Author Topic: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review  (Read 19791 times)

Offline vinceb

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Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« on: February 01, 2007, 12:39:38 PM »
One of the more delightful aspects of the shooting hobby is the opportunity to share it with the lil' 'uns. Not only does this provide the child some very important together-time with a responsible adult (YES. I MEAN YOU), but it also teaches them a number of other lessons that are best learned young. After all, patience, self control, perseverence and concentration are all necessary for good marksmanship, and safe shooting demands a proper respect for weapons and the damage they can cause.

But in order to share the shooting sports with kids, well... they've got to have something to shoot. And one can't exactly plop a RWS 48 into the arms of a 12-year-old and expect anything but frustration on their part. In years past the favorite answer was always "BB GUN!", and there's still much to commend them as something to start with. In time, though, a child might very well grow tired of popping soda cans at 15 feet, and will grow sorely disappointed as he or she strives for more accuracy and/or longer ranges.

And for that reason I had bought a TF11 "youth" style air rifle (B1-1) for a friend's daughter. She was about 12 at the time, and rather slight of build. I thought that the TF would be an OK gun for her to practice with and earn her "Shooting" merit badge. It was cheap enough ($20), and so I ordered one.

Well, the less said about that piece of junk the better. Suffice it to say that in the process of attempting to install a barrel liner into it (to get some semblence of accuracy) I pretty much ruined the gun... which gave me the opportunity to get her something a little more usable.

A quick parusal of the internet uncovered the refurb Gamo Delta youth gun being sold at Natchez for about $45. Ordered it on Sunday, the rifle shows up in NJ on Wednesday. The gun was packaged pretty much like all Gamo's are, and the only clues that the rifle isn't new are the box (it says "Refurbished") and the slight cosmetic blemishes.

On close inspection, the Delta is very obviously a Gamo. The Theoben-type trigger is there (looks exactly like the trigger on the bigger ones), as is the safety, the articulated cocking link and that plastic endcap on the commpression tube. The sights are fiber-optic front and rear (but the height adjustment is different), and of course the stock is plastic.

But there are some differences. The compression tube is blued, but the barrel has a plastic cover on it. Guess it's cheaper than bluing, but virtually the entire breach pivot and lockup assembly is also plastic - INCLUDING the lockup detents. Although I haven't had it apart, it appears that the entire compression tube plug/transfer port/pivot fork assembly is removable. This would certainly make it easier to service the compression tube, but the gun is obviously not designed for the high shock loads of a heavy spring. While the articulated cocking link is guided by a roller on the big Gamo's, on this rifle it merely slides on a stationary plastic button placed into the stock. It looks cheap, but I do suspect that the low spring pressures mean that this arrangement might not wear out as fast as one would think. And even if it does, it would be a very easy matter to make a replacement out of some delrin stock.

As for shooting the gun, well - let's just call it "Gamo Lite"! Obviously the pull length is short and the gun is a lot lighter than the regular break-barrels, but when you shoot it the family resemblence becomes obvious. This Gamo's trigger feel like - well, a Gamo trigger. Which also means that it'll get a lot better with use, and it could probably benefit from Bob's or Rich's trigger mod. And the TWANG! Or, at least as much twang as the "junior" spring can manage. It ain't as bad as a big Gamo can be, but dang - it certainly tries!

The sights, as previously mentioned, are fiber-optic... and peering through them is very much like peering through the sights on an old Shadow or a 220. The windage adjustment uses a thumbwheel like its bigger brothers, but the elevation is different. The sight is mounted on a ramp, slide it forward to raise the sight and rearward to lower it. The sight is locked in place with a spring loaded catch, you push a button to release it so that it can move. It's reminiscent of the B4-2 rear sight, and would be a neat little mechanism if it wasn't for two problems. First, the sight does not move that smoothly. A little silicone oil might free it up some, but it's obvious that the plastic parts are trying to bind as they slide against one another. But that still wouldn't solve the second problem - at 10 yards, the sight has to be moved almost all the way to the top of its travel. After measuring the height of the front and rear sights I'm convinced that it's a design flaw, and not a defect with this particular rifle.

The gun's modest power certainly shows up on the chrony, doing about 530 with CPL's. It's certainly adequate for a kid's gun, but I don't think you'd want to go squirreling with it. But in all honesty, the power isn't bad considering the relatively easy cocking of this gun - especially with the short barrel.

