Diana 27S: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • SHOT Show
  • Odd-sized breech seal
  • Grainger
  • Velocity with Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Fooled around
  • WHAT!!!?
  • On with the test — JSB Exact Heavy
  • Chronograph error
  • Cocking
  • 27S
  • Cocking behavior
  • Firing behavior
  • RWS Hobby
  • Summary

SHOT Show

I’m at the SHOT Show today. Today is Media Day At The Range, so I’m looking at all the new airguns that are on the range in Boulder City. Yesterday I went to Sig Range Day, so tomorrow I will have a report on both events. The show opens on Tuesday, so the Wednesday blog will be my first report from there.

Today we look at the velocity of the Diana 27S we are testing. If you recall, in Part 2 the breech seal failed and I couldn’t test the rifle. I replaced the seal with a temporary leather one and the velocity jumped from the mid-300s to the high 600s. I said then that it was the largest velocity increase I have ever seen from just replacing a breech seal. I expected a gain of 60-80 f.p.s. Several readers made similar comments.

Odd-sized breech seal

When I measured the old seal I expected to find numbers that were even, numbers that made sense! Instead I found the old seal’s material diameter (the thickness of the ring) was 2.4mm. The inside diameter was 8.3mm and the outside diameter was 13.1mm. Okay, where is the camera — I’m on Candid Camera, right? I expected a ring with a thickness of 2.5mm, an ID of 8.5mm and an OD of 13mm. Who would make something common like an o-ring with such random and odd dimensions? The ring wasn’t designed for Diana. Diana selected the ring from what was available and designed their airguns to fit.

Apparently, though, someone did design a ring like this because when I went to Grainger looking for one, there it was — 2.4mm by 8.3mm by 13.1mm! The reason I was so skeptical is because when it comes to measuring things I’m a cut-three-times-measure-once-and-then-hire-somebody-else-to-do-the-job kinda guy. But, listening to all of you guys with skills, I figured I could at least give it a go — might provide some fodder for a funny blog!

Grainger

So I placed an order with Grainger for 25 o-rings. I have about 6-8 Dianas that need these seals, and the way I love these guns more can come at any time. The rings arrived last week, and, with considerable trepidation, I installed one in the 27S. Then I set up the chronograph and fired the first tentative shot.

Diana 27S breech seal
The new o-ring/breech seal from Gainger fit perfectly.

Velocity with Air Arms Falcon pellets

Okay guys, we will start the velocity test with the Air Arms Falcon dome pellet. Ten Falcons averaged 689 f.p.s., for an average muzzle energy of 7.73 foot-pounds. Remember — the magic number of 671 f.p.s. is the velocity at which the energy of the pellet in foot-pounds is equal to the pellet’s weight in grains.

The spread ranged from a low of 672 to a high of 710 f.p.s. That’s 38 f.p.s., which is high.

Fooled around

After that I shot some more Falcons and got a string of three that measured 320, 309 and 310 f.p.s. — WHAT!!!?

WHAT!!!?

Right after installing the new breech seal and shooting the gun at velocities in the 690s, I suddenly got one at 374 f.p.s. And that is when it hit me. The new breech seal DOES NOT add 300 f.p.s. to the velocity of the rifle! I had shot through the chronograph in such a way that the first skyscreen was triggered at the wrong time. I know that because I can now do it anytime I want.

It isn’t common but I have seen this phenomenon before. If the muzzle of the gun is too close to the first skyscreen (with Shooting Chrony chronographs) you will get a reading like this. In the case of this Diana 27S I also have to point the barrel slightly downward by a few inches at 3 feet to make it happen every time. That is what happened in the last test, but I didn’t catch it until today. It was just the way I was sitting that made it happen. Apparently the Diana 27S is just long enough to put the muzzle in the exact right spot for this to happen.

So — chronograph users beware. And everybody — a new breech seal should not increase velocity by 300 f.p.s. unless there was no seal to begin with!

On with the test — JSB Exact Heavy

Next up is the JSB Exact Heavy pellet. At 10.34-grains this dome is on the heavy side for a rifle of this power but I have seen excellent results from such pellets in weaker airguns in the past. Ten JSB Heavys averaged 555 f.p.s. from the 27S. The spread went from 552 to 560 f.p.s., so a difference of just 8 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 7.07 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Chronograph error

I got two “Error 2” messages on this string. That message means that skyscreen 2 isn’t seeing the pellet. This is something I am familiar with. Unless the pellet missed passing over the skyscreen it means something has fallen onto the widow above the screen’s sensor. As close as I shoot I knew I wasn’t missing the screen, so it had to be an obstruction. When I looked I saw exactly what it was and was able to clean the screen and get going again.

Diana 27S skyscreen
I shoot with the chrono so close to the pellet trap that stuff sometimes falls on skyscreen 2. There is a smashed lead pellet on the left and a large piece of paper on the right. Remove all the stuff and wipe the screen window with a cotton swab and you’re back in business!

Cocking

I reported in Part 2 that the 27S cocks with 24 lbs. of effort. That’s more than I expect from a Diana 27, but this isn’t a 27 — it’s a 27S.

27S

The Brits call the 27S the 27 Super, and apparently it was sold to them under that name. They also know of a 35 Super model that I never heard of. Well, looking at both the cocking effort and just the velocities we have seen thus far I think the 27S is more like the Diana 35 than it is like the Diana 27. In fact, the Diana 35 that I tested and tuned last year shoots at lower velocities than this one.

Cocking behavior

The 27S cocks with a slight scraping noise that is common to rifles that have two-piece articulated cocking links. The solution is lubrication, which I will apply when I go inside.

Firing behavior

This rifle shoots with a jolt and a lot of buzz that isn’t common for the other vintage Dianas I have experienced. I will have a look around inside for what can be done and also to see what that anti-beartrap mechanism looks like. But while I’m inside I will lube the rifle with Tune in a Tube in both the mainspring and ball bearing trigger areas. In fact, I am curious to see whether the ball bearing trigger in the 27S looks like the one in a 27 or the one in the 35 that has a few additional parts.

RWS Hobby

This is the last pellet to be tested. RWS Hobby was the speed demon of its day, which was contemporary with the vintage Diana line we have examined. I have found in recent tests that Falcon pellets, though slightly heavier, are often faster, but we shall see.

