I have always liked the look and feel of a
Manlicher stock, probably a holdover from my
days in Southern Europe where this
configuration has been popular for many years.
As a matter of fact, both my 30-06 and 250
Savage are fitted out with a Manlicher stock. It
is no surprise then, from the first moment I saw a
spring piston air rifle in this configuration I
wanted one, however for one reason or another
it never seemed to float up as a priority when
buying another airgun. But recently the timing felt
right and I decided to finally pick one up for my
collection â€¦.. but which one? There are two or
three on the market, but in the end I was
attracted to the Gamo Stutzen for a couple of
reasons; Iâ€™d been hearing good things about
the Gamo line of fixed barrel rifles as hunting
guns and wanted to give one a try. And most
importantly, when I picked up this rifle I really
liked the look and feel of it. In this review I will
discuss the guns features and bench
performance, and then discuss my impressions
based on taking it to the field to hunt squirrels,
rabbits, and other small game.
The Gamo Stutzen is a fixed barrel rifle which is
cocked by an underlever cocking mechanism.
The Manlicher design is a full length one piece
stock that extends to just below the muzzle. I
like the aesthetics of the Manlicher stock
because of its unbroken lines, which is especially
appealing in an air rifle as it makes it look more â
€œfirearm likeâ€�. The underlever action is the
only one that lends itself to this design, as the
cocking lever can be hidden within the recessed
forearm of the Manlicher stock. The gun comes
in .177 Caliber only, which is fine by me as this
is my preference in a spring piston airgun. The
Stutzens overall length is 39.5 inches, with an 11
inch barrel. The specification states that the gun
comes with a beech hardwood stock that
weighs 6.4 lbs, mine is 7 lbs with the scope,
which is surprising as the gun looks heavier due
to the full length furniture
As mentioned the cocking mechanism uses an
underlever arm which is housed in the recessed
forestock. There is a tubular handle that slides
out to increase the length of the cocking arm by
about four inches, resulting in a cocking effort of
50 lb, which is easily handled by most adults.
When the gun is cocked, a loading port situated
between the piston chamber and the barrel pops
up providing convenient access â€¦.. a nice
feature in a hunting rifle. The gun comes
equipped with iron sights; the front sight is a post
and the rear sight is adjustable for windage and
elevation. I mount scopes on all my hunting
rifles, and the Stutzen has an integrated dovetail
and an elevated scope ramp. As mentioned, the
stock is made of beech hardwood and has a
raised Monte Carlo cheekpiece, with a laser
carved checkering on the grip. This is a nice
touch on a moderately priced gun.
Gamo Stutzen: A Look At An Alltime Favorite !
The published velocity for the Stutzen is 950 fps, depending on pellets I obtained between 910 to 940
fps. Of the pellets tested, the one that yielded the best all around performance was the RWS
Superdome. It produced and average velocity of 915 fps, and an average 30 yard group size of under
an inch at 30 yards. This is not stellar accuracy; however for a hunting gun it is just fine in my books. I
figure that this will allow me to obtain consistent head shots on squirrels and rabbits, which is all I need
to do. The Stutzen was fairly pellet tolerant and shot a range of projectiles quite well, the little pop up
magazine able to handle the pronounced point of the Predator pellets without problem.
Having established that the gun had the power and the accuracy on the bench, the next step was to take
it hunting. I found the gun came naturally to the shoulder, and the comb was at the proper height to
consistently offer a good sight alignment. The two stage trigger has a first stage adjustment, which was
set at about 3.4 lb pull on my gun. There was no creep or over-travel and the trigger had a good tactile
response overall. The scope mounted for my hunting forays was a Leapers Mini Mildot, which besides
functioning quite well, looks just right on this gun.
The pellets used for hunting included RWS Superdomes and Predator Polymer Tips. Both are good
hunting loads; the RWS were more accurate especially at longer range, but the Predators were
reasonably accurate and had a tremendous downrange impact on quarry. I found that the gun
performed very well in anchoring squirrels and rabbits when I did my job; the physical characteristics of
the Stutzen and the inherent accuracy of the gun made it a solid choice as a small game gun. In the field
I found it easy to shoot standing, sitting, prone, supported or offhand; some springers are difficult to
shoot accurately when rested, but I did not encounter this problem with the Gamo Stutzen.
In my experience cocking and loading the gun could be accomplished fairly quickly, though this is
perhaps not the optimal gun to take along when hunting in deep camouflage. The cocking action is not
difficult, but it is a big motion that is hard to minimize as you have to extend the cocking arm to permit
full leveraging of the mechanism. The second minor complaint is that I have not yet figured out how to
mount a sling, which I prefer on rifles intended for carry on long hikes.
So whatâ€™s the bottom line? I like this gun a lot, to be honest as much (or maybe more) for itâ€™s
looks, but by any measure it is a quality, high performance air rifle. It is one that will stay in my
collection and come out a few times a year for the pleasure of shooting at paper and game. I didnâ€™t
know what to expect from this gun; it is a paradox that Gamo is arguably the largest airgun
manufacturer in the world, but does not enjoy a uniformly great reputation amongst hardcore
airgunners. I think that there is a bit of snobbery in this, analogous to the coffee connoisseur that
thumbs his nose at Starbucks refusing to acknowledge that millions upon millions find the product meets
their needs very well. The Gamo Stutzen does meet my needs as a quality hunting rifle, one that I also
like to handle and look at
Jim Reviews this classic (and classy) spring
piston air rifle on the bench and in the field.
This gun is an absolute pleasure for those
looking for a hunting gun with that
traditional European flair!
The gun was easy to shoot from any position. The
compact Leapers scope mounted on my gun was a
These late season squirrels are smart, and shots
are harder to come by than earlier in the season.
It's important that the hunter has confidence in
their gear under these conditions ... and I felt
well armed with the Stutzen.
This is not a target rifle
by any means, but is a
solid performer as a
hunting gun. Velocities
obtained with various
ammunition were within
the range of those
accuracy was good for a
thirty something yard
small game rifle.