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Gamo Whisper Air Rifle Test Review .177 Cal.

Overview
Testers

Paul Manktelow

Caliber

.177

Model Number

Whisper W/39x40WR

Test Date

July 8, 2014

Serial Numbers

04-1C-292982-11

Source of Supply

Purchased anonymously at retail.

Condition

Mechanically as new. Stock has been camo dipped.

We Like

Manual safety.
Easy cocking.
Light weight.

We Don't Like

Completely unsuitable scope.
Cocking shoe grates on spring.
Plastic overmolding on barrel.

HAM Rating
Value for Money
70%
Speed and Accuracy
90%
Trigger and Cocking Effort
80%
Comparison to Makers Claims
40%
Consistency
80%
Noise Level
70%
Sights
30%
Shootability
80%
Appearance and Finish
70%
Buying and Owning
40%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

The Gamo Whisper air rifle is a long-running model that has spawned a huge range of derivatives. As such, it's an extremely successful airgun.

Sure, the Whisper often sells as a result of Gamo's relentless and successful marketing. (People always find it easier to buy products they've heard of). But HAM's test gun shot very accurately with a wide range of pellets. It produced those all important muzzle velocities that were within a whisper (groan!) of Gamo's claims and it's light and easy to point.

Just remember that the Whisper's RateAGun score is a high 9.2. That means that experience is required to shoot it well.

Also budget for a decent replacement scope that gives the gun a chance to demonstrate the accuracy of which it's capable. This would be an extra cost, but very beneficial, immediate upgrade to an otherwise capable air rifle.

69%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
SUMMARY
HAM Test Rating69%
Value For MoneyOK price but you'll need to throw away the bundled scope and buy another.
Best ForPlinking, hunting small critters
Best Pellet TestedJSB Exact
Street Price at Time of Test$150
Caliber Tested.177
RateAGun Score
Experience Required
BUY FROM AMAZON
Gamo Whisper air rifle
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
Gamo Whisper Air Rifle Combo

Gamo Whisper air rifle test review

VALUE FOR MONEY

The Gamo Whisper Air Rifle plays in an ultra-competitive sector of the airgun market, at a Street Price of around $150. There’s plenty of choice available in this price range, including many other models from Gamo itself.

For an “old fashioned”, spring/piston powerplant, with a scope that’s really best replaced and a level of sound reduction that seems only moderate, we feel that the $150 price is reasonable.

And it does shoot, as you’ll read next…

SPEED AND ACCURACY

The Gamo Whisper tested by HAM gave consistently excellent accuracy with all the pellets tested. It’s very pellet tolerant and this is a strong benefit for the practical airgunner.

Muzzle velocity is close to Gamo’s claims, with the maximum of over 1150 fps coming from the lightest weight alloy (PBA) Gamo Raptor Platinum pellets.

Muzzle energy was quite consistent in the 13.4 ft/lb to 15.4 ft/lb range, although peak hitting power is seen to be developed with pellets in the 6 to 7 Grain range – that’s heavy alloy and very light lead pellet weights.

PelletAverage Muzzle VelocityAverage Muzzle EnergyAccuracy
Gamo Raptor Platinum 4.7 Grain1157.80 FPS13.98 Ft/LbsGood.
H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain1115.02 FPS15.34 Ft/LbsGood.
RWS Hobby 7.0 Grain971.59 FPS15.38 Ft/LbsOK.
Crosman Premier HP 7.9 Grain900.42 FPS12.32 Ft/LbsGood.
JSB Exact Diabalo 8.44 Grain862.94 FPS13.95 Ft/LbsBest tested.
H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain876.54 FPS14.73 Ft/LbsGood.
H&N Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain752.95 FPS13.40 Ft/LbsGood.
BUY FROM AMAZON
JSB Diabolo EXACT .177 Caliber Air Gun Pellets
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
JSB Match Diablo Exact pellets, .177 caliber

TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT

HAM tester Paul Manktelow found that cocking the Gamo Whisper was quite easy. It tested at a cocking effort of 42 Lbs. But he didn’t like the noise it made as the cocking shoe grated over the spring.

Paul also felt that the trigger was “not bad at all”, in spite of the average pull weight of 5 lb 2 oz and the variation in pull weight of 15 oz – around 20% – between the lowest and highest trigger pull weights recorded on test. As you’ll see from the test targets, the trigger certainly did not impact his ability to produce excellent groups with this air rifle!

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

Gamo is very upfront with its marketing claims for the Whisper. In fact the muzzle velocity claims are actually screen printed onto the compression tube of the gun itself, so it’s difficult to escape them.

Gamo claims a maximum muzzle velocity of 1200 fps for the Whisper with PBA (alloy) pellets. The HAM test showed a maximum average muzzle velocity of 1157 fps with Gamo Raptor Platinum PBA pellets. That’s just 4% less than the manufacture’s claim.

The maximum claimed muzzle velocity for lead pellets is 1000 fps. RWS Hobby pellets – the lightest lead pellets – gave an average muzzle velocity of 971 fps. That’s only 3% below the claim.

Gamo claims 30 lbs for the cocking effort. The sample tested by HAM felt quite easy to cock, but the measured cocking effort was about 40% above the claim at 42 lbs.

