GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 on bags

[Review] GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2

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With the recent pandemic-related buying frenzy, all of a sudden we see bare gun cases and and empty ammo shelves. I haven’t seen anything like this since the Obama “scare” several years ago, and people who pay attention to such things say that the most recent buying frenzy sold many more guns than were sold back then. Say you already own defense-oriented guns but were looking to add “something else” to your collection at this time. What do you do if you just want to pick up a “fun gun” to shoot when gun store shelves are bare?

Pick up an air rifle.

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 on bags

“Rifle”, I hear you say? When is a rifle not a firearm, in the strictest sense of the word? When it’s an air rifle. Air guns are made to resemble, sometimes very closely, real-life firearm counterparts. In these modern times I sometimes get confused when I see photos of long guns and handguns that are not firearms but sure as heck look like them. Every type of gun, from revolvers like the Colt Python to semiauto rifles like the ubiquitous AR, seem to have a pneumatic equivalent. Air guns have come a long way.

“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!”

How many of us could ever forget that wonderful tag line in the Christmas movie classic “A Christmas Story?” Ralphie wanted a 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time…what does it say about me that I didn’t have to Google that but knew it from memory? I like movies, I admit it, especially of the Christmas variety. Ralphie ends up with his Daisy and promptly shoots his eye out…OK, he got a scratch on his face after the BB bounced back and knocked his glasses off… Ralphie told us, via the narrator, that the gun was the best Christmas gift he’d received and the best gift he would ever receive. All warm & fuzzy. It’s a great movie, and the only major hit that I know of that’s built around an air rifle. (One quick take-away from the movie’s shooting sequence…don’t shoot at a metal backstop unless it’s meant to be a target!).

The Air Rifle Mystique

So, what’s the lure of air rifles? Just for kids? Nope – I’m closing in on my 7th decade on this earth and still haven’t outgrown my fascination with guns of the air variety. I say this even though my own personal journey with air rifles has been fairly limited. My mom, rest her soul, didn’t want guns in the house so when dad died when I was 8, his excellent Browning Sweet 16 shotgun went to live with an uncle until my brother and I were old enough to not shoot each other with it (or at least that’s the message I thought I got from my mom at the time). Our good family friend Johnny soon brought my brother and I each a lever-action replica of the venerable Winchester 1894 rifle, in glorious .177 caliber. I thought my mom was going to have kittens. Those weapons of destruction got put away for a long time, until we were old enough, yada yada… you get it. Living in a very rural setting gave us lots of chances to shoot our BB guns, after we’d reached the Official-Age-Of-BB-Gun-Responsibilty. They were fun, if not overly powerful. Cut to me as an adult, when I picked up an inexpensive, plastic-stocked “pump-it-10-times” Daisy BB/pellet gun. I just wanted to recapture a bit of my youth, I guess. I’d had BB guns but had not much experience with pellets until I shot my friend Mitch’s Benjamin pellet gun when we were kids. That was fun, and I remembered it. So, after picking up my own variable-pump gun decades later, I re-discovered my fascination with that variety of rifle. (I’m not counting the two Colt 1911-based handgun repeaters I picked up somewhere…they shot not only BBs but also little fuzzy-on-one-end pointy darts. Cute. The velocity was so low you could have probably spit BBs out of a straw and beaten the gun’s BB to the target).

My exposure to “real” adult-type air rifles happened slowly, over the years. I remember recently watching online a couple of guys dispatch pest birds for an Australian farmer, and others taking feral hogs and deer with their pellet-guns-on-steroids. These guns were the PCP variety (more later on that), and were uber powerful. I wanted to learn more about the modern versions of the air guns of my past. So, I requested a Gamo air gun to try, and a few months later it showed up in the back of a local UPS truck. That is one advantage of air over gunpowder arms – no FFL is required so they can come right to your doorstep. I do tend to see a lot of air gun videos from countries with repressive firearms laws, but I’m always amazed to see guys and gals from the U.S. of A. hunting deer or other large critters with souped-up, big-caliber air guns when they could legally be using something tres more powerful. Air guns can be very powerful, even in earlier versions as we see in the 1903 Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure Of The Empty House.” That’s when antagonist Col. Sebastian Moran tried to do in our intrepid detective from the house next door with his pistol-bullet-firing, wind-up compressed air gun. The gun was up to the task, but our villain wasn’t. Air guns have a long and storied geneology.