Ten Hobbys averaged 660 f.p.s., so true to form they are a little slower than Falcons. However, the Diana 35 that I tuned last year averaged 601 f.p.s. with a 26 f.p.s. velocity spread with Hobbys. Today the 27S low was 650 and the high was 671 f.p.s., so the spread was 31 f.p.s. At the average velocity the Hobby generates 6.77 foot pounds.

Summary

That’s it for this report. The new breech seal tells us what we need to know about this rifle — it’s in good condition and probably shooting like it did when new.

I would also like to add that today was a big learning day. We learned or were reminded about some quirks of chronographs that I hope will help some of you.

The next report will be a disassembly and examination of the insides of the 27S. And, if it cooperates, I will give it a lube tune and button it back up for another velocity and firing behavior report to follow. So, stay tuned!


Diana 27S: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Velocity day
  • A happy accident
  • Breech seal
  • No problemo!
  • BB isn’t daunted
  • Problemo
  • BB has a backup
  • HOWEVER
  • What size are the seals?
  • What now?
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Today’s report
  • Summary

Today is Part 2 of my test of the vintage Diana 27S. From the comments to Part 1 we learned that several of you own them, but you all seem to live in Europe and the UK. This model is very rare in the U.S. Today’s report is about a failure that turned out to be a huge success!

“Oh, oh! BB’s talking like Mr. Miyagi again! Better get out the rags and car wax!”

Velocity day

I normally test velocity on Day 2 and that is exactly what I intended to do. My guess was that a .177-caliber Diana 27 should shoot around 650 f.p.s. with lighter pellets when it’s in good condition. I put five drops of Crosman Pellgunoil down the air transfer port that is located behind the barrel when it’s closed and then I shot three shots to just spread the oil around. Normally I would cock and uncock the rifle to spread the oil, but we learned in Part 1 that the 27S has an anti-beartrap device that prevents uncocking except by firing.

A happy accident

The oil proved to be a happy accident because of what happened next. The first recorded shot with an Air Arms Falcon dome went out the muzzle at 542 f.p.s. That’s a little slow but I can work with it. However, the next 5 shots went like this.

Shot…….Velocity
1………….352
2………….334
3………….345
4………….347
5………….352

Wow! This rifle is way off where I expected it to be. But remember that happy accident I mentioned with the oil? It came out as a mist on the first shot, which was a diesel. I saw oil mist shoot out the muzzle and also around the breech. Ah HA! The breech seal is weak.

Breech seal

And here is the first bit of knowledge. The breech seal did not appear to be bad. It was just a little flat, but well within tolerances for a normal o-ring seal. But when I removed it I discovered it was as hard as a rock! It was flat but also immovable — allowing compressed air to rush around it. An o-ring in the breech should push forward when compressed air gets underneath it and lifts it to seal against the breech tightly. This one wasn’t moving. As long as the breech was dry I couldn’t see the air squirting out, but that oil mist made it instantly visible.

No problemo!

Well I am the great B.B. Pelletier, and a couple months ago I ordered a huge assortment of o-rings in both SAE and metric sizes. I’ll get this little puppy back on track in no time.

Knowing that the German manufacturers had used metric o-rings, I looked through my huge assortment — only to discover that I didn’t have the size metric ring I needed. Knowledge number two is — a huge assortment of o-rings doesn’t contain rings of all sizes. Fate conspires to ensure that the size you need is not in the box! That’s the same Fate that hides one of each pair of your sox in the dryer.

BB isn’t daunted

But Fate was dealing with BB Pelletier this time and I had a second huge box of SAE o-rings, as well. I would find one that’s the perfect size and laugh at Fate who thought that, just because it isn’t labeled as metric, I wouldn’t know I had one that fit!

Problemo

Nope. Fate was laughing at me. If the o-ring was the right diameter it was made from material whose cross-section is too thin to do the job. If it was the right cross-section, it was not the right size. Ha, ha!

BB has a backup

What Fate didn’t know was B.B. has a stash of odd-sized o-rings that he has collected over the years. I brought them out and, wouldn’t you know it, those that were thick enough were the wrong size and those that were the right size were too thin.

HOWEVER

Then Fate’s prettier sister, Luck, stepped in. Because, among my collection of odd-sized o-rings, was one leather breech seal I had made years ago — probably for another Diana rifle. It wasn’t as thick as it needs to be and also was not as well-formed as I would like which is why I never used it, but it was the right diameter. So I installed it and tested the rifle again — still shooting the Falcon pellet. Here is what I got.

Shot…….Velocity
1………….686
2………….681
3………….693
4………….360
5………….367

Wow! A three-hundred f.p.s. boost — just from having a tight breech seal! But what about the last two shots? I think the leather, which was the right diameter but not the right thickness, got pushed back and flattened out too much, then started leaking air again. I could shim it up and get it to work, but I was after something more refined.

Diana 27S breech seal
The leather seal I installed is too thin for the breech and has already flattened out after three shots. But it told me what I needed to know!

What size are the seals?

Okay, here comes knowledge number three. What size is this o-ring? When I measured it the first time in the gun, the numbers didn’t make any sense. I got a material thickness of 2.4mm with an outside diameter of 13.1mm and an inside diameter of 8.3mm. What a whacky set of numbers! Surely such o-rings don’t exist and I’m just not measuring them correctly?

Then I went to Grainger’s website. Such o-rings DO exist with those exact dimensions! Golly — this stuff really does work!

What now?

Okay, what do I do now? I could order a Diana 27 breech seal from Chambers Gunmakers, but they are currently out of stock. Even if they had one I would end up paying about seven to ten dollars for just one seal and have to wait about two weeks for it to arrive. Instead I decided to spend more money and save more by ordering the o-ring in bulk from Grainger — the same guys I bought the o-ring sets from. Each one will cost me about $1.15 this way and I should have them on Monday. Sure, I will have many more seals than I need, but Diana uses the same size seal for many of their spring-piston rifles, so what I am really doing is stocking up.

Cocking effort

I have to say this 27S cocks harder than I expected. The Diana 35 I tuned with Tune in a Tube cocked with 16 lbs. of effort. That is off-the-charts good for a Diana 35 and much lighter than this 27S. Of course the 35 barrel does measure 19 inches while the one on the 27S is about an inch shorter.

