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Accessories Gamo Swarm Bone Collector Gen 3i multi-shot air rifle: Part Three

Gamo Swarm Bone Collector Gen 3i multi-shot air rifle: Part Three

Bone Collector Swarm Gen 3i
Gamo Bone Collector Swarm Gen 3i breakbarrel repeater.

Part 1
Part 2

This report includes:

  • Starting
  • Sight in
  • Re-mount the scope
  • The test
  • Artillery hold
  • Trigger
  • Group two
  • Change the hold 
  • Change the hold again
  • Huh?
  • Magazine
  • Where are we?
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Gamo Swarm Bone Collector Gen 3i multi-shot air rifle. There were some surprises. Read and see.

Starting

I have been reading some useful information from a guy online about how to get started shooting a breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle and he seems pretty sure of himself. So I thought I would try what he says and see for myself. 

The guy says to start with just one pellet and it almost doesn’t matter which one you use because you aren’t going for accuracy up front. You are learning the air rifle. Well, I learned in the velocity test that this rifle seems to favor heavier pellets so I chose the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy for today’s report.

Since this rifle (it has so many names that I don’t know what to call it) comes with a scope that’s already in a one-piece mount when you get it, that has to be attached first. I did and it seemed to be pretty close to aligned with the bore, but more on that in a bit.

The first thing to do is to sight in the rifle. I started at 12 feet and fired five rounds to get the pellet hitting the target just below the bullseye of the 10-meter rifle target, when I aimed at the center of the bull. And now a word on the Gamo 3-9X40 scope that comes with the rifle. It is fixed parallax and the scope package says the distance is 25 yards. So anything closer, which is everything today, will be blurry. When that is the case, dial the scope power down as low as it will go and just work with it.

I did adjust the scope’s reticle so it was in sharp focus for my eye that was wearing glasses. I wore my everyday glasses that are armored for safety. The rubber mulch target box will not send a pellet back at you, but miss it and hit something hard and there is a small chance for a bounce back. Don’t risk it.

Sight in

Sight in took five pellets at 12 feet and 15 more at 10 meters. Then I shot a group and discovered the Gamo scope had tilted to the right in the mounts. I told you I’d get back to the scope in a bit and here we are.

Re-mount the scope

So I re-mounted the scope. I was going to re-mount it after today’s test anyway because when I initially mounted it on the rifle the objective end of the scope was too close to the repeating mechanism to allow the scope cap to fit. But since the reticle had also flopped over to the right, I corrected it now. Then I had to sight in again. This time it took just five pellets. Now I could start shooting groups.

The test

Like I said — today isn’t an accuracy test; it’s an exercise to  learn the rifle. The guy I read online said to try shooting the same pellet with different holds, to see if one works better than the others. I shot 5-shot groups today from 10 meters

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Artillery hold

I started with an artillery hold that had my off hand out under the rear of the cocking slot. Lo and behold — the group was smaller than expected! It’s not a screamer, but like I said already — today is not a real accuracy test.

Five JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets went into 0.619-inches at 10 meters. That surprised me, so I adjusted the scope reticle to the right and shot a second group.

Gamo Swarm Gen3i 1
When held in the artillery hold with my off hand at the rear of the cocking slot, the Gamo Swarm put five JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets into a 0.619-inch group.

Trigger

I will report that the trigger works well enough to use. Stage two does have some travel in it that I don’t care for, but it’s better than I’ve seen in some triggers. Because of the travel I don’t care for it that much but I can work with it.

Group two

I adjusted the scope’s reticle several clicks to the right and tried again. I moved to a different bull and shot another group with the same hold. This time five JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys made a 0.537-inch group. It looks larger to me but it’s not; it’s a little smaller.

Gamo Swarm Gen3i 2
On the second try with the same artillery hold the Swarm put five JSB Jumbo Heavys into 0.537-inches at 10 meters. Like I thought — this hold is good!

Change the hold 

Like the guy on the internet says, try different holds. So I changed the hold to one where my off hand was back by the triggerguard. It’s still an artillery hold, and something surprising happened. Usually when I’m holding back by the triggerguard the rifle moves around more. This time because of the shape of the Gamo stock, the hold became more stable. Would that help the group? One way to find out.

This time the Gamo put five pellets into a group that measures 0.625-inches between centers. This group also moved slightly to the left of where the last group landed. I expected that to happen.

Gamo Swarm Gen3i 3
When the off hand was held back by the triggerguard the rifle became more stable and five JSB pellets went into a 0.625-inch group at 10 meters. The group did move a little from the last group.

That’s two slightly different holds for the Swarm Gen3i. The results seem remarkably similar, but remember — this isn’t an accuracy test. It’s a “learning the rifle” exercise like the guy on the internet tells us to do. I’m still shooting with a blurry scope.

