My hope was to wrap up our look at the HW50, but weather and scheduling has prevented me from getting to the additional shot cards at 20 yards. So, we’ll take a short break and talk about the Gamo Little Cat. In the world of high powered air rifles, it seems that the young ones are relegated airguns we adults wouldn’t ever really want to shoot. Who wants to spend time pumping in between each shot to then shoot bbs out of a smoothbore gun that’s not terribly accurate to begin with? Why isn’t there a quality breakbarrel that’s lightweight, easy to handle, easy to cock, easy to shoot, and that hits the mark reliably, AND that’s very affordable? (I had to add that last part!)
Let’s take a closer look
Well, Gamo must have noticed the same gap in the market and has seen fit to try and fill it with their new youth gun, the Gamo little Cat. This time around it seems they decided to change things up a bit. Rather than go all composite, they’ve incorporated an ambidextrous wood stock and steel barrel. Maybe it’s just me, but I really prefer the older wood and steel airguns vs the all composite varieties. Now there is still plastic in the breach area which may be a point of concern down the road. Or, it may be perfectly fine given that this rifle is not meant to push the envelope of power. I guess time will tell.
The rifle ships with fiber optic open sights with the rear sight fully adjustable for windage and elevation. The sights are pretty good for a youth gun. In fact, they’re better than what you’ll find on guns that cost 2 and 3 times more. The fiber optic components are much finer than most, making it possible to get decent accuracy if you have the eyesight to make use of them. The rifle also has a standard 11mm dovetail where you can mount a scope. There isn’t a scope stop or stop pin hole so you’ll need to make sure that your mounts are up to the task of holding things put. I’ve found that the Hawke Match Grade, 11mm, 2 piece mounts work exceptionally well on just about anything I’ve mounted them to, even super magnum springers.
Now this is gun is a bit small for me, but I did not get it for me. This little kitty is going to be what my 6 year old daughter Naomi will be using as she learns to shoot. While I’d prefer she learn with open sights, I’m not setup for that here at the homestead (don’t want any holes in the drywall) so I’ve mounted a basic 3-9x32AO scope using the Hawke heavy duty 2 piece mounts. With this setup she’s able to keep her shots on target and my shop is NOT full of holes ;).
The trigger on the Little Cat is Gamo’s old style plastic trigger. It’s smooth, but has a very long pull. It takes a lot of patience to maintain a consistent trigger pull. While I would normally count this as a major drawback, I’ve found it good for training the little one who doesn’t seem to have any issues with it.
While the trend is to produce airguns with automatic safeties, and I do get the logic behind it, I personally like the fact that this rifle has a manual safety. It reinforces the importance of responsible gun handling on the part of the shooter (and teacher). I believe this is especially important when training youngsters new to the sport.
How to operate the Little Cat
The Gamo Little Cat is a traditional break barrel. Basic operation goes like this:
Although the cocking force of the Little Cat is very light, it may still be more than a youngster can handle on their own. This is a good thing in my opinion, as it requires direct supervision. When it comes to how the Little Cat responds when you pull the trigger, it’s quite gentle. There is a lot of buzzing, something that I’m sure a good tune up would easily solve, but there’s very little recoil, and it’s not very hold sensitive. It’s also very accurate for target shooting at 10 yards, producing easily repeatable results. This ease of shooting really helps instill confidence in new shooters.
That wraps up part 1 of the Gamo Little Cat. In part 2 we’ll look at pellets, performance, and 10 yard accuracy.