Author Topic: CFX review  (Read 11159 times)

Offline vinceb

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CFX review
« on: June 30, 2007, 04:42:47 AM »
This review might seem a little premature. After all, I've only played with my refurb CFX about an hour, and a some of that time was spent mounting a scope, sighting it in, and so on. Relatively speaking, we've hardly gotten to know each other!

Well, regardless, I'm gonna go out on a limb and pass judgement on the CFX, a rifle that seems to be second only to the Shadow in popularity of the Gamo line.

To begin with, there is a strong family resemblence between this rifle and the popular breakbarrel line. Pop the action out of the stock, and you'll find the familiar Gamo trigger and powerplant construction, with the obvious differences in barrel attachment and cocking mechanisms. The stock itself is strong remeniscent of the Shadow's stock... same material, same matte finish, and behind the triggerguard the same shape, size, and dimpling. And the same rubber buttpad... something I never really appreciated until I got my 220, which doesn't have one and has a habit of slipping around on my shoulder.

Starting at the back of the trigger guard, things change somewhat. The guard itself is molded into the stock, which means there are no sharp or rough edges to annoy the trigger finger (as on my 440). The forearm is a couple of inches longer and about 1/4" wider than the Shadow, the extra width coming from the softer plastic pads put into the stock. To my hands it definitely feels different... not better or worse, just different.

The cocking mechanism is well known. It consists of a lever extending under the barrel almost for its entire length (looking very much like a tubular-feed magazine on a cartridge rifle). This lever is easily released from its spring-loaded catch at the muzzle, and pulled down and back in an action very similar to that of a breakbarrel rifle. After cocking and returning it to its stowed position, the rotating breach can be opened by sliding the knob from right to left. Getting a pellet to feed into the barrel just right can be a smidgen tricky and is easier with smaller fingers, but it gets easier with a little practice. You have to make sure the pellet is fully seated, or else the breach will not close without shaving its tail! It's a bit awkward to use, but with no mechanical linkage connecting the breach with anything else at least there's no danger of finger-chopping if the sear should fail and release while you're loading the gun.

As expected, the extra material required by the cocking lever and the longer stock add up to a heavier gun... almost a pound heavier than a Shadow. And yes, the additional weight is towards the muzzle, making the rifle a bit nose-heavy. But only a bit. I was expecting much worse, but shouldering the gun for the first time was a pleasant surprise.

Before I get into actual shooting impressions, I'm gonna make a few side notes about this rifle:

First of all, it is a refurb - but that's no excuse for leaving out the trigger safety detent spring! The safety tang worked - but it flopped back and forth with almost no resistance. Fortunately, I did have the remnants of a defunct B19 trigger group and the detent spring was an exact fit.

Secondly, I've said it before and I'll say it again - the "Micrometric" rear sight that Gamo put on it's better guns (the 440 and CFX at least) is a piece of junk. Compared to the "cheap" sight on the Shadow and the 220 it is fragile, it has sideways slop, there are no numbers on the adjustment knobs, and each click adjustment is coarser. And it is far more limited in vertical adjustment. Absolute crap. To make matters worse, the one on this gun was slightly damaged.

Third, the knob that is used to rotate the breach just sorta fell out. Therefore, I ain't gonna shoot the gun anymore until I find out if this means a metal clip is floating around somewhere inside the rifle.

OK - now that that's over with, what is it like to shoot? Well, to begin with, the gun has the familiar "Gamo Twang" that annoys countless Gamo owners around the world. Not as bad as my 440, but worse than my 220. My guess is that it's luck of the draw, and that the CFX is no less inclined to be "twangy" than its breakbarrel relatives. That was a bit of a disappointment, but not entirely unexpected. Velocity is on a par with the breakbarrels, 880's with CPL's. This example dieseled BADLY for the first couple of shots, but it settled down quickly. The trigger is typical Gamo - moderate trigger pull and some creep in the psuedo-second-stage (the trigger is not really a "2 stage" like the B26 or AR1000).

I finally sat down at my 60-yard range and started getting the sight dialed it. Or trying to... surprise!!! That lousy rear sight won't let me raise the elevation high enough. Nuts. Plus, the blade seems loose. Oh well, I guess I'm stuck trying out a scope - and generally speaking (for whatever reason), I don't do well with scopes.

So I grabbed an old Powerline 3-9x32 with Accu-shot 2 piece mounts (with a stop pin), and stuck it on. The CFX has a scope rail like the 440, which makes the scope a bit easier to install and a lot easier to secure (when the mount has a stop pin). It was surprisingly easy to zero as the proper settings were close to the middle of the adjustment ranges, and within a relatively few minutes I had it "close enough". I wasn't gonna do any better than that this morning, since I'm apparently having a "bad gun day". Can't seem to focus properly, and worse yet - I can't seem to hold steady for some reason, even while resting my elbow. Not good while testing a gun.

Regardless, I started plinking at my "soda can" target - a piece of pipe just about the size of a soda can. Now, my normal procedure is to rest my elbow, shoot at it 10 times and count the misses... this is how I evaluate how well a gun works with a lousy shooter like me (or vice-versa) and with CPL's, my standard pellet. Oddly enough, I usually don't do much (if any) better with scope than with open sights.

The best I had ever done before was with my .22 RWS48 with open sights... 10 for 10, with the 11th shot missing. Well, much to my surprise, even with my unsteady hands this morning the CFX scored a hit 12 times in a row. Since the target was just repainted, I could see where the shots were landing - and I'll be dog-goned if they didn't go exactly where I flinched the rifle.

So I take the rifle inside to my 10 yard range to do some paper punching. I take the scope off and revert to the (somewhat defective) open sights. With the forearm rested, my first 5 shots went into about a .2" group. Now, I'm gonna make all sorts of excuses here - less than perfect eyes, the aforementioned unsteady hold, and so on and so on. But it doesn't change the fact that a) I simply am not capable of better than that with opens (and frankly, I didn't think I was even that good!), and b) this was after spending NO time figuring out the best padding for the rest, the best grip or the optimal shoulder tension.

And that's where I ended my shooting test.

Like I said earlier, I really didn't spend that much time with the gun... so my impressions are not based on any long-term acquaintance. Until I get the sight and breach knob issues straightened out, I won't be putting many more shots through it. But I am confident that I can draw some valid conclusions.

First, for whatever reason, this rifle is less hold sensitive than the breakbarrel models. It might be the greater weight - I don't know. But this rifle seemed to be very willing to spit the pellet wherever the heck I aimed it... without my spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to hold it and talk to it in just right way! She seems to be an easy rifle to shoot well, and obviously the rifle has a great deal of inherent accuracy.

Second - Gamo is getting sloppy on their refurbs. There's no excuse for a messed-up safety mechanism, a damaged sight, or parts falling off. Cosmetically, the gun is very good - it could almost pass for new. But this other stuff just shouldn't have happened.

Thirdly, Gamo's manufacturing seems to follow no rhyme or reason when it comes to certain production details. There are 2 ways of installing the trigger return spring - in my limited experience, it seems that older guns have it installed in a way that gives less trigger effort. But later guns have it installed backwards - which raises the tension (possibly for liability reasons). This rifle has some earmarks of a later production gun - laser etching of the Gamo insignia and the very helpful hood on the fiberoptic front sight - but it has the trigger spring installed the old way. I don't know which spring guide they used in this one, the fatter or skinnier version. Ditto with the tophat, which used to be one piece but seems to now be a two-piece affair.

In any event, it appears to be a very well made rifle with some shortfalls when it comes to details. Out of the box it's certainly not as refined or as powerful as my RWS48, but it is easier to handle, has a safer loading mechanism and is probably no less accurate (maybe more). Of course, it IS $100 less (new or refurb), and many of the shortfalls can be addressed by the home tuner. The trigger mods are well documented - both CDT's very popular replacement trigger and the less expensive (but harder to install) trigger insert sold by Rich in Mich improve the situation rather dramatically.

In the final analysis, it's a very competent gun. With the additional weight and more awkward loading it's not as much fun as the breakbarrel models for informal plinking. However, when ultimate accuracy is desired or needed and the shooter doesn't mind the extra reloading effort, this gun fills the bill nicely. Certainly worth the money, either new or refurb. One can do a lot worse - especially with the plethora of "tarted-up" low-end breakbarrels magically selling for waaaayyyyy more than they're worth. It's not a pimp gun, but a serious rifle that's very good at what it's intended to do.

Offline daved

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RE: CFX review
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 07:04:56 AM »
So I take it you like it, Vince :-).  Nice review, as someone who's on his second CFX, albeit both new, I couldn't have put it better.  I think you'll find you like it more and more as you get more familiar with it.  Regarding your loading lever, I don't think you need to worry about a piece floating around inside the rifle.  Check the lever, there should be a flat metal spring on the side that keeps tension on the lever.  But the hole in the rotary where it goes doesn't go through into the rifle, so even if it's missing, I doubt it's in the rifle.  My first CFX had the same problem, I degreased the lever and rotary and solved the problem.  A little extra bend in the spring helps, too.

I especially liked your summation, that is the perfect description of the CFX.  Wish I'd said that :-)!  Later.

Dave

Offline vinceb

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Thanks for the info.
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 07:40:32 AM »
I'll hunt around for the spring... if I can't find it, maybe I'll just glue it in with some silicone sealer. That way, I oughta be able to get it out again if I have to.


Offline Big_Bill

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RE: CFX review
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2007, 09:51:18 AM »


An Outstanding review Vince,



Ican't think of a single question to ask you..



And I know how much you love your RWS 48, so I'm surprised that you compared it so well with the CFX, must have made you happy !



Thanks for the GREAT Review Vince...

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Always Use A Spring Compressor ! and Buy the GREAT GRT-III & CBR Triggers, cause they are GRRRREAT !

Offline vinceb

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A few more comments....
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 12:48:47 PM »
I shot her (for accuracy) back-to-back with my '48, and it was a very close thing. My '48 might have a slight edge, but I can't tell with any certainty. Obviously, the '48 has a fair bit more power, and the trigger and firing cycle do feel much better... but the CFX is now (without a doubt) my most accurate .177. It's a "diamond in the rough"... but there's no doubt that it is a diamond!

In fact, I'm leaving a scope on it. I think I'm gonna work this one over with a trigger mod and a custom guide.... it's too good to leave as is.



Offline shadow

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RE: A few more comments....
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2007, 01:05:52 PM »
Nice review Vince, I'm happy with my.22. Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline Silo

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RE: CFX review
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2007, 04:03:20 PM »
Nice review / first impressions Vince. Thanks for sharing. :)
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Offline NMCA_Ron

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Re: CFX review
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 07:57:54 AM »
I purchased a .177 cal CFX a little over a year ago. I too have experienced great accuracy with the rifle and I am happy with it in every way except one...

The rotary breech is EXTREMELY difficult to rotate. In cold weather it is nearly impossible to open. I contacted Gamo and they told me it was a common problem and the more I fired the rifle the better it would get. PFFFFT!!!! I bet there have been 700-800 shots fired through it and it is as difficult to use now as it was when it was brand new.

Any ideas on how to get this thing to open and close without turning the end of my thumb black and blue?

Ron
\"What we need are more people who specialize in the impossible.\" - Theodore Roethke

Offline Gene_SC

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Re: CFX review
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 09:07:42 AM »
Well Vince, I bought three new CFX's.. And when I did my review who knows how long ago it was. I titleled it  "My New CFX Review"

I think your title should of read "My Refurbed CFX Review"...:) Everyone of us who have bought refurbs know that 90 percent of them look like they were refurbed by a blind man..:) I have bought one refurb and I returned it, never to buy another. Half the parts were missing and later I found out that they really are not refurbed by Gamo.. They are refurbed through a low bid contracter. So the lowest bidder gets gets the contract each year. As far as accuracy goes they are as you say and a well tuned CFX and GRT - III trigger combination will really surprise you..:)

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.....
....

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Re: CFX review
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2007, 07:00:57 PM »
Quote
NMCA_Ron - 8/4/2007  7:57 AM

I purchased a .177 cal CFX a little over a year ago. I too have experienced great accuracy with the rifle and I am happy with it in every way except one...

The rotary breech is EXTREMELY difficult to rotate. In cold weather it is nearly impossible to open. I contacted Gamo and they told me it was a common problem and the more I fired the rifle the better it would get. PFFFFT!!!! I bet there have been 700-800 shots fired through it and it is as difficult to use now as it was when it was brand new.

Any ideas on how to get this thing to open and close without turning the end of my thumb black and blue?

Ron

Just a stupid question, do you cock the gun before or after opening the breech?

Offline LongIslandArcher

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Re: CFX review
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 06:06:23 PM »
I upgraded my brand new CFX with a gas piston from PyramydAir and a GRT III trigger from CharlieDaTuna.com.  There's no more twang and the trigger is extremely crisp.