I guessed the rifle cocked with 24 lbs. of effort. The scale agreed with me when I tested it, which sounds like I tested first and then wrote about it, but I didn’t. You have to remember I have done this same test hundreds of times before, so I’m getting pretty good at guessing the effort.

Trigger pull

The two-stage trigger breaks at 1 lb. 8 oz. It’s light enough but not entirely crisp. I’m hoping some lube will sort that out.

Today’s report

This was a report that was supposed to go one way and instead went another. I learned a lot from it. Here is what I learned.

A breech seal can look okay and still be leaking air.
O-ring sets don’t contain every size of ring.
A good breech seal can add hundreds of f.p.s. to the velocity.
O-rings don’t always conform to even dimensions.

Summary

I know you machinists are laughing up your sleeves at how dumb I am, but if I don’t admit this stuff publicly there are guys who need to know it that will never find out. And, even if I am naive on the subject of o-ring sizes, who knew the right ones could boost the velocity of a low-powered airgun like a Diana 27S by over 300 f.p.s.? I sure didn’t. In the past I have seen gains of 60 and 80 f.p.s. when breech seals were changed, but today was a real eye-opener.

Will this rifle deliver the same 680 f.p.s. with Falcons when a fresh o-ring is installed? I don’t really know. I expected it to shoot around 650 f.p.s. and would be very satisfied if it ended up there. If it does the rifle is shooting where it should and all I have to do is go inside and lubricate it a little. This is going to be a good series!


Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen II air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Fusion
Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X repeating rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Today’s test
  • The test
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Sight-in
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • H&N Match Green
  • Gamo Master Point
  • RWS R10 Pistol
  • Firing behavior
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes
  • H&N Baracuda Green
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Firing behavior
  • Whew!
  • 10-shot group with Match Green
  • Conclusion?
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the accuracy of the Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen II repeating breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle. I’m hoping for a great result!

Today’s test

The Swarm Fusion has open sights, and I’m testing them today. It also comes bundled with a scope that I will test in another report. Since this is the first accuracy test, I decided to just shoot 5-shot groups so I could test lots of different pellets. Let’s get started.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. I used a modified artillery hold, because the thumbhole stock on this rifle doesn’t permit a classic hold. The only difference is I did grasp the pistol grip.

I rested the rifle on the flat of my open palm with the heel of my hand back by the triggerguard. A rifle that recoils like this cannot rest directly on a bag or anything else!

I made no attempt to adjust the sights throughout the test until the very end. So, after sight-in the pellets went where they wanted to.

Trigger adjustment

I told you in Part 2 that I would buy a long-bladed small Phillips screwdriver to adjust the stage two trigger pull. After I had placed the order, reader New To Old Guns told me the second stage is already adjusted as short as it can be. Nevertheless, when the screwdriver arrived I tried adjusting it.

Gamo Swarm Fusion trigger
Don’t bother trying to adjust the second stage of the trigger. I did and there was no change.

NTOG was right, there isn’t anything you can do to the second stage. I adjusted it several times and found no difference. Well, at least I now own a nice set of long-bladed screwdrivers!

Sight-in

Since I was shooting with the installed open sights I started shooting at 10 meters. The first shot went high and I discovered the rear sight was adjusted up quite far. That was something I’m sure I did when examining the rifle. I adjusted it down and was on target in three shots.

Air Arms Falcon

The first pellet was the Air Arms Falcon. Four went into a tight 0.245-inches, but the fifth pellet opened it to 0.656-inches between centers at 10 meters. Maybe this pellet is worth further exploration.

Swarm Fusion Falcon group
Air Arms Falcons were tantalizing. Four are in 0.245-inches, but the fifth shot opened it to 0.656-inches at 10 meters.

H&N Match Green

Next up were H&N Match Green pellets. Every one of the five shots broke the sound barrier with a loud crack. But they were accurate! Five made a group that measures 0.341-inches between centers.

Swarm Fusion Match Green group
The Swarm Fusion sent 5 H&N Match Green pellets into a 0.341-inch group at 10 meters.

Gamo Master Point

I tried five Gamo Master Point pellets next. Four went into a nice 0.519-inch group at 10 meters, but the fifth shot opened it to 1.19-inches.

Swarm Fusion Master Point group
Four Gamo Master points went into a nice 0.519-inch group, but the fifth shot opened the group to 1.19-inches at 10 meters.

When something like this happens while I’m shooting with open sights I wonder if it was me that threw the shot. The other thing I wonder is if there is a bad chamber alignment in the mag that causes one shot to go wild like this.

RWS R10 Pistol

Next I loaded 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets into the Fusion magazine. They went into 0.519-inches at 10m meters. Another good group!

Swarm Fusion R10 Match Pistol group
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets went into 0.519-inches at 10 meters.

Firing behavior

At this point I will tell you that the Swarm Fusion does slap me in the face just a little when it fires. It’s not much but I can feel it. I will also tell you that the trigger now acts very much like a light single-stage trigger. It’s easy to use but the let-off point is vague.

I’m not telling you this to discourage you. This rifle seems to be a winner in most respects. You just need to know what you are getting.

JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes

The next pellet I tried was the JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome. The Fusion 10X put five of them in 0.889-inches at 10 meters. This is perhaps not the pellet for the Swarm Fusion.

Swarm Fusion JSB Exact group
At 10 meters the Gamo Swarm Fusion put 5 JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes into a group that measures 0.889-inches between centers.

H&N Baracuda Green

The next pellet I tried was the 6.48-grain H&N Baracuda Green. They did not go supersonic, thankfully. Five went into a 0.708-inch group at 10 meters.

Swarm Fusion Baracuda Green group
The Fusion put 5 H&N Baracuda Green pellets into a 0.708-inch group at 10 meters.

JSB Exact Heavy

The next pellet I tested was the JSB Exact Heavy dome. The Swarm Fusion put 5 of them into exactly 0.40-inches at 10 meters. That is a nice result!

Swarm Fusion JSB Exact Heavy group
Five JSB Exact Heavy pellets went into 0.40-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Exact RS

The final pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. These are sometimes surprisingly accurate. But in the Fusion I had four that were close and one that was a flier. Four are in 0.472-inches, with five in 0.881-inches.

Swarm Fusion JSB RS group
Five JSB Exact RS pellets went into 0.881-inches at 10 meters.

Whew!