Types Of Air Guns

Let’s take a quick look at the five main types of air guns, where there’s something for everyone.

Spring Powered: These guns tend to be simple, inexpensive and accurate. But, they can have more recoil than other types. Older models could lose spring resiliency if left cocked for a long period of time, but newer models seem to have figured that out. Some spring guns can be very powerful – they’re not your grandad’s Red Ryder any more!

Gas Piston: The gas piston (or inert gas piston, gas ram) gun uses a compressed gas piston to provide the thrust instead of a coiled spring. The gas is already compressed some, and cocking it adds more compression. Advantages include being able to leave a gun cocked since there is no spring to lose tension. Plus, they tend to last longer than spring guns. Disadvantages include the fact that if the gun leaks gas, the power goes and it’s hard to fix. Our Gamo test rifle is the gas piston type, or “IGP” as they call it- inert gas piston.

Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP): These guns tend to be very powerful, especially in the heavier calibers. Velocities are high, pellet energies are good for hunting. But, these guns need some pretty sophisticated charging equipment (at the least a filled scuba tank) and can be expensive when you factor that into the gun’s cost. Recharging the gun is best not done in the field, so that’s something that needs to be considered if you are going to hunt with one. Some have replaceable compression cylinders that you can swap out in the field, but not all do.

Variable Pump: This type of air gun has a handle of some sort that you pump. Power is dictated by how many times you operate the pump…more pumps equal more velocity. These guns tend to be compact, lightweight and fairly inexpensive (the one I have cost about 1/5th the price of the Gamo) but the pumping action required takes some effort. I have one of these guns and can vouch for the fact that pumping will wear you out over the course of a shooting session. Another thing, about mine at least, is it feels “plastic-y”. Feels cheap. Not all do, but mine does. I’m sure more expensive models wouldn’t feel that way.

CO2: The CO2 -powered gun can be made small due to its power source being a CO2 cartridge. That is one advantage. Plus, there is very little cocking effort needed, since more than one shot can be fired in quick order. However, unless you have a backpack full of small CO2 cartridges (or a larger cylinder), your shooting session will be cut short.

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Purposes Of Airguns

So, now you know about the different types of air guns. But what practical purpose do these guns serve? There are many answers to that question. From Ralphie’s lever-action spring gun to guns that can cleanly take deer, each gun has its own usage. Here are a few, off the top of my head…

Spring Guns – Targets in the back yard, clay pigeons against a dirt bank, paper representations of small game animals, targets that react or reset – all these are the province of most any of the types of guns discussed here, but the spring gun has probably seen more duty with these uses than all the other types of guns put together. If you have $20 or so, you can pick up a gun that will at least let you put .177-diameter holes in whatever paper target you hang up, if you’re not too picky about where those BBs land. This is the type of air gun that I equate with the .22 LR in firearm terms – an entry-level plinking/target round for millions of shooters. This is a great way to introduce new shooters to safety rules and marksmanship basics. And, BBs tend to be cheap! Other uses for the serious springers are hunting, target shooting at longer ranges and pest control. Not all spring guns are the inexpensive “kid” guns that we grew up with. Some spring-powered guns are to be taken very seriously by air gun hunters and serious target shooters.

Gas Piston – The inert gas piston gun extends the role of the airgun past those of the spring guns. The gas piston gun is sometimes marketed as a hunting weapon. The Gamo I have here is one such example – there is a green spacer between the stock and butt pad. This green color is Gamo’s code for a hunting rifle. They also use red and blue colors for other purposes. Mind you, I don’t see this as a “50-yard-with-the-wind-blowing” squirrel round but it would suffice, based on my experience, as a 25-to-35 yard or so squirrel or pest gun. This thing is accurate and powerful enough for that purpose. In addition to hunting, we add in the target/plinking capability of the spring guns. The gas piston gun is a good balance of affordability and power. I have not seen sales figures, but I’d bet the industry sells a lot of these guns.

Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) – The PCP gun is the king of the foot-pound wars among air guns. These guns have a chamber that you can charge, in some cases, up to 3000 lbs. or more of pressure. Consequently, the PCP gun can be serious medicine for larger game such as deer, javalinas, and similar-size game. You just need to remember that caliber does matter – .22 is minimum, with .25 or greater being preferred for serious hunting. One of the PCP’s better-known uses is as a target gun. Some of these guns can print small groups at 100 yards with repeatability. It’s amazing what some folks can do with this type of rifle. Of course, you can use a PCP gun for informal target practice, but it is more suited for big(ger)-game hunting or serious target shooting. The downside is the cost of refilling the pressure chamber – you will need some fairly sophisticated (read: expensive) equipment in order to keep shooting, at the minimum a filled scuba tank. Another point to consider is that, as you empty the cylinder, velocities can dip until it’s refilled. There are videos that abound on You Tube of folks taking their PCP guns afield and laying low everything from barnyard pest birds to deer. These are exciting to watch, but I’m happy with the gas piston variety for what I want to do.

Variable Pump – Here, we get a sort of cross-purpose of uses. Variable pump guns can be almost as powerful as the gas piston variety (but usually in .177, not .22 caliber) depending on how many times you pump it. The thing is that the gas piston guns tend to have “real” sights/scopes, adjustable triggers, etc. that the pump-ups don’t have. (Or at least the ones I’ve seen). I have one of the older, lesser-expensive pump guns and it just about wears me out to pump it 10 times. One trigger pull, then …pump…pump…pump…pump…6…more…times… You get it. I’ll take the break-barrel gas piston over the variable pump gun everyday. One 30-pound pump of the break barrel and you’re good to go at full velocity. My gas piston gun is more powerful, and does only takes one pumping action to be ready to fire. Not to mention the advantages that 10-round magazine offers – more on that later.

CO2 – The cartridge-based CO2 gun, whether handgun or long gun, is an easy way to get into shooting. There is no laborious cocking action nor expensive equipment needed in order to fire each shot. All you need is the little silver CO2 cartridge (or one of its larger-cylinder brothers) and you are in business. This lends this type of gun to target shooting, and possibly small-sized pest reduction. These guns, at least in my experience, are not hunting weapons per se, but do help in marksmanship and safety training. The guns are relatively inexpensive, and are available from many vendors both online and on the street. Another plus, for some folks, is that these guns tend to be made to look like many different types of real-life firearms. Some are so close that they have been used by criminals in commission of various crimes. That’s life-like! But, for most of us, they are just fun guns that we can buy to resemble other, real firearms. Here’s a positive use for some of these guns: trainers. If a gun is basically the same size and weight as your powder-burner, you might practice gun handling, sight acquisition and trigger control with it. It can and does happen.

These purposes and uses are based on my experience. I do not claim to know all about air guns but have used different guns over the years and know what works for me.

A Bit Of History

Before we look at the Gamo (pronounced “Gamm-o”, not “Game-o”) gun in detail, here’s a bit about the company. Based in Spain, they’ve been around a long time and produce many thousands of air rifles for worldwide consumption. Here it is in a nutshell and you want even more details check this out.

1889. ACSA is founded to produce high quality lead.

1950. Antonio Casas Serra, the founding father’s son decides to produce high quality airgun pellets, due to the growing European airgun market.

1959. As a consequence of family and business considerations based on an existing lead source factory founded in 1889, Industrias El Gamo S.A. is born.

1961. The first Gamo airguns are introduced to the Spanish market, with immediate acceptance due to their inherent quality and superior performance. The first steps are directed toward the manufacturing of air rifles in sequence (totally interchangeable pieces), having as the principal goal a high-quality product at a medium/low price, to make it the sport of shooting with airguns more accessible and therefore more popular.

