Pete Wadeson tests the Gamo Whisper one of their latest springers and a model that certainly lives up to its name...
When it comes to launching new air rifles it does seem that Gamo has an unlimited supply, and increasingly these models have been radical in both looks and design. This latest creation I have my hands on is certainly one of the most original and left of field in both cosmetics and how the looks actually transfer into performance.
The name’s a bit of a give away as to what is the major feature and it can clearly be seen dominating the front end. Yes, that’s not just a ‘pretend’ modern hi-tech looking muzzle compensator but a true silencer that comes with an actual percentage reduction rating against the muzzle report of an un-silenced model. All will be explained later, but first check the radical looks of this lightweight sporter.
Reducing weight on any wood stocked rifle is down to profiling, and though synthetic materials are often lighter than timber; you still have to remove something. This is easily done at the moulding stage and what comes out is striking in looks yet has lost none of its inherent strength.
Essentially the butt layout is a thumbhole, with a big open section in the middle split by a support pillar. Everything outwardly is ‘angular’ except the rounded top of the ambidextrous, triangular cheek piece and the thick rubber butt pad. The look is unashamedly modern, practical and in a quirky way even stylish. The forend tapers forward at an angle to finish with a rounded off tip. Even the integral trigger guard is angular, in keeping with the overall look. This design translates into the Whisper being the best handling synthetic-stocked air rifle Gamo have ever produced. Weighing 6.6lbs (un-scoped) and pushing the tape to 45.75” the Whisper isn’t in the slightest unwieldy and handles superbly even with a relatively large scope on board.
Form meets function
There’s more ‘style’ by way of a fluted/shrouded barrel that disappears into that even more striking silencer. Gamo have sensibly seen fit to retain open sights and a set of their usual fibre optic ‘Tru-Glo’ variety are seen with a red blade up front and a fully adjustable U-notch at the rear flanked by two green rods. I couldn’t resist using these, so straight from the box I experienced the easiest and smoothest cocking stroke I’ve found on a Gamo springer.
Though the detente is solid and secure it broke easily, and drawing the 19” barrel back to cock I realised the silencer acts as a natural aid. The effort required wasn’t strenuous but it was comfortable to hold while operating the action, which is equally smooth during the firing cycle. I can only surmise Gamo have fitted a longer spring than usual, rather than a small overly strong unit, which is often why (in conjunction with a short barrel) more effort can be required to cock a full power action of this nature. There were no such problems here, and within 10-minutes I was producing ragged ½” hole groups out to 15-yds using the open sights. Due to the precise trigger release and the lack of any real recoil, the Whisper was effortless to shoot. I was now chomping at the bit to scope up and realise its full potential.
Setting up a BSA 4 – 12 X 50AO Essencial on the lengthy dovetails (which include a removable recoil strap at the rear) I zeroed for 25 yds and was making ragged ½” holes again with quality ammo even at this range in the .22 calibre. This was proving very impressive as now I really was beginning to appreciate the rifle’s balance and handling characteristics - and the efficiency of that can.
Recently Gamo have paid more attention to sound moderation for hunting rifles and none more so than on the unit fitted to the Whisper – even the name has you thinking the rifle’s going to be quiet. This moderator is a chunky tapered unit and uses what they term as ND52 technology, as they claim this is their Hi Tech Integrated ‘Noise Dampener Reduces Sound up to 52%’. This is some claim but shooting this alongside an un-silenced break barrel I had to concede - if my ears are any judge - that the difference between the two did seem to be almost halved. Most shooters will realise that’s very quiet.
The trigger layout uses the familiar Gamo manual safety lever set in front of the main blade of the 2-stage adjustable unit. Even this seemed better than on previous models but then again it could be due to the styling of the pistol grip.
I’m going to stick my neck out here and say I feel the Gamo Whisper is the most radical yet best synthetic stocked springer they have ever produced. It can stand alongside any other comparably priced springer in terms of balance, handling and accuracy - and as for muzzle report… the name says it all.
If you want quiet this is it
Radical yet practical stock
Best Gamo springer yet
|Action||Spring & Piston|
|Calibre||.22 on test .177 available|
|Stock||Black synthetic semi profile|
|Grooved for scope mounting||Y
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