Review: GAMO Big Cat 1250

big_cat_1250

 

Outdoor Empire top pick for the money air rifle.

GAMO’s Big Cat 1250 is a powerful .177 caliber break barrel airgun with an included scope. It takes a no-frills approach that keeps the cost down while still offering everything you could want in a high-velocity rifle. It’s quiet, accurate, and built to last.

This is an excellent air rifle for plinking or small game hunting, with all of the features you’d expect to find in a quality gun. From the outstanding muzzle velocity to the smooth break barrel action, the GAMO Big Cat 1250 is a joy to pick up and shoot.

 

Specifications & Features

● 1,250 FPS muzzle velocity
● 30 lbs spring piston break barrel action
● Includes 3-9×40 scope and mount
● Ambidextrous stock and safety
● Polymer-jacketed 18” steel barrel
● 2-stage adjustable trigger
● Raised cheekpiece for comfort
● 11mm dovetail scope rail
● Weighs 6.1 lbs, overall length of 43.4”
● Backed by GAMO’s 1-year warranty

 

Accuracy

Between the fully rifled steel barrel and the fact that this air rifle uses high-velocity, low-caliber pellets, it’s an extremely flat shooter. It’s accurate out to 150 yards with PBA pellets, making it competitive with a lot of airguns that cost twice as much.

The GAMO Big Cat 1250 has an 11mm scope rail, which is the most popular option, that allows you to mount the optics of your choice. However, the Big Cat comes out of the box with a 4×32 scope and mount manufactured by GAMO.

Pellets

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GAMO PBA Platinum Pellet

Pellet quality has a lot to do with accuracy, and GAMO recommends PBA ammunition for this gun. PBA pellets are lead-free, so they’re lighter than standard pellets. They’re also balanced differently, with a slightly longer skirt that stops tumbling at high speeds.

If you’re using the right ammunition, you’ll be very happy with the accuracy of this air rifle.

 

Power

.177 caliber pellets don’t hit as hard as .22 caliber ones do, but the added velocity helps to make up for its lightweight ammunition. Out of the box, with cheap wadcutter pellets, the GAMO Big Cat delivers enough power to take down small game and varmints.

At 1250 FPS, you have enough energy behind each shot to be able to effectively use hollow point pellets. If they’re not zipping along fast enough, hollow points won’t deform and open up on impact like they should. That’s not a concern with this rifle.

Muzzle Energy

Going by the numbers, the Big Cat 1250 generates 22.11 joules, or 16.31 foot-pounds, of energy at the muzzle using GAMO PBA Platinum pellets. That’s enough stopping power at 20 yards to take down a raccoon, penetrate the hide of an armadillo, or knock a squirrel out of a tree without a problem.

Compared to other rifles in the same price range, the GAMO Big Cat 1250 is about 30% more powerful on average.

 

Quality

GAMO is known for making high-quality products, and the Big Cat 1250 is no exception.

All of the steel on this gun is blued, and the barrel is shrouded with a polymer jacket for added protection. The stock is made of high-quality composite material to keep weight down. Unlike the fiberglass stocks you’d find 20 years ago, these composites are just as strong as wood.

Adjustable Trigger

Another thing you’ll notice about the Big Cat is its trigger group.

GAMO built it to be adjustable, with a long initial pull that makes squeezing off a shot second nature. If you prefer a shorter pull, you can easily change it to your liking.

You’d expect to find an adjustable trigger on a high-end .22 target rifle, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see that GAMO included it here.

Warranty

GAMO stands behind the Big Cat 1250 for a full year.

They’re known for excellent customer service and if you have a problem with your rifle, you can expect a quick replacement. That really speaks of the quality of the rifle as a whole. This is one of the most affordable guns on the market to offer a decent warranty.

 

Compare Similar Models

This is based on .177 caliber air rifles.