1963. The company initiates its first exports sales to the United Kingdom, and continues to add credence to the Gamo name through its participation in the European international shows. Gamo airguns continue to reach the European markets and beyond.

1970’s. A dealer’s network is created in more than 40 countries.

1980’s. Gamo begins business relations and collaborations with similar manufacturers in Great Britain, the USA, Germany and Brazil.

1982. Due to the enormous increase in production, the pellet factory is moved to a larger site in a new industrial park with the company’s wood processing plant, which manufactures the stocks, following closely behind.

1995. GAMO USA CORPORATION is born. After various attempts to distribute Gamo products in the United States, and knowing of the positive acceptance in Europe, Gamo decides to acquire a North American distributorship and create a new Gamo company.

2007. The private equity group MCH invested in Industrias El Gamo in order to consolidate the brand leadership and also to boost its expansion plans.

2013. MCH Private Equity sold Gamo Outdoor, S.L. to Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherill & Co, a New York-based private equity firm.

Today, Gamo is the largest manufacturer of pellets in the world and the largest manufacturer of airguns in Europe. Competing successfully worldwide, Gamo airguns can be found in more than fifty countries. Throughout its growth, Gamo airguns have undergone constant improvements, always.

There it is – the story of one of the major airgun producers in the world. Now – how about looking at our sample gun in some detail?

The Swarm Fusion 10x Gen 2

This gun – that model name is quite a mouthful to say – is the current iteration of Gamo’s mid-range/mid-price gas piston airgun line. They make guns that are both more, and lesser, expensive than this gun but I thought the middle-of-the-line gun would give us a good, basic idea of how the guns shoot. Before we get into the specs, let me say that this gun has an MSRP of $269.99. I have seen them as low as around $250, and also as high as $299.99 – that’s something, being able to sell a gun for more than its MSRP.


Caliber:.22 (.177 available)
Action:10x Quick Shot – 10-shot “magazine”; inert gas piston (IGP) power
Trigger:Two-stage independently-adjustable Custom Action Trigger (CAT)
Trigger Pull:Factory setting - 2lbs. 7.6 oz as measured
Stock:All-weather automotive-grade glass-filled nylon thumbhole stock with molded-in texturing
Velocity:975 f.p.s. claimed with PBA Platinum pellets. (My real-world experience was closer to 650 f.p.s.)
Rail:Recoil-reducing rail (RRR) - a stud on the scope mount fits into a corresponding hole on the rail to help mitigate backward-moving recoil forces on the scope
Safety:Manual, inside the trigger guard
Length:45.7 inches
Length of Pull:15 inches
Weight:5.78 pounds
Noise Dampening:Whisper Fusion built-in
Barrel:20.5 inch, fluted polymer jacketed rifled steel barrel
Recoil Pad:Shock Wave Absorber (SWA); reduces recoil up to 74%. (Yes, this gun does recoil...)
Sights:Metallic; built-in fiber optic hooded front and adjustable rear; 3x9x40 Gamo air rifle scope included
Warranty:5 years

Let’s look at the gun…

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 on rest
As large as a powder-burning rifle

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 trigger

Trigger (above) and adjustment screws (below). The safety lever is in front of the trigger.

trigger adjustment screws of the GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 mag on pellets
10-shot magazine sitting on Gamo Red Fire 15.5-grain pellets.

Loading the magazine is easy – it pops off the gun and then simply turn it to an open hole, drop a pellet in nose-down. Repeat 10 times. It is very handy, plus it displays the number of pellets remaining.

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 mag numbers rear sight

A couple of photos of the magazine and rear sight…

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 magazine rear sight
The magazine numbers count down as you use the pellets. Note the bright fiber optic rear sight piping.
GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 mag well
Here is the “magazine well”, or where the pellet-filled mag goes. It just snaps into place.
GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 rear sight magazine
A close-up of the metallic rear sight. Large adjustment wheels make sighting in easy. This is a nice sight.

