Walther’s Dominator does it with style!

by B.B. Pelletier

Let’s go into the high-rent district to have a look at an American-designed German field target gun – the Walther Dominator!

Based on a 10-meter target rifle
The Dominator is based on Walther’s 300 Alu Tec target rifle. The 300 Alu was the first production air rifle to use air pressurized at 300 bar, which is 4,350 psi and change. It has a regulator to lower the firing pressure to a more managable figure (probably around 2,000 psi), so what you get with 300 bar is a lot more shots. If you can’t fill it that high, the rifle will still work on 200 bar, but there are fewer shots.

The Dominator presented some challenges to the German part of the team that designed it. They thought it would be easy to convert their valve to shoot faster with heavier pellets, but that part of it took them nearly one full year. In the end, they admitted they had underestimated the amount of air needed to push a .177 10.6-grain pellet to 900 f.p.s. They were so used to pushing 8.5-grain pellets to 575 f.p.s. that this new task took them to a whole new level of design!

They also discovered another lesson that other PCP airgun makers already knew – you have to have a longer barrel to get more velocity from a PCP! They wasted six months trying to get the standard 10-meter barrel to perform before they finally increased the barrel length. When they did, wonderful things began to happen! The gun settled down and started shooting very tight groups. Velocity was much more consistent, and the gun became more manageable.

The scope is new, too!
The U.S. part of the design team specified a long scope rail and a 10-40x variable-power scope. The Germans were surprised that anyone would want such power, but when the guns began selling here in the U.S., most of them went out the door with scopes. The Germans started shooting long-range groups with the new gun and were shocked to see 10 pellets going into 3/4″ groups – and sometimes smaller! – at 50 meters. That kind of performance really lit a fire under the Walther design team. Walther’s scope retails for $1,085, which is way out of profile for the features it offers. A similar scope made by the same factory with identical features sells for $600. But, if you buy a Dominator, you will be well-served by the Leapers 6-24×50, and you’ll save hundreds.

The rifle was tested with both 10.5-grain Crosman Premiers and H&N Baracudas, which are also sold as Beeman Kodiaks in the U.S. The Kodiak/Baracudas performed about 20 percent better than the Premiers in those tests.

The Germans learned quickly
Soon after the Dominator hit the streets, German shooters started popping up in world-class field target competition. There had been a few of them before then, but the Dominator brought them out in force. They still had to contend with the British champions, though, and everybody who shoots against them has to work hard just to keep up.

At least one other 10-meter target rifle maker now makes a field target version of their gun, conveniently standing on Walther’s shoulders to see how it’s done. Walther was first, though, and the Dominator remains at the pinnacle of field target rifles. If you’ve had thoughts about getting into the sport, this is a rifle that can take you to the world championships right out of the box!

27 thoughts on “Walther’s Dominator does it with style!

  1. I looked at th “take a closer look” pictures on pyramydair and the triggers seems REALY weird, its like more of a button, have you ever shot one and if so wasnt this trigger annoying?


  2. Tod,

    I tested the prototypes of the Dominator. I also shot the first production rifle. That “button” is actually a trigger shoe on the end of a stalk. It feels good to your finger and it works normally, but unless you opt for the heavy 300-gram model, the Dominator trigger breaks at less than 50 grams. In other words, it’s a “hair trigger.”

    B.B.



  3. The entire underrail is a sling attachment point! This is the ten-meter stock, adapted to a more powerful action, so the whole underside of the firearm is nothing but a rail attachment system..

    Lefthand versions are a matter of special order with a gun like this. They are available, but no store will stock them unless there is sufficient demand. This rifle ties up a lot of inventory capital!

    B.B.


  4. Did you know the Walther LG300 HUNTER? what you think about this air rifle? Got a 1000 fps power? What kind of pellet recommend for field hunting?




  5. Walther LG 300 Hunter,

    I’m not familiar with this model designator, but I have seen the field version of the Dominator, and I think that’s the gun you are talking about.

    Best pellet – JSB Exact or Beeman Kodaik/H&N Baracuda.

    Keep your velocity at 900 f.p.s. for best accuracy. Yes, this rifle can do that.

    B.B.



  6. I am about to buy a dominator…but opted to research just a little more before i do so. I notice the pedigree card on the dominator i’m suppose to buy this morning has a grouping of close to one inch at 50 meters… still too big as i have a locally made airgun that have a half an inch grouping at the same distance! How do you see the dominators accuracy at 50 meters? Can it be improved?


  7. richard,

    I don’t know the pedigree of the specific Dominator you are looking at, but the factory test Walther Dominator delivered a 10-shot group of H&N Baracuda pellets (Beeman Kodiaks) that measured 3/4-inch at 50 meters (55 yards). A five-shot group will almost always be about 40 percent smaller than a 10-shot group, which is why 10-shot groups are used in all real gun tests.

    See whether your locally made air rifle can group as small as the Dominator for 10 shots.

    As far as improving accuracy with the Dominator – there’s not anything that can be done, as far as I know. The gun is made correctly from the start. If the barrel happened to be in contact with the reservoir in any way, then yes, that could be fixed, but I doubt you’ll find something like that on a Dominator.

    The pellet used for testing does matter. When Walther tests the Dominator, they use a German pellet. If they were to use a JSB, I think the accuracy would improve. That is not the same as doing something to the gun, however.

    B.B.


  8. Thanks BB… but how does the dominator compare to FWBp70 who has a grouping of 3/8 inch @ 50meters. Have you tested the p70 as well?


