Author Topic: Gamo 440 Hunting Rifle  (Read 2529 times)

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Gamo 440 Hunting Rifle
« on: August 31, 2006, 12:17:17 AM »

You'll definitely have a decent hunting rifle in your 440 considering all that is being done to it.

Most likely, it will shoot CPL's to 900+

Bear in mind, though, that spring-piston air rifles are like women in that they all fundamentally have the same parts but no two are alike, even in the case of what appear to be identical twins.

In stock, untuned guns, velocity variations of 10% or so from gun to gun of the same make and model are fairly common. Your gun might indeed shoot in the high 800's instead of getting over 900. Even if that is the case, there is no need to be disappointed.

I know I wouldn't be.

It'll shoot fast enough with CPLs to get you a maximum point-blank range of 50 yards or veeeery close to it. You'll have over 8 ft/lb of energy remaining at 50 yards and that is plenty to take cottontails and tree squirrels. You'll have that in a rifle that is light and a joy to carry in the woods all day. You'll have that in a dynamic-handling rifle that when scoped will typically balance the weight between the hands as with good field-grade shotguns. You'll have a fairly light cocking effort that will be better than stock when Russ is through and an improved firing cycle. You'll have a nice, light, predictable, yet totally safe trigger. And you'll get that along with a safety that is in an intellegent spot where it can be rapidly switched on or off and can be manipulated silently and won't require a re-cocking motion to reset.

In short, you'll have a rifle that is certainly up to the challenge of the hunt. You'll have a rifle that would certainly cover the vast majority of hunting situations that we face here in California, and would actually be a better tool for job for a lot of the hunting that we have available to us here than some rifles costing a whole lot more.

So if it only gets 875, or 890, or 900, I wouldn't fret over it. In the field, I don't really think you'd notice a difference one way or the other and I am pretty sure you won't find any squirrels or rabbits you shoot complaining that you killed them with a rifle getting 875 ft/s instead of one getting 935 ft/s.

I'll admit up-front that I am the wrong guy to comment on power issues, becuase up to a point, power doesn't really matter that much to me where hunting with air rifles is concerned. I am much more concerned about placement and penetration. All of the Gamos I've shot were accurate enough with pellets they liked so that placement wasn't an issue, and with .177, penetration typically isn't a problem at field distances, even with rifles in the 11.5 ft/lb class.

Back in the day, I had two .177 Omegas. One was stock, the other tuned with several hundred 1980's dollars worth of Venom parts and expert labor. I did most of my hunting with the 11.5-11.8 ft/lb stocker because it gave more consistant velocity over a broader range of temperature extremes and the more consistant point of impact was more important to me in the field than power was. Even with the wimpy gun, I had enough power to do the job over the ranges I am comfortable shooting at in the field with an air rifle.

So why the tuned gun? This is the only gun I wanted tuned primairly for a power increase, and only because I was shooting metallic silhouette comps with it. Being competitive, I wanted the extra margin for knocking over the 45 yard ram that two more ft/bs of power would gain. The rifle was shot in fairly contanstant and narrow temperature ranges of around 80 degrees and the fellow who built it up for me knew this, so it was set up to do one thing really well and really one thing only.

Every other springer that I've had has been "tuned" for smoothness, rather than power. My experience in shooting .177 on game has led me to believe that somewhere around 12 ft/lb is adequate for most purposes and anything more is just bonus resulting in a flatter trajectory. That is what I want the added power for if I get it. Not for killing effect, at least where .177 is concerned, but for shooting ease in the field and for making range estimation to the target a little less critical.

I see no reason why your 440 shouldn't shoot as well as my wife's Shadow does in all areas including power. That said, if it doesn't top 900ft/s it wouldn't stop me from enjoying the rifle and using it successfully in the field, and it wouldn't stop me from being totally satisfied with the rifle in the field.

In closing, one thing I find curious about this whole "Gamo S***s" thing you find on the Internet is that people who use them in the field for game hunting or pest control around farms often find much to like about the Gamo rifles. People on the 'Net who tend to slam Gamo the hardest typically aren't too serious about their hunting, but are more in to target shooting and this is why you see so much "If Gamos are so great, how come nobody at my Field Target Club shoots one?" on the 'Net.

I didn't buy my Shadow to clean the course at a field target match. I bought it to kill enough quail, chukar, rabbits, and squirrels to make a meal. And it did that rather well. Contrary to conventional Internet wisdom, I think there are far worse chocies that one could make in selecting a spring-piston rifle for field use than the one you made.

In my view, Joe, you've got a great hunting rifle in your 440, regardless of the numbers it'll put up on the Chronograph when all is said and done.