Change the hold again

Now I will show you what a “deer hunter” hold will do to accuracy. For this target I held the Gamo tightly with both hands and pulled it in tight to my shoulder for every shot. The point of impact did change and five pellets went into 0.72-inches at 10 meters.

Gamo Swarm Gen3i 4
Using a deer hunter hold where the rifle is held tightly, the Swarm put five pellets into 0.72-inches at 10 meter. It’s larger than the first three groups, but not that much.

Huh?

I expected to see a group about twice this size. Apparently the Gamo Swarm Bone Collector Gen 3i multi-shot air rifle is not hold sensitive. That is a huge plus for hunters!

Magazine

I will report that the 10-shot rotary magazine worked flawlessly throughout this test. I still do like loading each pellet into the breech myself, but I don’t see any accuracy disadvantage when using this magazine.

Where are we?

Now we know some things. All the targets seen today were shot with a blurry scope. At 25 yards the image should clear up.

The rifle does not seem very sensitive to hold. That by itself is a huge advantage to hunters who have to take their shots when and where they can.

The 10-shot rotary magazine functioned flawlessly. I still favor loading each pellet singly, but this mag seems to give nothing away.

The trigger does work. It isn’t what I want in a trigger but I can use it.

After adjusting the location of the scope I can put the scope caps on. I have to cock the rifle and put them on with the barrel broken open because there still isn’t much clearance with the repeating mechanism, but I can put them on.

With today’s information I can back up to 25 yards and go on

Summary

Today was a surprise on several levels. First, the Gamo Swarm Bone Collector Gen 3i multi-shot air rifle seems to be pretty accurate. It’s maybe not a tack-driver, but it’s certainly hunting accurate.

Second, in case it wasn’t obvious, today I was putting into practice the things I wrote about in the two recent reports — I wish… and Getting started with a breakbarrel springer: Part One.

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.

25 thoughts on “Gamo Swarm Bone Collector Gen 3i multi-shot air rifle: Part Three”

  1. Tom,

    I don’t suppose for the next accuracy test you could try shooting it from a rest? This is seems to be a good beginners’ rifle once they have the basics right. Just wish they supplied a better suited scope or you might try adjusting the parralax by unscrewing the front lens?

    Siraniko

  2. Nice way of saying the magazine is ‘not so pretty bad’. Easy to get used to, and it would seem every pellet gets seated the same in the breech.

    The reason I misfired so much with the BM8’s long, apparently single stage, trigger was that I could not hold the sights on target while slowly pulling back on the trigger. It took too long to reach the end and I could not actually predict when that would happen to coordinate with being dead on target.
    It has become very clear to me just how much a clean crisp, predictable, second stage can contribute to target shooting accuracy.
    It makes sense that a heavier rifle would resist movement and be less sensitive to hold. My .177, 10.5 lb Valken Infiltrator gas piston pellet rifle hardly has any movement at all. It just makes noise when fired.

    Just don’t plan on doing a lot of plinking without a rest, or sling, of some sorts.

  3. Thanks for another interesting report. Regarding the fixed parallax at 25-yards, I have read that, when parallax can be and is adjusted properly, the reticle doesn’t appear to move around relative to the target when the eye position is changed slightly. I would think this could affect accuracy (especially for a beginner who isn’t accomplished in obtaining a consistent cheek weld). So, it will be interesting to see the accuracy tests at 25-yards when the set parallax is hopefully “adjusted” properly.

    • You brought up a vexation that i have acquired over the years of air gun shooting, namely, that manufacturers are putting fixed parallax scopes on their offerings, AND that these are 25 to 50 yard sets. That just seems idiotic to me…

      It seems idiotic, regardless of the fact that the fixed parallax distance is likely cheaper to produce and the number appear more mighty (as in, “Look! I can shoot out to 25 or 50 yards with my air gun!”). The reality is that all that is counterproductive.

      Facing reality, our air arms are probably maxing out, for practical purposes at 10 Meters or maybe as many as 25. With the exception of high pressure PCPs shooting LARGE caliber pellets or slugs, all the physical factors conspire against us, and that is NOT ALL BAD.

      For example…..my basement range is approximately 10 meters from shooting table to the back of the ballistic closet. In all honesty I don’t quite get a full 10 meters from the target page plane to the muzzle, but it is darned close. My scopes are all AO and that clears up the target picture considerably. A fixed parallax would be annoying; cheaper for the seller, miserable for the user.

      Now, this all comes to fruition in terms of my use of my air arsenal to occasionally remove pests from the property – like the squirrels that sometimes like to chew on my house. Heretofore, it was also to prevent local critters from eating the proceeds of my garden before I could. I say, “it comes to fruition,” because the basement range “zero for parallax” is ALSO, by serendipity, the distance from any of my house windows to the property line. If some unwary pest comes-a-callin’, if I can raise the screen about four inches (with the window raised before very stealthily, that critter is going to feed the local opossum population (nature’s garbagemen).

