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Definitive Guide to Gamo Swarm Bone Collector

Gamo USA hit the market in 2017 with the first truly usable mass-market multi-shot break barrel airgun. This technology changed how we viewed break barrels by giving shooters a 10-shot magazine that loaded the next pellet each time the barrel was cocked. But Gamo did not simply wait around for the competition to catch up, they continued to innovate.
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Detailed Review

They brought us the SWARM Gen 2 and placed the magazine horizontally, which allowed for a much lower profile and even open sights on some models. Late in 2022, Gamo released their newest iteration of the SWARM with the new Gen 3i system incorporating an inertia-driven magazine that only advances after you take the shot. The "inertia" from the recoil triggers the magazine to allow the next pellet to rotate into position. The new Gen 3i is integrated into most of Gamo's offerings. Today we'll look at the Gamo Swarm Bone Collector 10x Gen 3i. Let's get into it.

Setup and Operation

Created in collaboration with the "Bone Collectors," it's available only in .22 as it's a hunting break barrel to its core. The Gamo Swarm Bone Collector Gen 3i differs from all the other Gamo break barrels typically seen, in that it has a beautiful Monte Carlo wood stock with a slightly raised cheekpiece favoring right-handed shooters. The cheekpiece is only slightly raised, so we expect left-handed shooters to have no problems using the Bone Collector Gen 3i.

The stock has checkering on the grip and forearm, and you'll find the "Bone Collector" logo right above the trigger. At the rear of the stock, you'll find the rubber butt pad that helps make the gun more comfortable to shoulder and absorbs felt recoil. The entire rifle looks gorgeous and is a welcome deviation from the typical black composite. On the downside, we found the wood soft and easy to dent and mark. So if you want to keep it looking new, use a rifle case when going back and forth to your favorite shooting destination and watch it in the woods.

Most of Gamo's premier technologies are included in the Bone Collector, starting with the SAT trigger. The trigger is adjustable for first and 2nd stage travel and has a clean break at just under two pounds. The trigger blade is composite, but the internals are all metal.

On top of the receiver, you'll find the Recoil Reducing Rail that acts as a buffer between the receiver and the scope. Like with nearly all gas ram-driven airguns, there is harsh recoil from the gas ram and piston as it slams into the front of the compression chamber with each shot.

This recoil called reverse recoil, is different than the traditional recoil as it causes the rifle to jump forward. Traditional firearms optics are only set up to handle normal recoil, so adding a non-airgun scope to a break barrel can break them pretty quickly. The recoil can be so sharp that even airgun scopes simply can't withstand the continued battering. The Recoil Reducing Rail seeks to mitigate this issue, and from what we've observed, it works as advertised.

Moving forward, we find the new SWARM 10x Gen 3i system mentioned above. This 10-shot system allows shooters to simply drop in a mag, cock the rifle and go to work. The beauty of the new inertia-driven mags is that they help prevent double feeding. The old system would automatically advance after the barrel was returned to the closed position. If you accidentally cocked the gun again, you would drive a 2nd pellet into the breech, or worse, break the gun. But the new system will only advance after the recoil from the rifle. It's an awesome mechanism. It's not perfect, and we have encountered times when the mag didn't advance properly, but they are very few and far between. If the mag doesn't advance, there's a little switch on the site where shooters can manually advance to the next pellet.

The 19.9" rifled steel barrel is encased in a composite barrel shroud and incorporates Gamo's Whisper sound-dampening system. The system is highly effective, keeping the average DB levels to a modest 90+/- DB. In actual use, the sound from the action is louder than any shot noise we experienced.

There are no open sights on the Bone Collector, so you'll need an optic. Gamo includes their standard 3-9x40 duplex scope. It's decent and seems to hold up well, but we'd rather see something with a mil-dot reticle and adjustable parallax. If you are shooting close, say 10 or 15 yards, you can only use the magnification up to 4x or 5x. As you back up to 35 yards, you can use more of the magnification up to the full 9x. This is typical behavior from a non-adjustable parallax scope. If you want to upgrade, you'll need to pay close attention to the length, as most scopes are too long and interfere with the SWARM system. However, something like the UTG Bug Buster or another Compact Scope may work well. Just measure before you buy.

That wraps up our look at the features and aesthetics of the Gen 3 Bone Collector. Now let's move on to usage.

The Bone Collector Gen 3i operates like most other break barrels except for the magazine, so let's start there. The 10-shot magazine loads easily by inserting a pellet nose first into the hole. Next, rotate the mag to the next open slot. You'll hear a click which is the advance stop locking into place. Insert the next pellet and rotate again. Continue until the mag is full. Be sure that the pellets are inserted far enough for the rubber band to grab the waist of the pellet. If not, they could pop out and cause jams.

Once you have a loaded mag, make sure that your safety is engaged and drop it into the SWARM system and cock the rifle. You're now ready to take your first shot. Aim the Bone Collector at your intended target, release the safety, and gently squeeze the trigger.

Cock the barrel to get ready to take your next shot, but unlike most break barrels, where you'd be fumbling for your next pellet, the inertia-driven mag has handled it for you, and you're already set to go. Close the barrel and take your next shot. There is a shot indicator on the mag so that you know where you are in the shot string. It's best never to dry fire your break barrel, so check it as you go.

Performance and Accuracy

The Gamo Bone Collector Gen 3i produces more power than the standard "Maxxim" line or the new Viper and Fusion, but it does so with about the same cocking force. Gamo accomplished this by increasing the diameter of the compression chamber, creating more air volume. It's a dramatic, noticeable difference, even shooting paper targets. The pellets hit with more authority and get there faster. It's not up to the power of the Gamo Magnum, but it's a nice boost from the standard Viper and Fusion.

In our tests at 4600 feet, we are getting up to 786 FPS with the 14.5-grain red fire pellets. That puts our energy just a fraction under 20 FPS. You can expect another 50 to 60 FPS at sea level, putting you at around 22+ foot-pounds. That's a nice increase from the 15 to 17 FPE from the Viper and Fusion.

Regarding accuracy, we tested several pellets and opted to use the Gamo Red Fire pellets, as they delivered the best results. Not only are they consistently accurate, but they are also devastating on small game. And since this rifle is all about hunting, it makes sense to stick with an awesome hunting pellet.

Before you hit the backyard or the range, we have a couple "pro tips" to help you get the best accuracy. The first is always to check your stock screws and your scope mount screws before you start shooting. And if you see your accuracy start to wander, check them again. We need to tighten our screws every couple of hundred shots. Second, ensure you are using the artillery hold and not trying to shoot off a hard surface or a rest. Break barrel airguns and all spring airguns need to be shouldered and rested on your hand using a repeatable hold position. That way, the recoil will be consistent along with your POI. If you see your shots wandering in a vertical string, you are probably changing your hold position on the forearm. It takes a lot of trigger time to get the technique to be 2nd nature, but if you put in the effort, you can get some great results.

Here are our results at 20 and 30 yards shooting 10-shot groups.

Summing Up

That's a wrap for this definitive guide on the Gamo Swarm Bone Collector 10x Gen 3i. It excels as a multi-shot hunting rifle, and the fact that it's a self-contained break barrel makes it even better. Shooters looking for a good-looking, effective, multi-shot hunting airgun should look at this gun from Gamo USA.