Pete Wadeson checks out the spring-powered, under-lever Gamo CF-30 rifle
Surprise is going to be a word you see more than a few times in this gun test, as that’s what the Gamo CF-30 has managed to do in virtually every department during my time with it. In fact, it also made me realise that with the glut of new Gamos I’ve tested recently, I’ve forgotten that this company built their strong name on their full power, 12ft/lb legal limit models. Like other more recent releases, the CF-30 has obviously now benefited from a higher level of build quality.
Although certain Gamo models have been discontinued, the CF-30 is still with us, which in itself must account for something – the company obviously have faith in the rifle. So without further ado, let’s find out what has made this particular springer such a survivor.
My initial surprise was the quality and design of the beech sporter stock. A rich brown stain is applied to the woodwork that brings out the grain nicely. Fine ‘press-cut’ chequering is applied generously at the slim necked pistol grip which gives way to a well formed, medium height cheek piece finished at the shoulder with a familiar looking ventilated black rubber butt pad. I say that as I immediately realised it was the very same as fitted to the Gamo RSV.
This ventilated black rubber butt pad is a stylish touch on the CF-30 as it is on its break-barrel stable mate and proved to be just as practical in use, with the slightly curved and ridged shape allowing a comfortable and naturally fit in the shoulder.
The forend, though plain, is quite deep with a rounded underside and due to its sensible proportions in relation to the forward metalwork makes the CF-30 a very nice rifle to handle and hold. Weighing just 6.4lb un-scoped, this lightweight is nevertheless quite long at 43.5”. Straight out of the packaging you notice the ‘Tru-Glo’ open sights which make this a ‘ready to shoot’ rifle.
Pull back then down
I was always under the misconception that the CF-30 used a ball catch to retain the under-lever, but it doesn’t. Instead, to disengage the lever, you pull back on a slide operated catch at the front to disengage the lock and draw it down. The cocking action is smooth and doesn’t require a lot of effort either. Closer inspection shows an articulated linkage arm that gives this easy mechanical advantage to the stroke.
What at first appears to be a rotary breech lever is in fact a ‘pop-up’, breech pellet loader – very similar to the assembly used on the HW57 rifle. On cocking the CF-30 this ‘pop-up’ automatically opens for loading, once filled push it down by hand so it realigns with the barrel. On returning the under-lever the rifle is now cocked and loaded, so I’d advise you to use the manual safety blade set forward of the main trigger, which is a familiar Gamo design feature.
I mention this here because the pellet loader can be pressed down with the rifle cocked and in the closed position. In other words you can cock the rifle, return the lever, load the pellet loader and leave it in the ‘up’ position. Don’t be tempted to do this - in effect using this as a ‘secondary or primary safety’ - as you’ll end up dry firing the rifle on more occasions than you might imagine…
Red and green
The ‘Tru-Glo’ open sights are as you’d expect of a Gamo – so no surprises here - except the red, front unit is quite high off the barrel. The rear is fully adjustable with a square U-notch and green dots either side to enhance acquisition and line up. I have always found this system allows some decent groups to be achieved at sensible ranges using quality ammo.
Fitting a scope is made easy courtesy of ample dovetails along the top of the cylinder with a removable arrestor strap already fitted towards the rear. This is the ideal juncture to say I removed the strap so I could mount a BSA Essential 4 – 12 X 50AO far enough back for optimum eye relief without hindering pellet loading. Unless using scopes with overly long body tubes – which shouldn’t be what you would team this rifle up with - then I don’t see any cause for concern on pellet loading problems.
The trigger, as mentioned earlier, is the typical Gamo layout of a 2-stage adjustable unit with a smaller, in-guard safety trigger blade positioned in front of the main one. If the safety has already been pre-set, it can be pushed forward to disengage with the front of your trigger finger. Should the quarry disappear or you decide holding off taking the shot, then it’s a simple case of pulling it back into the engaged position.
After zeroing, shooting the rifle was yet another surprise as 1” groups were soon the norm with the best results seeming to be with Crosman Accupells, but as I mentioned earlier it isn’t overly pellet fussy. Though the rifle is a full power hunter it has a surprisingly low muzzle report, equally low recoil and the trigger is precise in operation.
I know I’ve said this before but the major Spanish gun manufacturers have upped the ante on the products they now offer. In these cash-conscious times these are the types of rifles that gunshops are saying people are buying. Without a doubt the Gamo CF-30 is a well-built, accurate and nice handling hunter that pound for pound can prove its worth in the field, just as it can when you open your wallet to purchase it.
|Type||Under-Lever, Spring & Piston Single-Shot|
|Calibre||.22 on test, .177 available|
|Grooved for scope mounting||Y|
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