Gun test: Gamo GP-20 Combat
PUBLISHED: 14:13 17 January 2018
Tim Finley’s ready for some fast-fire fun – alongside an ideal plinker from Gamo
The GP-20 Combat is a BB-firing, CO2 pistol from that giant firm, Gamo. It has the look of a modern polymer firearm, but is aimed (sorry for the pun) at first-time CO2 plinkers. It uses a normal 12-gram CO2 bulb and fires steel BBs fed from a stack magazine, so it’s really as standard as it gets, and it’s a non blow-back action, so it’s getting shooters used to the world of CO2 guns.
The bulb, as with all CO2 pistols, is housed in the grip and there is no tell-tale piercing screw hanging down from the base of the grip because it’s cleverly concealed inside a cover. There are no arrows to tell you to slide back the grip, although a multi-lingual instruction booklet is supplied, which details the procedure of fitting a bulb and loading the magazine – with pictures. It states that you should keep the manual safety catch on ‘safe’ at all times, until you are actually ready to shoot – a good point – but one thing that they have omitted is eye protection. I never ever shoot a BB or even plink with pellets without eye protection and there is no mention of it in the instruction book. Please take note, Gamo.
When you slide back the grip, it reveals a slot on the left-hand side of the frame into which a bulb can be inserted, neck up toward the barrel. The screw at the bottom can then be tightened to pierce the bulb, and the plastic screw handle must be folded up to ensure that the grip cover can close fully. It’s a very simple system and works very well. The manually operated safety catch is on the right-hand side of the pistol frame, right above the trigger. Situated here, it is easily operated by the trigger finger, for a right-handed shooter. Push it forward for ‘safe’ and pull back for ‘fire’. A red panel appears at the front of the sliding catch when the pistol is ready to fire and a white panel appears at the back when it is safe.
The GP-20’s magazine is a stick system that fits in the same position as a real firearm and the magazine release is situated on the left-hand side of the grip, just at the base of the trigger housing. The teardrop shaped button just needs a slight press to unlatch the mag’, which then falls straight out of the bottom of the grip – very slick and very quick. One resleased the magazine can be charged with BBs; pull the spring-loaded plunger down past the recessed cup/slot, and load up. The technical specification states that 20 BBs can be loaded, but I found that I could fit in 21. Perhaps they suggest that you load only 20 to ensure that the magazine spring is not strained, so I’d stick with 20 in that case.
The BBs are held in the mag’ by a spring-loaded hook at the top of the magazine, and once full, it can be slid back into the pistol grip until it locks in place with a solid double click.
Over the chronograph, the pistol gave 400-410 feet per second, with 5.4 grain, steel copper-coated BBs, and that’s just under 2ft.lbs. I got 60-70 shots per CO2 bulb, and that’s about four magazines’ worth. In my six-yard loft range it was very accurate. My best five-shot group was just 15.2mm centre-to-centre.
The sights are very good. They are fitted with fibre-optic elements on the back, and there is a green U-shaped rod to give two dots on the rear sight – the front post has a bright white dot – and the sight base is 144mm long. To complement the fixed sights it has a 30mm-long Picatinny accessory rail in front of the trigger guard, just under the barrel. A Weaver-based laser or lamp can be attached if you desire.
There is a ribbed grip section on the front of the trigger guard to aid a two-handed grip and the pistol grip has a raised dot pattern on two sculptured levels. It has two raised humps on the front of the grip front to form finger grooves and there is also a recessed, oval-shaped section on each side as thumb rests for either right- or left-handed shooters.
The GP-20 is double-action; the pull of the trigger first operates the action to load a BB and then fires it. The weight of the trigger and its operation was very smooth and contributed to the pistol’s accuracy. The trigger blade itself has a very comfortable curve and is metal, not plastic, but it doesn’t feel too heavy and is very predictable to allow single well-aimed shots, as testified by the small groups.
BBs are not tack-driving bits of kit. Their real forte is my old favourite, ‘fast-fire fun’ and the GP-20 Combat has that in spades. You can rattle off 20 shots in less than four seconds - and that sort of fun can keep people like us smiling all day long!
Country of origin: Taiwan
Distributor: BSA UK Ltd / 0121 7728543
Model: GP-20 Combat
Type: CO2 pistol
Barrel length: 85mm
Calibre: .177 pellet
Sights: Fixed open notch and post
Sight base: 144mm
Trigger weight: 3.2kg
Overall length: 184mm
See more tests of the Gamo range...