Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, February 06, 2006

Gamo Hunter 1250

by Tex Force

You want power in an air rifle? This one's got it all. The Gamo Hunter 1250 (third item down on the page) is the first spring-piston rifle to break 1,250 feet per second in .177 caliber. You may not actually want to shoot that fast, especially if you want to hit anything, but all that power means this rifle can handle the heavy pellets faster than other rifles shoot the light ones.

Hunters rejoice!
This Gamo really performs! Actual chronograph tests show that there is some deviation, rifle to rifle, but all the .177 1250s I've tested were well over 1,200 f.p.s.! That means you can accurately shoot heavyweight pellets, such as the Beeman Kodiak Match (bottom of the page) at speeds about 1,000 f.p.s., so they will have a flatter trajectory and require less range estimation over longer distances.

A BIG air rifle!
When I wrote about the RWS Diana 350 Magnum air rifle on January 2, I said it's a big gun. Well, this one is even bigger. It's 48.5" long and weighs 9 lbs., give or take for the density of the wood stock. Cocking effort is about 60 lbs., which is almost double that of the RWS Diana 350 Magnum (second gun down). This isn't a casual air rifle for plinking at tin cans. It's a serious hunting rifle that can humanely take game as large as woodchucks and raccoons, as long as the right pellets are used.

Which caliber - .177 or .22?
You probably know that any airgun is about 20 percent more powerful in .22 caliber than it is in .177. It's just the nature of the beast. Well, in a rifle with this kind of power potential, I sure would think twice about getting the .22. The velocity will still be high enough for those long-range flat shots, and you're going to have smashing power on target! The Beeman Kodiak Match pellet in .22 is a great choice, but don't overlook the Beeman Crow Magnum hollowpoint (third pellet down) and Gamo's Magnum pellet (second pellet down). Both are lighter than the Kodiak, which means higher velocity for those longer shots.

Should you scope it?
Although the 1250 comes with open sights, it's really meant to be scoped. In order to reach out to the long ranges this rifle is capable of, you need the extra precision of a good scope. It won't make the rifle any more accurate, but it will help you sight more accurately. I recommend a Tech Force 3-12x44mm scope (5th scope down), mounted in B-Square Air Match 1" rings (high) (4th item from the bottom). You need the high rings to accommodate the larger (44mm) objective lens, and you'll want that large objective for the extra light it passes. More light means longer hunting, which means more game harvested.

Do you REALLY NEED this airgun?
That's a question we all have to ask with each new purchase we make. You may be doing well right now with a Benjamin Sheridan 392 (third rifle down), so why would you spend the money for a new 1250 - even if it IS on sale? With almost twice the muzzle energy of your current rifle, the 1250 is lets you reach those squirrels that taunt you from 100 feet up in the trees! And, it's going to reach out and touch that tough old woodchuck you've been after for the last three years. He knows exactly how close you need to be with your current rifle, so imagine his surprise when you open up from 20 yards farther back! If your hunting experiences dictate a more powerful rifle, they don't come much better than this one!

Last, but not least, is Gamo's quality
Gamo has been steadily improving the quality of their spring-piston air rifles over the past decade. The 1250 Hunter is their flagship rifle, and they put everything they had into it to make an owner proud. Despite the smashing power, this rifle is not a bit harsh to shoot. Oh, it does recoil, but the spring buzzing you may have felt in other powerful springers is tamed by the Gamo powerplant, which gets smoother with every shot. The only fact you must consider is the cocking effort it requires. Hunters usually don't shoot that many shots per session, but know that this is not a gun you are going to just plink with. All that power comes at the price of some extra cocking effort. Still, if you want the absolute power champion in a springer, this is it!

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