  9. Richard,

    I have shot a P70 FT (Alan Zasadny conversion) but not tested it.

    Accuracy was equal to the Dominator but not better.

    Beyond that, I can’t comment, because I didn’t shoot the P70 that much.

    I can say this though – the P70 cost about $3,000 after conversion and the Dominator was about $1,500 at the time. For that difference, the Dominator made more sense to me.

    What this comes down to is not whether there is a big difference between the guns, but what YOU want. If you are looking for reasons not to buy the Dominator, I’d stay away from it. I’ve seen cases where after the sale the guy continues to look at his purchase critically and ends up regretting the decision to buy it. Buy what you want.

    B.B.


  10. BB..thanks for your insights..I am not really finding fault on the dominator..I really like it but got really troubled with the pedigree that accompanied the rifle…no two pellets landed on the same hole and the grouping seems to me is more than 3/4 of an inch!Anyway, what I was refering to was the p70 field target model w/c dont need any conversion…and cost just a little more than the dominator. It has a grouping size of 3/8 to 1/2 of an inch but velocity is at 800 f/s and fires only about 60 to 70 shots. BTW, can you refer me to someone who sells conversion kits for the p70…i have a p70 junior. Thanks..richard


  11. richard,

    I don’t know of any conversion kits, but Alan Zasadny does convert P70 Jrs, also. I don’t know what his prices are, but you should be able to find them on one of the airgun forums.

    Use Pyramyd Air’s Airguninfo website to point you to the connections.

    http://www.airguninfo.com/

    B.B.


  12. I got my new Dominator LG300 late this past summer, so I could shoot it at the NATs.
    But the regulator was so unstable, it wasn’t much fun using it. (50th place).. :(
    I found out from the importer that it was pretty much a hopeless case.
    (The 10M rifles work flawlessly)..

    The newer version Dominator don’t like changes in temperature or changes of
    cylinder pressure (as when you refill or swap cylinders).

    What I found out (after my purchase) is that a few FT shooters have a rebuilt
    reg or a new US made reg installed.

    I’ve been working on mine, but it’s slow work without the proper test setup.
    Walther seems to have done some cost cutting, since they removed the
    set-point adjustment screw from their new version Dominator.
    So, any adjustment has to be done with the Belleville disks.

    As of now, I can not recommend this rifle for shooting FT.

    Cheers,
    Rich

    Details are posted on the Yellow forum. Search for Dominator.


  13. Rich,

    Thanks for your observations. As an owner, your views are very credible.

    If Walther has indeed changed the design for the worse it’s their loss. The Dominator was a heck of a fine competition gun!

    B.B.


  14. the walther lg 300 alutec suffers
    from regulator problems.
    my club have three lg 300 rifles which have all failed.Walther just ignore the problem and the dealers are not any better.
    Do not buy a Walther/


  15. Things are looking up, it seems my reg and valve was out-dated. I’ve installed the new model valve kit (new stem & seal) to fix the poi drop in cold weather and now I’ve got a brand new model regulator installed.
    So far it seems to be working a LOT better than the old one.

    I’ve got to tweak the velocity a little and see if there is a sweet spot for 200 bar. (Since it’s not possible to get 300 bar much of the time).
    I hope to have good news to report by spring time. (It’s too cold and windy these days).

    Cheers,
    Rich


  16. Just wondering to those who are complaining, have you actually tried to contact the people you bought it from at Pyramyd Air. They have always been extremely helpful and sympathetic to my problems. Please contact before complaining on their website. I like these people and they always to seem to go out of their way to help the customers.

    Sincerely,
    John Longcock


  17. Hi there B.B

    Looking at buying the 40 joule version of the dominator in .22, for both hunting, and field target + silhouette competition (no power restrictions in my country).

    What im after is some simple info.

    When filled to 300bar, what number of consistent shots can be expected?

    If you chrony’d it, what velocity can be expected with say, 14.6 grain pellets at the muzzle, does it live up to manufacturers estimations?

    Is the rifle well balanced?

    Cheers


  18. ominator,

    I assume you are referring to the new Dominator and not the old one that was made on the 300 Alu target gun?

    At 40 joules I doubt anyone will let you shoot field targets with it. They usually limit that to 20 foot-[pounds.

    As for the other questions, I haven’t tested a Dominator yet, so I don’t know.

    Anybody help out?

    B.B.


  19. Hi and many greetings from Greece!!
    I'm a happy owner of a Dominator.The gun is bought 6 months ago.I'm very pleased by amassing accurate,ergonomical handling(the truth is,that is little bit of heavy,especial with the Big Mag Nikko)and i believe that's one of the most nice looking FT gun.The 300 bar action give me at 21 joules 150-160 very nice shoots(thanks Regulator!!)without having any drop to speed.Recently i was won a FT match with this gun!!I suggesed to everyone who want to be a serious athlete in to FT sport.
    Best regards,Harry.



  20. harry 22,

    Thanks for your welcome from Greece. Your comment was posted to a blog that was written in 2005. B.B. writes a daily blog, Mon-Fri which is at http://www.pyramydair.com/blog. We'd like to see you become a regular here. Today's topic is pellets and who really makes them.

    Mr B.


  21. I have had the LG 300 since 2003 and its been an great machine. Right out of the box it was great to shoot and had great consistency. I never thought I could shoot so well till I got this. The groups were very close and consistent. Got into habit of shooting in offhand and the scores were either equal or better then other classes. We have 75 yds bonus point and I could do it with ease. I stood first for years 2003/4/5. I highly recommend this rifle.

    thanks
    Gopal



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