Gamo Whisper Sting Kit - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Tim Finley takes the Gamo Whisper Sting Kit for a spin and discovers a top-value combo from one of the biggest names in airgun shooting
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - GAMO WHISPER STING KIT
A very modern break-barrel air rifle for under 160 quid, with a scope and mounts – it’s a real bargain!
IN DEPTH REVIEW - GAMO WHISPER STING KIT
Gamo never rest on their laurels. They always have new models coming out and I’ve waited a long time to get my hands on the Whisper Sting kit, but I’m glad I did. It’s a truly modern break-barrel rifle with plenty of features.
In some countries, the rifle is rated to pumping out pellets at over 1000 feet per second in .177 calibre, obviously not for the UK market where it’s down-rated to under 12 ft.lbs, which makes the cocking stroke very easy indeed. The rifle has an extremely modern look to it because the built-in moderator is not a parallel-sided tube, but a conical shape. The steel barrel liner sits in a tough synthetic covering and as you would expect, the stock is made of synthetic material also.
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On getting the gun out of the box … oh, but first I have to mention the box! Gamo has printed three targets on one side of it for the new owner to cut out and use. They also have a useful warning for those ‘really novice’ gun users. ‘CAUTION THE BOX WON’T STOP THE PELLET’ – in three languages!
When I took the Whisper Sting out of the box, I was struck by how light it was – it’s not a small rifle, but it only weighs 3kg. The weight saving from the shroud on the barrel helps massively, as does the hollow stock. Speaking of the stock, it’s ambidextrous with a raised cheek piece and grip panels, and very well designed with the grip panels, as you would hope, in just the right places. I do like the stock. If all Gamo stocks are up to this standard they really have their stock game dialled in.
OPEN SIGHTS …
The Whisper Sting comes with open sights, and that’s unusual when you have a moderator on a gun. Front and rear sights have fibre-optic elements; a green ‘U’ on the rear, and orange on the front. It shows as three dots to the shooter. The rear sight is not an add-on to the barrel, it’s part of the over-moulding on the steel barrel liner. The body of the rear sight itself is steel and the windage and elevation adjustment wheels have solid, clunky clicks to them. The front sight is protected by a cylindrical shield, but it does have an opening at the top to let light into the fibre rod. The open sights are top notch, but you can also fit the scope that you get with the kit.
… AND A SCOPE
Gamo give you a BSA EMD 3-9 x 40WR scope – Gamo and BSA are under the same ownership nowadays. The scope even has a mil-dot reticle. Well done, Gamo and BSA. Reticles with multiple aiming marks are what airgun shooters really need. The days of the 30/30 reticle are thankfully long gone. The bumph with the scope explains all about milliradian reticles, which is nice. However, the scope is a three to a maximum nine power scope, and the milliradian works best with a 10 mag’ scope. I measured one dot spacing on the scope to be 0.75 mil at 15 yards, on my mil-dot scope testing chart, and on 3x mag’ it was 2 mil. This is due to it being a second focal plane scope, so the reticle does not change in size as the magnification is changed. Different mag’ settings on the scope will have a different distance between the dots. It’s still a very useable scope.
The brass windage and adjustment turrets have positive clicks and are finger-friendly, to boot. I like also that Gamo give you scope mounts. One thing did puzzle me, though –the rear mount had a scope arrestor pin in the base of it, but the Whisper Sting has no hole in the top of the action for a stop pin, although it does have an arrestor plate fitted to the back of the 144mm long, 11mm standard scope rails machined into the top of the action’s steel cylinder. I mention it because this pin needs to be removed from the rear mount before you try to fit the scope to the gun.
HARD TO BEAT
The trigger has a manual safety catch right in front of the blade, easily flicked backward and forward with the trigger finger. Forward for ‘fire’, back toward the trigger blade for ‘safe’, and the action has an anti-bear trap device upon cocking the rifle. The cocking stroke is long and easy, and you find yourself gripping the base of the flared moderator. It’s a long swing, all the way out to 145 degrees.
Over the chronograph, I had new one on me – a string of three shots, 773, 772 and then 771 feet per second, nice! The open sights are superb, but a scope is where it’s at and as expected, with decent .177 pellets you get sub-20mm groups out at 30 yards. Overall, it’s a kit that’s hard to beat in terms of price and performance.
Country or origin: Spain
Distributor: BSA UK Ltd Tel: 0121 7728543
Type: Break-barrel rifle
Barrel length: 1 521mm
Overall length: 1155mm
Length of pull: 350mm
Sight Base: 508mm
Calibre: .177/22 (.177 tested)
Sights: Adjustable rear with fibre-optic elements on both (BSA scope with kit)
Trigger weight: 1.9kg
Price: £159 RRP (Including BSA EMD 3-9x40 scope)