The astonishing Walther LGV – Part II

Monday, February 11, 2013

Walther LGV 005

Walther makes several “claims to fame” with the new LGV.

The first is zero play in the barrel hinge, thanks to the wedge lock, and cocking rod. The cocking rod is mounted in synthetic material and backed by compression springs so that scraping, abrasion, and scoring of metal parts are eliminated.

A rotary piston eliminates friction losses and also eliminates contact with the cocking rod when the piston moves forward. Piston rings made of low-friction synthetic material ensure that the piston does not touch the compression cylinder wall and ensures smooth, quiet movement. Further, the piston has holes drilled in it to gently brake the piston at the end of the compression stroke and to reduce recoil.

The LGV uses a specially tempered valve spring with ground spring ends to safeguard straight movement. Walther further claims that the LGV will not suffer from spring fatigue if left cocked for a long time. Those are the highlights of the claims made at the LGV website, http://walther-lgv.com/

Now, I’ve come to realize that the readers of this blog are a pretty sharp bunch, and you know as well as I do that all the verbiage in the world and a clever website do not mean squat unless the claims that are made actually come to fruition in the product.

Walther LGV 007

So what’s it like to shoot the new LGV? To cock it, you first have to release the barrel lock lever, which is done easily enough by pushing up with your thumb. Then pull the barrel down and back until it latches. (I estimate this requires slightly less than 30 lbs. of effort). You’ll notice there is absolutely no spring noise, no creaks, no groans, no noise of any sort, until the cocking mechanism clicks into its latch.

Walther LGV 008

Load a pellet into the breech and return the barrel to its original position. Take aim, slide the safety off, and take the first stage out of the trigger (this requires only about 14.2 oz. of pressure). Squeeeeze the trigger. In the sample that I tested, at 3 lbs. 3.9 oz. of pressure, the shot goes down range. The shot cycle is incredibly smooth, making a kind of muted “tunng” sound as the action cycles. The recoil is remarkably subdued, compared to other spring-piston air rifles that I know and like. At the time of this writing, there is no other spring-piston or gas-ram production air rifle that rivals the new LGV for quiet and smoothness.

The LGV launches 14.3-grain .22 caliber Crosman Premier pellets at an average of 622 fps, which works out to 12.29 foot-pounds of energy that the muzzle.  At 13 yards, from a rest, I found that it would allow me to shoot the center out of the target with shot after shot. At 32 yards shooting in January under fitful winds, the LGV delivered a 5-shot group that measured 7/8 inch from edge to edge. That works out to .655 inch from center to center.

The fit and finish of the LGV are excellent. My overall impression of it is that it is incredibly fun, easy, and smooth to shoot. When I was testing it, I didn’t want to stop enjoying the supple pleasure of shooting it.

I have not been this impressed with a new air rifle in a long, long time. I have only one thing to say to the team at Walther that developed this rifle: well done!

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

37 Comments

  1. Paul Cray says:

    As always Jock, a very well written and pleasurable read. Thank you.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Paul,

      Thanks for the kind words!

  2. SteveInMN says:

    Jock!

    12 fpe? In America? Really?

    No offense, but — How UNBELEIVABLY disappointing!

    Any decent quality, heavy springer will be very, very smooth at 12fpe. A ’90s R1 sprung to 12fpe will deliver at least 90 percent of any LGV smoothness, and will add the invaluable aesthetics of a hand-checkered Goudy stock with a palm swell and a legitimate no-compromise cheekpiece — all for less money, and weighing, at 8.1 lbs, a full pound less! This calculus won’t be lost on the small and knowledgeable potential market for this gun stateside. No chance I will part with my hard-earned greenbacks for 12fpe springer!

    When will AOA be importing the 17 fpe Competition Ultra fitted with the interchangeable, non-F.O. aperture sights of the Master/Master Ultra (tell Walther they need to do this sight swap on the high-end version!) ? If the firing characteristics remain docile, it alone would be worth consideration.

    Kind, albeit Highly Disappointed, Regards,
    SteveInMN

    1. killrtom8o says:

      Overstated but he has a point. If the LGV is half what there saying it is at magnum power, and I think maybe it is, this gun will sell itself. FT guys might want to keep there underlevers if it means they have to use a smaller scope or it becomes ackward to operate in a competition type setting. I recently read a claim that 50% of all championships won world wide in the international sport Field Target were using Nikko Stirling Diamond Sportsman for optics which only comes in one size,10x50x60. It is just my opinion but I believe airgunning market in general has been enjoying a very strange but wonderful type of growth in the the world of shooting sports.

