Swarm Fox 10X air gun by GAMO

Con Kapralos

Air guns have come a long way since my childhood (about 40 years ago). I recall the offerings on sale in local discount stores could barely propel a pellet at 500 feet per second, let alone knock a hole in a tin can or see off a pesky starling or pigeon at any distance out to 25m. My brother and I would try to source more powerful springs (from the local automotive spring-maker) to enhance our slug gun but, in the end, we could never find the performance we craved.

Thankfully current air guns are far more sturdy and reliable to the point where some high-end outfits approach the performance of the .22LR rimfire round at 50m. These guns can command prices around $2000 and upwards and are quality pieces of kit. However, most hunters and shooters looking for an air gun at an affordable price-point are spoiled for choice and precision air guns by GAMO Outdoors of Barcelona offer an excellent range.

Their latest, the 10X Multishot Series, presents an option of three air guns - the Swarm Fox 10X, Replay-10 Storm IGT and Replay-10 Magnum - all costing less than $500 and inclusive of a mounted quality GAMO optic in the package. GAMO distributor Outdoor Sporting Agencies sent Australian Shooter the Swarm Fox 10X model in 4.5 calibre (.177) for evaluation, and as it was some time since I last reviewed an air gun the GAMO model was eagerly received.

Swarm Fox 10X features

The Swarm Fox 10X air gun arrived in a GAMO carton complete with comprehensive user manual, the gun having the following features which make it stand out from the crowd:

• Break-barrel design (380mm barrel) patented polymer jacketed steel barrel with fluted surface muzzle brake.

• Ten-shot cylindrical magazine - two supplied with the gun.

• Steel receiver, spring-loaded piston within.

• GAMO standard optic rail.

• Fitted with GAMO 4x32 air gun scope in quality aluminium rings.

• Space-age automotive-grade glass-filled nylon thumbhole stock with integral cheekpiece.

• Manual trigger safety.

• Rubber recoil pad.

• Weight: 2.89kg.

• Length: 1090mm.

• Available in 4.5mm (.177) calibre - 1300fps, 24 Joule (as tested); 5.5mm (.22) calibre - 975fps, 24 Joule.

At the range

Prior to a range visit, the Swarm Fox 10X user manual was read to familiarise with the operation of the air gun, especially the 10-round magazine system. Two 10-round magazines were supplied and knowing how to remove and load the magazines on to the barrel-mounted magazine clip is imperative before use. Additionally, all scope-mounting hardware was checked to ensure everything was tight.

Outdoor Sporting Agencies also supplied a few tins of quality 4.5mm (.177) calibre air gun pellets and these would be used for setting up the gun’s zero and accuracy testing at 25m, firing five 5-shot groups from each brand of pellet. Accuracy testing aside, what was pleasing was the operation of the 10-shot cylindrical magazine in feeding a fresh pellet into the barrel breech with each operation.

The magazines were easy to load and having two with each gun certainly is appreciated. The gun was simple to cock between shots being a break-action design, assisted greatly by the stubby barrel profile and 380mm length. The nylon thumbhole stock was superb in its design and comfortable to hold, with the cheekpiece fulfilling its purpose well. Air guns seldom require cleaning but I did ensure the bore was clean and unobstructed between shots.

Results of the accuracy test at 25m are listed in Table 1 with star performer being the RWS Meisterkugeln - not all air gun pellets are created equal. The 4x32 GAMO optic was perfectly serviceable but I’d have preferred a fixed 6x scope and something with a fast-focus ocular, as I wasn’t able to adjust the reticle focus on the supplied scope.

Field testing

While the GAMO Swarm Fox 10X is a great plinking air gun, I was looking forward to visiting my brother’s olive farm to clean up a few pests which tend to accumulate during summer months around the outbuildings. With the gun dialed in for a 25m zero, despatching all manner of starlings, feral pigeons and a few rats was done with ease using the Swarm Fox 10X. Having the 10-shot magazine capacity was most useful and an extra magazine on hand meant reloading was only required after 20 shots.

The GAMO Swarm Fox 10X really made me appreciate how much air guns have improved over the past 30 years and questioned my reasoning for not having one in my gun safe. The Swarm Fox 10X or other GAMO models would be worthy candidates as such.

In summary

The 10X Multishot Series offered by GAMO and Outdoor Sporting Agencies is an excellent package which the user simply needs to sight-in and shoot, the quality GAMO pre-mounted optic and 10-shot magazines exceptional in application and use.

The Swarm Fox 10X in 4.5mm (.177) calibre as reviewed is perfect for plinking and tackling small pest species and rabbits out to 30m with the utmost confidence. Priced at just under the $400 mark, it offers distinction in design and performance from a leader in precision air guns in GAMO with the backing of Outdoor Sporting Agencies in Australia. More at osaaustralia.com.au.

Table 1: Accuracy testing - GAMO Swarm Fox 10X Air Gun (25m)

 

 

Ammunition

Best group (mm)

Worst group (mm)

Average group (mm)*

GAMO Pro Match

18

25

23

Cometa Exact Heavy

10.34-grain

13

30

22

H&N Field Target Trophy

8.64-grain

21

29

25

RWS Meisterkugeln 7-grain

10

22

18

*Average calculated from five 5-shot groups at 25m

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