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Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal

Overview
Testers

Eric Brewer
Stephen Archer

Caliber

.22

Model Number

6110037154

Test Date

12 May 2017

Serial Numbers

04-1C-417375-17

Source of Supply

Supplied by Gamo USA

Condition

New

We Like

Flawless 10-shot pellet loading
Quiet
Great price!

We Don't Like

Poor accuracy
Barrel droop
Scope

HAM Rating
Value for Money
100%
Speed and Accuracy
40%
Trigger and Cocking Effort
70%
Comparison to Makers Claims
95%
Consistency
80%
Noise Level
80%
Sights
30%
Shootability
90%
Appearance and Finish
70%
Buying and Owning
90%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim is a ground-breaking airgun at an outstanding price. It's light, well-finished and practical.

The 10-shot magazine-fed loading system is unique and worked perfectly in HAM testing.

But accuracy is plinker-grade only - at least in the sample tested by HAM. It's OK for shooting soda cans at close range. But this level of accuracy is not suitable for humane hunting.

The bundled scope requires immediate replacement with something better. And the gun tested by HAM also suffered from barrel droop, making it necessary to shim the scope to hit the point of aim.

If the Gamo Swarm Maxxim just shot more accurately and was bundled with a better scope, it would earn an easy HAM Gold Award instead of the Bronze Award it actually receives.

Gamo is sooo close to this being a really great product...

70%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
Full Review

VALUE FOR MONEY

At a Street Price of $200, the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle is in a class of its own. It’s an affordable, multi-shot break barrel, gas ram, silenced air rifle. It looks good and is well-finished. It comes complete with a 3-9 x 40 scope and mount.

That’s a huge number of features for the price and the multi-shot capability is unique at the time of this test.

Based on these features – and that’s what most prospective buyers will do – the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle is obviously great value for money.

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal

HAM Test Rating70%
Value For MoneyThe only multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle.
Best ForPlinking.
Best Pellet TestedH&N Field Target Trophy Green
Street Price at Time of Test$200
Caliber Tested.22
RateAGun Score
An Enjoyable Challenge
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Multi-shot Air Rifle
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Gamo Swarm Maxxim IGT Air Rifle

SPEED AND ACCURACY

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle tested by HAM produced a maximum muzzle velocity of 980.45 FPS using H&N Field Target Trophy Green pellets. These also happened to be the most accurate pellets for this gun and produce the highest Muzzle Energy, so that’s a “win win win” combination!

The maximum muzzle velocity with lead pellets was obtained, of course, with light RWS Hobby pellets. 786.97 FPS was achieved with these 11.9 Grain pellets.

So, muzzle velocity was fine. However, accuracy was plinker-grade only and this was a disappointment.

There were signs of vertical stringing with four of the standard HAM test pellets – the Gamo Platinum PBA, RWS Hobby, Crosman Premier HP and JSB Jumbo Exact – as you can see from our test targets below.

PelletAverage Muzzle VelocityAverage Muzzle EnergyAccuracy
Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain960.59 FPS20.08 Ft/LbsPoor.
H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain980.45 FPS21.41 Ft/LbsGood. Best Tested.
RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain786.97 FPS16.37 Ft/LbsPoor.
Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain741.88 FPS17.48 Ft/LbsPoor.
JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain694.77 FPS15.38 Ft/LbsPoor.
H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain710.50 FPS16.44 Ft/LbsPoor.
H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain591.59 FPS16.41 Ft/LbsPoor.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
H&N Field Target Trophy Green, .22 Cal, 9.56 Grains, Domed, Lead Free, 200ct
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
H&N Field target Trophy Green, .22 Cal

TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT

The Custom Action Trigger of the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle is light, at an average of just under two and a half Pounds pull weight.

As always, HAM tests triggers “as they are”, without adjustment. And while the CAT was light and easy to use, with a clean brake, it felt more like a single stage trigger than a two stage mechanism. Gamo does provide clear instructions for how to adjust this trigger in the gun’s instruction manual, however.

Plastic trigger blades are not the favorite of the HAM team. However the one fitted to the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle doesn’t feel too bad. It looks OK, too. And at this price point, it’s clearly being too picky to ask for a metal trigger blade.

The manual safety is conveniently placed just ahead of the trigger. It’s easy to use and operates reliably. The safety is in the “safe” position in our photograph below.

A Detailed Look at the Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

HAM Tester Eric Brewer found the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle easy and smooth to cock. The tested gun had a cocking effort that measures 34 Lbs. This is very close to the company’s claim of 32 Lbs.

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

First, as always, muzzle velocity!

