Posts Tagged ‘Walther’

Just last night I had an encounter with a fellow who is an experienced hunter, firearms user, and sportsman, and he knows very little about airguns. His lack of knowledge of about airguns about airguns isn’t a rare thing. Most of the experienced sportsmen that I know have very little conception of the world of adult precision airguns. Their knowledge is pretty much limited to what can be found on the shelves of the big-box stores, and there the packaging screams: 1200 feet per second, 1300 feet per second, 1500 feet per second! This leaves the consumer to assume that more feet per second is somehow better, and it does the consumer a gross dis-service in making a buying decision.

So let’s suppose that you think maybe it would be neat to try airgunning, but you really don’t have a clue what to buy.

392-397

First on my list would be a Benjamin 392. This is a solidly made single-shot, bolt-action, .22 caliber, multi-stroke pneumatic air rifle. It is easy to shoot well, delivers enough power for small game hunting or pest control, and with care should last for decades. I would buy one with a Williams peep sight. Scoping the 392, or its .177 caliber brother the 397, is difficult.

Model-34

Next up would be the highly respected RWS Model 34. This is a single-shot, break-barrel air rifle available in .177 or .22 with power enough for hunting or field targe. Like all spring-piston air rifles, it requires some care to shoot well. The build quality is excellent, and the trigger is far better than you will find in the typical big-box break-barrel springer. In addition, the Model 34 is easy to mount a scope on.

HW30S

Third is the Weihrauch HW30S. This is a lower-power break-air rifle that is easy to cock, offers excellent accuracy, and is perhaps the easiest springer to shoot well. Many airgunners I know say it is the last air rifle they would sell. It can be readily scoped, the build quality is outstanding, and it will deliver decades of service with the occasional rebuild. It can be used for pest control and garden defense with careful shot placement at close range.

WAL-LGV-Master

My favorite springer is the Walther LGV. These are break-barrel, single-shot spring-piston air rifles that are easy to cock and incredibly smooth to shoot. With a scope mounted, you could hunt, plink, shoot field target with a huge grin on your face. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one to a friend.

When it comes to pre-charged pneumatic rifles, it’s hard to go wrong. Virtually all of them will deliver one-inch groups at fifty yards under good conditions with the right pellet.

L1377C

Turning to air pistols, the Crosman 1377c is an excellent starter pistol that people love to customize. It’s a single-shot, bolt-action, .177 caliber pistol that is fun to shoot and can be used for small pest control at close range. The rear sight, however, requires a safecracker’s touch to adjust.

Triumph%20747

If you want pure, accurate, air pistol shooting fun, the Daisy Avanti Triumph 747 http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/Daisy%20Triumph%20747.html can’t be beat. It’s a single-stroke pneumatic pistol that’s wimpy in power and no good for pest control or hunting but highly accurate, and people use them all the time in air pistol silhouette matches.

HW45

If you want more power and a challenge, I suggest any of the Weihrauch HW45 pistols. These are spring-pistol air pistols that are tricky to shoot well but are fun to shoot and master. They also offer enough power for defending the birdfeeder at short range.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

 

 

 

Walther LGV Composite stock 001

In this week’s blog, we’ll take a look at another in the Walther LGC line of air rifles, the LGV Challenger.

As I have written elsewhere, the LGV was a project conceived in 2010 at Umarex in Germany (Umarex owns Walther) to create a retro-style spring-piston air rifle for the worldwide market. In doing so, they wanted to pay tribute to the original Walther LGV, which was a high-precision ten-meter target rifle introduced in 1964. A breakbarrel rifle, it had a positive barrel latch that insured that the barrel hinge always returned to the same position and remained there during the firing cycle.

Walther LGV Composite stock 002

As far as I have been able to determine, the line consists of five different rifles, and the LGV Challenger is the least expensive of these. It has a matte black polymer stock, stretches 43.1 inches from end to end, and weighs just 8.38 pounds. At the back end of the stock is a soft black rubber butt pad. The ambidextrous stock has a slight comb. The pistol grip, which slopes at a gentle angle, has molded-in checkering on either side. Forward of that, the stock material forms a trigger guard around a black trigger which is adjustable for first stage pull and trigger weight.

Moving forward, the forestock has molded-in “checkering” on either side and a slot underneath that provides clearance for the cocking linkage. At the end of the forestock is a metal tab for releasing the barrel latch. Above that is the 15.7 inch barrel. The LGV Challenger is available in .177 and .22. I tested the .177 version.

Walther LGV Composite stock 005

At the muzzle end of the barrel is a metal fitting that serves as a mount for the hooded red fiber optic front sight and also has a screw-off knurled knob that allows a silencer to be mounted (where legal). On top of the breech block, you’ll find a micro-adjustable green fiber optic rear sight. Moving aft along the receiver, you’ll find dovetails for mounting a scope and three holes for accepting anti-recoil pins. Finally, at the extreme aft end of the receiver is a push-pull safety.

Walther LGV Composite stock 004

To ready the LGV Challenger for shooting (assuming you are right-handed), grab the barrel near the end of the forestock with your left hand. With your thumb, depress the barrel release latch while pulling down. This will break the breech open. Next, slide your left hand to the muzzle end of the barrel, grab the sight mount, and pull down and back until the barrel latches. This takes about 38 pounds of effort. Slide a pellet into the breech end of the barrel and return the barrel to its original position.

Take aim, slide the safety off, and squeeze the first stage out of the trigger. This takes about one pound of pressure. Squeeze a bit more, and at about three pounds of pressure, the shot goes down range. The LGV Challenger launches 7 grain RWS Hobby pellets at 985.2 fps, for 15 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. With heavier pellets like Crosman Premier 7.9 grain pellets, I suspect it will shoot around 930 fps.

When the shot goes off, the LGV Challenger exhibits a bit of vibration. My wood stocked LGV Competition Ultra also exhibits some vibration but a bit less than the Challenger. I don’t know if that is because the Challenger is lighter than the other models or because it has a synthetic stock, but there is a definite vibration when the shot goes off.

Accuracy, however, is spot on. At 13 yards, the LGV Challenger was putting pellets through the same hole. At 32 yards, I was battling gusty autumn winds, but I am pretty certain that under optimal conditions, with the right pellet, a good airgunner could shoot dime-sized groups.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The LGV Master is a handsome air rifle.

The LGV Master is a handsome air rifle.

The Walther LGV was created as a kind of modern tribute to the legendary Walther LGV match rifle that was introduced in 1964. The goal in creating the new LGV, according to my contact at Umarex in Germany (Umarex owns Walther) was to develop a break barrel spring-piston air rifle without the disadvantages that a break-barrel normally has, including the twanging spring in the cylinder, the back-and-forth recoil that can kill scopes, the barrel not returning to exactly the same position, and typically an overly heavy trigger. In the examples of the LGV that I have so far, they succeeded.

The LGV line includes several different models of air rifles, and recently Airguns of Arizona sent me a couple samples of models that I have not seen before.

Walther LGV Master wood 002

The LGV Master stretches 43.1 inches from end to end and weighs 8.85 pounds before a scope is mounted. At the extreme aft end of the stock is a soft rubber butt pad, attached to the ambidextrous hardwood stock by a black polymer spacer. Moving forward, the butt stock has a modest comb which I found positioned my eye comfortably behind a scope. The pistol grip is gently slanted, as is typical of sporting air rifles, and is checkered on either side for improved grip.

Forward of that, a black metal trigger guard surrounds a black adjustable trigger. Moving forward again, the forestock is rather flat bottomed and is unadorned with checkering or other decoration. Toward the end of the forestock is a slot that provides clearance for the cocking linkage. At the end of the forestock is a metal tab that the shooter must press to release the barrel for cocking. This latch mechanism also insures that the barrel returns to the same position each time after the gun is cocked.

Walther LGV Master wood 005

Beyond the barrel latch is the barrel itself, which is 15.7 inches long. The LGV Master is available in .177 and .22, and I tested the .22 version. The LGV Master does not have the fancy muzzle brake/sight mount assembly seen on LGV models such as the Master Ultra and Competition Ultra. Instead, at the end of the barrel is a knurled knob that can be unscrewed to allow the mounting of a silencer in those jurisdictions where silencers are legal.