Front sight…

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 front sight
The hood protects the metallic front sight, but is cut so that light can still reach it.
GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 comp
The “Whisper Fusion” compensator.

Even with this, the gun still peaked at around 100 decibels. But, it did quiet it enough (and the muzzle was far enough away) so I didn’t need hearing protection. Your experience may vary, of course.

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 cocking mechanism
The gun, broken for cocking.

It takes about 30 pounds of effort to cock the gun. The compensator at the muzzle makes for a good hand-hold, and keeps you from grabbing the front sight by mistake. Notice the “10” at the magazine – this shows how the magazine is positioned to feed a pellet into the chamber. Very ingenious. (The Gen 1 guns used a vertical magazine, which precluded the use of iron, open sights – it was a scope proposition only. Gen 2 guns fixed that problem by moving the magazine to the horizontal).

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 barrel warning
The usual “warning on the barrel.”

Some things never change. Actually, this isn’t so bad – it simply tells you to be careful that there isn’t a pellet already loaded before you try to fire a freshly-loaded one. There is the usual “read the owner’s manual before using this gun” text on the other side of the barrel. Lawyer-speak, but hopefully useful. That big hump on the left is the spring-loaded cover for the cocking mechanism.

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 muzzle
The business end.

And, finally…the box it came in. Some good reading here. Very entertaining and colorful!

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 box

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Shooting The Swarm Fusion

It was with great delight that I opened the gun’s box and noticed three 125-count round tins of Gamo Red Fire pellets. Never having owned a .22 caliber pellet gun before (and, being socially-distanced so I shouldn’t go to Walmart), I appreciated the fact that I could take the gun out of its box and just shoot it. No ammo to buy, no bullets to cast, no cases to reload…this air rifle thing is pretty cool! Load the 10-shot magazine and then pop it onto the gun. Break the barrel, close it. Aim – pull the trigger. That’s all there is to it. Being the curious shooter that I am (some would say anal but they no longer come to my home range), I was anxious to see what this gun could do.

Scope Woes

After mounting the scope, I proceeded to fire at some paper targets of my own design. The shots were not so much a group, but more resembled a pattern…all over the place. I repeated this over five or six magazines’ worth of shooting, with the same result. No matter how many clicks I moved the reticle up, it still shot low.

GAMO Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 scope and mount

I made sure that the rail was tight, and that the scope mount screws were all tightened down. (I did have to move the scope inside its rings in order to place the lens protector over the lens – it kept hitting that spring-loaded mechanism cover so I moved the scope back in its rings). I also made sure that the scope mount’s locking pin (a pin that sticks down from the mount) was mated to its corresponding hole in the rail – this is Gamo’s way of taking some of the recoil shock off the scope. They call it the RRR – Recoil-Reducing Rail. Ah, marketing… Air rifle scopes can really take a beating, so they engineered a stop-pin to take some of the strain off. This was all to no avail. So, in order to see what this gun could do I removed the scope and used the excellent metallic (open) sights. The fiber optic rods glowed just right for my aged eyeballs, and I shot this target…

target and red fire pellets

… at 25 or so yards. Near as I can tell, that’s an inch-and-three-eighths group, measured across the maximum distance of shots. I used Gamo’s Red Fire pellets, which averaged 15.5 grains on my digital scale. This group’s not bad for me – I was pleased. Note the polymer point on the pellet’s nose.

Here is the target I shot with Crosman Premier lead hollow-points (you read that right – there’s a dimple in the nose) pellet. These pellets weighed an average of 14.3 grains each, as stated on the container.

target and crosman pellets

This group measured an inch and one-eighth, and this was in a pretty windy back yard. The target was not still very often, so I just waited for the wind to die down and took another shot. The group could probably be under an inch in better conditions.

Neither of these pellets would bother a larger game animal or varmint much, but would be just the ticket for small game and similar-sized pests. The accuracy is there, and if you put the little lead pill in the right spot at a suitable range, you’ll be rewarded.