ProductGAMO Big Cat
GAMO Big Cat

Ruger Air Hawk Combo
Ruger Air Hawk Combo

Crosman Nitro Venom
Crosman Nitro Venom

Velocity1250 FPS1000 FPS1200 fps
PowerplantSpring pistonSpring pistonGas piston
Front SightNoneFiber OpticNone
Rear SightNoneFiber OpticNone
SafetyManualAutomaticManual
Weight6.1 lbs8.16 lbs7.4 lbs
Length43.4 in44.8 in44.25 in
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

Rating the GAMO Big Cat 1250 

The following is based on a 1 to 5 stars rating.

Parts

four and half star rating

It lacks iron sights and some find the trigger to be a bit long. These are minor flaws that some users can live with, especially that it comes with an upgraded 3-9×40 scope and mount. 4.5 stars are given for the parts.

 

Power

five star rating

A maximum velocity of 1250 FPS and a 30-lb spring piston break barrel action are just some of the factors that make this a powerful airgun. 5 stars are given for its power.

 

Accuracy

five star rating

The fact that it uses high-velocity, low-caliber pellets, it’s an extremely flat shooter. 5 stars are given for its accuracy.

 

Ease of Use

five star rating

Both the stock and safety are ambidextrous, plus it’s lightweight and compact. This beauty makes it really easy to reload and shoot. 5 stars are given for its ease of use.

 

 

Summary

Strong Points

For the price, you’re not going to find a more powerful air rifle. GAMO Big Cat 1250 offers the best balance between cost and performance that you’re going to find anywhere.

Power

Another big selling point is its power. 1,250 FPS with high-velocity ammunition is overkill when it comes to small varmints. You are rest assured that nothing you take aim at is going to suffer because you’ve hit it with an underpowered pellet.

Design

This gun is completely ambidextrous if that’s a concern for you. The safety lever is mounted inside of the trigger guard, and both sides of the stock have raised cheekpieces for comfort. Left-handed shooters will feel right at home behind the scope of the Big Cat 1250.

Weight

Finally, the GAMO Big Cat 1250 is lightweight and relatively compact for a full-size air rifle. At just 6.1 lbs and 43.4” long, you can easily carry this rifle around for hours.

It shoulders quickly and handles well, with just enough heft to feel good in your hands. Add an optional sling, and you might forget that you’re even carrying it.

 

Points for Improvement

One thing that immediately springs to mind is the lack of iron sights. Most shooters prefer to use a scope, but it’s nice to have the option. Another thing you’ll notice is the lack of muzzle brake. You might not think they’re necessary for air rifles, but the Big Cat 1250 has a bit of a kick.

Fortunately GAMO compensated with a nice, thick recoil pad.

Trigger Pull

A long pull makes for nice, steady shot, but some users complain that GAMO takes things too far. That said, not only is the length of the trigger pull adjustable, but it’s also easy enough to get a feel for when the trigger is about to engage.

With a little practice, you can make crisp, quick shots despite the long pull.

Review: GAMO Big Cat 1250
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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Parts
Power
Accuracy
Ease of Use
Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is an avid fisherman and hiker, and enjoys spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. He’s been lucky enough to cast his line in lakes and rivers around the country. Aaron loves to explore the outdoors and write about his experiences, telling stories and offering advice to anyone who will listen and to a lot of people who won’t.

1 COMMENT

  1. With response to the Game Big Cat rifle’s they are a good bargain for a high powered break barrel rifle. The PBA ammo is fast but for hunting a heavier pellet is a must with the .177. I use Crosman Piranha pellets just over 10 grains. They are a hard hitting hollow point and cause lots of cavitation damage for a clean kill on squirrel and rabbits. I am currently running the Game Big Cat Maxxim 1400 . If you want to take down raccoon or fox the Predator MetalMag pellets provide good skull penetration with the zinc tip. Mine came with a 3-9×40 scope and Socom style stock with a barrel muzzle brake. 33mmm poweplant is larger than the standard Gamo 29mm. Also Gamo’s. Recoil reducing rail with scope stop pin an rubber shock bushing at rear of one piece mount. This model was a exclusive to Dick’s Sporting Goods. If you are considering a Big Cat this is the one to get. This rifle is punching through metal vegetable full can at 100 yards. Amazing gas piston air rifle for under $230 bucks!

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