On top of the muzzle end of the barrel is a dovetail that allows the mounting of a globe front sight with black post-type insert. Moving back along the barrel, on top of the breech blot you’ll find a micro-adjustable notch rear sight. Moving back along the receiver, there is a dovetail for scope mounting along with some holes for anti-recoil pins. Finally, at the extreme aft end of the receiver is a forward-and-back slide type safety.

Walther LGV Master wood 004

To ready the LGV Master for shooting, press the barrel release tab and pull the barrel down slightly. This breaks the action open. Slide your hand out to the end of the barrel and pull down and back until it latches. This takes about 38 pounds of effort, according to www.umarexusa.com. Slide a pellet into the breech end of the barrel and return the barrel to its original position.

Take aim, slide off the safety and squeeze the first stage of the trigger (this takes about a pound of pressure). Squeeze just a bit more, and at about three pounds, the second stage trips, and the shot goes down range. The .22 LGV Master launches 11.9 grain RWS hobby pellets at 689.8 fps for 12.5 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

What is truly remarkable about the LGV Master is that the shot cycle is very nearly silent. The sample that I tested was by far and away the quietest spring piston air rifle I have ever shot. It makes a kind of pffft noise, and that’s it.

At 13 yards, the LGV Master delivered 5-shot groups where all the pellet holes touched each other. At 32 yards, I was fighting pre-Halloween gusty autumn winds and got quarter-sized groups, but I am convinced that under optimal conditions, this rifle will deliver groups you could cover with a nickel.

The bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed shooting the LGV Master in .22. If you are looking for a spring-piston air rifle that will attract very little attention to itself, look no further. I give it my heartiest personal recommendation.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

Sometimes the most important part of this business of writing a weekly airgun blog is waiting . . . waiting for the weather to clear . . . waiting for equipment to arrive, and so forth.

Right now I am waiting for both the weather to clear and some equipment to show up, and my wife suggested that it might be useful to answer some questions. I thought about this for a moment and decided it was an excellent suggestion. So here goes . . .

This is a question I get fairly often in the comments section of the blog: Where can I buy a (insert name of product here)?

Answer: The first thing you need to know is that I am not an employee of www.airgunsofarizona.com I work under a handshake arrangement with them to write a blog about airguns once a week. As such, I do not have an intimate knowledge of AoA’s inventory, order plans, and such like. However, in the past I have been a customer of AoA, and I have first-hand knowledge that they pride themselves on providing excellent customer service. Basically, they try to treat their customers in the way that they themselves would like to be treated. They have long ago realized that if they do a good job of matching an airgun to a customer’s needs and wants, they will have more repeat business and fewer customer satisfaction issues. In addition, Airguns of Arizona does not “spiff” its staff. Spiffing is the common practice of offering a monetary bonus to sales people if they sell a particular product. Spiffing, where practiced, leads sales people to recommend products to customers solely on the basis that they will make more money, not on the basis that it is the best choice for the customer. I was a victim of spiffing once when I purchased a ham radio, and I think that spiffing is vile. Bottom line: if you need an airgun or airgun accessory, reach out to the good folks at AoA. They will do their best to steer you right.

Question: Recently Kelton, a reader of the blog, wrote in with the follow question: “How long do you think the discovery will last if I shoot about 2000 pellets through it every month? I have had many spring guns and none have lasted more than six months. I think because I shoot so much I wear out the spring and seals.”

Answer: Well, Kelton, there are really two answers to your question. The first is that I have no idea how long a Discovery, with its precharged pneumatic powerplant, will last if you shoot about 2000 pellets through it a month. The second regards your troubles with springers. Springers are among the most durable and reliable airgun powerplants. I once asked Robert Buchanan, president of Airguns of Arizona, which was the most reliable airgun powerplant. He didn’t hesitate for even an instant: “Springers,” he said. “We never get them back.” Check out this blog “Just how durable are those springers anyway?” http://198.154.244.69/blog/2009/10/just-how-durable-are-those-springers.html My best suggestion to you is that you purchase a high-quality springer such as an RWS, Weihrauch, or Walther that is backed by a good warranty. Sure, occasionally you may need to have the spring or seals replaced, but with high-quality springers, it is worth doing; you’ll have a rifle that, with proper care and infrequent rebuilds, will provide a lifetime of shooting service.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The Walther Lever Action in all its glory.