      Of course, pragmatic considerations of the consumer do NOT necessarily cross over to those of the marketing folks. It looks to the advertiser that 100 yards is certainly “better” than 10. They either are ignorant, in bulk, of the limitations of most air arms, or don’t care as long as they can make a sale. Once the customer has a scope that out-ranges his/her air arm, the response of the ad wonk is that “you must be doing something wrong.” Uh huh. Don’t try that HERE.

      When most of our shooting is LESS THAN 25 yards, and the proffered scope “package” may be for 25+, how am I doing it wrong? Get serious, ad man/woman, for you’re FOS.

      Indeed, it’s not unusual in my arms locker to have a scope or two lying around that came as the OEM offering that never got put in the supplied rings nor ever saw the scope rail. There are empty cartons saved of secondarily purchased AO scopes that took their place from the start. This is in keeping with the old adage: “Fool me once, shame on you: fool me TWICE, shame on ME.” I’m old enough now, and experienced enough in this game to rarely get fooled twice; and I spent enough money to learn the hard way….

  4. BB,

    You are making it very difficult to not have this air rifle at RRHFWA. Although I have sworn off of Gamos for so many years, you make it sound as though this is a modern sproinger worth having.

    Although the trigger is not what it could be, it does sound as though Gamo has come a long way it. The very old Gamo triggers were very much improved by the Charlie Da Tuna triggers, but were still not Rekords. I will bet that I can make this trigger into something sweet.

    Now, as for the scope. C’mon guys, you can do better than that. I will have to give them credit that the parallax is adjusted to twenty-five yards instead of one hundred. A cheap adjustable AO scope is not that expensive these days. Perhaps they should just forget about it. If one of those things does show up at RRHFWA, that scope will be a giveaway.

    It is with mixed feelings that I look forward to what else you have to say about this sproinger.

    • You contemplating dancing with a Gamo Lady, RR? Another sign The End Is Near? To be fair, FM has been influenced by that gifted Whisper Fusion which has failed to impress…but, also to be fair, it does not compare to the one reviewed here. FM will stubbornly continue to “learn” that WF because one does not look a gift horse, er, airgun in the barrel. Never do that in any case. Maybe will try tamping it down a bit without taking any of it apart, say by using some of that TIAT/Almagard-type grease in spray can version. Gonna stick to the fixed sights, for now.

      • Well, I was thinking about it, but PAIR will not sell me the one BB is testing and are insisting that I buy one at full price. Since that is not happening, I will wait until the next NC airgun show and see if a reasonably priced one shows up there.

        That WF of yours has some potential. A little TIAT and a trigger rework will likely help it go a long way. Keep at it. I myself enjoy messing with sproingers. You may become addicted yourself.

  5. “I still favor loading each pellet singly, but this mag seems to give nothing away.” — BB

    ” If one of those things does show up at RRHFWA, that scope will be a giveaway.” — RidgeRunner

    BB & RidgeRunner, I concur with both of your statements.
    For $107, this Hawke scope that adjusts down to 10 yards for parallax would be good on this rifle:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/product/hawke-sport-optics-4×32-ao-sport-hd-rifle-scope-mil-dot-reticle-1-4?a=5165
    I gave my .22 Dragonfly Mk2 to a friend who has tons of squirrels on his 10-acre property.
    I did not give him the magazine; I gave it to him with the single-shot tray epoxied in place; he liked that.
    The rifle is set up with an AO 4X UTG scope, sighted in for 25 yards.
    That would be a long shot on squirrels for him.
    He is a bow hunter; he is used to sneaking up on game.
    I would like this Gamo better without the multi-shot capability.
    In all my years of hunting, I never shot an animal on the second shot after missing it with the first one. 😉
    Blessings to you both,
    dave

  6. B.B.,

    Shoot like a JEDI Master, do we!

    With the scope you used it was most likely FEEL for target shooting that your groups can be attributed to; not the rifle so much.
    I will hold my tongue on what i expect to see at twenty-five.

    There WILL be more surprises…

    shootski

  7. I almost always have my springers resting directly on a front rest. I have never gotten as good accuracy with my hand between the rest and the forearm. I think a consistent hold and extended follow through are the keys. You have to maintain your hold instead of relaxing as soon as the shot is fired. This even makes a difference with PCPs. When I maintain my hold through the shot and recoil I am much more contemplative about the shot. It helps me remember what the sight picture was when the trigger broke, the direction of the recoil, etc.
    David Enoch

  8. I have an original Gamo Swarm in .22 cal. The first thing I did was upgrade the scope with one from UTG. My rifle shoots best with RWS Super-H-Points and H&N Terminators. Both are hollowpoints. The rifle works well and has good power. I have used it on both Coons and Skunks. Gamo still sells this version but it comes with a really poor fixed power 4X now, the old one was 3X to 9X. Also, the current trigger is not adjustable. I set one up for a friend and it still shoots well with a pellet it likes. If I bought one today, I would buy one of their better versions of the Swarm.

    Mike

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