      1. Jock Elliott says:

        killrtom,

        The LGV has a very long receiver that should allow the mounting of large scopes, but I do not know if the Nikko Stirling “Hubble” will fit.

    2. Jock Elliott says:

      SteveInMN,

      I can’t tell you about AoA’s import plans. If you prefer a higher-powered springer, I respect your preference. I can tell you that the LGV sample I tested is the smoothest shooting product springer I have shot to date, and that is high praise indeed. I, personally, was not disappointed in this gun in the least,

      As to the effectiveness of 12 fpe in America, I was impressed that the highest scores shot at the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship were shot in the 12 fpe WFTF class. You can check out the results here: http://www.crosman.com/croswords/?p=2704

      I suggest contacting AoA to ask about their import plans.

      1. SteveInMN says:

        Jock,

        Right — I’m not saying 12fpe is inaccurate.

        The point is I was trying to make is that for this springer to be a ‘milestone’ springer, in the way that the R1 and FWB124 were milestone springers — it has to offer something NEW…and a heavy, mild-mannered 12 fpe gun ain’t that. Most any heavy gun tuned to 12 fpe is already there — simple physics.

        Now – a 17 fpe gun, that shoots like a 12fpe gun? THAT would be new. That would be first-in-category, worth buying, and an eventual classic.

        Get the 23 joule’ers in, let’s see how they run.

        I will not contact AOA regarding their import plans, as I presume they read the blog captive to their site — right?

        Regards,
        SteveInMN

      2. Jock Elliott says:

        SteveinMN,

        Thanks for your reply. If you get the opportunity to shoot a new LGV be sure to me know your impressions of the experience.

    3. Dave says:

      Lol, on the contrary to the poster above, I would only want the gun in 12lbs. I do not need a big gulp when a glass of water is fine. As one of the most renown tuner/and spring makers said. “Massive power, means massive problems, get a nice 11-13 lb rifle and you will have a really nice gun”.
      I would only get the LGV in 22.cal, that is what it was engineered for. That is plenty of power for a spring air rifle. Accuracy always trumps power.

  3. Dave says:

    How does the LGV compare to the HW98?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Dave,

      I own the HW98 and shot it side by side with the LGV. The shot cycle of the LGV is noticeably smoother. Both guns, though, are excellent.

      1. Dave says:

        What does shot cycle mean?

      2. Jock Elliott says:

        Dave,

        Shot cycle means what happens in the gun between the time you pull the trigger and the pellet leaves the muzzle.

  4. Wil says:

    Thanks for the very informative review of the LGV.

    About your 32-yard group – 7/8 inch edge-to-edge: is that within expectations for such a high-end gun?

    I re-read your review of the RWS 34 Pro Compact, and you recorded for that gun a 32-yard group of 0.5 inch edge-to-edge. Sure, the RWS model is a quality gun, but it is substantially cheaper than the LGV, and yet it seems more accurate and produces about the same fpe as the LGV model that you tested. So from that perspective, the accuracy of the LGV seems a bit disappointing. Or is this comparing apples to oranges, since the RWS model is 0.177 in caliber?

    Thanks again.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Wil,

      It is indeed apples and oranges. The .22 is slower than the .177 and there more opportunity for wind deflection based on time of flight. In addition, I was shooting the LGV in the fitful winds of January. I would love to arrange for an indoor testing venue of at least 30 yards, but haven’t been able to do so.

  5. Dave says:

    And how does the shot cycle compare to that of that crazy Whiscombe with 2 springs?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Dave,

      Sorry, but I don’t know. I have interviewed Whiscombe, but I have never shot one of his guns.

      1. Dave says:

        One last question: What is the longest scope that will fit this new air gun?

      2. Jock Elliott says:

        Dave,

        Unfortunately, I don’t still have the LGV to make a measurement. Ask the good folks at http://www.airgunsofarizona.com

  6. BarefootBob says:

    I’m always weary of the hinge barrels coming up and slapping me in the face. With that said I still want one, how do you think it compares to the Ruger Blackhawk? The wood stock looks much sweeter.
    http://airriflegear.com/ruger-blackhawk-combo-air-rifle/

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      BarefootBob,

      I haven’t tested the Blackhawk, so I can’t say.

