I recently picked up a new Gamo Coyote 5.5mm at a good price I couldn’t resist.
Herewith a short review, but please keep in mind this is my first ever PCP that I’ve owned and nor have I ever shot with a PCP before.
Basic specs for the rifle:
OAL = 980mm
Barrel = 470mm
Rated: 1000fps (5.5mm)
Cosmetics and Ergonomics (verdict: 9/10)
I like the look and feel of the rifle. It is almost like a carbine, short and easy to manoeuvre.
The overall weight of the rifle (with a scope fitted) is far less than most of my springers, but still heavy enough to be stable. The weight is well balance front to back.
The stock is ambidextrous and the ergonomics is great. Even with my long arms everything feels comfortable, including the grip angle/position, trigger position, length of forearm, etc. The stock is a beefy high quality beech wood and its meatiness suits my larger than average hands. The comb of the stock easily aligns your eye with the scope. The finish on the stock is of a high standard. The lines and the checkering on the stock is very professionally done. Nice and grippy. It doesn’t bother me that the wood is beech instead of walnut, because it’s of such good quality and finish. However, an aftermarket laminated stock in future will be welcome
The trigger (verdict: 7.5/10)
The trigger and trigger guard are plastic, but this does not put me off in the least. They are of high quality durable polymers, the same as found on modern firearms. Besides, it saves weight and feels “warmer” to the touch, especially on colder days. The trigger is 2-stage adjustable and out the box I don’t feel I need to make any adjustments to it. It is absolutely perfect for me. It has about 3mm very light travel through 1st stage. Second stage is about 2mm travel and from what I can see on the internet, reportedly about 2.2LBS pull weight. I can’t measure or judge this, but for me it feels just right. Light enough not to feel like I’m having to pull the rifle off target while trying to squeeze the trigger.
Apparently the plastic trigger’s design is required in order to pass the USA’s drop test where the trigger may not “go off” when the rifle is dropped from a certain height. Somehow a lighter polymer trigger passes this test more easily than a heavier metal trigger. It is reported that a metal trigger is available in the EU, but I’ve yet to see anyone advertising replacement metal triggers for this rifle.
The action (verdict: 6.5/10)
The action is in a matte black finish and quality appears to be good. The bluing on the barrel and air tube is of high quality. I would personally prefer less writing all over the action, especially the glary white they used on the side of the action. Even the serial no. is painted on in white. Why? Oh why? Surely the painted on serial# is going to come off over time? I would’ve preferred the writing to be in the same colour/finish as the rest of the action, just recessed or raised or laser engraved, but that would imply more expense for the manufacturer I guess.
Then there’s the long engraved message along the top of the barrel… Something about “hammer forged” blah-blah-blah. Who cares? Put that in your advertising as a selling point. Not on your product. It’s cheesy. Makes it look like it’s from Asia. Like someone who goes and plasters the back end of his 80’s 1300 hatchback with “GTi” and “Turbo” and “Motorsport” stickers everywhere. Just give me a smooth perfectly blued barrel without the attempted bling. However, I must admit that the barrel quality is superb. It is thick. It is strong. And, as we’ll see later, it is quite accurate.
So, between the stock and the barrel you get a lot of wood and metal for your money. Gives a person the kind of satisfaction you get after a hearty meal in winter.
The air stripper at the end of the barrel does ZERO for noise suppression. This rifle is LOUD! A review I watched on YouTube measured it at approximately 80dB. You will definitely need a suppressor on it. I fitted a cheapish 0.22 rimfire silencer on mine. Not ideal, but at least a little more quiet than standard.
I wish they had made the compressed air tube just a tad longer. Maybe end it where the 1/2inch UNF threading for the stripper on the barrel starts? That way you could still screw on a huge diameter silencer, but maybe gain a handful more shots worth of air volume in the tube?
On to the magazine. I personally don’t like the quality of the 10-shot magazine. It’s all plastic and a bit flimsy to my liking. Hopefully some aftermarket full-metal ones will become available someday.
I also don’t like the way the pellets are fed into and kept in the magazine slots – seems too much chance for them to move around and I don’t know how much this played a part on the bolt action, but the bolt felt like it didn’t always cycle smoothly on the forward stroke. On some shots I had to almost jiggle it a bit while pushing forward to make the bolt positively engage and successfully push the pellet forward. Perhaps the whole lot will smoothen out over time with some use as the setup is all new right now. Time will tell.
The way the magazine slots into the action is quite neat. It slips in and is finally “sucked” into position magnetically. Strong enough not to fall out accidentally. I feel that the mag sits snug enough in its slot to not be the source of the not-so-smooth bolt action on some shots. I feel this is more related to the flimsiness of the rotary pellet holder inside the magazine and the way it rotates and where it stops after each shot.
