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03 November, 2011

Gamo Whisper Test and Review - Part One

The Gamo Whisper is a very popular air rifle, so I decided to shoot one in .177 caliber and see how it performs. This review covers some of the test results.

First of all, this gun can be accurate! I shot the best 10-shot group I've ever made with any air rifle when using Stoeger X-Field lead pellets. This was a real "one hole group" at 10 yards as you can see from the test target below. But it was much less accurate with the Gamo PBA pellets supplied with the gun, as the second test target shows. This confirms my on-going opinion that lead-free pellets have a long way to go, with the honorable exception of Stoeger X-Speed lead free pellets which are extremely accurate.

Above, the excellent test target shot with Stoeger X-Field pellets. Below, the same shooter, same gun, same range, but Gamo PBA pellets. Accuracy is not good at all.
So, this Gamo Whisper can be accurate, but not with Gamo PBA pellets. Then there's the matter of muzzle velocity. Gamo leads the pack in crowing about muzzle velocity and proclaims on the gun (and everywhere else) that it shoots at 1,200 fps with PBA pellets and 1,000 fps with lead. The actual results - 1120 fps with PBA ammo and 860 fps with medium weight lead pellets, as you can see from the test targets - fall somewhat short.

Now I'm not surprised that the actual muzzle velocities did not meet the manufacturer's claims - I didn't expect them to - but it continues to be disappointing how many misleading claims are made for the majority of air rifles, penalizing the relatively few manufacturers that actually tell the truth about their products.

On the subject of misleading claims, on the packaging for this air rifle, Gamo claims that "Performance Ballistic Alloy (PBA) enhances penetration, velocity and accuracy up to 25%"

Well, I'm not going to argue about penetration - I didn't test that but I would expect the PBA pellets to penetrate better, and the muzzle velocity on test did deliver at least the claimed muzzle velocity increase, but the accuracy claim is clearly unjustified. And note that the PBA pellets did travel faster, but they didn't impart any greater muzzle energy than the heavier lead pellets traveling slower. In both cases, the muzzle energy was around 14.25 ft/lbs. PBA pellets certainly travel faster than lead, but there's no more "power" in them.

And you'll notice the trigger pull weight came in at 5 lbs and above. Gamo's trigger pull weight specs (on their website) are very precise - 3.74 lbs. Another failed claim...

Next time, I'll comment on the noise levels produced by Gamo Whisper - after all, with a name like that, it should be quiet, and talk about the scope that is supplied with the gun.


Jim Monica,  Saturday, 05 November, 2011  

Personally I think there should be some sort of agency with the power to verify te manufatruers claims of muzzle velocity, sound leveles, etc... I'm not saying to call in the U.S. Dept of Weights and Measures, but they should be held accountablefor false advertising if they are. They know that the FPS is one of the first things an inexperienced consumer looks at or would at least be attracted by when claims of high rates are made. I'm just as guilty. Now that I am gettng into the hobby a little bit I know better and at my age I should know enough to take any manufactures claims with a grain of salt, but FPS was one of the main things I was looking at when buying my first gun. I ended up getting a Crosman Quest 1000 whioch turned out to be an OK purchase, but I almost bought a Whisper due to the power claims. Anyway, thats my 2 cents.

Stephen Archer Tuesday, 08 November, 2011  


Thanks for your comment! I agree. It makes a lot of sense to me for airgun muzzle velocities to be - at least - reasonably close to real life use by customers. But there's so much marketing investment in inflated muzzle velocity numbers by so many companies in this field that it will be difficult to overcome....

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This blog shares information, ideas and knowledge about air rifles. It compliments the information Stephen publishes on the Archer Airguns website, on YouTube and the Chinese Airgun Forum.

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