Walther .25 caliber Falcon Hunter – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Okay, there’s a lot of interest in the .25-caliber Walther Falcon Hunter. We know that it’s made by Hatsan in Turkey and that a number of people who own the .22-caliber model like it a lot. We also know this is a very large air rifle. While it isn’t the most difficult spring rifle to cock, it does take some effort, so don’t buy it if you’re looking for a plinker. My test rifle takes 44-45 lbs. of effort to cock. Compare that to a Webley Patriot that takes 48-50 lbs. or a Beeman Crow Magnum/Theoben Eliminator that takes 60 lbs. If the Falcon Hunter puts out equivalent power (26-28 foot-pounds), then we have a story. If it turns out to be accurate as well, we may have a BIG story.

The game is POWER!
The Falcon Hunter is sold on the basis of POWER. The lithographed box screams 800 feet per second at you, so you can’t miss it. Now, the readers of this blog are experienced enough to know the difference between power and velocity, but they also know there’s a connection. Therefore, we’ll shoot the rifle for velocity with a 21-grain RWS Diana Magnum pellet and test it for power with several heavier pellets. Pyramyd Air doesn’t have the Diana magnum (they’re probably obsolete) but they do carry the Webley Mosquito that weighs 19.3 grains, and should go even faster.

Breech seal
While conducting testing for this report, I was getting some large fluctuations in velocity so I tried to remove the breech seal to see if shimming might improve things. Unfortunately, the seal in my rifle was glued in and I ruined it while prying it out. Fortunately, I was going to attend the NRA Annual Meetings anyway, so I emailed Umarex USA, the importers of the rifle, and asked if they would bring me a replacement seal. At the show I met Danny Williams, the gunsmith at Umarex USA. He brought me a new breech seal and some RWS Diana shims that fit very well. They are 0.005″ shims and I tried both two and three. No difference between two and three shims, but with at least two behind the new seal, the rifle became very consistent.


The new breech seal and four shims that Danny Williams gave me. Two shims did the trick.


The Falcon Hunter breech with the seal removed. It still has to be cleaned before the new seal is installed. Notice the tapered leade (the entrance chamfer) in the bore for ease of loading.


Danny Williams (left) of Umarex USA provided the breech seal and shims.

Trigger-pull
The trigger-pull is 4 lbs., 12 ozs. It feels like it’s breaking-in very quickly; at first it seemed much heavier than it is now. It’s not a standard design and probably can’t be easily changed, in the same way that many Gamo triggers can.

Beeman Ram Jets
My rifle pops out 24.2-grain Beeman Ram Jets at an average 703 f.p.s. The spread was from 698 to 710, which is very tight. That works out to a muzzle energy of 26.54 foot-pounds. The Falcon Hunter is definitely in the Webley Patriot class.

Diana Magnums
I shot 20.1-grain Diana Magnum pellets at an average 707 f.p.s. That’s no improvement over the Ram Jets, and with the lighter weight they produced only 22.31 foot-pounds. I would not recommend them for this rifle. The spread went from 700 to 715, which is good, but I think the piston may be too heavy for such a light pellet.

Beeman Perfect Rounds
Beeman Perfect Rounds do not fit in the bore, so I was unable to test them. I had several readers who were interested in their performance, but they’re not for this rifle.

Beeman Kodiaks
The classic .25 caliber pellet is the 31-grain Beeman Kodiak. It’s both accurate and consistent. I try it in all .25 caliber air rifles, regardless of their power. They gave an average of 616 f.p.s., with a spread from 613 to 618. The rifle felt very smooth when shooting them, so I’ll definitely try them for accuracy, as well. Muzzle energy works out to 26.13 foot-pounds.

The rifle seems to be breaking in well. After I do the accuracy testing, I’ll look at the velocity numbers again to see if anything has changed. While I’m not getting 800 f.p.s., it may still come. With all the great customer reviews I’ve read about this rifle, I wouldn’t bet against it. If you’re thinking of getting one, you need to know that this is a very big and powerful air rifle. It isn’t made for shooting all day long. It’s a hunting rifle, first and last.

39 thoughts on “Walther .25 caliber Falcon Hunter – Part 2

  1. BB, this breech seal problem: do you think it’s a defect or maybe you just had a fluke? Would PA carry extra seals and shims? Would they consider a seal change regular maintenance, and therefore not void any warrenty with a change? I really really really want one, but as much as that, I want one that will work. Also, I noticed that around 24 grain pellets seem to keep the same muzzle energy as the 31, but of course have a bit more velocity. Of course, I’ll be hanging on every post, so lemme’ know what you think. JP


  2. JP,

    Please re-read the post. I said I ruined the seal. It wasn’t defective.

    Danny Williams tells me he’s never encountered a glued-in seal, so what I had was a fluke. And the repair parts are available directly from Umarex USA. I don’t see hop the warranty could possibly be affected by a seal change.