Here’s another target I shot as I was sighting in, just for fun…

target squirrel shot with Gamo rifle

Impressive Gun

In terms of actual shooting, I was impressed. This is an adult air rifle in all senses of the word. It is powerful enough to seriously injure a person on the receiving end, it takes some effort to cock it and it’s over 45 inches long – not exactly a kid’s gun. With the very nice open sights, I could see using this to take squirrels out of trees at close-to-moderate ranges. If I can get the scope figured out, that would add to the gun’s effective range. It handles well, it has a decent trigger, isn’t too loud and is accurate – what’s not to like? Plus, even at full list, it’s still under $300. That’s a deal! You need no other ancillary equipment with, or for, this gun – no charging equipment, in particular – so the money you save could go towards another scope or just lots of pellets. They also make what they call a Magnum version with a slightly-larger-capacity gas piston, but after perusing the specs, I’m not sure if it’s worth the higher cost versus what velocities you achieve. I think I’ll just keep this one – I like it.

In Conclusion

If you are looking for a way to continue your shooting experiences in this time of lockdowns but can’t for the following reasons: (1) you can’t get to your usual range; (2) your range has been closed; (3) the gun store’s range is off-limits or closed; (4) you can’t find ammo, or (5) your frustration level is through the roof…take a look at this air rifle. This is something that (in most places, not all) you can legally shoot in your back yard, garage or basement with the proper backstop because it is not a firearm. It’s not the same as cranking a few rounds out with your favorite ____ (fill in your favorite long gun or handgun model), but it’s fun. It’s accurate, and it does let you know that you’ve just pulled the trigger on something – it has a satisfying “crack” and if you shoot at a target stand with a stiff backing, you’ll hear it hit – and so might put that smile back on your face that’s been missing since we started this crazy dance. It will also dispatch pests with ease, up to and including marauding racoons or possums – just use the proper pellet. Take it from me….

Why not talk to a shooting buddy about him or her picking up one of these air rifles, coming to your house (or you to his) and having a little competition? That would be a safe, fun way to spend an afternoon or evening. Just remember to keep six feet apart. If you don’t want to venture out after buying your equipment, you and your buddy could create your own matches. These used to be called “postal” matches, because you would mail your target or results to another person for tabulation. I guess you could call them Facetime or Skype matches…

If Ralphie had available to him a rifle similar to the one that is leaning against the near wall as I type, he might not have stepped on his BB-dislodged glasses. Why? The pellet from this gun would most likely have just gone through that thin backstop and not ricocheted back, thereby knocking his glasses off. Black Bart and his gang would’ve definitely been in a heap o’ trouble!

Please leave a comment below if you have had experience with any of the current crop of adult air rifles. As always, find some time to get out and shoot (if you can!), and be safe. Thanks for reading this!

  1. Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist or a doomsday type but ANY survival tools should include an air rifle. The most plentiful food source besides dandelion’s and cattails is birds, rats and squirrels. Snakes too. Pellets and BBs are cheap and last forever. And, its cheap for just fun on targets.

    1. Marvin, not a bad idea. Your argument for its inclusion seems sound – I’ll bet many folks have a air rifle ready to grab if needed. Thanks for writing!

  2. I own 3 different air rifles in 3 different calibers. I have been shooting these for about 10 years now. I am not ayoung man (63 yrs.) but I enjoy shooting these rifles whenever I can. They keep me in practice when I can’t use my hunting rifles (as you stated when ammo is low or money is low. The pellets are quite inexpensive so I don’t have to worry about using them. My .25 caliber Hatsan is very good for rabbits and other small edibles. Pellet rifles also make a good bug out add-on for hunting small animals and not giving away your position with gunfire. All in all they are very fun to shoot and inexpensive.


    1. I have a hatsan 95 spring action .25 cal .purchased for small game although i have not used it bought it about 8 yrs ago for shtf senario.. also 64 yrs young.
      which is your prefered hunting type of pellet rifle. for small game. ?

