Are you looking for a unique air rifle with power, accuracy, and light in weight? The Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle may be the exact combination of features you desire. The rifle is light in weight due to the composite construction making it easy for all types of shooters to enjoy the rifle. The rifle can send a pellet streaking towards the target faster than the speed of sound and hit the bulls eye on every shot. The rifle is packed with features, so let’s take a look.
Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle Main Features
- Polymer Barrel
- Break Barrel Cocking
- Open Thumb Stock
Polymer Barrel for Lighter Weight and Increased Accuracy
It is almost second nature that we expect most rifles, including air rifles, to have an all metal barrel. The Gamo Silent Cat air rifle is outfitted with an 18” fluted polymer barrel surrounding rifled steel. Your first reaction might be to worry if a polymer barrel will withstand serious use in your yard, hunting grounds, or even on the shooting range. The reality is the composite polymer bull barrel is tough, strong, and resists many abusive conditions better than an all metal barrel.
The polymer barrel avoids issues with rust if it becomes damp. It provides improved sound reduction, strength, and durability. Keep in mind the barrel must be cleaned like any other rifle. You must periodically clean the rifle barrel to keep residue from building up, especially when using lead shot. You need to carefully oil the barrel pivot, cocking pivots, and trigger pivots to keep them moving smoothly, but are not required to use any lubricating oil in the barrel.
Even though this is an air powered rifle, the velocity of pellets could cause combustion if oil was used in the chamber area or the barrel. A pellet firing out of your Gamo Silent Cat air rifle at over 1000fps produces tremendous frictional heat.
Break Barrel Cocking with Spring Piston
The Whisper Silent Cat uses a spring piston which is cocked using the break barrel method. The cocking action requires 30 pounds of pressure. There are several important advantages to a spring piston system like the Whisper uses, this includes:
- No added shooting costs for CO2 cartridges.
- Single action cocking.
- High powered.
- Added safety of a single shot rifle.
How powered air rifles which do not use CO2 cartridges come in two primary varieties. You have break barrel cocking systems which require only one motion, or multi-pump guns which can require 5 to 20 pumps to reach maximum power. The Whisper break barrel system allows you to prepare for shots rapidly and have the power necessary to eliminate pests or hit a bulls eye consistently.
If you are not familiar with the break barrel cocking system, it is very simple. You grasp the end of the barrel while bracing the butt pad against your thigh, near your hip. You then pop the barrel lightly to start the cocking action and pull it downward for a single cocking motion. When in the broken position you insert your pellet for the next shot. You will discover the system is efficient and fast.
Shooting Quietly to Avoid Unneeded Attention
One of the most important features of the Whisper line of rifles, including the Whisper Silent Cat, is the reduced levels of noise. The Gamo Silent Cat air rifle uses a non-removable noise dampening system built on the barrel. The ND52 system reduces the sound by up to 52% compared to similar rifles.
For the quietest shooting Gamo recommends using lead pellets instead of alloy pellets. The lead pellets slow the velocity of the pellet to around 1000fps. This drops the speed underneath the speed of sound eliminating the mini sonic booms caused by fast moving ammunition. The noise dampener is designed to eliminate muzzle noise, while slowing down your shots by using lead eliminates the added crack of the ammo in flight.
When using lead pellets the only sound you should notice is the sound of the spring’s snapping release and the plunk when the pellet meets the target. These reduced noise levels allow you to shoot in residential areas without worries of frightening neighbors and attracting unnecessary attention when someone believes your shooting a traditional gun.
The silent shooting is very helpful when dealing with pests, too. The groups of birds, squirrel, rats, or other pests get no warning from sound. All they know is suddenly one of their group is lying dead on the ground.
Open Thumb Stock for Greater Control
The Gamo Silent Cat air rifle uses an open grip stock made from all-weather synthetic material. The open stock allows you to increase accuracy with a true pistol grip on the gun. With an improved grip you maintain greater control with a steady aim on your target.
The stock is outfitted with dual cheek pieces to allow shooting on either side. The cocking, loading, and shooting positions of the rifle are all 100% ambidextrous providing a high quality shooting experience for left-handed and right-handed users. This makes the Gamo Silent Cat an excellent choice for households with individuals who shoot from both sides.
The butt plate mounted on the stock is a ventilated rubber pad. It provides good recoil protection for your shoulder. You will enjoy the durability of a synthetic stock compared to wood. It is not easily scratched, requires little maintenance, and can withstand extreme weather with ease. The lighter weight of the synthetic stock makes the rifle easier to carry and use.
Aiming with Precision
The Gamo Silent Cat is ready to help you hit the target. It comes equipped with both fiber option sights and a bundled scope. The fiber optic sites on the front and rear allow you to fine tune the gun for shooting without the scope installed. For grab and shoot firing this may be your preferred sight.
