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GAMO Silent Stalker Whisper Review

The GAMO Silent Stalker Whisper is a precision air rifle that features IGT and Whisper technology, and delivers serious velocity for under $300.

12/22/2011

When the Greek philosopher Plato said “necessity is the mother of invention,” fellow Greek Ctesibius took note. Among this physicist and inventor’s creations during the 3rd century BC was the world’s first firearm to use mechanically compressed air to propel a projectile, earning him recognition as the father of pneumatics.

Technology had come a long way in 1804 when Lewis and Clark toted their .36-caliber Girandoni pneumatic air rifle (currently on display in the NRA's National Firearms Museum) on their expedition of the Louisiana Purchase. A welded metal air reservoir was housed in the buttstock and was charged with air compressed by a hand pump.

Advance another 200 years to 2012. Modern airgun technology has spawned everything from inexpensive spring-piston BB and pellet guns for young shooters and adults to sophisticated, repeating, compressed-air target models for competition to high-velocity guns for small-game hunting and pest control. Helping to lead the way in both hunting airgun and pellet technology is GAMO Outdoor USA.

Innovation is a trademark of this Spanish company whose origins date to the 1880s as pellet maker Antonio Casas, S.A., in Barcelona. In the 1950s it was renamed Industrias El Gamo and began making airguns. As the largest airgun manufacturer in Europe, its air rifles and pistols are used by hunters, shooters and plinkers in more than 50 countries with U.S. operations consolidated in 2009 as GAMO Outdoor USA.

In 2011 GAMO headlined adult break-barrel airgun market news with the Silent Stalker and Silent Stalker Whisper in .177 and .22 caliber. The models feature GAMO’s new Inert Gas Technology (IGT), which replaces a conventional spring system with a pneumatic inert-gas cylinder to omit spring friction. Such innovation ensures smoother cocking, less vibration, greater precision and more consistent power and durability—all while delivering muzzle velocities up to an advertised 1300 fps with GAMO’s PBA Platinum pellets. Kicking it up a notch, Whisper combines IGT with an integrated noise dampener, ND52. Translation: less shot noise, muzzle blast and vibration, and greater velocity and penetration.

Considering GAMO is the largest manufacturer of airgun pellets worldwide, the .177-caliber Whisper I ordered arrived with a variety of pellets, including the 50 .177-caliber PBA Platinum pellets and a 3X-9X-40mm WR Gamo scope with rings that come standard. I noted the ventilated recoil pad, the lightweight, tactical-looking, all-weather synthetic thumbhole stock that helps with cocking; the precision-rifled, match-grade fluted steel barrel; fiber-optic sights; and the ambidextrous cheekpad—good news for lefties like me.

On the range, the Whisper passes the safety test, though the automatic safety lever forward of the trigger seems backwards as you pull it back for “safe” and push it forward to fire. Cocking is easy enough (32 pounds per GAMO), and the chamber is easily accessible for loading.

The Whisper sports a nice fiber-optic sight, which I used to pepper my first few targets. I expect much of its buzz in 2012 will focus on its innovative two-stage Smooth Action Trigger (SAT). Historically, triggers on standard airguns (unlike those used in the Olympics) have been quite heavy and require long travel. The SAT’s length of pull is adjustable by rotating the screw in the trigger guard clockwise to shorten it. Another bonus is its predictable smooth pull. With the SAT, hunters and shooters can practice with a trigger comparable to those on some centerfire rifles—with minimal ammo cost and without having to go to a centerfire range.

I recalled how friend and 1992 U.S. Olympic air-rifle gold medalist Launi Meili once explained the fine plumbing of her high-end air rifle’s air cylinder and valve—and how dry-firing can ruin the seals. So I checked with GAMO’s Vince Abrams, director of marketing, before dry-firing the Whisper. A handful of shots were fine, he said, though GAMO puts its guns to the dry-fire test during quality control. If one fails, the entire lot is held.

So I mounted the scope and went shooting again. I compared apples to apples using three GAMO pellets: non-lead PBA Platinum, non-lead PBA Copper Varmint and lead GAMO Hunter pellets. Though I couldn’t attain 1300 fps, results were consistent with what GAMO said to expect: The lightweight PBA Platinum pellet finished on top. Bottom Line: Speedy, non-lead PBA pellets feature a longer skirt and are a couple grains lighter, which results in flatter trajectory. If you use slightly heavier lead pellets, expect velocity to drop 100-200 fps.

In gauging value for the money, here’s a precision air rifle that features IGT and Whisper technology, delivers serious velocity and comes with a GAMO scope and PBA Platinum pellets in the $300 range. How does GAMO do it? Abrams says that having the need to begin with is what encourages the creative efforts to address it. Yes, necessity indeed is the mother of invention. 

