Recently I tested a target pistol from Atakarma, the Zoraki HP-01, the review is on AAR Onair YouTube Channel if you want to see it, now I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I thought, maybe it was time to take a look at an alternative to it at its £270 U.K. price tag, so hence this weeks review, it’s another pump action pneumatic target focused pistol and this one is only £190 U.K.
Today it’s the turn of the Gamo Compact target focused air pistol. This one is a little cheaper than the last one but has it suffered because of the price difference, or is it a cheaper alternative to have a spot of target work? As always it’s the walk around first.
The spec...this is 32 cms or 12.5 inches long and weighs in at 880 grams or around 2 lbs. It is a mixture of materials with plastic metal and wood used in and around it. The grip initially looks like a single piece of ergonomic wood, but it is actually 3 pieces, two forming the right hand shaped grip and the third a palm rest as per typical target pistol style. This last piece is going to want some work doing on it most likely, because this is a pretty straight forward squared off uncomfortable slab of wood, and it would appear Gamo have left this up to the individual to shape to their individual needs and shape to fit comfortably. It would also appear to be somewhat adjustable up and down, but no tools were supplied in the basic, but certainly adequate hard case. The finish to the grip resembles an aireated pumice stone and sadly this too will require a little work to get that comfort level just right. At this point it would be worth noting that some people will take the approach what a load of work to be done, and others would love the care and time they could spend on this to personalise it.
Limited time and the fact this isn’t mine forces me into the first category, but if it was mine, I would really enjoy the time making it fit me.
The trigger is a plastic item and has a small level of adjustment to it, but not the pull weight, which out of the box is set at 2.98 lbs which isn’t a bad weight at all, possibly a little heavy for some target shooters. It is two stage incidentally. On this compact model there is no safety, that is on the PR-45 version. Above this is where the metal part comes in, this is basically used as the strengthening for the pump to secure to. The top itself that carries the barrel is a substantial plastic. This top carries the sights, fixed post at the front and adjustable rear. Adjustable for windage and elevation. There is no rail system of any sort to fix any alternative sighting system. To pump this simply hold the top and depress the grey button to release the top and then open it all the way until it stops, drop your pellet into the barrel, then with fingers out of the way and with the flat of your hand, press the top all the way back home until it clicks back into place.
Now be aware this is now cocked and loaded with no safety, so be careful.
That is pretty much all there is to this .177 calibre pump action pistol, there isn’t a multi pump option, it’s a one action deal.
What about power levels then.
Out with the chrono and the 8.44 grain pellets, as a middle ground FPS tester. The claim on the box is “upto 400 fps’ but this is quite likely to be using the supplied and rather cute looking tin of 7.56 grain Gamo match pellets. It saw 362 fps which is 2.46 ft-lbs or 3.33 joules, more than enough for target work, which is what this is aimed at, but not vermin control, before anyone asks, well not in my opinion anyway. Just for the heck of it it tried it with the 7.56 grain Gamo’s and saw 333 fps which is only 1.86 ft/lbs or 2.52 joules, strange really, but it really didn’t like the supplied Gamo pellets.
Target time then, this being a target focused pistol it was back into the 10 m indoor range. Again, quite pleasing tight groups, but the grip really does need a little work to get it comfortable for me. And the trigger is somewhat heavier than the Zoraki, so in some cases a little unfair to shoot this straight after shooting the higher priced gun.
I started this review by mentioning the Zoraki up-01 pistol and started a comparison point. So I suppose it is only fitting to finish that off, here in the conclusion section.
This Gamo is £80 U.K. less expensive, to get to that price you have lost a safety, quite a lot of possible trigger adjustments, an instantly comfortable grip and gained a little wood working to be completed. You only have a single power level and no option for alternative sighting aides.
Now I would stress that neither are full out and out match grade target pistols, but nevertheless are capable of getting some very pleasing results.
There is a difference in finish to the two, with the Zoraki feeling better built and finished than the Gamo, even though the Gamo uses more metal than the Zoraki. I suppose as always it’s down to affordability, neither will disappoint and will give you a lot of enjoyment and practice on a cold winters day indoors or in a pandemic lockdown situation, and of course no co2 to buy from the shops that are probably not open at that point. Of course that may or may not happen again?
The Gamo is a capable piece of kit, but the Zoraki just has the edge to my liking, but is it an £80 edge, only you can decide that one.
Now the spanner in the works, I have in the past also tested the Weihrauch versions of pump pneumatic pistols too, the £255 HW45 which has been the yardstick for this type of pistol and of course the £150 HW40, which has in the past reviews proven itself to be quite a favourite and whilst we were shooting the Gamo we thought we would shoot the Weihrauch HW40 again to compare.
Again the grouping was nice and tight and the trigger quite a pleasure to use. I realise it isn’t quite the target focused item, but one to consider if your looking around. As always if you get chance try them both and choose for yourself.
Watch the full review here :