The Gamo Big Cat 1200 and 1250 Air Rifle is among the bestselling air rifles in the market to this date. And for good reasons of course. If you’re an amateur shooter who is simply starting out, you will love this rifle. If you are a seasoned shooter, then also you will love this rifle. This is a great entry level rifle that comes with a slew of features at a very affordable price. Sure, it does have its own limitations as well. This review hopefully will cover everything you need to know.
The Gamo Big Cat comes at both .22 caliber and .177 caliber. What we found is that the rifle that is worth the money is the .177 caliber version and this is the version where the rifle performs best. This review will dissect the Gamo Big Cat of .177 caliber for you.
The Gamo Big Cat doesn’t feature any hardwood material like traditional rifles. But that doesn’t take away the fact that this rifle has a very solid and serious feel to it. The stock design, the barrel design and the colors come together to imply the aura that this rifle means serious business.
The synthetic stock in the Big Cat is made of composite material instead of wood. The stock is made with decent quality material to remain durable over periods of use. At 43.3 inches length with finely constructed smooth lines along the body, the Big Cat is great to look at. Look at the pictures and you would know.
The Gamo Big cat has a fluted barrel that looks majestic as well. It is made of such material that it dissolves heat quickly to ensure a cooler and less heated barrel over the period of use.
Thanks to the absence of wood, the Big Cat weighs only 6.5 lbs. Trust me, on those long days out in the open, you would appreciate having a lightweight rifle as it eases stress on the body.
Another dimension of the Gamo Big Cat, why I highly recommend it is because of the comfort it provides which in turn makes it so easy to use. The Gamo Big Cat has a textured grip. You will experience if you do hold the rifle that the textured grip increases friction between your palms and the outer surface of the rifle to give you a more in-control hold over the rifle. This greatly aids in maintaining accuracy.
The Gamo Big Cat has twin cheek pads to make it equally comfortable and as accurate for right-handed and left-handed shooters. This break barrel rifle has a recoil pad in place too to absorb the heavy shock after shots. Although I can’t possibly count to verify the maker’s claim that the pad absorbs 74% of the shock, but I can tell that the pad does its job well.
The Gamo Big Cat has a break barrel, single cock mechanism and from what I checked, the cocking force required by this rifle is about 30 lbs. Most people of moderate strength would be able to cock it with ease.
One thing that the readers must know is that quietness was never supposed to be the forte for the Gamo Big Cat. For that, they have the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat. That said, the Gamo Big Cat’s noise levels are subjective.
With PBA pellets, this rifle is on the noisier side due to the fact these superfast pellets travel faster than sound itself. However, with lead pellets, the noise levels come down. Hence, I am of the opinion that if you plan on using this in an urban setting with neighbors around, use lead pellets only. It will only make a cracking sound that most people would be comfortable with. The louder and faster, PBA pellets should be used in outdoor settings only.
The Gamo Big Cat shines when it comes to accuracy of the pellets. And the rifle has considerable power too. With PBA ammunitions, this rifle registers 1250 fps in speed and when it comes to the heavier lead pellets, the speed is about 1000 fps.
The accuracy, as long as you are using high quality pellets, I would say is as good as many higher priced rifles in the market. The Gamo Big Cat is deadly and very accurate within 40 yards. The higher penetration power of the pellets fired is a delight too. Beyond 40 yards, accuracy will depend a lot on the individual skill level of the shooter. Up until 75 yards, one can shoot accurately maintaining 2 inch targets or less depending on their expertise. With platinum pellets, one can even shoot in the 100 yards range to success. Although as far as the rifle is concerned, it will do its job properly nonetheless. And for longer range shooting, you are highly recommended to get a more sophisticated scope.
The Gamo Big Cat comes with a complimentary 4×32 scope which does a pretty decent job. Now before we proceed, I would highly request you to mount the scope properly by following the right instructions from the manual and tighten the screws really well. Much of the complaints and poor performances of this rifle’s scope is due to poor installation from the user’s part. This rifle usually requires about 100 shots to zero in. Its scope has the power to magnify up to 4 times and has crosshair to assist you to shoot better over longer distances. You can always get a newer and better scope for long range shooting if you are not comfortable with this one. What a person needs however will differ among individuals based on their skill levels and intended use.
The Gamo Big Cat is pretty powerful to say the least. With the PBA pellets which are of about 4.7 grains, the rifle hits at about 16 FPE (Foot pounds of Energy). But with lead pellets, it definitely packs a better punch. The FPE recorded with lead pellets stood at 17-18 range. This qualifies this rifle perfect for small game hunting which include the likes of squirrel, raccoon, starling, and small varmint among others. And considering the accuracy, this rifle is perfect for pest control as well.
That was all about the Gamo Big Cat air rifle. As you can deduce by now, it is indeed one rifle that is made to impress. Sure it has a few shortcomings here and there, but for the price it comes at, the rifle outperforms everyone with the range of benefits it provides.