The lil’ cat takes a departure from gamo’s use of composite and incorporates an ambidextrous wood stock and steel barrel. There’s still a good bit of plastic in the breach area which is a bit of a disappointment. Time will tell if this setup will hold up over the long term.
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. The fiber optic components are much finer than most, making it possible to get decent accuracy.
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’m setting this up for my daughter and while I would normally start her out shooting open sights, I did not want to do so at the expense of my indoor range. So I’ve mounted a basic 3-9x32AO scope using heavy duty 2 piece mounts. This has proved to be more than sufficient for her to keep her shots on target at 10 yards.
The trigger on the lil’ 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.
The safety is a manual safety located in front of the trigger. I like the fact that it’s not automatic because it enforces the importance of responsible gun handling on the part of the shooter, especially when training youngsters new to the sport.
Operation, Performance, & Accuracy
The Gamo Lil Cat is a traditional break barrel. Basic operation goes like this.
First cock the gun by pulling down on the barrel until it locks into place. Make sure to secure the barrel at all times while cocking and loading the rifle.
Next load the pellet into the breach and go ahead and close the barrel.
To fire, aim the gun at your desired target, release the safety, and gently squeeze the trigger.
Although the cocking force of the Lil Cat is very light, it’s still a little much for my 6 year old. This is a good thing in my book as it requires direct supervision on my part. Shooting the little cat is very easy. It does have a lot of buz, but there’s not a lot of recoil and it’s not terribly hold sensitive. It’s very accurate for what it is, which really helps instill confidence to new shooters.The performance and accuracy.
Given that the lil’ cat is focused on the youth market, I spent a lot of time looking for an accurate lead free pellet. There were two that were pretty good. The H&N Field Target Trophy and the GTO Match grade pellets from Predator International. There were some consistency issues which forced me to keep looking for the most accurate pellet.
I found the 7.33 grain JSB RS pellets to be a great fit. They produced a very consistent 496 FPS which is really perfect for 10 yard target practice.
Another important point of note before we jump into the accuracy tests, is the noise level of the Lil cat. While it buzzes quite a bit, it’s not all that loud. We were able to shoot in our yard without drawing any attention from our nearby neighbors.
I’ve got 2 groups to show you. The first I shot at 10 yards on my indoor range. The second was shot by my 6 year old daughter Naomi from 10 yards on our outdoor range. She did very well with the exception of one errant shot. She got distracted when grandpa came out to watch her shoot.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at these groups. So let’s look at our final Summary:
The gamo lilcat is a very unique offering from Gamo. It’s light, easy to shoot and sized great for young shooters.
I’m a little disappointed that Gamo took the time to create a nice wood stock and steal barrel, only to then use composite in the most critical area of the gun, the breach. Since this is going to be my primary training tool for Naomi, it will certainly get a work out. So we’ll be able to report how it holds up over the long term.
Overall, the gamo lil’ cat is a real winner. While certainly way too small for me, it’s perfectly sized for its intended market, the little ones in our lives. It took no time at all for Naomi to start putting shot after shot in the center of the target. Because it’s so easy to shoot and delivers good accuracy, it really instills confidence and a desire to go further in the sport.