The scope bundled with the Silent Car air rifle is one of the few areas of concern on this excellent weapon. The scope is lower end scope which is capable of doing a good job but has caused problems for many buyers. The rifle comes bundled with a 4×32 air rifle scope which uses a one piece mounting system.
The primary issue people have mentioned about the scope is problems keeping it zeroed. They get their scope adjusted to perfection and then after a few shots it seems to have drifted off slightly. Gamo has release service bulletins giving detailed information on how to correct this issue but making a slight tightening adjustment that many users have overlooked. When properly adjusted and tightened the scope does a good job.
Dimensions and Physical Attributes
The Gamo Silent Cat air rifle is a very comfortable rifle to use throughout a day of fun or pest control. It weighs only 5.28 pounds. The rifle is 46 inches long with provides adequate length for accurate shooting, but short enough for trudging through fields and brush. The barrel is 18” long.
The Silent Cat requires 30 pounds of pressure to cock the gun and 3.79 pounds of pressure to pull the trigger. Remember, this is a dual stage trigger with adjustable pull length and pressure.
A few other features should be pointed out on the rifle. The Silent Cat uses a manual safety which Is mounted right in front of the trigger. The safety is easy to reach, engage, and release. Make sure the safety is engaged anytime the rifle is loaded and cocked. While the dual stage trigger reduces the chances of an accident, the safety provides greater security.
The Gamo Silent Cat air rifle comes bundled with the 4×32 air rifle scope as previously mentioned. Other optional items you should consider include:
- Gamo Cleaning Set – A low cost cleaning kit designed specifically for your rifle.
- Gamo Oil – The recommended oil for using on all metal parts of the Silent Cat.
- High Performance Pellet Combo Pack – includes Red Fire, Rocket, Raptor, and Armor pellets.
- Performance Pellet Combo Pack – Includes an assortment of lead pellets providing quieter shooting and continued high accuracy.
- Replacement Scope – This must be included in the optional accessories list simply because most people prefer a higher quality scope with greater adjustment capability. Gamo offers an extensive line-up of other scopes with most of them being much higher quality.
Pros of the Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle
This rifle is packed with great features which make it one of the top choices for serious shooters. The positive aspects of the rifle include:
- High durability.
- Weather resistant with synthetic stock.
- High powered shooting with speeds up to 1200fps.
- Quiet shooting with the ND52 sound dampening system.
- High accuracy. (See notes in Cons below)
- Excellent support from Gamo.
Cons of the Silent Cat Air Rifle
There is one glaring issue which receives complaints consistently on this rifle. It is the scope. The basic rifle is one of the most accurate on the market in the price range. It can consistently group shots within an inch diameter from up to 40 yards away. When you choose to use the included scope all efforts at accuracy may be wasted. Gamo has updated the instruction for the scope which as helped some users, but many users elect to replace the scope with another scope to improve their shooting experience. You might consider with the relatively low cost of this rifle that is a very viable option, but should have been unnecessary.
Noise is the other major fault of the rifle. This may sound a little bit odd for a rifle which prides itself on quiet, but it has become one of the major complaints of buyers. This issue is not a design fault by Gamo, but is an educational issue. The rifle will make a loud crack when using the high performance alloy pellets. They streak out of the gun as such high velocity they will break the sound barrier and produce a very loud pop. Higher performance pellets may be preferred in some situations, but for shooting in town you should switch to the lead pellets to eliminate the issue.
You might think after reading about the cons of the Gamo Silent Cat air rifle that customer ratings might be low. You would be wrong. This rifle grabs some of the highest ratings possible on all major retail sites. The reasons are very simple. The price of the gun is excellent. The accuracy is outstanding. The weapon is powerful. It meets the needs of almost every shooter and lives up to the promises with high quality and durability.
In many cases the users mentioning problems with the scope or sound give the rifle excellent ratings due to the overall performance of the rifle. They overlook these issues and being very insignificant compared to the overall performance, value, and enjoyment they find in shooting the Gamo Silent Cat.
How can we say this gently? The Gamo Silent Cat air rifle is not for everyone. It is not for children. It is not for people who may be unable to cock the 30 pound spring. This rifle is an excellent choice for shooters who want accuracy, power, durability, and to have the added sneakiness of quiet shooting.
As long as you keep in mind the minor faults with the Gamo Silent Cat you will find this rifle to be among the best choices possible. You can overcome the problem with the scope by replacing it with your favorite brand of scope. (Something you might have done anyways.) You can overcome the loud sonic boom crack by switching to lead pellets to slow down the shots. This gives you the advantage of using high performance PBA shot when you want ultimate speed and stopping power, but can quiet the gun with a simple change to lead shot. If you have pest problems or are a target shooting enthusiast this is a gun you will greatly enjoy.