Ultimately, however, it comes down to this... can it hit its target? In this regard the Delta again shows it's Gamo heritage - and the answer is yes, it can. While I haven't given the gun a proper breaking in yet, a quick set of groups showed that it can easily send 5 shots into sub-1/2" groups at 10 yards. No doubt the gun can do better than that, but after the horrendous perfomance of the TF11 I'm quite satisfied even with this level of accuracy.

So, what's the final verdict on the Delta?

Well, frankly, it does disappoint in some respects. The proliferation of plastic parts definitely makes it feel more toy-like than any number of cheaper rifles, and the firing cycle noise and mediocre sight mechanism leave a lot to be desired. However, as a youth gun it delivers where it counts with its easy cocking and very usable accuracy. It won't discourage the young shooter by tiring him or her out too quickly or by refusing to hit its target. I'm tempted to pass judgment on the longevity of the plastic breach pivot and lockup mechanism, but I'm gonna give Gamo the benefit of the doubt on this one.

All in all, at a refurb price of only $45 I can't imagine doing much better for a youth-style air rifle. While Crosman's 1077 can be had for only about $10 more and the low-line Daisy or Crosman pneumatics run about $10 less, the refurb Delta strikes a good compromise between the two. Young shooters might be inclined to "blast away", wasting ammo and CO2 with the Crosman (at least that's what I do!), and the low-end pneumatics are more troublesome to pump and load. A break-barrel like the Delta strikes a nice compromise between these two.

When it comes to the prospect of buying a new one at the full price of $60-$80, however - I'm not so sure.

Certainly the youth-oriented break-barrel field isn't swamped with a plethora of rifles, and many of the ones that are out there leave much to be desired. The Shanghai-manufactured TF11 is still out there (now $33), as are the $40 TF15 and the $60 Contender 39. The latter two advertise a trigger weight of 7 lbs which is horrendous - and inexcusable for a kid's gun. I believe the TF11 is even worse. The Beeman S500 seems to be worth a look, as would be BAM B15 (if you can find one). I have no experience with either, so I cannot comment specifically on them.

So it is entirely possible that at the price of a new Delta, one might be able to do a little better. But one could easily do far, far worse. And even if the full-priced Delta isn't the absolute best kid's break-barrel out there for the money (and I don't know if it is), at least you wouldn't go wrong buying one - as I did with the TF11. In that regard it's a safe bet - it might be plasticy and crude in some respects, but at least it will reward the young marksman with true and consistent accuracy if he or she does their part. And really, that is the most important thing.






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Great review vince.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2007, 11:40:51 AM »
I agree with you on every aspect that you mentioned!  Its funny, ever notice that spring twang only seems to bother us "adults".....my kids don't seem to notice it! LOL.  The accuracy aspect you mentioned is very important to them, though.  I had bought two Cros. 760's for my two boys a couple of years ago and those guns were a terrible let down in the accuracy dept.  The best groups I could get were with heavy pellets and even those were nothing to write home about even at 12 yards.  The kids were getting frustrated with missing (I'm talking about tin cans) what they were aiming at a lot of the time so I decided to get a Delta and a Recon.  As you had mentioned, these have decent accuracy and the kids now are able to hit their targets a lot more consistently.  When they miss, they know it was because of something THEY did wrong not the gun.  The bottom line, no more frustration and as a result, they enjoy shooting that much more.

Offline DanoInTx

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2007, 02:48:05 PM »
Great review!

I bought one of these a little over a year ago, my first air rifle since childhood actually.  I didn't care for it, seemed a little cheap, but at $45 wouldn't be a bad gun for a young teen.  I returned mine to Cabelas the day after I bought it, I think mine was closer to $80 at the time, but came with a tiny little 4x15 scope.  The plastic breach as I remember was made pretty beefy out of that same heavy plastic they make the stocks from, should last for quite awhile.  I'd be interested to see how it holds up in the long run, these might make good "first springers" for my sons.  I got my boys Daisy 880's for Christmas this year.  The 880 is the same gun I had as my second air rifle as a boy.  Unfortunately the new 880's have plastic recievers compared to the cast steel receiver mine had, so I'm a little dissappointed...maybe they need these little Gamo's.

