The weather cooperated with me and I took the G2 Whisper out to test the data that ChairGunPro provided in the previous article. The hypothesis is, that by optimizing the scope zero, I should be able to aim dead center on a 1″ kill zone and drop a target that’s say 10 yards to 35 yards. If this works, it means that the rifle and scope are optimized for small game hunting within its usable range.
Setting up at the range…
Here’s a photo of me settling in to shoot some test shots with the Whisper G2. This also demonstrates the key components to what I found to be the best hold technique for this particular airgun. Let me walk you through them.
A key principle when shooting any spring or gas ram gun is repeatability. Position, grip, trigger control, follow through, all of these elements need to be duplicated each time you pull the trigger or you’ll always be chasing a shifting point of impact (POI). At close range, say 10 yards, the effects are not as noticeable, but when you get out to 20 or 30 yards, hold variations really start show.
What you see in this picture is my typical setup. I setup a table that will allow for both of my elbows to be firmly set. I use some sort of riser to support my off hand. In this case I’m using a simple rifle sand bag. Next I’ll loosely rest the rifle in my off hand. The position of your off hand may vary from rifle to rifle. This is where the “fun” comes into play. A rule of thumb is to start at the balance point of the airgun. The Whisper G2 is more front heavy than you might think so the balance point is right up against the trigger guard.
How securely you grasp the stock and hold the rifle to your shoulder will be determined by each individual rifle as well. In the case of the Whisper G2, I found that lightly gripping the pistol grip and gently pulling into my shoulder was the key. As I mentioned above, you must teach yourself to replicate the exact hold and tension for each shot. Doing so will allow the rifle to recoil the same way each time and should give you a very predictable POI.
What about when I’m in the field?
It’s important to note that when you are moving from bench shooting to hunting out in the field, you very may well need to make adjustments to your scope or open sights, depending on what you’re using. Inevitably you will hold and shoot your airgun differently when not on a bench, so it’s very important that you prove your rifle and your skills before you go out and try and take that kill shot.
One of the best tools that I’ve found are the Gamo Knockdown targets. They present real feedback, whether bench shooting or free standing, as to if my airgun and scope are going to effective. If I’ve got everything setup right, I should be able to aim dead center within my optimal range and achieve a clean knock down. This is what I tested out on the range.
By golly it works!
The old phrase “I love it when a plan comes together” kept coming to mind when I was testing this theory. I setup a target at 10 yards and was hitting a bit low. I then moved the target out to 33 yards and was pretty much on target. In fact my group at 33 yards measured just a fraction over 1″ center to center. I shoot a lot of spring guns and I’m very happy with those results from a sub $300 airgun, especially because they were so repeatable.
Here’s a short video, actually shot by my daughter who was with me at the range, showing 10, 20, and 33 yard hits on my Gamo Knockdown target. For this test I aimed dead center of the kill zone and maintained a consistent hold technique. I was able to drop the target every time within the optimized kill zone without the need to adjust my scope or hold over. This is what confirmed velocity information, great software, accurate rifle, decent scope, and a lot of practice can bring to the table.
That’s a wrap.
This wraps up my first look at the Gamo Whisper G2. It’s a great medium powered spring gun that has the power and accuracy for most small game inside 35 yards. With the right setup and technique, you should be able to simply point and shoot.