Mark Camoccio tells us why this great pistol still deserves attention
Mark Cammoccio answers his own question: Why is the Gamo Compact still one of the most popular pistols around?
Last month, we took a look at the Gamo Compact, and began to appreciate why it remains such a firm favourite among pistol fans. It’s been around for a while, but its no-nonsense, single-stroke action is still immensely appealing
GET TO GRIPS
I have large hands, and the palm contours of the anatomical grip just feel right. That said, I had a few different shooters use this pistol on test, and it seemed to suit all who tried it. Smaller hands are catered for because the palm shelf that sits at the bottom of the grip is adjustable, using the large Allen bolt; slacken it off and slide the shelf up or down, and the hand is held nicely in position.
The beauty of the single-stroke action is that it makes this pistol totally selfcontained, and unlike a PCP, no bottle or pump is required. Instead, the action generates its own power. Here’s how: Press the button at the rear of the action which releases the top carriage. Now pull up the entire top section of the action, and pull it smoothly all the way up and forwards to the limit of its arc of travel. This outward motion sucks air into the cylinder, forward of the piston. Now chamber a pellet into the barrel, and push the top section smotthly back and down to close up the action. This reverse travel compresses the air, and the shot is ready.
Adjusting the rear sight to zero the Compact is easy, but does require a screwdriver. I quickly ditched the pellets provided because these proved to be incredibly tight, and inconsistently so. Elevation was easy, but the windage screw went in the opposite direction to usual, which was bizarre. My main gripe, though, concerns the sight picture because the foresight bead, being a little too wide, overly filled the rear notch in the aim, making it difficult to be ultraprecise. Irritating, but a quick dab of white correction fluid/ paint and a small centre mark soon had things remedied.
This small point aside, shooting the Compact is a pleasant experience. The match trigger blade can be rotated on its axis, although the pull weight is set by the factory. All works well, and the cocking effort overall is fair. Just carry out the compression stroke in one consistent, deliberate motion, and be careful not to catch the hand between the closing action.
Consistency was good, as you would expect from this recoilless power source, and so was accuracy, with sub half-inch over 10 yards rested, and 1.5inches shooting freestyle, twohanded.
VERDICT: STILL A WINNER AND A GREAT INTRODUCTION TO PISTOL COMPETITIONS.
Still a winner: the Gamo Compact I find this a stylish and purposeful pistol