Gun test: Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle

Mark Camoccio shooting the new Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle

Nicely shaped synthetics offer a comfortable grip - Credit: Archant

Mark Camoccio reviews the Gamo GX-40 PCP rifle; a stylish, ergonomic, and highly capable air rifle for less than £500!

Gamo, as most airgun enthusiasts will know, is a huge Spanish airgun manufacturer, widely known for its production of spring-powered models. Yet its eventual foray into the world of pre-charged pneumatics, back in 2014, saw the emergence of the Coyote, and this proved a resounding success from the off. 

As with many aspects of life, airgun manufacturers have to be seen to be producing new models periodically, and the evolution of Gamo’s PCP was all but inevitable. A synthetic option soon followed, but then the idea to offer an all-inclusive package deal hit the market, in the form of the Gamo Phox; and here we had a slimmed-down action, synthetic stock, shortened barrel and silencer, along with a Gamo branded scope, gun bag, and even a pump! A great deal for the money no doubt, but what if you only wanted the gun?

The Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle laid on grass

The GX40 is excellent value for money - Credit: Archant

So, we arrive at the GX40, which is pretty well the same gun from the Phox package, only with a longer barrel; and what a beauty it is too! I must admit, reviewing this rifle had me confused about the various specifications that Gamo offer with their pre-charged fare, so just to clarify, this is the score... 

As with the Phox, the GX40 comes with a shortened main cylinder when compared to the Coyote, by a few inches, which obviously affects overall shot count, but has the benefit of shaving weight. The barrel on the GX40 is full length, as opposed to the shortened Phox – 18 inches against 14inches – and otherwise, the action is identical. For that, read 10-shot BSA mag’, two-stage trigger, pressure gauge, thumb-hole synthetic stock, and safety catch.

The fact that BSA (UK distributors of Gamo) supplied this gun for test, fitted with a slim-line silencer intended for their Venari variant, only compounded my befuddlement. Normally, the GX40 comes fitted with the same neat-ported barrel finisher that comes with the Coyote, but I have to say that the slim-line silencer was the perfect add-on. I’ve become a huge fan of silencers over the years, and whilst I love the science behind air strippers, I run a competition rifle fully silenced, that is a match for anything. Gamo thread the muzzle here, so the choice of silencer is yours, courtesy of a standard half-inch UNF spec. 

Close up of the synthetic stock on the Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle

Stylish configuration is everywhere - Credit: Archant

Gamo GX-40 synthetic stock
Compound or synthetic stocks have become hugely popular, and the combination of total weather-proofing, and slick configuration, makes this ‘Tactical’ thumb-hole configuration a real charmer. It must also contribute to the lightweight handling, too, given the GX40 tips the scales at a mere 6.7lbs, sans silencer. Pick up and point, and this model simply feels spot-on.

Partly, the drop down, thinned out ambidextrous grip; partly the ultra prominent cheek, and partly that graceful, palm- friendly fore end, but the result is just magic. OK, granted, the cheek looks like it should move, but the static configuration is prominent enough for a satisfyingly supportive head position.

Close up of the colour-coded BSA mag on the Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle

Colour-coded BSA mag’s feature - Credit: Archant

BSA played a part in developing the GX-40
If other features look familiar, then that’s really no surprise as the worst kept secret in airgun circles is laid bare. Gamo’s cosy arrangement with BSA over the past few decades has proved fruitful in both directions, and Gamo don’t try and hide the fact, since advertising for the GX-40  boldly states ‘made in the UK’.

BSA’s knowledge gained over many years of PCP production was always going to play a big part in developing Gamo’s pre-charged models, and with the GX-40, that includes much of the action, and of course, BSA’s ‘cold-hammer forged’ barrel.

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BSA’s 10-shot magazine is utilised, too, which is colour coded for calibre. My test gun’s mag’ has a red centre for .22; .177 is blue. Filling the mag’ is done in the usual way, and whilst there is no magazine locking catch, the neat feature is that the magazine gets pulled into the action by a small magnet inside the housing. Charging the system to 232 bar is via an inserted probe, and the valve is accessed up front by pulling the plastic collar forward, just past the manometer.

Close up of the bolt handle on the Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle

A well-shaped bolt handle always helps - Credit: Archant

Field test of the Gamo GX-40
We’ve established that this is a handy little rifle, so how does it shoot? Well the bolt was a bit sticky when cycling through the mag’ with some pellets – pellet selection can be an issue with magazines – but once the favoured RWS Superfield were used, everything settled down. Gamo’s SAT – Smooth Action Trigger – feels good on this model, too, with a pleasingly wide blade and super-light first stage. Some creep was present on the second-stage release, but overall, an asset rather than a hindrance.

Admittedly, my test gun was in the more efficient .22 calibre, but I was still mightily impressed with 130 shots over the chronograph, all within a total spread of 25fps. Take another look at that cut-down cylinder, and those figures are quite outstanding, and with groups of sub-half-inch fairly easy to come by over my test 35 yards, shooting the GX-40 just proved to be a satisfying experience all round.

Close up of included SAT trigger on the Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle

Gamo's SAT trigger is included - Credit: Archant

So, what's the verdict?
Pointable, stylish, ergonomic, and highly capable, the GX40 is that most special of things – a ‘go-to airgun’ that you just want to pick up and enjoy. At any price, it’s a nice piece of design, but for the money here, it makes the ‘best buy’ category! 

Close up of manometer on the Gamo GX-40 PCP air rifle

A manometer is fitted, just in front of the inlet valve - Credit: Archant

Technical Specifications
Model: Gamo GX-40
Manufacturer: Gamo, (made in UK)
Type: Pre-charged pneumatic        
Calibre: .22 on test, .177 available
Weight: 6.7lbs without silencer
Length: 37.25”
Barrel: 18.5”
Stock: Ambidextrous synthetic tactical thumb-hole stock
Trigger: 2-stage adjustable
Power Source: Pump or diver’s bottle
Fill Pressure: 232 bar
Shot Count: .22 calibre on test 130 shots 
Velocity: With RWS Superfield pellets    
                    High    560fps    
                    Low    535fps
                    Ave     552fps
                    Spread    25fps                
Energy: 10.8 ft.lbs.
RRP: £379
Contact: BSA Guns