Jamie Chan­dler falls in love with a multi-shot break-bar­rel from Spain

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Jamie goes from a mild dal­liance with a Gamo Maxim Elite at the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show, to full-blown com­mit­ment

Those of you with keen mem­o­ries and sharp eyes who read this glo­ri­ous tome reg­u­larly, may re­mem­ber that back in March’s is­sue, Phill, the ed­i­tor, in­cluded a snap of me at the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show, on the plink­ing range. I was hav­ing a plink with the Gamo Maxim Elite, their multi-shot springer and, in all hon­esty, it was bril­liant fun. I love a bit of springer ac­tion but as the fin­ger fairy has still not had the de­cency to rock up at my house, no mat­ter how many dan­de­lions I leave under my pil­low at night – that’s a med­i­cally proven fact, right? It’s not just play­ground ru­mour from 35 years ago? – I still have yet to be blessed with them and so multi-shot and springer in the same strap line was pos­si­bly airgun nir­vana to me and the thou­sands of dropped and wasted pel­lets that have gone be­fore.

Now, I know that the ASI/El Gamo Para­trooper from the early 1980s had a multi-shot op­tion, and BSA led the way in se­ri­ous, springer multi-shot de­signs with the fa­mous and much praised Gold­star under-lever, us­ing the same pel­let magazine as my Su­per 10 at the time, but I never man­aged to get my mitts on one of those. Both the Gold­star’s strong used price point and an­noy­ing habit of be­ing snapped up by a col­lec­tor, just be­fore I saw the ad­vert has left me multi-shot bereft, so when of­fered by Gamo to bor­row the Maxim Elite for a week or two, I nearly bit their arms off.

So, a quick his­tory les­son be­fore I con­tinue, to help you to con­tex­tu­alise where I’m think­ing. A Bel­gian en­gi­neer, Jean Joseph Éti­enne Lenoir is cred­ited by many as hav­ing de­vel­oped the first in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine in 1859. It was a sin­gle- cylin­der, two-stroke en­gine which burnt a mix­ture of coal- gas and air ig­nited by a spark-ig­ni­tion sys­tem. He patented it in 1860 and it led to what sits on our drive­ways today, some 157 years later. Mov­ing on, Daim­ler, Mercedes and Rolls Royce all used the, by then, some­what de­vel­oped and up­graded en­gines to cre­ate horse­less car­riages of opu­lence that Vic­to­rian ty­coons rel­ished in or­der to demon­strate their suc­cess to the rest of the still horse- drawn world. It wasn’t un­til 1908 and Henry Ford’s rev­o­lu­tion in man­u­fac­tur­ing, and mass ap­peal price points cre­ated the Model T, that cars be­came avail­able to the pock­ets of the Amer­i­can masses and got us all to where we are today.

The Maxim Elite is long but well bal­anced for pre­cise shoot­ing

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