That’s 8 pellets tested in the Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X rifle. There was never a bobble in feeding the pellets, so that magazine works quite well. Of course today was shot with open sights and there is a scope test coming, so we are not finished with the Fusion. However, I did want to shoot a 10-shot group with the most accurate pellet which turned out to be the H&N Match Green pellets. That’s too bad for a couple reasons. One, they are wadcutters and probably won’t hold up at 25 yards. And two, they are supersonic and very loud to shoot. But they were the best so I picked them.

Looking at where they hit the target I adjusted the rear sight for them. I went two clicks to the left and three clicks up.

10-shot group with Match Green

Ten H&N Match Green pellets went into 0.739-inches at 10 meters. Since open sights were used, that is a terrific result! The sight adjustment didn’t move the group very much.

Swarm Fusion 10Match Green group
Ten H&N Match Green pellets went into 0.739-inches at 10 meters.

Conclusion?

This is an accurate air rifle. It’s a little harder to cock than an Umarex Synergis underlever repeater, and of course it costs more, but if you want power in a repeating breakbarrel, this is one to consider.

I will pare down the pellets I test at 25 yards, and I will also test 10 through the mag against the same 10 loaded singly. They still have to be loaded through the mag, but the same chamber is used every time.

Summary

We are not finished with the Fusion just yet. I still have to mount the scope and move back to 25 yards. Stay tuned!


Diana 27S: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Carel
  • Diana 27S
  • Anti-beartrap
  • Description
  • Dimensions
  • Sights
  • Ball bearing sear
  • History
  • Parts interchange
  • Summary

This report is one I wanted to write months ago, but after all I wrote about reader Michael’s Winchester 427 and my own Diana 26 and Diana 35, I thought I had better let vintage Dianas rest for awhile.

Carel

I purchased this Diana 27S along with the Diana 26 and Diana 35 I have just mentioned from reader Carel of the Netherlands. He gave me a fantastic deal on three air rifles that are quite uncommon in the US. The 35 is the most common of the three, but Carel had a very early one that was different than the one many Americans have seen, so it was just as uncommon to me as the other two.

Diana 35
The Diana 35 I got from Carel is a very early one that we don’t often see in the U.S.

I was able to tune the 35 to be a smooth shooter and an easy cocker — something that you don’t see with run-of-the-mill Diana 35s (and Winchester 435s/Hy-Score 809s/Beeman 200s that are all the same rebranded models). That was a 6-part series that’s linked above.

Diana 27S

And now we come to the subject air rifle — the .177-caliber Diana 27S. What is it? Well, there is very little written about this model so I’m going to expand your horizon just a tad. There are some subtle refinements on this scarce Diana model.

In the UK the German Diana is called the Original Diana, because the Milbro company of Scotland received the rights to produce and sell Diana airguns as war reparations following WWII. In the 1981 edition of The Airgun Book, author John Walter says the Original Diana 27S comes with “an automatic trigger-blocking safety”. I thought, “Oh, no — not one of those!” But don’t fret. He didn’t mean what you think.

Anti-beartrap

What Walter meant was the 27S has an anti-beartrap device built into it, unlike the standard model 27 that you can close when it’s broken open by pulling the trigger (restrain the barrel when doing this!). There is no separate safety lever on the 27S. But the barrel has to be closed in order for the trigger to work, so Walter is correct in what he says, but the term anti-beartrap is used more commonly for this feature today. We will take a closer look at the parts that support this function when we go inside the rifle. Yes, we will be going inside!

Description

The Diana 27S is a conventional breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle, but it differs from the 27 in a couple obvious ways. The triggerguard is very angular The forearm is also squared off and the end is cut on an angle instead of being rounded like the forearm end of a standard 27. The butt has a thin rubber pad that’s separated from the wood by a white line spacer. On a conventional model 27 there is just a red rubber button at the top of the wooden butt to help the rifle stand on its butt without slipping.

Diana 27S logo
The Diana logo shows Diana dropping her bow for a rifle. As you can see, there are flecks of rust in the blue. Ballistol and 0000 steel wool will handle them.

Diana 27S butt pad
The 27S has a whole butt pad, where the 27 just has a rubber button.

My .177-caliber 27S rifle weighs 6 pounds 10 oz., which is one pound one ounce heavier than my .22-caliber Diana 27 (Hy-Score 807). The .177 caliber adds a little weight because the barrel, having thicker walls, weighs a little more. Also the forearm of the stock is a trifle wider and the cocking slot is shorter because the two-piece cocking link is articulated and therefore doesn’t need the longer slot. More wood means more weight. In theory this makes the stock stiffer, which should help to reduce vibration a little, but in this day of Tune in a Tube, spring gun vibration is a thing of the past.

Diana 27S cocking slots
As you can see, the 27S (top) has a much shorter cocking slot than the 27 shown below. You can also see that the forearm is slightly thicker.

Dimensions

The 27S measures 42.25-inches overall. The barrel is just under 18 inches. The pull measures bang-on 13-inches.

Sights

The sights on this rifle are similar to those found on the 27. The front sight is a globe with a fixed tapered post and looks exactly the same as the front sight of a 27. The rear sight adjusts in both directions, but is mostly metal instead of the earlier plastic sight found on the 27. It is the sight that is often called the upgraded all-metal rear sight. And although I have never noticed, later model 27s may also have a rear sight like this.

This sight is a good change because the plastic sights used to break all the time. I think the plastic becomes more brittle with time.

There is also a raised base for a peep sight. It’s tack-welded to the spring tube. Some may think of it as a scope base, but its real purpose is to accept the Diana peep sight that’s made for many of their sporting air rifles.

Diana 27S rear sight
The Diana 27 rear sight is mostly plastic.

Diana 27S rear sight
The Diana 27S rear sight is mostly steel.

Ball bearing sear

This rifle has the ball bearing sear. When we go inside we will see how the anti-beartrap device interacts with it.

History

It’s easy to get confused in researching the Diana model 27 because there were several versions of a 27 before World War II. However, those rifles are entirely different and their parts do not interchange with the post-war rifles we are discussing.

The biggest functional difference between the straight 27 post-war model and the 27S is that anti-beartrap device. The biggest obvious differences are the two-piece articulated cocking link and the square triggerguard.

