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14 November, 2011

Gamo Whisper Test and Review - Part Two

Noise levels - ah yes, that’s a hard one to measure and test accurately. Also, the noise made by firing an air rifle sounds different when you’re shooting it, compared to what others hear some distance away.

Subjectively, I would say the .177 caliber Gamo Whisper is a quiet air rifle, but only when firing lead pellets. It seemed similar in noise level to the Stoeger X20 Suppressors that I’m used to testing - at least as long as lead pellets were used. Using the supplied Gamo PBA pellets caused a much louder “crack” as the muzzle velocity hovered around the speed of sound. So not only are the PBA pellets less accurate than lead in this Whisper, they’re also louder. And they’re more expensive, too. I’m still struggling to understand the value of the Gamo PBA pellets...

So the Gamo Whisper scores a “pass” on noise levels. But it’s definitely a “F for Fail” when it comes to the 3-9 x 40 scope supplied with this air rifle.

Above, the Gamo Whiper with Gamo 3-9 x 40 scope and mount.

Gamo seems to have really dropped the ball with this scope and - I believe - the other scopes they bundle with their air rifles. It’s all show and no go! Here’s why...

The scope (like all Gamo combo scopes) has no “AO” - Adjustable Objective” and cannot focus even as close as 10 yards. That’s a big disadvantage for any air rifle scope.

The scope itself is puny in size. Now I’m all for small, light scopes, but not when size and weight are achieved simply by going for the lowest possible cost - and that seems to be the case with this scope. This Gamo 3-9x40 scope weighs just 11.5 ounces. By comparison, a Leapers 3-9 x 32AO scope weighs 15.2 ounces (yes, that's just a 32mm objective lens instead of the Gamo 40mm) and Leapers 3-9 x 40AO scope weighs 20.2 ounces! From looking at and using the Gamo scope, I’d say that the low weight is a good indication of poor quality.

The Gamo 3-9 x 40 scope and mount is shown above a Leapers 3-9 x 40AO in this photo.

And then the Gamo scope has a simple duplex reticle. A mil dot reticle really should be mandatory on any air rifle scope, particularly as so many airgunners use the mil dots for “holdover” in the field to compensate for rapid changes of wind or target range.

The Gamo scope is supplied carefully installed in it’s mount, which itself needs to be mounted to the gun by the user and the scope then sighted-in. But incredibly, the scope stop screw - which is absolutely essential to prevent the scope being shaken out of position - is not configured in the “out” position so that it will engage the scope stop rail. Nor is the scope stop and its purpose even mentioned in the instructions. And, oh yes, the scope instructions also tell you to sight-in the scope - at no less than 100 yards!!! - without providing any coherent explanation of how this should be done.

In my opinion this is simply unacceptable for an air rifle that is often purchased by newcomers to our interest - they’re very likely to struggle with inaccuracy and give up on the gun. Maybe they’ll give up on shooting air rifles, too and that would not be good.

But there is hope! Archer Airguns has been developing a couple of Gamo Scope upgrade packages to address these problems. You can see them in our ArcherPelletGuns store and I’l post more details shortly...


About This Blog

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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