      1. Bill, I honestly don’t do enough hunting to have a favorite but the two I mentioned above were accurate and decently fast. I do like the poly tip on the Gamo pellets – that may be for looks only but who knows? It might aid penetration. Thanks for writing!

    2. Gary, sounds like you have it figured out. You make some good points – glad you enjoy your air guns. Thanks for writing!

  3. Please, STAY AWAY from Gamo! They are total junk (or at least compared to what you could get for $260). You could get a Weihrauch HW50 S from Krale for that money and have a rifle that, though not having a ton of power, will last you four generations to come and be WAY more accurate than this Gamo. Yes, it doesn’t have a magazine, but a springer shouldn’t have a magazine.
    If you want to get a serious air rifle and have some multi-shot action, get a PCP. Not the springer, not the stupid over-advertised “gas piston”, not the multi-pump, but the PCP. Yes, hand pumps are needed especially if you’re a beginner, but you can pick one up for $33 on AliExpress (same thing as the Air Venturi GS7 and since most if not all hand pumps are Chinese the AliExpress hand pump is the way to go). They’ll be also pretty darn reliable if you use them properly. A great budget PCP is Nova Vista Liberty in .22 (for $300). Expect .7-8″ 5 shot groups at 50 yards consistently (with the right pellets, which usually are H&N Baracuda 5.53 head pellets). At 100 yards you’ll be able to pull off some amazing groups with that gun – some people even get sub MOA 5 and even 10 shot groups (given they turned the power up to 40 ftlbs)! Also, that gun is regulated so you’ll get about 70 consistent shots from a full 4,350psi tank.

    Air rifles are amazing – you can spend $100 on a Hatsan or $2,600 for a beautiful, amazingly accurate and reliable Daystate Red Wolf.
    Again, please, stay away from Gamo, Ruger, and Crossman. They are OK (other than Ruger – that stuff is junk) but not a representation of what a good air rifle can do.

    Just some information from an avid airgunner 😉

    1. AK, looks like you’ve had a lot of experience with air guns. I appreciate your viewpoint, and thank you for your comments. Thanks for writing!

  4. Air Guns /Air Rifles go back Centuries. Lewis an Clark carried 30 shot repeaters Air Rifles that could and did kill Deer sized game.

    There are numerous styles of pellets made these days far from the flat or pointed pellets of years ago.

    Over recent years, I have heard a good pellet rifle should have a MINIMUM of 1200 FPS to be effective as a small game hunting weapon or an addition to a survival collection of weapons. Some are Single Piston Stroke and can be difficult for some to cock.

    For those that have the $$$ there are large bore Air Rifles of different styles and prices readily available on the market. just do a search for them.

    I forget the manufacturer ATM, but I want to say it was Beeman made an air rifle that you could change calibers/barrels from .177 to .22 all in one box and the price was under $100.00 USD at the time.

    1. Yosemite, your points are well-taken. I’m not sure if 1200 fps is needed for all small game, but the faster, the better in most cases. And, I’d read about L&C’s adventures in Stephen Ambroses’ book “Undaunted Courage” – a great read. That airgun got a workout for sure. Lastly, that Beeman sounds really interesting. Thanks for writing!

    2. Just to help you onto the right path, the FPS should be always maintained under 1000 fps to avoid destabilization. A pellet weighing 21.14 grains going at 900 fps will be much more accurate and much more powerful than a 9 grain pellet going at 1200 fps. Again, for a real source of information, always go to the forums. Don’t trust YouTube or any of those “Airgun Maniac” blogs, their usually full of themselves and post sponsored junk just to get a few bucks. I could go on for ages talking about air rifles and pellets, but that would take me half a week to write. Good luck and I hope you all come to enjoy the addiction and teach yourself to love PCPs because there is no shooting activity more fun than shooting a good PCP at 60 dbs and getting 1/2″ groups at 50 yards!

