Tac­ti­cal Move

Phill Price brings us up to date with Gamo’s lat­est multi-shot

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price tries out the Gamo Maxxim Elite Tac­ti­cal - a springer with a dif­fer­ence

Over the years, many com­pa­nies have tried to make multi-shot air­guns, but it’s not an easy task and con­se­quently many have failed. Some tried tubu­lar feed sys­tems, whilst the more suc­cess­ful de­signs have tended to be ro­tary ones, which to­day have be­come the in­dus­try stan­dard. Bolt-ac­tion, pre-charged pneu­mat­ics have proven this de­sign to be re­li­able and durable, but adding one to a break-bar­rel, spring-piston ri­fle is an­other chal­lenge com­pletely. Gamo took on that chal­lenge and gave us the Maxxim Elite which has been on sale for a good while now and I hear plenty of good things about it.

In most re­spects, the ac­tion is very con­ven­tional, with a coiled steel spring driv­ing a piston along inside a cylin­der to pro­vide the high-pres­sure air needed to pro­pel the pel­lets. The ac­tion is medium weight and the ri­fle’s over­all di­men­sions are fairly av­er­age, mean­ing that it can be com­fort­ably han­dled by most adults. The full-length bar­rel of­fers plenty of lever­age too, so the cock­ing force won’t put any­body off. Around the bar­rel Gamo added their Whis­per si­lencer sys­tem de­signed to cut the noise made by the high pres­sure air as the pellet leaves the bar­rel. It looks good too, with its faux muz­zle brake moulded in.

SO CLEVER

The re­ally clever part sits on top of the bar­rel just in front of the pivot pin, where a rear sight might nor­mally live. This is the moulded syn­thetic mech­a­nism that holds the ro­tary mag­a­zine and de­liv­ers a fresh pellet from it each and ev­ery time you cock the ac­tion. Press­ing a small but­ton re­leases the mag’ and then the pel­lets can be loaded in. Once full, it’s sim­ply pressed back into the mech­a­nism and you’re ready to go. A few peo­ple told me that they thought the el­e­vated po­si­tion of the load­ing mech­a­nism would make it vul­ner­a­ble to clumsy han­dling and that it might get dam­aged, but I’ve heard no re­ports of that yet.

Be­ing able sim­ply to cock the bar­rel and then close it again, know­ing that the pellet load­ing has been done au­to­mat­i­cally for you, is quite su­perb. No longer do you need to fum­ble with pel­lets when you’re un­der pres­sure to take a sec­ond shot, and even in the cold­est weather, you no longer need to re­move gloves to load. Reload­ing in a dark barn as you go af­ter rats no

“No longer do you need to fum­ble with pel­lets when you’re un­der pres­sure”

longer re­quires a torch, al­low­ing you to re­main un­seen un­til you’re ready to take the shot. Auto-load­ing is great!

CAT

Gamo is very proud of its CAT (Cus­tom Ac­tion Trig­ger) which al­lows a great deal of

ad­justa­bil­ity, some­thing you don’t of­ten get from ri­fles in this class. Just in front of the metal blade is a man­u­ally set­table safety tab that can be just as eas­ily used by right- or left-handed shoot­ers, mak­ing the ri­fle fully am­bidex­trous.

In­cluded in the pack­age is a 3-9 x 40 vari­able mag­ni­fi­ca­tion scope fit­ting in a one-piece mount, which at­taches to an­other Gamo pro­pri­etary item – their RRR (Re­coil Re­duc­ing Rail). This clamps onto the cylin­der and lifts the scope higher, which is needed to help it to see above the load­ing mech­a­nism whilst do­ing its pri­mary job of re­duc­ing the stress that a spring/ piston ac­tion places on op­tics.

The orig­i­nal ri­fle came wear­ing a hard­wood stock, and now Gamo has re­leased the ver­sion you see in the pic­tures. This is the Tac­ti­cal ver­sion which is moulded from a tough syn­thetic ma­te­rial that’s im­per­vi­ous to mud, blood and wa­ter and will take the knocks in the field with­out worry. It has tex­tured pan­els at the usual con­tact points, aided by the fact that the whole sur­face has a fine tex­ture. This aids grip and also elim­i­nates re­flec­tions that could give the hunter away to his quarry. Gamo makes great play of the SWA re­coil pad fit­ted to the stock, but as air ri­fles have so lit­tle re­coil it’s not some­thing we need con­cern our­selves about.

The Tac­ti­cal stock has quite a dif­fer­ent feel to the wooden one, be­ing es­pe­cially slim in the pis­tol grip area, which will suit some hands more than oth­ers. I also noted that the edges of the slot in the fore end were quite sharp and would ben­e­fit from a lit­tle round­ing off be­fore use.

This unique ri­fle is a great suc­cess story for Gamo, and this new vari­ant adds choice for any­body think­ing of buy­ing one. The price is the same with ei­ther stock, so it’s re­ally a mat­ter of se­lect­ing the look you like the most. I feel Gamo de­serves praise for this ri­fle be­cause it’s truly some­thing dif­fer­ent in the mar­ket, and of­fers a multi-shot al­ter­na­tive to pre-charged pneu­mat­ics for those who like their ri­fles sim­ple and in­de­pen­dent. I

A tac­ti­cal stock adds handsome good looks to this in­no­va­tive ri­fle.

The medium-weight ac­tion should ap­peal to many peo­ple.

The cock­ing force needed is quite mod­est.

The auto-load­ing mech­a­nism is re­li­able and tough.

Load­ing the mag’ is child’s play.

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