Author Topic: The Gamo 440 / 220 / Shadow  (Read 6402 times)

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The Gamo 440 / 220 / Shadow
« on: August 31, 2006, 12:15:35 AM »
Joe

The 440 / 220 / Shadow all share the same basic powerplant.

My Shadow that I had would drive 7.9 grain Crosman Copperheads or Premier Lights to about 935 ft/s when I last chronographed it, if I recall correctly, so it would put out about 15 ft/lbs at the muzzle. It would get about 845 ft/or so with 10.6 Kodiaks and a little more velocity with Crosman Premier Heavies, for about 16.5 ft/lb or so at the muzzle.

With spring-piston guns, the mid-weight pellets typically yield the highest muzzle energy, but that wasn't the case with my Shadow and it isn't with my wife's, either. Both rifles got the most muzzle energy from shooting the heavier pellets.

Mine was down a bit in velocity with over 10,000 shots it. When new and broken in, it would shoot about 20 ft/s faster and had a tad more ooomph because of that.

I know that Gamo gets a bad rap on the Internet. I wouldn't want to handicap myself with a Shadow (or 440) at a field target match, but my main interest in air rifles revolves around hunting, and for hunting use, I found the Gamo Shadow to have a lot going for it. There isn't much on the market in spring-piston rifles that can match it's light 6.2 lb bare weight and 15-16.5 ft/lb power output. It left little to complain about in the accuracy department, too.

I recently dropped one of Bob Werner's (AKA Charlie Da Tuna) trigger blades into my wife's Shadow and I personally believe that modification totally transforms the rifle. It doesn't make it more accurate per se, but it definitely makes it easier to shoot accurately.

If we take aesthetics out of the equation, and just focus on performance, I have to grudgingly admit that I believe the Shadow is a better hunting rifle than my tuned .177 Beeman R-9 is, at least for a lot of the hunting that I do.

It is lighter in weight. This is important to me because I am fond of hunting mountain quail and chukar partridges in the steep, rugged desert mountains of California, and my rifle is carried a whole lot more than it is shot during a chukar hunt.

The safety can be disengaged or reapplied at will, without having to "recock" the barrel to do reset. It is also located in a much more ergonomic spot than the safety of an R-Series Beeman is and it can be operated totally silently. It is also totally manual in operation, unlike the safety of the R-Series Beeman, which is applied at the end of the cocking stroke, whether you want it to be or not. This stuff about the operation of the R-Series Beeman safety may not be an issue to some shooters but it can and often is a handicap in my hunting, since the upland game birds that I pursue travel in coveys and present multiple consecutive shot opportunities that occur in rapid succession and I want to be able to capitalize on them when they do.

While I'm sure they're out there, I haven't heard of too many Gamos with this barreled action that have excessive barrel droop issues. All of the Shadows I've handled have had very "flat" barrel angles well-suited to scope use. All of them have had very consistant lock-up with no issues whatsoever. Again, there may be a lemon or two out there, but the same could be said for every brand.

Gamo makes their barrels out of a decent grade of steel and they can turn out an accurate and well made barrel.

The biggest gripes you'll hear folks make about Gamo Hunter 220/440 Shadow rifles is that they can be pretty twangy (so can an R-9!) and their triggers aren't very precise in feel. Break in can be a protracted affair with individual examples, too.

In the case of the trigger, the drop in blades that Bob Werner sells are the cure, and they are a whole lot more than a band-aid solution. The blade he sells converts the Gamo trigger to a true two-stage unit wherein both stages do useful work . The let-off is far more consistant, and pull on my wife's was reduced from 4.25 lb to 1.18. It took me 10 minutes to swap the stock blade for Bob's unit.

If you have a Gamo or are contemplating buying one, you need this trigger blade.

All of that was more than you asked for, so I'll get back on topic.......

With the Copperhead pellets, I could sight my Shadow in to maximize point-blank range, yielding a max PBR of 50 yards, assuming a 1" kill zone. That is a trajectory flat enough for any small game hunting that I do. Power-wise, it'll thump a target 50 yards out with over 9 ft/lbs of thwack, which is plenty to ruin a jackrabbit's day and more than twice the power needed to cleanly kill a cottontail, quail, or chukar. It works on pheasants out to 50 yards, too.

In closing, while I don't think that a Gamo Hunter 440 / Shadow is made to the same "heirloom quality" standard as a Beeman R-9 or R-1 is, my Shadow definitely proved reliable and is still funtioning flawlessly for my brother-in-law. My wife's Shadow is actually smoother to cock than my Beeman-Tuned .177 R-9 is AND it is less twangy (hard to believe, but true). It shoots just about every pellet we've tried in it very well, and it isn't as "hold sensitive" as my R-9 is. My Shadow was the same way.

I'm a huge fan of the Shadow, as you can tell from this post. Most of what I found appealing about the Shadow also applies to the 440, as they are essentially the same thing with different stocks.

Welcome to the forum!

-JP
http://www.uplandhunter.net
Air Rifle Hunting "E-Zine"

Offline Cvan

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RE: The Gamo 440 / 220 / Shadow
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 04:27:44 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to post this review. I found it interesting and informative. Your review should be a great help to others. Keep up the good work.
Chris