Author Topic: Gamo Hunter Extreme  (Read 11992 times)

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Gamo Hunter Extreme
« on: August 02, 2007, 11:49:40 AM »
I got this from pyramid airs blog and thought I would share. Looks like its one hell of a springer...

The origional can be found here : http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2007/08/gamo-hunter-extreme-part-2-velocity.html

It's big and it's "EXTREME" - that over-used adjective that seems to have replaced "radical" as the flavor of the day. But is it any good? And how about Gamo's claim that the rifle shoots lightweight pellets made of a compound they call performance ballistic alloy (PBA) to velocities of 1,600 f.p.s.? Is that true, and do we airgunners even want it?

Lots of questions, so a big blog series. We begin with the gun.

The .177 caliber Gamo Hunter Extreme I am testing is a big breakbarrel air rifle in all ways. I went to the Gamo USA website to look at the specifications, but they lacked even the most fundamental specs like overall length and weight. The site is incomplete and appears to have been that way for several months. They also say the barrel is a bull barrel, which I would not agree with. It is a new barrel profile that looks like a long muzzle brake, reaching back almost to the base block, then tapering down to a smaller profile. The outer barrel jacket seems to be aluminum and the inner barrel is steel.

The metal finish of the long muzzle brake sleeve is highly polished and contrasts beautifully with the synthetic tapering part at the rear. The actual barrel is shorter than the muzzle brake and the true muzzle is recessed about 0.5 inches. That makes the true barrel length about 18.25 inches. The rest of the major external metal parts of the rifle have a satin finish covered with an even black oxide.

The wood stock is overly large in all dimensions and has a very blocky forearm. It will be easy to use the artillery hold because the bottom of the forearm is absolutely flat. There is impressed checkering on both sides of the forearm and pistol grip, but the diamonds are flat and give no purchase when grasped. The wood is medium brown with a semi-gloss finish that looks like genuine oil. The cheek rest is not well formed and has the "melted" look that's been characteristic of Gamo rifles for many years. The butt is shaped like a western-style stock, rather than a European style and there is a Monte Carlo profile.

This big rifle weighs a whisker over 10 pounds, with a whisker being two ounces or less. The weight of the wood on a rifle this large will probably make the weight vary by four ounces, heaviest to lightest. It stands just a whisker taller than 45.5 inches. A whisker is, well, not very much.

Articulated cocking linkage
Back in the 1970s when all spring guns vibrated a lot, some manufactures went to a cocking link that was two parts, articulated by a joint near the breech or forward end. This allowed the cocking slot in the stock to be shorter, which helped dampen vibration. But it also adds friction that a single-piece link does not have. When the link runs under the necessary bridge welded to the underside of the spring tube, it pops up against the bridge and scrapes the top of the link. There used to be a whole series of things one could to to reduce this friction, back in the days when the HW 35 was still being made, but most guns don't use articulated linkages today, so we have forgotten how to deal with them.

That's what an articulated cocking link looks like. Two link sections are joined by a flexible joint.

But Gamo has designed this rifle to need no bridge! The geometry of the linkage keeps the long rear link snug against the spring cylinder, so most of the extra friction isn't there. Gamo advertises a cocking effort of 58 pounds, but the test rifle is cocking at 52 lbs., after about 25 flexes. I don't think it will become any lighter with time, but 52 isn't that bad. However, this is not a plinking air rifle. It's for hunting, only.

Gamo scores!
This rifle comes out of the box with a nice 3-9X50 scope already mounted! Bully for Gamo! They are one of the first manufacturers of adult air rifles to recognize the importance of this feature. Crosman and Daisy have been doing it for years, but most other makers just don't seem to have figured it out yet. Unfortunately the scope on my sample rifle was not mounted with the crosshairs level, but I took care of that in less than ten minutes. The scope has the Gamo name and logo and it's not a model I am familiar with.

A Gamo scope.

The scope seems to be of good quality, and it has one feature I can't wait to try. The dot in the center of the reticle is all that lights up when the illumination is turned on. I think that's a high-quality feature because it preserves the hunter's night vision. And that dot is rather unique. I'll have to use it a little to see how I like it.