The post-war Diana 27 began production in 1951. The 27S started in 1973. According to Walter, the 27S was pricy. I have no other data to support that, but assuming he is right and the 22-year head start the 27 had it’s no wonder there aren’t as many 27S rifles around.

Parts interchange

The Blue Book of Airguns currently goes out of its way to tell you that, “The model 27L, 27A, 27E, 27S and 27 air rifles appear somewhat similar but they are completely unrelated with virtually no common parts.” Well — that’s just wrong! If you really study the listings (pp. 390 and 391) you will discover that sentence that is repeated several time refers to the PRE WAR model 27s, only! Somebody got trigger-happy with the cut-and-paste function and goofed-up the entry. Several of us are now editing the Blue Book for the next edition and I plan to fix this entry.

The model 27 and 27S rifles that I am writing about today are very similar and share a lot of common parts. The anti-beartrap is one big difference and the articulated cocking link, the stock and the rear sight are the others, though the rear sight may have been used on 27s built after 1973. Until I get inside and see what’s there that’s all I can say.

Summary

So, what do we have in the Diana 27S? I think I can sum it up quickly. It’s an updated model 27. Diana continued producing the 27 until 1987 and the 27S was probably officially terminated at the same time, though a lower sales volume probably ended production somewhat earlier. That’s just my guess, because there is very little solid data on the model.

My plan is to conduct the conventional tests with the rifle and then strip it down and see what lies beneath. It currently buzzes when it fires. As long as I can make it better, why not?


What does the new year hold?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What the new year holds
  • Big bores
  • High-tech projectiles
  • Price point PCPs (PPP)
  • Basic features of a PPP
  • Things that are good to have
  • Kiss of death for a PPP
  • Horsepower wars over?
  • Optics
  • Electronics in scopes
  • Scope mounts
  • Air compressors
  • Replica airguns
  • A dual-power spring-piston breakbarrel
  • M16 replica
  • M1 Garand replica
  • Summary

Happy New Year! May 2020 be a year of vision for all of you!

What the new year holds

I know a lot of you are trying to peek behind the curtain, to see what’s coming down the line. Some writers will divulge things, but I won’t. I would rather wait and see how something is presented before I announce it to the world.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know some of the things that are coming. Today I would like to share a glimpse into the coming year with some things I know and also the trends I see unfolding. Let’s go!

Big bores

The coming year will be a hot one for big bore airguns. Expect to see muzzle energy over 800 foot-pounds, and this year it will be in actual production guns — not those that have been held up for scrutiny but have never quite made it to production.

Look for the outsider manufacturers — the ones not known for making big bores — to either increase their presence in the big bore arena or to enter it for the first time.

High-tech projectiles

Along with the big bore guns, I see an increase in projectiles that are designed to give greater performance. There is a lot of room for innovation here and the smaller big bore calibers (.257-.357) are where the largest potential benefits lie.

Look at self defense pistol calibers. Years ago the .45 caliber was highly touted, but when specialized .40-caliber and 9mm defense projectiles began hitting the market, calibers as small as .380 rose to credibility. The same could happen in the airgun world. Certainly the smaller projectiles travel much faster and speed is often a critical component of performance with high-tech projectiles.

Price point PCPs (PPP)

The price-point PCP (precharged pneumatic) took the world by storm a few years ago and quickly became the hottest sector of the smallbore market. Look for more new models, plus gen II and perhaps even gen IIIs that correct errors made at the initial launch.

Basic features of a PPP

Repeater
Shrouded barrel
Good trigger
At or under $300
Foster fill coupling (at some place in the fill line)
Light weight

Things that are good to have

Regulator (user adjustable from the outside of the gun)
Fill to 2,000, or to somewhere below 3,000 psi
Better adjustable trigger (Marauder grade)
Adjustable power
Reasonable power and number of shots
.177 — 18 foot-pounds and 20 shots
.22 — 22 foot-pounds and 20 shots
.25 — 25 foot-pounds and 18-20 shots

Kiss of death for a PPP

Fill higher than 3,000 psi
Proprietary fill coupling
Too much weight

Horsepower wars over?

Yes and no. For spring-piston airguns the horsepower wars are pretty much a thing of the past. Oh, there will still be some rattletrap breakbarrels at the discount stores, because their buyers haven’t watched the market as closely as mainstream airgun retailers, but the days of the “1,600 f.p.s. breakbarrel” have come to an end. But the horsepower wars are not over. They have just shifted to PCPs and especially to big bores.

Today’s airgunners seem enraptured with 80 foot-pound .25-caliber smallbores and 700 foot-pound big bores. Where does it end? Well, here is a little secret. A 100-pound anvil traveling 100 f.p.s. generates 15,547 foot pounds of energy. The secret to muzzle energy in airguns (because velocity is restricted by physics) is the weight of the projectile. But a heavy projectile may not be accurate or even stable in a given airgun. In other words, the heaviest projectile may just be for bragging rights.

Nevertheless, high numbers sell airguns. And muzzle energy is what many buyers are focused on today. So expect airguns with more muzzle energy this year.

Optics

I do know some specific new scopes that we will see this year. I’m sworn to secrecy but there are some things coming that you readers have specifically asked for.

Airgun scopes have lead the field of optics for years. The side focus parallax adjustment was on airgun scopes two decades ago, and firearms scopes only got it 5-7 years ago. Scopes with internal bubble levels are still not in the mainstream for firearms, yet they are so necessary for long-range accuracy.

Electronics in scopes

Look for more affordable thermal imaging devices and videocamera recorders in scopes of the future. And look for the prices to fall as they proliferate.

Scope mounts

Adjustable scope mounts that compensate for barrel droop are another airgun innovation. Though the AR-15-class rifles are notorious droopers, many of their users are not aware of this and adjust the droop out with elevation adjustment, alone. Then they wonder why they can’t hold a zero, when we airgunners have known why for decades.

Air compressors

Look for prices to drop this year as companies rebrand the Chinese compressors with upgraded parts and design. And, with the price drop, look for more people to enter the world of precharged airguns.

Also, look for more small compressors that are made to top off guns and not tanks. In the past these had to be connected to shop compressors, but now they stand alone and fill to 4,500 psi readily.

Spring rifle repeaters

Repeating spring-piston air rifle are another hot topic of the past few years. Look for more of them to surface this year and look for the focus to be on a lower profile, now that Gamo has set the bar with the Swarm Fusion 10X.