    Did you note that the rifle wasn’t disassembled? That I simply popped the old seal off the back of the broken barrel and slipped the new one in?

    I have to say that the seal in my 13-year-old R1 is original, so they don’t wear out that fast.

    It’s nothing to worry about.



  3. BB, in PCPs the longer the barrel the more velocity is developed, but I was under the assumption that in Springers the acceleration of the pellet is all over after the first 2-3 inches. If so, what would happen to the velocity (discounting accuracy and cocking issues for the moment) if you chopped the barrel down so that it was just 4-5 inches long? Would it increase by a noticeable amount? Not intending to try it of course, but just interested in the theory.


  4. Short barrel,

    Cardew proved that the minimum barrel length was about 6 inches in his day (1970s), but longer-stroke piston guns have increased that to 9-11 inches today.

    Cardew’s tests showed no loss of velocity with longer barrels, contrary to what many airgunners now believe. This is because after the initial engraving of the rifling, there remains virtually no friction with the bore. Some barrels are rougher and do have a little friction, but most don’t – so a longer barrel has no less velocity.

    When you push a pellet through a barrel, the skirt doesn’t get blown into the rifling for full engraving, so you do feel friction all the way through the bore, which is probably why some people cannot accept Cardew’s proof. And don’t forget – longer barrel provide greater leverage for cocking.

    B.B.


  5. Thomas,

    I ABSOLUTELY NEVER recommend cleaning pellets! Cleaning removes the anti-oxidant so the pellets start to corrode. 10-meter shooters never clean their pellets.

    Please read Cardew’s book, “The Airgun From Trigger to Target”. He explains that ALL spring guns over about 600 f.p.s. diesel on every shot. In fact, they HAVE to, to achieve the velocity they do.

    It’s DETONATION (an explosion), not dieseling, that we try to avoid.

    B.B.


  6. The first time i shot my Quest, the rifle surprised me by going off like a .22 cartridge–very loud when that was not at all what I was expecting from an air rifle. It never did this again but the neighbor’s dog continued to bark for an annoying 20 minutes.

    –Joe B.


  7. I’ve seen several references to Cardew’s “The Airgun From Trigger to Target” – but haven’t found a source for it (yes, I’ve had an active eBay watch for it for some time now).

    I realize it can be a challenge to find out-of-print books that weren’t produced in great numbers in the first place.

    Where have others on this forum seen this book for sale?

    Phil L.


  8. BB,

    Can you tell me the difference between the Gamo Viper series’ Shadow Express and the Viper Express (which I own), other than the Shadow being $50 cheaper?

    Thanks.

    –Joe B.



  9. The Shadow Express is $40 less than the Viper Express. I see an adjustable stock on the Viper. The velocity is quoted different for each gun but I suspect they are the same.

    B.B.


  10. B.B.

    That’s interesting about guaranteed dieseling in spring guns over 600fps. I don’t notice any smoke from my B30 or a pronounced crack on firing. Maybe it’s a smooth shooter.

    On yesterday’s topic, does the 5 second limit apply to rifles? The same physiology is at work.

    Matt61



  11. I was looking at the Hatsan website. They seem to make quite a few interesting models all in .177, .22 and .25 caliber. Too bad they don’t have a US distributor. Any chance we’ll see more of them here in the future?


  12. There are quite a few Hatsan rifles already on the U.S. market. Both Rugers, the Walther Falcon Hunter, and the Daisy breakbarrels, just to name a few.

    But not all Hatsan rifles are the same quality. The recent return of the new Webley Patriot made by them is an example.

    I think we’ll see more models, but I also hope that some hobby dealer doesn’t overextend himself and bring in a plethora of models unsuited to the discriminating U.S. market.

    B.B.


  13. When PyramydAir takes the regular springs out of the Gamo rifles and puts in the gas springs do they keep the original springs? If they do can I buy them?


  14. Gamo Spring.
    You can use Crosman Quest spring in your Gamo. They are inexpensive and available from Crosman. Or better yet, upgrade to Maccari spring.
    Hope this helps
    Chris


  15. Gamo spring,

    Thanks, Chris!

    Pyramyd Air returns the spring when they convert a customer’s rifle. They were going to keep the springs from the other guns they converted before sale, but I don’t know if they do. Call them and see.

    B.B.


  16. Gamo spring – if you use a Crosman Quest spring (C1K77-010) in a Gamo, you should install the Quest Tophat as well (C1K77-005), otherwise you might run into coil bind and the gun won’t cock. BTW – it is not unusual for a Crosman spring to fit tighter on a Gamo guide and dampen some of the ‘spring twang’ that Gamo is known for.


  17. BB, I got the impression from your writeup that you DID have a breech seal problem at first, which is why the velocity got more consistent once you shimmed it. I think that’s what JP was talking about.

    Also, I don’t think the Ruger’s are Hatsan-made. I believe they’re Chinese, specifically BAM.