On the negative side, the scope has fixed parallax that seems to be set at about 35 yards on the sample I am testing. That will work fine, because I can always reduce the power if I want to shoot closer and want to image to appear to be in focus, but it seems a shame for a nice scope like this not to have adjustable parallax.

The scope mount is one-piece and the correct size for the scope. It has a steel vertical pin at the rear which is mated with a receiver hole in the right location, so all that has been thought out well. Good thing, too, because open sights are not an option with the Hunter Extreme. Unfortunately, neither is .22 caliber, yet. I hope that changes soon because this rifle has far more potential for the larger calibers. Even .25 caliber would be a nice option for an air rifle this husky.

One final comment before I go. This rifle is made in England, so it is actually made by BSA - not Gamo. Gamo owns BSA and BSA Optics, and the association helps both companies in many different ways.

That's it for today. Next time we'll look a little deeper.

Part 2

Before we begin, Vince called my attention to something I said in the first report that was wrong. I said the articulated cocking lever of this rifle was held against the spring cylinder by the geometry, but I didn't look close enough. Vince told me to look for a roller bearing on the long link and, sure enough, it's there. It's just on one side of the link, which is why I overlooked it, but hey - it does the job! Thanks for watching my back, Vince.

This is the big day! The first independent report on the Gamo Hunter Extreme's true velocity. No smoke and mirrors. No retakes for the camera. No corporate jolly-isms. Just the truth.

Perfect summer day
You could not ask for a better day to test an airgun. No wind to stir things up. An overcast sky for perfect chrono readings every time. No interruptions of any kind. Just me and the big rifle by ourselves on the range. So, no excuses today. This is the way the rifle shoots!

Cocking is hard!
This is not a casual plinker. Did I mention that? It cocks with 52 pounds of effort, but the last few inches of cocking is where 20 percent of that effort is needed, and it just stacks up on you. This will be a two-handed operation for most adult men, and there will be shooters who cannot cock this rifle at all. Please believe me - I am not playing macho games. This is a difficult rifle to cock - even harder than the Webley Patriot.

I really like the scope!
Remember in the first report that I said I'd have to see whether or not I liked this new reticle. Well, I do. It's a good hunting reticle that makes targeting easier than a plain crosshair or even a duplex reticle. And, the scope and scope mount stayed put throughout some sharp recoil and semi-harsh vibrations. Though the Hunter Extreme is no match for the heavy-recoiling Webley Patriot, it does kick harder than a Beeman R1, for example. Anyway, nice scope!

This reticle is great for targeting. I think it will work well for hunting, too. Only the dot in the center lights up (not lit now).

Lousy trigger!
This is the worst trigger I have tested in a very long time. It breaks somewhere over 8 lbs. and has more creeps than a motel lounge. It does feel as though it will break-in over time, but in the beginning it's not a good trigger. I'll blame some of the poor accuracy on the trigger, as it was just too hard to squeeze.

On the plus side, no annoying automatic safety came on. That I like a lot. Just cock and shoot. However, when you do cock the gun, you'll feel each and every spring coil slide through the cylinder in a crunchy parade. This isn't a smooth-cocking air rifle, and it probably will never be until someone tunes it.

On the shooting end, it's just as noisy. It jumps sharply in recoil and buzzes more than it should. Compared to the smooth-shooting Gamo CF-X, the Hunter Extreme sounds and feels like a geriatric Transformer with arthritis! Let's shoot it.

Drum roll, please!
I load a golden Raptor PBA pellet and close the breech. The pellet falls out. I load a second Raptor and take care to seat it deeply with my thumb. This one stays put. The rifle is lowered to the Oehler Chronograph screens and CRACK! - the shot is fired. The pellet definitely broke the sound barrier! And the velocity?

1352 f.p.s. (lonely sound of dog barking in the distance and crickets chirping).

Not quite the number we were told.

I shot it some more. Velocities ranged between 1345 and 1395 f.p.s. That's it!

