Monthly Archives: February 2009
When you think of break barrel spring rifles, it is hard not to think Gamo. They have a huge product offering for the Springer Rifle Enthusiast and they always seem to be pushing the envelope on performance and features. About a year ago Gamo released their “Whisper” line of air rifles. My first impression was that Gamo was just adding something new to an old design to boost sales, so I did not give it much thought. As time progressed I had the opportunity to shoot a few Gamo rifles and found that, while they may exaggerate their velocity claims, they actually make a pretty nice rifle for the price. So when the opportunity came to review the Gamo Whisper, especially with the Air Venturi Gas Ram upgrade, I jumped at the chance! This version is the .22 caliber, which is my preference 95% of the time. I’ve found the .22 better for pest control and accuracy beyond 30 yards. Since I live out in the country, I’m often shooting at 30+ yards so I normally choose .22 over .177.
The very first thing I noticed was just how light this rifle was. I’d just finished up a review on the Benjamin Super Streak and the Walther Falcon Hunter. It was sweet relief to be reviewing a light, easy shooting rifle. I really debated putting a scope on this gun because I did not want to weigh it down and possibly take away one of its greatest features.
The Gamo Whisper CSI edition comes in a beautiful ambidextrous stock that is colored in “real tree” camo. The stock has a raised cheek pad on both sides which is nice for you lefties out there. At the front of the barrel you have the “business” end of the Whisper, Gamo’s intergraded noise dampening system. My first opinion when I heard Gamo was putting this on a rifle was to dismiss it as totally unnecessary. Pellet rifles are already so quiet anyway… right? Well let me tell you, I’m a convert. This thing works and works really well. I can put any of my similarly powered .22 caliber pellet rifles next to the Whisper and they are easily twice as loud. Whatever Gamo did, seems to work, and the Gamo Whisper has become my favorite spring rifle.
Gamo’s Integrated Noise Dampening System
On top of the Noise Dampener you have a fiber optic front sight. Unfortunately Gamo did not put a front globe on this rifle to protect the sight so you’ll need to be really careful about damaging the front sight. My rifle arrived with a broken fiber optic and it quickly disintegrated into nothing. Gamo was very good about sending me a replacement free of charge, which was very easy to replace. But still, how much would it be to add a front globe to protect the front sight?
Front Sight – Needs something to protect the Fiber Optic.
The rear sight is a standard Gamo “micro-click” adjustable metal sight with fiber optic inserts. I spent many weeks using this rifle with open sights before putting a scope on it. It performs extremely well with the open sights. Had I not ordered a scope along with the rifle for the review, I may have never put one on. It shoots that nicely.
Fully Adjustable Rear Sight
I chose a BSA 3-12×44 scope and a 1 piece Accushot mount. I should have made sure that the scope had range-estimating mil-dots for the reticule. Having a simple Duplex Reticule has proved frustrating because I’m just not able to judge the hold over well enough to be reliably accurate when the target is beyond the center of the cross-hairs. Now this was my fault not BSA or Gamo’s. I should have paid more attention to the item’s description and I would not be in this situation. With all that said, the BSA scope is VERY NICE. The optics are as good as anything else that I’ve tested and it was priced very aggressively. I like having the 12x zoom. It helps me squeeze every last drop of accuracy out of the rifle.
Shooting the Gamo Whisper is a very pleasant experience and I can only imagine that the Air Venturi Gas Ram makes all the difference in the world. The first time I cocked the rifle it was smooth as glass and cocked with minimal effort compared to those big magnum rifles I’d been shooting. This is truly an all-day shooter if I’ve ever seen one. Even my wife is able cock and shoot this rifle and she actually enjoys shooting it.
Another point of note with this particular Gamo Rifle is the trigger. It seems to be a bit smoother and lighter than Gamo’s standard trigger. When shooting with open sights I don’t seem to notice the trigger pull as much as when I’m using a scope. So in my first video review using just open sights, I stated the trigger seemed really different from other Gamo Rifes. Now that I’ve mounted a scope, my opinion has changed. The trigger is more like the old Gamo triggers than I had originally thought. That said, I was able to get the hang of it. You have to be very patient and steady with a Gamo trigger and you need to practice good follow-through techniques.