  18. I purchased a Walther Falcon air rifle 25 caliber. I have put 500 rounds of pellets and have recently have lost accuracy in the groupings (last 200 rounds)I read your blogg; I think I may have the same difficulties as you noted. I have called Pyramid air and they said they had not heard of any problems. There appears to be a problem with the product. I am not currently happy with the rifle. Can you offer any suggestions? The pin that goes through the reciver to hold the barrel slides back and forth will that affect the sir coming out of the reciever into the barrel?



  19. Phil – Cardew
    I ordered a used copy last fall from a vendor on Amazon.co.uk and the transaction went perfectly. Arrived faster than many US orders. The volume has a wealth of technical information: theory supported by empirical data from numerous well organized and ingenious lab experimental set-ups.
    Pestbgone


  20. Vince,

    Regarding the Ruger’s origin, I think you’re right.

    Sorry for the mixup. My point still stands, however. There are many Hatsan rifles in this country right now.

    B.B.


  21. Walther problems,

    Well YEAH!

    The pivot bolt/pin must be tight or forget sealing the breech.

    This is not a common problem with this rifle. In fact, there are no problems that can be called common. So far, the rifle have performed well in the field.

    If you bought the rifle from Pyramyd Air I would make arrangements for them to look it over for you.

    B.B.



  22. B.B and pestbgone -

    Thanks for the info on the Cardew book. I had hoped to avoid ordering from overseas, but it looks like that’s not a concern.

    Phil L.


  23. Phil,

    Just a quick note on ordering out of the States. I’m afraid that not all transactions will go as smoothly as you hope. I’ve had airguns take up to 6 months. This should be a last resort. Canada does import a variety you cannot find in the States. Without plugging a specific company, I’ve had pretty good success ordering from Canada. The key is to make sure you get a full power version. (Their airguns must be under 500fps) The additional paper work extends the time, but I have found 6 weeks is usually the maximum. If you are the type that gets anxious after just a few days, I would stick with companies like P.A. This is really the true value in what they do by importing these products. Think about Beeman. I don’t think they ever manufactured a thing, but they enjoyed great success.


  24. BB,

    General springer question, how long can you leave a springer cocked before it does damage to its main spring?

    Thank you,

    Mike



  25. The original Walther Falcon breech seal produced large fluctuations in velocity. The replacement seal required not one but two shims.

    It seems that the seals are too small.

    I’m very interested in buying one of these, so I hope that the seals will be improved by the manufacturer.


  26. question on the benji discovery, compared to, lets say the sumatra carbine how would the 900 fps compare to 1100 fps.
    i own a 392 so it’s at 500 or 600 fps would it be the same as going up 300 fps to the discovery at 900 fps. or is it apples to oranges?
    how is it on a scale from one to ten on power compared to the 392?


  27. How does 900 f.p.s. compare to 1100 f.p.s.? Well, with 1100 f.p.s. you would try to shoot heavier pellets to get the velocity down to around 900 f.p.s., because that’s where the accuracy is.

    If the 392 is a 6, the Benjamin Discovery is a 10.

    B.B.


  28. BB and All,
    I am looking into getting a Walther Falcon w/gas spring. I am having a hard time deciding which caliber to get. I will be using it to hunt raccoons. I believe head shots are my best bet with this power range?? Which caliber best suits this type of hunting?

    Thanks
    JG


  29. JG,

    I don't have a good answer to your question, but I sure can help you. How's that you say? You posted to a blog written in 2008. There are just a few of us checking the old blogs for new posts. If you want an answer to your question, please repost your question on the current blog, a new one is written Mon to Fri. Hope to see your question there.

    http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog

    Mr B.


  30. I'm sorry to comment on the old post but I have one of these and I think it used to be way more accurate. I while back I noticed something that had probably been there for a while but i had never noticed it. The seal has a crack in it that is about 2mm wide or maybe even three. This is a big time problem right? I get so frustrated because most people talk about how it is so accurate but I'm shooting like a 1 inch group at 25 yards and my gun has to be resighted a lot. Yes, I also try all the special holds and I watched the video about hold sensitivity and everything. If I need to get this little repair kit, how much does it cost and what do i have to do to order it? PLEASE HELP ME!!!


  31. Seal Crack,

    Are you talking about the breech seal? If so, Go to the hardware store and find an o ring that will fit and replace it. It should stand proud so don't be afraid to make a shim that fits underneath the new seal if it doesn't stand proud. You can make a shim out of a plastic lid or thin leather. Use punches for the outer and inner diameter. If you're good with an xacto knife use that to cut your shims.

    kevin


  32. Seal Crack,

    Are you talking about the breech seal? If so, Go to the hardware store and find an o ring that will fit and replace it. It should stand proud so don't be afraid to make a shim that fits underneath the new seal if it doesn't stand proud. You can make a shim out of a plastic lid or thin leather. Use punches for the outer and inner diameter. If you're good with an xacto knife use that to cut your shims.

    kevin



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