The particular Gamo Hunter Extreme that I am testing is NOWHERE NEAR 1,600 f.p.s. Despite a huge advertising budget and all the fairy dust in the free world, you people simply did not clap loud enough and long enough. Tinkerbell died!

To make CERTAIN that you get their message, Gamo has engraved the freakin' velocity formula on the outside of the spring cylinder of the rifle, right next to where the pellet is loaded. What's the matter with me? I saw the numbers, yet I still failed to achieve the corporate goal. I must not be a team player.

In case you missed their million-dollar advertising campaign, Gamo has been kind enough to ENGRAVE their velocity formula on the steel compression cylinder of their rifle for you. I have never seen this on an airgun before. It's like they are hoping to be exposed.

The preceding rant is how I do an in-your-face victory dance on the internet. There wasn't much doubt that this gun could not live up to its advertised velocity. Every PBA Raptor I've tested so far has only increased velocity of any given rifle by about 150-200 f.p.s., so how is this one suddenly going to fly 400 f.p.s. faster?

Okay, back to reality. The velocity with Beeman Kodiaks ranged between 987 f.p.s. and 1,012 f.p.s., with 998 being the average. That gives an honest energy average of 23.45 foot-pounds at the muzzle. Gamo ought to be proud of that. They also ought to recognize that this is a 30 foot-pound rifle if they would just make it in .22. If they expect to sell a bunch of $500 breakbarrels - even with the nice scope thrown in - they'd better convert it to something people can actually shoot and get off this pig-killing velocity trip they're on.

I did not test the rifle with lightweight lead pellets to ascertain whether the claim of 1250 with lead pellets is accurate. I can, if you really want me to, but that isn't high on my list of things to do. Just as I would never shoot a pellet at 1350, I would also not shoot one at 1250, so what's the point of testing even more of what we wouldn't do anyhow?

All kidding aside, the Hunter Extreme is the fastest spring air rifle I have ever tested, though I haven't tested the other fast ones with PBAs, and Gamo should be proud of that. It may not be a 1600 f.p.s. rifle, but it's still king of the hill for breakbarrels.

All I'm reporting on today is velocity, so the next part will cover accuracy. I have not closed the book on this air rifle, despite the things I said about the velocity claims. This is still a $500 air rifle that deserves a fair test, and I intend to give it one.

Offline shadow

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RE: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 12:05:32 PM »
I had read that review also Jason, it's big, buck's about like a crazy donkey and cocking her is a workout BUT I still want one hehe. I think with a tune and some TLC she could settle down and make a fine hunter. Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline CharlieDaTuna

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RE: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 12:56:28 PM »
I'm a true Gamo man and a big supporter of Gamo but the bottom line of all of this is that the Gamo Extreme is for all intent and purposes a re-badged Gamo 1250. Almost all of the specifcations are exactly the same. They were pretty much over hyped, a teeth jarring  lumber wagon, an arm buster, scope destroyer, and the market fell out from under it quite rapidly.

 I have opened up a few and because of the design of the power plant, little can be done to improve them much. Accuracy can be good with the right pellet and you don't exceed 1050-1075 fps. And it does have brute force but hardly worth all the effort. It's been out for awhile and not very popular to say the least and I would think that the Extreme will go the same route as the 1250.

I did some work on Gene's for him as well as a couple of others and it did improve them a little but to me, working on it is not worth the effort or invested money for tuning or the end result. It is for that reason that I don't tune them.

Gene can tell you why his just sets and rarely ever shot.
Bob  aka:  CharlieDaTuna
Co-founder of the GTA


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Offline shadow

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RE: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 01:04:05 PM »
Thank's for the head's up Bob as I take your word as Gospel, money better invested on a different Gamo, thank's. Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline CharlieDaTuna

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RE: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007, 01:06:30 PM »
All the luck in the world to you Ed. And if you find a good spring and a good replacement seal, let me know cuz I never found anything acceptable. JM or nobody else has anything for it. You might want to check with Gene. He just might want to sell his cuz he physically can't afford to shoot it. He's probably going to hurt himself one day. I think he knows that and that's why he doesn't shoot it very often.
Bob  aka:  CharlieDaTuna
Co-founder of the GTA


