Steve Prime looks at the G-1200, a Co2 plinker from Gamo

Steve Prime looks at a very un­usual Co2 plinker from Gamo

Air Gunner - - Contents -

It is funny how things evolve. Last month, I wrote about the Cros­man Air, which was an old favourite of a shoot­ing col­league of mine, Ken Glover. On the same evening that we did the photo shoot, he had a lit­tle sur­prise in store for me, a Gamo G-1200, Co2-pow­ered air ri­fle, with pump ac­tion in near per­fect con­di­tion. Ken loves his air ri­fles and is al­ways tin­ker­ing with them - bring­ing back to life some old relics that could eas­ily have found them­selves in a skip. He’s a great be­liever in fin­ish­ing them with a used look about them, rather than a show­piece, but he’d pur­chased the Gamo, in near im­mac­u­late con­di­tion. I say ‘near’ be­cause it was miss­ing its rear sight, and de­spite sev­eral phone calls to Gamo, he’d had no suc­cess in find­ing a gen­uine re­place­ment, but by chance, he laid his hands on an SMK rear sight that fit­ted per­fectly and bought the ri­fle back into full ser­vice. So that ex­plains that side of the story, be­fore you ea­gle-eyed en­thu­si­asts start writ­ing in with the now ob­vi­ous flaw to the pho­to­graphs.

All to­gether

When you are into air­gun­ning, you’re never alone; whether out hunt­ing solo where you are at peace with na­ture and the wilder­ness, or a club shooter among mates and col­leagues. Ev­ery time you pick up an air ri­fle or pis­tol an op­por­tu­nity will arise, and this was cer­tainly the case for the in­spi­ra­tion of this ar­ti­cle. As soon as I laid eyes on the Gamo, I loved its aes­thet­ics; the beech hard­wood stock and the over­all fin­ish was first class. Here stood a ri­fle 38.2 inches long,

“He’s a great be­liever in fin­ish­ing them with a used look about them, rather than a show­piece”

weigh­ing in at 6.4lbs and ca­pa­ble of up to 560 fps - this is not to be sneered at for a multi-shot Co2, and ‘multi-shot’ is the op­er­a­tive word, be­cause the mag’ will hold up to 12 .177 pel­lets. Ken reck­ons that to be safe and pre­vent a block­age, you should only load 10 pel­lets into the mag’ and I will have to take his word for it be­cause un­for­tu­nately, time did not al­low me to shoot it on that par­tic­u­lar evening.

For­eign sights

Hav­ing a closer look re­vealed an 11mm scope rail, front blade sight, with the SMK ad­justable rear sight of­fer­ing a vari­a­tion for height and windage. Gamo re­fer to the orig­i­nal rear sight as ‘a mi­cro­met­ric ad­justable type’ although whether or not this would make a huge dif­fer­ence is some­thing that will re­main a mys­tery to us with the ex­am­ple we have to hand.

The G-1200 is fit­ted with a man­ual safety, a sim­ple yet ef­fec­tive slide­type, found just be­hind the mag­a­zine hous­ing/ load­ing bay. To the front of the load­ing bay is the pump ac­tion op­er­ated sim­ply by a slid­ing ac­tion of not much more than a cou­ple of inches. Once pumped, a small, red square is ac­ti­vated and made vis­i­ble show­ing the shooter that the ri­fle is cocked and ready for ac­tion. Most pump ac­tions need large mus­cles and a vast amount of travel to put the ri­fle into fir­ing mode, but not in this case. The Gamo G-1200 is to­tally user­friendly and a plea­sure to cock - ideal for a ju­nior shooter.

The bar­rel is of steel con­struc­tion and ri­fled, as with all good-qual­ity air­guns of this mod­ern era. To gas the ri­fle, the 12-gramme cylin­der is placed into the cham­ber, nar­row end first, and pierced in the usual man­ner by hand-tight­en­ing the end screw cap, a method now com­mon with a ma­jor­ity of Co2 ri­fles and pis­tols.

Quick fire

In sev­eral re­views, au­thors have com­mented that this ri­fle is ideal for close-range ver­min con­trol, as well as for tar­get shoot­ing. ( I dis­agree. Ed.) Hav­ing cocked ( pumped) and shoul­dered it, I can see why be­cause it is well bal­anced and feels ex­tremely com­fort­able with the non-slip plas­tic butt plate lock­ing firmly into the shoul­der. A firm squeeze of the sin­gle-ac­tion trig­ger - which for the record has a pull of ap­prox­i­mately 3.3lbs - a short pump, and the next pel­let is in the breech ready to fire. All in all, it is a well-thought- out and ef­fec­tive mech­a­nism, one that you have to ad­mire, and makes the G-1200 a fun-packed pack­age with se­ri­ous at­ti­tude and sub­tle aes­thet­ics.

I have to take my hat off to the de­sign­ers and engi­neers at Gamo be­cause over the years they have hit the mark with some fab­u­lous air­guns; the Com­pact, PR45 sin­gle­stroke pneu­matic pis­tols, PT 25 and 85 Co2 multi-shot pis­tols, Cadet and Whis­per low-power ri­fles. I have been lucky to have owned, or at least shot, most of them in that list, and it leaves me with an ap­petite to try the PCP and full-power springers they have on of­fer. The con­clu­sion here is that there is al­ways some­thing around the cor­ner to keep an air­gun­ner’s in­ter­est alive.

“I have to take my hat off to the de­sign­ers and engi­neers at Gamo”

Above: Does it have the power and ac­cu­racy for pest con­trol?

Above: The red in­di­ca­tor shows the ri­fle is ready to fire

Above: This SMK rear sight makes a de­cent re­place­ment Above right: It’s not ev­ery­body’s cup of tea but I liked it a lot

Be­low: The mag­a­zine sys­tem is very un­usual

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