The Walther Lever Action in all its glory.

When I was a youngster, cowboys were Big Time, Big Deal. Early on, it was Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry. Later on, it was Maverick, Gunsmoke, and The Rifleman. Even now, any of the many fine books by Louis L’Amour are among my favorite reading materials. Part of me remains a ten year old boy who roamed the summer woods and fields of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with his Daisy Pump 25. My constant companion, the kid from across the road, carried a Daisy Red Ryder. High adventure usually included a nickel tube of BBs and a popsicle from the general store.

Recently, I had in my hands an airgun that made all of that come flashing back to me in the twinkling of an eye. The gun in question is the Walther Lever Action. Finished in blued steel and wood, the Walther Lever Action answers in my mind the question: “What would happen if the Daisy Red Ryder grew to maturity?”

That thick butt pad detaches to allow inserting an 88-gr. CO2 cartridge.

That thick butt pad detaches to allow inserting an 88-gr. CO2 cartridge.

The Lever Action is a eight-shot, .177 caliber repeating air rifle powered by an 88 gr. CO2 cartridge. It stretches 39.2 inches from butt pad to muzzle and weighs 6.2 pounds. At the extreme aft end, you’ll find a thick plastic butt pad that has a large screw in the end (More about that in a while). Ahead of that is a hardwood buttstock that is ambidextrous. Ahead of that, underneath the stock and receiver, is the lever which cocks the air rifle and advances the magazine and also serves as a trigger guard.

There is a saddle ring on the left-hand side of the receiver.

There is a saddle ring on the left-hand side of the receiver.

Forward of that is the hardwood forestock which has a polymer band at the end. Protruding from the end of the forestock is a false tubular magazine made of metal which is connected to the barrel above by another polymer band. On top of the barrel at the muzzle end is a hooded blade-type front sight. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find a notch type rear sight on top of the rear portion of the barrel, and moving further back you’ll find the receiver proper. The front sight is moved to adjust for windage, and the rear sight is adjusted for elevation.

Press in the cartridge loading gate on the right side of the receiver, and the magazine pops out.

Press in the cartridge loading gate on the right side of the receiver, and the magazine pops out.

On the left side of the receiver, there is a saddle ring and one end of the push-button safety. On the right side of the receiver is the other end of the push-button safety and what appears to be a loading gate for feeding cartridges into the magazine as well as a small rectangular hatch. At the back end of the receiver is the hammer. The Walther Lever Action is made in Germany, and I think the fit and finish are spot on for an air rifle in this price range.

The magazine, ready for loading. It can be removed from its pivot for easier pellet insertion.

The magazine, ready for loading. It can be removed from its pivot for easier pellet insertion.

To ready the Walther Lever Action for shooting, undo the large screw in the butt plate using the tool that is supplied with the gun. The butt plate comes off, revealing a chamber into which an 88-gr. CO2 cartridge can be inserted. Screw the cartridge into the receptacle and tighten it using the special pliers that are also supplied. Reattach the butt plate.

Next press in the loading gate on the right side of the receiver. This will cause the magazine arm to swivel out, revealing the eight-shot rotary magazine. Slide the rotary magazine off its axel. Load eight pellets into the magazine by pushing them in nose-first from the back side of the magazine. (The back side of the magazine has what looks like a small toothed gear in the middle.) Put the magazine back on its axel and close the magazine arm.

Pull the lever all the way down and back up again to cock the action and index the magazine. This requires very little effort. Take aim at your target and squeeze the trigger. The first stage comes out at 1 lb. 6.1 oz. At 4 lb. 11 oz., the shot goes down range with a muted “pop.” At ten yards, from a sitting position, I found I could put eight shots into a ragged one-hole group that you could cover with a dime.

