As part of my recent project involving .25 springers, Gamo sent me a sample of their .25 caliber Hunter Extreme. When I had a question about the rifle, I called GamoUSA, they said, “Wait – don’t test the Hunter Extreme, we’re going to be phasing that out. Instead, test the new model, the Socom Extreme in .25 caliber. We’re going to be introducing it January 1, 2011, but you can post a ‘first look’ on your blog.”
A few days later, a long slim package arrived at El Rancho Elliott, and a long, powerful air rifle emerged.
The Gamo Socom Extreme stretches 45.5 inches from end to end and weighs 9 lb 13 oz with its 3-9 x 50 scope (included) mounted. The Extreme .25 has an ambidextrous all-weather synthetic stock that is covered with a fine ‘pebbly” surface for easier gripping. At the extreme aft end is a soft rubber ventilated butt pad. Moving forward, the butt stock has a cheek piece on either side. The pistol grip is nearly vertical, and the trigger guard, which surrounds a metal trigger and push-pull safety, is formed of the same material as the stock. Above the trigger, on the left side of the receiver, the words “Socom Extreme” are printed on the side of the stock. Just ahead of the trigger there is a large screw that, in concert with two others on either side of the forestock, secures the action in the stock.
The Socom .25 has a bull barrel and comes with the scope pre-mounted on a one-piece mount. The utility of the Socom Extreme .25 is hampered somewhat by the scope having a non-adjustable objective. As a result, in order to get a clear view of the target at 20 yards, I had to reduce the magnification to the lowest level, 3X.
Cocking effort is 58 lbs, the highest of the .25 caliber break barrel rifles I have tested, and, typical of spring-piston actions, you can hear some spring noise while cocking. At 1 lb 14.8 oz, the first stage came out of the trigger on the sample I tested, and at 4 lb 10 oz, the shot goes down range with a bang. While the trigger is stiffer than I would prefer, I don’t think it interferes with accurate shooting, and it may lighten up and smooth out with repeated use. Nevertheless, after the 1-year warranty period is over, if the trigger is still not to your satisfaction, I suggestion installing one of the aftermarket triggers that are currently available. Airguns of Arizona should be able to advise you on which one to select .
The Socom .25 is the most powerful break barrel .25 rifle I have tested. It launches 21.91 gr Gamo Pro Magnum pellets at 742 fps average. That works out to 26.79 fp of energy at the muzzle. So while the Socom Extreme has the highest cocking effort, the reward for the shooter is that it also delivers the most power. I found I got the best accuracy results – about half-inch edge-to-edge at 20 yards, with JSB Exact King pellets.
If you want a self-contained air rifle that is suitable for dealing with pest wildlife or for hunting at short to medium range, the Gamo Socom Extreme delivers a boatload of power and then some.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott