Gamo CF-30 Under-lever Rifle
Pete Wadeson checks over the Gamo CF-30, a spring powered under-lever rifle that definitely deserves much more recognition …
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 testing. In fact, it also made me realise that with the glut of new Gamo air rifles available recently, I’ve forgotten established models that Gamo built their strong name on – especially their full power 12ft/lb legal limit stable. Like other more recent Gamo releases, the Gamo CF-30 obviously now benefits from the company’s higher levels of build quality.
The CF-30 now deserves much more recognition, and can be compared to some of the more in-vogue springers in its price bracket. Though certain other Gamo models have been discontinued, the CF-30 is still with us, which in itself must account for something - Gamo obviously have faith in this rifle. So without further ado, lets find out what has made this particular springer such a survivor.
My initial surprise (there’s that word) was just how good the quality and design of the beech wood sporter stock actually is. A quite rich brown stain is applied to the woodwork that brings out a very nicely configured grain pattern in the wood. Fine ‘press-cut’ chequering is applied generously at the slim necked pistol grip which gives way to a well formed medium height cheekpiece finished at the shoulder with a unique but familiar looking ventilated black rubber butt pad. It’s familiar as I immediately realised it was the 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 equally proved to be just as practical in use, with the slightly curved and ridged shape allowing a very comfortable and naturally shoulder fit.
The forend, though being 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 air rifle is nevertheless quite long at 43.5” in length. Straight out of the packaging you notice the now familiar ‘Tru-Glo’ open sights which make this a ‘ready to shoot’ rifle.
To cock the rifle you first have to disengage the under-lever by pulling back on a slide operated catch at its very front. The catch is ridged so it’s easy to grip and slides effortlessly back, bringing a spigot out from the retainer under the foresight assembly allowing you to draw the cocking lever back. The rifle cocks very smoothly and with surprisingly little effort. On closer inspection I discovered that this is due to the cleverly designed articulated linkage arm, and the almost barrel length under-lever travelling a long way back until it securely engages the trigger sears.
What at first appears to be a rotary breech lever is in fact a ridged pop-up breech pellet loader – very similar to the assembly used on Weihrauch’s HW57 rifle. On cocking the CF-30 this automatically ‘pops-up’ for you to directly load a pellet into the brass lined plastic pellet loader, then you need to manually push it back down to its original ‘flush’ position just to the rear of the rearsight unit. 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 blade - a familiar Gamo trigger layout. I mention this here because the ‘auto’ 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…
The ‘Tru-Glo’ open sights are as you’d expect of a Gamo – so no surprises here - except the front red fibre optic foresight is raised quite high from the barrel, but using the fully adjustable rearsight with green fibre optic enhanced ‘square’ shape notch, decent groups are easily achieved at sensible ranges. The rearsight unit is of a solid looking build with windage and elevation being adjusted by serrated edge finger adjustable thumbwheels.
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 (unscrewed) the strap so I could mount a BSA Essential 4 – 12 X 50AO scope far enough back for full and 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 trigger unit with a smaller in guard safety trigger blade positioned in front of the main blade. Both are manufactured from metal. If the manual 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 the safety blade back into the engaged position.
After zeroing, shooting the rifle was yet another surprise as 1” c-c 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 itself is a much more precise unit in operation.
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|
|Sights||Open sights included plus action grooved for scope mounting|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates