The Gamo Swarm Review in .22 Caliber
Part II: Gamo’s Swarm in .22 is a multi-shot breakbarrel that is easy to use. That’s our focus on this segment of the Gamo Swarm Review.
By Walton Sellers
I thought that it would be prudent to talk about how easy the Swarm is to use in a typical backyard environment. That’s our next step in this part of the Gamo Swarm Review. All of the following comments are made with the assumption that each shooter will, before attempting to shoot for accuracy: (a)check for proper tightness of mount and stock screws before firing, (b) fire a minimum of 500 shots out of the Swarm’s muzzle to remove any internal residue or bluing salts, which could affect initial accuracy, or (c) properly “season” the barrel in lieu of (b) as per Rick Eustler’s how-to “Take Aim” video series, which can be found on his main AirgunWeb site.
Cocking Force. Gamo’s advertised cocking force for this rifle is 30 lbs. As closely as I can estimate without a scale, the cocking force feels like it might be around 35 lbs. or so. it may be less, but the overall cocking force probably slightly exceeds 30 lbs. The fact that the Swarm is a gas ram instead of a standard spring-piston does makes it a bit more difficult to cock than my vintage spring-piston Gamo Black Shadow Supreme .22. Therefore, this might not be the ideal gun for preteens or adults of with limited upper body strength to begin their air gunning career with. For most adults, though, the cocking force shouldn’t be a problem. To my way of thinking, the Swarm’s moderate cocking force still makes it suitable for all-day plinking.
Trigger Pull. In my opinion, without using a trigger pull gauge, the Swarm’s Custom Action Trigger (fully adjustable for the first stage) is Gamo’s best trigger yet. The blade itself is plastic instead of metal and is wide enough for comfortable finger placement during the shooting experience. I do not recommend that the average backyard shooter and /or occasional hunter attempt to alter the factory trigger setting, as any factory warranty (a five-year limited one on this rifle,) will be voided and/or the gun may be damaged. I estimate the Swarm’s pull weight to be around 3 pounds. For the last several years, the standard Gamo triggers have been advertised at 3.74 lbs. of pull, but they were probably heavier.
Scope. The bundled 3X9X40 Gamo optic is adequate for shooting at 20 yards distance. However, if possible, try to replace it with a better optic down the road. I conducted all of my shooting tests with the scope that came with the rifle, and it needed to be turned up to 5X to achieve the level of clarity necessary for reasonably accurate shooting at 20 yards. To me, for shooting distances out to 30-plus yards, a sensible aftermarket alternative would be the BSA Essential 2X7X32 A0, which is a good midrange scope listing for about $84.99. It is important to note here that the Swarm’s rotary magazine housing magazine housing did not enter into the shooter’s field of view while looking through the scope at any time.
Noise Level. The Swarm is definitely neighborhood-friendly. Without the use of an audiometer to measure decibels, the Swarm’s noise level is roughly comparable outdoors to the sound of a standard electric nail gun. A definite, but not overly loud “thunk” is audible when the trigger is pulled. Next-door neighbors probably won’t be aware of what you’re doing unless they personally come and check for themselves. I don’t anticipate any noise problems, and, of course, proper backstop and safety precautions should be included in any backyard plinking or pest control activities.
Shot Cycle. The Swarm’s shooting behavior is very smooth, without the pronounced “twang” or ”buzz” of a standard spring-piston-gun. While some recoil is evident during shooting, the rifle’s recoil-reducing scope rail and the generous rubber recoil pad at the rear of the stock minimize discomfort and increase enjoyment. The Swarm’s gas ram also allows the shooter to leave the gun cocked and on “SAFE” for a number of hours without worrying about spring fatigue. Remember, though, that this Gamo Swarm Review is of a breakbarrel that is a repeater rather than a single shot. This fact is very important. TIP: Do not cock the rifle before the magazine is loaded, inserted into its housing, and the rifle is placed on “SAFE.” If you cock the rifle and then insert the magazine, the first pellet won’t have a chance to cycle into the chamber and the resulting misfire will be very loud. You also run the risk of damaging the gun’s internals. However, no serious damage to your Swarm should result if this error occurs only a handful of times.