Next-generation auto-reloading technology in the new Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen2 break-action rifle lets hunters and shooters have it “their way.”
by Rob Reaser
As most air rifle fans are aware, premiere pellet rifle manufacturer Gamo broke exciting new ground when the company introduced its 10X Quick-Shot rapid-reload technology. The 10X system, positioned behind the breech, is a rotary-style magazine that automatically reloads up to ten pellets with each break of the barrel. Simply break the action and the 10X system chambers the next pellet for fast follow-up shots. For small-game hunters who fancy the relative quiet of a pellet rifle and the safer operation when hunting small woodlots, the 10X reloading capability is a big deal.
Originally, Gamo Swarm rifles featuring the 10X technology could only be used with scopes because the height of the magazine system over the rifle bore would not allow for the use of open sights. Many shooters and hunters, however, enjoy the light handling of unscoped rifles and the ability to shoot with open sights—be it for the added challenge or simply to maintain their marksmanship skills.
Valuing feedback from their consumers, Gamo accepted the task of engineering a lower-profile version of its 10X technology so shooters could have the choice of using either an optic or open sights. The result is the Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X Gen2—a hunting-grade .177- or .22-caliber air rifle with a new horizontally oriented magazine that provides ample clearance for open-sight shooting or can be used with a scope.
We have spent our fall season hunting squirrels with the .22-caliber Swarm Fusion and have enjoyed every minute of it.
The fun began in September, when we removed the factory-installed 3-9×40 scope and dialed in the open sights. Large knobs to adjust windage and elevation made short work of it once we found a pellet the rifle liked (we had the best luck with the Crossman Premium 14.3 grain pellets and Gamo’s Red Fire 12.5 grain). With a 25-yard zero established, we had a blast busting walnuts lined up on a fence railing at 30 yards, then it was off to the woods. The squirrels were nervous, and for good reason—we dropped several of their kin in the back of our small-game vest.
As the season wore on and the leaves dropped, we decided to reinstall the Gamo 3-9X scope because the squirrels were getting a bit…squirrely…and our distances were starting to extend farther than our open-sight shooting skills.
Veteran pellet rifle shooters understand that scopes lead a hard life on air rifles due to the harsh recoil of the gas systems used. Obtaining a solid, no-movement scope installation can be challenging. Fortunately, Gamo addresses this with their Recoil Reducing Rail. This is a two-piece system that mounts atop the receiver. Interfacing the two rails are polymer struts designed to absorb the impact induced by the gas system’s recoil. There is also a locating stud beneath the scope mount that positively locates the mount to the rail. This stud does all the heavy lifting of transferring the recoil force to the rail instead of relying on the mounting clamps to do all the work. It’s a good system that ensures the scope stays in place without taking a beating.
One of the key separators Gamo enjoys relative to its competition is their sound suppression technology. The company has developed three sound suppression systems (chambers/baffles), each with varying degrees of suppression. The Swarm Fusion has the quietest suppression system of them all. The Whisper Fusion technology utilizes a dual sound moderator; the pellet travels through two separate chambers to compress and suppress noise expansion. Compared to the Gamo Swarm Magnum .22 we also use to hunt, the Swarm Fusion is notably quieter.
Rather than use a spring compression system as with most break-action air rifles, the Swarm Fusion gets its power from the company’s Inert Gas Technology. This is an enclosed pneumatic cylinder that eliminates the noisy spring/piston assembly and delivers consistent power and reduced vibration. Power generation for the Swarm Fusion is less than the Swarm Magnum, at 975 fps with PBA Platinum ammo, but it’s plenty to get the job done on small game, even when shooting heavy lead. The Swarm Fusion is also easier to cock than the Swarm Magnum (around 10 pounds less effort), which may be a benefit to youth or smaller stature shooters.
Another feature we like is the trigger. The Swarm Fusion, as with other Gamo hunting air rifles, uses the Custom Action Trigger system. This system allows you to adjust the trigger travel of both the first and second stages via two independent adjustment screws. While the factory setting for trigger travel is not excessively long, we like our air rifles to work as closely as possible to that of our centerfire and rimfire rifles. In other words, the shorter the travel and sharper the break, the better we like it. The C.A.T. system lets you shorten or lengthen the first stage travel with one screw and do the same for the second stage travel with another screw. We shortened both to the max and was rewarded with slightly tighter groups.
Overall, we have enjoyed our time with the Swarm Fusion 10X Gen2 rifle. Heading to the hunting fields with open sights was refreshing, and it certainly amped up the fun factor when shooting paper targets and walnuts. The reduced noise provides a bonus for hunters, and the low cocking effort belies the rifle’s power potential.
If you are thinking about a hunting-grade air rifle that’s easy to manage for both adults and youths, the Swarm Fusion 10X Gen2 deserves serious consideration.