Hunter Extreme Premier bag rest group 2
When the Hunter Extreme was rested directly on the sandbag, ten 10.5-grain Crosman Premiers made a 1.306-inch group at 10 meters.

Third group of Premiers

I now went back to the artillery hold for the final three groups of the same pellets as at the start. First up were Crosman Premiers. Ten made a 1.254-inch group at 10 meters. This is larger than the 1.04-inch group at the start. I think I’m degrading from the heavy cocking effort.

Hunter Extreme Premier group 3
Ten Premiers went into 1.254-inches at 10 meters. BB is getting tired!

H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads group 2

The second group of 10 H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads measures 1.01-inches. It’s smaller than the first group (1.04-inches) but the difference is really too small to tell. And the shots in this group are more scattered than the shots in the first group.

Hunter Extreme Baracuda Match group 2
The second group of H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads measures 1.01-inches between centers.

Final group RWS Superpoints

The last group was 10 RWS Superpoints that landed in 1.183-inches at 10 meters. It’s smaller than the first group of Superpoints today (1.308-inches) but larger than the group made in Part 3 (1.169-inches).

Hunter Extreme Superpoint group 2
The second group of RWS Superpoints 1.183-inches between centers.

The scope?

Like I said at the start — today wasn’t as much an accuracy test of the Gamo Hunter Extreme as a reliability test of the scope. And you probably want to know what that scope is. It is the Meopta Optika5 MeoPro 2-10X42. Meopta doesn’t consider that scope series (Optica5) to be rugged enough for airguns. This was a test to determine if it is. Since a scope can be broken with 50 shots, I would say this one passed.

Will this scope last forever? Will it never break? That can’t be said. All scopes are subject to failure — even UTG scopes that are ruggedized specifically for the two-way recoil of a spring-piston airgun. All this does is subject the scope to the most intense forces in the shooting world. Spring-piston air rifles are extremely hard on scopes and the Gamo Hunter Extreme is one of the worst.

Discussion

The scope held up for 100 shots of the Hunter Extreme — an air rifle that’s known for breaking scopes. The impact point remained the same and nothing bad happened to the scope. The harsh vibration of the rifle did make the magnification ring turn to a lower power. Three shots would drop the magnification by about three powers, so I had to continually adjust the power back to 10X. But that’s nothing.

The image seen through this scope is crystal clear and bright. It was almost like watching a movie where the crosshairs are giant and clear against the target.

I looked at my past reports on the Hunter Extreme and saw smaller groups at 25 yards, but they were five-shot groups. So I think that’s next — 25 yards, not five-shot groups. I’m going to move back to 25 yards and perhaps add some different pellets into the mix, just to see.

Summary

The Gamo Hunter Extreme now has a clear and sharp scope mounted, so I can test it from 25 yards. I’m hoping the stiff heavy trigger will break in during the testing.

59 thoughts on “Gamo Hunter Extreme: Part Four”

  1. “That was a surprise. As clear and sharp as this scope was, I thought I would do better than last time — not worse.”

    Yes, BB, that surprised me, too.
    I hope the trigger breaks in, and I hope this rifle acquits itself better at 25 yards.
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  2. BB
    Maybe you had an off day, maybe the day was a test for the Meopta, maybe, maybe…
    I just see the Gamo performing poorly, especially if we look at the first test. Something is wrong, and I don’t think it’s the shooter. Could it be the stock screws loosened? And what about the scope changing magnification power? It certainly doesn’t sound good for a scope of this level.
    Oh well. The 25 yards test will be very interesting.

  3. BB,

    I would say you are having a bad day.

    What everyone needs to keep in mind though is this is a Gamo, an old Gamo. The old Gamos were never considered that great. With some work, this air rifle may become usable, even halfway decent, but it will never likely become a silk purse.

    For one thing, that trigger will need rebuilding. As is, it will never be a great trigger. It can be made to be decent, but that is about as far as you can go with it.

    My experience with Gamo air rifles also tells me that this thing is also very pellet picky and very hold sensitive. My CFX liked one pellet of a particular size and could be held only one way.

    This thing is also a thumper. With most sproingers, when the power goes up, the accuracy goes down. It seems to be the nature of the beast. If that trigger is reworked and some of that power is shed, this may end up as a decent sproinger, but otherwise this is just an old curiosity.

    Everybody needs to remember, it was still NIB.

    • RR,

      You are brilliant! The HOLD! That is what I need to test next. Perhaps where I placed my off hand for the artillery hold was the reason the groups are so large.

      Thanks,

      BB

      • BB,

        You may remember my talking to you about such with my CFX. If I shot it with my thumb up it would hit at one point. If I wrapped my thumb around the back, it would group about one inch to the right. I could move between the two groups just by moving my thumb. These old Gamos are VERY hold sensitive. They are also VERY pellet picky.

  4. BB
    You just reinforced my belief that the only way to get an absolute determination of an airguns (Barrel) accuracy is to eliminate the shooter and install it in a fixed device. Let’s face it. It all comes down to barrel design or movement and trying to figure out what causes it. Then eliminating the possibilities.
    Each type of pellet should go into the same hole but not necessarily the same hole for each type.

    If three out of four different pellet types, for example, go into the same hole, then it’s not the barrel. It’s the pellet or its compatibility with the barrel, for the one that does not.
    If none of them do, it’s the barrels fault.
    After determination that the barrel is not at fault and it still is not accurate, it’s something causing barrel or rifle movement when shooting it, or the sighting device. Mechanical, human, or both and that’s another troubleshooting problem. The one you seem to be having now. But that may be a simple process of elimination. Something you do well.

    The only variable would be how far and fast each pellet travels through, and reacts with the air, at any given distance by its design or weight and if the rifle shoots all pellets faster than they were designed for, like a magnum, it will never be accurate until a pellet or slug designed for that power is used. Nothing new there.
    Not exactly fun, but it may help when all else fails to find the reason a rifle is inaccurate.
    Now I can shut it off and try to go to sleep.

    • Bob M,

      You wrote: “Each type of pellet should go into the same hole but not necessarily the same hole for each type.”

      WISH it (going in the same hole by pellet type) was true!

      Since when are the individual pellets of each type the same? The typical variation of Mass alone is enough to change both internal barrel and external trajectory ballistics enough to cause dispersion of the group; not to mention all the rest of the changed variables.

      So perhaps with an intense sorting…but even then i doubt once the barrel is back in an action and furniture it would matter.

      Just my two Jingles ;^)

      shootski

      • Shootski
        Thats why I added “The only variable …” Pellet variations. I suppose the distance to the target would be critical for testing. No doubt pellet sorting would help there and be required for a single hole at 10 meters.
        And finding a pellet with a diameter that works well with the barrel is another problem, IAW LFranke in a below post.
        Certainly is a challenge.

  5. One more thing we might consider….. At these velocities with a new rifle for all intents and purposes a couple of patches being pulled through couldn’t hurt anything.
    I’m not holding your feet to the fire ,
    But even a patch or two to look at might offer a benchmark for posterity LOL .
    I think everyone should fire one of these 100 times in an afternoon. It’s not something words capture easily. My elbow would be soaking in a bucket of ice.

  6. BB

    I’m of the opinion that you should hold this rifle as if it were a 98K using hot loads. It will be much less tiring trying to get that sear to release. Maybe groups will even get better. Maybe not but I do have one springer that demands a strangle hold.

    Deck

    • My Walther Terrus is the same way, though it is not as powerful or difficult to cock as this Gamo. It likes the “deer hunter’s hold.” Which makes it somewhat useful as a practice substitute for my deer rifle.

  7. I don’t think that this should apply to your situation. But I was experimenting with the temporary scope I installed on the Baikal 46M pistol last night. I found that reducing the magnification down from 7X to 4X allowed me to get a better sight image because I wasn’t getting interference from the rear sight of the pistol. I was slightly further back with my eye position due to the increased eye relief at the reduced magnification. I thought that the reduced magnification would tend to make my shots less accurate. But I was pleasantly surprised that I shot the smallest group ever (for me). I put 10-shots into a 0.222” group. I had been getting groups in the mid to high .3s. I am reasonably sure that the pistol is capable of much better accuracy (in the right hands). Anyway, I found it interesting that the reduced magnification allowed me to get a smaller group.

