Walther .25 caliber Falcon Hunter - Part 1
by B.B. Pelletier
I'm starting an interesting new series on the Walther Falcon Hunter in .25 caliber. When I saw the Falcon Hunter at the SHOT Show, I knew it would be interesting because the .25-caliber Webley Patriot was the only other game in town (at that power level). Well, now that the .25-caliber Patriot is gone (pending rework by Webley), the Falcon Hunter is alone (at that power) in that caliber. It was going to pose a serious threat to Webley because of its low price; now it will rule unopposed!
Describing the Falcon Hunter
This is a very large air rifle. At 49" overall, there aren't many air rifles or even firearms that are as long. It weighs right at 8 lbs., which should make it seem light, but the balance is decidedly muzzle-heavy with the scope not mounted. The 19.75" barrel is one of the longest on any breakbarrel. There's a setscrew on the muzzlebrake, which probably means it can be detached. I loosened the screw but the brake didn't budge. Because it's synthetic, I didn't push it.
The barrel detent is extremely stiff - just like the legendary one on the Webley Patriot. You must slap the muzzle to break the barrel for cocking, and closing it takes even more effort. I hope it will wear in smoother.
The trigger is two-stage and non-adjustable. It's heavy, so I'm going to give it an opportunity to break in before I report the pull weight. The rifle fires with a lot of recoil and some vibration, but not as much as I was anticipating.
The safety is automatic, and can be applied at any time manually. Pull out to fire, push in for safe. A red dot on the safety bar alerts the shooter to the status.
The stock is a hollow synthetic finished in a Mossy Oak Break-Up camouflage pattern. It's lighter weight than a wood stock would be, which on this big gun means a lot. The length of pull can be adjusted longer with three additional spacers that come in the box, but I found the factory 15" pull to be long to begin with. Both the pistol grip and forearm are checkered, but the diamonds are not aggressive. The forearm is held to the spring tube with four screws instead of the usual two. Although there's a low cheekrest only on the left side of the Monte Carlo butt, the rifle could be fully ambidextrous because the automatic safety is centered at the rear of the spring tube.
The sights are fully adjustable with click detents on both adjustment knobs. They're fiberoptic, and you'll have to use them that way (front red dot centered between the two rear green dots) because the front post is too wide for the rear notch. No daylight can be seen on either side of the front post. But most shooters will probably install the scope that comes with the rifle. And that's where the proprietary rear scope base gets a close look.
Unique scope base
This unique design has an 11mm dovetail on top of the base. This dovetail has been cut with numerous cross-slots for some reason. While they make it appear like a Picatinny or Weaver system, it's neither. The slots appear to serve no function I can discover, though they might interface with other mounts I haven't seen, yet. The 3-9x scope that comes with the rifle has a thin pair of rings already attached to the scope tube, and these will butt against a plate screwed to the top of the scope base dovetail. I'm showing a picture because I cannot explain it any better.
Besides the stock, there's a lot of synthetic on the outside of this rifle. The triggerguard, trigger, muzzlebrake, parts of the rear sight, the safety and the end cap at the rear of the spring tube are all synthetic. It's finished nicely, with all these parts having a pleasing matte finish. The metal parts (barrel and spring tube) are darkly colored with black oxide, and the metal has been prepared very well. I think Falcon Hunter owners will be proud of their big guns.
Because this rifle comes with nice open sights, I'm going to test it with them first. Besides letting the action break in a little more, that will also help me choose a good accurate pellet. Stay tuned!