Replica airguns

This market has always been hot and could be called a perennial favorite. Do it right and succeed in a big way. But there are two parts to success. First the gun you copy has to already be well known. And second, your copy has to be perfect.

The M1 Carbine is a favorite of service members and shooters, in general. It’s small, light and handy to carry and use. And its replica airgun copies start with the Crosman BB gun of 1966 and are still going today with the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine. I look for a pellet-firing version of the carbine soon and eventually a precharged version.

The M14 was a not-so-popular transition that followed the Garand in the 1950s and ’60s. Service members who used it liked it, but the government wanted to move to a smaller cartridge in a lighter platform so the M16 replaced it. Look for an accurate replica of the M14, as the M1A (the civilian semiautomatic version) that first shoots BBs and eventually pellets.

Places where the market is open for innovation

A dual-power spring-piston breakbarrel

This is something people have long been asking for — an air rifle with two power levels. It already exists in air pistols. The HW 45 or Beeman P1 has been around for decades with two power settings. I have always thought that a rifle that develops 5-8 foot-pounds on the first cocking stroke and 15-20 foot-pounds on the second stroke would be nice.

M16 replica

There is no good copy of the M16/AR-15 in a pellet rifle. Crosman had the MAR177, a single-shot target upper that worked on an AR-15 lower. I actually built a lower to be able to test the MAR177. I wish I could have afforded one at the time, because it is no longer made.

 

Anschütz made a good airgun copy of the M16 years ago, but it was special order and not many people ever saw one. And my point is — there is  no accurate copy of the M16/AR-15 on the market today. The Crosman AIR17 wasn’t that close and while there are many airguns that resemble the AR today, there is no accurate copy.

M1 Garand replica

There was a replica of the 8mm Egyptian Hakim (the poor-man’s Garand) in 1954. But 66 years later there is no airgun replica of the rifle General Patton said was the “…greatest battle implement ever devised.” Oh, there are WONDERFUL airsoft replicas of it, but there have been accurate airsoft replicas of BARs and M60 machineguns since the 1990s! The airgunning world wants a Garand!

Summary

I believe 2020 will be a year when we see many new products. There will also be some refinement of existing products — the gen III guns I referred to earlier.

What I would like to see is more solid and innovative new designs like the Sig ASP20. When a company puts everything on the line and then nails the outcome, we all benefit — whether we buy their rifle or not. Because innovations like these set the standard for the entire market.


Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen II air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gamo Swarm Fusion
Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen II rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Well!
  • Another breakbarrel repeater
  • Easy loading
  • High velocity
  • Gamo Platinum PBA
  • Cocking is easy
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Trigger pull
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS Superdome
  • H&N Baracuda Magnums
  • Gamo Platinum PBA — again
  • Pellet feeding
  • Summary

Well!

When I started the report on the Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen II I didn’t know I was kicking a Texas fire ant mound! Part 1 of this report lead to a report on the history of Gamo, and that brought the show to a screeching stop! I won’t get into all that transpired, but you can read the comments if you are interested.

Another breakbarrel repeater

I’m not going to defend or criticize anyone in this report. All I’m doing is testing another breakbarrel repeater for power, accuracy and overall quality as it pertains to airgunning. With that in mind, let’s start the show.

Easy loading

Reader Yogi mentioned that one advantage about breakbarrel repeaters is they make it easier for people to load the rifle. My brother-in-law, Bob, got an Umarex Synergis underlever repeater for exactly that reason. He is now shooting it with an airgun club and having fun with it. I can tell you this Swarm Fusion 10X magazine is very easy to load. You don’t even have to remove it from the rifle to load it, which means you can treat the rifle as a single-shot if you like. The pellet still has to be fed into the barrel from the magazine by the feed mechanism, but you can change pellets on every shot if you want to.

High velocity

Gamo has long been a proponent of high velocity, and the advertised speed for this .177 caliber rifle I’m testing is 1,300 f.p.s. No doubt that is with lead-free Gamo Platinum PBA pellets. I will test it, of course, but it also tells me the powerplant is set up to handle heavy pellets. So I will test with those, as well. But let’s address the elephant in the room first.

Gamo Platinum PBA

This pellet is advertised to weigh 5.1 grains. I weighed 3 and got a range from 4.9 to 5.0-grains. Let me show you the string and then I’ll discuss it.

Shot……Vel.
1………1168
2………1172
3………1183 fastest
4………1175
5………1127
6………1161
7………1168
8………1114 slowest
9………1148
10……..1124

The “average for this string is 1154 f.p.s. but you’ll notice that no pellet went that speed. What we have here is a bimodal distribution, with 4 pellets going between 1114 and 1147 f.p.s. and 6 pellets going between 1161 and 1183 f.p.s. Either the gun is so new that it’s still breaking in, which is absolutely possible, or this rifle doesn’t like this pellet. That also seems possible, but I’m going to do a second test after I’ve tested all the other pellets to see which it is.

The velocity spread was 69 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet (using 5 grains as the weight) generated 14.79 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

At this point I have to say the rifle does not reach 1300 f.p.s. Not that it’s important — that’s not a velocity I want to reach. But it doesn’t.

Cocking is easy

I mentioned in Part 1 that the SwarmFusion is easy to cock. And it is, but even better, you don’t have to slap the muzzle to break the barrel open. It opens easily.

When I tested the rifle on my scale I was surprised to see the effort rise to 35 pounds. I would have bet money it was 10 pounds less. However, right after reaching that peak, the effort rapidly dropped back to less than 20 pounds. Then it hit me what is happening. Gamo has designed the cocking effort to peak at the point where you have the most strength and drop where your strength becomes less. It’s a geometry thing. That long cocking stroke has been engineered to help the shooter. I have to tell you — it really works!

Trigger adjustment

The two-stage custom action trigger (CAT) trigger is adjustable — HOWEVER. I wanted to adjust stage two to have a shorter pull, and that adjustment is made with a tiny Phillips screw located behind the trigger blade. The slot through the trigger guard to get on that screw straight is too narrow for any of my Phillips screwdrivers that have heads small enough to work. It measures 5.14mm wide.