  8. Talking Gamo… I had once for a very short time Gamo CF-30. It was a strong .177 rifle. Shooting with my dad first time out of the box – I was standing like 4 yards away from the target my dad was shooting at from maybe 25 yards. This session was over after I heard a pellet “pppsssssssttt” flying just near to my head. Never experienced something like this before and never after. It came out I was lucky, because the spread at 25 yards was like 5 yards. You could not hit the planet with it.
    I still have old ElGamo Center pistol, a springer. Robust made, potentially accurate but it kicks like hell. This is and stays one Gamo in my collection. After CF-30 experience… nope. I brought it back to store next day and got HW50.

  9. I have had limited experience with Gamo’s but those that I have had have been, well, less than stellar.

    Having said that, my suggestion is…….move up to 5 yards, shoot groups, post them on the blog and then move on. 😉

  10. …hmmmm

    IMHO, any group over an inch in diameter is a “pattern” and the Hunter Extreme is doing an excellent shotgun imitation.

    BB, I admire your tenacity in sticking with this blog series and am curious if it’s possible to tame this beast.

    Personally I’d have disassembled it and modified/replaced the main spring in an attempt to get the rifle to behave long ago.

    Watching curiously, good luck!

    Hank

    • I’m wondering when the TIAT will be injected into this discussion.

      In my extremely limited experience, I take a pellet that shows some promise and run through a few holds. Once I find what looks like the best hold, then I resume looking for the best pellet with that hold. Then there’s Ridgerunner’s CFX that would change point of impact due to a slight change in thumb position (can’t remember which thumb). I’m glad I don’t have one, because I’m all thumbs! (Sorry).

  11. RECYCLING ?

    Having emptied a tin of pellets, I idly picked at the lid’s label and, to my surprise, I succeeded in slowly peeling it off. I mean, it came away without tearing, leaving bits of label or glue behind. Hurrah ! 🙂
    There were a couple of little labels on the underside that I also got off cleanly. 🙂

    So, I now have a plain silver tin, too nice to discard and yet, no idea what to do with it. 🙁

    Please, does anyone actually recycle empty pellet tins and/ or have an idea how to re-use one?

    • hihihi,

      It had Lead (Pb) in it.
      It is contaminated at the microscopic level unless you do a VERY complete chemical and mechanical cleaning.
      Keep the above in mind now that the labels are off someone else likely will have no idea what it had originally contained.

      Unintended consequences…

      shootski

      • SHOOTSKI: I’ve shot my empties dangling from the branches from what’s left from some of the old scrub trees out on our range. Shucks, I’ve got old saw blades, a frying pan, cookie sheet, tea pot, all in addition to the usual metal chickens, rams, pigs, crows, and etc. Our gun range is absolutely my “happy spot”; peace in the sunshine . . . yesss.

    • If it were the kind with the screw top lid, I would migrate pellets into it from tins without a screw top.

      Otherwise you could nail a few to a tree or hang them from branches to make new reactive targets.

    • hihihi,

      I recycle my pellet tins, use them for sorting and holding hardware.

      The labels (on a lot of things) come off very easily if you warm them to soften the adhesive.

      A heat gun works well on metal pellet tins and use hot water in plastic bottles (give it a minute to let the heat transfer and be sure to keep the label dry).

      Hank

    • hihihi

      Preferring screw top tins with a few exceptions I routinely peel the labels and transfer them. I use extra screw top tins for holding Allen wrenches, scope screws, globe inserts, small springs, etc. JSB .25 caliber pellets now come in easy on/off screw tops. I won’t be letting these get away.

      Deck

    • Gentlemen,

      thank you for your thoughts on recycling pellet tins.

      SUMMARY so far :
      All labels will easily detach after the adhesive has been heated, either directly via hot air or hot water indirectly from inside.

      DON’T
      – use for anything ingestible, eg food

      DO
      – use as a suspended reactive plinking target
      – re-use the screw top type, after label transfer, for pellet storage
      – use the screw top type to store small airgun related items (eg hex keys, scope screws, globe inserts, small springs, etc)
      – re-use to store sorted pellets
      – use to store hardware

  12. Could be wrong, but still believe it is best to remove the Gamo-branded scope from the recently “adopted” Whisper Fusion and shoot it with fixed sights. We shall see…pun intended.