Standard Gamo Trigger
The Gamo Whisper requires you to pay close attention to your hold and shooting techniques. It is very hold sensitive, with the point of impact changing as much as several inches at 27 yards. Whatever you are going to use for a balance point, remember it. Once you’ve zeroed your scope, you don’t want to be changing your hold or you’ll be chasing your shots all over the place. Once you’ve got your hold down, it is just a matter of trigger control and follow-though.
Before we look at accuracy, let’s take a quick look at what kind of velocities we generated with the Air Venturi Gas Ram upgrade. Many people ask me if it is worth the $100 or so for the upgrade… let me say emphatically YES. What the Gas Ram does, no spring can. It greatly speeds up and reduces recoil and eliminates torque. Besides that, it is less sensitive to cold than a steel spring and can be left cocked for long periods of time without the threat of metal fatigue that can damage a standard spring.
Moving on to the big question, does the Air Venturi Gas Ram shoot with greater velocity than the standard spring? Well in the Gamo Whisper it does. The Gamo Whisper states that it shoots lead ammo at 750 FPS and PBA ammo at 900 FPS. Our tests put the Hobby pellets near 780 FPS and the PBA ammo runs at or just over 900 FPS. The Gas Ram DOES make a big difference in this rifle.
Now finally, lets look at the accuracy. When I could shoot 3/4” groups at 20 yards with open sights, I knew that this was an accurate rifle. Once I got the scope mounted, I was able to see just how accurate. We did all of our shooting at 27 yards, which is the distance from my shooting bench on my porch to my target stand at my fence line. Because the weather has been so iffy, it was easier to just set up under cover of the porch and shoot between the rain, wind, and cold. I’m going to start with the worst pellet of the bunch and work my way forward.
Starting with Crosman Premier Hollow Points we got the following from our Chronograph (see below). As you can see, accuracy was not what I’ve come to expect from Crosman Premier Hollow Points.
High – 741, Low – 728, Average – 733, Difference – 13
Next were the Gamo PBA lead free pellets in .22. These did far better than I expected with a 1/2” group at 27 yards. These may be a good option if you feel you need to shoot over 900 FPS.
High – 905, Low – 877, Average – 884, Difference – 28
The next two pellets were very nearly a tie, but the Beeman Field Target Specials grouped just slightly larger than our best pellet. With good velocity an excellent accuracy, they are a good choice and seem to hold their accuracy over a long range.
High – 723, Low – 718, Average – 720, Difference – 5
Our best group came from Gamo Hunter pellets. They were spot on nearly every time. They are certainly ugly pellets, but they shoot great in the Gamo Whisper. They are fairly heavy and so the velocity may not impress those who want to brag about how fast their rifle can shoot, but I’ll take hitting a dime every time over shooting fast any day.
High – 686, Low – 664, Average – 673, Difference – 22
Well that’s it for the Gamo Whisper. The Gamo Whisper CSI edition with the Air Venturi Gas Ram upgrade, BSA Scope, and Accushot mount, is going to run you about $500. That is a lot of money and you really won’t be able to appreciate this rig until you shoot one. Every person who has picked this up has tried to take it home. There are a couple of things that I’d like to see change with it however. Gamo needs a better trigger PERIOD. This one was better than other Gamo rifles, but still hard to get used to. At least it was smooth and not terribly heavy, just very, very long. It also needs a front globe or something to protect the front sight. It looks like the standard Gamo globe would work, they just need to include it from the factory.
Bottom line for me is this, I’ve spent a lot more than $500 trying to find the right rifle and scope combo. I can’t tell you how many rifles, i.e. Crosman rifles from Wal-mart… etc., that I’ve bought hoping to achieve what this Gamo Whisper CSI combo does. I’ve probably bought this rifle at least 2 times over, maybe more. If I can save you the headache, disappointment, and frustration of dealing with bad springers that just won’t shoot right, please listen. Pick up the Gamo Whisper with the Air Venturi Gas Ram from PyramydAir.com TODAY. If you need to save a few bucks, get the standard Whisper with the Black Stock and hold off on the scope for now. It is well worth the money and PyramydAir is a great company to work with. They will stand behind what they sell.
As always, thank you for taking the time to visit the site and read the reviews. Until next time… Rick
Editor / Owner
Dog River Design, LLC.