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