Gamo Shadow RSV
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
Another month and it seems I’m looking at yet another all-black, synthetic-stocked sporter from a Spanish gun manufacturer. Then again when it’s one of the new breed of full power rifles from Gamo I quite look forward to it, as they’ve certainly got their act together and are now on top of the game when it comes to this type of design.
There’s quite a few all-black, synthetic-stocked springers on the market (mostly from the two big Spanish gun manufacturers). All appear to share a commonality in build that includes fibre optic (high visibility) open sights and a power level just shy of the 12ft/lb legal limit. But straight from the off it’s plain to see that Gamo have got even more serious with their RSV, as they’ve ditched the open sights, replaced them with a low spec’ 4 X 32 fixed magnification scope and added a silencer into the mix. But first off, let’s take a look at the stock.
The stock design features a pronounced, ambidextrous cheek piece layout that can’t be called either low or medium. It’s been cleverly designed to angle slightly down from the back of the air cylinder to give a surprisingly good head position for this scope-only rifle. The company name is integrated into the moulding towards the bottom rear of the cheek piece - a testament to the fact that they are proud of the rifles that bear their name, and so they should be.
The ventilated black rubber but pad is a nice touch, and in practical use it sits neatly and naturally in your shoulder. The pistol grip is slim at the neck and drops relatively sharply. The rest of the stock is slim with the forend being quite compact. The inherent feel of the stock material that incorporates generous amounts of stippling on the pistol grip and along the forend is one of stability and practicality. All thse features combining to offer a decent and assured shooting position. Balance is spot on and it feels more compact than its overall length of 45.75” including silencer would have you believe.
Hardly two years ago, if you cocked a full power Gamo you would get that familiar graunch of a rifle struggling with a beefy mainspring and groaning back at you in anger. This isn’t the case with the RSV, as unlatching the barrel gives way to a very smooth cocking stroke -though it doesn’t come as a surprise due to my experiences with other new full power guns from this stable.
The silencer acts as a handy cocking aid on the 15” barrel, but is barely needed as the only surprise I got while doing the job was the lack of effort required and of course, the smoothness of the stroke itself. The silencer slides onto the muzzle and is held by a single, Allen-headed grub screw. Not only this, but the manufacturers have built the piston lever in a design that uses an articulated arm, meaning that even less effort is needed to cock the rifle but it does come back at quite an angle to lock up solid for direct pellet loading.
On inspection of the breech, it’s also obvious a lot of the mechanism has been ‘beefed’ up here, with a large solid steel wedge shape détente lock rather than a sprung ball catch. On swinging the barrel shut it ‘locks down’ tighter than a hot day in San Quentin –this is a very sure and solid rifle. It’s good to see lengthy, deep-cut dovetailing on top of the compression cylinder and a removable scope mount arrestor strap. These useful features are sadly often lacking on certain rifles of this ilk, not that this will be needed as report is very low and recoil equally so, but what of accuracy?
When you’ve scoped up, cocked and loaded you can if you wish use the manual safety, which like many other Gamo rifles is a small lever set in front of the main trigger blade within the guard. Here again I was impressed, as the 2-stage adjustable mechanism has certainly been upgraded and now these units let off cleanly and crisply. I was soon achieving good downrange groupings of ¾” at a set zero of 25-yds. I knew that it was capable of kill-zone groups out to 30 and after practice 35-yds. This is definitely the type of rifle you’d keep for your work around the farmyard; knocking the occasional feral or collared dove from perches in the farm buildings.
I scrutinised the build possibly more than on Gamo’s of old, and have come to appreciate everything they’re doing at the moment – this gun has a look of rugged reliability. Stock screws are neatly recessed and solid, while even the finish on the metalwork has taken a step forward.
If Gamo carry on producing rifles of the quality of the RSV then other manufacturers should take note, as the company have left behind those cheap and cheerful early models and moved into the ‘adult’ arena to challenge the big boys. Quite frankly the Gamo RSV has impressed me more than most synthetic-stocked, break-barrel springers have in some time, and if they carry on, then every hunter looking for a knockabout rifle for general airgun hunting would be well advised to check out this model. It’s accurate, has a smooth firing cycle, great stock design, surprisingly good trigger unit and looks like it’d withstand a bomb blast.