Specs:
gamo.com
Type: 
single-shot break-barrel airgun
Caliber: 
.177 (tested), .22
Barrel: 
18"; fluted polymer jacketed steel with ND52 technology
Trigger: 
SAT; second stage, adjustable; 3.3 lbs. pull
Sights: 
open; comes w/3X-9X-40mm WR Gamo scope, rings
Safety: 
two-position manual; automatic cocking safety system
Stock: 
molded synthetic, non-slip textured checkering on grip and forearm
Overall Length: 
43"
Weight: 
5 lbs., 9.5 ozs.; (6 lbs., 11.5 ozs. with scope)
Metal Finish: 
matte black
MSRP: 
$269

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11 Responses to GAMO Silent Stalker Whisper Review

D. Logan wrote:
July 13, 2013

I had the same problem with getting a perfect aim with the rifle; couldn't hit anything. Tried almost anything too. Lasers didn't work. Bore sighters didn't work. Never could get a scope zeroed in. Then maybe a year later THE IDEA hit me. I removed the front sight, I removed the flimsy rear sight. I then attached a self-adhesion Champion EasyHit shotgun sight 5' fiber optic Green to the barrel end right behind where the front sight was. PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

Jazzy 1 wrote:
March 13, 2013

I've had a Crossman XT for 5+ years and it stays locked-in! I use it to keep squirrels out of my attic and the pecan trees between me and my neighbor's house. you kill a couple and the trees go silent for a few weeks except for the singing of the birds.

Bailey wrote:
March 09, 2013

When I first got my whisper I couldn't sight it in for my life! I hated it! But when I went to bass pro shops to look at a different gun they told me to keep the one I have because I haven't gone through the break in process. So I bought the cheapest pellets they sold and went home and shot about 50-60 pellets at nothing like they told me to. It is now sighted in for 30 yards and I can hit anything and everything. I now love this gun! I'm posting this just so if you run into the same problem as me you can try what I did and hopefully it'll work. I have an aftermarket scope on mine that gamo makes for around 100 dollars and I use the crossman premier hollow point hunting pellets. I would recommend getting a better scope for it because the one it comes with is garbage. Hope this helps

JP wrote:
December 16, 2012

We have a Whisper. I thought it sounded funny from the start and pellets would some times just barely dribble out. Sent it back and it was slightly better but still all over the map with the scope. At times it can be spot on but for the most part it's not worth shooting. very dissapointed with this thing.

Dar War wrote:
October 13, 2012

These guns are junk. I have had two and you can not sight them in. I am only writing this in hope that no one else will waste their money on this rifle.

Mike wrote:
September 10, 2012

This gun was nice, light and powerful. But I went through tons of pellets re-sighting the scope every other shot. I tried Loctite, remounting several times and nothing worked. I called Gamo to complain and ask for support and I was amazed to hear them say it was the first they've heard of this issue. Funny but most reviews complain about this specific issue. On a side note I sent Gamo a scope that was defective and they take way too long to check it. About 5 weeks so far with no answers. Also, this gun is too loud. Frustrated I went back to Bass Pro Shop and talked them into taking it back. I now own a Benjamin Trail NP All Weather .177. They utilize a gear rail mounting system for the scope which resolves the issues of the scope shifting. You have to make sure you mount it tightly and accurately. I scoped it in about 6 shots. And now I'm killing chipmunks from 50 yards on one shot! Amazingly accurate. Even at 80 yards. It is also extremely quiet! Also, I posted this same review on Gamo's site and they won't display it. All the reviews there are great.

andy wrote:
August 23, 2012

I've gone through two Silent Stalkers and they really aren't very accurate. My neighbor's Ruger Blackhawk is much more accurate. Maybe the Gamo's light weight makes it recoil too much and hurts it's accuracy.

wendell wrote:
February 08, 2012

I have Gammo Whisper and have had it for 18 months or so. At 40yds. or so I can hit within a 1 to 2 inch pattern consistently.I killed a ground hog @45 yards first shot.

danny wrote:
February 06, 2012

I'm not trying to insult your intellegence but have you tried to clean the barrel. Run a couple of patches and a brush through it and try another dozen pellets at a close range. I had the same issue and now it is on the money every time.

Douglas A Parsons wrote:
January 09, 2012

Benefactor Member The Whisper I have can bearly keep pellets on an 8.5X11 piece of paper, tried RWS, Daisy, Gammo and Crossmen (different types hunting target etc.). Triger is terible. Gammo is not responsive, pretty bad Co. at this point. Accuracy is so bad the rifle is useless. So I take exception to the report. If you have any sway with Gammo please tell to fix their product. It's too expensive to throw out, and I will not turn it into someone else's disapointment, currently stuck. Any help would be nice. DAP

Beverly Weaver wrote:
December 24, 2011

We have a Big Cat 1200 and we love it. We are having a blast with it!