Don’t get me wrong. The action didn’t fail or jam or anything serious that required repairs or disassembly, it just needed some coaxing to cycle every now and then. However, after about 12 mags worth of shooting the action seems to be cycling much smother now and hardly ever needs a bit of a “jiggle” on the forward stroke.
One thing that did bother me a bit…
When I received the rifle it had a factory fill of +/-160bar. I loaded the first magazine of pellets and took 3 shots. I cycled the bolt to load the next pellet, pulled the trigger for the shot and… Nothing!
This happened about 5 times out of the approximately 40 first shots I’ve taken with the rifle. I have no previous experience with PCP’s so I can’t tell you why this happened or even if it will happen again. I only know it is a pain, because if you cycle the bolt once more without first removing the magazine YOU WILL END UP WITH 2 PELLETS IN THE BREACH AT THE SAME TIME! This happened to me once and luckily I thought of the situation first before firing. This led me to go fetch my trusty old Gamo cleaning rod, unscrew the silencer and send the rod down the barrel and push out the 2x pellets. I have no idea what sort of damage the rifle would’ve incurred if I decided to take the shot anyway…
Admittedly the rifle has not done this again in the last 3x fills. Hopefully this won’t happen again soon. Anybody with an idea as to where to look to prevent this ever happening again will be appreciated.
Other than the two initial issues I discussed above, the action now performs well. At least the “no shot” issue hasn’t reoccurred again and the action of loading the pellet appears to be smoother now that the rifle is starting to settle in.
Performance (verdict: 8.5/10)
I fitted an old BSA Sweet 17 scope for testing while I’m waiting for my new Leapers 4-16x50 R/G/B mildot scope to arrive. I roughly zeroed it at 25m.
I filled the rifle right up to +/-230bar according to its built-in gauge.
I loaded the mag with JSB Jumbo Express 5.5mm pellets that weigh 14.35gr. I then proceeded to shoot all 10 shots through the chronograph, loaded another 10 pellets and shot another 7 through the chronograph until the pressure was down to +/-100bar.
The figures I got were as follows:
Average = 930fps
Max = 941
Min = 922
Std.dev = 6.65
Range = 19
FPE = 27.6
No. of shots from 230 down to 110bar = 32
And it is regulated! Some sources on the www say it is and has a BSA regulator built into it. When I pushed it right down to 90bar my POI was still the same as at 230bar! I reckon that is brilliant.
It means that out-the-box this rifle requires no modifications like some of the other brands entry level pcp’s, e.g. fitment of regulators, upgraded valves and springs, thingamajigs, etc.
Accuracy (verdict: 8.5/10)
For accuracy I tested the rifle at 25m with the JSB Jumbo Express pellets. Staring pressure was about 190bar. The shots were taken off a rifle bag.
POI was slightly high and off to the right, but that’s just because the scope needed some fine tuning on zero. Grouping achieved was 15mm CTC for 9 shots.
I know I can do better, but I’ll need to spend a bit more time getting to know the rifle. I reckon it safe to say that the rifle is more accurate than the driver in this case ;-)
Overall (verdict: 8/10)
I’m impressed with the build quality and balance of this PCP rifle at the price it goes for. Performance is average as far as number of shots per fill goes. Accuracy for me is great if one considers that the shots were grouping well all the way from 230 down to 90 bar.
Not so good was the initial “stickiness” of the action when cycling the pellets, the magazine quality (maybe that’s just me) and then the loudness (even with a silencer fitted).
Is it an entry level PCP? Yes. Does it perform like an entry level PCP? No, it performs better. Is it priced competitively? Yes, indeed. Is it of good quality? Yes, mostly.
Out the box this rifle requires no modification to shoot accurately and consistently. I reckon overall “value for money” is the key factor here and it makes PCP shooting a possibility for some who would not have considered it before.
What I would have changed if I was on the design team:
- Instead of the cheap looking white writing I would’ve laser engraved all the writing on the action and left it in black.
- I would have fitted a nice metal knob on the cocking handle instead of the current cheap looking plastic one.
- I would have fitted a removable bolt-on dovetail on top of the action so one can swap between an 11mm dovetail rail or a Weaver style rail.
- I would have increased the compressed air tube length up to where the screw thread on the barrel end for the diffuser starts, just for 1 or 2 more shots per fill.
- I would have moved the “Gamo signature style” safety lever up to the end of the action and replaced it with a switch, like for the BSA’s. With my big fingers it feels a bit in the way where it is at the moment.
My wish list for upgrades would be:
- Bead blasted titanium trigger and trigger guard combo
- Bead blasted titanium knob on the cocking handle
- Barrel shroud with integral silencer
- Sling mounts
- Adjustable butt pad
- A nice thin red or white line acrylic spacer between stock and recoil pad with a matching white/red line and hardwood grip cap
Discussion at: https://www.airrifle.co.za/threads/42519