Monthly Archives: May 2008
Well after a very pleasant phone call with Gamo’s lead technician and several hundred pellets, the Varmint Hunter is back in business! I was a little “gun shy” after getting the rifle back from Gamo and I did not want to TOUCH anything regarding upgrading, tuning, and changing this rifle until I knew it was operating as it should.
As I mentioned above, I had a long conversation with the gentleman that rebuilt this rifle. We were talking about the issues and came to the conclusion that I needed to send it back to them so they could have another look. Then I thought about tightening the trigger adjustment screw, which does little to the actual trigger pull by the way, and the rifle began to fire reliably. YAHOOO!, we were back in business. Now according to their tech, this should not have made a difference, but it certainly did and I wasn’t going to argue with progress.
So now with a working rifle, I began again to try and do my planned upgrades. At this point I’d settle for a scope upgrade that will work with the light and laser combo. Heck that is what makes this the “Varmint Hunter”… without those, it is just another Gamo Break Barrel rifle.
As I mentioned in Part 2 on hold, finding a scope and mouting system that will actually work with the light and laser mount proved much more difficult that I expected. I found myself settling for a Crosman 3x9x32 MD, NON AO scope. I really wanted an AO scope to help out with those close range shots, but I REALLY wanted a Mil-Dot reticule more and it seemed I wasn’t going to get both. Even with this compromise scope I had a heck of a time getting things to line up, but I finally found the right combination.
The bottom line, as I mentioned in a previous post, is that several things have to line up. For example, the scope has to have an objective no larger than 40mm. The mounts MUST have a stop pin in the rear mount or the scope will work its way off the rifle. I tried a scope stop, but it also was pushed off the back of the gun eventually. I finally used a 1 piece scope mount with a stop pin. While this configuration allowed me to get the scope securely on the rifle, it did not let me move the scope back as far as I like for my eye relief so I found myself shooting at an awkward angle, but I was able to shoot the rifle.
The new scope made all the difference in the world. I was able to get a nice clear picture at distances as close as 15 and 20 yards. The 9x setting needed about 25 yards to clear up, but it was “usable” at closer distances and really made a difference with my shot groups. (I’ll get some photo’s posted as soon as I can, but I wanted to update the series ASAP.)
As for the other upgrades, i.e. the GRT III trigger and Air Venturi Gas Spring, I may opt to put in the GRT III trigger at a later date, I know it works and it makes a HUGE difference, but the Gas Spring is a no go for now. With all the efforts and care that Gamo took to put this Varmint back in Hunting condition, I did not want to open this rifle back up. I’m saving the gas spring for another project so keep an eye on the site.
So here are my final thoughts on the Varmint Hunter… If the light and laser are why you bought the rifle, then leave it just as it came out of the box. Replacing the scope was an arduous process and while it yielded results, I’m not sure it will be worth the frustration for most folks. If you really want to add a light and laser, you can get the Leapers Tactical Tri-Rail mounts that allow for much grater flexibility and your choice of optics. The Varmint Hunter shoots very nice, once you’ve got a decent trigger installed, and can produce really nice groups at 20 and 25 yards. It seemed extremely picky with pellets and hold, so expect to spend a lot of time with this rifle if you want to shoot accurately. The best combination I found was to use heavy pellets, i.e. Crosman Premier Heavies in the cardboard box or Beeman Kodiak pellets, and a Gel Shooting Support (from PyramydAir.com) resting on my tool box.
Thank you for your patience while I’ve been working on the rest of this series. It has been a real challenge. There are a lot of things in the works for this site and the YouTube channel so please visit back often. I’ve got a short review of the Daisy PowerLine 901 coming up next.
Hello again. If you’ve been following the progress of our Varmint Hunter review, you’ll know that I’ve been waiting for the rifle to come back from Gamo’s repair facility. Well, I received the rifle back last week and I’ve been working with it over the past few days.
The first thing that I noticed is that the repair tech’s did a wonderful job putting “Humpty Dumpty” back together again. Everything was much smoother than the first go around. The velocity was decent as well. 8.9 grn pellets were averaging 820 fps, I haven’t run the RWS hobby pellets through the rifle as of yet, but I know they will post higher numbers.
A viewer on the YouTube channel asked me a question regarding the CFX rifle and what kind of power it may have left at 40 yards. Seeing as the Varmint Hunter uses the same basic power plant, I planned on testing the FPS at 40 yards, but before I jumped on that, I wanted to get the rifle sighted in. Unfortunately I ran into a pretty significant NEW problem.
During normal shooting I noticed that I was having a minor issue with the trigger. As long as I pulled it quickly it seemed to fire ok, but if I pulled slowly it wanted to stick and not fire. When firing from the shoulder or just putting rounds through the Chrony, it only seemed to do once out of 20 or 30 shots, but when I got to the bench, this became a real problem
So I’m all setup at my shooting table… I’ve got my target up, my pellets lined up, my shooting rest ready to go and I’m going to do the final sight in of the scope. I cock the rifle, load the pellet, setup on the rest, pull the trigger and……. nothing…. Remembering to keep the “business” end of the rifle headed in a safe direction I touch the trigger again and the gun fires. Obviously something is seriously wrong. Every shot at the bench is a slow deliberate pull, especially on a Gamo trigger, and 9 out of 10 trigger pulls have the same result, misfire. If I just pull the trigger in a quick motion, not caring about accuracy, the gun will fire correct most of the time, but literally 9 times out of 10 the rifle does not fire if I pull the trigger slowly.
I’ve emailed Gamo again and I’m sure that I’ll hear back from them on Monday. I’m pretty sure they’ll want to take another look at the rifle. I guess we are back to the drawing board yet again. As for my YouTube viewer with the question about remaining power at 40 yards… I won’t leave you hanging. I’ve got a rifle that shoots nearly identically to the 1000 FPS Gamo rifles and I should be able to give you a pretty fair assessment soon. Thank you for your patience!
One thing to remember, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, be careful with ANY gun. The moment you let your guard down is the moment you’ll get yourself, or someone else hurt. Under the right circumstances these high powered air rifles can put someone in the hospital or much worse. Never take safety for granted.