  13. Hey Guys, ( Using the term in a gender neutral sense)

    I have been following this blog for several years, and it is my opinion that BB is a pretty decent hand with and air rifle. By now, he knows the many vagaries and how to eliminate or work around most of them.

    That said, I don’t think that I would be able to give him any tips that he isn’t already aware of, in that regard. (anybody sense a “but” coming?)

    BUT,,, I think he may be a bit too infatuated with the Meopta line of scopes to consider the heretical idea that they might not be the best at all things.

    They are obviously a high quality optic. But the fact that they can be jarred into changing magnification by this air rifle might lead one with a skeptical mind to think that they may also be changing the point of aim.

    While I dislike suggesting that BB subject himself to yet more shooting with this Game, I would like him to consider reinstalling the original, supplied scope for at least part of the 25 yard test.

    I understand that my blasphemous thoughts about his Meopta may cause his disfavor, but my questioning mind insisted that I mention it.

    Ed

    • Ed
      Being very heretical I tried to imply such a thought very early in the morning (night in the USA) as you can see. Obviously BB was shocked because he didn’t comment on that thought. Still he is the one who taught me that poi changes if magnification is changed.

      • Bill

        Not saying that it did,, but something screwed up every target on this round. It could have been BB,, but 10 out of 10 bad groups?? Even on a bad day I think we all could expect him to pull one decent one.

        Ed

      • Of course I do not know what went wrong in this test, but I respect BB too much to accept that it was his fault. Something else is enlarging the groups, and consistently.

        My first WAG is the scope. I have a similarly over-powered springer – air ram in this case – where I thought it was shooting as ‘well’ as this Gamo. Then, on a hunch I replaced the scope (forgot the brand) with a red dot and the accuracy improved noticeably. Another wild guess is a leaded barrel, but I doubt it.

        Unless BB thinks that it is not worth the effort, we will see.

        Henry

  14. BB,

    IMMHO you will have to find the best pellet for this air rifle and then find the best hold for it. The power level will likely make this difficult. If for some reason you wish to hang on to it, you will have to cut the spring down a good bit to get it where it is not such a brute to cock or fire. That is what I had you do with the 34. It was an OK shooter before. It is an awesome shooter now.

    You may never be able to do much with that Gamo. It is something you will just have to admit and go on. It is not like you do not have a bunch of fine shooters sitting around waiting their turn on the range.

  15. BB: Reading this blog post reminded me of my travail with my Hatsan Model 135 in .25 Caliber. My first rifle was sent back to PA and a second came. IT went to Hatsan Service and the coil was replaced with a gas ram. Only slightly better performance. 4″ groups at 10 meter basement range.

    I then read a post on this blog where a guy was complaining of the extremely tight fit of the JSB Exact Heavy Mark IIIs. Complaining he couldn’t fit them in his break barrel breech. A light bulb (a Christmas bulb?) lit in my noggin and I bought a tin.

    Voila! Suddenly, the heretofore scatter-gun became a shooter. Turned out that the Turks don’t know what size is appropriate for the .25 caliber. A wildly oversized JSB worked. THEN I learned that H&N is being distributed by Hatsan AND that they, H&N, did re-engineer the Baracuda so as to work with the Hatsan .25 bore. Hummmmmm….I think we found the problem with the rifle and one with P/A.

    I ordered some of the H&N Baracudas with the proviso that they have the serial number LATER THAN 2015. P/A promptly sent me ta wrong earlier production series and wouldn’t take back their error while mumbling some BS excuse about returning pellets. I should have driven over to Solon and got demanding….

    I suspect that the bore of the Gamo needs two things in order. FIRST, if you haven’t done it yet, get out the bore solvent followed by the JB Nonembeding Bore Paste and the bronze brush. 24 in/out strokes with the brush and paste followed by as many felt pellets PUSHED through until clean would eliminate a filthy bore. Then…

    Try the biggest diameter HEAD and SKIRT you can find and see what happens. I suspect that if you have to “click” each pellet into the breech with a Pellet Seat Tool, you might just find things tighten up significantly.

    The rest of it you seemed to have already addressed, namely the torque on all the hardware fasteners.

    I’ll be reading to see how this unfolds. I’m betting on an oversize bore and/or a dirty one!

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