Friday, 1 July 2011


Since Theoben has let its patent for the gas-ram powerplant lapse, there have been plenty of big name gunmakers who've jumped on the bandwagon of manufacturing air rifles that dispense with a conventional mainspring in lieu of a 'strut' of pre-compressed air.

The latest is IGT - Inert Gas Technology - from Spanish gunmakers, Gamo. The gas is, actually, Nitrogen - and I've had the supposedly full-powered Hunter IGT model on test for the past couple of weeks... which was earmarked for publication (once my comprehensive tests were completed) in Airgun Shooter.

Now, you may have been astute enough to have spotted words like 'supposedly' and 'was earmarked for publication' - you see, the Airgun Shooter test team highlighted a problem on the test sample BSA sent us that, as it turns out, is a problem right across the board. All the IGT models in the UK at the time of this post are underperforming in terms of power.

The Airgun Shooter test rifle produced a power in the region of 8 to 8.5ft/lb - well below what we'd been told to expect. Following our findings, we asked BSA to randomly test some more samples from their stock... and they found those rifles to massively vary "between 9 and 14 Joules" (6.6 and 10.3ft/lb).

Power stats from the Gamo Hunter IGT tested by Airgun Shooter

As a result, Gamo's UK distributor has been forced to recall all those models already sent to gun shops - and, obviously, it would be wrong of me to now file my test report in a magazine as authoritative as Airgun Shooter. All the same, well done to BSA for reacting so promptly to the fault.

And as BSA were able to highlight this problem quite early in the rifle's release, only a few of the rogue guns have found their way into consumer hands - but if you have bought one with the intention of using it for pest control, I would strongly recommend you consult your gun shop. Air rifles under 10ft/lb are rarely suitable for hunting humanely.

BSA are hopeful that the Hunter and Shadow IGT models will soon be back on sale, at their correct power level.

You see, power issues aside, I can confirm that I found the Hunter IGT one of the sweetest break-barrels I've ever shot. Beautifully engineered and finished, it let go with a very fast firing cycle with no vibration through the chequered beech stock whatsoever. It came with fibre-optic Tru-Glo adjustable sights and a rise-and-fall cheek that was perfect for use with a scope - and although its trigger was slightly below what I expected in a £259 air rifle, everything else was well on the money. Possibly the best sub-£400 gas-ram around.

But it's just you won't be able to read a full report about it for a while.  


  1. Great piece of thorough investigative journalism as we would expect from Nigel Allen. Hope they sort the issues out although you would have thought they would have done their own testing.

    Brian Browne

  2. I am new to air rifles, so have been relying on my air gun shop for advice. As a result, I now have a Gamo IGT and a BSA Multishot, plus two interested sons.

    As I bought the Gamo just a few months ago, and having decided to trade up, I did some research and came across your article. I then approached my gun shop supplier but they said they know nothing about any recall. Is there any more information about it that I can get hold of.

  3. Hi. I've since heard that BSA are denying there's been a recall, although I see Air Gunner magazine has been unable to publish the promised report. Maybe BSA decided not to recall them all? Has your gun shop tested the gun's power. Maybe it's not so low as to be a problem. (If the power's good - over 10ft/lb - then you're okay and have a cracking rifle.) If the power's low, though, I think BSA would probably want to replace the gun. Best thing is to probably ask BSA - after all, if there's any question as to the suitability of the rifle as a 'Hunter', they have to sort it for you under their guarantee. First stop, though - get its power checked. Yours may be okay.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for the advice - very useful.

    I will get the power checked at the shop that supplied it.

    I emailed BSA a few days ago, but have had nothing back yet.

    I'll let you know how I get on, as it may be of interest to others with similar concerns.

  5. Hi,

    I had the gun checked for power and it was just over 9ft/lb, so the supplier sent it back to BSA to sort. Got is back in a few weeks and all seems fine now. The supplier still knew nothing about the recall either, but it was certainly worth getting it tested.

  6. Nice air rifle. I think this is quite old but it is really exclusive. I don't support to use air rifle by children. Anytime can be happened anything. so keep the air rifle safely from children.