  7. Scott Cook says:

    Got my LGV comp. ultra in .177 from AOA a couple of days ago in my quest for the ideal target springer. I own and have owned many of them. The ones I have kept over the years have to compete against my three favorites — the Beeman/HW trio R-7, R-9, and R-10. I am strictly a target shooter with an outdoor range accommodating distances from 10 to 50 meters. The above trio covers these distances well yielding tight 1.0 – .5 groupings consistently — they are relatively light and easy cocking, no sweat guns. Within the last half year of so I have bought and sold many springers and Pcps in my quest for outdoing the trio. Probably, the best of the lot are three B-26 BAMs I got with Mike Melick tunes. They shoot as well as the R-9 for half the price.
    To make a long story short, I am not especially pleased with the LGV to date. It is a cumbersome gun just like the HW97 I used to own — but not much quieter and, so far, less accurate at 50 yds. Frankly, I would rather cock the HW97 than the LGV which is an awkward cock for a short-armed person like me. I have so far tried a wide variety of pellets in the LGV including JSB Exact light and heavy, Crosman Premier light and heavy, and several others. None of them provide consistent groupings within 2 inches at 50 yds. In short, given the LGV’s cumbersomeness (heavy weight and difficult cocking) — and if I can’t find pellets that perform consistently with it — it will not be a keeper. The above-mentioned Trio serves me well — and when I want to convince myself of superior marksmanship at 50 yds. I will simply shoot my Air Arms 500s which regularly destroys the 10 ring. My last 15 shots this p.m. with the LGV at 50 yds. yielded only 2 in the 10 ring, 5 in the 9 ring and the rest dispersed in lesser rings. The target is a 5.5 square Gamo with a 2″ BC Shoot N C in the center.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Scott,

      Thanks for your comments.

      It’s little difficult to evaluate your remarks on the LGV since you didn’t say what your group size was at 50 yards. Also, I don’t know if you are shooting the 12 fp or high power version. Obviously, if it is a poor fit to your build, then another gun would be a better choice.

      Right now, I am testing the high-power .177 LGV for a magazine article. It is averaging 925 fps with 7.9 grain CPLs and has produced a half-inch (edge to edge) 5-shot group at 32 yards. This leads me to believe it will likely produce decent groups at 50 yards. Based on my experience with it so far, I would happily compete in field target with the sample I am testing. It is also as smooth as any custom-tuned springer I have ever shot.

    2. Scott Hopta says:

      Scott

      I have the Walther LGV Challenger .177. I have tried the following pellets and in my opinion the JSB Exact Heavy Diabolo 10.34 are the most accurate. Just yesterday I shot a .20 inch group at 30 yards off a make shift bench rest. (See my post below).

      I’ve also tried the following pellets:

      JSB Exact Diabolo 8.44
      JSB Exact RS Diabolo 7.33
      H&N Baracuda Match 10.65
      Crosman Domed 7.9
      Crosman Domed 10.5

      I have ordered the pellets above in the order of accuracy. Now this is only my opinion with my LGV.

      Now it took me 7 months of using the gun and adjusting how I hold it and lots of practice.

      Good luck with your LGV.

      1. Jock Elliott says:

        Scott,

        Great shooting! I’m glad your are enjoying your LGV.

  8. Dallas says:

    I have the 16 joule synthetic LGV Challenger…this rifle shoots 10shot 10mm groups at 25m with ease…using JSB Exact RS 4.52mm 7.9gr and JSB Exact 4.52mm 8.44mm pellets…

    At 40m it shoots 20mm 5 shot groups easily…i am not the best shot around, so i am sure it can shoot a lot more accurately…

    For an out of the box rifle that does not require tuning, i am very happy with it…after filling the stock and adding a bit of lead to move the balance back an inch or two, it shoots very smoothly and quietly….

    Definitely a keeper for me…the local guys are starting to shoot them in the HFT shoots and moving up the ranks slowly but surely….

    I must add that they are way cheaper here in South Africa than elsewhere….around $300…so they are excellent value….

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Dallas,

      Thanks for the comments. Having had the opportunity to shoot both the 12 foot-pound and high power versions of the LGV, I am very impressed with this air rifle.

    2. adib says:

      Hi Dallas

      who sells them for that price in SA? like to buy one

  9. Rick says:

    Thanks for the review. I have just purchased an LGV Challenger Ultra as it was discounted in a New Year sale. I will provide some honest feedback after I have tested it in the coming weeks. But generally speaking the bulk of my research says this is a quality air gun. More to follow ………..

  10. Rick says:

    My Walther LGV arrived safely. I was fortunate as I was able to grade to a Walther LGV Competition Ultra .177 for the same price as the Challenger.
    As background information – I shoot targets over a minimum distance of 25 metres – in four positions (prone, standing, kneeling and sitting).
    My Walther LGV is the model that produces just on 980fps.
    The rifle was in perfect condition. Great blemish free bluing and woodwork.
    I fitted my Nikon 3-9×40 scope which brought the weight up to just on 10lbs. But to counter the weight the rifle is beautifully balanced. So much so that I really did not notice the weight to any degree.

    At first the rifle dieseled quite badly, but I expected this would occur, given that it would need to be well lubed to be able to be stored with the wholesaler for what could be a lengthy period.
    Bearing in mind the 980fps there was very little vibration. In fact significantly less than other similar powered spring rifles that I have used over the years. It was not silent though, but this is to be expected because of the power.
    As for accuracy, because of my age I struggle to put shot exactly on top of shot. For me, a rifle needs to allow me to score 9+ with every shot, and the LGV straight from the box achieved this without being bench rested.
    The pellets that worked best during the testing were JSB Exacts.

    I found that the trigger had plenty of adjustment and I was able to set it up for my shooting style. The hardest of all the adjustments to get right was the cheek piece, as I needed to find a happy medium for all 4 shooting positions.

    In summary, my Walther LGV Competition Ultra .177 980 fps is a very nice air rifle indeed. Well finished with plenty of ability to be adjusted to suit my shooting style. The weight was more than offset by the beautiful balance of the rifle. A very accurate, low vibration air rifle.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Rick,

      Thanks for your comments. They pretty much square up with my experience.

  11. Rick says:

    Thanks Jock. I overlooked mentioning that the operations manual/handbook contains conflicting information about adjusting the trigger (in one part of the manual it says anti-clockwise, and in another it says clockwise to achieve a “crisper” release).

    If people wish to make the second stage release more “crisply” then the rear trigger adjustment screw needs to be turned clockwise (i.e. in). But take care because if you screw in too far the rifle will not cock, and/or the trigger might become so light that you have an uncontrolled release/ firing.

  12. Dave Sawyer says:

    Jock, great post, and you were right on the money about this rifle. I bought it and can only say that it is probably the smoothest springer I have shot. Worth every nickle I paid for it.
    12lbs has always been the desired fps for me, which I believe is ideal.
    The rifle did come with a lot of lubes, but did wonderful after a tin of pellets. The accuracy is really something special. Thanks again for your review.
    Dave S.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Dave,

      I’m glad you are enjoying it. Thanks for the kind words!

  13. Scott says:

    I purchased the Walther LGV challenger from AOA about 7 months ago. I also own a Diana Panther 34. Both are .177. With the Panther I was getting .5 – .75 inch 5 shot groups at 20 yards.

    When I got the LGV it wasn’t that good at first. It took a little getting use to and learning more on how to shot more accurate.

    Yesterday, I was able to shoot a 9 mm 5 shot group at 30 yards. That is out edge of pellet holes That is less then .2 inches center to center. This is from a bench rest setup. I have some patio blocks on top of each other with an old boy scout 2 man tent in the normal packaging on top. I lay the riffle on the tent which gives it enough free movement and I use my shoulder on the but of the gun. I hold it loose so the riffle has thefree movement it needs.

    Can I do this all the time, no. I have been working on getting 60 shots into a 1 inch circle and can do this 90 – 95 % of the time. My normal target is an 8.5 x 11 card stock with 12 10 meter targets. I’ve been shooting for the inner rings 5 – 10. This is 1 inch total.

    I have now reduce the circle to .81 inches and am working on 90 – 95% of this target. That is ring 6 – 10.

    This is an awesome gun. It’s a little heavy but it has the accuracy of a PCP in my opinion.

  14. Kyle says:

    Hi bought the LGV competition ultra in .177 with match trigger and shooting 8.64gr H&N Field Target Trophy pellets at 750fps average about 10.78FPE.
    The scope is the aforementioned Big Nikko Stirling Diamond Sportsman 10x50x60 SF on a Steyr rail / weaver mount. It fits beautify with plenty of room for the scope enhancer and sunshade and easy cocking and loading. Incredibly smooth and accurate rifle at this power level with very low recoil. At 25yrds I’m getting 4.5mm or.177 ctc 5 shot groups. I am currently setting this up for FT. Very accurate and consistent performer.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Kyle,

      That sounds like a wonderful rig!

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