HOME OF THE GRT-III TRIGGER
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E-Mail:  CDT22@Verizon.net

Benji-342 .177 /Brazilian Winchester 800 .22 /Gamo Cadet .177 /Gamo Shadowmatic .177 /Gamo 440 .22 /Gamo Royal .22 /Gamo Whisper .177 /Gamo SK-1 .20 /B-20 .177 /TF-99 .177 /QB-78 .177 /QB-78t .22 /QB-78-(CD) .22 /QB-78-(CJ) .22/QB-78D .22 /Crosman 2240 .22 /Cros 150 .177 /Crosman Back Packer .22 ?Crosman AS 2250 .22 /Daisy Mod 93 .177 /Marksman 2004 .177 /GS 35 .177 /FWB-124 .177 /Custom Marauder .22 /Custom Disco .177


Offline CharlieDaTuna

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RE: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 01:07:51 PM »
OOOps.... ya beat me to da trigger Ed...lol...
Bob  aka:  CharlieDaTuna
Co-founder of the GTA


HOME OF THE GRT-III TRIGGER
   Website:  http://charliedatuna.com/

Home of the NPSS-NP Triggers:  
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E-Mail:  CDT22@Verizon.net

Benji-342 .177 /Brazilian Winchester 800 .22 /Gamo Cadet .177 /Gamo Shadowmatic .177 /Gamo 440 .22 /Gamo Royal .22 /Gamo Whisper .177 /Gamo SK-1 .20 /B-20 .177 /TF-99 .177 /QB-78 .177 /QB-78t .22 /QB-78-(CD) .22 /QB-78-(CJ) .22/QB-78D .22 /Crosman 2240 .22 /Cros 150 .177 /Crosman Back Packer .22 ?Crosman AS 2250 .22 /Daisy Mod 93 .177 /Marksman 2004 .177 /GS 35 .177 /FWB-124 .177 /Custom Marauder .22 /Custom Disco .177


Offline shadow

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RE: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 01:11:28 PM »
I got a good trigger finger hehehe. Ed
I airgun hunt therefore I am... };)  {SHADOWS Tunes & Camo}  airguncamo@yahoo.com

Offline Gene_SC

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Re: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 01:23:41 PM »
I agree with Bob on the the Gamo Hunter 1250 series. I do not remember if they even had a Hunter 1250 in a .177 when I bought my Hunter Royal 1250.22 .. Like Bob said there is little you can do to improve the 1250's except may debur and a good lube tune. And for most folks after spending like $400.00 plus for one of those you really do not want to throw another $100.00 to $150.00 into it for a lube and debur job..:) I must say that I larger than normal upper torsil, and it is very hard to cock consistantly over and over again without feeling it in you upper arms and shoulders. Of course it is a very big gun and weighs like the guy above said a wisker over 10 lbs, but let me tell you that by the time you scope the monster you will have picked up almost another 2 lbs with mount and scope. One thing is for sure you do not put just any old scope on it..:) The GTX trigger was the most effective improvement to the Hunter 1250. I will probably always keep this monster but I keep her in a bag in the house. I will pull her out to blow the cob webs out every so often..:) With an average of 950 to 1000 fps with RWS Superdomes .22  pellets, it is definetly a hunting gun and not a plinker.. hehe You will distroy a bellet box real fast with it..:) I bought one of those 22 rim fire heavy gauge pellet box's and it ended up with a hole and bulge in the back of it..

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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Offline HNT5

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RE: Gamo Hunter Extreme
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 04:32:55 AM »
I like my .22 cal 1250, but everything said is true. It is heavy hard cocking beast. I am still trying to learn the right hold techniques for it. It shows the ability to shoot nice groups at 50 yds but often the next couple shots open up the group. I believe the issue is my technique not the gun. Mine is currently wearing a Leapers 4X16X56 SWAt scope in a Leapers 1 pc mount. One day when I get brave enough I will open it up and try a home lube/debur job.

Nathan