I chronographed the Walther Lever Action on a day that was barely 58 degrees here in upstate New York, and I found that it averaged 528 fps with Crosman 7.9 gr Premier pellets. The factory specifies that that the Lever Action will deliver 630 fps, but they don’t say what weight pellets will do that. Since CO2 powered airguns will vary in velocity with temperature, I would expect that the Lever Action would certainly launch pellets faster than 528 fps average at 70 or 80 degrees. I also tried Crosman non-lead SSP Pointed pellets and got 654 fps average. Certainly this airgun delivers enough oomph for defending the bird feeder at short range. UmarexUSA tells me you can expect 150-200 shots from an 88-gr. CO2 cartridge.

What's not to like?

What’s not to like?

In the end, I liked the Walther Lever Action a whole lot. It’s accurate, is easy to shoot well, has a neighbor-friendly report and repeats with a flick of a lever. Heck, if you have any cowboy in you, you need one of these airguns.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

Jock Elliott

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

The new Walther LGV with optional scope.

The new Walther LGV with optional scope.

Greg from www.airgunsofarizona.com was on the phone with me, discussing what airguns he was going to send my way for testing. “Walther has come out with a new LGV,” he said.

I got excited. “Really?!! Send me one right away!”

“Whoa,” Greg said. “It’s not the same as the old LGV. It’s more of a sporting rifle, but they’ve put a lot of new technology into it.”

“Oh,” I said, wondering if the latest incarnation of the LGV would be a disappointment.

The airgun industry has been around for quite a while, and airgun manufacturers will, from time to time, bring out a new rifle bearing an old name. The last time this happened (with a manufacturer who shall be nameless), the result was a rifle that was really very disappointing on many levels.

The original Walther LGV, image courtesy of Walther.

The original Walther LGV, image courtesy of Walther.

And to set up this story properly, you need to understand that the Walther LGV was a high-precision ten-meter target rifle introduced in 1964. It was a breakbarrel rifle with a positive barrel lock that insured that the barrel hinge always returned to the same position. Original LGVs are still prized as collector’s items today, and they are still fun to shoot.

Similar to the original LGV, the new LGV also incorporates a positive barrel lock to insure that the break barrel returns to the same position every single time. More about that later. Let’s take a guide tour of the new LGV. There are several different variations of the new LGV, which you can see here http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/WaltherLGV.html I tested the LGV Master Ultra in .22 caliber. It stretches 43.25 inches from end to end and weighs 8.85 lbs before mounting a scope.

Walther LGV 009

At the rear of the LGV is a thick ventilated rubber butt pad. It is attached to a fully ambidextrous hardwood stock. There is a slight bulge and rise on either side of the buttstock for a cheek piece. The pistol is sloped at a roughly 45 degree angle and is checkered on either side and engraved with the Walther name. Ahead of the pistol grip is a black metal trigger guard that surrounds a black trigger. I believe the trigger is plastic, although it might be an alloy (a metal “tuning” trigger is available as an option, according the manual), and it is adjustable for first stage travel and for trigger weight.

Ahead of that, the forestock is unadorned and tapers slightly to the end. The underside is fairly flat-bottomed, and toward the end you’ll find a slot for the cocking mechanism. At the far end of the forestock is a lever for releasing the barrel lock. Above that is the barrel (the LGV is available in both .177 and .22) and attached to that is a large metal fitting that serves as a cocking aid, the mount for the globe front sight (which has interchangeable inserts), and a knurled barrel nut which can be unscrewed to allow the mounting of Walther’s proprietary three-chamber silencer (where legal).

Moving back along the barrel, a micro-adjustable notch-type rear sight is mounted on the breech block. Moving further aft, the rear of the receiver has dovetails for mounting a scope and three holes into which anti-recoil pins may be fitted. At the very end of the receiver, you’ll find a push-pull safety which is resettable.

That’s all there is to the Walther LGV . . . or is there? When I took the new LGV out of its box, I notice a couple of symbols on the edge of the manual. One of them said “Vibration reduction system,” and the other said “Super silent technology.”

Curious, I looked up “Walther LGV” on the Internet and found that Walther had created an entire new website devoted to this new series of rifles. Obviously, the good folks at Walther were serious about the technology they had put into this new rifle.

We’ll get into that next time, in addition to shooting the new LGV.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott