Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, March 13, 2006

Gamo's new Raptor hunting pellet!

by Tex Force

Gold-plated pellets! Do they shine as much in the field?

Advertising being what it is, it's surprising when a new product lives up to its claims, but the new Gamo Raptor pellet seems to do at least part of that! The claims are 25 percent higher velocity, increased energy with double the penetration on game animals and ballistic media, and match-grade accuracy. (As I write this, Compasseco doesn't have it in stock, yet. Read more about it through the link I provided above.)

What IS the Gamo Raptor?
For starters, it's a non-lead pellet. They are only available in .177 at present and they weigh only five grains, so whatever they are made of is lighter than lead. The Performance Ballistic Alloy, as Gamo calls it, is plated with 18-carat gold for barrel lubrication, and Gamo claims the new pellet has "match-grade" accuracy. They call the nose semi-pointed, but it looks more like a round-nose to me. It reminds me of the nose on a Beeman Kodiak pellet (bottom of the page). The Raptor is sold strictly for hunting. Gamo even warns not to use them with an airgun pellet trap, undoubtedly thinking of the ricochet problem.

New packaging
The Raptor comes 100 to a pack, in two 50-pellet clear plastic tubes. They will seem very pricey compared to lead pellets; but, if Gamo's claims hold up, they will be worth it. As hard as the alloy is, these pellets should not deform when carried afield.

Let's put them to the test!
What does 25 percent more velocity really mean? Well, Gamo published the following numbers to help you understand. They say pellet guns that get 650 f.p.s. right now will get about 813 with Raptors. Guns that get 1,000 f.p.s. should get 1,250 f.p.s. with Raptors. And Gamo's own Hunter 1250 (second rifle down on the page) gets 1,600 with Raptors! They had a segment on the American Hunter TV program that showed them going through the chronograph at 1,608. So, for that claim there's supporting evidence.

Actual velocity
I tested them in a Beeman P1 pistol (third pistol down on the page) and a TX200 rifle. The P1 gave an average of 565 f.p.s. with 7-grain RWS Hobby pellets (second item down on the page). With Raptors, the average jumped to 633 f.p.s., a gain of 68 f.p.s., which is an increase of almost 13 percent. Muzzle energy with Hobbys was 4.96 foot-pounds and with Raptors 4.45 foot-pounds, which is a loss instead of a gain. The TX 200 averaged 1018 f.p.s. with Hobbys and 1,205 f.p.s. with Gamo Raptors, for a difference of 188 f.p.s. That's an increase of more than 18.5 percent. Muzzle energy with Hobbys was 16.11 foot-pounds and with Raptors it was 16.13, which is almost no difference. They didn't quite make the full 25 percent velocity increase, but the increase they did achieve was still very impressive! Being much lighter, they actually lost muzzle energy or remained the same. And, yes, the Raptors did break the sound barrier in the TX, which is cool until your neighbors start coming out of the house to see what's going on.

Gamo says the pellets fly true at supersonic velocities. I shot them in a Gamo Shadow 1000 (third and fourth from the bottom of the page) at 30 yards. The Shadow likes Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets and delivered five-shot groups of a little less than 1" at that distance. With the Raptors, the groups were all between 2.5" and 3". Hardly "match-grade" accuracy! That's just one test with just one rifle, so I'm not ready to say they don't group - but in that gun, they sure didn't.

I read a report last year about shooting pellets into clear bars of soap for comparative penetration testing, so I tried it with the Raptor. The soap bar shows the results. The Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet penetrated the bar slightly deeper than the Gamo Raptor, when both were shot from a Beeman P1.

The Crosman Premier 7.9-grain on the left, Gamo Raptor on the right. This was shot from a Beeman P1 with the muzzle almost touching the soap bar.

So, what do I think?
The Raptor is a new type of pellet that significantly increases velocity in airguns. The claim for good accuracy needs more testing. To be accurate, I think the pellet will have to stay below 1,000 f.p.s. The claim for increased penetration appears to be not true - at least in a bar of soap. Nevertheless, the Gamo Raptor was made for hunting and that's where the most important test will come. Please comment if you have had some experience with this new pellet.


  • I can't remember where I read it, but I read something about gamo raptors changing the way gamo advertises their velocities; it looks like they did. The new Hunter Extreme on its way at 1600 fps. It looks like the 1250 with some cosmetic changes, unless gamo made some amazing advancements overnight, they are now testing with raptors. Not to long ago I contacted them to ask them what pellet the tested with, and the told me they use there own match pellets I wonder what they would say today. As for the Raptors I got some for my son even though is was told by a reliable source they were junk. The best I can say is they look cool. I also read one person said they are accurate enough to hit some thing that might be in the barrel, or some thing like that. Props to cfx guy.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:22 AM, March 26, 2006  

  • Supersonic speeds and light pellets make no sense. A loud "crack" each time one Raptor pellet is shot is undesireable in most cases and when subsonic speed is reached tumbling takes place and accuracy suffers. Ice Pick holes in animals seems inhumane; hardened pellets defeat expansion and hinder shock value. Please stay with Beeman Crow Magnum pellets for humane kills.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:58 PM, March 28, 2006  

  • Gamo Raptor pellets turned my Crosman 2100 into a great hunter. Since I started using these pellets, I have been able to get quick humane kills on squirrels at a distances not possible with other pellets. These are the other brands of pellets I have tried in my rifle Crosman Premier Hollow Points, Gamo Magnums , Daisy Points . Gamo Raptor pellets are also more accurate in my air rifle. They penetrate deeper and go through squirrel hide with ease. I have to give Thanks to Gamo for a great product. These pellets bust holes in my Beeman pellet trap 10 pumps 19 ft. I had a Benjamin 347 when I was a kid, these pellets turn my 2100 into my good old Benjamin.

    By Blogger ron, at 8:38 AM, April 05, 2006  

  • Ron,

    Thanks for your report. Are you getting decent accuracy from them?


    By Anonymous Tex Force, at 8:44 AM, April 05, 2006  

  • yes, they are just as accurate as the crosman premier hollow points. I don't use a scope,I prefer open sights.

    By Blogger ron, at 8:21 PM, April 05, 2006  

  • There's no great magic to making a faster pellet- just make it lighter. And that is bad news for spring air guns, which need a certain minimum pellet weight to (1) get maximum energy transfer and (2) keep the piston from slamming too hard against the front of the compression chamber. Using too light a pellet also shortens spring life drastically.

    Pneumatic shooters also know that very light pellets won't extract enough energy from the gun.

    A lot of novice airgun buyers are attracted to claims of high velocities, but it's downrange energy that you want in hunting. After all, I could easily make a plastic pellet thatr would come out of a muzzle at 2,000fps, but that would hit the ground in 10 feet.

    Hunters should choose a pellet that extracts the most energy and accuracy from their gun, and leave the very light pellets to the 15 meter target shooters and their 500fps guns.

    By Blogger michael edelman, at 11:05 AM, October 26, 2006  

  • To give justice to all of this would be to shoot the PBA Raptor pellets through a Gamo rifle and shoot regular pellets through the same and see what kind of penetration you are getting. To me, shooting these pellets out of another rifle would not be giving Gamo credit.

    I do, however, believe there might be some truth to how Gamo represents the PBA.
    I watched the Outdoors channel the other day and they were shooting wild hogs with PBA pellets using the GAMO Hunter Extreme. (between the eyes, of course)
    From anyone who has hog hunted knows that these animals are tough characters. I personally have shot hogs between the eyes at short distances with 22 shorts, long rifles, 22 magnums, 17 calibers, and 22 hornets and they ran off because the bullet would bounce from their slanted skulls.
    The hogs dropped in their tracks after the PBA pellet penetrated.
    I was somewhat impressed, but again this was a GAMO advertisement

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:55 AM, October 30, 2006  

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