Gamo’s marketing around this gun’s noise level as “The Quiet Gun” and it’s name “Whisper” would lead us to expect that it’s very quiet. Marketing material included with the gun claims that “Gamo’s Hi-Tech Integrated Noise Dampener Reduces Sound up to 52%”. This may be so, but compared to what? That information is not given.

Gamo Whisper air rifle test review

Subjectively, the HAM testers did not find this to be particularly quiet in comparison to other spring/piston air rifles of similar power.

CONSISTENCY

Standard Deviation – the amount of shot-to-shot variability in muzzle velocity was well controlled on the Gamo Whisper air rifle tested by HAM. With most pellets, Standard Deviation was below 7.5 fps  – and as low as 3 fps with JSB Exact pellets. This is creditable performance for any spring/piston air rifle. The only outlier in muzzle velocity consistency was the Gamo Raptor Platinum pellets, where the Standard Deviation exceeded 37 fps.

Trigger pull weight varied by around 20% between shots – as described above. This difference of 15 oz between maximum and minimum trigger pull weights is not a great result but, again, Paul shot excellent groups in spite of this.

NOISE LEVEL

HAM’s subjective assessment of the noise level for the Gamo Whisper air rifle is “average”. It’s not clear to us that the integrated silencer tames the muzzle report very much. And there’s no doubt that PBA pellets traveling at over 1100 fps have the potential to produce a sonic boom that will make this air rifle VERY loud – almost to .22 LR firearms level – in spite of the silencer. This would be the case with any other air rifle also, of course.

Spring twang is not too pronounced for the shooter, particularly considering the synthetic stock.

SIGHTS

The Gamo Whisper air rifle is fitted with fiber optic “iron” sights with the rear sight being click adjustable for windage and elevation. No problem here.

But the 3-9×40 scope bundled with the Whisper is completely unsuitable for use with an air rifle. HAM’s advice is that you don’t even bother to mount it but just buy another, better scope at the same time. Of course this increases the cost…

The bundled scope is not equipped with AO (Adjustable Objective) focusing and image quality is subjectively very poor at ranges under about 50 yards: ranges at which any air rifle will normally be shot.

Added to this, the scope has a simple duplex reticle. There’s no mil-dot reticle as is practically mandatory for successful scope use at varying ranges with an air rifle.

The scope is supplied carefully installed in its mount, ready for mounting by the owner. But incredibly the scope stop screw – which is absolutely essential to prevent the scope being shaken out of position during shooting – is not configured in the correct “out” position and thus will not engage the scope rail stop. Nor is the scope stop and its purpose even mentioned in the scope’s instructions.

And then the scope instructions tell the new owner to sight-in the scope at no less than 100 yards – without providing any coherent instructions about how this should be done.

In HAM’s opinion, the scope and mounting instructions are completely unsuitable, particularly for a newcomer to airgun shooting.

Paul shot the HAM test targets with another, better, scope to achieve the accuracy that the Whisper can deliver.

SHOOTABILITY

The Gamo Whisper’s shootability benefits from the light weight of both gun and bundled scope. It points easily and has a convenient manual safety that’s located conveniently within the trigger guard, just ahead of the trigger blade.

But, like almost all high power (1000 fps and above) spring/piston air rifles – and gas ram guns for that matter too – the Whisper requires skill and experience from the shooter for accurate shooting. Use of the loose “Artilley Hold” is mandatory and a tight grasp on the gun will destroy the accuracy of which it is capable. Like most manufacturers, Gamo does not explain this in the instructions that accompany the Whisper.

This need for experience to achieve the best from the Whisper is reflected in its high RateAGun scope of 9.2

RateAGun score 9.2 experience required

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

Appearance is OK. Blueing of metal parts on the Whisper is adequate, but not deep or rich looking. Metal finish is good, however, as is that of the plastic parts that cover most of the gun, including the stock and the plastic overmolded barrel.

BUYING AND OWNING

The Whisper falls short in this section of this HAM test report.

As described above, the scope instructions are very poor.

The 12 month warranty is average for an air rifle but Gamo is one of those (fortunately few) companies that requires the user not only to pay for shipping back to Gamo for any warranty repair work, but also requires a prepayment of $10.00 as part payment for the return of the gun after warranty repairs. And repair time is quoted as 6 weeks.

Spare parts for Gamo air rifles are not generally available from Gamo, except as part of a repair undertaken by the company. This being in strong contrast to the approach taken by Crosman and Umarex – for example – which make spares for many models readily available.

Liability issues are probably behind Gamo’s approach to the non-provision of spare parts, but this does not help the knowledgeable owner who aims to keep his (or her) gun in use over many years.

Of course, if the gun works well and no warranty claims or spare parts are required, this may not matter to the purchaser!

TEST TARGETS

Gamo Whisper air rifle test target Gamo Platinum PBA pellets

Gamo Whisper air rifle test target H&N Field Target Trophy Green alloy pellets

Gamo Whisper air rifle test target RWS Hobby pellets

Gamo Whisper air rifle test target Crosman Premier Hollow Point pellets

Gamo Whisper air rifle test target JSB Exact Diablo pellets

Gamo Whisper air rifle test target H&N Field Target Trophy pellets

Gamo Whisper air rifle test target H&N Baracuda Match pellets

BUY FROM AMAZON
Gamo Whisper air rifle
BUY FROM PYRAMYD
Gamo Whisper Air Rifle Combo

This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.