Walther .25 caliber Falcon Hunter - Part 3
by B.B. Pelletier
Last time I said I would first try shooting the .25 caliber Walther Falcon Hunter with open sights, so that's what I did. As I sighted-in, I was able to record some more impressions of the rifle.
It now opens with ease instead of the stiffness I reported earlier, so it did break-in as predicted. Cocking is now running 42-43 lbs., so there's been a slight reduction there, as well. The rifle still requires a real effort to close the barrel. I believe the angle on the detent is a bit too shallow. I learned to snap it closed with authority.
Shooting off a bench all morning has left the impression of real recoil with this rifle. Some of that's due to the light weight of the gun compared to the power it generates. This rifle is second in recoil only to the Webley Patriot, and it's a very close second at that. A proper hold does help the situation a lot, however.
I experimented all morning to find the best hold, and when I found it, it turned out to be the old classic artillery hold with no modifications. No tops-of-the-fingers stuff for this rifle. Simply lay it on the flat of your open palm a little behind the balance point of the forearm so it's a little muzzle-heavy.
I'm not trying to tease you
This rifle deserves a longer break-in, and I'm going to do it. As I shot through the morning, things kept getting better and better, but I could see there's a way to go before we see the best the rifle has to offer. In that respect, it's not too different from the Patriot/Kodiak, which also needed time to wear in. So, this isn't the final report. Let me bring you up to speed regarding where things are right now. I put this statement in the middle of the report because some readers switch off once they see the first target.
The trigger is holding steady with a crisp but deliberate pull. I doubt there will be any advance in that area.
I tried shooting groups with the fiberoptic open sights, but they lack the precision needed for small bullseye targets. You may remember in Part 1 that I observed that the front post is wider than the rear notch. That bit me when I was shooting for precision, so I had to give it up and mount the Walther 3-9x44AO illuminated scope.
Wow! You certainly shouldn't expect to find a great scope packaged with a magnum air rifle for under $270 - but here it is. This scope is great! It comes with the rings installed, so all you have to do is slide it onto the scope rail. The rings are thin one-screw models, but they seem to be holding up well thus far.
The scope was very quick and easy to sight-in at 21 yards, the distance I used because of very strong wind gusts. Then I went to work. Turned out that Beeman Kodiaks did best, as expected, but Beeman Ram Jets did well, too. The other pellets I tried were Beeman Crow Magnums and Diana Magnums. They didn't do so well this time, but I will try them again the next time I go out, because the rifle is starting to settle into its groove.
Firing over 100 shots this morning, I'm beginning to see what shooters like about the Falcon Hunter. As it wears in, it assumes a familiar feel that tells me better things are in store in the days ahead. Also, the light weight of such a powerful spring rifle is refreshing. It doesn't wear you out like a lot of other magnum blasters.