Dan
Dan

Current shooters: Beeman HW97K .177 with Hawke Eclipse 4x16x50SFAO and Steve C. stock, Beeman R9 .177 with Hawke Airmax 4-12x40AO and Gene\'s Midas touch, Air Arms S200 with Bushnell Banner 6x24x40AO Rowan brass bling and Steve C. custom stock, BAM B25, BAM B40 .177 with BSA 3x12x44AO, Benjamin Marauder .22, Benjamin 397 pumper.

\"repeat this mantra:
Air gunzzzzzz, air gunzzzzzz, air gunzzzzzzz!!!  ...You will feel better\" T.E.C.2008

Offline Gene_SC

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2007, 01:12:04 AM »
I have a Gamo Delta and it is a good lil shooter out to 25 to 30 yards....:) I bought it a an Auction. I paid like $30 for it plus shipping. It was like new. I refinished the stock which came out bad...:) Took it to CDT for a go over and we did a tune with grease and GRT-III trigger..:) I have not found the right pellet yet but am still playing with it. It is lite weight and easy to cock and shoot. I bought it for close range targets and not to hunt with. I think it would be a good rifle for a kid or young adult woman to shoot, because of the weight factor. Vince made allot of good points in his review but since I spent more than the gun is worth, I will keep it for just shootin around the house...:)

Gene
THE ONES I SLEEP WITH: BSA Lightning XL, AA TX-200, AA ProSport, BSA Ultra, HW-97K, Crosman NPSS .177, FX Cyclone, HW-30 Nicle Plated, AA-S200, Crosman Marauder, CZ-634, R-9 DG, Webley/Scott UK Tomahawk, Benji Kantana, Benji Marauder, Benji Discovery.....
....

Gene\'s Tunz n Toyz
Springer Tunin

Offline DanoInTx

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2007, 07:42:40 AM »
Gene....how did you "re-finish" the stock...mine had a plastic stock...what'd you re-finish it with, a heat gun?  Would be a cool little gun if they make it with a wood stock....tell me more, tell me more......

Dan
Dan

Current shooters: Beeman HW97K .177 with Hawke Eclipse 4x16x50SFAO and Steve C. stock, Beeman R9 .177 with Hawke Airmax 4-12x40AO and Gene\'s Midas touch, Air Arms S200 with Bushnell Banner 6x24x40AO Rowan brass bling and Steve C. custom stock, BAM B25, BAM B40 .177 with BSA 3x12x44AO, Benjamin Marauder .22, Benjamin 397 pumper.

\"repeat this mantra:
Air gunzzzzzz, air gunzzzzzz, air gunzzzzzzz!!!  ...You will feel better\" T.E.C.2008

Offline shadow

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2007, 07:53:16 AM »
MMM, maby a cold spray can of paint on a cold plastic stock, going for the orange peel effect NOT. Tell me he did'nt brush it on. :0  Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline Gene_SC

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2007, 02:53:32 AM »
LOL, Dano.... IT WAS MAGIC! hehe

No, mine is an Daisy made by Gamo which is exactly like the Cadet but with wooden stock..:) I forgot to mention that...... lol

Gene
THE ONES I SLEEP WITH: BSA Lightning XL, AA TX-200, AA ProSport, BSA Ultra, HW-97K, Crosman NPSS .177, FX Cyclone, HW-30 Nicle Plated, AA-S200, Crosman Marauder, CZ-634, R-9 DG, Webley/Scott UK Tomahawk, Benji Kantana, Benji Marauder, Benji Discovery.....
....

Gene\'s Tunz n Toyz
Springer Tunin

Offline shadow

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 02:56:30 AM »
HELLO GENE, missed yea. How long are you back for hehe. Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline Gene_SC

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2007, 02:59:46 AM »
LOL Ed..... I will always be lurking around here as long as I have a connection.. hehe

Gene
THE ONES I SLEEP WITH: BSA Lightning XL, AA TX-200, AA ProSport, BSA Ultra, HW-97K, Crosman NPSS .177, FX Cyclone, HW-30 Nicle Plated, AA-S200, Crosman Marauder, CZ-634, R-9 DG, Webley/Scott UK Tomahawk, Benji Kantana, Benji Marauder, Benji Discovery.....
....

Gene\'s Tunz n Toyz
Springer Tunin

Offline shadow

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Re: Gamo "Cadet Delta" review
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2007, 03:05:24 AM »
Great, stay away from the booster rocket button on your SPUTNIC LOL. Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com