The manufacturer claims that the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle in .22 caliber will achieve 975 FPS when using Gamo PBA Platinum pellets. The gun tested by HAM achieved an average of 960.59 FPS with these pellets. It also achieved a higher muzzle velocity of 980.45 FPS using heavier H&N Field Target Trophy Green pellets. So it’s clear that the Swarm Maxxim shoots pretty-well exactly to the manufacturer’s muzzle velocity claims.

The other main claim is obviously for the 10-shot, magazine-fed loading capability. And yes, that performs perfectly.

Gamo USA’s website gives the trigger pull weight for the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle as 3 Lbs 2 Oz. The sample tested by HAM bettered that, with an average of 2 Lbs 7 Oz.

The same website also gives the cocking effort as 32 Lbs. This compares to the 34 Lbs recorded during HAM testing. That’s very close!

A Detailed Look at the Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

And the HAM Team applauds Gamo for making clear the capabilities of the “Whisper Maxxim” sound suppression system. Of course, no silencer known to man will silence a pellet that’s traveling faster than the speed of sound – about 1,100 FPS. Gamo draws attention to this in a clear manner as you can see from the photograph below.

However, you’ll need to look at the back of the packaging to see it…

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal

 

CONSISTENCY

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle tested by HAM gave very respectable Standard Deviation (the variation of FPS in a string of shots), with an average of 10.12 FPS across the standard HAM pellet test suite.

Trigger pull weight, too was very consistent. It varied by no more than 4 Oz from the average of 2 Lb 7 Oz recorded in HAM testing.

HAM Tester Eric Brewer noted that pellet loading was consistently good, too.

And accuracy of the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle tested by HAM was also pretty consistent. Unfortunately it was consistently poor 🙁

As with most spring/piston and gas ram air rifles, the Gamo Swarm Maxxim showed a strong tendency to deliver higher power levels with the lightest pellets. Muzzle Energy with alloy pellets was in the 20 – 21 Ft/Lbs range, compared to 15.5 to 17.5 Ft/Lbs for lead pellets.

 

NOISE LEVEL

The noise level of the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle tested by HAM was subjectively pretty low. It is not as quiet as HAM’s benchmark for quietness – the Benjamin Marauder – but it’s still backyard friendly with all types of pellets in .22 caliber.

It’s likely that the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle will be similarly quiet in .177 caliber with heavy lead pellets. However, expect it to be LOUD with .177 cal alloy pellets that shoot faster then the speed of sound (about 1,100 FPS) as described above.

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal

 

SIGHTS AND SCOPE

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle is supplied with a 3-9×40 scope bundled with the gun. There’s no iron sights as the multi-feed pellet loading mechanism uses the space normally used for a rear sight on breakbarrel air rifles.

There’s also a sturdy, one-piece scope mount that is provided with springs that automatically open the side rail for fitting. That’s a very useful feature. The scope mount also has a solid scope stop pin that locates in the corresponding hole in the RRR (Recoil Reducing Rail) on top of the compression tube. This system effectively resists the “scope creep” which can often plague powerful spring-piston and gas ram air rifles.

A Detailed Look at the Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

However there are some issues with the Gamo 3-9 x 40 scope supplied with the Swarm Maxxim.

Unfortunately, optical quality (sharpness and contrast) is poor. There’s no Adjustable Objective (AO) capability for the scope either. This means that it’s not possible to focus the scope under about 15 yards at the full, 9x, magnification. And the scope reticle is a plain, duplex, version. There’s no mil-dots and so it’s very difficult to correct for distance and wind changes simply by looking through the scope, as is so useful for any air rifle.

The location of the multi-feed mechanism also causes scope issues. With the bundled scope, the front of the scope is so close to the multi-feed mechanism (as you can see above) that it’s impossible to remove the protective lens cap unless the barrel is “broken”.

The multi-feed mechanism also restricts the positioning of the scope in its mount. It can’t be positioned any further forward than shown. This means that some shooters will not be able to obtain sufficient eye relief with the bundled scope to shoot the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle. And, indeed, this was the case for HAM Tester Eric Brewer.

In order to shoot the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle for HAM testing, Eric had to replace the bundled scope with another (giving AO, a mil dot reticle and improved eye relief). In doing this, he found that any scope longer than 12.5 Inches – the length of the bundled Gamo scope – will not fit the gun. This significantly limits the range of replacement scopes that will fit the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle.

So, Eric installed a short Leapers UTG 3-9 x 32 AO Bugbuster scope, which rectified all these issues.

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal

Eric also found that the test gun shot lower than the point of aim. To compensate for this, it was necessary to either shim the scope or use a specific mounting rail that is not parallel with the gun’s compression chamber – a “drooper mount”. So he mounted the Bugbuster using a Leapers UTG “drooper mount” which immediately resolved the problem. You can see the result in the photo above.

But note that this fix for the scope sighting issues costs $117. That’s $98 for the scope and rings, plus $19 for the drooper mount. That’s nearly 60% of the price of the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle itself!

 

SHOOTABILITY

Of course the highlight of the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle is the 10-shot magazine pellet loading capability. This works extremely well. There were no jams or mis-feeds at all during HAM testing.

A Detailed Look at the Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

The loaded magazine is simply pushed down into the well in the top of the multi-shot mechanism. It fits only one way round. Click it into place and the Swarm Maxxim is ready to cock and shoot.

A Detailed Look at the Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

Push down on the button at the rear of the magazine well and the magazine pops up for removal.

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim’s enclosed magazines are quite easy to load. As with many pellet magazines, there’s a short learning curve. In this case, it’s because the pellet holder needs to be kept turned against the spring tension of the mechanism.

Pellets are held in place by an O ring, so they don’t fall right through the magazine. However, the HAM testers did find that seating the pellets correctly into the magazine was made easier with the use of a suitable “pusher”, such as a toothpick. After a while, loading becomes intuitive…

A Detailed Look at the Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

The magazines also have a clear counter visible on tip that shows the number of pellets remaining in the magazine. This changes to an “exclamation” warning when the magazine is empty. However, if the gun has not been fired, there will still be a pellet in the barrel, so care is required.

Amazingly, the protruding multi-shot loading system does not seem to interfere noticeably with the sight picture through the scope. This is undoubtedly because it’s so close to the objective (front) lens of the scope that it’s extremely out of focus and so becomes invisible.

HAM Tester Eric Brewer commented in his testing notes that the light weight of the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle is comfortable to carry and that the soft butt pad was also pleasant to use. The weight with scope is just 6 Lbs 8 Oz.

 

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim conforms to the company’s standard, predominantly black, finish. Molding on both synthetic stock and barrel cover are crisp and well done. And while the seams are visible and “feelable” they don’t really look unsightly.

The few externally-visible metal parts carry a finish that’s satisfactory for an air rifle at this price point.

Overall appearance of the gun is sleek. At least it’s sleek except for the unavoidable bulge of the multi-shot mechanism…

A Detailed Look at the Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

The buttstock carries a green O ring marker. This is part of Gamo’s Proshot ID system and indicates that the company recommends the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle as a hunting air rifle. Gamo also color-coordinates pellet packaging to provide recommended combinations of pellet and gun most suitable to work well with each other. As HAM has commented previously, this is an innovative and potentially useful system for many “non-specialist” airgun owners.

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal

At the 2017 IWA Show in Germany, this gun was also shown with a wood stock. In the HAM Team’s opinion, this is even more attractive and it would be nice to see this option available in the US market – although it would undoubtedly be at a higher price.

 

BUYING AND OWNING

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim is readily available from many online sources and also from big box sporting goods stores. Gamo USA has outstanding distribution coverage and this means that you have many choices for where to buy their products.

Warranty coverage for the Gamo Swarm Maxxim air rifle is 3 years. The warranty is provided by Gamo USA. This is 3x better than the 12-month warranty period offered with many competing air rifles and by the majority of Gamo’s own other airguns!  Clearly the company is sending a reassuring signal to customers about the new multi-shot technology with this long warranty.

Additional magazines are also readily available at the attractive Street Price of $15. This is a smart move by Gamo, as everyone seems to shoot magazine-fed guns faster than single shot models. Having a supply of pre-loaded magazines makes it so easy to enjoy rapid-fire shooting!

The synthetic stock and barrel shrouding make this air rifle one that will accept use in rain and snow without the need for extensive cleaning afterwards.

There’s a comprehensive and well-illustrated instruction manual with sections in English, Spanish and French.

One disadvantage for the Gamo Swarm Maxxim – and indeed all Gamo air rifles – is that Gamo USA makes almost no spare parts available for their guns. This is a limitation for the capable, DIY-minded owner and compares to the wide availability of spare parts offered most notably by Crosman and, to a lesser extent, by Hatsan and Umarex. The 3-year warranty does mitigate that to some extent, however.

 

TEST TARGETS

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal Gamo Platinum Pellets

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal H&N FTT Green Pellets

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal RWS Hobby Pellets

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal Crosman Premier Pellets

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal JSB Exact Pellets

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal H&N FTT Pellets

Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal H&N Baracuda Pellets

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Gamo Swarm Maxxim Multi-shot Air Rifle
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Gamo Swarm Maxxim IGT Air Rifle

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.