      1. AK, that sounds great! I would love to be able to shoot MOA or better groups at 50 or 100 yards. You make sense about pellet weight…it’s pretty much the same in the firearms world to a certain extent where a heavier bullet stabilizes at ranges where a lighter one may not…notice I said “may not” – with guns, nothing’s carved in stone! Thanks for writing back.

  5. I picked up a .22 Cal Ruger Air Magnum for Christmas last year and boy has it been a blast to shoot! It’s a single-shot, gas piston operated rifle with around about 40 pounds of cocking pressure. It has plenty of power to take small game out past 100-200 yards easily if you’re comfortable shooting that far. It’s advertised velocities and ft./lbs. are on par with a .22LR with it being about 3/5 as loud as one so plinking in the suburbs might be loud but not too alarming. I’ve used this primarily as a pest control rifle to get rid of pesky squirrels and to plink around when there’s not much else to do. As far as taking squirrels, this thing is a beaut! I’ve had a consistent 3/4” grouping out to 25 yards with its fiber optic iron sights and have kept a 1/2” grouping out to 50 yards (the extent of my backyard) with a Vortex scope I had laying around.

    1. Parker, sounds like you have the accuracy aspect figured out! Those are amazing groups. What pellets do you use? Thanks for writing!

      1. I use Crosman Premier Hollow Points for practice/plinking and H&N Barracuda Green Lead-Free pellets for hunting. The accuracy of the Barracudas has been pretty nice and consistent, but would like to test further than 50 yards. The accuracy on the Crosmans can be hit or miss and open my groups up by a whole inch of I get some bad rounds, but it’s hard to beat getting 500 rounds for about $13!

        1. Parker, I’ve had good luck with the Crosmans and the Gamo Red Fires. If I had a PCP gun or another, more powerful one than I have now, I might experiment with many different types. For what I do, using the ones I’ve tried out works for me. But…a more powerful gun would beg the tryout of several different brands! Glad yours works for you. Thanks for writing!

  6. I have been going thru the net looking at the different air products-
    I was looking for some 12 ga and 45-70 ammo and saw the .22 on the shelf- 149.99 – it felt so weird just walking out of Walmart with it –
    After all the BS with a regular weapon-
    Cheap and available ammo so I hope it’s a fit for at home pinking-
    I live in town so I can’t shoot What I’m use to-

    1. Greg, sounds like you made a good choice. At least you can this one without having to go to a range. Let us know how it turns out- thanks for writing!

  7. I know this post is kinda old, but I had to chime in. i grew up in the 60s and 70s, and the gun I had was a benjamin 310 pumper. To this day I have not found a more accurate air gun. I love that you can vary power and the 310 shot hard enough in .177 to put down hundreds of birds, squirrels and even bigger game such as a skunk. But now I am older and cant pump the gun without it causing pain in my arthritic wrists. Co Co2 guns became very interesting and fun with no pumping. I have always challenged anyone with a break barrel gun to be as accurate as I can be with a gun that has no recoil like my true and trusted benji. Now, fast forward to last week, I accidently won an auction I didnt plan on winning and it was the Gammo fusion 10x gen 2 in .22 cal. I have to say, this gun has totally changed my mind about break barrel ags. This thing is powerful, accurate and I can get 10 shots off waaaayyyyy faster than my old pumper. I love the auto load option, and the scope, for what it is, is fine for my purposes of shooting cardboard targets in my back yard. Its not as quiet as some say, but I actually love to hear the report as I shoot it. Props to Gamo. This is an excelent air rifle. Now, this is keeping in mind that I am on a budget and I am sure that someday when prices come down, I will purchase a pcp ag. But for the budget oriented, I found this to be an awesome purchase at $125 from ebay. Have fun most of all and be careful. Thanks for all the info guys, most useful!

  8. Tim, glad we could help. I have a lifelong friend who has a very old Benjamin rifle that we would shoot when we were younger – it was a lot of fun. i agree – the Gamo guns are powerful and accurate. I can shoot a group, even with the fiber optic open sights, that you can cover with a quarter at 15 yards. I’m glad you discovered it – thanks for writing!

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