My drone screwdriver fits the screw head that I’m guessing to be zero-size, but the blade is too short to reach through the slot, and the handle is too wide (6.85mm) to pass through the narrow slot. There is a larger hole behind the narrow one, but it’s for removing the action from the stock. Attempting to use it with the Phillips screwdriver makes the angle of the screwdriver too far off what it needs to be for the driver head to bite into the screw head. Since Phillips screws are so easy to bugger I won’t adjust the trigger today, but I did order a set of precision long shank screwdrivers that should allow me to adjust it the next time I test the rifle. Shame on Gamo for not including a tool for this adjustment — or for not selecting a fastener that wouldn’t have this problem!

Gamo Swarm Fusion trigger
The slot the second-stage trigger adjustment screw has to pass through is too narrow for any of my Phillips screwdrivers. Going through the larger hole behind that hole puts the screwdriver tip at a bad angle.

Trigger pull

Like the evening political news, however, all my complaining is meaningless because the CAT trigger pull is just delightful. Stage two has a long smooth travel. Just pretend it’s a single-stage trigger and you’ll be fine. The trigger broke at 2 lbs. 10 oz.

RWS Hobby

With lead-free lightweights out of the way, time to test the Swarm Fusion with a real lead pellet. Next up was the RWS Hobby — the lightweight pellet standard of the world. First the string. Don’t get used to this. I’m only showing it today because I need to talk about it.

Shot…..Vel.
1………971 fastest
2………955
3………962
4………962
5………949 slowest
6………963
7………969
8………951
9………955
10……..960

The average for this string is 960 f.p.s. and, as you can see, this string is a LOT tighter than the first one. The extreme velocity spread here is just 22 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generated 14.33 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

RWS Superdome

Now let’s bump the pellet weight up a bit and shoot the 8.3-grain RWS Superdome. First the string.

Shot…..Vel.
1………863
2………876
3………877
4………863 slowest
5………866
6………did not register
7………878
8………did not register
9………875
10……..868
11……..871
10……..881 fastest

The average for the 10 shots that registered was 872 f.p.s. At that speed Superdomes generate 14.02 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The extreme spread for them was 18 f.p.s. The rifle may be breaking in, but as the pellets get heavier the velocity spread goes down.

I actually shot 12 pellets because of the two that didn’t register. Loading the extra two pellets was so simple, thanks to that magazine.

H&N Baracuda Magnums

The last pellet I will test is the super-heavyweight H&N Baracuda Magnum. The box says they should weigh 16.36-grains, but the four I weighed varied between 15.4 and 15.8-grains. That’s a pretty big difference — both in the spread of pellet weights and also from the weight that’s listed on the tin! Three of the four weighed 15.8-grains.

Because this pellet is so heavy it is also very long. This gave me an opportunity to see if they would both fit into and cycle through the circular magazine. And, they did! Not a bit of trouble! Here is the string.

Shot…..Vel.
1………502
2………495
3………495
4………505
5………500
6………497
7………492 slowest
8………501
9………515 fastest
10……..498

The Baracuda Magnum generated 8.77 foot-pounds at the muzzle, based on a weight of 15.8-grains that most of them weighed. The velocity spread was 23 f.p.s. I don’t think this is a good pellet for this rifle.

Gamo Platinum PBA — again

Now I wanted to test Gamo Platinum PBA pellets again. Remember they gave a bimodal distribution in the first test. First let’s look at the string.

Shot……Vel.
1………1181fastest
2………1167
3………1154
4………1124 slowest
5………1147
6………1158
7………1139
8………1136
9………1168
10……..1157

The average for this string is 1153 f.p.s. — only 1 f.p.s. slower than the first string. The spread was 57 f.p.s. That’s better than the 69 f.p.s spread on the first string, but still way more than any of the other pellets. There is less of a bimodal distribution this time, but I now believe that it is the pellet and not the break-in that’s responsible for what we see.

Pellet feeding

The magazine functioned throughout the test without a slip-up. Fifty-two pellets fed smoothly through the gun. Have no concern there.

Summary

This test turned out differently than I expected. I expected the rifle to get over 1,300 f.p.s., because when Gamo says that they usually do. However I do like the trigger, and the rifle cocks easily despite the weight that I saw. The rifle is lightweight yet doesn’t  slap you when it fires, like many gas spring guns do. And the pellet feeding was flawless. I sure hope this rifle is accurate, because if it is, it’s a winner!


Gamo

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • From Yogi
  • From Will S.
  • History
  • El Gamo 300
  • Collectable Gamos?
  • Beeman Precision Airguns
  • Gamo 126 10-meter target rifle
  • El Gamo triggers
  • HOWEVER
  • What about the interim rifles?
  • So — what’s the verdict?
  • Summary

Today I am writing about Gamo. Here is how it came about. On Tuesday we received these comments to my post about the Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen2 repeater.

From Yogi

B.B.
“Well, Gamo knows how to make airguns and I’m rooting for this one to deliver on all that it promises.”
My only experience with Gamo was a piece of junk, and the pellets re not much better. What is the greatest Gamo of all time?
Maybe a Friday blog about it?
What is the best gun they have ever made? Anything worth collecting?

From Will S.

Morning B.B.,
On some rifles, not all, Gamo uses an all-polymer breech block and the pivot bolt is GLUED IN so you can’t adjust it when the barrel has side-to-side wobble. If you can’t adjust such an important part of the rifle, then the rifle will permanently lose its accuracy and will no longer be interesting to use. No more Gamo springers with polymer in place of steel for me.

There were lots of other comments, but they were either about specific Gamo rifles or about the two major complaints people have about Gamo these days — lousy triggers and too much plastic.

I have to agree with most of what these comments say. But since I have been doing this a little longer than some of you I remember when things were different. That’s what I want to talk about today.

History

In 1889 a company called Antonio Casas, SA was making mostly lead products in Barcelona, Spain. In 1950 that company began specializing in the production of lead pellets. In 1959 they formed a new company known as Industrias El Gamo, and in 1961 they began to produce airguns. They started selling in Spain but soon opened up to the rest of the world.

That is the official company history in edited form, however in the 12th edition of the Blue Book of Airguns, an Antinio Casas BB gun from 1930 is shown on page 485. So there was an airgun connection before 1959.

When I came on the airgun scene as a writer in the ’90s, the company was called Gamo and was managed by CEO Juan Carlos Casas. So, in all that time the company was owned and operated by the same family.

El Gamo air rifles were imported into the US in the 1970s and two companies stood out as their principal retailers. The first was Air Rifle Headquarters that began business around the same time El Gamo was entering the world market. My oldest catalog from them is from 1973, which is about in the middle of the ARH lifespan, if not closer to the end. They have two El Gamo models in the catalog — the Expo and the 300 — that I would now like to address.

The Expo was a simplistic breakbarrel somewhat along the lines of a Beeman R7, but with far less precision and features. Nevertheless, for its day it was a standout in the US. In 1963 I owned a Slavia (probably a 236) that was its equivalent, but Slavia never took hold here in the US, while Gamo USA became a US company.

The Expo was a basic breakbarrel, but it was also the foundation of the Expomatic — El Gamo’s early foray into repeating breakbarrel spring-piston air rifles. I’ve never owned or even handled an Expomatic, so everything I know about it is second- and third-hand. I heard and read that they were very pellet picky — not for accuracy, but for whether they would feed though the tubular magazine. I heard that so often that I stayed away from them. That’s why the rifle I’m now testing — the Swarm Fusion 10X, and the Swarm Maxxim I  tested two years ago are such marvels to me — because they work!

El Gamo 300

The El Gamo 300, however, is an air rifle I have owned and tested for you. After testing it I later sold it to a blog reader at the Malvern, Arkansas, airgun show several years ago. Like me, he was delighted to get it.

The 300 is a stout little breakbarrel with an adjustable trigger and decent accuracy. I had wanted one ever since I read the 1979 ARH catalog, but life had its ways of keeping me celibate for a couple more decades. I finally got this one at the Toys That Shoot airgun show in Findlay, Ohio. And I finally got to scratch a 20-year-old itch!

But what made me want it even more was another El Gamo I got and still have — the El Gamo 68/68-XP. I tested one in .177 caliber for you and I even tuned it. Then, in 2017, I bought a .22-caliber rifle that was very similar, but different in some small ways. That one was a very accurate rifle! And I sold that .22 at the Texas Airgun Show for exactly what I paid for it. Someone else is having the fun with that one!

Collectable Gamos?

Yogi — this 68XP is a very desirable El Gamo. It isn’t that expensive, yet just try to find one! The 300 is another one to look for. And even an Expo would be nice to have.

Beeman Precision Airguns

I have a black and white Beeman catalog that came out in 1974, and both the El Gamo Expo and 300 are listed. I have read where people said Beeman never carried El Gamo air rifles, but they did in the very beginning. And, when ARH went out of business in 1980/81, Beeman bought up some of the inventory — or maybe all of it — and sold off the last of the El Gamos. So Beeman was a player, too and because my Beeman catalog is only a year newer than my earliest ARH catalog, I can’t really say who carried El Gamo first. Both companies represented the El Gamo brand as a low-cost entry into adult airguns, which it was.

Gamo 126 10-meter target rifle

Then there was the Gamo 126 single stroke pneumatic target rifle. Daisy sold them for a while (1984-1994), just as they did FWB 300s. They are not as refined as a Walther LGR, but they do work fine and are quite accurate. They typically sell for a little less than FWB 300s , but still command a fair price. Expect to pay north of $400 for one that works.

El Gamo triggers

Okay — here comes the part that prompted me to write this whole report. Many comments in the report I cite above talked about Gamo’s poor trigger! Well here is new for you. Ford automobiles don’t accelerate worth a darn! At least not the model T Fords I have seen. Get it? You can’t just cut out a segment of a company’s past and claim it is representative. Yes, the Gamo triggers that were in rifles made between about 1990 and 200? (the 220/440/880/etc.) did suck — big time. They had a long, heavy inconsistent pull with a surprise release at the end. But that 15-year period of production does NOT include all Gamos!

Then, the Chinese COPIED those poor triggers (probably prompted by buyers who knew nothing about buying airguns but price) and started putting them into airguns that had American names on the outside and the ship hit the sand!

Was Gamo even aware this was happening? Probably. And they were also in the process of being purchased (2007) by a private equity group (MCH) whose knowledge of airguns I do not know. All I know is that after that purchase the Gamo booth at SHOT was filled with real motorcycles on stands like they were doing wheelies! At the SHOT Show! Where was Alice and the white rabbit?

HOWEVER

The triggers in the older El Gamo rifles were not that bad. When they were new they were heavy and creepy. Creep is an uneven starting and stopping as the trigger blade is pulled.

As these rifle wore in the creep went away and the trigger pull became much lighter. I have shot well-used Gamo rifles with triggers that were probably 2.5 lbs and smooth as silk. Yes, the trigger blade did move, but that is common with single-stage triggers.

What about the interim rifles?

The triggers on the rifles made in the bad period (1990-200?) also wore in if given the chance. But many shooters opted to change or modify them, so all the talk is about what needs to be done to one — not how to let it break in with 4,000 shots.

Towards the end of the first decade of this millennium Gamo started paying real attention to their triggers, their gas pistons, their shot cycle impulse — in short, to all the things that make an air rifle good. However at this same time they were also producing thinner steel barrels encased in plastic, and that put off a lot of buyers. But not me. I liked them — a LOT. Maybe you don’t remember my report series on Testing the Gamo Whisper – Part 8 Gas spring accuracy. That was the Whisper that Pyramyd Air modified with a gas spring — in 2007 — before Gamo started doing it!

The first 5 sections of the report are on a straight Gamo Whisper with a coiled steel mainspring. I even installed a Charlie da Tuna trigger so you could see how that worked. Then I tested the gas spring modification. Read it and weep, because Gamo was shooting 5-shot groups of less than four-tenths of an inch at 25 yards! Don’t tell me a Gamo can’t shoot!

So — what’s the verdict?

I actually wrote the finale to this report in January of 2006. Read that report here. I said at the end of that report that Gamo was closing the gap with Weihrauch. And they are closer today than they were then. Are they even with Weihrauch yet? In my opinion they are not yet even. But their triggers are better than ever, they don’t vibrate when they shoot, they are accurate and they are very light for the power they have. In my opinion, Gamo has earned its spot in the limelight. And these new repeaters are something with which they may well be the leader.

Summary

This report is choppy and leaves out a lot of data because Gamo is a huge company with lots of products to its credit. I feel like I just skimmed the surface today. But I don’t see a followup report, because the bulk of the guns I skipped over are the more modern models that differ in small details only.